The Best Running Hats for Any Type of Weather
Even though most races have been cancelled or postponed due to the ongoing pandemic, there's never been a better time to take up outdoor running. Not only is it a great way to stave off cabin fever from being indoors more than usual, but it's also never a bad idea to change up your fitness routine and find different ways to stay active - especially while many gyms are still closed. (Related: Should I Wear a Face Mask for Outdoor Runs During the Pandemic?)
But while pounding the pavement in the fresh air offers many benefits, it'll bring more sun exposure with it. It's important to shield your skin from these harmful UV rays (yes, even in the winter!), and one of the best ways to do so is with a hat for running. Though sunscreen is effective (and important to use along with a hat), it can become less so if you sweat a lot or are unable to reapply. (Also, did you know you can sunburn your eyes?) Not to mention, running hats offer protection against other weather conditions, such as wind or rain. Some are even completely waterproof for those inevitable times you get caught in an unexpected storm.
A general concern with hats is that they'll feel heavy or non-breathable. Though that may be the case with your average baseball cap, modern running hats are specially designed to be as lightweight, breathable, and unobtrusive as possible. They accomplish this by using lightweight mesh and moisture-wicking fabrics, and they look stylish, too - because, let's be honest, sometimes you just don't feel like dealing with your hair and want to throw a hat over it. (Psst, here are some tips on how to air-dry your hair.)
Where to Buy the Best Hats for Running
While there is no one brand that definitively makes the best hats for running, you'll have the most luck with athletic-wear labels, such as Nike and Under Armour, or run-specific brands, such as Headsweats and Buff. These options are typically made with activity in mind and will offer the best fit and materials. And if you prefer the convenience of shopping online, Amazon has a top-notch selection that includes all of these brands, and more.
To make it easier for you to narrow down the selection, we've rounded up the best hats for running you can buy online:
- Best Overall: TrailHeads Race Day Performance Running Hat
- Best-Rated Hat for Running: Nike Authentic Dri-FIT Baseball Cap
- Best Affordable Hat for Running: GADIEMKENSD UPF 50 Sports Hat
- Most Comfortable Hat for Running: Sunday Afternoons Eclipse Cap
- Best Reflective Option: Headsweats Reflective Race Running Hat
- Best Durable Hat for Running: Buff Unisex Pack Run Cap
- Best for Larger Heads: Under Armour Launch ArmourVent Cap
- Best Waterproof Option: Salomon Unisex Waterproof Cap
- Best for Smaller Heads: 2XU Run Cap
If you're wondering how much hats for running cost, they'll usually run between $15 and $30 depending on the design and material used. In the list, below, you'll find options in a variety of price ranges, so you should have no trouble finding the right choice to fit your budget.
Here, check out nine top-rated running hats that'll keep you comfortable on all of your outdoor runs, no matter the season.
Best Overall: TrailHeads Race Day Performance Running Hat
This customer-loved running hat for women is a great choice overall. It sits higher on the head than most other designs, making it ideal for wearing with a ponytail. Made with a lightweight, breathable mesh material, it also features a reflective trim for better visibility and a black undervisor to help reduce glare. Nearly 1,300 Amazon shoppers gave the versatile hat a five-star rating; one reviewer said it's "great for running and outdoor activities" while another called it a "great hat for women." Choose from eight different colors, each just $18.
Best-Rated Hat for Running: Nike Authentic Dri-FIT Baseball Cap
The best-rated hat for running, the Nike Dri-FIT could easily become your go-to cap. While it comes in classic colors and a timeless silhouette, this is not the average baseball hat from your childhood. It's made with a stretchy, quick-dry polyester and spandex blend with perforation throughout for added airflow. Plus, it's adjustable and mostly unmarked, save for the small swoosh on the bill. More than 2,000 Amazon shoppers gave it a 4.6-star rating overall, with reviewers calling it a "quality, lightweight hat" and "the best running hat ever." Even better? The price starts at just $19 - depending on the color you go with - making this a no-brainer addition to your go-to running gear.
