Running with Reynaud’s; or how I keep warm in Winter

Running with Reynaud’s; or how I keep warm in Winter

Running with Reynaud's

Today I am linking with Marcia for her Tuesdays on the Run link up and the topic is Favourite Winter Running Gear.

I thought I’d take that topic and give it a little twist as my favourite winter running gear is all do to with Reynaud’s phenomenon and stopping my hands and feet from becoming incredibly painful when I run in the cold.

Don't let Reynaud's stop you running! Here's how @_RunningHappy keeps the blue fingers at bay. Click To Tweet

Reynaud’s is a fairly common condition where the small blood vessels in the extremities are over-sensitive to changes in temperature. This causes an attack where your fingers and toes, and for some people ears and noses, become very painful, go numb and change colour from a deathly white to a burning red and sometimes even blue. For most people it’s a manageable and mild condition but can be rather painful if your exercise of choice involves being outside in all weathers!

The first advice you will hear if you have Reynaud’s is to wear close fitting gloves. This is just as important when you are running. Your hands are exposed to wind, rain and temperature changes and the last thing you want are fingers so numb you can’t retie your shoe lace!

My current glove of choice is the Lululemon Run with Me gloves that I was given as a Christmas present last year. They are reasonably close fitting and have some wind resistance, ie they are great for running when the wind isn’t too strong, which for me is most of the time. There have been occasions when my trail has taken me along some exposed areas where the wind has been pushing me back and I’ve wished for an extra pair of gloves but generally they do a good job and I love the herringbone pattern.

My favourite running gloves
My favourite running gloves from Lululemon

My second recommendation is to look for the Goretex versions of your favourite trainers. Before I discovered Goretex coating there were times when my feet got so numb I spent half a run not quite feeling the ground, which isn’t good when running over uneven trails! The Goretex covering not only makes your trainers waterproof but also wind proof, which was the big problem for me.

The only downside is that they can get rather warm in the summer and if you do step in a puddle and water gets in there is nowhere for the water to escape. However, I’ve run through deep puddles and squelched through ankle deep mud and have managed to keep dry!

Goretex running shoes
I always get the Goretex version of my running shoes

My third recommendation is for a ruff/buff/multifunctional headwear. They can be used as ear warmers, balaclavas, hats, next warmers and wrist warmers. My Reynaud’s doesn’t affect my ears or nose but I feel that keeping them warm helps me keep warm all over.

And if you are going to be out running for a very long time then you might want to invest in some hand warmers which you can place in your pocket when you are not holding them. A lot of them are single use only, which isn’t very good for the environment, so do look out for reusable ones.

Do you suffer from Reynaud’s? Does the cold weather put you off from running outdoors?

Do you have any additional tips for keeping warm during winter running?


  • I buy those hot hands/toe warmer packets and slip them in my gloves and shoes to keep my hands and feet warm!

    • I didn’t know they did toe warmers! Will have to look out for them. Thanks.

  • I couldn’t agree more with wearing a Gore-Tex shoe for winter. SO much better than getting your feet soaked and the wind whistling right through.

    • I completely agree there! I was so pleased when I discovered them.

  • Thank you for explaining Reynauds. I think I know someone who has this and I don’t think they know it. I wanted to mention it to them but I forgot what it as called.

    • I didn’t know I had it for years. I’d get really painful hands and just thought everyone got the tingling redness when it got cold. There’s not much to do about it except taking precautions to prevent getting cold.

  • Have you ever tried layering your gloves under mittens? That would give an extra layer of protection. I have seen a lot of people duct-tape the toes of their shoes to keep the snow out…but I always wonder what happens to the snow that may sneak in around their ankles or over the tops of their shoes ?

    • What a good idea about wearing mittens, I’ve never thought of that. Thanks.

      I’ve not seen duct-tape used before but it would do the trick! Apart from sneaky snow going over the top. I suppose if you are in really deep snow then gaiters are what you need.

  • I am not sure if I have Reynauds but i have had my feet go numb and my fingers burn in the cold. If it is windy I usually put on two thin pairs of gloves and that seems to cut the cold for me, I like your Lulu’s!
    When I first started running I used my trail shoes in winter for that reason, that material is so much warmer 🙂

    • It sounds like you might do. Do your hands tingle painfully and go red as well, especially when warming up?

      There’s not much to do about it except prevent it from happening, so more layers might take be needed. I’m going to try Kimberly’s mitten idea.

      • I do get tingly sometimes. I have not tried mittens over gloves but I could when it gets early cold again 🙂

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