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The 6 Best Sweatshirts for Running in the Cold

Don’t let low temperatures put a dent in your training regimen.


I hate running in sweatshirts. I remember during my early college years there was a cold snap in which temperatures remained in the negative single digits for over two weeks. When it finally broke, and the mercury rose into the upper teens, I celebrated with a lap of my favorite 5k loop wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt, but certainly not a sweatshirt.

Historically, when the weather got cold enough to require one, I’ve sought a productive cardio workout indoors rather than layer up in a sweatshirt. It was the bunching and the excess of sweat that spoiled the experience for me and drove me toward the treadmill and indoor track. But I was unprepared back then. I didn’t like layering for a run because I didn’t know how to do it properly, and I wasn’t aware of the technical sweatshirts specifically designed for ticking off miles in the cold.

I’ve changed my habits since those days, just in time to embrace a era when running clothing is at its best. Wool, polyester and spandex are blended to create fabrics that stretch and wick and breath (although one of Gear Patrol’s editors still doesn’t mind running in the cotton Gildan sweatshirt he bought for $11), and they’re stylish enough to wear on rest days too.

Path Projects Pyrenees MX LS Hooded Shirt

The Pyrenees MX is a midweight hoodie that’s breathable, odor-resistant, wicking, stretchy and carries an SPF +50 sun protection rating. It’s minimally branded and comes in subtle colors that hide all this tech when worn around town. But above all these things, the Pyrenees stands out with a strategically-placed cutout in the left wrist that allows runners to view GPS watches without rolling up its hand-warming sleeves.

Buy Now: $68

Janji Rover Hoodie

Janji is well-known for its patterns, but the Rover opts for subtlety instead. Its blend of polyester and spandex is stretchy, warm and wicking while its scuba-style hood provides additional coverage over the neck, a vital passageway for blood vessels. There’s even a zippered pocket on the left side that’s big enough to hold a passport, should you need it.

Buy Now: $84

Nike Sphere Element 2.0

Nike’s Dri-Fit technology is at play in the full-zip Sphere 2.0 to help keep you as dry as possible when your body starts to heat up and shed moisture. The fabric helps move it away from your skin so that you don’t get saturated and as a result, cold. It has two zippered pockets, thumb loop cuffs and an extra zip on the side for creating additional airflow.

Buy Now: $95

Adidas Climaheat Primeknit Hoodie

A blend of wool and polyester help make this sweatshirt warm, but it’s a hollow fiber construction that allows it to trap heat to provide even more warmth without adding additional material.

Buy Now: $120

Tracksmith Downeaster

Tracksmith has style down pat in every piece it produces. The Downeaster contributes to its particularly New England look with a collared, quarter zip profile. It’s certainly not all about looks though — the Downeaster is made of merino wool, so it has warmth and moisture management built into its odor-free fibers.

Buy Now: $138

Satisfy Cloud Merino 160 Rolled Neck

One of our staff members recently described Satisfy as the most progressive running company he’d ever been introduced to. There’s an overt element of counterculture style in many of its pieces, but that’s only allowed when a high bar of performance is met. This merino wool sweatshirt is no exception; it uses raw hems to avoid chafing and a rolled neck to help the body maintain its warmth as it cuts through the wind.

Buy Now: $318

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