Best Cold Weather Soccer Gear: How to Stay Warm and Agile on the Field in 2024

Besides Christmas, the winter season is a joy for us soccer players!

Why? Because we finally get to wear our cold-weather gear that makes the biting cold a little more bearable.

Other than the cleats, everything changes in the cold weather.

If you want to know the best way to protect yourself from the cold while playing soccer, let’s look at the best cold-weather soccer gear of 2024.

My Checklist:

  • Undershirts
  • Drill Tops
  • Sport Leggings/Tights
  • Jackets
  • Gloves
  • Neck Warmer
  • Face Shield
  • Hat
  • Sport Pants
  • Thermal Sport Socks

The Essential Cold Weather Soccer Gear List

When wearing cold-weather soccer gear, you should aim for durable materials and high-quality materials that are designed for sports (sweat-proof).

It’s also important to know how to wear them right to not feel overwhelmed with clothes.

Materials that aren’t sweat-proof will get drenched, and it will feel like you’re in a sauna trying to play soccer…

best cold weather soccer gear: explanation why it's important to get gear

1. Undershirts

Undershirts are the best creation for athletes to protect their upper body from the cold. Lightweight and good-looking, they are one of my favorite items to wear.

Undershirts are base layers that provide insulation without adding bulk. The key is to find one that properly fits your body, and is also elastic.

You don’t ever want to feel restricted in an undershirt.

Also, the undershirt should feel comfortable. I can’t imagine dribbling a soccer ball and wanting to itch myself…Poor quality materials can lead to itching, as well as overheating or insufficient warmth.

Usually, undershirts made from polyester are what you should aim for.

Recommendation: Go for moisture-wicking, thermal fabrics.

My Picks

Nike Compression Shirts

Under Armour Compression Shirts

2. Drill Tops

Drill tops are overshirts that are slim fit and protective! Contrary to jackets, the drill tops only have half zippers and no hood, designed specifically for training.

Key features to consider are flexible materials for unrestricted movement, a breathable design to prevent overheating, and moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry.

A good drill top should fit snugly, not tightly, allowing you to layer underneath without feeling restricted…exactly how soccer cleats should fit your foot.

Most importantly, they look and feel great to play with.

Recommendation: Look for a drill top that is lightweight yet insulated.

My Picks

KING Pro Men’s Quarter-zip Top

Nike Culture of Football Standard Issue

3. Sport Leggings/ Tights

difference between sport leggings and tights

Sports leggings offer warmth for your legs while allowing a full range of motion. You can wear them under your shorts and you forget about them.

Sports leggings are a must for winter soccer players, and good-quality tights can make you forget it’s cold outside.

Poor-quality tights will itch and limit your range of motion, and make you feel like your legs are dipped in a cold plunge.

I tried buying cheap tights once and they either limited me so much or simply tore after 1 week of usage.

Don’t forget that tights need to fit well to avoid discomfort, as well as be flexible and hug your muscles tightly.

Recommendation: Ensure a snug, but not restrictive, fit.

My Picks

Men’s HeatGear® Leggings

Related Article

4. Jackets

A jacket is a great addition to cold-weather soccer training. There are 3 options for you when it comes to jackets. Let us look at them:

  • Rain Jackets: Offer warmth, but most importantly waterproof.

  • Track Jackets: Lightweight and great for playing.

  • Normal Jacket: Perfect for pre-game, halftime, and post-game.

Depending on their purpose, jackets will serve you well. For training, rain and track jackets are your best options for a lightweight feel.

Normal jackets are good for when you are outside but aren’t playing. I tried playing with a normal jacket once during a shooting drill, and I can’t stress how annoying it felt, and how it disturbed my play.

Recommendation: Opt for lightweight, insulated jackets for training.

My Picks

TIRO 23 LEAGUE TRAINING JACKET

5. Gloves

Gloves are an obvious choice when playing in cold weather. They keep your hands warm and responsive, and protect you from frostbites.

Who doesn’t want to feel like Prime Thiery Henry with the Nike Gloves anyway, right?

The best soccer gloves you can buy are sports gloves. I tried buying regular winter gloves, and all they did was limit my hands and feel overwhelmed.

Winter gloves are heavy but not tight, meaning you will sweat underneath and be very humid in there…and if cold air gets in, then it’s game over.

Instead, sports gloves are sweatproof, tight, and leave no room for humidity, which is what you want in cold gear.

Recommendation: Select gloves with grip-friendly palms and flexible material.

My Picks

TERREX GORE-TEX WINDSTOPPER GLOVES

6. Neck Warmers

Neck Warmers are one of my favorite cold-weather equipment in my soccer training equipment bag.

Neck warmers provide essential warmth around your neck, a key area where heat escapes. There is nothing worse than that cold air slapping on your neck.

Besides keeping your neck warm, you can raise them to just under your eyes, from your chin down, or use them around your ears.