Best Affordable Hat for Running: GADIEMKENSD UPF 50 Sports Hat
If you're looking for a solid running hat that's budget-friendly, you won't be disappointed with this purchase. The affordable hat has UPF 50 fabric, meaning it provides adequate protection from UV rays, along with mesh vents on either side of the head for breathability. It's also water-resistant and has some reflective details. To top it off, it comes in seven different colorways - so whether you're trying to save money or not, this $14 hat is a great choice for just about every runner.
Most Comfortable Hat for Running: Sunday Afternoons Eclipse Cap
The last thing you want to feel when you run is overheated, and this super comfortable hat uses an innovative design to keep you cool. Constructed with moisture-wicking, UPF 50 fabric, it has wind flaps on either side with mesh material underneath, resulting in a snug but breathable fit that won't budge when you're running. One shopper, who said they "hate hats, but love this one" wrote: "This hat is comfortable, actually works well with a ponytail (miraculous), and looks good. I've gotten many compliments and two people have already told me they plan to buy one too."
Best Reflective Option: Headsweats Reflective Race Running Hat
Whether you're an early riser or a nighttime runner, it's important to consider reflective running gear to keep you safe as the days start to get shorter. This hat features a reflective rim that lines the entirety of the hat, giving you visibility from all angles. It also comes in neon colors for even more visibility - and while this hat is ideally suited for running in the dark, it's just as great for sunny daytime hours. One shopper said, "This is a quality hat. I particularly like the edge piping around the bill and most of the bottom edge of the hat which is executed very well. The piping is a silvery, reflective material. I'm sure that will aid my visibility this winter." Other reviewers mentioned the hat is machine-washable, which is always a plus.
Best Durable Hat for Running: Buff Unisex Pack Run Cap
This durable hat from performance brand Buff is built to last through any weather conditions. Made of a lightweight and form-fitting material that will sit snugly on your head, it has an adjustable elastic string at the back that allows for a customized fit. It also has breathable mesh sides for more airflow and a flip-up bill that'll come in handy during unexpected downpours. Best of all, it's foldable, so it can easily be stored in a water vest, belt, or a generous pocket. "This little cap is very light and barely noticeable on a run," wrote one customer. "The bill is not too long and doesn't get in the way and the elastic band allows plenty of adjustment. It's very crushable and the elastic band hold it in a tight little package when you want to pull it off and run with it in your hand or pocket for awhile."
Best for Larger Heads: Under Armour Launch ArmourVent Cap
If you have a larger head size, you know how much of a challenge it can be to find a hat that fits well - but this Under Armour hat is here to change that. Reviewers seem to agree that it runs bigger than most hats, and since it has an adjustable hook-and-loop closure, you can customize it to your needs. Made with a lightweight, fast-drying material, it incorporates some reflective elements to keep you visible when the sun goes down and is even machine-washable. And while it may be labelled as a men's hat, many shoppers say it's great for women, too.
"I'm a woman with a big head who can rarely find caps (even with adjustable straps) that don't stop short on my head. I've only had one women's hat that worked, and I've worn it to death. This UA men's cap works for me and has become my new go-to running cap. I need to order backups ASAP!" wrote one happy reviewer.
Best Waterproof Option: Salomon Unisex Waterproof Cap
You either love running in the rain, or you hate it. But however you may feel, everyone can probably agree that constantly having to wipe raindrops out of your eyes becomes incredibly annoying after just a few minutes. This Salomon hat is here to protect you in rain-or-shine runs with a waterproof membrane that keeps out water. It's made of a lightweight, washable material, and has a stretchy, adjustable closure that will keep it in place through any workout. One reviewer called it a "great cap for running in the rain" and said it "beads the water nicely and doesn't get too hot during runs."
Best for Smaller Heads: 2XU Run Cap
Finding a hat that fits can also be challenging for those with smaller heads. If you constantly have to deal with hats flying off mid-run or having a hat that jostles around on top of your head, this smaller-sized hat from 2XU may be just what you need. Along with its petite fit, it also incorporates mesh inserts throughout to keep you cool and an adjustable strap on the back to make sure it stays secure. It has mesh inserts to keep you cool, and is adjustable to get just the right fit. It comes in seven shades, including some pretty pastel hues, for just $25. One shopper said it's "lightweight, comfy, fits great," while another wrote: "These are the best running caps on the market, there is no close second."