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The 15 Best Running Hats of 2021

When it comes to the gear that runners need, the list is mercifully short.

Basically, you just need shoes.

And even those you hardly need – barefoot shoes are fine.

But if you are looking for a little help enjoying your jogs even more, I’d recommend you find the right running hat to accompany you.

The 15 Best Running Hats for Every Type of Runner

Running with a hat carries a number of benefits, from keeping your sweat at bay to just making sure you look cool (very important).

But whatever the reason you’re currently in the market for a new cap, you’ll find at least one perfect option below.

Without further ado, here are the top 15 running hats currently on the market.


1. Runners Original Running Hat - $39

I’m going to start a list with, arguably, the best running hat on the market – of all time.

Alright. To be fair, I’m a little biased as this hat is ours.

Nonetheless, here’s why I can unapologetically recommend them.

First, this hat looks great (if I do say so myself). While I understand some people like the more traditional, short-brim, small-profile running caps (and I’ve included some below), I wanted a hat that would keep the sun out of my eyes, fit comfortably, and look great even when I’m not running.

Second, I made these running hats from hydrophobic material, which means your head will stay nice and dry even if you encounter a little rain or you want some extra shade while you’re in the pool (the visor is even buoyant, so it won’t sink if it falls off).

Third, a moisture-wicking lining and antimicrobial sweatband will also help you stay dry and keep your hat from developing an odor even if you regularly work up a sweat. Breathable side and back panels will keep that to a minimum, though.

Fourth, I included a hidden pocket inside the hat, so you have room for your important cards. This is essential if you wear running shorts or leggings that don’t have pockets.

At the moment, we offer our hats in three different colors:

But we’re continuing to update our inventory, so check back for new colors in the future.

Okay, shameless plug out of the way, now let’s talk about some other great hats that runners love.

2. Ciele Athletics GoCap - $40

The first one I want to tell you about is Ciele Athletics GoCap.

If you like that more traditional runners cap with its shorter brim, this is a great option you should consider. It’s designed with a multipaneled construction that gives the hat a sleek look and a comfortable fit.

The durable brim is also soft and bendable, which makes it easy to pack. It’s safe to toss in the washing machine, too. That won’t cause this hat to lose its shape.

And the Coolwick fabric on this running cap dries quickly, which will keep your head nice and dry even on the hottest days.

3. Janji AFO Hyperlight Cap - $38

Janji makes a whole line of running hats that really stand out from the crowd, but their AFO Hyperlight Cap offers a lot of fun colors and patterns. And if you want a shorter brim that’s still a bit longer than the traditional cap, Janji has you covered.

Style isn’t the only reason to love it, though.

As the name suggests, this hat is extremely light, weighing in at a svelte 29 grams. So, if it wasn’t for the sun protection – and all the compliments you’ll get – you probably won’t even know it’s there.

This is also another hat with a pliable brim, which means the whole thing can be scrunched up and shoved in your pocket or tossed into your backpack without hurting its construction.

4. Headsweats Reflective Race Hat - $43.32

Headsweats is another brand with a lot of unique colors to choose from. This includes their Reflective Race Hat for runners, too.

Its Eventure terry sweatband is a welcomed edition for those of you who love running on hot days but don’t enjoy the feeling of sweat pouring down your face. No matter what color you choose, the undervisor is always black, which will help to reduce glare on those sunnier days, too.

But, as you may have guessed, this is also a great hat if you love to keep running when the sun goes down. While running with a proper safety vest is always the right move, it doesn’t hurt to get a little extra help from a hat designed to reflect cars’ lights. Reflective piping borders the brim of this hat making it easy to be seen long after the sun has gone down.

5. Lululemon Fast and Free Women's Run Hat Pony - $38

I’ve talked before about why I think Lululemon leggings are overpriced, but I can’t deny that the company makes some very high-quality products.

And their Fast and Free Women’s Run Hat Pony is no exception.

The big selling point of this hat is that there’s a nice large opening at the back for a ponytail. Now, that might not seem like that big of a deal for those of us with short hair, but talk to any long-haired runners and they’ll tell you how annoying it is to try to get hair through the traditional space in the back of a hat.

