Winter Apparel Layer by Layer

Every year, at the first snow, I receive a few emails and phone calls about snowshoeing. It’s usually the same question, “What do I WEAR?”  Just because I like you so much, we’ve decided to help you out. Below, are a few of our suggestions one layer at a time to help you get started. Look for pieces that are breathable and easily packable as well as wind and water resistant. Remember, especially with winter gear, always look for quality workmanship to extend durability and usability.


00001 Craft Hybrid Weather Glove

Fumbling with zippers and bindings in thick gloves with sweaty hands is not my favorite thing about winter. That’s exactly why we were so excited to test the Hybrid Weather Glove from Craft. This two-in-one glove is lined with a soft, breathable fleece fabric to keep your hands warm without becoming moist. The various layers of the glove work together to keep breathability while protecting you from snow, wind and rain. The palm and fingers feature silicone grippers for added convenience and the index finger and thumb tips are treated to be touch screen compatible. When the weather cools down even further, the glove features a convertible mitten to add another layer of protection. The cover tucks conveniently into a pocket on the top of the hand when not in use. These are the best gloves I have found for snowshoeing in anything but the most extreme of conditions, and worked especially well when used on snowshoe and trail runs. I can see myself using the Hybrid well into spring conditions and in locations where early morning can be chilly even in the summer. Highly versatile, I found the Hybrid Weather Glove great for running and cycling as well. Available in two colors in unisex sizing.

Retail $34.95



Adidas Windstopper Fast Jacket

This super light, stretchy soft shell makes for an ideal outer or mid layer piece. Windproof, water resistant and highly durable, I chose this jacket because of it’s amazing versatility. After first wearing the Windstopper Fast Jacket snowshoeing, I decided to test it’s limitations and ended up trying it out in a variety of athletic endeavors. With running, cycling and even ice climbing the freedom of movement was fantastic. The cut of the jacket is intended to allow for a full range of motion, while maintaining a comfortable core temperature. One of my favorite features is the hood. Normally, jackets that provide a stowaway hood have put little thought into the design, and treat it more like an after-thought. Adidas however, added an elastic cord that tightens along the hair line, making it extremely comfortable and highly usable on a daily basis if needed. It also fit perfectly under a helmet. It features a convenient chest pocket, along with the two side pockets, for cash or a cellphone. The bright colors are fantastic, I’ve had more than a few compliments with each wear, and with the full zip and elastic cuffs, you can see why it’s easy for me to rave. The jacket comes in men’s and women’s (pictured) sizing and a variety of colors.

Retail $265



Columbia  Freeze Degree 1/2 Zip

The much anticipated arrival of Columbia’s new fabric technology was not a disappointment. The Omni-Freeze ZERO produces sweat-activated cooling by way of tiny blue rings embedded in the fabric. A concentrated cooling agent is held against your skin and activated by sweat, to instantly lower the temperature of the fabric. In addition, a special evaporative compound disperses sweat as it touches the fabric, to increase the evaporative surface, which leads to a faster drying time. Being the masochist that I am, I decided to test this piece by attempting to overheat on a 65° trail run with lots of sun exposure. I wore the women’s Freeze Degree 1/2 Zip (pictured) as a base layer and a poorly made windbreaker to trap more heat than I would normally carry. I did unzip a bit to allow for some slight circulation to allow the technology to work. As soon as I began to sweat, I felt the cooling sensation on my skin. The fabric kept me at a very comfortable temperature so I headed down a shady trail to see how well it would keep me warm. I was so surprised, I ended up stopping to take a look at the fabric. The accelerated wicking process had dried the base layer allowing for the fabric to keep me warm in the shade. It’s a great choice for winter and summer, and Columbia offers this advanced fabric in a number of different styles and colors for men and women. Anticipate seeing more reviews of this technology from us in the future.
Retail $75.00



Pearl Izumi  Fly Softshell Pant

An easy pick for us here at TriEdge, the Fly Softshell Pant (men’s pictured) was perfect for snowshoeing. Well placed thermal fleece fabric is water and wind resistant but allowed moisture to escape when our tester got really heated up. The favorite feature was the articulated and vented knee that made running and steep ascents hassle free and extremely comfortable. On a side note, it also makes these tights a great choice for early spring and fall cycling adding to their versatility. The elasticized, drawstring cord keeps the waist from feeling too restricted and thigh zips help to control body temperature. There are reflective accents for low-light and two zippered pockets to hold some cash so you can stop on the way home for your favorite after-workout meal. Overall, they are very comfortable and packed full of useful features for a variety of uses. Available in men’s and women’s sizing.

Retail $145.00



Injinji  Outdoor Original Weight Crew

Alright, I know what you’re thinking about the way they look, so lets just address this right off the bat; they’re not just for Vibram Five Fingers. They do look a little different, but the individual toes in the socks don’t make your shoes fit any tighter than they normally would. In fact, they allow for your feet to perform as they were intended, improving on the features of your running shoes. After a few minutes of wearing Injinji socks, you’ll see exactly why so many people rave about them. They come in many different styles and thicknesses and you’ll be surprised how comfortable they are. When hiking, or trail running, I insist on wearing them. If you’re talking fabric, there are few materials that have the ability to keep you warm and still be highly breathable. When it comes to winter sports, there’s nothing as important as staying dry and warm. This is why merino wool is the king of winter sports. Injinji has constructed the Outdoor line with NuWool, a kind of merino wool, to keep blisters and odors at bay. With my feet comfortable and warm, it was easy to forget that I was even wearing socks. There was no bunching or pinching that I typically experience when wearing socks with my winter boots. After testing my first pair last year, I went out and bought a whole sock drawer full and I see them as the perfect choice for a good long snowshoe.

Retail $16.00



Vasque  Pow Pow

The ultra-dry 8-inch Pow Pow has quickly become one of my favorite pair of winter boots, ever. Waterproof and surprisingly light-weight for a snow boot, at 2 lbs. 11 oz. it’s no surprise that it is quickly acquiring fans. This was the first time I have tested the higher ankle on a snow boot and I was very pleased with the outcome. With the combination of the height and the waterproof out-sole, there was no need for gaiters, and my feet were kept warm and dry without any chaffing or hot spots. The particular waterproofing treatment that Vasque chose for the Pow Pow allows sweat and heat to escape without compromising it’s ability to repel inclement weather. The extra ankle support also came in handy when the terrain got a little technical; it almost felt like I was wearing some sort of an ankle brace without feeling too restrictive. Waterproof nylon and suede panels increase the flexibility of the boot making them extremely comfortable for hiking as well as a wintry run to the store. EVA mid-soles give the boots a soft feel underfoot and were very wearable for all-day excursions. As an added bonus, Vasque included heel ledges for snowshoe straps and an aggressive tread for all-around winter usability. Having only had them for a month, I cannot attest to their long-term durability. I can tell you that I’ve worn them on multi-hour, wintery excursions a few times a week at least, and I can see no signs of premature wear. I’ve had no hesitation in recommending them to my friends. The Pow Pow is a women specific style available in three colors. Vasque does offer men’s styles with the same features, although probably less faux fur styling; sorry boys.

Retail $139.95


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About The Author

Jen has been doing triathlon for several years. She is a former bobsled pilot for America Samoa and has a passion for the outdoors; especially winter mountaineering. At home she is wife to a mountain obsessed husband and mother of three girls, but here at EnduranceReview, she is an author, Managing Editor and token chick.