Best Thermal Running Tights for Cold Weather

Thermal running pants – often referred to as thermal running tights – are similar to regular running tights. However they are designed specifically for those who wish to run in cold weather. They are an essential element of anybody who wishes to exercise outdoors during the cold winter months. Let’s see which are the best thermal running tights for men and women.

Although don’t expect them to keep you so warm that you can take a stroll in the woods in the Alaska winter, but they provide warmth and keep your body heat while running outdoors. They provide more heat than regular running tights. There are other features the best thermal running tights have. Some come with graduated compression technology. Some are breathable. Some have antibacterial qualities. This article will examine what are the qualities of the best thermal running pants, and what you will need to look out for if you want to choose a durable, stylish, comfortable model for an affordable price.

If you want to work out in the park, or go trail running rather than be a slave to the treadmill in the gym, these thermal running pants are an excellent choice.

Thermal running tights: what makes them the ideal cold weather running pants?

Thermal running pants are surprisingly similar to their normal counterparts. However they have an extra layer for additional heat retention. This layer is usually made of a synthetic material. The outer layer is made of neoprene, lycra or spandex. In expensive thermal tights the outer layer is applied chemically, so for the untrained eye they look like just one layer.

Thermal running tights are recommended for everybody who likes running. If you don’t wear warm enough clothing, your muscles and joints might catch a cold. This can lead to serious problems down the road and even stop you from working out all together.

It is not necessary to wear another layer over thermal tights, although I can see runners doing it a lot. You should wear underwear with them, just like you would under running compression pants. You might consider looking at our recommended running jackets and running shirts.

Features of the best thermal running tights

Before we look at the features of all the best thermal running tights, here are the models I recommend:


This is the feature I deem the most important. No matter how cold it is, you will sweat in your running tights. If the sweat is trapped under the pants, it might cool out and you will start to shiver. You might catch a cold. Then wearing thermal running pants is completely unnecessary. Not to mention that sweat is a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. If the sweat can evaporatete from your skin, your pants will be a lot more hygienic during long runs. Breathable materials allow your body to react to changes In temperature. Sometimes you start the run in acloudy, cold weather, and then the sun starts shining and the temperature rises. Breathable thermal running tights allow your body to react to such changes.



Maybe this quality is even more important than the first one. What good would your thermal running pants be, if they wouldn’t keep you warm during your runs? How can you inspect whether the pants you are considering buying are warm enough? The easiest is to go through some reviews on the Amazon page. A rule of thumb is to choose thermal running pants that have two layers averywhere. Cheaper pants usually have double coverage only at the joints. These products provide some protection for those critical areas, but your thighs and glutes might catch a cold.


I choose thermal running pants the same way I choose compression pants. They are best when they fit perfectly. This means they should feel a bit tight when I first put them on, but not so tight that I experience swelling or loss of blood flow. If the pants are too tight, they will restrict your movement. If they are too loose, they might cause chafing. Especially on the inside of your legs. Make sure the pants fit perfectly there. If the tights hug around your body, you will be more aerodynamic. You will be able to move more swiftly. In case you go trail running, the pants won’t get caught in the bushes. If the pants embrace your ankles tightly, the heat can’t escape.


This is not so much an issue during the winter, but it can be important at the start of the spring, or during cold autumn months. When the snow starts melting, water in the puddles can splash up to your ankles. Then it is really important to have waterproof thermal running tights. Such models either have a layer of neoprene on the outside, or they have a waterproof layer sprayed over on the outside.


It might seem that seams are not a big deal – see hat I did there? – but they are. Poorly designed seams can cause chafing, irritation and skin burn. Nothing ruins a nice Sunday afternoon run quicker than the seams rubbing against your skin. You feel the pain, push through it and when you pull off your pants you see the bloody wound caused by faulty seams. To avoid this look for flat lock seams or thermal tights with a seamless design.


