Running during the winter months can be one of the most challenging ways of exercising, with cold temperatures, adverse weather and slippery ground to contend with. However, as challenging as it is, it can also be one of the most rewarding ways to get your endorphins pumping.
In fact, choosing to run outdoors during the winter presents new challenges that can help to improve your overall fitness and will really put your running skills to the test.
You do need to make sure that you’re stable on your feet and as comfortable as possible when you’re running though, and one of the best ways to do this is by investing in a pair of winter running shoes.
Designed with extra grip, comfort and durability in mind, a pair of winter running shoes will be able to safely carry you across multiple terrain in a way that your usual running shoes won’t be able to.
However when it comes to finding the perfect pair of winter running shoes, things can become a little unclear, and before you know it you’ve ended up purchasing a pair of running shoes that aren’t suitable for the trials that come with running in winter.
To take the hard work out of it, we’ve compiled a list of some of the very best winter running shoes available, along with a super useful buying guide that’s packed with hints and tips on what to keep in mind when you’re shopping around.
So, keep reading and pretty soon you’ll know everything you need to know in order to get yourself a fantastic pair of winter running shoes that will allow you to take on all sorts of weather and terrain with confidence.
Best Winter Running Shoes
OUR TOP PICK
Available in a wide range of sizes and in 24 different styles and colors, as well as being packed full of features that will help you keep your pace regardless of the terrain, the Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe from ASICS is the ideal choice for winter running.
Let’s begin with the innovative trail specific outsole, which is constructed from rubber to provide excellent traction and features patches of AHAR™ (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) at critical foot points to ensure further stability even when you’re running across unstable surfaces. The tread pattern also features reverse lugs, which are designed to give better traction when running both uphill and downhill.
These running shoes also feature a Rearfoot Gel Technology™ cushioning system that is designed to absorb the majority of the shock during the impact phase of your foot hitting the ground, and allows you to continue running over long distances with ultimate comfort.
A specially designed water resistant synthetic material has been used in the construction of the upper shoe to provide durability without adding any extra weight to your feet, and has also been interspersed with mesh panels that allow for breathability. You also have the option to remove the sockliner in order to provide a wider fit or to wear the shoes with a medical orthotic.
- Available in multiple sizes and in 24 different colors and styles to suit any taste
- Features a specially developed rubber outsole with patches of AHAR™ at certain foot points and reverse lugs to provide further stability
- A Rearfoot Gel Technology™cushioning system provides ultimate comfort and absorbs impact shock when running
- The upper is constructed using a water resistant synthetic material that provides durability and breathability without adding extra weight
- Also features a removable sockliner that allows for a wider fit and enables the shoes to be worn with an orthotic
- The synthetic material used in the upper is water resistant but is not fully waterproof
- Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance.
- Removable Sockliner: A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic.
- Removable Sockliner: A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic.
Specially developed to provide you with the best traction and grip possible across wet, slippery and uneven terrain, the Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe is a great choice for anybody that enjoys outdoor running all year round.
The rubber outsole of the shoes are built using Contragrip™ technology and feature deep, sharp lugs that provide excellent traction and improve momentum even when running uphill or downhill on a variety of surface textures.
Meanwhile, the midsole of the shoes is built using specially developed technology that provides cushioning and impact protection on each landing. A molded OrthoLite™ sockliner also helps to provide extra comfort as well as breathability for your feet.
8 different styles give you the opportunity to inject some personality into your running gear, and you can also rest assured that these shoes will stay firmly placed on your feet thanks to the custom foothold that consists of a combination of SensiFit™ and Quicklace™ systems that effectively wrap the shoe around your foot and cradle it in place. This also helps to ensure that your foot is kept in a secure position and reduces any risk of injury should you slip or land awkwardly.
