Winter running shoes: how to choose?

February 18, 2022

Chaussures de course hivernale : comment choisir?
Text and tips by Kenny Beaudette

Winter in Quebec has its share of challenges for running outings, that’s well known! Rapid temperature changes and icy/snowy surfaces require us to have quality running gear

Shoes are, without a doubt, a very important element of our clothing for outings: poorly adapted shoes can cause injuries, discomfort, even seasonal demotivation... Choosing your shoes for the cold season is therefore a crucial stage!

In this article, we'll help you understand the things to consider when buying your shoes for winterTo make a good choice, you must first determine on which surface you will most often run

Snow cleared and maintained

If you only run on the road, several cycle paths or sidewalks are well laid out during the winter season, and even allow you to run with regular shoesIn Sherbrooke, we are lucky enough to be able to run on the Lac des Nations promenade or on the bike path along the Magog River.For this type of use, you can opt forwaterproof road running shoes

Waterproof Road Running Shoes

The advantage of these shoes is that you will find the same comfort and flexibility as your regular running shoes, but with a waterproof membrane resistant to water, snow and windThis membrane (often identified as Gore-tex or GTX) will at the same time offer you more warmth

Our favorite models:

Snowy and slippery surface

If you find the snowy surface too slippery and are tired of "spinning in butter", you can look for a shoe with a more grippy solewaterproof trail running shoes will meet this demand as well as being a more versatile option if you want to alternate between road and trailIf you want to use these shoes annually, you can opt for a trail running shoe without a waterproof membrane.This option will give you a more breathable upper, especially in the heat of summer.

Waterproof Trail Running Shoes

These shoes can be used in many situationsWhether running in the city when it's snowy or tackling the mountain trails on a run or hike, these more grippy soles will keep you safe

Our favorite models:

Surface not maintained, sometimes icy

The biggest risk for winter is obviously running on a patch of ice and falling! To run safely, whether on the road or on the trail, you can opt forrunning shoes with studsThese shoes have tungsten studs built into the sole that, like a studded tire, will bite into the ice

Running shoes with studs

These shoes will provide stability and a confident stride on more uncertain surfaces

Our favorite models:

Other options and winter accessories

If you are not ready to invest in a pair of winter-specific shoes, there are several options available to youThe waterproof socksDexshell, for example, are perfect for keeping your warm and dry feetYou can add these bottoms to any running shoe

As for grip, it is possible to add crampons over your shoesIf you run mostly on the road, theIcetrekkers Spikes are our go-to! You will hardly feel them under your shoes, they are very light and stay in place thanks to the strap that passes over the top of the foot

Another option is to have cleats screwed onto your current shoesThese studs can then be removed at the end of winterAt $2 per cleat, this is a more economical option that will help you face the winter!

Happy winter racing!