We have the top running hats that will keep you on the trail or pounding the pavement.
You will also need a pair of comfortable shorts and well-fitted shoes. A reliable running hat is a must-have for many avid athletes. Quality hats wick moisture, keep sweat out of your eyes, protect against rain, wind, and sun.
Running hats will no longer look like heavy, sweaty cotton baseball caps in 2021. Hats can be breathable, light, stylish, and remarkably discreet. The right hat will fit in your running kit and can be useful for everything from quick runs to long distances.
Running hats can cost anywhere from $10 to $40 depending on their brand, materials, and design. We’ve compiled a list of the top running hats for 2021.
You can view the entire list or jump to the category that interests you most.
Best Overall: Headsweats Performance Race Hat
The brim is lined with reflective trim and has a ponytail portal. Performance Race Hat Headsweats‘ has been carefully engineered to meet the demands of recreational and competitive runners. The elegant design makes this hat ideal for everyday wear. It’s light and comfortable, so it’s hard to believe you’re wearing any hat.
The entire hat is lined with a moisture-wicking sweatband. The polyester fabric shell keeps light moist out and allows for easy breathing. Even if you have thick hair, the adjustable strap will fit any head size.
The Headsweats Performance Race Cap It has all the characteristics that make a modern running hat. It’s a great value for money, with a $20 price tag.
Runner-Up: Sunday Afternoons Aerial Cap
The combination of ultralightweight fabrics with hardy construction makes the Ultralightweight Fabrics. This classic design is made of breathable polyester and has strategically placed mesh strips in the crown to provide additional ventilation.
The Aerial Cap is available in one size, just like other running hats. The back has a secure, highly adjustable fastening system that fits heads measuring between 21.6 inches and 24 inches. The Aerial Cap has a 50+ UPF rating and is well-known for its sun protection.
At $30, this hat is more expensive than other options, Although it is more costly than the other options, it offers a powerful combination of ventilation and wicking as well as sun protection. The Sunday Afternoons Aerobic Cap is a great choice for runners who enjoy long runs in sunny environments.
Best Budget: GADIEMKENSD Outdoor Hat
This hat is perfect for runners who frequently travel. The clever folding design makes it easy to fit the entire hat in a small bag or pocket, without damaging the brim. The hat is just like other high-quality hats in this collection. The price is $14 and includes thoughtful features like a reflective brim, UPF 50+ rating to protect your skin from damaging UV rays.
This hat is suitable for all weather conditions. Raindrops are prevented from getting into the fabric by a water-repellent treatment. The hat’s polyester fabric is quick-drying and won’t remain damp if it gets wet. For maximum ventilation, the design is completed with mesh strips that breathe to provide maximum ventilation.
The elastic inner band can be adjusted to fit any head, even the biggest. Although this hat does not absorb sweat as well as the other options, it is still comfortable. For $14 it’s an affordable, feature-rich option.
Best for Extra-Hot Weather: Nathan RunCool
This is the hat for running on the hottest days, a hat is essential. The hat is ideal for runners who live in warm regions. Nathan RunCool is designed to keep you cool, comfortable, and running in the scorching sun.
The RunCool features a built-in stash for ice. This pocket is available at aid stations and before you start your run.
The cooling ice melts as you run and prevents overheating. This hat is a valuable piece of gear for runners who don’t like extreme heat but find themselves suddenly signed up to a hot-weather run.
The entire interior lining of the RunCool. This sweatband is soft and mesh-wicking, so sweat doesn’t get in your eyes. It allows you to focus on the trail ahead. The outer material is light and has two dry tech polyester mesh panels for ventilation.
An adjustable single strap makes it easy to fit all sizes. You can use the pockets on each side to store keys, credit cards and energy gels.
Nathan RunCool is well-designed and packs a lot of features into one lightweight running hat. It’s stylish and practical for warm-weather runners, at $25
Best of the Rest: Brooks Propel Mesh Hat
The lightweight mesh outer material makes this hat extremely breathable. This hat provides a cooling effect, complete coverage, and shields you from the sun on sunny runs.
This hat is durable and easily packable. It is made from 84% polyester, 16% spandex and can be stretched to fit different head sizes and hair types. The sweat-wicking inner headband prevents perspiration from running into your eyes.
This hat is the most expensive on our list at $36. The hat is great for people who want lots of ventilation. Brooks Propel Mesh hat is a product of high quality.
REI Co-op Swiftland Running Cap
The design is simple but elegant. This stylish running hat can be worn as both a fashionable piece and a running hat. It may not look like a running hat from the outside, but a closer inspection reveals many useful features.
This hat is great for trail running. The sweatband and side vents keep your head cool while you run. Even in the heat, the fabric is quick-drying and moisture-wicking. Additional cooling is provided by laser-cut vent holes. The flexible brim can be easily adjusted for a customized fit.
The unique bungee closure can be adjusted to fit most heads and reduces overall weight. This nice-looking REI option is sure to please.