- Specially developed and built using Contragrip™ technology to ensure excellent grip and traction across wet, slippery terrain
- The outsoles of these running shoes also feature deep lugs that further ensure traction even when taking on steep hills
- Features heavily cushioned midsoles that provide cushioning and absorb shock on impact
- Also features a molded Ortholite™ sockliner that provides breathability as well as extra comfort
- A combination of SensiFit™ and Quicklace™ systems help to ensure that the shoes are securely fastened to your feet throughout your run
- People that previously purchased these running shoes noted that they ran a size smaller than they would normally need, so it’s worth checking the measurement guide before buying
- Agressive Grip : Obvious and penetrating traction on soft ground
- Precise Foothold : Close to foot and comfortable feel
- Contragrip rubber sole; MIDSOLE HEIGHT : 30mm/20mm (10mm drop);WEIGHT: 310g
If you’re the kind of runner that likes to go off-road and discover different routes and paths regardless of the time of year, then the V3 Trail Running Shoes from New Balance could be the perfect partner to your need to explore.
You’ll find comfort and support in the form of a Cush+™ midsole that doesn’t only absorb any impact shock from heavier landings, but also adds to the stability of the shoes, all the while ensuring that your feet are kept as comfortable as possible even when running across longer distances.
These running shoes also feature a super versatile outsole with AT treads and lugs that provide extra traction on a variety of surface textures, whilst the rubber sole itself helps to ensure you’re kept on your feet even in wetter conditions such as heavy rain or snowfall.
The upper of these shoes is constructed using a combination of hard wearing leather for durability and mesh pockets that provide breathability for your feet whilst you run. Each heel has also been designed with a Comfort Collar™ to reduce any skin irritation and to provide extra stability as you take on uneven terrain.
- A Cush+™ midsole helps to provide comfort whilst your running, whilst simultaneously absorbing any impact shock
- The rubber outsole helps to keep you steadily on your feet on a variety of surface textures
- A mixture of tread patterns and lugs provide further stability as well as giving you better traction for hill running
- Uppers built from a combination of leather and mesh panels ensure excellent durability whilst allowing your feet to breathe
- Also features a Comfort Collar™ on each heel that helps to reduce skin irritation and provide extra heel stability
- As with most running shoes, these can run a size or two small so you’ll need to check your measurements alongside the brand’s charts to make sure you get the correct size
- Versatile Outsole: Take your runs to the path less travelled with these New Balance trail running shoes. The AT Tread outsole provides traction during both on and off-road activities
- Cushioned Support: The Cush+ midsole delivers ultra-soft cushioning and all-day comfort without sacrificing support to provide both a comfortable underfoot feel and stability
- Extra Comfort Features: These outdoor running shoes also include an NB Ultra Soft Comfort Insert for added cushioning and comfort to support every stride
Created to provide cushioning without adding any extra weight to your feet, the Ghost 12 Running Shoes from Brooks are the perfect choice for anybody looking for a winter running shoe that can take on the worst of weather whilst remaining lightweight and flexible.
The soles have been constructed using rubber to provide excellent traction across wet, slippery surfaces, and their grip is further enhanced by the innovative Segmented Crash Pad™ technology that runs across the whole sole. This feature consists of a system of integrated shock absorbers with built-in lugs that won’t only keep you gripped to the ground, but will also absorb any impact shock and ensure you’re as comfortable as possible.
A combination of BioMoGo DNA™ and DNA LOFT™ technologies work together to provide superior cushioning that is highly durable and ensures underfoot comfort without weighing you down. Meanwhile, the 3D Fit Print™ design has been specially crafted using mesh fabrics to ensure a snug, secure fit and provide breathability for your feet.
These running shoes also come in a really wide variety of colors and styles, giving you the opportunity to let your personality shine through and to help you remain visible when you’re running on dark winter mornings or evenings.
