Great news, winter runners! Nike has released their winter running gear and just in time for the chilly temps heading our way this week. I think you will be impressed with their new line which features a lightweight, breathable, material that has a way of keeping you warm, and protecting from the elements, but not overheating.
Nike may not be headquartered in Chicago, but they sure have our seasonal changes down and have produced a line of winter gear that will fit any midwestern runner. I tried out four pieces on a recent run along the Lakefront Trail on a semi-windy day with light rain.
My absolute favorite piece is the Nike Aeroloft Running Jacket. I immediately loved the way the jacket looked with an asymmetrical zipper and trendy panels filling the entire design. However, with its cropped style and lightweight feel, I was doubtful that it would hold up against Chicago winter weather. Boy, was I proven wrong as I tackled the headwind of the LFT and drizzly rain. The Aeroloft jacket not only kept me warm and dry, but didn’t overheat when I turned and had the wind at my back, a common problem with many running jackets out there. I don’t know how many times I’ve ended my run with a jacket tied around my waist, gathering sweat and raising my annoyance at having brought it. That was not the case with this aerodynamic jacket, a must have if you plan on training outdoors this winter in Chicago.
I sported a long sleeve Nike Dri-Fit, hooded top as my base layer, which added the right amount of temperature protection and sweat control. I am loving the gold swoosh against the black material that Nike has been showcasing. Base layers are not always conducive to being worn on their own, but this is one that could definitely be a long sleeve outer layer on a warmer winter day. Nike has always done a great job of making their running collection versatile, which is important in unpredictable Chicago winter weather.
The Nike Shield Running Pants come in both Men’s and Women’s and are another must-have for winter. This versatile running pant is a looser fit than the traditional running tight and provides full coverage for those blistery days. In case we undergo another polar vortex, you can easily fit a tight under these pants for extra climate control. Because, you know, some of us would rather risk it with frostbite than get on a treadmill.
The final piece I would recommend that you keep in your running bag is the Nike Aeroloft Repel Face Mask. As a regular at the F3 half marathon along the LFT and the Frozen Gnome in Crystal Lake, I remember certain winters where the air was so cold that my face hurt and breathing resulted in crystals of ice forming on my eyelashes. This heavy-duty facemask is ventilated and water repellant, keeping the warm air in and protecting your face. There aren’t too many times that I’ve needed this so far this year, but it’s a staple in my running bag, because when you need it, you really need it.
As one of Nike’s biggest fans, I enjoy keeping up with their ever changing and evolving gear. Nike has a technology and development department like no other I’ve ever seen. This winter collection touts four of my all time favorite pieces because they just plain work for Chicago winters. Finding pieces that will protect against the Midwest elements for training and racing outside isn’t an easy thing to do, but Nike has hit the nail on the head with their winter running collection.