North Face Borealis
Made from 100 percent recycled fleece, the Borealis is one of the softest performance jackets on the market, but still manages to wick moisture and keep winter at bay. The thumbholes are a nice touch, and the Borealis is one of the fastest drying garments we tested. $75. thenorthface.com.
Brooks HVAC Hat and Vapor Dry Glove
Both the glove and hat wick moisture away from your extremities, but our wear-tester liked the glove’s rubber finger prints, which allow you to scroll through your Ipod without exposing your digits. Hat, $20. Glove, $28. brooksrunning.com.
Merrell Stature ST
What’s the difference between a running shoe and a winter running shoe? Moisture and temperature control. A waterproof vamp and a snazzy gator collar on the Stature ST keep water out of your socks, and the foot bed absorbs heat so your feet don’t sweat. It’s a bit burlier than your standard trail/road hybrid, but during a four-mile run in near-freezing rain, our wear-tester’s toes stayed dry and toasty. $120. merrell.com.
People have been using compression tights to help increase circulation for years, so why not runners? Studies show Skins may help reduce lactic acid buildup, boost muscle oxygenation, and speed recovery. During a series of cold winter runs, our tester noticed the amount of time it took to warm up his legs was reduced significantly when wearing the Skins Sport, enabling him to start each session without the difficult early-run stiffness. $115 leggings, $100 long sleeve top. skins.net.