Winter weather can be unforgiving and unpredictable and it can completely derail your best laid running plans. Sure, you can try an indoor workout or get in a couple miles on the treadmill, but nothing beats the feeling that comes from running outside in fresh air. That’s why having the right gear is important. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best winter running shoes of 2022 that will protect your toes from frostbite and prevent any mishaps on those slick and icy roads.
The 10 Best Winter Running Shoes That'll Keep Your Feet Nice and Warm
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What to look for in a winter running shoe
Water-resistant vs. Waterproof: While these terms are often used interchangeably, when it comes to selecting winter running shoes, it’s important to know the difference so you don’t end up disappointed. As our friends at The North Face tell us, a water-resistant shoe will resist moisture, meaning the fabric is so tightly woven that water struggles to get through. Waterproof shoes, on the other hand, create a complete barrier against the elements. In other words, your feet might get slightly wet with a water-resistant shoe, but a waterproof trainer will leave your toes bone dry.
Thermal insulation: Of course, you can always wear your regular sneakers with thicker socks during the colder months. However, one perk of getting a pair of winter running shoes is that they come equipped with insulation to keep your feet from freezing. Some shoes will have what’s known as a “Gore-Tex protective membrane” around the shoe, that keeps wind, rain, snow and sludge from penetrating.
Low light visibility: Winter months come with reduced visibility on the road. Depending on where you live and what time you like to run, you may want to invest in a pair of shoes that have reflective materials so drivers, bikers and motorcyclists can see you.
Traction: One of the top features people look for when purchasing winter running shoes is traction. Again, you want to consider your running route and find a shoe that has an outsole with grippy lugs that can keep you stable no matter how heinous the weather is. Remember, though, no matter how great the sneaker may be, always err on the side of caution and be careful when navigating icy roads or terrains.
The Best Winter Running Shoes for 2022
- Best overall: Salomon Speedcross 5 GTX Trail Running Shoes
- Most stylish: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Shield
- Most bang for your buck: Brooks Divide 2
- Best for long runs: New Balance Fresh Foam More Trail v1
- Best for low visibility: Asics Gel-Kayano Running Shoes
- Most breathable: Hoka One One Women’s Challenger ATR 6
- Best for low-impact exercise: Altra Women's Lone Peak All-WTHR Low Trail Running Shoe
- Best for snowy weather: Saucony Peregrine Ice+ 2.0
- Most lightweight: Topo Athletic Women's MTN Racer 2
- Best waterproof shoe: On Cloudflyer Waterproof
1. salomon Speedcross 5 Gtx Trail Running Shoes
Whether you live in a mountainous city or you just love running up rocky terrains, you’ll want a shoe that keeps up with you when the weather gets frightful. Thank goodness for this super versatile pair from Salomon. Not only are they waterproof—which means no soggy socks for you—but they’re also made with Gore-Tex protection, which protects your feet from the elements, while also being breathable. The Speedcross 5 GTXs are made for the ultimate outdoor runner who traverses all terrains—from road running around the neighborhood to roughing it on a rugged trail.
2. nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Shield
When it comes to stylish winter shoes, you can always trust Nike to deliver. This sleek offering comes with a gusseted, insulated tongue and a warm upper (the part of the shoe that covers the toes, the top and sides of the foot and the back of the heel) that's finished with a weatherized coating to keep your feet nice and warm, come hell or high waters. With a tire-inspired grip, these sneaks ensure that you will catch your balance, even on the slickest streets.
3. brooks Divide 2
Most bang for your buck
Running shoes can be pricey and while this pair is definitely still up there in cost, they're on the more affordable end (especially considering their features). Brooks Divide 2 offers the familiar comfort of a running shoe, with a tight traction and a lightweight protective insert that supports you against uneven terrain. “I am trying to get back into jogging and wanted a comfortable, supportive shoe as I have knee issues. They are very lightweight, and I was worried they weren’t robust enough, but I’m really pleased with them. No blisters or rubbing from outset, seem cushioned and comfortable,” says one reviewer. Comfort and function? Sign us up!
4. new Balance Fresh Foam More Trail V1
Best for long runs
We all know the toll running can take on your joints. That’s why New Balance’s Fresh Foam More is a fan favorite among marathon runners. With their Fresh Foam More technology, these sneakers offer plush underfoot cushioning, so you don’t have to worry about those gnawing shin splints afterwards. “From the moment you lace these up and stride across your floor, you will know you have arrived at heaven’s gate,” raved one reviewer. “These babies are soft, and your body will thank you for the smooth ride. Oh, and if you decide to run in them, no aches or pains in the joints after.”
5. asics Gel-kayano Running Shoes
Best for low visibility
On dark and foggy days, it can be hard for bikers and drivers to see you on the road, and that’s why the reflective elements on these shoes are so important. The Gel Kayano running shoes also feature a lower-profile external heel counter, which cradles your foot and offers better rearfoot support (again, we’re against post-run sore joints around here). To improve stability and responsiveness, the shoe has Asic’s proprietary FF Blast cushioning in the midsole giving your entire foot more support throughout.
6. hoka One One Women’s Challenger Atr 6
Even the most brutal and harshest winters have some relatively warm days. And for such occasions you don’t want to be caught in a shoe that feels like a sweaty trap. Enter these ultra-breathable kicks that will give your feet plenty of ventilation, thanks to their mesh uppers. They also come with a removable, foam padded insole for extra cushioning and support, as well as a durable full-length EVA midsole to absorb shock and offer stability while walking or running.
7. altra Women's Lone Peak All-wthr Low Trail Running Shoe
Best for low impact exercise
Rainy days often call for chilling on the couch, enjoying a cup of hot cocoa and bingeing Sweet Magnolias. But, if you want to go for a light jog in the drizzle, these low-trail running shoes are a must. This weather-resistant eVent bootie comes equipped with Altra’s MaxTrac outsole and multi-directional TrailClaw lug pattern to ensure grippy traction, so you don’t have to worry about slipping on those muddy roads.
8. saucony Peregrine Ice+ 2.0
Best for snowy weather
While there are some mixed reviews regarding the comfort level and traction of these shoes on icy roads, most wearers of the Peregrine Ice+ 2.0 agree that it outperforms its competitors on fresh snow. Thanks to the Vibram Arctic Grip Technology, the soles on these shoes provide enough traction for your usual run around the neighborhood. “The aggressive tread on them is intended more as a trail shoe with crunchy snow than clearer ice ridden trails. If you run snow covered trails these are probably ideal,” noted one reviewer.
9. topo Athletic Women's Mtn Racer 2
“I Love these shoes! My heel feels locked in and there is plenty of room for my toes to grab the ground/rocks. I feel super connected and I have plenty of arch support,” raved one reviewer. And for good reason. The MTN Racer 2 is equipped with a lightweight, breathable mesh upper that provides a comfortable fit, plus a TPU heel counter to give the foot more stability overall. The shoe also has a roomy toe box, which allows your toes to sit more naturally, and in turn, makes running longer distances less painful. Oh, and did we mention it also has a drainage port for faster drying in case you run into inclement weather (or a puddle)?
10. on Cloudflyer Waterproof
Best waterproof shoe
Tired of wet socks ruining your run? It’s time for a dashing pair that’s entirely waterproof. These chic sneakers from On will keep your feet dry and warm—no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. The fully waterproof, yet breathable mesh upper keeps wind and water out, so you can run for as long as you want without being slowed down. The shoe also comes with a midfoot stability tube for additional support and a foot-hugging feel. Bonus: It has reflective details along the heel and forefoot, plus the laces light up at night so you’ll be visible to passersby.