Part 4 - Jackets

What to Wear When Cold Colder Coldest

Welcome Back Fleet Feet Friends

Today we are onto Part 4 - Jackets. As noted in the prior 3 newsletters, this week we will be sending out mini education debriefings on what to wear when cold colder coldest. When living in Upstate NY, you need to find a way to remain active all year. This educational debrief will help teach you on what to wear so you can walk or run outdoors all cold weather season long. The Fleet Feet Team is always ready to help you in store to find the right gear for you.

If you are just joining us, below you will find the links to the prior three articles

on your feet, bottoms and tops.

Read on for some more tips.

We have covered Your Feet, Bottoms Tops.

Today we discuss Outerwear aka


Three Season Types & Warmest Types

To Recap from prior articles, typically when seeking the correct cold weather apparel you do not want COTTON. In the run industry, we say Cotton in Rotten for exercise because it holds moisture, remains wet, gets heavy, can chafe and will not move moisture away from the body.


As a reminder cold weather gear construction is not like making shorts, short sleeves or tanks for the warm months. The craftmanship that goes into making cold weather gear is tremendous especially jackets, and as such it will last a long long time, especially if you make the proper investments in it. So, please do not fear what the price tag may say, because these pieces last years, thus it is money well spent on your health, your safety and your wardrobe. In addition, when you see the detailing of this gear, you can see how much effort goes into thinking about the pocketing, the fabric layering, the pattern, zippers, reflective touches etc... We hand pick every piece that is on our floor to serve your needs. Therefore we take everything into consideration when making sure we have the correct gear in our stores for you.

When discussing jackets there is truly a bounty of options but we will break it down to two styles. Three Season Style Jackets which are more wind/rain repellant and Warmest of Jackets which have various fabrications to block wind, deter cold and keep you warmest of warm.

Jacket Sizing:

We touched on the sizing conversation while discussing bottoms, but to bring it back, when it comes to Jackets the same thing applies. Men can wear Women's and Women's can wear Men's jackets simply because the sizing fits better. And some styles are truly identical so you can not tell at all the difference. Often taller women or wider hipped women feel way more comfortable in a men's cut jacket and that is ok. We want you to be comfortable and for it to fit you right. Likewise shorter or slighter men will get a better fit with a women's cut jacket.


The Vest is such a unique apparel item for Cold, Colder, Coldest. It's quite versatile as you can wear it for work or play.

With respective to play, aka exercise, this piece is phenomenal to keep your core warm, but allows for your arms to have movement flexibility. Ideal for Fall, Winter and Spring (Three Seasons) as long as your arms are covered and warm enough. Great for when temps are considered cold or colder and very little wind and no precipitation. An excellent add to the cold weather wardrobe toolkit.

Three Season Jackets

In the Tops Segment I discussed the most important garment for cold weather is the baselayer. The Three Season Jacket is number two on the list of items behind the baselayer to have in your wardrobe.


  • The Three Season Jacket is typically a wind and water resistant piece that you can wear for Fall, Winter and Spring. Therefore you get a lot of use out of it for most of the year. Some styles of this can also be worn in the summer on rainy days, that's how versatile they are
  • For those who run "hot" as described in the Tops and Bottoms Segments, the Three Season Jacket is often the jacket you wear even in the coldest of conditions. Those who run "cold" can use this for all three seasons as well even in cold temps if the wind isn't too bad and you are layered underneath well with a baselayer and/or midlayer.

Three Season Jacket Benefits/Features

  • The Three Season Jacket typically is a polyester type fabric called nylon. Nylon helps repel the wind and the rain. Now, these jackets aren't always waterproof because that requires the seams to be what's called sealed, so the rain does not come in. We do have one waterproof style, but interestingly it isn't as common in these parts to wear because the regular nylon shell works just as well for our conditions. Plus you only get wet once.
  • Indeed go for the jacket you find most aesthetically pleasing, but also go with fit. Some may have a boxier cut than others so try them on.
  • Three Season Jackets can also have different weights to them. Meaning some can be super light and very packable. Packable means it can roll up into a ball and easily be placed in a pocket. It truly depends on how "hot" or "cold" you run, the fit and what features you want.

