Any keen runner will know there are a number of key accessories we need in our draw. These include a good pair of trainers, running shorts, a top, and a jacket. Another staple often overlooked is also a high-quality running hat.
Whether it be to stop the sun from beating down on your face during the summer, shelter your face from the rain, act as a sunglasses alternative, or simply keep your hair up as you pick up speed, every runner should keep a running hat in their cupboard.
But we can’t just pick any hat. A running hat needs to be lightweight, breathable, and of course comfortable to wear. With so many on the market, finding the best one can be tricky. That’s why we’re here to help you.
In this article, you’ll find a list of the best running hats and a useful buyer’s guide that will tell you what to look for.
If you need a new running hat or want to find out why they can be beneficial, make sure you keep reading!
OUR TOP PICK
We kick our list off with an excellent versatile running hat from Buff. Buff has a reputation for producing high-quality, innovative products and the Buff pack run cap is no different.
Made from flexible polyurethane materials, it is clear to see that this hat has been cleverly designed to suit the needs of any type of runner.
This can be seen in the addition of moisture control, an adjustable built-in sweatband, the adjustable drawstring that provides a tighter fit, and the flexible visor that can be quickly adjusted to help you see better when running uphill.
This Buff hat also features an upper panel made from ultra lightweight and bi-stretch fabrics. We think this is great because it lets you crush the hat down and put it in your pocket when you no longer need to run with it on.
Wonderfully, thanks to the shape memory design, the hat will then always open back up to the size you need.
Also offering UPF 50+ UV protection, it wasn’t actually these impressive features that pleased up most with this hat. Perfect for keeping your head cool and reducing sweat, this hat will also make you look fantastic.
With a simple, yet stylish reflective design, you’ll want to wear the hat everywhere you run.
- Stylish - This hat looks great.
- Affordable - The Buff hat offers great value for money.
- Great running features - This hat will keep you cool, protect you from the rain, and stop the sun from beating down on you.
- Only one color - Some versatility in terms of color choice would be nice.
Also available at
The Nike AeroBill featherlight cap can sometimes be more expensive, but if you’re looking for a reliable, top-of-the-range running hat, you can’t go wrong.
Nike is hugely popular when it comes to producing sporting attire that is comfortable, durable, and stylish. With the AeroBill Nike has gone for a more classic look, focusing more on the performance side of things.
While the cap still looks awesome, coming in 13 different colors, its performance is the most important thing, and we can confidently say it does its job perfectly.
Well vented and super comfortable thanks to the flexible fabrics and dri-fit lining, you can expect this hat to keep your head cool, while also reducing sweat levels and protecting you from the sun.
To make the hat more lightweight to ensure even more comfort, Nike has removed the inner section of the peak of the hat. This leaves just the outer edge to control the shape of the hat.
Our favorite feature of this hat has to be the reflective detail Nike has included in the design.
To ensure you’re visible at all times and to guarantee more safety as you run, Nike has fitted the AeroBill with a reflective strip around the back of the cap.
- Simple, yet stylish - This hat offers a nice, classic look.
- Good safety features - The Nike AeroBill comes with a reflective strip around the back.
- Comfortable - Nike’s dri-fit lining makes this hat super comfortable.
- Expensive - With limited stock available, some retailers sell this hat for a higher price.
Also available at
The GADIMENSD outdoor sports cap is a good option for anyone looking for a cheaper hat that is great for running as well as other sports.
Very affordable and available in nine different colors, this running hat offers versatility, comfort, good functionality, and safety. Best of all, you get all of this in a great-looking hat.
Made to fit any size of head, this hat won’t interfere with your running performance but instead enhance it.
Made out of soft and very durable nylon fabric, this lightweight hat will keep your hair in place as you run, give you UPF 50+ UV protection, and keep your head nice and cool.
This gives you more time and comfort to focus on your running instead.
Also featuring a built-in sweatband and fast-drying fabrics, any sweat that does build-up will quickly be absorbed and dried out.
