If you’re a dedicated runner, then you need a dedicated running hat. A hat that’s weather-worn and a little smelly. Because whether you’re running up a sunny trail with zero shade or through thick sand on a blistering beach, it’s always good to keep your face protected from the sun. Sunscreen is a must (as are face masks for runners), and these hats certainly don’t replace it, but the best running hats will keep your face shaded no matter how many miles you log.
Made with breathable, moisture-wicking material that not only provides protection from UV rays but also comfort (and even style), these are the best running hats to get.
They’ll help you stay cool (and look cool), no matter how long the run. They’re even great to rock when running in the rain or snow.
1. Under Armor Men’s Launch Armor Vent Cap
This running cap has a unique venting system to keep you cool while on the trail. The Armor Venting system creates breathability with light, quick-drying fabric. With a pre-bent bill, this cap will keep you shaded and cool from the sun. With reflective logos and tape, it’s also a great hat to wear at night for increased visibility.
2. Adidas Superlite
Adidas has a one-size-fits-all running hat, with moisture-wicking material and a wide brim to help keep the sun off your face. Its made from a lightweight, polyester material and functions well under pressure. With no ventilation holes along the top or sides, it might get a bit hotter than our other choices. It also looks just as stylish backward, so turn this brim around and head out for your long run.
3. Summit Cap
A great cap for a hot summer run, Summit is 100% made in California, so if you’re into handmade goods and boutique running brands, this is the hat for you. It has UPF 50+ protection, an adjustable cord to tighten the hat, Max Dri Moisture technology and an elastic circular sweatband. This hat will keep you protected, cool, and stylish as you head to the great outdoors.
4. Patagonia Duckbill Hat
Patagonia is a beloved outdoor brand, and they also make some of the best running hats. Lightweight, cool, and protective, the Duckbill hat is a sure winner for a summer run. The dark underbill reflects the sun away from your face and the coolmax sweatband wicks moisture away. It can be stashed into a pocket on a moment’s notice and is quite stylish.
5. Under Armor Packable Men’s Cap
This lightweight, compact hat can be easily stashed in a pocket after a run. It will keep you cool and happy as you finish your run with mesh side panels that allow sweat and heat to escape with ease. The Under Armor brand is a reputable outfitter of gear for the outdoors and won’t let you down.
6. Brooks Sherpa Hat
This Brooks Sherpa hat is adjustable with a bent brim for added shade and has DriLayer fabric to wick away moisture. It has subtle perforations for airflow to keep you cool. Made from 100% polyester material, the Brooks Sherpa hat will keep you working harder as you stay cool.
7. Patagonia Airdini Cap
Lightweight and foldable, this Patagonia hat will keep you cool and protected. Made from ripstop fabric, it is the ultimate hybrid cap and very breathable. In line with Patagonia’s Airshed products, this cap is made from five panels to break down into a small square to fit into your pocket. A great choice for any runner on a hot day.
8. Buff Pack Run Cap
An all-around winner, Buff has created a new, stylish, European-style hat that’s great for the trails on a sunny day. The brim flips up or down depending on the direction you’re headed so you can keep the sun off your face no matter what. Made with UPF protective material, the sun’s UV rays won’t harm you anytime soon. For a nice touch, there’s even an adjustable elastic cord at the rear, which also allows the hat to disappear into a small pouch of its own making. This makes the running cap that much more convenient for bringing along on your next run.
9. Janji Transit Tech Cap
Janji is one of the newest, most unique gear companies out there for runners. As well as their awesome clothing that fits well and gives you your optimal performance, their hats are on par with all of their goods. The Transit Tech Cap is lightweight, breathable, and has a water repellent finish. It has an unlined, fast-drying fabric which is great for those who prefer long runs or live in exceptionally warm climates. The cap also has a reflective front-facing logo which will help you breathe easier on those long, dark runs at night.
10. On Running Lightweight Running Hat
This stylish unisex running hat has ventilation holes cut into the sides which makes it ideal for hot days when all you want to do is jump into a pool and dive underwater. The holes are cut into the entire top portion of the cap, creating plenty of breathing room. The cap also boasts a reflective strip on the logo, which is great for night runs. Overall, the fabric is sturdy, keeps the sweat from creeping onto your face and does its job backward as well, with a tight band and zero extra material flapping around. Pick up this one for a long run or an easy jaunt around the neighborhood, you won’t be disappointed.
11. Under Armour Shadow 4.0 Cap
Under Armour has made an excellent cap here, which is made from polyester and can be thrown in the washing machine. It has a four-way stretch construction to help move with you as well as moisture-wicking material so it’s good for a long run on a hot day. This is the biggest cap on our list, but don’t let its size hold you back, although it sits lower on your head, so if you’re more into a lighter fit, our above options may be a better choice. Otherwise, grab one of these for the summer and get running.
12. Nike Aerobill Tailwind Trail Cap
The Aerobill Tailwind Trail Cap is made from DRI-Fit polyester material, which excellently wipes sweat away from your face and keeps you cool. It also has laser perforations along the sides so as your heat rises it doesn’t stay trapped within your head. The back of the cap is all one piece of fabric which is good for those who are fans of the backward-cap look — no messy tangle of flapping material hitting you in the face. It has a strip of visibility so you can be seen at night and performs well on longer runs because it’s so lightweight — you might even forget you’re wearing it.
13. Boco Ventilator Mesh Elite
Boco is known mainly for its stylish trucker hats, but since an optimal running cap doesn’t have as many holes around the head as the trucker mesh style, the Ventilator is a great go-between. The rear and side panels help keep you cool while the wide brim flaps down for optimal sun glare protection. This tech-savvy cap will keep you running for even longer on hot days.
14. Salomon Air Logo Cap
Another high performance running gear company, Salomon has made a splash with the Air Logo cap. Its variety of darker colors makes it suitable for those not trying to stand out, or for those of us who prefer black. The cap has a unique European cycling tilt to the brim, which makes it fun to wear on steep trail runs or hikes. Its lightweight, coming in at just 1.2 ounces, which makes for a great long-distance companion.
15. Eclipse Cap
The Eclipse Cap keeps the sun away from your face while protecting you from the harsh glare with the dark brim. Cool and protective, the Eclipse cap is hand washable, 100% polyester, and is quick drying. Coming in blue and white, take your pick of this cool cap for the summer.