Here are just some examples of Three Season Jackets

you can find at Fleet Feet.

The left picture are various women's styles and the right are men's.

The staff can certainly assist in helping guide you through the options.

As you can see Three Season Jackets run all over the board, some hooded, some anorak, the jaguars and sloths are specifically unisex, some thinner, some thicker. But they all function perfectly as a Three Season Jacket.

Warmest Jackets

The warmest of jackets is very important for the colder and coldest of temperatures. Recall us mentioning keeping your core warm, well indeed, in the lower temps, this type of jacket will do the trick.

What makes for a "Warmest type of Jacket"?

These too come with varying properties, but the bells and whistles (aka craftmanship) on this type of jacket increases tremendously. First, the fabric is thicker and perhaps "two ply" Meaning it will have a brushed lining with a nylon front to protect from wind. Some are "lofted" or "quilted" to add extra warmth, while not impacting the fit so it's not like you are wearing a bed comforter. You can still move your arms and the body of it is flexible to fit all and any curves of your body frame.

Warmest of Jackets come into play in the following conditions:

  • Frankly, when it's "winter" outside. Temps are low. It's snowing. There's wind.
  • If you tend to run "cold" you may even wear this in the 30s and low 40s depending on the real feel and wind outside.

How to layer with the Warmest Jacket?

  • This truly is often dependent on if you run "cold" or "hot". If you run "cold and it's sub 25 outside, you may need a baselayer and midlayer. Test it out. Keep in mind you will warm up as you exercise. You warm up more when you run than when you walk. So walkers may need to bundle more.
  • If you run "hot" you likely will just need a baselayer under this weight jacket in the coldest of temps..

Overall Acclimation to Cold

It takes less time to acclimate to cold than it does to summer heat. Plan for about a week. The difference between the two acclimations is that summer heat can immediately affect your performance and ability to workout hard or fast or long. Whereby, cold weather affects your breathing and how your lungs feel, but performance isn't impacted as much unless you aren't dressed properly. If you are cold in the cold and don't have warm gear on, you remain cold and get colder. If you get warmer in the cold and have warm gear on, you can shed layers to cool yourself off and feel fine. Often people feel a metalicky taste in their mouth when they first acclimate to the cold. It goes away. It's basically your lungs responding to the temps. Something that can help and especially if you have asthma is to wear a gaiter. This will allow cold air to get a little warmer as it enters your airway We will discuss Accessories in Part 5.

PSA - if you do have asthma, no matter hot or cold out, always always always carry your puffer.

Above are some examples of Warmer Jackets at Fleet Feet.

Women's on the left, Men's on the Right

But again you don't need to stay with your gender type jacket.

Warmer Jackets have so many unique functionality options from reflective outers, lofting in areas, wind shields in areas, hoods or no hood, special cuffing at the wrist, special pocketing, some are lofted but can even pack up into a pocket if you get too warm mid workout.

Certainly try various ones on for fit and comfort.

Thank you for reading Part 4, the debrief on the types of Jackets and the benefits of each style. As always, the Fleet Feet Team is ready to help! Stop in anytime. We want to help you remain outdoors all cold season long.

In Part 5 - we will discuss accessories and safety and the various types to wear based on weather conditions.

If you missed Part 1, 2, 3 - see below for the link.

Regards, The Team at Fleet Feet

Part 1 - Your Feet (What to Wear when Cold, Colder, Coldest)

You can view Part 1 here:

Part 2 - Bottoms (What to Wear when Cold, Colder, Coldest)

You can view Part 2 here:

Part 3 - Tops (Midlayers/Baselayers) What to Wear When Cold, Colder, Coldest

You can view Part 3 here:

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