What to Wear Running in 30 40 Degree Weather: Expert Tips for Staying Warm and Comfortable (2023)

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what to wear running in 30-40 degree weather

Best Clothing Options for Running in 30-40 Degree Weather

When running in 30-40 degree weather, it’s important to choose clothing that will keep you warm without causing you to overheat. Opt for breathable fabrics that wick away sweat and moisture, such as polyester or merino wool. These materials will help regulate your body temperature and prevent you from getting too cold or too hot during your run.

Here are some clothing options to consider:

1. Base Layer:

  • A long-sleeve moisture-wicking shirt or thermal top is a good choice for a base layer. It should fit snugly but not be too tight.
  • Avoid cotton as a base layer, as it tends to retain moisture and can make you feel colder.

2. Insulating Layer:

  • A lightweight fleece jacket or a thermal vest can provide extra insulation without adding bulk.
  • Look for materials that offer warmth while still allowing for breathability.

3. Outer Layer:

  • A windproof and water-resistant jacket is essential to protect you from the elements.
  • Choose one with ventilation options, such as underarm zippers, so you can adjust the airflow as needed.

Remember to dress in layers so you can easily remove or add clothing depending on your body temperature during the run. It’s better to start slightly cool and warm up than to overdress and risk overheating.

Dressing Appropriately for Running in Colder Temperatures (30-40 Degrees)

Running in colder temperatures requires careful consideration of what you wear to stay warm and comfortable. Dressing appropriately will help protect you from the cold and prevent hypothermia or frostbite.

Here are some tips for dressing for running in 30-40 degree weather:

1. Base Layer:

  • Choose a moisture-wicking base layer that fits snugly but allows for freedom of movement.
  • A long-sleeve shirt made of synthetic materials like polyester or merino wool is a good option.

2. Mid-Layer:

  • Add an insulating layer, such as a fleece or thermal top, to provide extra warmth.
  • This layer should be breathable and lightweight to prevent overheating.

3. Outer Layer:

  • Wear a windproof and water-resistant jacket to protect against the elements.
  • The jacket should have features like adjustable cuffs and a hood to keep out wind and rain.

In addition to your clothing, don’t forget about your extremities. Wear gloves or mittens, a hat or headband, and warm socks to keep your hands, ears, and feet protected from the cold. Consider wearing thermal tights or leggings instead of shorts to keep your legs warm too.

Recommended Materials and Fabrics for Running Attire in 30-40 Degree Weather

The right choice of materials and fabrics can make a significant difference in keeping you comfortable while running in 30-40 degree weather. Look for fabrics that offer insulation while also allowing moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry during your run.

1. Polyester:

Polyester is a popular choice for running attire due to its excellent moisture-wicking properties. It pulls sweat away from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout your run. Polyester is also lightweight and quick-drying, making it ideal for colder temperatures.

2. Merino Wool:

Merino wool is a natural fiber that provides excellent insulation while also being breathable. It regulates body temperature effectively, keeping you warm in cold weather and cool in warmer conditions. Merino wool is also odor-resistant and has antimicrobial properties, making it a great choice for longer runs.

3. Nylon/Spandex Blends:

Nylon/spandex blends offer a good balance of stretch, durability, and moisture-wicking capabilities. They provide a snug fit without restricting movement and are often used in base layers or leggings.

4. Fleece:

Fleece is a synthetic fabric known for its warmth and softness. It traps heat close to the body while still allowing moisture to escape, preventing overheating during exercise.

When choosing running attire, look for garments made from these materials or blends that offer the right combination of warmth, breathability, and moisture-wicking capabilities to keep you comfortable during your run.

Choosing a Base Layer for Running in 30-40 Degree Weather

Material and Fit

When selecting a base layer for running in 30-40 degree weather, it is important to consider the material and fit of the garment. Look for base layers made of moisture-wicking materials such as merino wool or synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon. These materials will help keep you dry by pulling sweat away from your skin. Additionally, opt for a snug but not restrictive fit to ensure proper insulation without hindering your range of motion.

Layering Options

In colder temperatures, layering is key to staying warm during your run. Consider wearing a lightweight long-sleeve base layer as your first layer, followed by a mid-layer such as a fleece or thermal top for added warmth. This combination allows you to easily adjust your clothing based on your body temperature during the run.


  • Choose base layers with flatlock seams to prevent chafing.
  • Avoid cotton as it retains moisture and can make you feel cold.
  • If it’s particularly windy, consider adding a wind-resistant outer layer.

