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The Best Cold Weather Hats for Winter Trail Running

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I love wearing hats.  I think nearly every Facebook profile pic or selfie I’ve ever posted has me wearing a hat or beanie. While riding the subway on a mild November day in New York City, my nine year old asked if I wear hats all of the time because (1) I love them; (2) I’m cold; or (3) I want to hide expression lines (well, she said the word wrinkles, but I am simply not going there) on my forehead.

My reply:  Of course, I said all of the above.

Hats rock.  They are cozy and they keep you warm.  Two things that are especially important when you’re running trails or snowshoe training (or running generally) in the winter.

They are also ageless…as in, there is no age limit on wearing them. Everyone needs a hat in cold weather to retain body heat and to help maintain optimal body temperature.

The Best Cold Weather Hats for Winter Trail Running

Whether you want a hat for your tween, teen, a gift, or yourself, here are some top picks for best cold weather hats for winter trail running.

1. SKIDA Headwear. (retail $16.00-36.00). Vermont made limited print Skida hats (and headbands) are ideal for winter endurance sports like trail running or snowshoe racing.  Skida offers non-insulated, lightweight poly-blend hats that are breathable and moisture wicking, as well as insulated, fleece lined hats that are great for sweaty winter activities.  Skida makes kid sized hats, too. My young trail runners love Skida hats.  And so do I. They are practical, comfy, and feature fun patterns.

Every holiday season, I gift at least a couple of Skida hats to family and friends–and I always end up asking Santa for a new print to brighten up my stocking.

I especially love the SKIDA brand because of it has stayed true to its Vermont roots and has a history of supporting youth and community programs, including SKIDA Plus One.  When you buy a Skida hat and enter a hospital discount code (see the link with its code directory), Skida donates a hat to someone undergoing chemotherapy to help brighten their day.  You can read more about SKIDA Plus One and find those donation codes here.

Thanks to SKIDA, Kids Trail Running is giving away 2 Awesome Kids’ SKIDA Nordic Hats in December. These hats are the perfect winter running hat for a child–or for any other cold weather activity or sport.

Enter the Kids Trail Running December SKIDA Giveaway! Click on the Image below for the Giveaway link to learn how to enter and to see the contest rules.


2.  Carhartt’s Acrylic Watch Hat.  (retail $9.99).  Available in an assortment of solid colors, including hunter safety orange and bright lime, these 100% Acrylic Hats or tooks as my father called them before the name ‘beanie’ took over, are priced right for kids and grownups.  If one gets misplaced or lost, it’s not the end of the world. One size fits all.  Oh, they actually do stay on your head…the guy in the image below has a thing about keeping it high on his noggin when he’s hot…not to mention wearing shorts in the dead of winter.


3.  Swix Hats. (retail $30.00)  Swix is legendary in the winter world when it comes to keeping noggins toasty.  Often worn by cross-country skiers, these hats are ideal for winter endurance sports like cold-weather running.  The designs are classic, but Swix also offers themed hats and sewn country flag patches, such as the USA Hat.  Kids love Swix hats, too.  If you go for Swix, just remember to read wash care tags and line dry if instructed.  I’m seen one too many Swix hats in my mamahood years accidentally get run through the dryer and end up looking like gnome hats.

4.  PrAna. (retail $35.00)  My hat basket includes a number of PrAna hats.  As a yogi/PrAna Ambassador and traveling mum, I’ve come to love PrAna.  While I normally prefer to wear these hats pre or post-run because they have the casual, hipster fashion thing going for them, PrAna hats with acrylic & wool blends (some fleece lined) are indeed versatile and practical enough to be worn for winter activities such as running and hiking.  Lately, I’ve been sporting a Prana Bronwen Beanie before and after runs.

PrAna is offering Kids Trail Running readers 15% off full priced items at through 12/13.  Use Promo Code:  YogaTrailF16


Prana’s Bronwen Beanie. Though PrAna’s hats aren’t specifically designed for children, my sporty teen and tween are drawn to my hat collection and they fit just fine. I know…because I have to beg for them to give me my hats back.

4. Under Armour. (retail $21-$29.00)  Though perhaps known better for team sports wear, Under Armour makes some decent cold weather running beanies, and hats that fit kids, too. Top picks include the UA Favorite Knit Beanie, a simple acrylic hat that can be worn cuffed or slouchy, or UA ColdGear Beanies. Personally, I avoid the heavier UA hats like the Around Town hat for anything active because it feels like too much weight on my head. But pre or post-run, I am (or one of my kids) is likely to be seen wearing an Under Armour hat.  Available in bright colors for high visibility running and typically easily washable, kids and grownups who like to sport a ‘big name’ in sports clothing will appreciate UA hat options.

Have a favorite winter running hat to share?  What else should have made the list? Share a winter pic of you running in your favorite hat on Instagram and Tag #Kidstrailrunning. 


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