Winter. (Say it with me like Jerry Seinfeld says “Newman” and insert grumpy, hurumphing sounds.) Yeah. This is the part of the show where the audience revolts and decides that the show needs to be over. Right now, if you please. But alas….the fat lady hasn’t sung, the snow hasn’t melted, and the temperatures seem quite content to live forever as teenagers (at best!).
The longer winter lingers, the harder it is for me to stay resolved to hit the snowy trails and brave the cold. But since I’ve already gone on record taunting Old Man Winter about getting chicked, it’s probably best I wo-man up and show our icy nemesis who wears the tight pants around here. Aside: If you haven’t heard the Jimmy Fallon / Will Ferrell tight pants song, you can watch it here. I’ll wait.
Speaking of tight pants, or “tights” as the cool kids call them, what do you say we pick up where we left off in our winter running gear series? So far, we’ve covered hats and jackets. Today we’ll tackle a couple more staples in the must-have winter wardrobe– base layer tops and running tights.
Base Layer Tops. In the olden days (i.e. the early 90s, pre- Under Armour), I’m guessing that “base layer” was just a fancy term for long johns and their itchy matching shirts. But we’ve come a long way since then, and have many cozy moisture wicking options from which to choose. Here’s what the salties had to say about their favorite winter shirts:
Cilantro: For layering on top, I love this Under Armour top. You can actually pull the neck up over your face and nose, which has saved me on some super-cold runs.
Mint: Under Armour all the way! They are tight, fuzzy inside and wicking, so I can stay warm without being bulky. I usually then throw a long-sleeved tech race tee on top (then my Brooks Night Life jacket). I have both crew neck and high neck.
Basil: I’ve been eying the Under Armour tops that Cilantro and Mint recommended, but have yet to pick one up. In the meantime, I often layer up with a couple of long sleeved race tees and/or my Brooks Essential LS Half-Zip.
Tights. Everybody’s talking ’bout our tight pants. We’ve got our tight pants. We’ve got our tight pants on….
Basil. I have a few different kinds of tights — a cheap Old Navy pair, a random brand I picked up from TJ Maxx a couple years ago, some new high falutin’ thermal tights by Salomon, and a 15+ year old pair by Reebok. My warmest, coziest ones? Yep–the late 90s vintage Reebok. I actually can’t believe I still have them. Then again, I didn’t start wearing them regularly until about three years ago. When the temps here are 15 or lower (so, pretty much ALL the time), I double up on pants, usually with my trusty Reeboks (which aren’t as fitted) and whatever other pair that’s clean.
Eucalyptus: These Under Armour compression tights are my all-time favorite tights. I hate tights, and they do bunch a little bit, but they make your legs look super shiny and they are REALLY warm. I got them on sale about two years ago and they’re still pretty much new-feeling!
Ginger: I bought a pair of Fila tights from Kohl’s last year and they are very warm, perfect tight fit. I love tights. Target had a few good pairs two years ago, but I haven’t gone back since then as mine are still going strong. Not as warm as the Fila tights though!
Licorice: I love the Oiselle Lesley Tight (full disclosure: I’m part of the Oiselle ambassador team). They changed the material this year so that it’s soft and fleecy on the inside and a bit thicker than it used to be. I haven’t run with them in cold (below freezing) weather, but I’m guessing they would be nice and toasty. They’re certainly incredibly comfortable to lounge around in.
Mint: I have one pair of Under Armour Cold Gear tights left that are a couple of years old that I LOVE. Unfortunately it seems the trend for tights the last year or so is to be super low cut – which is not cool if you live in cold climates. I bought three pairs last winter, and all of them are horrible. I did recently get these Mizuno tights though, and I really like them. They have great extra front panels for extra warmth and have a good fit.
Salty: I have a pair of Brooks utopia tights that I like well enough. They are low cut and I’m constantly pulling them up, but otherwise they do the job.
Do you have a favorite cold-weather running top or pair of tights? If so, share it with us in the comments! Does anyone else sing the Tight Pants song every time they gear up to run outside? No? Just me? Well, okay then.
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