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8 Winter Running Hats to Keep You Warm on Cold Runs

Stay cozy during winter training with these top-rated accessories.

best winter running hats
Staff: Courtesy of Trailheads

Is it crazy to run when the temperature dips below freezing? When snowpocalypse season lays siege to half the country and the “real feel” index makes Antarctica sound like a reasonable vacation spot, you might be forgiven for hitting the treadmill. But some hardy souls are motivated by the crisp air, bright light, and in-it-together camaraderie of running in the cold—it beats sweating through humidity, they say. And truly, if you layer up properly in warm, sweat-wicking gear, you probably can tolerate temperatures colder than you realize. (Don’t overdress, however, or you’ll overheat, and as your sweat chills, you risk hypothermia. You should feel slightly cold when you first step outside and warm up within 10 minutes.)

The Best Winter Running Hats

      Keep Your Top Toasty

      The myth of losing 50 percent of your body heat through your head was long ago busted, but it sprang from seeds of truth: If your head is cold, you will be, too. We tapped into a community of like-minded pals who run through all the elements winter throws down to find the best beanies to see you through until spring. The perfect hat will keep you toasty warm while wicking sweat to keep you dry; look for one that covers your ears and stays securely on without squeezing your forehead. And then get out there: You’ll be happier and healthier, just like the other cold-weather-loving crazies.

      How We Selected

      Marathon training through a Northeast winter doesn’t so much take grit as it takes good gear—including the perfect warm, but-not-too-warm beanie to coax you toward the door on those mornings when you’d rather stay under the covers than run in the snow. To make this list of top winter hats, we relied on our own experience running in frigid Pennsylvania winters, as well as tested reviews by trusted sources. We all put a great deal of trial and error into selecting and testing the best hats here; but for the sake of thoroughness, we also scoured Amazon reviews for pros and cons of models we might have missed. Here are our recommendations.

      Check out some more of our favorite cold weather gear like gloves, gaiters, and warm socks.

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      1
      Best Overall
      Tough Headwear
      Running Beanie

      Key Specs

      Materials Polyester, spandex
      Recommended Temp Range 10° F to 40° F
      2
      Best for Single Digit Temps
      Carhartt
      Fleece 2-In-1 Headwear

      Key Specs

      Materials polyester
      Recommended Temps 0° F to 20° F
      3
      Best Design
      Carhartt
      Lookout Beanie Hat

      Key Specs

      Materials acrylic
      Recommended Temps 0°F to 32° F
      4
      Coziest
      Smartwool
      250 Beanie

      Key Specs

      Materials Merino wool
      Recommended Temp Range 0° F to 32° F
      5
      Best for Sunny, Below-Freezing Days
      TrailHeads
      Ponytail Hat

      Key Specs

      Materials Polyester, spandex
      Recommended Temp Range 0° F to 32° F
      6
      Best Winter Race Cap
      New Balance
      Lightweight Skullcap

      Key Specs

      Materials Polyester jersey material
      Recommended Temp Range 20° F to 35° F
      7
      Best Full Coverage Warmth
      TrailHeads
      Men’s Fleece Ball Cap

      Key Specs

      Materials Polyester fleece, spandex
      Recommended Temp Range 0° F to 32° F
      8
      Best Lightweight Cap
      Icebreaker
      Merino Adult Chase Beanie

      Key Specs

      Materials Merino wool, spandex
      Recommended Temp Range 25° F to 45° F
      Before joining Runner's World as an Editor in 2019, Gabrielle Hondorp spent 6 years in running retail (she has tested top gear from shoes, to watches, to rain jackets which has expanded her expertise—and her closets); she specializes in health and wellness, and is an expert on running gear from head-to-toe.
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