Recommendation: Opt for a lightweight, breathable fabric that offers warmth without bulk.

My Picks

Alpinestars Neck Warmer Base Layer Headband

7. Face Shields

Face Shields are awesome for soccer players. They are everything the neck warmer offers, with the addition of protecting your face from biting winds, cold, or even snow.

Just make sure your face shield doesn’t hurt your visibility…imagine paying soccer and not seeing the soccer ball.

You look like a ninja, you are protected, and your visibility isn’t hurt…what more could you ask for?

The only downside of a face shield is that it hurts verbal communication on the field.

Recommendation: Choose a face shield that allows for easy breathing and doesn’t muffle your voice.

My Picks

Nike Winter Warrior

8. Hats

difference between hats, neck warmers and face shields.

Hats are another option to protect yourself from the brutal cold of the winter.

Hats are great because their main function is to protect your ears, a part of your body that absolutely hates the cold.

Hats are also vital for retaining body heat, as a significant amount of heat loss occurs through the head.

Watch out for the wrong-sized hats… they can slip off during vigorous play.

Recommendation: Look for snug-fitting hats that cover your ears.

My Picks

Nike Dri-FIT Terra

9. Sports Pants

Sport pants are great alternatives for the tights-short combo. They provide additional layering for your lower body.

Other than looking good, a good pair of sports pants should feel elastic and lightweight, yet still protect you from low temperatures.

Soccer pants should be flexible to accomodate your body in its full range of motion so that when you are performing your shooting drills, you don’t feel restricted.

Remember, when it comes to pants or any extra layers for that matter, always aim to satisfy comfort and warmth. You can’t have one without the other.

Recommendation: Look for slim-fit, thermal pants.

My Picks

teamLIGA Training Men’s Football Pants

The Puma Football pants are great on and off the field. They are sweatproof and are made of polyester for extra flexibility.

10. Thermal Sport Socks

We,soccer players, already wear high socks while we play. However, you can get extra thick socks to protect yourself even more from the cold.

High socks can protect your lower legs and complement shin guards.

If you plan on using thicker socks for the winter, make sure your shoes are happy with that. The way cleats are designed these days, they are so perfectly fit that extra-thick socks can strangle your feet.

Recommendation: Choose socks with thermal properties.

Why Choosing the Right Gear Matters

When the temperature drops, your body has to work harder to stay warm, which can drain your energy.

The right cold-weather soccer gear not only keeps you warm but also ensures that you can move freely and maintain your agility.

We’re not just talking about comfort; we’re talking about maintaining your peak performance even in challenging conditions…almost as if you could play better with these gears.

Choosing the wrong gear will sometimes hurt you more than help you! I have tried buying regular winter gear to save money, and they ended up not helping at all.

The key: don’t be afraid to invest in great gear for performance. You won’t regret it!

Additional Tips for Cold Weather Soccer

cold weather gear spectrum: balancing comfort and warmth.

Layering: When playing in the cold, layering is a great way to protect yourself. My guide is 2 layers for 5 degrees C to 10 Degrees C and 3 layers for anything lower.

I find 4 layers to be too much, but it all depends on the individual.

Stay Dry: Wet conditions can make cold weather even more challenging. Look for water-resistant outer layers to stay dry.

There is nothing worse than having too many layers and they get wet…you will feel so heavy.

Flexibility: Ensure your gear allows for a full range of motion. Test your gear in some soccer-specific movements before hitting the field.

Look at the materials for guidance. Look for polyester material, and make sure the item you get is stretchy to some degree.

Pre-Game Preparation: Keep your muscles warm with dynamic stretching and an active warm-up.

This is important because once you start moving, your body gets heated from the activity and you no longer feel as cold. You can save yourself some layers like that.

Of course, once you finish training in the cold, get yourself warm with either a jacket or an extra layer to avoid getting sick.

FAQ: All You Need to Know About Cold Weather Soccer Gear

1. How do I balance warmth and mobility in cold-weather soccer gear?

Choose lightweight, thermal materials that offer insulation without bulk.

2. How can I ensure my face shield doesn’t hinder communication?

Select a breathable material that doesn’t muffle your voice.

3. Are thermal undershirts necessary?

Yes, they provide essential base-layer warmth without adding bulk.

4. Can regular leggings be used as sports leggings?

It’s best to use sport-specific leggings for better movement and warmth.

5. How important are high socks in cold weather gear?

They’re crucial for lower leg warmth and comfort, especially with shin guards.

6. Should jackets be worn during play?

Jackets are best used during warm-up and breaks to maintain body temperature.

Rain jackets and Track jackets could be used during play. The best alternative is to wear drill tops, which protect against the cold and are lightweight.

7. What type of sports pants are suitable for cold weather?

Opt for thermal, slim-fit pants that allow for agility.

8. Can cold weather gear improve performance?

You can maintain peak performance by keeping you warm and agile. Playing in the cold is challenging, and maintaining the balance between comfort and warmness is key.

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