This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.
Exercise is the best way to banish winter blues, and keeping fit, active and healthy during the winter period can go a long way towards silencing those aches and pains, and many of the illnesses that seem to be doing the rounds once again since COVID. You will often also need to think a bit more carefully about the kind of running wear you’re donning to tackle the elements in.
You will need to ensure you buy the right shoes that grip in the right places on potentially slippery terrain, proper clothing that is breathable but provides protection against the elements, and suitable accessories like gloves and hats that are able to cope with the dramatic drop in temperature.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the best shoes for running in winter. Winter running shoes ideally are a good balance between conventional lightweight trainers and more sturdy trail shoes - providing enough grip to tackle difficult slippery terrain and greater waterproofing credentials to ensure your feet don’t get soaked in bad weather.
Want to learning more about running?
Consult our guide to getting started, Running for beginners: from how to start, to what to wear, and the tech to track your progress.
Comfort is one of the key things that define the Adidas Ultraboost range, with an ultra-responsive mid-sole that although increases bulk slightly, provides a really bouncy feel that we liked on cold, hard winter terrain.
Whatsmore, these shoes are built specifically for cold weather runs in mind, Cold.rdy technology meaning that the whole upper is well insulated and sheds water naturally to help keep you moving and your toes dry and warm.
Built with trail running in mind, the Men’s Ride 15 TR shoes are attractively put together and built using soft cushioning and ultra-grippy tread.
These would be the running trainers we’d be happy to use day-to-day, technical enough for demanding winter conditions and comfortable enough for everyday casual wear if required. Although not a stability shoe as such, they still performed well in our tests, increasing confidence in slippery conditions. We also like the fact that they are gaitor compatible.
Another trail running option, these are a pinnacle product for serious trail enthusiasts, with responsive foam cushioning for a comfortable, forgiving run on tough terrain. We liked the rubber toe cap for protection, vital when you’re running on loose terrain, and also appreciated the updated 5mm Vibram megagrip sole with added traction lugs for those times when adhesion is lacking.
They are very slightly pricier than some of the other options on this list, but if you’re thinking of upping your train running this winter, or would like to compete in some trail running races, these are the options we’d go for.
The Spire 5 is a big update to 361’s everyday trainer - now in a more premium offering. A bouncier, softer underfoot feel has been incorporated, with a new lightweight upper construction featuring open-cell Ortholite insoles, which we found excellent in terms of moisture management and breathability - a key factor to comfortable trainers when the going is wet out there.
On produce some serious running gear for winter exercising, including a great range of accessories and wet-weather clothing, so needless to say we are impressed by their 100% waterproof trail running shoe.
Made for more extreme conditions, they are a sturdy and robust feeling shoe to wear, inducing confidence on slippery downhill trails in the rain. The waterproof, breathable membrane is also surprisingly stretchy.
We’d recommend these shoes if you need a more adventurous option and a pair of shoes that combine good speed, comfort and durability.
These are dedicated off-road trainers designed to work well on loose terrain, with toe protection technology and an attractive close-knit fabric that helps shield feet from sharp edges on rocks, roots and trees.
We found they were slightly narrow, leading to a snug fit, so size-wise we’d recommend that if these shoes interest you to try them at least ½ a size up from your normal wear.
Another excellent brand and a shoe that is most at home in slippery, trail-like conditions, we’d recommend these for more experienced runners and fast progress over rougher ground.
The shoe itself has won four separate “Trail Running Shoe of the Year” awards, so there’s inbuilt quality here that’s respected here by some of the world’s best runners - in fact, many ultra-runners use these as their ‘go-to’ shoe. A good deal for under £100, on offer at the moment.
These were some of the grippiest shoes we tested, and have been designed specifically for the maximum amount of protection possible over rough ground. They do feel relatively bulky, but we also used them in slippery road conditions whilst raining and they were just as home in this environment - a comfortable waterproof shoe that provides good grip across a range of conditions and surfaces.