Tips for Running on Snow and Ice

Stay Safe When Running in Snow

If you'd like to run outside in the winter, but you worry about slipping and sliding on the snow and ice, there are still ways you can get outside and be safe. The usual cold weather running safety rules apply, but you also need to take some additional steps so you keep your feet warm and avoid slipping and falling. Here are some tips to stay safe and comfortable.

Wear a hat with a brim.

Asics Winter Running Hat
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

If it's snowing as you're running, wear a hat with a brim to keep the snow from hitting your face. There are winter running hats that come with a brim, such as this one from Asics (Buy on  If you don't have a hat like that, you can use a regular running hat with a brim and wear a fleece hat or headband over the hat to keep your head warm.

Use ice grippers.

Yaktrax Ice Grippers
Yaktrax Ice Grippers. Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

Yaktrax Ice Grippers (Buy on offer traction and confidence for winter running. They slip right over your running shoes, without adding any weight. The spikeless coils provide a solid, predictable grip so you don't slip or slide.

Try snowshoeing.

Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

Mix things up and try a different type of workout with a pair of snowshoes. If you can run, you can snowshoe. Many places that rent skiis also rent snowshoes, so you can try them out and see if you like snowshoeing before making an investment. I've also seen used snowshoes at tag sales and on sites such as, so you may be able to get an almost-new pair for a deal.

Get a pair of trail running shoes.

asics gel kahana trail running
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

If you do a lot of snow running, you may want to invest in some trail running shoes, which are somewhat water-proof and will give you a little more traction in the snow. You can still use them in the warmer months when you're running on trails.

Also see:

Put screws on your running shoes for traction.

Running & Jogging Forum member Allen has a great solution for running on the snow or ice. He secures hex-head screws on the soles of a pair of running shoes. Check out his YouTube video on how to make your own ice/snow running shoes.  

Use two pairs of socks.

Teko Evolution Womens Running Socks
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

If it's really cold, you may need to wear two pairs of socks –- one thinner (synthetic material) pair closest to your feet and a thicker (wool) pair over them. The one caveat for this strategy is that you have to be careful that your running shoes still fit properly with the extra layer. You may want to purchase another pair of running shoes that are a 1/2 size bigger than regular running shoes, so you have some extra room. To help prevent your feet from sweating too much, spray antiperspirant on them before you put your socks on.

Another option for keeping your feet warm is to use toe warmers in your running shoes.

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