In terms of design, we were thrilled with this hat. The two-side mesh design and unstructured front panel of the hat make it unbelievably easy to store the hat in your running bag or even put it away in your bag.
When it's on your head the mesh design brings a lovely breeze to your head, cooling you right down.
- Very affordable - This hat is one of the cheapest on our list.
- Great design - The GADMENSD hat has been well designed and thought out.
- Other uses - You can also use this hat for other sports like tennis.
- Narrow design - Some users have reported that this hat feels quite narrow.
Another amazing budget option that gets the job done is the sports running hat from LETHMIK.
Made from 100% polyester fiber, this one size fits all hat is super comfortable, very breathable, and extremely lightweight.
Available at an amazingly low price too, you don’t need to worry about throwing this hat around or taking it out in horrible weather.
Weighing just 1.7 ounces, the LETHMIK sports running hat has a pre-curved design. This is great for runners who want to keep the sun out of their face as it offers good protection from the sun's rays. It also provides UPF 30+ protection.
Perfect for race day, this hat, like the GADIEMENSD running hat, is designed with quick-drying fabrics. This will help keep your head dry and reduce your levels of sweat.
When we took a closer look at this hat, two things impressed us. For starters, for an incredibly cheap hat, the LETHMIK running hat performs brilliantly.
Secondly, the simple, yet very effective mesh design feels lovely when a breeze hits your head. We found that it kept us lovely and cool, helping to make our run all the more enjoyable.
- Great value for money - This hat gives you everything you need at an amazing price.
- Versatile - You can also use this hat for other outdoor sports.
- Durable - The nylon fabric this hat is made from will last.
- Simple look - This hat isn’t the most stylish.
The final running hat on our list is the Superlite performance hat from Adidas. The fact the hat was produced by Adidas is probably proof enough that it will be high-quality, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you're in luck.
This hat is a great option for anyone who takes their running more seriously or competes in races. Produced from recycled materials, this Adidas running hat is designed to sit comfortably on your hat without too much movement.
This gives you the freedom to run your fastest or tackle uneven terrain without having to worry about the hat falling off. To guarantee a tight fit, Adidas has equipped its hat with a hook-and-loop back.
This can be easily adjusted to fit your head.
Featuring a lightweight 6-panel design, arguably the best feature this hat has is its mesh lining. This mesh lining provides ultimate airflow and moisture reduction that keeps runners feeling fresh and cool as they run.
Another great feature the hat comes with is the non-glare lining found under the visor. This improves runner vision when running in sunny conditions.
On the topic of sunny conditions, we were pleased to find that this hat also offers UPF 50+ sun protection.
- Perfect for race day - This hat will give you everything you require on race day.
- Professional design - Adidas has designed this hat with professionals in mind.
- Neat features - This hat will protect you from the sun and rain, and will also keep your head nice and cool.
- Men’s sizes only - Sadly, this hat isn’t available in women’s sizes.
Also available at
When looking for a running hat, it is important to take a number of key factors into consideration. In this buyer’s guide, you will find a list of the most important things you need to think about before making your purchase.
By taking these factors into account, you will be able to find a running hat that you won’t later regret buying.
Probably the most important thing to think about when buying any type of hat is how big or small it is.
Obviously, you need to make sure the hat you are buying fits your head. If the hat is too small for your head, you will quickly feel discomfort. If it is too big, it won’t take long for the hat to fly off your head when you pick up speed.
Luckily, finding a running hat that fits properly isn’t too difficult because they usually come in a standard one size fits all. In our opinion, this sort of hat is exactly the type of hat you should be looking for.
A hat that fits all will have plenty of give and adjustability. They will have some form of strap, Velcro, or buckle which allows you to loosen or tighten the hat to fit your head.
You should always look for a running hat that provides effective sun protection. While most hats offer good sun protection, some are better than others. Some running hats offer UPF 30+, while others offer UPF 50+.
