The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

Lockdown rules: Everything you need to stay warm and stylish during winter walks

Don’t miss out on your daily exercise quota or the chance to socialise alfresco with these cold-weather essentials

Sarah Young
Thursday 07 January 2021 10:56 GMT
Embrace the elements during lockdown 3.0 by wrapping up and heading outside
Embrace the elements during lockdown 3.0 by wrapping up and heading outside (iStock/The Independent)

The third national lockdown has commenced in England, forcing everyone to stay at home as much as possible until at least mid-February.

And, while many of us have become accustomed to spending more time indoors, this lockdown could prove harder for some as it’s taking place in the bleak midwinter, meaning any socially distanced outdoor activities will look very different to those of spring and summer.

With brisk walks set to be the sum-total of our social lives, it’s important not to give up as the temperatures plummet – instead, it’s time to invest in essential gear that will keep you warm.

If you’re up for embracing the elements on an adventurous hike or lap round your local park, we’ve found everything you need before stepping outdoors, from comfortable boots and padded jackets to cosy cashmere jumpers and headphones.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.



One of the key elements to staying warm in the great outdoors is layering, allowing you to trap in warmth without overheating. In addition to concealed base layers, like a thermal vest or long-sleeved T-shirt, a cosy knit will do the real warming work during the winter months and, if you pick the right one, it can also look effortlessly stylish peaking through your overcoat.

A cashmere jumper is as timeless as a leather jacket or LBD, so investing in one promises to provide a long-term touch of luxury to your wardrobe. In our guide to the best cashmere jumpers, this oatmeal-coloured scoop neck knit (£150, Arket) was praised by our reviewer for being an affordable alternative to similar designer versions by the likes of Stella McCartney and Isabel Marant.

“This scoop neck cashmere jumper is made from recycled materials, a true testament to the longevity of cashmere as a material and the matching wide leg trousers make it a ‘work from anywhere’ no brainer,” they said.


For an extra layer, a padded gilet is also a wise investment. No longer just for country club members and Sloane rangers, this sleek vest from Nobis (£325, Nobis) featured highly in our round-up of the best women’s mid-layers. The form-fitting gilet was described by our reviewer as packing a “performance punch”, and they were especially impressed with how breathable it felt, making it ideal for changeable conditions.


When it comes to your bottom half, we recommend opting for comfort above all else and giving your loungewear the outing it deserves. In our round-up of the best women’s joggers, our reviewer highlighted this oversized pair from Nicce (£40, Nicce), which come with a fleece lining and side pockets with zippers to hold your phone or hand sanitiser. They also come in six colours, so there’s a style for everyone.



Whether you’re a regular hiker or simply want to get out for a quick walk on your lunch break, investing in the right footwear will help you make the most of your time outside.

To combat the wet and soggy terrain of lockdown 3.0, your boots need to be both warm and versatile, while those looking to ramble will benefit from a thicker sole. For serious hikes, we loved this pair of forclaz mountain trekking boots (£79.99, Decathlon) in our round-up of the best women’s walking boots. Our reviewer praised them for being fully waterproof and coming equipped with sturdy soles that will ensure you stay comfortable during a full-day session. “If you need sturdy, winter-appropriate shoes and don’t want to break the bank, this is the pair to pick,” they said.


If you’re looking for a pair more suited to casual walks, we recommend these leather ankle boots (£90, Fitflop), which are from the same brand that featured in our hiking round-up. While they aren’t as chunky, they are made with two layers of cushioned sole, which has been designed to reduce underfoot pressure.

Alternatively, look to Ugg, the footwear brand which reached fashion heights in the Noughties. Casual Uggs have seen a resurgence during lockdown, but they also offer a range of waterproof walking boots like this pair of yose boots (£145, Ugg), which have been designed to withstand temperatures as low as -32C and feature an innovative outsole for enhanced traction in icy conditions.


(Seasalt Cornwall)

If you’re planning on enjoying long walks in the crisp, wintery outdoors, you’re going to need a jacket that not only looks good but also keeps you warm without causing you to overheat.

Perhaps the comfiest invention of all fashion trends, the puffer jacket reigns over all other outerwear. In our round-up of the best women’s winter coats, our reviewer loved this cocoon parka (£59.90, Uniqlo), which is made from a 90 per cent down and 10 per cent feather blend, making it lightweight but undeniably warm.

“The oversized fit creates a stylish, boxy look, and the hood will be welcomed during cold winter walks. Thanks to it being water repellent, it’ll keep your dry during light showers, but we wouldn’t recommend this during heavy downpours,” wrote our reviewer.


However, if you prefer to cosy up with several light layers, opt instead for a waterproof jacket. Our favourite is this Seasalt Cornwall plant hunter coat (£150, Seasalt Cornwall), which featured in our guide to the best waterproof jackets for women.

Our reviewer said the coat “performed brilliantly” in storms thanks to being waterproofed with Nikwax, and that it managed to keep them warm with its cosy cotton lining that felt “far nicer worn next to skin than other plasticky coats”.


(Pas Normal Studios)

A cosy pair of gloves is perhaps one of the most important elements of your cold-weather ensemble. For a pair that combines technical fabrics and good aesthetics, we recommend this pair of control mid gloves (£76.25, Pas Normal Studios) from Danish brand Pas Normal Studios, which featured in our guide to the best cycling gloves.

While they are designed with cyclists in mind, the gloves would work just as well to combat the cold during long walks, with our reviewer praising their fleece lining as “sufficiently thick to keep hands warm on even the frostiest of descents”.

In addition to warm clothing, there are other items you might find useful when heading outside, such as a reusable coffee cup. A great way to cut down on single plastics while enjoying a hot drink, we recommend investing in a thermal keepcup (£26, KeepCup), which came out top in our review of the best ones out there. 

Our reviewer said the cup kept their drink hot for hours but remained cool enough to hold, and commended the brand’s sustainability credentials. “We particularly like that you can buy replacement parts for your KeepCup, which is much less wasteful than buying a whole new one. Throw in loads of choice across colour, finish and size, and you’re onto a winner,” they said.


If you prefer to walk solo, why not enjoy singing along to your favourite album or catching up on a podcast? For listening on-the-go, we recommend investing in a pair of Apple airpods pro (£249, Apple). The in-ear headphones were our top pick in our review of the best wireless earbuds, with the reviewer pointing out that, while they are costly, they are “very hard to beat”.

“Apple’s deluxe in-ears, airpods pro, were released last year and offer the best noise-cancelling in any in-ear headphones. The earbuds fit the ears perfectly, with a near-spherical part nestling in the ear comfortably and securely,” they wrote.

For more lockdown fashion inspiration, read our guide to the best loungewear pieces 

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in