Best Winter Athletic Wear for Women

Living in New York during the winter can be magical, but not when it’s time to go on a morning run. Over the past couple of months I ditched my Planet Fitness membership and began incorporating a daily outdoor run into my morning routine. However, one of the biggest deterrents for exercising outside for me during the winter has always been the unbearable cold. For years my workout clothes have only consisted of cheap leggings, one sports bra and a T-shirt — all items that are ill-equipped for me running in the cold. That’s why I made it my mission to find the best athletic wear for winter time.

Whether you’re running outdoors, hiking or skiing, owning athletic wear that won’t make you shiver or suffocate you during your workout is essential. The best athletic wear for cold temperatures insulates you while allowing your body the ability to breathe and ward off sweat. Different workouts require varied clothing, which is why I tested dozens of different clothing items fit for a variety of activities. From fleeces to running tights, I’ve compiled a list of the best workout wear on the market for winter time. 

Tops

Brooks Running

Brooks’ recently released their Run Visible collection which highlights thermals, sneakers and spandex that all have reflective features on them making them the optimal clothing for exercising in the dark. Wintertime means the darkness comes early which is why anyone planning on working out outside should own reflective gear. The thermal hoodie allows runners to be insulated while also feeling comfortable knowing all cars and passerbyers will be able to see them.

Get the thermal hoodie soon because from now until Nov. 28, all active apparel on Brooks’ website is 30% off. 

Also check out Brooks’ Run Visible Tights and Run Visible Shoes.

The North Face

Although I don’t have personal experience with the long-sleeve North Face thermal, my cousin (a ski instructor in Vermont) swears by it. The long sleeves comfortably fit underneath outerwear and are designed to keep you both warm and dry even in the snowiest of conditions. 

Bottoms

Oros

When I first tried the Delta Tights, I was skeptical. The material felt like good quality but the insulation padding on the top and bottom felt odd. However, once I put the tights to work while hiking in 30-degree weather, I understood why people spend $100 on them. Throughout the hike, my legs never once got cold. The tights are water resistant, breathable and made for both fall and winter temperatures. Although the fit may feel odd at first with the insulation pads, the Delta Tights are definitely worth the money. 

For Black Friday, Oros is offering 30% off select styles. 

Lululemon

Prior to owning these leggings, I never understood the Lululemon hype. I just assumed they were middling quality leggings sold at a ridiculous price. I’m happy to admit that I was wrong.

The Lululemon Wunder Train tights are everything and more. Although the tagline for these leggings is “Train hard, not hot,” the tights keep your legs warm while preventing excessive sweat that would interfere with your workout. For the past two weeks I’ve been wearing them while on my morning run and during my nightly Orange Theory classes, and I’m never going back. I wouldn’t recommend the leggings for the extreme cold, but if you’re searching for a pair of leggings that can be thrown on for a quick run or workout class then these are the pair for you. 

Looking for quick-dry yoga tights? Check out Lululemon’s InStill High Rise Tight. 

Bandit Running

When I first tried the Bandit Cold Weather running tights, I doubted they would be able to keep me warm. To my surprise, the tights were up to par. Running in the mornings wearing the Bandit tights in below-freezing weather, not once did my legs freeze up. The cozy and sweat-wicking interior allows for a comfortable workout. 

Outerwear

Oros

If a $900 Canada Goose is beyond your budget, then the Oros Orion Parka is the next best thing. The fully insulated, waterproof parka features four exterior zippered pockets, two interior pockets and a comfort collar. Anyone in need of a parka for winter sports would be more than satisfied with the Orion Parka. 

Don’t miss Oros’ Black Friday sale, where you can receive 30% off on select products.

Outdoor Voices

The perfect lightweight fleece does not exist; until now. Outdoor Voices’ RecFleece Snap Jacket makes those cold winter walks a little more bearable. Suited best for a long walk or quick run, the RecFleece is made of polyester and breathable fleece. On colder mornings, I recommend pairing this fleece with a thermal top and puffer jacket then calling it a day.

Lululemon

Lululemon’s Evergreen Anorak fits comfortably over larger layers and provides high quality wind protection. The water repellent windbreaker includes a kangaroo pocket with a hidden phone sleeve, stowable hood and cinchable waist. My favorite aspect of the jacket is its length. Oftentimes windbreakers either engulf my whole body or cut off right around my waist; the Evergreen Anorak cuts off right above the bum, giving the ideal amount of coverage. 

Lululemon

Lululemon’s Define Jacket Luon perfectly contorts to your body, not just making you look good but also allowing you to feel comfortable while working out. The jacket is quick-drying and features a mesh that allows for added airflow. My favorite aspect of the jacket is the thumb holes on the sleeves that allows you to keep your hands warm while exercising. Overall, I would recommend this jacket for outdoor runs or hikes. If you’re walking, though, you should consider adding an extra layer. 

Fabletics

If a vest is more your style, look no further than Fabletics’ Elliot Puffer Vest. The puffer vest is lightweight and packable, making it great for athletes on the go. The vest includes two front pockets as well as a collar meant to help insulate your neck. Although additional layers will be needed to make working out in the winter a more enjoyable experience, the vest makes for a nice addition for every workout fit.