As you would expect, a hat that provides UPF 50+ UV protection will give you more coverage and protect you better from the sun’s rays.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is a sun visor. There are brands of running hats on the market that come fitted with an adjustable visor that gives the runner even more protection from the sun.
If you’re going to be running in hot conditions, this feature could be perfect for you.
Your running hat is going to have to be durable enough to face tough running conditions on a daily or weekly basis. With that in mind, you need to ensure the running hat you buy is built to last.
While most products are built to last, there are sadly some hats on the market that simply don’t live up to standards.
When looking for a running hat, you should consider how well it has been constructed, which brand has made the hat, and what materials have been used to make it.
Generally speaking, running hats made out of polyurethane or nylon are considered to be good durable choices.
The brand that has made the hat is important because it is a sign of how well we can trust their products. If a brand like Nike or Adidas has made the running hat, it is pretty safe to assume the hat is extremely well built.
Ventilation And Breathability
Specialized running hats should offer a lot of breathability and ventilation. This is important because it is how the hat keeps you cool and reduces the levels of sweat you produce.
If a hat has poor ventilation and breathability, your head will quickly overheat. This will directly impact your performance.
To avoid this problem, look for a hat that is made from synthetic fabrics that have a mesh design. This sort of design will wick sweat to dry your head quicker and also offer plenty of breathability.
To improve ventilation and breathability even more, some hats come with a built-in sweatband. This feature can come in handy if you’re a big sweater.
It is always nice to look for a hat that also comes with nice safety features. This could come in the form of a reflective strip.
A reflective strip will make you more visible on the road, giving passing cars and other runners more chance of seeing you as they approach.
This comes in particularly useful when the lighting isn’t too good.
Just because a running hat is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best one for you. Hats range massively in price, and it isn’t always merited. Occasionally, a running hat will simply cost more because of the brand logo that sits on top of it.
The reason for this is simply because bigger brands are more sought after, so they can charge more.
If you only need a simple hat that will do a good job once or twice a week, you could quite easily look at a cheaper option that has everything you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Wear A Baseball Cap When I Run?
A baseball cap will suffice when only running short distances every so often, but if you take part in regular, longer runs, they aren’t a very good choice. Typically, baseball caps are made out of 100% cotton, and cotton retains moisture.
As a result of this, your baseball cap will quickly absorb the sweat from your head, making you feel very uncomfortable and hot.
A running hat is a much better option because they are designed to do the opposite. A running hat will keep you cool, absorb moisture before quickly drying, and offer enough breathability to prevent you from sweating as much in the first place.
Why Do I Keep Getting Headaches From My Running Hat?
If you keep getting a headache when running with your running hat on, it is time to adjust it or look for another hat. Running hats can cause headaches when they are too small.
This occurs when both sides of the hat apply too much pressure to the side of your head.
The only way to solve the problem is to adjust the hat. If the hat isn’t adjustable or has been adjusted as far as it will go, you will, unfortunately, have to return your hat and buy another one.
Will A Running Hat Slow Me Down?
A good running hat will not slow you down. Thanks to their clever designs they can even do the opposite. Running hats are lightweight and excellent at drawing the sweat away from your body.
This helps keep your head cool. With a nice and cool head, you can run comfortably, focusing on performance rather than how uncomfortable and sweaty you feel.
Runners that don’t already own a decent running hat should seriously consider investing in one.
A running hat is a useful piece of running gear that will help protect your face from the sun, keep your head cool, protect you from the rain, and keep your hair in place as you run. This gives runners the chance to focus more on their running.
In this article, we have provided you with five of the best running hat options you have available to you right now. While each hat might be from a different brand, you can rest assured that each one will give you everything you need.
With our list and the key factors from our buyer’s guide, you should now be able to narrow your options down and pick the running hat that is best for you.
The best hat for you should feel comfortable, keep you cool, offer UV protection, and of course, keep the rain off your head. Good luck finding your running hat!