Why Invest in Thermal Running Gear?
Expert Advice on Running Clothing,Autumn & Winter Running Advice
Why Invest in Thermal Running Gear?

As the weather starts to get cooler, one of the most important pieces of your running kit will be a good baselayer and other thermal gear to keep you warm. Some of the thermal tops and tights are pricier than others, in this article I will try to explain the differences between some of the tops and tights and what you are getting for your money. First do remember good quality thermal gear should definitely long outlive your running shoes. As they all wick the moisture away quickly they also dry really fast so you can wear it, wash it and it will be dry to wear the next day.

Base Layers / Thermal Tops / Windproof Jackets / Thermal Tights / Thermal Hats & Gloves


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An absolute MUST HAVE for any outdoor activity – running, hiking, cycling, skiing, etc. Wear it as the very first layer against your skin. A baselayer has great moisture-wicking properties and odour control – nice! The worst thing is when it’s cold and windy outside and your top is soaked in sweat… a good baselayer prevents that from happening. It also regulates the temperature – keeps you warm but without overheating.

Women's Odlo Performance Eco Baselayer
Purple £50.00 £60.00

Made with a creative technical fabric, produced from 100% recycled technical fibres for reduced environmental impact.

Women's Helly Hansen Lifa Active Baselayer
Ebony £40.00

Performance base layer, delivering superior moisture management and lightweight insulation all year round.

Women's Odlo Performance Light Baselayer
Black £32.00 £40.00

Integrated ventilation zones provide extra breathability where you need to let most heat escape.

Men's Helly Hansen Lifa Active Baselayer
Navy £40.00

Advanced two-layer construction with 100% Lifa® fibres next to the skin and wicking technical fibres outside.

Men's La Sportiva Artic Baselayer
Blue/Navy £65.00

Specifically placed ventilation zones keep moisture away, so you won't overheat during fast sessions.

Men's Compressport 3D Thermo 50g Baselayer
Black £75.00

Put away the anti-chafe cream, this seamless microfibre guarantees zero irritation.


There are many base layers made with wool – it’s a great option for a winter day when it's a bit colder. Usually the top combines wool with another more technical fabric, for better moisture management. Don’t worry about sweating – a good quality wool base layer is thin, light, warm and dry. Wool is a great fabric for rainy and cold days, because even though it gets wet, it still keeps you warm. It should also last a few seasons, so it’s a good investment for the future!

Women's Montane Primino Merino Baselayer
Burgundy £60.00

Constructed from 50% Merino wool yarns, 25% PrimaLoft® and 25% Polyester: warm, highly wicking, fast-drying and with a soft handle.

Women's Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Baselayer
Raspberry £60.00

Super soft Merino wool without itchiness provides warmth even if it gets wet or damp, which makes this piece a great choice for any weather condition.

Women's Montane Primino Merino Half Zip Baselayer
Blue £70.00

A great layering piece that feels soft to the touch and stays fresher for longer, due to the natural odour-preventing performance of the wool fibres.

Men's Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Half Zip Baselayer
Green £70.00

Super soft Merino wool without itchiness, provides warmth even if it gets wet or damp.

Men's Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Baselayer
Charcoal £60.00

Helly Hansen's warmest base layer, perfect for any type of activity in cold weather.


Shop Thermal Running Tops

Once you have a baselayer you can layer up with another top – a midlayer. How much warmth you need from a top of course depends on how much you feel the cold, but it will also be influenced by what time of day you are going for your run and where you are running. If you run in the early morning or late evening you will obviously need to wear thermals more than if you always run at midday. Likewise if you are running in the hills you will also need a warmer top. Thermal fabrics have become lighter and lighter while still retaining that all important warmth factor so it doesn't and shouldn't feel bulky.

Women's Brooks Notch Thermal Hoodie
Rosewood £65.00

Soft, notched interior wicks away sweat but keeps in heat.

Women's Crewroom South East Fleece Top
Light Blue £65.00

The fabric is gorgeously soft and warm and can be used as a mid layer during the winter period.

