running in winter

What to Wear When Running in Winter in Australia?

April 9th, 2024

As the Australian winter beckons, runners across the country face the yearly conundrum of adjusting their routines and gear to match the season’s demands. Unlike the uniform chill that blankets some parts of the world, Australian winters present a unique challenge with the continent’s vast geographical diversity. 

From the mild, almost temperate conditions in the north to the cold, wet embrace of the southern states, each region demands a specific approach to winter running apparel

This blog aims to answer the question of ‘What to wear when running in winter’ and unravel these complexities, providing Australian runners with targeted advice to maintain comfort, safety, and motivation during the colder months.

Understanding Australia’s Winter Climate

Australia’s winter climate is as varied as its landscape. In the northern regions, including cities like Darwin, Cairns, and Brisbane, winters are mild, with temperatures rarely dipping below 15°C. 

Contrast this with the southern states such as Tasmania, Victoria, and parts of New South Wales, where temperatures can plummet, accompanied by rain and biting winds. 

This stark variation necessitates a nuanced approach to selecting your running gear, ensuring it’s tailored to your local climate while being adaptable to unexpected changes.

running gear

Layers Are Your Friend

No matter your location, a good rule of thumb is layers when it comes to running in cold weather. 

For the Mild Northern Winters

The key is to opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that offer flexibility. A base layer made from moisture-wicking material keeps sweat away from your skin, topped with a light, breathable jacket to shield against the occasional brisk wind. 

This combination allows for easy adjustment to temperatures that can feel cooler in the early morning but warm up significantly by midday.

In the Colder Southern Regions

Being strategic is your best course of action. Start with a thermal base layer to trap heat, add something on top like a fleece for insulation, and finish with a waterproof and windproof jacket. 

This setup not only keeps you warm as the temperature drops but also protects you against the rain and wind that characterise southern winters. Zippers at the neck and underarms can add ventilation as you run to help stabilise your body heat.

Essential Winter Running Gear

What Is Some Essential Winter Running Gear?
For Mild Climates

Choose lightweight, long-sleeved tops and thin running tights or pants. These should be made from technical, sweat-wicking fabrics to keep you dry and comfortable. A thin, waterproof running jacket may also be necessary for rainy days.

For Cooler Areas

Look for thermal leggings and tops with fleece linings. Waterproof, windproof jackets are essential, and a waterproof running cap can keep the rain out of your eyes. Gloves and a thermal headband or running hat will protect your extremities, which are the first to feel the cold.

Footwear Considerations

Winter running in Australia, regardless of the region, calls for footwear that can handle a variety of conditions. Look for shoes with water-resistant properties to keep your feet dry, especially in the south where rain is more frequent. 

Traction is another critical factor, with grippy soles essential for wet paths and potential frosty mornings. For trail runners, shoes with aggressive grip patterns offer stability on muddy, slippery tracks.

night run with safety

Prepare for Those Night Runs With Safety

Shorter days mean runs often occur in low light, making visibility gear crucial for winter running across Australia. Reflective vests, jackets, and strips of clothing enhance your visibility to others. 

Additionally, wearing a headlamp or carrying a torch can help you see and be seen, ensuring safer runs during dawn, dusk, or in poorly lit areas.

Adapting to Weather Changes

The unpredictability of Australian winters requires a flexible approach to running attire. Be prepared to layer up or down as conditions change. Accessories like arm warmers, running gloves or mittens, and hats can be easily removed and stowed away as you warm up. Paying attention to weather forecasts and being ready to adjust your layers accordingly will help you maintain optimal comfort and performance.

Get Kitted Out with Pure Running

Figuring out what to wear when running in winter, with its diverse range of climates, presents a unique set of challenges. However, with the right gear and a smart layering strategy, you can overcome these hurdles, staying warm, dry, and motivated throughout the season. 

Remember, the goal is not just to endure the winter but to enjoy your runs and continue improving, regardless of the temperature outside. By tailoring your winter running apparel to the specific conditions of your region, you ensure that the colder months are no barrier to your running journey.

To get started on the right foot for those cold days, check out our range of running gear, cultivated by runners, at Pure Running. We’ll get you kitted out from head to toe and have you ready to tackle those runs with ease.