Winter Trailrunning Footwear

I've discussed my winter trailrunning footwear with a few people now who are curious how I can run at -10F in regular running shoes without freezing my feet. I think the clothes you wear on the rest of your body are an essential part of the mix. If your core gets too cold your body will shut down the flow of blood to your extremities resulting in cold fingers and toes.

Winter Trailrunning Footwear Base Layer by Injinji
I normally begin by putting on a pair of very thin toe-sock liners [Injinji Liner Crew Toesocks]. I adjust them to fit my toes carefully so there are no loose spots or wrinkles. This only takes a few seconds. The polyester and nylon lining helps keep my feet dry and free from blisters. I used to get blisters between my toes and this helped solve that problem.

Smartwool PHD Mountaineering Socks

Over that layer I then use a pair of heavyweight merino wool mountaineering socks. These are the Smartwool PhD Heavy Crew, often sold as Mountaineering Socks, depending on which specific model your store carries. I have also used similar socks from Point6, Thorlo, Bridgedale - it's whatever you have, like, and fit. The main point for me is that it have thick wool pile in the inside of the sock to trap heat and wick sweat. If your feet are hot inside the sock, moisture will build up on the outside of the sock and help prevent melting snow from soaking your feet.

Hoka One One Stinson EVO Quicklace
For my winter trailrunning footwear I prefer a quicklace system, like on these Hoka One One Stinson Evo. I have a pair of old ones with about 300 miles on them that I've spiked [CLICK HERE]. I also have these that are a bit newer with only about 50 miles on, that I haven't spiked. I like the quicklace in the cold of the winter months so that I don't have to take off gloves to adjust them. You might prefer laces though, it's up to you.

Hoka Stinson with Kahtoola Microspikes
Since these shoes aren't spiked I am going to be out on the trails with Kahtoola Microspikes for traction. I like the way they feel for the most part, and have done a lot of running with them over the past couple years. I've done some speed ascents on snow and ice on Winter Colorado 14ers with the microspikes and they work pretty good. I even like the way they grip in frozen gravel.

Winter trailrunning footwear is an individual thing. What works for me might not work for you. You might be warmer or colder than I am. I have been doing this for quite a few years now, and I used to wear a lot more when I first started. I used to wear Goretex or similar running shoes. I used to wear three sock layers. I used to wear ankle running gaiters. I have pretty much stopped all of that as I've grown used to it. I am suggesting that maybe you take my example here and experiment in a safe environment to see how it works for you.

As always, subscribe to the blog for updates, post pics of your setup, and if you want to know anything that I know how to answer, fire away with your questions.