Best Base Layers by Nike to Shop Now

Buying Guide

Shop these moisture-wicking base layers to keep the chill at bay in cold weather.

Last updated: February 12, 2024
5 min read
Best Base Layers by Nike for Cold Weather
The best base layer for cold weather feels like a second skin and has strong sweat-wicking properties for high-intensity workouts. Regulating body temperature is key to optimal performance. No one wants to feel frigid one minute and swathed in a heated blanket the next. Enter these expert layering techniques.

Invest in a sweat-wicking base layer — an article of clothing that fits snuggly — to keep you comfortable during high-intensity workouts and low-output activities alike. Layering can be especially crucial when the temperature drops, but it should be done properly. Haphazardly over-layering to stay warm in cold weather is not only bulky, but it can also make you uncomfortable. In some cases, you can start sweating — which is to be expected if you wear three shirts under a sweater. No one wants to feel like they are sprouting a leak as they hike uphill. That’s why you want to avoid loose garments like a basic cotton T-shirt in your layering approach.
Before you head outside, know that the best layer for skiing and the best layer for hiking could be different. Will you want something thermal with wool or a piece with a compression element? Here, you’ll find a guide to the best base layer options by Nike for cold weather.

What is the best base layer to keep warm in cold weather?

An optimal base layer won't just keep you warm, it should also allow you a free range of motion.

What’s more, you’ll want to ensure that the center of your body stays warm. Research shows that deep body temperature receptors are in your abdomen (surrounding your organs), spine, and around the thorax. You’ll want to focus on covering these areas when selecting the best base layer for cold weather. If you plan to be out as the temperature dips, picking up a pair of base layer bottoms is a good idea.

Nike Zenvy Women's Dri-FIT Long-Sleeve Top

For the trifecta effect, keep your body, neck, and arms warm with the Zenvy long-sleeved top. The lightweight base layer, made of InfinaSoft fabric, sports a raw-cut hem near the base of the throat, as well as thumb loops, making it perfect for wintry activities like skiing. The nylon-spandex fabric fits like a glove to give you unhindered movement.

Nike Alate Sports Bra Tank Top

By keeping the area around your abdomen warm, you’ll be maintaining proper body temperature. The Alate tank is a bit like armor, albeit stretchy. Thanks to the sewn-in bra, it feels streamlined, yet snug. Add it to your wardrobe if you’re out hiking in cold weather or doing hot yoga. The moisture-wicking fabric helps absorb it all so you never have to feel beads of sweat running down your core.

Nike Pro Men's Dri-FIT Tight Long-Sleeve Fitness Top

The Dri-FIT Tight long-sleeved top is similar to the sleeveless fitness top but is a step up for cold-weather activities. The style has extended hems, so you can tuck it in without worry of the shirt slipping out, even if your activities require a wide range of motion. Flat seams are a bonus for a form-fitting base layer that feels as if it’s not there at all.

Nike Pro Tights and Leggings

Looking to stay active in cold weather without freezing your bum? Check out some form-fitting base layer bottoms. The Nike Pro comes in Men’s Dri-FIT Fitness Tights and Women’s Midrise Graphic Training Leggings, which are lauded for their slim but still stretchy fit so you can move to your full potential. The smooth fabric feels buttery and boasts moisture-wicking qualities — which also means quick-drying — thanks to the Dri-FIT technology. You’ll love that the soft waistband won’t gap, making this base layer feel like a second skin. Note that these products are made with at least 75% recycled polyester fibers — which is spun from plastic bottle pellets.

Which base layer is the best for cold weather?

Wearing a base layer will help you stay warm, but if you’re planning to be out in extremely cold weather, you might want to consider a thermal base layer. Clothing that fits into the thermal category is often made with wool, and its goal is to retain heat. Nike combines both Dri-FIT technology and warmth with these beat-the-cold base layer pieces.

Nike Swift Wool Running Top

Keep yourself warm from within. The Swift running top is made with 50% wool so you can stay cozy even on the most wintery days. Think of it as your personal temperature control — the top helps regulate your body temperature. You'll feel as comfortable wearing this base layer under a sweater for a casual hike as you would engaging in a high-output activity. The combo of Dri-FIT technology and wool is what will help make you feel dry.

Nike Therma-FIT Swift Element

Layer your base layer long-sleeved top under this heat-regulating Therma-FIT Swift Element turtleneck. The technology works with your body temperature to help keep you comfortable, yet it won’t leave you dripping with sweat underneath. Should you brave the extreme cold, the thumb loops and the roll-up collar act like a shield against the elements.

Nike ACG "Winter Wolf"

To help keep your legs from feeling numb, give ACG “Winter Wolf" a go. Made with Polartec® fabric and using Therma-FIT technology, the form-fitting leggings act as serious winter gear without the bulk. The full-length, high-waisted leggings with a drawstring waist feel snug with just the right give so you can exercise in stride.

Words by Yelena Alpert

Originally published: February 1, 2024

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