With the Fast and Free Women’s Run Hat Pony, you get the visor you want, the cover for your head, and plenty of room to thread a ponytail.

Plus, Lululemon made it from lightweight, sweat-wicking Swift™ fabric that dries quickly. It even includes some reflective elements to keep you safe at night.

6. Lululemon Race Kit Hat - $52

Just to show there’s no hard feelings about their pricing, I’m giving Lululemon a second spot on this list thanks to their Race Kit Hat.

That being said, this is the most expensive runner’s hat on the page by a pretty wide margin.

So, what’re you paying for?

Well, look, part of that price tag pays for the name “Lululemon”, not that you’ll see its famous logo anywhere.

Still, there’s no doubt this is a stylish running cap. It includes multicolor ventilation stripes going down each side that will keep you feeling – and looking – cool. Those fancy stripes continue around the brim, too.

Lululemon’s Race Kit Hat is more than just good looks, though. The Swift™ Ultra Light fabric is as light as it is comfortable. And the brim provides plenty of protection from the sun yet can still be scrunched up and packed away.

7. Tracksmith Hat - $38  

I don’t know if I’d necessarily describe this one as a “running hat”, per se, but it’s Tracksmith and people love Tracksmith, so let’s take a look at what this Tracksmith hat brings to the table.

First of all, even Tracksmith describes it as a “baseball hat”, so you’re not going to get a ton of the bells-and-whistles you will with the other hats on this list that are designed specifically for runners.

And it’s actually made from cotton, so this isn’t a hat that’s going to wick sweat very well.

It does look stylish, though. I have to give it that. And if you’re already fond of Tracksmith’s attire, you’ll definitely love the way this hat looks.

Otherwise, the cotton material is probably a good choice if you like running in cold weather. It’s definitely more fashionable than a lot of other running hats designed to keep you warm (I’ll cover those shortly) and it’s a stylish option you can wear with the rest of your wardrobe, too.

8. RNNR Lightweight Distance Hat - $34.50

On the other end of the spectrum is RNNR’s Lightweight Distance Hat. If you love running but don’t love the conventional look of most running hats and would prefer something that makes you stand out, this is going to be the hat for you.

Aside from their fashionable flare, this running hat is also lightweight, very breathable, and great at wicking away moisture. Sizable netting panels on either side of the hat will also help keep you cool while protecting the top of your head from an overzealous sun.

And if your normal fashion sense is also a bit “out there”, this RNNR hat may be the perfect complement on-and-off the running trail.

9. Sunday Afternoons Ultra Trail Cap - $34

Sunday Afternoons Ultra Trail Cap is another running cap that combines traditional and more modern looks.

On the one hand, the Ultra Trail Cap has a smaller profile that will sit fairly high on most runners’ heads. If you like that kind of minimal design, that’s a reason to give this one a look.

On the other, it has the kind of longer rim a lot of runners seem to prefer nowadays – not the short one that was popular for decades.

This hybrid look isn’t all there is to love about the Ultra Trail Cap, either.   

It’s also lightweight and easy to roll into a ball for easy storage. At the same time, this hat will still give you UPF 50+ protection from the sun. It’s made from bluesign® certified fabric that offers a PFC-free water-repellant, durable finish throughout the hat, mesh, and the sweatband.

And as a guy who loves to wear sunglasses when running, I appreciate that this cap comes with a Sunglass Lock™ feature that you can use to keep your shades in place while you run.

10. Arc'teryx Calvus Cap - $35

If your favorite type of running involves plenty of mountain views, then this next running hat might be the perfect fit. It’s designed specifically for mountain runners like yourself.

The Arc’teryx Calvus Cap is made with Socora™ polyester fabric that is lightweight, moisture-wicking, and ultra-breathable. Polydel™ mesh panels on both sides will help keep you cool while the Spacermesh™ sweatband keeps you comfortable. If you run into a little rain while jogging through the mountains, this hat is treated with DWR (durable water repellant) that will keep your head from getting soaked.

And though the Calvus Cap may not grab quite as much attention as our last option, it still looks great in my opinion. What it lacks in crazy colors or wild icons, it more than makes up for with a clean, classic appearance.

