The weather is starting to turn colder, and the days are getting shorter. We all know these signs mean winter will be here before we know it. If you’re a dedicated runner, you probably don’t let the weather stop you from your activity for several months of the year.
However, just because you can run in the winter doesn’t mean just any shoes will work. Choosing the best running shoes to wear during the winter can help keep your feet warm and dry. In this blog, the providers at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine explain how to choose the best footwear for running in the winter.
Why you shouldn’t wear your regular shoes
Chances are good that you already have a favorite pair of running shoes. It might be tempting to continue to wear them on your winter runs, if for no other reason than because they’re already broken in.
But it’s important to get yourself a new pair of shoes for the winter for a few good reasons. Standard running shoes may not protect you from slipping on wet or icy surfaces, which could result in injuries. Regular running shoes are also insufficient to keep out the elements, and you could spend a miserable run in cold, wet shoes.
The right type of shoes for winter runs
There are shoes on the market that are specifically designed for winter running. Major running shoe brands, such as Asics and Brooks, each have GTX models, which means they’re designed with weather-resistant Gore-Tex.
Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric that keeps water out and allows vapor from within to go out. Shoes made with Gore-Tex can keep your feet dry as you hit the pavement. And shoes that have traction cleats can aid you on snowy, wet, or icy roads. Do note that no matter what kind of shoes you wear, you should put on moisture-wicking socks instead of cotton socks. Moisture-wicking socks will also help your feet stay dry.
Other tips for safe winter running
Running during the winter can be just as safe as running in any other seasons, but it requires some advanced preparation. Following these tips can help you have a safe and enjoyable time:
Wear reflective clothing
It can be harder for drivers to see you while you’re running outdoors in the winter because it gets darker quicker. Wearing reflective clothing can help people see you better.
Be aware of the road conditions
Because the road can be icy or slick in the winter, it’s important to anticipate and adapt to the road conditions. If you’re running in the snow, adjust accordingly and approach it as though you were trail running. And stick to running on familiar routes for maximum safety.
Spend more time warming up and cooling down
Running in the winter requires a bit more time warming up and cooling down, because your body has to adjust to the outdoor temperatures.
Don’t overdress, but do hydrate
You shouldn’t overdress to compensate for the weather, because you may heat up too much as you run, which could cause you to sweat too much. Furthermore, just because it’s colder outside doesn’t mean you don’t have to hydrate. Hydration is just as important during the winter as during the summer.
Your local running store can recommend specific shoes for running in the winter. If you want to make sure that your shoes and the rest of your running outfits are ready for the winter, we would also be happy to guide you. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine today.