Lots of people ask me about my favourite outdoor clothing brands. I am lucky in my work because I get to try many clothes, including those for running, cycling, swimming, walking, skiing and snowboarding. I am a tall size 10. I have long arms and legs so I like lots of length in clothes. I have long and narrow feet. When I am trying on clothes it’s fit and practicalities that come before looks, but these days many designs are so lovely that it is possible to choose clothes that fit well and look good.
What I’m wearing for running this winter
My favourite running tights are Helly Hansen Pace tights. They fit well, stay up when running and they are the right weight for most winter runs. I like the wee zips at the back of the ankles and the small zipped pocket for carrying my car key. I also love the look and design of the two-way colour scheme.
My favourite winter running top is the Kalenji Kiprun warm running jersey from Decathlon. I love how the designers for this store think of everything. The top has wonderful soft-on-the-skin stretch fabric and an extra long collar zip so it is easy to pull on yet still snug to wear. Thumb loops keep my hands warm when temperatures drop and for times when my hands are super cold, the ends of the sleeves can be turned into cosy mittens. The running top also has a zipped smartphone pocket and two key pockets.
Inov-8 still score as my favourite off-road running trainers, although I do also like the Salomon Speedcross 3s. My current Inov-8s of choice are the ladies Roclite 268 trail shoes. Superb grip and the right amount of “feel” for the ground give me confidence and speed o a variety of off-road terrains. The women’s fit is great for my size UK8s.
What I’m wearing for cycling this winter
Comfort while cycling in winter requires a balance of “keep warm” and “let the sweat out” clothing. My current favourites are Gore Power 2.0 Thermo Lady Jersey. See my review on MyOutdoors. It’s bright, warm and has lots of great features and details.
For leg warmth the Gore Women’s Oxygen Windstopper tights are hard to beat. I am also a big fan of Assos winter cycling tights, although mine are so old that I can’t recall the name of them.
When it’s raining a Gore Oxygen Active Gore-Tex jacket is a winner. (Are you seeing a bit of a Gore Bike Wear pattern here? Gore kit fits me very well and I like all the features and details.)
Keeping my hands warm is a continual cycling nightmare. So for the winter hasn’t been too chilly and I’ve been impressed with the SealSkinz Ladies Winter Cycling glove for warmth. I add the Sealskinz cycling shoes covers for extra foot warmth.
What I’m wearing for walking this winter
When it’s very cold in the hills I’ll start with the fabulous Patagonia Capilene 4 Expedition weight one-piece suit.
For socks I really like the Darn Tough socks that are making their way from America to the UK. They come with a lifetime guarantee so I will be trying to wear them out!
Arc’teryx, Helly Hansen and Jack Wolfskin are the brands that I most like for winter walking kit.
Arc’teryx might be pricey but the fit is perfect, especially the women’s designs. Their attention to detail in items such as the women’s Gamma walking trousers (see my review) and the women’s waterproof jackets is superb.
Helly Hansen also have some great new insulated jackets for women in really flattering fits. As one of my friends, who is also tall, slim and with long arms, said: “I keep trying on jackets, such as The North Face, because I like the look of them in shops, but they just don’t fit me well. The Helly Hansen jackets, like the Helly Hansen Verglas hoodie, have long arms, a long torso and a slim fit. So perfect!” I couldn’t agree more.
Jack Wolfskin have really upped their game in recent years. Their designs are fresh, colourful, thoughtful and they are a great fit, too.
When it comes to walking boots I have tried many but I always come back toLa Spotiva Trangos. Lightweight (for winter boots), slim fit and with great grip.
Tell me about your favourite kit and brands for winter sports.