Best Running Hats to Block the Sun
Don’t let your noggin get burnt… or frozen
Why not wick sweat while you’re at it?
Oh, and keep the sun out of your eyes, too
Once you’ve locked down a great pair of running shoes and some comfortable socks to go with them, it’s time to accessorize. Where you start your accessory adventure is up to you, but we’re big fans of running hats here at Believe in the Run. For starters, they take care of our worst hair days. More importantly, running hats keep the sun out of your eyes, and they can keep sunburn at bay if you’re not as full of the follicles.
There are plenty of good running hats for summer and winter, though our list primarily covers the warmer days. And yes, we’ve shamelessly added a cap of our own — it’s a good hat, alright?
As always, all of our picks come from our own running experiences. We’ve run in just about all of these picks, even if we haven’t given them the full review treatment. Don’t worry, we’ve also stuck to hats that you can actually buy. Otherwise, we’d have suggested the winged cap of Hermes.
Anyway, let’s get into the picks.
When we say this running hat is perf, we mean it. Not necessarily perf as in perfect, but the perforated material is pretty darn good. The Path Projects secret is a careful laser-cut design, with 94 2mm holes spread across the entire surface. Path Projects’ Muir Cap is UPF 50+ rated against the sun (well, the 94 holes aren’t because they are holes). If you have a larger melon on your shoulders, you can always adjust the fit with a handy velcro strap.
The Path Projects logo on the front is reflective, and you can choose between gray and white finishes until the black version is back in stock.
PRICE: $27Shop Path Projects
We love our own running hat, and we’re not ashamed to admit it. In fact, I had to talk Robbe out of listing this as the only hat to buy. Our Short Bill caps are limited-edition collaborations with the team over at Boco Gear, so when they’re gone, they’re gone. We’ve previously had white colorways and black colorways, but our current offerings might be our favorite. Right now, we’re down to the McHenry (all our gear is named after places in Baltimore), which sports an all-over olive mesh with our logo printed just enough times to help you remember where you bought the hat.
PRICE: $32Shop Believe in the Run – McHenry
If you know Janji, you already know what’s coming. Janji loves to partner with artists and athletes for bright prints every time a new collection drops. There’s always the classic black or blue, though they’re more affectionately known as Midnight and Royal. We’ve had more than a few chances to run in the AFO HyperLight running hat, most recently with Renaldo’s Southwest Collection review. Instead of a velcro design or a fitted closure, the AFO HyperLight uses a bungee cord across the back that takes just seconds to adjust.
To make it even better, Running Warehouse got a pair of new patterns just in time for summer.
PRICE: $38Shop Janji AFO
Can you tell that we have a favorite style of running hat? It’s all about the short bill, the wicking material, and the packable design. The Ciele ALZCap takes small and light to the extreme, and the COOLwick fabric pulls sweat off your head to keep you cool. Ciele even trimmed the overall profile for a more fitted look, and the ALZCap SC features a Softcurve brim for a little better coverage. As always, there are more versions than you can wear even if you buy a new one each week.
Learn more: Our favorite Ciele Athletics caps
After all, Ciele’s hats are its money-maker, so you can expect a whole heap of new colors every season. The GOCap also comes in limited edition finishes for the world’s biggest marathons.
PRICE: $40Shop Ciele ALZCap
We’ve hit the traditional running hats pretty hot and heavy so far, but that’s not how Roark tends to roll. Instead, this seemed like a perfect time to fit a bucket hat into our picks. The Bucket List is an awesome tie-dye-inspired design with a classic Roark graphic on the front. We can’t promise that you’ll look cool in a bucket hat, but as long as you own it, you’ll be just fine. After all, why block the sun in front or back when you can block it all the way around your head?
PRICE: $45Shop Roark Bucket List
You ever considered running in a hat covered in tacos? Sure, the real thing would be messy as hell, but that’s where Sprints comes in. It’s probably your best bet for fun running hats with plenty of patterns and designs. We chose the taco pattern because it’s one of Sprints’ latest, but there are others with prairie dogs, goats, donuts, and even jungle beers. What’s a jungle beer? Simply, it’s a combination of cheetahs and beers. No cheetahs were inebriated in the making of the hat, don’t worry.
PRICE: $32Shop Sprints Hat
Why buy one running hat when you can buy two? Well, the Reverse Cap from Saysky is still technically one hat, but you can flip it inside out to wear it like two separate hats. Right now, Saysky has a few different versions of the Reverse Cap, but we went for the black and Split Pea version. As you could probably guess, one side is black, and the other is a very light green shade (Robbe’s favorite is the forest green version). The cap is moisture-wicking and fully machine washable, so once you’re done flipping it back and forth, you can shove it in the wash no problem.
PRICE: $42Shop Saysky Reverse Cap
We don’t blame you if you haven’t made up your mind so far. It’s not easy to choose just one running hat when there are so many good options. We’ll try not to overwhelm you any further, but there’s always room for just one more. The Small Cap is a reworked version of Fractel’s classic silhouette, and it’s about as good for the Earth as it is for you. Fractel is a 1% For The Planet contributor, and its hats are made with Bluesign certified fabric. You get UPF +50 sun protection on the brim and both front and back panels, and there’s a dark underbelly to cut back on glare. How much more can you ask for?
PRICE: $40Shop Fractel Small Cap
You might recognize this pick if you ran Summer GRIT with us last year. We designed a special Believe in the Run Technical Trucker hat for the swag package, but it’s a great running hat even if you don’t have our version. It packs an internal wicking sweatband, which is a blessing in the summer heat, and Boco gear has more colorways than you can shake a stick at. We picked the California Mountain Scene as an example, but there aren’t many limits on what you can do.
The mesh back and side panels add extra breathability, and the trucker design is excellent for big heads.
PRICE: On sale for $26Shop Boco Gear Trucker
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I have a very large head and I prefer the old style (1960’s and 1970’s) baseball hats. What would you recommend? Thanks. Ken O.