Men's Ronhill Tech Merino Top
Black/Yellow £48.00 £60.00

This tee features Tech Merino – the premium 50/50 merino and polyester blend that offers numerous benefits.

Men's Crewroom North West Hoodie
Navy £65.00

A winter running essential for all who seek cosy and warm comfort.


Shop All Running Jackets

Always remember the wind-chill factor. Even if it isn't raining, it can be important to wear a wind-resistant jacket or a gilet, as well as a thermal top. One of the great advantages of running like this is that you just don't feel nearly so bundled up as you do in a jacket. I always remember when they first appeared on the scene, getting one and feeling it was so extravagant having it as well as a jacket. Then I wore it almost all winter and my jacket was only worn in the rain! Of course, a jacket is also useful, so check out some of the running jackets. They are divided up into windproof and waterproof. Another great option, if it is not a dry cold day is a thermal top with some wind blocking material added in. Unless it is really cold you will probably be fine just with the one top on.

Women's Adidas TX Xperior Vest
Berry £68.00 £85.00

This warm gilet lets you move freely and blocks the wind where you need coverage most.

Men's Adidas Terrex Hybrid Insulation Vest
Black/Mustard £85.00

A mix of performance fabrics provides breathability in key sweat zones and stretch in key movement zones.

Men's La Sportiva Zeal Jacket
Pine £130.00

Partially insulated with primaloft fabric. Keeps wind and cold away, allowing you to fully enjoy the outdoors!

Men's Compressport Hybrid Pullover
Black £125.00

Efficient 3D thermo 110g baselayer, plus body-mapped windproof membrane on the chest for increased protection.

Extra features

One of the great things about some of the most recent thermals is the number of wee extra things that come on the tops. Many of the thermals now come with flat lock seams to add extra comfort and prevent chafing. There are now a number of thermal tops with pockets. The other great thing is having a thermal top that has 'mitts' or some sort of cover for your hands. Most running jackets will have some reflective on them, but some of the thermal tops have this as well, so if you are running without your jacket you will still be seen.


It is of course very important to make sure your legs stay warm. I generally find I need a thermal top before I need to start wearing thermal tights, but again if you are in the hills or when it gets colder you will definitely need warm legs. Here are some of this year's newest thermal tights. They all have a pocket with a zip for keys or a gel. They also have at least some reflective on for better visibility in those dark evenings or early mornings.

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Women's Brooks Threshold Tights
Black £65.00

Stay calm, warm and collected. The brushed interior adds warmth and is soft against skin.

Women's Crewroom Winter Fuel Tights
Black £69.00

With plenty of storage solutions for your phone, nutrition, keys etc. these are perfect for long distance running.


Hats and gloves are of course also essential for running in the cold. A great thermal option is the fun Ronhill Bobble hat. It's really cosy with 50% wool, and the bobble has some reflective material in it for extra visibility. Wool is being used more and more in running kit, thanks to its amazing moisture wicking and antibacterial properties. How about a cosy neckwarmer? Or a thermal headband to keep your ears warm and toasty? Remember, ‘there's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing!’

Shop Running Hats and Gloves

Buff Lightweight Merino
Purple Stripes £23.00

Made 100% of merino wool, this buff naturally has excellent moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial and anti-odour properties.

Odlo Yak Warm Hat
Grey £25.00

This cosy hat offers better warming properties and moisture management than any other natural blend.

Odlo Velocity Ceramiwarm Headband
Black/Blue £20.00

Heat-reflective ceramic particles are engineered into the yarn to generate up to 3°C more warmth than regular fabrics.

Ronhill Bobble Hat
Black/Grey £23.00

The fabric is 50% wool so it's got excellent thermal properties and there's a soft fleecy band on the inside to wick away the sweat.

So if you usually just go to the gym in the winter because you really feel the cold, why not get a couple of thermal pieces of clothing? Try running outside on those clear, crisp autumn and winter days – soon you'll wonder why you even bothered with your gym membership!

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