- A combination of innovative cushioning technologies provide superior cushioning and comfort without adding any extra weight to your feet
- Rubber soles help to ensure you’re kept firmly on the ground as you run across a variety of terrain
- The soles also feature Segmented Crash Pad™ technology that absorbs impact shock whilst simultaneously providing extra comfort
- Features a 3D Fit Print™ design and mesh fabric for a durable upper that holds tightly to the foot and ensures breathability
- Available in a huge variety of colors and styles
- Although these shoes are fairly true to your regular size, they are quite narrow so may not be suitable for anybody that needs a wider fit
- THIS SHOE IS FOR: Neutral runners looking for a lightweight shoe and a smooth ride without sacrificing cushioning. Whether you’re a Ghost loyalist or are lacing one up for the first time, you’ll...
- SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The neutral support type provides high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Ghost 11
- BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work together to provide a just-right softness underfoot without losing responsiveness and durability - yet it feels lighter than ever.
Designed inline with the natural contours of your feet, the Trail Glove 4 Runner from Merrel gives you the feel of barefoot running whilst ensuring stability, durability and comfort across a variety of surface textures.
The Virbam™ rubber sole is made from 100% recycled materials and is extremely slip-resistant, so you’ll be able to run across wet or snowy ground with confidence. This stability is further assured by the multiple tread patterns that run across the entirety of the sole, which also help you with uphill and downhill momentum.
A zero-drop design has also been applied to the heel of these shoes in order to help you get a more natural stride, however this doesn’t mean that any comfort has been sacrificed as the addition of a Trail Protect Pad™ helps to ensure cushioning and comfort as well as absorbing impact and protecting your feet.
Another fantastic thing about these running shoes is that they are 100% vegan friendly, and have had absolutely no animal products used in their construction. This also applies to the TPU uppers, that provide the same amount of durability as leather whilst remaining totally synthetic, and are also interspersed with mesh panels that provide excellent breathability for your feet as you run.
- Designed to match the natural contours of your feet to give a barefoot running feel whilst ensuring comfort and protection
- The Vibram™ rubber sole is constructed using recycled materials and features multiple tread patterns for enhanced stability across multiple terrains
- A zero-drop design allows you to achieve a natural stride as you run, whilst the built-in Trail Protect Pad™ ensures your feet are kept protected from impact shock
- The synthetic construction is 100% vegan friendly and the mesh panelling provides breathability for your feet
- Available in a range of colors and sizes
- The barefoot running style of these shoes means that they don’t have as much cushioning as some others, however the Trail Protect Pad™ still provides a good amount of protection and comfort
- Mesh, TPU Upper. Vegan friendly
- Zero Drop
- Vibram TC5 Outsole, Trail Protect Pad. Stack heel or toe height is 0.45 inch. Trail protect pad offers underfoot protection
Best Winter Running Shoes - Buying Guide
Just because the temperature has dropped and the nights have gotten longer, there’s no need to sacrifice your daily run. But one thing you need to be absolutely certain of is that you have the correct running shoes that will keep you secured to the ground on each stride, and will ensure you’re as comfortable as possible throughout.
Below, we’ve put together some points that you need to bear in mind when you’re shopping around, and that in turn will help you find the perfect pair of winter running shoes for your individual needs.
Sole & Outsole Material
The first, and arguably the most important, thing you need to consider is the material that both the sole and the outsole of your running shoes are constructed from. You’re going to be running across wet, slippery and even snowy ground throughout winter, so staying steady on your feet is of utmost importance.
Any winter running shoe that has a sole made of rubber or has been created using special technology such as Contragrip™ is the best option to go for, as it is naturally non-slip and will provide you with the traction needed for taking on winter running.
Most rubber soles will also feature a series of tread patterns and lugs that help to provide even more traction, and are also really good for helping you keep your momentum when you’re running uphill, as well as ensuring that you don’t slip when headed downhill.
You can also find rubber soles that are constructed using recycled materials, and this is a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint and be more environmentally conscious even when it comes to purchasing running gear.
The best material for the outsole of your shoe is also rubber, as this will help to add even more stability to them. There are even some winter running shoes that feature specially developed materials (such as AHAR™) that are placed at certain points across the outsole in order to provide extra grip in areas of the foot that are more liable to slipping or tripping.