Accessories and Gear to Keep Warm During Your Run in 30-40 Degree Weather

Gloves and Mittens

Protecting your hands from the cold is essential when running in 30-40 degree weather. Opt for gloves or mittens that are specifically designed for running and provide insulation while still allowing dexterity. Look for options with touchscreen compatibility if you plan on using your phone during the run.


Wearing a hat or headband can help retain heat and protect your ears from the cold. Choose a hat made of moisture-wicking material to prevent sweat from accumulating and making you feel colder. If you prefer a headband, opt for one that covers your ears and forehead for added warmth.


  • Consider wearing a neck gaiter or scarf to protect your neck and face from the cold wind.
  • Invest in thermal socks to keep your feet warm during the run.
  • Wear sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes from wind and cold air.

Protecting Yourself from the Cold: Should You Wear a Hat or Headband?


When deciding between a hat or headband for running in 30-40 degree weather, consider the temperature and personal preference. A hat provides more coverage and insulation, keeping your entire head warm. It is ideal for colder temperatures or if you tend to get cold easily.


A headband is a suitable option for milder temperatures or if you prefer less coverage on your head. It keeps your ears warm while allowing heat to escape through the top of your head, preventing overheating.


  • If unsure, bring both options with you on your run and switch as needed.
  • Choose moisture-wicking materials to prevent sweat buildup.

Layering Clothing Effectively for Running in 30-40 Degree Weather

The Base Layer

Start with a moisture-wicking base layer that fits snugly against your skin. This layer should help regulate body temperature by wicking away sweat while providing some insulation.

The Mid-Layer

Add a mid-layer such as a fleece or thermal top over the base layer for additional warmth. This layer should be breathable and lightweight to prevent overheating.

The Outer Layer

Finish off with an outer layer that is wind-resistant and water-repellent. This layer will protect you from the elements and help retain heat.


  • Consider zippered options for easy ventilation during your run.
  • Choose layers that can be easily removed or added as needed.
  • Avoid overdressing, as excessive layers can lead to overheating.

Considerations for Footwear When Running in 30-40 Degree Weather

Insulation and Traction

When running in colder temperatures, it is important to choose footwear that provides insulation and traction. Look for running shoes with additional insulation or consider wearing thermal socks to keep your feet warm. Additionally, opt for shoes with a grippy outsole to ensure stability on potentially slippery surfaces.

Water Resistance

If there is a chance of encountering wet or snowy conditions, consider choosing running shoes with water-resistant properties. These shoes will help keep your feet dry and comfortable throughout your run.


  • Ensure your shoes have enough room for thicker socks without feeling too tight.
  • If necessary, use gaiters to prevent snow or debris from entering your shoes.
  • Check the weather forecast before heading out to determine if additional shoe accessories like traction cleats are necessary.

Tips to Stay Comfortable and Avoid Overheating While Running in 30-40 Degree Weather

Proper Warm-Up

Before starting your run, engage in a dynamic warm-up routine to increase blood flow and warm up your muscles. This will help prevent injuries and allow you to maintain a comfortable body temperature throughout your run.

Temperature Regulation

Pay attention to how your body feels during the run and adjust your clothing layers accordingly. If you start feeling too warm, consider removing a layer or unzipping your outer layer for ventilation. Conversely, if you feel cold, add an extra layer or cover exposed skin.


  • Listen to your body and take breaks if needed to cool down or warm up.
  • Stay hydrated even in colder temperatures to support proper thermoregulation.
  • Avoid overdressing as it can lead to excessive sweating and discomfort.

Dressing Appropriately and Comfortably for Outdoor Runs in 30-40 Degree Weather: Additional Tips and Recommendations


In lower light conditions, ensure you are visible to others by wearing reflective clothing or accessories. Consider using a headlamp or carrying a small flashlight for added safety.

Moisture Management

Choose moisture-wicking fabrics for all your clothing layers to prevent sweat from accumulating and making you feel cold. Avoid cotton as it retains moisture and can lead to discomfort.

Layering Accessories

Don’t forget about accessories such as arm warmers, leg warmers, or compression sleeves that can be easily added or removed during your run based on temperature changes.


  • Check the wind chill factor before heading out to determine the actual perceived temperature.
  • Consider running with a buddy for added safety and motivation.
  • If running in low temperatures is not ideal for you, explore indoor alternatives like treadmill running or joining a gym with indoor tracks.

In conclusion, when running in 30-40 degree weather, it is crucial to dress appropriately by layering up with moisture-wicking fabrics, wearing a hat and gloves for added warmth, and opting for reflective gear to stay visible.

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