One wintery day last week, my two rascals wanted to go sledding. However, I wanted to go running. We compromised! I would walk them to the sledding hill, and run around the track while they were having fun sledding. I knew based on previous winters that it would take some doing to make running in this winter wonderland a warm, safe and dry experience.
The snow at this point in time was 6 or 7″ deep with an icy crust. I have tried running with snow shoes on in similar conditions and not had a whole lot of luck. (Although I know they make snow shoes designed for running). I gave some thought to what would make running in these conditions doable, and this is the gear I wound up choosing.
First on my list was footwear. What would work best? Running shoes were out of the question. Snow boots were too heavy and clunky. A quick search of the basement turned up nearly forgotten treasure: my mom’s Adidas leather running boots (circa 1984)! I knew I would sink through the crust of the ice into the snow thereby filling my shoes with snow making my feet wet. These boots were the perfect solution.
Knowing my readers would want something similar I researched what 40 years of shoe evolution had produced. I found these Adidas snow running boots – Adidas Women’s Choleah Laceup CP Pl Snow Boots
First of all, isn’t it great they are designed specifically for snow and running. Second of all, these are much more lightweight than my mom’s, and will probably stay waterproof longer than leather. Unless you love all things vintage or you want to travel back in time 30 years to Germany, this is a better option!
Second, I thought I would need something to stop me from slipping and sliding around the track. So I laced on my Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats for Snow and Ice since we were headed out onto the ice. These are simple to use and strap on to any boot or shoe, and look like chains for your shoes. The ends are rubber and slip over the toe and heel of your boot. It is anchored with a simple velcro strap over the top of your shoe.
“The Rascals” just wore boots without any Yaktrax, and slipped and slid their way to the sledding hill, giggling all the way. This totally reinforced my decision and my power going uphill, that I had made a great choice.
Third, I was lucky enough to be given a Nike Aeroloft 800 Metallic Women’s Running Vest for Christmas. This is lightweight warmth technology at its finest!
My vest is a version of the jackets made for the American Olympians in Sochi. You hardly know you are wearing it and they put a very handy, nice sized cell phone pocket in the lower back area. I have taken it to the mountain snowboarding, worn it to soccer games, and find it ubiquitous for many sporting events.
Further, not to leave out the third major sporting goods company based in Portland, I have my Columbia Sportswear snow pants on. Like yoga pants, they are slightly flared at the bottom to accommodate boots, but not so flared that the extra material flaps together and drives you crazy! I added this layer because if it started to snow again, I didn’t want to get wet. I knew we would be outside for an extended period of time and staying dry was going to be absolutely essential to our enjoyment.
In case your mother didn’t tell you – under no circumstances allow any of your layers to be cotton! Our local century-old Portland mountain climbing group, Mazamas, say “cotton kills”! Why? When cotton gets wet you lose its insulating properties because the air pockets in the fabric are full of water. If you sweat, you are the source of the water and any cotton absorbs that water. Finally, if the air is colder than your body temperature, you will feel cold because your cotton clothing is full of water and not providing any insulation. In other words, don’t wear cotton!
Another part of my body that seems to get cold is my ears. My dad loves to call these things “ear brassieres” but I think the rest of the world refers to them as headbands. This particular headband is a combination of fleece and a polyester knit layer. The double layer versus a single layer, although not wind proof, seems to at least break the wind. I get too hot wearing a full hat, and since you loose a major portion of your heat through the top of your head, it allows me to stay the perfect temperature.
Therefore if you’d like to go running or walking in the snow, include in your layers these 5 items. Items from a tried and true field tester!