Best Beanies for Running in 2018

Some runners opt for a ball-cap, others choose a headband. However, when it comes to running in colder weather, nothing protects your head better than a running beanie.Running beanies are designed to fit snuggly and to avoid riding up or slipping while in motion. Through this, beanies protect your ears from the cold and can act as a sweatband to wick away moisture.

Proper beanies will never get soggy from sweat as you run, so your body temperature remains regulated even as you exercise. No matter what length of hair you have, beanies can help you perform better as a runner.

Running beanies come in a variety of material, each providing their own benefits and disadvantages.

Here are some of the best beanies for running.

Top 3 Best and Favorites

Best Overall

Salomon Active Beanie

Top Lightweight

Smartwool Merino 150

Best for Night Runs

ASICS Lite-Show Windblock Beanie

1. Salomon Active Beanie


Not only stylish, but the Salomon Active Beanie is effective at keeping you warm. The beanie’s moisture management system moves sweat away from the skin without sacrificing heat.

The beanies are made microfleece, which dries fast while always remaining soft. After many machine washings, the Salomon Active Beanie keeps its shape and elasticity.

While thick enough to keep even the baldest head warm, the beanie is thin enough to wear under a helmet and stretchy enough to wear over a ball cap, should you want layers and sun coverage.


  • Good moisture management
  • Can be worn under a helmet
  • Reflective brand icon helps visibility
  • Lots of color options


  • One size fits all sizing; may not fit all heads

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2. Saucony Omni Skull Cap


The Saucony Omni Skull Cap is reversible, so if the hat accumulates moisture on one side, you can flip it inside out and continue running. Both sides are stylish, so you don’t have to worry about looking foolish with your hat flipped.

The Saucony Skull Cap will stay warm and dry no matter how long you’ve been running. If you use product in your hair and worry that it will get in your eyes through sweat, this hat will be tight enough to keep hair out of your eyes and wick away moisture.

The Skull Cap can be stretched over the ears to ensure they’re always warm. The hat will stay in place even while you keep moving forward.

The hat’s simple design matches easily enough with most running outfits while never sacrificing performance. The Saucony Omni Skull Cap will be an exceptionally warm hat for serious runners.


  • Ponytail hole
  • Moisture wicking


  • Bulky stitching may cause discomfort

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3. Mizuno Breath Thermo Beanie


The breathable Mizuno Breath Thermo Beanie allows airflow to permeate across your scalp, ensuring your head is warm but never soggy. Cold temperatures are no deterrent for this beanie, but this beanie might not bode well in below-freezing temperatures.

Still, the Mizuno Breath Thermo Beanie is lightweight and fits securely against the head. The hat is stretchy enough to be pulled over the ears but won’t lose its shape through continuous use.

The material absorbs ample amounts of sweat while never allowing moisture to leak in your eyes, so you can run clearly without having to stop and mop your face.

What’s more, the durable polyester material will last through successive washings, hundreds of runs and whatever else you can throw at it.

Functionally superior and aesthetically stylish, the Mizuno Breath Thermo Beanie ensures you can perform at your peak even in cold temperatures.


  • Breathable
  • Stretchy enough to pull over ears


  • Limited colors available
  • One size fits most; may not fit your head

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4. Smartwool Merino 150 Beanie

While capable of keeping you cool year-round, this hat excels in winter. Its next-to-skin feel makes you think it’s barely there while always keeping you warm during your run.

The Merino fibers are wrapped around a nylon core, improving this hat’s durability while never sacrificing comfort. The hat can be gently machine washed and dried on the line to prevent shrinkage and expand lifespan. As such, this hat will last for multiple winters.

The Smartwool Merino 150 Beanie breathability keeps moisture from accumulating on your head, improving comfort while never putting you at risk of losing too much heat through excess sweat.

The soft feel will make you think it’s barely there. The flatlock seam design also mitigates chafing and keeps you comfortable while exercising.

Combined with the sweatband-like ability to keep moisture from your eyes while regulating body temperature while running, the Smartwool Merino 150 Beanie is the perfect choice for safe cold weather running.


  • Next-to-skin feel
  • Durable


  • Only one size available

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5. Craft Beanie

Craft provides exceptional running products, and their beanies are no exception. The hats can be used for a variety of sports, such as skiing or worn under a helmet while cycling, but the Craft beanies are designed to optimize running performance.

The slim fit keeps the beanie snug against your scalp, preventing the beanie from slipping or riding up.

The beanie stays dry even after hours of sweating. The moisture transportation makes the material feel dry, and once the hat has been washed, its quick-dry material allows you to use it again quickly.

