Best Beanies for Running Compared and Tested
In order to ensure heat is retained, cold weather gear needs to incorporate high-performing thermal capabilities. However, having these features doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish. So, we have made sure to include effective, stylish, and high performing options for you to choose from!
- Craft Race
- Adidas Sharp II
- Panther Vision
- The North Face Bones
- Trailheads Ponytail
- Nike Pro Combat
- The North Face Standard Issue
- Smartwool PHD Running
- Tough Headwear
- Pearl Izumi Thermal
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Craft Race
Lots of color options
Too thick for some users
For colder weather
The Craft Race beanie is an excellent option for all runners and a favorite among guys. It comes in several color options and is made of durable and high-quality materials.Read more
This beanie is made of Acrylic and 30% wool--so it's meant to keep your head warm! It also features a channel-stitched internal brim and is also designed to be breathable. This brand is Swedish--so you can be sure it is durable and will definitely keep you warm. It is also quick drying, soft, and thick.
As far as cost, this beanie is pretty standard in price.
2. Adidas Sharp II
Several color options
Many may not like the short fit
This Adidas beanie was designed to keep you warm, comfortable, and visible. It comes in several color options so you can feel stylish and unique while also receiving all the benefits a running beanie should offer.Read more
This beanie is made of 100% Polyester, is moisture-wicking, and dries quickly. It provides optimal comfort and warmth--and even comes equipped with 360-degree reflectivity.
This beanie comes at a great price, especially given all of the features it provides you with.
3. Panther Vision
Lots of color and pattern options
Not very breathable
The Panther Vision bean is a unique beanie that provides you with hands-free lighting. It's a perfect option for all runners--especially those of you who enjoy running in low light conditions.Read more
This beanie is made of compressed fleece and provides adequate warmth and comfort during each of your runs. It comes in lots of color and pattern options and is highly durable--it is easily washable and meant to last. This beanie provides battery operated lighting that allows you to see up to 72 feet away--all hands-free. It provides 48 lumens of light output.
This beanie is highly affordable--especially considering its additional hands-free lighting feature! It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty--just in case you hate it.
4. The North Face Bones
- Secure fit
- Keeps you warm
- Microfleece material
- Lots of color options
- Not very soft
This is an excellent cold weather beanie that provides a secure and comfortable fit for most runners. It prevents overheating from happening while also ensuring you remain warm during your runs. It is made of microfleece, which will keep you comfortable and warm while also providing you with adequate protection. This simple beanie is a bit pricey but its durability and numerous color options make it worth the investment.Read more
This beanie is made it be comfortable and durable. It is a good investment and with proper care, it can last for a good while. As far as cost, this beanie is pretty standard in price. This makes it a great option that is in the price range for most users.
5. Trailheads Ponytail
- Integrated ponytail loop
- Lots of color options
- Keeps you warm
- Secure fit
This is an excellent beanie option for you ladies with longer hair. It comes with an integrated ponytail loop and keeps you warm and comfortable during your run. Its moisture-wicking properties will keep you warm and comfortable and comes in lots of color options.Read more
This beanie will keep your hair securely up so you don't have to carry a hair tie with you--or if you misplace it you are still ready to go. While it is a bit pricier than other options, its features and durability make it well worth the cost.
6. Nike Pro Combat
- Dynamic fit, non-restrictive
- Budget friendly pricing
- Flat seams, rests smooth on head
- Quick drying
- The fit is a little tight
If you want a basic beanie that does its job, looks great, and feels good while you are wearing it, this is a great choice.Read more
In terms of bang for your buck, it’s going to be challenging to do much better than the NIke Pro Combat Skull Cap. This cap excels in moisture management, never accumulating pools of sweat or feeling stuffy. It also has a nice snug fit around the ears. Overall it’s a solid choice.
7. The North Face Standard Issue
- Classic North Face design
- Lightweight but thick
- Dries relatively quickly, FlashDry technology
- Quite a few color options
- Products from The North Face are usually a bit expensive
If you are looking for a basic beanie with standard features and services, this is the one you are looking for!Read more
Standard may sound negative to some people, although don’t be deceived there is nothing “standard” about this beanie. This is the ideal hat for super cold temperatures as its fleece construction is a little bit thicker. Smooth, soft, and comfortable, this hat is a classic for wintertime activities none the least of which is running.
