Braving the cold to pound the pavement can become more of a mental task than a physical one. It’s true that once you get out there and face the whipping winds and perilously low temperatures head on, you eventually grow accustomed to them and feel a little more comfortable as time passes. Yet part of enjoying that comfort during your run depends on how well you dress for the occasion and the season. What are the absolute best women’s running hats to wear during a workout session? Here are five options to take your jog from barely tolerable to completely comfortable.
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to perspire during your workout. If you don’t like to wear constricting headgear and view your hat as a vehicle for keeping your hair in place while you run, then a baseball hat for women may be your best bet. Look for one that is made with a thicker fabric and that has mesh panels, which will allow your skin to breathe so that your head doesn’t start experiencing that telltale overheated itch that usually accompanies a winter workout.
If you don’t want to cover your entire head, your inner fashionista will no doubt be thrilled to learn of the existence of the ribbed beanie hat. Made with a thick, sweater-like fabric, it serves multiple purposes: to hold your hair back and away from your face; to allow you to pull it up in a bun or high ponytail and show it off through the back opening; and to keep your exposed skin warm even in the face of brutally low temperatures.
Don’t be fooled by the term “lightweight.” It may call to mind visions of lazy summer afternoons spent by the pool, but there’s nothing airy or relaxed about a hyper-focused cap that takes your cold-weather comfort so seriously. The most important factor here is actually the weight itself. Typically made with some combination of polyester, cotton, and spandex, the lightweight women’s running hat wicks moisture away from the body, which will prevent you from sweating excessively. The material is also breathable, which means your head will never feel hot or itchy during the course of your run. Finally, it dries quickly, so even when you peel it off, you can rest assured—let it sit for a little while and it will be as good as new.
Who says women’s running hats have to be sporty? You can easily adapt to the weather by donning a women’s knit hat, instead! The beauty of this style is that it offers you a fashionable hat option to wear during your workout. Despite its chic look, it’s also functional because it’s designed specifically to keep your head warm. Be sure you select one that has a fold-over cuff for additional comfort and adjustability—that additional fabric will ensure a better fit than a hat that you simply pull on. Opt for a material such as acrylic, which is soft and won’t make your head itch. As you can imagine, that’s key when you’re focused on your run and don’t want any distractions.
Contrary to the cuff you seek in a knit hat, you might want to try the alternative style—a fashionable hat for women known as the toque. It’s traditionally designed with either a very narrow brim or none at all, and it’s a great choice for avid runners who want something that’s slightly off the beaten path, yet that still meets the unique needs of someone who loves working out in cold weather—or at least doesn’t mind putting up with it for an hour or two. This cap is sleek and simple, and when pulled on it sits close to the head. Many have a hole built into the back to allow for a bun or a ponytail, which amplifies both its practicality and its comfort.
Comfort comes before anything else when it comes to running apparel. That applies to your hat, too—opt for one that wicks moisture away from your skin while staying firmly on your head. The last thing you want to worry about is whether your hat is about to blow away during your epic morning workout.