Outdoor Research Swift Cap
The hat is sometimes compared to a Nike running cap. This stylish, water-resistant hat is only $27 and can be worn for running, golfing or just enjoying the fresh air. This hat is lightweight and compact, so it will fit in your bag easily.
This hat has a nylon top and mesh sides. It is slightly warmer than other hats on this list. However, the mesh provides good cooling and ventilation. The curved bill provides protection from the sun throughout the day.
It’s not a running cap. This cap is perfect for all outdoor adventures.
Brooks Chaser Hat
Helping you minimize distraction while running. It keeps sweat out of your eyes and the sun from your skin. It is breathable and soft, offering comfort and performance in a sweet combination.
This hat has reflective accents that make you visible to other runners even when running in darkness. This is a valuable feature for urban runners. An adjustable back allows for custom-fitting and can be adjusted in seconds.
This sleek hat is only $28 and offers many features for runners without drawing attention.
Fjallraven High Coast Vent Cap
Marathons, daily training runs, and casual outings on the trail are all possible. The price includes portable shade and cooling ventilation. This solid headwear is suitable for all runners thanks to its snapback closure.
This cap is made of extremely breathable lightweight polyester and has mesh side panels for breezy comfort. It’s slightly more expensive than other options at $35. It’s worth considering if you’re looking for a running cap that will last.
The Arc’teryx Calvus was designed to protect you from all types of weather while running. It is made from a stretchy, breathable fabric that helps to prevent heat buildup during long, strenuous runs.
The fabric has a weather-resistant coating that provides extra protection in the event of rain or wet conditions. Calvus hats are characterized by their ability to dry quickly and mesh side panels that provide active-focused comfort.
The sweatband liner is woven into hat material. This is remarkable considering that the whole product weighs only 1.8 ounces. It is a little expensive but it is a great example of the quality that we expect from Arc’teryx.
Ciele GOCap Athletics
This stylish and practical Ciele hat was made for runners. The hat’s flexible brim and fast-drying performance make it easy to wear. The price of $40 covers everything that a running hat made for purpose should do.
It can withstand frequent activewear. It can be easily packed into a bag without losing its shape or integrity. You can wash it in the washing machine even if it is covered in sweat or dirty. All brims, front and back panels come with UPF 40+ sun coverage, while the COOLwick fabric prevents sweating and overheating.
Reflective detailing at the front and back of the body is helpful for morning or evening runs. GOCAP improves visibility. It is only available in one size but it can be adjusted to fit most runners.
Path Projects Muir Cap
This running hat ticks all the boxes. It is lightweight, well-made, and extremely breathable.
Although there are many great features to this hat we love, the ventilation holes are our favorite. The Muir Cap has 94 holes measuring 2mm in the top and sides. These holes allow for air to circulate and cool your head.
This classic cap is five-panel in design. It is well-designed, affordable activewear. It’s a great addition to any running kit, thanks to its crushable visor and reflective front logo. It’s also very affordable.
Buyer’s Guide: How do I choose a running hat?
Running hats are a useful tool that can be used as part of your running kit. A good cap will provide protection from the sun, warmth, visibility, and moisture-wicking. You should consider ventilation, comfort, moisture transfer, reflectivity, and other important considerations when shopping for the right hat.
These features are important to consider. Once you have determined your current and future running needs, take a look at this list to determine the best option for you. Although we recommend all the hats on this list, some may be more suitable for certain runners than others.
Ventilation and Breathability
Even though it’s not particularly warm, runners can still get sweaty and hot. This is why it’s so important to use gear that allows for plenty of ventilation in the heat.
If you run in hot conditions, a lightweight hat such as mesh or thin nylon is a good choice. A light-colored hat can help you keep cool while running. Some hats, such as the Nathan RunCool are made for running in hot conditions.
Comfort & Fit
When buying a hat, it is helpful to measure your head. After you have a good idea of your head size, you can compare it with the dimensions of the hats that you are considering. Next, choose a hat that is easy to adjust. Brooks hats can accommodate larger heads.
The comfort of a hat is also affected by its weight. Arc’teryx products have a reputation for being light and well-designed. They are known for their lightness and well-designed products.
Moisture transfer refers to a hat’s ability, after being saturated with sweat or any other moisture, to dry quickly. Many of the hats we have included include sweat-wicking inner liners to keep sweat from getting into your eyes and skin.
Hats made of mesh or thin polyester tend to dry quickly. Avoid wool and cotton when shopping for a running cap.
High-visibility running caps reflect light, making it easier for others to see you even in low-light conditions. Running in low-traffic areas with good reflectivity will increase your safety.
GADIEMKENSD Running Hat has excellent reflective details that increase visibility.
Price & Durability
Running hats are available in a range of prices, from $10 to $40. You will want the best quality and longest-lasting hat possible, depending on your budget. The quality of the materials used to make the hats last is what determines their durability.
This list includes hats that are known for their durability and high quality. The hats on this list are affordable if that is your main concern. GADIEMKENSD Running Hat costs only $14, but still provides many features.