When the winter cold starts to bite and sink deep, most people hibernate to their shelters, and this means abandoning most of their activities. For runners — folks who love to take on the challenge — they have to face sub-freezing temperatures and face-numbing winds. If you possess that extra fortitude to get outdoors and continue with your exercises, even when it’s dead cold, you need to invest in the right gear first.
Snow and ice will linger on your trails. You need to get shoes that are specifically designed to accommodate such terrain, keeping you warm and your performance at peak levels. These shoes come with increased grip and traction to help you cut through fresh ice, snow, and the frozen ground. Most of them also feature a waterproof design to keep you dry during those cold mornings.
So, how do you know you are getting the right shoes? Well, don’t worry — that’s why we are here. We have invested in a considerable amount of time, sifting through dozens of shoes to find the best winter running shoes for your needs. We also have some helpful tips to get you going.
Let’s find out:
Top 10 Winter Running Shoes of 2020 Reviewed
1. Yaktrax Run Traction Cleats for Running on Snow and Ice
- 3-millimeter spikes for greater traction
- Can be used in extremely low temperatures
- Comfortable to the foot
- Frontal pins do not hold firmly in place
- The wire coils might break without warning
- uite expensive
Best Winter Running Shoes for Side walks
You have no reason to stop training or working out just because it is winter. With the Yaktrax Run Traction Cleats, you have the best companion for those moments when you must run on ice. The shoes have a strong rubber frame on the foot and straps on the toes and on top of the foot. With these high levels of security, you don’t have to worry about slipping inside the shoes during a workout. Another important safety feature is the reflective material on the heels and frame straps. In case of an accident, it is easier for rescue teams to locate you.
The shoes feature 3-millimeter long carbide steel spikes that you can replace if lost. By digging deep into the snow, the spikes ensure you have higher than average traction. It also has 14-millimeter rust-resistant stainless steel coils to give you a good bounce. You don’t have to worry about getting stuck in the snow. What you get is perfect traction of up to 360 degrees.
Tested for extremely low temperatures of down to negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the shoes are suitable for running in the harshest environments. So don’t worry about the shoes falling apart.
2. Adidas Originals Men’s NMD_xr1 Winter Running Shoe
- Comfortable for running on ice
- Textile and leather outer upper for warmth
- Responsive cushioning
- The size might be too small
- Users have complained about lack of support in the forefoot
- Less durable outsole and upper
Best Lightweight Winter Running Shoes
A good winter running pair of shoes doesn’t have to be anything fancy. All that’s required is a basic design that keeps the feet warm and comfortable while preventing accidental falls. This Adidas Originals shoe features the OrthoLite sock liner, which is comfortable enough for running on a cold winter day. Besides, the performance of the shoes is enhanced thanks to this proprietary technology.
One of the standout features of these shoes is the responsive cushioning which never seems to give in to pressure. With these shoes, the comfort you get is proportional to the energy you exert. Combined with the rubber sole, this makes the shoes hard to break. Another thing about rubber is that it provides for a more durable construction of the sole.
The outer, upper covering is made of a combination of textile and leather. With a welded seam and high-cut collar, the shoes provide the ultimate protection from the cold weather. The lining insulates against the biting winter cold and is less irritating to the feet. Even with the lightest socks, you will still feel warm enough in cold weather.
3. Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe
- Precise foothold
- Sturdy, comfortable rubber sole
- Synthetic waterproof upper
- Size might be too small
- The synthetic material may start cracking
- Small toe box
Best for Deep Snow Trails
With a heavy-duty, sturdy rubber sole, the Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe is made for extreme weather conditions such as snow. In its description on Amazon, it is clearly stated that the rubber sole has contra grip. Essentially, it means the sole is able to maintain perfect traction on the slippery ice. Add to that the fact that the shoes have an aggressive grip and you have no doubt the shoes will work for you. When working out in your neighborhood, you do not have to worry about accidental falls.