8. Smartwool PHD Running
- Nice aesthetics
- Merino/Polyester, very comfortable
- UPF 20 sun protection as needed
- Flatlock seams, contoured design
- Trim, doesn’t feel bulky
- One size fits all, but may not work for everyone
For those looking for a more feminine look to their running gear, this is a great beanie to consider.Read more
A great ladies skull cap-style beanie, the Smartwool PHD running beanie has a four way stretch design that ensures it keeps in place nicely. To boot it’s made from a blend of Merino/Polyester that all but guarantees comfort. Need further evidence? See the extensive list of pros below.
9. Tough Headwear
Budget friendly pricing
Can be prone to fading
This highly affordable beanie is comfortable, lightweight, and has moisture-wicking properties.Read more
It is versatile--which means you can use it for running or as a helmet liner for additional warmth under your helmet. It small and compact enough to stuff in your pocket if you want to take it off and comes in fluorescent color options for increased visibility.
10. Pearl Izumi Thermal
- Extremely warm
- Recent model 2015/16
- Quality manufacturing, ergonomically shaped
- Higher priced
If you’re looking for higher end performance, Pearl Izumi is generally a brand you can trust. This hat may appear thin at a glance but its high grade thermal material will keep your head nice and toasty and protect you from harsh winter winds. Overall a nice pick for any cold weather occasion.Read more
Great design that is comfortable and easy to wear
It features a simple layout that makes it a popular choice for runners
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Fit and size are two of the most important factors to consider with all pieces of athletic wear. If what we are wearing doesn’t fit properly our runs can quickly become uncomfortable and much less enjoyable. Running beanies often come in “one size fits all” sizing, but it’s still important to try them on and ensure they don’t fit you too tightly or too loosely. The last thing you want is a beanie that you have to keep adjusting or that gives you a headache because it is far too tight.
Keep your head warm and stay comfortable on your run with these great choices! Comfort is based on the material the beanie is made of as well as the fit, breathability, and protection it provides. Many beanies also have moisture-wicking properties– so you don’t have to run with a soggy piece of material glued to your head!
The material clothing is made of is always an important feature to consider. If you are running in hot weather you will want a beanie that is well ventilated and offers breathability so you can stay dry and cool during your runs. Polyester beanies are the best choice for hot weather because they have moisture-wicking and breathable properties that will best suit your needs in the heat.
Durability ensure your item will last you a long time and that you will get the use you need from me. Durable beanies balance out the money you spend of them and make them worthwhile. There's no point in purchasing a product that's just going to fall apart after only a few weeks of moderate stress!
There are many runners out there who love high-performing gear that also lets them show off their sense of style, or if their gear manages to provide some additional functionality. These gimmicks can be seen as the cherry on top of a solid product. While they certainly aren't the most important aspect of a beanie, they're certainly still worth considering!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Other Factors to Consider
SPF is another protective feature your beanie can provide you with–many beanies provide additional UV protection from the sun, which is highly important if you are outside a lot. Many materials also protect against odor and ensure you have a clean and healthy atmosphere for your hair and head. Lastly, if the material is rigid in any way then the beanie is not ideal for running. Runners need flexible, stretch materials that will won’t constrict them in any way.
When compiling our lists and suggestions, we always make sure to take all types of budgets into account. So, if you have a specific price point in mind it’s important to make the best selection for you within what your budget allows.
Surprisingly, there are some heavy beanie options available out there–this is due to the materials they are made of. Lightweight options are the best options for runners because they won’t weigh you down and have a “barely there” feel to them. We found most runners steer clear from those heavier options unless they absolutely need some of the features they provide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Beanies are good for running because unlike hats they provide warmth and allow you to cover your ears. They are manufactured with materials that will keep you warm and are also trendy, versatile, and provide a more secure fit.
This depends on how often you go running with it–however, it is recommended you wash your beanie once a week, per the directions on its label.
This also depends on how often you were your beanie out on runs. Frequent use may require you to change your beanie every 4-5 months, while less frequent use means you may be able to wait longer. Replacement also depends on how well you take care of your beanie.
Yes, this is an important thing to consider. Cold seasons require warmer options that will retain moisture while hot weather requires more lightweight and breathable options that ensure you remain cool and dry.