The Craft beanie is tight enough to keep hair in place while never cutting off circulation, ensuring comfort throughout usage. Best for just below freezing temperatures onward.

The beanie’s internal channel stitch means that the seam won’t rub against your scalp. While relatively low-cost, the Craft beanie ensures supreme performance in casual jogs, weight-loss aerobic training or long-distance endurance running.


  • Internal channel stitch and soft polyester for maximum comfort
  • Quick-dry material


  • Material may be too thick for competition running

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6. Under Armour Men’s Element Beanie

Under Armour’s beanie uses soft, brushed fleece for a comfortable head-feel. The DWR finish on the hat protects your head from rain or snow while ensuring maximum breathability.

Skull cap style protects ears and forehead from sweat, and the soft inner stitching prevents chafing. Absorbent inner lining soaks up sweat without feeling over-saturated or heavy. The UA storm technology keeps the hat in-shape and in-use even after years of use.

Men with head sizes 22 – 23 ½ inch, women with 21 ¼ – 22 ¾ inch and youths with 20 ⅞ – 22 ⅜ inch sized heads will be able to wear this hat.

Under Armour’s thermo-conductive inner lining retains body heat and keeps the head warm. Functional and light-weight, the Under Armour Men’s Element Beanie provides fashionable look without sacrificing performance.


  • Warm
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable; made of fleece


  • Will be too small for people with larger head sizes

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7. Sugoi Firewall Skull Cap


The Sugoi Firewall Skull Cap is made from 90% polyester and 10% spandex to provide a comfortable yet stretchy hat.

The WindBlocker softshell front panel cuts against the wind and keeps the chill away from your skin. The thermal zap further improves warmth by locking in body heat.

The hat’s four-way stretch allows the thermal fabric to adapt to your body, and lets you pull it over your ears or other parts of the head.

The Sugoi Skull Cap is compatible with glasses, as the beanie provides ear slots for no-slip eyeglass wearing. Water-resistant and wind-resistant technology keep you protected during inclement weather.

Wicks away moisture from the skin and prevents sweat from falling into the face. The Sugoi Skull Cap is warm enough to keep the head warm while thin enough to be worn in competitions or under helmets for triathlons.


  • WindBlocker softshell front panel
  • Ear slots for glasses


  • Only available in black
  • May not fit all head sizes

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8. Pearl Izumi Run Thermal Hat


The Pearl Izumi Thermal Hat’s fast-drying material keeps you dry while running. While training in the cold, this hat keeps you warm and comfortable in cold weather.

The stretchy 100% polyester ensures premium comfort while always be able to stretch where you want it. The reflective elements in the thermal hat add low-light visibility when training at night.

Runners wearing the Pearl Izumi Thermal hat choose it for its moisture wicking ability, making sure the hat never feels heavy or soggy during use.

The hat sits comfortably on most heads and ensures a snug, no-slip feel. Once washed, the hat dries quickly for next-day use.

The Pearl Izumi Thermal hat is available in various colors, allowing runners to choose a hat that fits their personality and taste.


  • Reflective areas for night use
  • Excellent moisture transportation
  • Comfortable fit
  • Available in multiple colors


  • May not fit large sized heads

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9. ASICS Lite-Show Windblock Beanie


ASICS continues their trend of premium sportswear into their Lite-Show Windblock Beanies. The hat was 10K water repellency and 4K breathability for element protection. As the name suggests, the beanie is perfect for wind protection.

The insulating fleeced-back material ensures maximum comfort and warmth. The reflective graphic detailing along the hat’s lining allows 360-degree reflectivity, perfect for night running.

The contoured shape of the Windblock beanie provides better coverage and can be pulled down to protect the ears, forehead and upper neck.


  • Great shape contour
  • Reflective details
  • Superb wind protection


  • One size fits all; may fit too tightly

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10. SmartWool PhD Training Beanie

The SmartWool PhD Training Beanie contains a lightweight Merino/polyester wool blend, ensuring optimum warmth while never getting too hot. After sweating through or getting washed, the beanie dries out quickly, so it can readily be used for the next run.

The blend also allows the beanie to retain its shape even after successive washings and sweat applications, increasing this beanie’s lifespan.

The SmartWool PhD Beanies are effective at keeping you warm but never bulky. You can throw it in your pocket or keep it in your bag without it taking up too much space. Use it for running, sledding, camping or a variety of other cold weather activities.

The PhD Training Beanie is thicker and has more stretch than the Merino 150 Smartwool Beanie. This makes it ideal for colder weather runs.


  • Merino wool – stays warm even when wet
  • Excellent moisture wicking


  • Tag sewn into the side of the band; protrudes when reversed
  • One size fits most; may not fit your head

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