Running in winter, how cold for tights?

Curious as to what temps you ditch the shorts? For me, it has to be well below zero normally, although a really strong wind and cold rain combo will have me thinking about it.

Generally though, ditching the sorts is a last resort option.


Never! Well. Not on anything under 20 hours anyway.

But I think I lost all feeling in my legs about 20 years ago. Playing footy and rugby as a kid in the wild weather of west Wales every single Saturday and Sunday went a long way to being pretty cold hardy I reckon!


Wore them yesterday and knees/thighs were feeling not great on Thursday in the cold wind

No knees below 10 degrees.

However, it has to be pretty darn cold to wear full tights as I hate them getting soggy around the ankles/shins so for most of the Winter I’m a fan of the capri.


Never wear them now as years ago when I did it seemed to give me knee issues as if the tights were restricting my knee movement.
So have got used to not wearing tights and my legs don’t feel the cold now.

About 15 for no knees, about 10 for tights although it depends how hard the run is.

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Below.10°C shorts over tights

I realised shorts were simply not optimal in cold weather, no matter how I felt about it.

I was a bit like GB, used to wear shorts mostly, think my legs got used to the cold after years of football in the winter.

These days if it’s getting down to about 5c I’ll usually stick 3/4’s\capri’s on as the knees do feel it a bit more. And often if I’m going over the moors.

I’m also not a big fan of full leggings, although I’ll sometimes use my calf guards, but mostly for the support rather than the warmth.

I’ve only had one pair of 3/4 before (Gore) but I didn’t like the way they cut into the back of my calf muscle.

I have a full length pair of OMM tights that I bought with some vouchers I won in an OMM sponsored marathon. Probably wouldn’t have bothered otherwise.

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All depends on the wind. Wind chill factor then tights if not, then shorts.

At the slow paces that I’m presently running at (when indeed my legs actually allow me to run) I’m just wearing a baggy tracksuit.

I would say below freezing before I bring the tights out butblaos depends on distance. 5k in shorts at 0 not so bad, 2 hours slow and steady ill switch to the tights

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I can’t honestly remember running in anything but shorts im far from hard, in fact I’m a treadmill wimp mostly.

On a recent cold marathon run both it bands went very stiff during the race, the effort I was putting in did nt cause this.

However I’ll never be stupid enough to race in 3-4 degrees and drizzle again, it was rough.

If the gym gets shut next week, which is highly likely I may invest in some gay tights…

I’ll be following this thread.


I don’t own any tights for running. Never felt like I’ve needed them. I’m not the most adventurous though.

Complete opposite on the bike. I’m wearing knee warmers and shoe covers in October…


Never here either, don’t own anything other than shorts and haven’t had a run where I’ve felt I need anything more

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Highly distance dependent; 5k I will tough out in shorts mostly, but longer than that then I move to a thin trouser that come from decathlon, I think they are intended for football.

Its probably down to pace; I never really do a slow 5K, whereas the longer stuff is mostly much slower and therefore colder.

Mostly in leggings now until the spring, as I don’t really do speed work or fast efforts I am happy to run steady in my Lycra leggings. I think it helps to keep lower legs warm and may assist with injury prevention but no evidence to support that.

I rode with leg warmers for the first time yesterday and they were great.


never. too many years playing on wet cold muddy rugby pitches to even notice cold on the legs.

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I have underarmour thermo tights for anything sub zero otherwise it’s shorts for me.
I suffer from raynauds and I can wear shorts and vest in the crappiest of conditions for XC but I have to have warm gloves.


I hate being cold and wear running tights from about October through until April. Often with a hat, gloves and 2 layers of shirt.

Would wear shorts & 1 T to race though, perhaps with gloves if near freezing