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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.
Before joining Runner's World, 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. Gabi began her journalism career as a Digital Editorial Fellow for Runner’s World and Bicycling Magazine, and has since advanced to a Runner's World Editor specializing in commerce. She has a double degree in English and Media and Communication from Muhlenberg College where she also ran cross country and track.
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