Whether you’re running in winter, on cold summer days or windy fall afternoons, a good pair of running tights are essential for running all year round and fighting off cold weather. There’s nothing like a pair of the best running pants and tights for men and women for winter running.

We’ve pulled out the stops and chosen our eight faves, all to help you enjoy the outdoors and your training regimen through the winter. Our top pick for men is the Sub Zero Zap Tight by Sugoi, and for women, the Winter Warm High Rise Tights by The North Face. Read on to find out why…

Top Pick For Men

An ultra-light running pant that can be used all year round or for winter's milder days, the Incendo Pant from Arc'teryx offers the ultimate in comfort. Perfectly stretchable, they offer good protection against light rain all while providing excellent air circulation.

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An ultra-light running pant that can be used all year round or for winter's milder days, the Incendo Pant from Arc'teryx offers the ultimate in comfort. Perfectly stretchable, they offer good protection against light rain all while providing excellent air circulation.

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Top Pick For Women

For intense workouts in cool or cold weather, the women's 4000 THERMAL Pants from Garneau guarantee absolute freedom of movement, lightweight warmth and windproof protection in strategic places. Reinforced construction and ultra-light windproof inserts on the front of the thighs to keep you warm without impeding dynamic movements. Designed for running, cycling or the multi-layer system (to be used as a base layer), these all-purpose pants are suitable for all activities in cold weather.

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For intense workouts in cool or cold weather, the women's 4000 THERMAL Pants from Garneau guarantee absolute freedom of movement, lightweight warmth and windproof protection in strategic places. Reinforced construction and ultra-light windproof inserts on the front of the thighs to keep you warm without impeding dynamic movements. Designed for running, cycling or the multi-layer system (to be used as a base layer), these all-purpose pants are suitable for all activities in cold weather.

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Best Running Pants

Made of a Thermal Drytex fabric, Garneau's 3000 tights are ideal for winter running. Their opaque construction and 4-way stretch are designed for easy layering, or to be worn alone. Plus, their reflective details keep you visible in the dark.

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The Best Affordable Leggings

Made from a combination of cotton and elastane, the Essentials Tape High-Rise Tights by Adidas are perfect for lounging or getting out and moving. The elastic waist keeps them comfortable when you're on the go, and they're perfect for wearing on their own, or under another layer on cold days.

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Best Windproof Running Pants

Designed for windy activities and cold-weather workouts, Karpos' Alagna Plus Pants provide critical wind protection and are weather-resistant. They are made from recycled polyester dobby, providing durability, stretch, and a helping hand to the planet. A crotch gusset, side welt pockets, cuffed ankles and a drawcord at an elastic waistband take care of the practical stuff. 

For women, Sportful's Apex pants are powerful wind-stopping pants, with all the necessary tech to keep you comfy. Lightweight and breathable to boot, these are pants that do not slow you down. 

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Best Odour-Resistant Tights

Ideal for winter running, icebreaker's Shifter Merino wool pants are made from a blend of nylon and Merino wool. The latter keeps you warm and effectively wicks away moisture during the most intense activities, in addition to preventing the proliferation of odours. Seriously, you don't even need to wash your pants after your run! Well, eventually you will...

Mons Royale has a great pair of Merino wool running tights for women, the XYNZ leggings. Mid weight, with flatlock seams and a 4-way stretch featuring elastane, these tights are a must for winter running. The subtle hip pocket comes in handy as well.

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The Most Versatile Leggings

We turn to the three stripes for tights we can't seem to get enough of. Yes, we'll happily throw on the Response Own The Run tights by adidas before a winter's run...or a yoga session...a power walk...as a compression...really, any excuse. Recycled materials, pre-shaped knees, these are our fave all-rounders.

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The Best Compression Tights

The women's Centered Tights from Patagonia are perfect for winter running or cross-country skiing. Made from a blend of polyester and elastane, they are made for running all year round. Additional support stabilizes the knees and muscles all around. Targeted compression improves blood circulation and promotes recovery after physical activity. These tights are a must for endurance sports!

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What To Look for in Running Pants & Tights 

Runners training in Canadian winters need protection from the daily subzero temperatures. When finding the right running pants and tights, you should look for an inner lining, weather-resistant fabric, handy pockets, and other features such as zippered bottoms. 

Also, consider the workout you’ll be doing and whether you’ll feel more comfortable in tights, pants, or compression leggings. 

Types

Tights

The best running tights are securely fitted around the legs, helping keep the wind chill out. There will also be less material getting in the way when you’re running, making you feel light and flexible. 

One thing to keep in mind is that tights are usually transparent, so you’ll need to wear something like compression shorts underneath. 

Pants

Running trousers can be more loosely fitted than thermal tights, which can be more comfortable for some. The fabric should be stretchy enough to allow you to still run freely in any direction. An elastic or drawstring waistband makes sure they stay secure on your waist. 

Compression

Compression running tights help circulate the blood, keeping you warmer during those chilly mornings. Compression pants also reduce muscle soreness and recovery time from injuries. Many runners prefer them for their aesthetics, as well as their ability to wick away moisture from the body. 

Fabric

Winter running pants & tights should have a fleece-lined inside, which is excellent for single layering in frigid temperatures. For the outside material, you’ll want to look for Durable Water Repellant (DWR) coating to keep off sleet and snow. Materials like merino wool will make the pants windproof and water-resistant, keeping you warmer. 

Pockets

The two main areas on running pants are inside pockets on the waist or outside utility pockets. You may also see external pockets on the thigh, big enough to fit a phone or wallet. 

On the back, there’s usually also a zippered pocket for keys, a credit card, and any other hand-held essential items. 

Other features

Reflectivity is an essential feature if you’re running at night or in the early morning. Additionally, you want to look for either a well-made elastic waistband or a drawstring that adjusts well to your size. 

Sometimes you’ll also see a zipper on the ankles for a better fit. Other features include a windproof material on the thighs to block out frigid winds. 

winter running tights faq

Why Wear Compression Tights?

Compression tights are designed to offer support to muscles, ligaments and joints during and after your workout. Wearing compression tights during physical activity will improve proprioception and body movements, all while targeting the muscles that work the hardest. They will also facilitate blood circulation through the body.

You can also use compression during the 24 to 48 hours of recovery following exercise. This will help decrease muscle fatigue, eliminate lactic acid build-up, and help you recover much faster.

How to Wear Running Tights?

There are a number of ways to wear running tights, and this will depend on preference. During winter the best way to wear running tights is to wear them under your shorts. In addition, since most pants are fitted, it makes more sense to wear them with shorts. Same thing with compression tights. You also don’t have to layer your running tights with compression tights. One pair will do.

Are running tights the same as leggings?

Leggings are made for more everyday wear, while tights are designed for athletic uses. Winter running tights will help to keep your muscles compressed more than leggings will. 

Do you wear shorts with running tights? Should I be wearing underwear?

Since running tights can be see-through, it’s best to wear another layer with them. This other layer can be underwear, shorts, or a jacket that covers the waistline. 

Conclusion

There you have it. You’re set to run all winter long in a pair of the best winter running tights. After looking at this extensive review of the best winter running pants and tights on the market, we hope we’ve helped you reach a better-informed decision. The most crucial factor in running legwear is the ability to keep cold temperatures out and be water and wind-resistant.

Our top choices are the Subzero Zap tight for men and the Winter Warm High Rise Tights for women. Along with the other options on our list, these tights will keep you running comfortably as temperatures start to drop. Peruse our selection of tights and get set for your favourite training in the snow! 

Read >> How to Dress for Winter Running