This is something everybody has to consider. If you have an unlimited budget, you can go for the most expensive product with all the features you want. However if you have a limited budget, I suggest you do the following: Write down which features do you consider a must in your thermal running tights, and which are just nice to have. Choose the cheapest product that has all the musts. The point is, that there are excellent running tights that have all the features, but they go for over hundred dollars. But you can get similar quality for a cut price if you are clear on what you want exactly, and if you can find a good deal. Be vary of the really cheap thermal running pants imported from China or Vietnam. Although you can find some good deals among them, I had bad experiences with manufacturers who sell shoddy products in the hope of making a quick buck.


Although the manufacturer of the pants is not a guarantee, certain brands are major players in the compression wearables market. They accumulated decades of experience and continued to refine their products based on customer feedback. Some brands offer a 100% money-back guarantee. These deals allow you to try out the product at home, even take it out for a run before deciding if it is the right product for you or not.

Best Thermal Running Tights for Cold Weather

Without further ado, let’s look at the best thermal running tights available on the market.

Baleaf Men’s Windproof Thermal Pants

A value pair of running tights that allow you to enjoy training outdoors even in cold weather. Made of 87% nylon and 13% spandex, these windproof thermal pants allow your skin to breathe while wicking sweat away even during long runs. Stretchy material, with mesh behind the knees to allow breathability where you sweat the most. The knees are covered by stretch nylon for additional freedom of movement. This pair of thermal tights even has a small back pocket for storing items such as your keys or mobile phone.


Baleaf Women’s Thermal Running Tights

A huge positive of these leggings is their reflective elements that make you visible even during late night runs. This is crucial for avoiding injuries and accidents. Made of 90% polyester and 10% spandex. Stretchy, comfortable material that wicks your sweat away. Comes with soft fleece inside that provides long lasting comfort and long lasting warmth. A mid-priced option available around thirty dollars.



Tesla Men’s Thermal Wintergear Leggings

These thermal running pants are made of 90% polyester and 10% spandex. As a result they fit your legs perfectly. They come with fleece lining for extra warmth. These stretchable running tights don’t restrict your movement but hold your warmth inside. They come with Tesla’s signature moisture sensing technology. They dry really quickly while allowing two way air circulation. An excellent choice for a small price. If you get lucky you get these leggings for as little as ten dollars.




2XU Women’s Thermal Compression Tights

This is the first item on my list with graduated compression technology. This type of compression helps blood circulation during workouts, and then increases blood flow. These thermal compression tights for women are high quality, comfortable and durable. They can be used as base layer leggings, but they are great on their own over thirty degrees. They have extra protection around the calves to prevent injuries and getting cold. They come with a drawstring waistband for perfect fit. Comes with a 12-month warranty. A pricier option, but they are definitely worth it.


Sugoi Women’s Midzero Tights

Sugoi has earned the respect of runners all around the globe, having provided us with comfortable, stylish and durable compression garments for years. These tights have two layers, one of them the trademark Sugoi Midzero. This is why these pants are excellent for really cold weather. The work excellent as an outer layer worn over compression shorts.



Nike Pro Thermal Tights

Nike has become a more and more important player in the running tights market. These tights are made of a blend of polyester and elastane that results in a durable, stretchable pair of compression tights. They keep you warm, don’t restrict your motion, and overall they can be considered excellent all around compression tights.




UnderArmour Men’s Base Layer Leggings

If you are looking for thermal tights to use just as base layer leggings, these are the best in my opinion. UnderArmour makes the best running compression shirts, and they make similarly superb base layer leggings. It has a brushed negative grid interior that traps hot air and provides superior warmth. The four way stretch fabrication allows extraordinary mobility in all directions. The special UnderArmour Moisture Transport System wicks sweat away and keeps your body dry. The anti—odour technology prevents bad smells and growth of odour causing microbes.




Having the best thermal running pants for cold weather is a must for any serious runner. If you don’t train in excellent thermal running tights that keep your joints and muscles warm you can develop complications that can cause you problems for years. It is enough to wear simple running compression tights over thirty degree, but below that you must wear either an extra base layer, or specialised running tights for cold weather.

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