Safety Tips for Running Outside in the Snow and Ice - FITS®

December 01, 2019

There’s a lot to be said about cold weather running. The cooler air can be energizing and it’s great to not have to worry about overheating as much. Yet, depending on where you live, there’s often only a short period of time between days with refreshing cold air and…days with dangerous snowy and icy streets.

While your best bet when the snow and ice comes is to move your run indoors, there are a few tips you can follow to still enjoy outdoor running and avoid the dreaded treadmill.

Choose your time of day wisely

The morning and evening hours are likely to be the most dangers. Not only will wet conditions freeze over before the sun goes up and as it comes down, but shorter, darker days make it harder to ensure you’re visible to passing cars. If possible, try to run during the warmest hour of the day — your lunch break, perhaps — and avoid running when it’s dark, if possible.

Adjust your pace and stride

You may not be able to run as fast and carefree on potentially slippery streets — and that’s OK. Running outside during the winter requires making adjustments to both your stride and pace. After all, going slower is worth it to avoid an injury. 

Wear the right gear

The right gear is as important for safety as it is for comfort. You need to make sure your body stays warm enough to avoid injury, but agile enough to still run effectively. Plus, if you’re going to be running through snowdrifts and slush, you need moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet dry. Compression socks can be a great choice to keep your blood flowing in extra low temperatures. Check out our compression socks for men and compression socks for women

Switch up your route

The winter weather might mean you can’t always run your favorite loop safely, so don’t be afraid to switch it up. Running on paved roads or shoveled sidewalks can allow you to still run outside, but with less risk of falling. When in doubt, don’t risk it and search for a clearer route.

Of course, even with these tips, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.  On particularly wintery days, our best safety advice is to take your run indoors. But don’t worry — spring will be here before you know it.


Stock up on winter running gear.