Part of my goal to jump-start the new year was to go on daily walks and exercise for at least an hour.
I started a week before we rang in 2021, to ease into a new routine. So far, so good.
My initial reaction to my goal is that, surprisingly, the exercising part is the easiest. The daily walks, however, are a little harder. I credit this to the season: it’s winter in Colorado. It’s cold. It’s wet and snowy.
I hate the cold. Somehow, I’ve managed to mitigate the weather, staying dry and usually toasty.
Here’s what I wear, as I head out into the tundra. (An extreme exaggeration, as New Castle is not nearly as cold as other places in the state, like my hometown, which consistently ranks as one of the harshest spots in the country.) (But, it’s still Colorado.) (I digress.)
Here’s the short of it all: I wear one outer jacket, one inner layer, a hat, sweatpants, gloves, and shoes. Thickness and type vary depending on the weather.
Here’s my literal go-to winter walking outfit pieces.
If it’s snowing outside, I wear my ski jacket. It’s thick, bulky, heavy, and has lots of room underneath for extra layers. The hood comes in handy, too. Mine is the “Marqt Outdoor Hooded Ski Parka,” though I can’t find a link anywhere. Usually, it’s a little warm and I tend to sweat in this when I wear it for walks.
For the other 95% of the time, I go for a warm softshell outer jacket. I recently bought the “Backcountry Wolverine Cirque Hybrid Insulated Jacket,” which is designed specifically as a layer for outdoor adventures. It’s less roomy and more form-fitting, but I’m able to fit one base-layer underneath, though it’s a bit of a tight fit.
My go-to inner layer has been a sherpa-like pullover by Patagonia—the “Los Gatos 1/4-Zip Jacket.” It’s extremely comfortable and cozy, and is almost too warm to wear in my house sometimes. It gets warm. When the temps are dropping outside, this is almost always a secure choice. I wear this under my purple Backcountry jacket without anything else, and it works great for my walks.
On warmer days, like in the fall or spring, I might choose to just wear a T-shirt as an inner layer. On the snowier days, I’ll opt for a different Patagonia layer; I really like my blue wool “Better Sweater 1/4 Zip” for sleek warmth. (I wear this to go skiing as well.)
I tend to go for sweatpants on my walks, because I love them. I rotate several pairs: a branded college pair (woo, CU Denver), “Cozy Camp Fleece Jogger Pants” from Eddie Bauer, and some very basic Fruit of the Loom bad-boys from Walmart (can’t beat a $6 pant, lol).
For extra cold days, I use put on my base-layer tights from Eddie Bauer. (I also wear these as my base-layer on ski days, under my snow pants.)
This is where things vary from day to day.
On non-icy days, with clear sidewalks, I use plain old walking tennis shoes. I inherited a pair from my mom, from On Running. These are super nice and offer fantastic support.
Note: I recently learned to size up half-size for walking and running shoes; my feet expand during exercise and I’ve been getting terrible blisters. This trick, along with the correct socks, have been a life saver.
On snowy days, I use a pair of snow boots. Mine are “Whitney Short Lace Snow Boots” from Sorrel. I like these, but they aren’t very structured for a boot. They are warm and comfortable, but don’t have the best support. I go for quick walks when I wear these—30 minutes really pushes it.
Can’t forget the accessories! By which I mean, of course, other necessities in cold weather.
- Gloves – simple cotton ones that really are many, many years old and aren’t waterproof.
- Headphones – I always wear my Beats that I received as a going-off-to-college present from my dad. They’ve held up!
- Headband – if it’s super cold, a hat or headband is a must to keep my ears extra warm.
- Good Attitude – priceless in the winter. 😉
How do you stay warm outside in the wintertime?
Smelly Socks and Garden Peas says
I wear a size up in my running shoes too, but I’ve also done 500 miles in them and they’re starting to give me blisters on top end of my toes. The soles are barely worn and I’d never consider replacing them except for the way my feet are wearing them.