The material used in the uppers of your winter running shoes also needs to be considered, and there are a couple of options to choose from here.
Synthetic materials are the most commonly used material for winter running shoes, and this is due to the fact that they are highly durable and can provide some water resistancy which is ideal for running during the winter months. Synthetics are also designed to mold and contour to the shape of your foot, so will provide a super comfortable fit that doesn’t take too long to break in.
There are also some winter running shoes that use leather as their upper material, and this another great choice to go for as it is naturally tough and water resistant so can take a bit more of a beating than synthetic materials. Unlike synthetic materials, however, leather isn’t as malleable and can take a longer time to fully break in before they become comfortable enough to run long distances in.
You’ll notice that a lot of winter running shoes also have a series of mesh panels placed across the uppers, and this is a really good feature as they are designed to allow your feet to breathe whilst you’re running.
This doesn’t only prevent your feet from overheating and becoming sweaty or uncomfortable, but is also a great way to keep your shoes smelling and feeling fresh as there will be less chance of odor-causing bacteria building up over time.
Running over any distance comes with the risk of impact shock as your feet pound the ground, but during winter this can be exacerbated as you’ll naturally want to land a bit harder in order to keep yourself on your feet. So, with that in mind, it’s a good idea to look at what shock absorption properties your winter running shoes feature as well.
This is mostly provided by cushioning placed throughout the midsole and in the heel, which is designed to absorb the impact shock as each foot lands and prevents it from running up into your shins or knees. Gel technology is particularly good here, as it won’t only absorb shock but will also mould to the contours of your foot and take on more of the impact shock in the areas that it most commonly occurs.
Some winter running shoes also feature removable sock liners such as Trail Protect Pad™ or Ortholite™ which allow you to adjust the levels of cushioning as required, adding more when the ground is particularly treacherous.
Another really good feature to look for in a winter running shoe is a padded heel collar. Whilst this won’t necessarily help to absorb any impact shock, it can help to prevent any strain or injury that may occur to your ankles through accidentally slipping or tripping by keeping them firmly gripped in place throughout your run. A padded heel collar can also help to reduce skin irritation, allowing you to run longer distances without worrying about blisters.
Size & Fit
In order to make sure your winter running shoes are effective as possible, it’s important to make sure that they are able to stay securely placed on your feet throughout your run as well. Lace up shoes are always the best option to go for here, as you’ll be able to create a more custom fit for your foot and adjust the tightness levels for comfort.
Lacing systems such as SensiFit™ and Quicklace™ are really good to look for as well, as these will allow you to essentially wrap the shoe around the top of your foot and will help to keep it firmly secured to your foot without sacrificing comfort.
One really common complaint amongst all running shoes is that they can run a little too small, so it’s always a good idea to look at the manufacturer’s size guides and order according to that. Don’t be too surprised if you’re being recommended a size or two smaller than you would normally purchase, and go for the size you’re coming up as one the measuring guide. Ignoring this could result in you having to return the shoes because they don’t fit.
Color & Style
Whilst the color and style of a winter running shoe may not seem important, it is definitely a good thing to think about. This is due to the fact that the nights are a lot longer during winter, and those well-lit morning or evening runs you’re used to going on will now most likely be covered in darkness.
Buying a brightly colored pair of winter running shoes will help to enhance your visibility to anybody else that may be around, and can act as a super effective safety measure if you’re used to running on paths alongside roads.
Different colors and styles also allow you to inject your personality into your running gear as well, and help to make everything that much more fun.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best shoes for running in winter?
When you’re looking for a pair of running shoes to wear during winter, there are a few features that you need to keep an eye out for. The soles need to be able to provide excellent traction and grip, whilst the uppers need to be able to withstand a variety of weather conditions and keep your feet safe and comfortable. Check out our buying guide above for a more detailed breakdown of what features the best winter running shoes should have.