skida hat

The Best Cold-Weather Gear to Help You Still Get Your Steps In

The cold weather can certainly make it hard to get out the door to get your steps in, but if you have the right gear, it's easier. Here are our top picks for jackets, pants, socks, shoes, hats and more to help you still get your steps in—even on the coldest of days.
Victoria Seaver, M.S., RD
December 02, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Walking is one of the best forms of low-impact exercise out there, with research crediting it as a healthy strategy to lower blood sugar, protect your heart and ultimately help you live a longer, happier life. That being said, when the temperature dips, it can be hard to get outside to walk. But with the right gear, it's much easier! Here's our favorite cold weather gear, from hats to shoes, to help you brave the cold and get in your steps—no matter the temperature.

Hats and Neckwarmers

Hats are an essential part of your cold-gear setup and with Skida, a Vermont-made brand, your hat will be both stylish and warm. The cool designs and cozy fabric are sure to keep your noggin warm and toasty. Pair it with one of their neckwarmers and you'll be extra warm on your stroll (and protect your face from snow and harsh wind). Another favorite is the knitted Smart Wool hat below. It's soft, warm, colorful and a fun addition to your winter wardrobe.

Skida Alpine Hat
$28.80
($36.00 save 20%)
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backcountry.com
Skida Alpine Neckwarmer
$22.40
($28.00 save 20%)
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backcountry.com
Smart Wool Isto Retro Beanie
$38.00
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Amazon

Mittens and Gloves

When the temperature dips down low, you'll want some mittens or gloves to keep your hands protected from frostbite and other elements. These water-repellent Dakine mittens also come with lightweight gloves, so you can double up on cold days or go for the light gloves on warmer days. Another ultra-warm option is Kinco's heavy-duty suede mittens with insulated lining.

DAKINE Sequoia GORE-TEX Mittens
$70.00
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rei.com
Kinco Heavy-Duty Suede Mittens
$44.73
($58.99 save 24%)
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rei.com

Socks and Shoes

Another Vermont-made company, Darn Tough makes some really warm, stylish wool socks. These are just one of the many designs and colors available. The wool helps to keep your feet warm and dry, no matter the season. If I were you, I'd get a few pairs—they're so cozy, you'll want to wear them even when you're not outside.

And, of course, you'll need a good pair of waterproof boots or shoes. If you live in regions where it snows often, I'd go with the classic L.L.Bean Boot. It's *the* boot for winter and with the flannel lining, it'll keep your feet extra warm. If you deal more with rain in the winter, you could go for something lighter but still just as waterproof, like the North Face sneaker below.

Darn Tough Treeline Micro Crew Cushion Sock
$22.95
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Amazon
Women's 8" Bean Boots, Tumbled-Leather Flannel-Lined
$159.00
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llbean.com
The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack II Waterproof Sneaker
$119.00
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zappos.com

Baselayers

A warm baselayer is key in keeping you toasty during your walk and, at the same time, the breathable fabric will keep you cool if you do happen to get a sweat going. A long-sleeved top and leggings are a good place to start. You can go for full length workout pants or upgrade to a pair of fleece-lined leggings, which do wonders to keep your lower half warm. Wear them on their own on warmer, dry days or under waterproof pants in wet weather.

Stoic Midweight Crew Baselayer Top
$29.97
($49.95 save 40%)
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backcountry.com
Ultra High Rise Elation Tight
$89.00
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athleta.com
Fleect-Lined Altitude Tight in Polartec Power Stretch
$98.00
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athleta.com

Coats, Vests and Water-Repellent Pants

A warm coat and water-repellent pants are just what you need to finish off your cold-weather wardrobe. Depending on just how cold your region gets in the winter, you could opt for a rain jacket or ″shell″, which is a water-repellent coat without any insulation, that can be worn over a warm coat you already own. Or if you're in the market for an insulated winter jacket, the North Face parka does the trick. Is it an investment? Sure, but you'll use it for years to come. I have this exact coat and have been using it for 7 years now, with no issues.

Also, don't overlook the warming power of a good vest. I personally wear my a vest all winter long, inside and out. And lastly, if you have a warm baselayer, simple snow pants, with some insulation and a water-repellent outer fabric—like the ones below—will do the trick.

Backcountry Stretch Rain Jacket
$86.77
($179.95 save 52%)
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backcountry.com
The North Face Arctic Down Parka
$298.95
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backcountry.com
Stoic Reversible Insulated Vest
$35.97
($59.95 save 40%)
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backcountry.com
Stoic Ski Pant
$59.97
($99.95 save 40%)
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backcountry.com

Hand and Toe Warmers

You know those days where you're still cold, even with all you gear on? That's when hand and toe warmers come in handy. They can really help you feel comfortable enough to get out and still get your steps in. Get a pack of each and they should last you the whole winter.

Hot Hands Hand Warmers
$25.98
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Amazon
Hot Hands Toe Warmers
$31.89
($34.00 save 6%)
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Amazon