Recently I tested a ton of different clothes to see if I could inexpensively keep warm while running in sub 20° weather. I found that the less expensive clothes performed just as well and often better then the expensive stuff. I thought I’d share my findings with others out there.
I found that if you layer your cloths and use Polypropylene that you’ll stay warm and dry. It doesn’t matter if you buy the cheap Polypropylene, or the expensive stuff. This is what I use.
On My Head
On my head I wear a Polypropylene Balaclava ($7) that covers everything but my eyes when there is high winds and the temperature is pushing towards zero. I wear a Heavy Knit Thermal Hat ($4) if there is little to no wind.
On My Torso
My bottom layer is a 100% Polyester T Shirt ($7). Make sure you don’t wear cotton. The polyester will wick away the sweat as you run. My next layer is a Polypropylene long sleeve shirt ($19). And, then my top layer is all about blocking the wind while maintaining ventilation. I found that the Pearl Izumi elite barrier jacket ($55) works great.
On My Legs
I found that the Sub Sports thermal compression tights ($40) work just as well as the tights that cost twice as much. On top of the tights I wear a pair of Russell Athletic Dri-Power sweat pants ($14).
If you have bad knees like I do, look into Pro-Tec gel force knee sleeves ($26). I tried numerous knee protection options and these are the only ones that kept me injury free.
On My Feet
When it comes to socks, it is hard to beat Under Armours Resistor low cut polyester socks ($15 / 6 Pair). As per shoes I use either a pair of Brooks Ghost 6 ($72), when the roads are dry, or Brooks Ghost 6 GTX ($90), when they are wet.
The only other thing I wear is a Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS watch. I bought it used on E Bay for about $100. It keeps me motivated, has a heart rate monitor that actually works and is very durable.
I hope this article helps somebody out there save some money. I wish I would have found something like this a few months ago.