11. Black Diamond Dash Cap - $35

The big selling point of Black Diamond’s Dash Cap is its five-panel design. Sure, it looks nice, but this much coverage is also going to keep your head protected during long runs no matter what kinds of conditions you find yourself up against. These panels are also made with breathable fabric that offer UV protection. Plus, Black Diamond included a reflective logo for a little extra visibility if you end up running after dark.

There’s plenty going on inside this hat, too. A wicking sweatband and a webbed closure you can adjust will keep this hat nice and comfortable no matter how long your runs last.

12. On Lightweight Cap - $39.99

The brand “On” has been climbing to the top of the athletic clothing industry since its humble beginnings back in 2010. Today, the company’s logo is becoming synonymous with everything from shoes to hoodies to, yes, running hats.

On’s Lightweight Cap makes my list for being light as a feather but also extremely durable. It’ll dry plenty fast, too, if you work up a sweat or even run into some rain. If you instead find yourself running under a merciless sun, there is lots of ventilation cut into the sides of this cap to keep your head cool.

In these ways, On’s contribution to this post shares a lot in common with the other hats on this list. You can add an understated style to that list of attributes, as well.

Despite these similarities, it’s easy to recommend On’s Lightweight Cap because of the brand’s well-earned popularity among runners all over the world.

13. Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap - $38.80

By now, you’ve probably noticed that every running hat on this list has at least one very important aspect in common: they provide lots of protection from the sun.

I’m a big fan of UV400 sunglasses for keeping my eyes safe when outdoors, but a good running hat is another good investment for shielding the rest of your face from these harmful rays.

However, what if you plan on longer runs – maybe doing some ultrarunning – over terrain that gets lots of direct sunlight?

In that case, you might love wearing the Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap.

This hat offers the most protection from the sun – by far – of any on this list. Your whole head, ears, and neck will be covered with UPF 50+ fabric that keeps the sun at bay. It also includes a moisture-wicking brim, which is a necessity if you plan on running in extreme heat.

14. TrailHeads Fleece Ponytail Hat with Drop Down Ear Warmer - $39.99

So far, I’ve covered a number of running hats that are great if you love going for long jogs in the heat or even if you get hit by some rain.

But what about those of you who have to contend with colder conditions?

Running outside doesn’t just mean sun exposure.

If you’re someone whose love of the sport means you head outdoors to run in the cold when winter comes, don’t worry. I have two cold-weather options that will be perfect once the temperature really drops.

The first one is TrailHeads Fleece Ponytail Hat. While it’s marketed as a running hat specifically for women, that’s just because of the opening it has for ponytails. So, if you’re a guy with long hair who wants a little help with the cold, this is still a great choice.

Just like the name says, this hat is made with fleece, which will keep your head nice and toasty during your runs. The dropdown ear panels are amazing for this, too.

And if running in the cold means running in the dark, the hat is made with reflective stitching around the ponytail opening and a reflective accent that goes all the way around the brim of the cap’s visor.

15. TAGVO Music Beanie Hat with Light - $15.99

Finally, I’m going to highlight the most unique hat on this list.

This is another running hat that’s great for keeping you warm during the winter months, but it does a whole lot more than that.

TAGVO’s running beanie comes with an LED light at the front to light the path ahead of you if you decide to go for a jog in the dark. This is a necessity if you plan on trail running where you won’t have the luxury of sidewalks or any help from streetlamps.

So, along with reflective clothing, it’s also a good investment if you run on dark roads at night.

In any case, the light will last up to four hours, which should be enough to make sure you get home safe.

On top of that, TAGVO also included built-in stereo speakers that will play your music – or allow you to use a phone – for 10-12 hours. It only takes 1.5-2 hours to charge the speakers, which you can do with a typical USB charger.

Most of us love listening to music when we run, but if you’re someone who also wants to make sure they can still hear the world around them, this kind of speaker-hat setup might be ideal.

Choosing the Best Running Hat for Your Unique Needs

As you can probably tell by now, there is no lack of running hats to choose from. Whether you’re looking for protection from the sun, protection from the cold, something to hold your hair back, or help keeping sweat from your eyes, there are plenty above that will fit the bill.

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