The outer, upper is made of textile and synthetic material. It is, therefore, waterproof and warm to the feet. In the cold winter weather, your feet will still be adequately warmed up. The shoe is also extremely comfortable, thanks to the 30-millimeter midsole. When pressed down by the pressure produced while running, it is compressed to 20 millimeters, thus remaining comfortable.
It boasts of a precise, close-to-foot foothold. Not that it presses and hurts your feet. Rather, it leaves you with a comfortable feel, meaning your workout on ice will be over in a breeze. The shoes are specially made for extreme mountain sports such as mountaineering, adventure racing, trail running, and hiking.
4. Adidas Men’s Terrex Tracerocker Trail Running Shoe
- Lightweight shoes
- Rubber sole for extra grip
- Remain comfortable for entire workouts
- Too narrow for some feet
- May start falling out in no time
- A little costlier
Best Lightweight Winter Running Shoes
Regardless of the weather, you need lightweight running shoes for your daily workouts. For that reason, Adidas Men’s Terrex Tracerocker Trail running shoes are made of lightweight EVA, so that little or no effort goes into the actual running. The rubber sole of strong and sturdy to withstand the rigors of running on soft ground. The outer sole provides for high traction not just because it is made of rubber but because of the outsole which is made using the proprietary rugged Traxion technology. As you run in ice, your feet will be held firmly in place.
The highly breathable shoe is made of a synthetic, outer upper. That means your feet will remain dry in wet conditions. The shoes provide for extended comfort even when running in rugged conditions with changing soft and hard surfaces.
One thing you like about these shoes is the ease with which they lace up. In fact, the shoes seem like they were designed to be ready to wear. They comfortably fit on the feet and hardly weigh you down. Besides, they are affordable.
5. New Balance Men’s 481V3 Water Resistant Cushioning Trail Running Shoe
- Comfortable to wear
- A breathable leather outer top
- Above-average traction
- Quickly lets in the water
- The size might be too small
- Seemingly cheap shoelaces
Best Low-Arch Winter Running Shoes
Are you looking for a shoe that’s both comfortable and features a durable built? The New Balance Men’s 481V3 is made of a sturdy rubber sole, which makes it suitable for use in harsh, wet conditions. It has a midsole together with the CUSH ensure you have a comfortable pair of shoes. When running, having a comfortable shoe that’s capable of absorbing the shock that comes with every tread is very important.
It is not just the rubber outer sole that makes this shoe comfortable. The breathable nature of the leather upper makes it the number one choice of the discerning hiker. It has an ultra-soft and comfortable inset. With a shoe like that, you wouldn’t feel any unnecessary pressure on your feet while working out.
The only undoing with this shoe is that the leather upper tends to let in more water than you would want. That makes this shoe unsuitable for use on ice and wet conditions. But that doesn’t mean that the shoes are less durable or of an inferior built. In fact, you should expect your shoes to last for a long time to come.
6. Saucony Women’s Razor Ice+ Trail Running Shoe
- Made of waterproof material
- Lighter than previous models
- Neutral cushion for mid-sized feet
- The size may not fit perfectly
- A little more costly
- Not very breathable
Best Women Winter Running Shoes for Trails
When going out there for a workout during winter, you need a shoe that is capable of keeping away the water. This is the reason you should consider buying the Saucony Women’s Razor Ice+ Trail running shoe. It is treated with water-resistant material to prevent any water from seeping in. in fact, it is possible to run for a substantially long time without soaking your feet in the water.
The sole is made of a combo of rubber and synthetic materials. Thanks to the pwrtrac technology, the sole provides for the perfect traction when working out in extremely wet conditions. For a more natural running experience, the shoes have been made with a 4-millimeter heel-to-toe offset. Thus, you are able to do more of your workout while relying less on the stability features and cushioning of the shoe.
For this shoe, the cushioning is made using the proprietary Everun technology. What you get is strong takeoff, smooth landing, and responsive cushioning. The synthetic material is strong and lightweight since it consists of very few layers. As soon as your foot slips into the shoe, you get to realize how flexible and seamless it is.
7. Altra Men’s Lone Peak 4 Low RSM Waterproof Trail Running Shoe
- Features a rubber sole
- The forefoot and heel are on the same ground level
- A hook-and-look tab to ward off the debris
- Doesn’t last long
- Waterproof membrane wears off quickly
- A little costlier
Best Men Waterproof Trail Shoes
How about a winter shoe that combines durability, traction, and grip? The Altra Men’s Lone Peak 4 Low RSM Waterproof Trail Running Shoes is that and more. Wearing it, you can easily cruise the difficult terrain that comes with winter. The shoes are designed to keep the forefoot and heel on the same ground level so that you can have proper, low-impact poise while on the trail. Additionally, the shoe has an energy-return compound under the innersole. This reduces impact and enhances the spring in your steps.
Some people find it hard to pick just any shoe since their toes are wide. If you are one of them, don’t worry. This shoe is designed to allow toes to naturally spread out and relax for extra stability and comfort, especially when going downhill or uphill. Additionally, the shoe has the StoneGuard, which straddles the EVA-midsole and A-Bound. It deflects pressure from rocks into the soft midsole for stable, smooth rides. Hence they are suitable for running even on rugged terrains.
There’s nothing as irritating as the feel of debris in your shoes while running. To prevent dirt from getting into the shoes, the designers include a hook-and-loop tab.
8. Merrel Kid’s Moab FST Low Waterproof Sneaker
- Waterproof construction
- Breathable synthetic, mesh upper
- M-select grip ensures superior traction
- Lasts for a short time
- Some users found the shoe too narrow
- Laces tend to fall apart quickly
Best Kids Waterproof Winter Running Shoes
So far, we have been talking about shoes for adults, specifically men. But children need to play too. If you have kids, this shoe will come in handy during their outdoor activities in winter. It has a characteristically waterproof construction which keeps your kid’s feet dry while playing.
The sole is made of synthetic material and features a non-marking outsole. Since your kids will be playing on unstable ground, the makers of these shoes have included an M-select grip in the outsole to improve the traction. If running in these shoes, the young ones will have nothing to stop their momentum.
Another thing about the shoe is its highly breathable synthetic and mesh upper. It allows air to circulate in and out of the shoes for extra comfort for your shoes. Additionally, the shoe is lightweight and hardly wears down your kid’s feet when running. With the traditional lace closure, the shoe is nothing too fancy for the kids to understand how it works. With a shaft that measures nearly low-top from the arc, the shoe places the foot firmly on the ground when running.
9. Dabbqis Hiking Shoes for Men Trail Running Sneakers
- Made of a breathable mesh fabric
- High traction levels
- Comfortable for all-day hiking
- Have thin laces
- Might have a tight fit
- The sole might not be thick enough
Best Winter Running Shoes for Mountains
Any athlete would appreciate the importance of breathable shoes when it comes to wicking away sweat from the feet. The Dabbqis Hiking Shoes feature an upper with a lightweight, breathable mesh lining, which releases moisture as soon as you start sweating in the feet. This ensures that you remain dry when hiking or running for a prolonged period of time.
The outsole is a rubber affair featuring triangular dart lugs. Whether you are running on a dry or wet surface, the level of traction and grip you get from these shoes is unmatched. No matter how slippery or wet the surface is, the stickiness provided by the outsole ensures that you can keep on track with your workout. Besides, the shoes are light enough for long-distance running.
Why would anyone choose a shoe that feels uncomfortable to wear? With these winter shoes, you will experience comfort all day long. Its sturdy nature means the shoes cannot break down under pressure. The comfy inner lining ensures that you do not have to contend with blisters on your feet. Apart from acting as winter running shoes, you can wear these for rock climbing, camping, walking, hiking, urban leisure, traveling, athletics, and outdoor casual sports.
10. Under Armour, Women’s Charged Lightning Running Shoe
- A full-length EVA inner sole
- A solid rubber sole
- Designed for faster running
- Tends to make unnecessary sound
- Has a hard tongue
- Looks cheap
Best Lightweight Winter Running Shoes for Women
Under Armour is one of the best-known workout shoe brands in the world. So, it has developed this women’s running shoe to make your workouts both easy and comfortable. But why do we say that? The shoe features a full-length EVA inner sole so that every step you make is bouncy. Add to that the charged cushioning and you can hardly feel pressured by the thrust of your feet.
The upper is woven and jacquard to ensure the sweat on your feet is wicked away fast enough. Additionally, it is lightweight for an easy lift every time your foot springs up. You won’t feel weighed down by these shoes. When putting on the shoe, you don’t need to exert a lot of energy, given its seamless fit.
What does “lightning” in the title mean? It describes how fast you can run with this lightweight shoe. That has a lot to do with the solid rubber sole which covers all the high-impact zones so that you keep going even on tough terrain. The other advantage of the rubber sole is its durability. You can expect to have the shoes for a long time.
How to Choose the Best Winter Running Shoes – The Ultimate Buying Guide
When the cold weather comes, you need to be prepared on rough trails full of snow. If you have been running in the summer of springtime, winter comes with a completely new set of challenges. For most people, adding layers of clothes to the wardrobe is easier. When it comes to choosing winter running shoes, for the need to know exactly what you are looking for. The following are some of the things you need to consider in your quest for the perfect winter shoes.
Shoes with Good Traction are Always the Best
In winter, the ground can be very slippery. That’s why traction is an important consideration since you need a shoe able to grip the wet surface. Don’t be fooled that you can use your summer running shoes in winter. For once, their design doesn’t allow them to tackle harsh, slick terrain. So, you must just buy dedicated shoes for running on snow.
Traction essentially means the shoe has a good outsole. Essentially, the outsole should have deep lines and grooves for it to provide the perfect traction. With that, it is possible to run on ice and snow with ease. While running, the line and groves dig into the snow providing grip to secure your step and push you forward. Where that’s not the case, you might be forced to include additional gear in the form of shoe spikes or crampons. The thing with additional gear is that it makes it impossible to run.
You Need to be Stable when Running
To effectively run in the winter, you need shoes with high levels of stability. Since the terrain is slippery, you may end up with rolled ankles or falls. To avoid unnecessary injuries, you should ensure you have the right shoes. By and large, stable winter running shoes are designed with a reinforced arch for additional support to the ankle and foot.
While most winter shoe brands would incorporate some form of stability in the design, not all of them are good for people with under-pronation or over-pronation. If you have any of these conditions you require more stable shoes. Any shoes with “motion control” should be avoided since they are heavier and inflexible. Hence they are not as stable as you would expect. If you are a flat-footed runner, you are also likely to benefit from shoes with higher stability.
Think about the Support
The most comfortable winter running shoes also have high levels of support since they enhance your running experience. It ensures you remain comfortable from the beginning of the running session to the end. Support also prevents any form of soreness to your back of feet. Choose winter running shoes with strong support to prevent any twists in your ankle or foot. If you were to twist your foot, you will end up with a fall or injury.
Usually, the support is incorporated in the heel counter and midsole. Ideally, the midsole needs to be rigid and stiff so as not to twist. An overly twisting shoe means it doesn’t have the necessary support for winter running.
Check that the shoe has a heel counter, which is a piece of plastic, incorporated in the shoe material to reinforce the heel. It plays an important role when it comes to the support levels. If the heel folds easily when pressure is applied on the heel cup, then it may not provide enough support. A rigid heel cup works in tandem with the midsole to support you while running in slick conditions.
Insulation is Key!
In winter the cold can be extreme. That’s why insulation for the winter running shoes is an important consideration. However, there needs to be balanced between the insulation and the weight of material used. As a rule, avoid wool-lined or fleece-lined shoes. Look for material that provides insulation while remaining dry. You don’t want to be soaked in your own sweat while running, do you? Breathable shoes are able to wick away any moisture, leaving you dry. Which means creating a balance between insulation and ventilation.
However, you can enhance the insulation of the shoes by putting on the right socks. You may want to wear waterproof socks while ensuring that you do not compromise on their breathability. So buy a pair of running socks designed to insulate you while wicking away any moisture. Socks also work very well when it comes to cushioning your steps.
Water Resistance – Is the Shoe Waterproof?
Winter weather means there is a lot of wetness, thanks to the ice puddles and snow. Could be you won’t be running through the ice and snow. However, having waterproof or weatherproof shoes is just a must. If you insist on using just any shoes, then your training session will be cut short when your feet get wet. So, the importance of having waterproof or water-resistant winter running shoes cannot be gainsaid.
The difference between water-resistant and waterproof shoes is the degree to which they are able to ward off water. On the market, you will find cheaper brands of shoes treated with waterproof or water-resistant material. Alternatively, you may buy shoes made of neoprene, rubber, polyurethane or other synthetic materials. Even though expensive, Gore-Tex is undoubtedly the best shoe material when it comes to protection from water. But you shouldn’t only base your search on finding waterproof shoes. Essentially, the material should also be capable of wicking away moisture when you begin to sweat.
Comfort is Paramount!
Running in itself can be very tough on your body. So, if you add onto that sore feet, you will find your training sessions to be very frustrating. That’s why your winter running shoes must just be comfortable. Comfort tends to encompass all the other factors including water resistance, stability, insulation, and support. However, the shoes also need to fit properly. If it is ill-fitting or too tight, it can cause blisters, cramped toes, and chaffing. Also, an overly loose shoe will not give you enough support. You will end up slipping and tripping in the shoes.
Winter running shoes need to have some wiggle room for your toes. As such, your toes shouldn’t be cramped up into a tiny space. However, space shouldn’t be too much. Be very careful when picking the right winter running shoe since a small mistake will leave you with the wrong one. Be careful when choosing the shoe size.
However, the insole needs to be soft so as to keep you comfortable while pushing forward. To find a comfortable winter running shoe, read online reviews by previous users. If the insole is the issue, then replace it with a more comfortable one. In that case, you will need to try gel insoles. Alternatively, enhance your comfort with the right socks.
Durability – The Shoes Have to Last Many Running Sessions
In the tough winter conditions, you need a running shoe with the ability to withstand sleet, ice, and snow. As such, the design and construction of the shoes should be durable. The first thing to look at is whether the shoe has a strong outsole capable of withstanding scrapes, bangs, collisions with debris, as well as the snow. When running on slick terrain, you need a comfortable and supportive insole. Also, shoes with a protective waterproof layer tend to last longer.
To find durable winter running shoes, also look at the materials used to make it. If the material is of the highest quality, then the shoes will last longer. If cheap, then don’t expect to use it for longer. The good thing is that the best winter running shoe brands use premium material to avoid giving you shoes that easily fall apart.
Are You Style Conscious?
Winter running shoes exist in different styles and the one you choose will largely depend on your personal preferences. From the wide pool of styles, you will definitely find one that works for you. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for an athletic or sleek style. There is something out there that actually works for you. However, style shouldn’t be the only consideration. Make sure the shoe you pick ticks the right boxes when it comes to the other features discussed here. If you get blinded by the color of the shoe, you may end up with one that cannot perform as expected on the trail.
The fact that it is winter doesn’t mean you stop training until the weather clears up. With the right winter running shoes, you will find your training sessions in winter to be very easy. Instead of concentrating on the brand, pick a shoe with features that enhance your performance. Importantly, it should be one you can wear comfortably while running. To find the right winter running shoes, the reviews considered here as well as the buying guide should come in handy.