HomeGearTop Ranked Running Hats, Caps, Beanies, and Visors Reviewed

Top Ranked Running Hats, Caps, Beanies, and Visors Reviewed

Today, we’re diving headfirst into a topic that might seem small but packs a big punch in your running game: hats.

That’s right, those humble headpieces are more than just a fashion statement – they’re an essential tool for every runner, whether you’re pounding the pavement or hitting the trails.

First, we will look at types and styles and then look at our top hat picks. So, let’s talk hats!

Quick List of our Top Picks

1. Best Technical Running Hat – SAAKA Lightweight Running Hat at Amazon.com ($28.90)

2. Best Baseball Style Hat – Adidas Superlite 2 Cap at Amazon.com ($25.45)

3. Best Performance Running Hat – Sprints Race Day Performance Running Cap Amazon.com ($32.00)

4. Best Running Visor – Gone For a Run Runners Lightweight Comfort Performance Visor at Amazon.com ($14.99)

5. Best Running Beanie (Thermal) – Cycology Frida Thermal Beanie at CycologyClothing.com ($19.99)

6. Best Running Beanie (Wool) – Smartwool Merino Sport 150 Beanie at Amazon.com ($33.49)

7. Best Hat with Neck Protection – Columbia Unisex Schooner Bank™ Cachalot at Amazon.com ($27.99)

8. Best Packable Hat – Long Haul Cap at TerritoryRun.co ($39.00)

9. Best Budget Running Hat – GADIEMKENSD Stretch Running Hat  at Amazon.com ($13.99)

Why Wear a Hat?

First things first, why bother with a hat when you’re out for a run? Well, let me tell you, hats are more than just a stylish accessory – they’re your first line of defense against the elements. Here’s why wearing a hat is a game-changer:

  • Sun Protection: Running under the blazing sun? A hat with a brim provides invaluable shade, shielding your face, eyes, and neck from harmful UV rays. Trust me, your skin will thank you later!
  • Temperature Regulation: Hats help regulate your body temperature by keeping your head cool in hot weather and retaining heat in colder conditions. It’s like having your own personal thermostat!
  • Sweat Management: Let’s face it – running can get sweaty. A moisture-wicking hat helps absorb sweat, keeping it out of your eyes and off your face, so you can stay focused on crushing those miles.
  • Visibility: Opting for a bright-colored or reflective hat enhances your visibility, making you more noticeable to drivers and fellow runners, especially during low-light conditions.

Types of Hats

Now that we’ve covered why hats are a must-have, let’s explore the different types available to suit your running needs:

  • Baseball Cap: A classic choice for runners, baseball caps feature a curved brim that offers excellent sun protection and helps keep rain out of your eyes. Look for ones made from lightweight, breathable materials for maximum comfort.
  • Technical Running Hat: Specifically designed for runners, these hats are made from moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester or nylon to keep you cool and dry. They often feature mesh panels for enhanced breathability and adjustable straps for a customizable fit.
  • Visor: Prefer an unobstructed view? You should try a visor, which offers sun protection while keeping your head feeling airy and light. Plus, it won’t mess with your ponytail!
  • Beanie: When the temperature drops, reach for a beanie to keep your noggin warm and cozy. Look for ones made from insulating materials like fleece or merino wool for added warmth without the bulk.

Choosing the Right Hat

So, how do you pick the perfect hat for your runs? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Fit: Make sure your hat fits snugly but comfortably without being too tight. Adjustable straps or elastic bands can help achieve the perfect fit.
  • Material: Look for lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics that help keep sweat at bay and allow for maximum breathability. If you need a hat for the cold weather look for those that provide thermal protection and insulate your head. Fabrics like merino wool, fleece or thermal fabrics designed to trap heat are best.
  • Brim Size: Consider the size of the brim based on your sun protection needs. Larger brims offer more coverage, while smaller ones provide a more streamlined look.
  • Reflectivity: If you often run in low-light conditions, choose a hat with reflective elements to enhance your visibility and safety.
  • Style: Finally, don’t forget to pick a hat that reflects your personal style and makes you feel confident on your runs. After all, when you look good, you feel good!

1. Best Technical Running Hat – SAAKA Lightweight Running Hat

SAAKA Lightweight Hat for Men. Fast Drying, Stays Cools. Best for Running, Tennis, Golf and All Sports (White)

$28.90 at Amazon.com
$28.50 at saaka.com

Instead of traditional fabrics, SAAKA uses BAMBOO materials. This is why their performance hat is so light, comfortable, stretchy, and sweat wicking. Get rid of your cotton accessories and see why BAMBOO is so awesome! The design is unstructured so gives a flexible, comfortable fit.

The S-shaped ventilation holes make this hat highly breathable and helps regulate temperature, so you don’t get too hot or too cold. It features a hook and loop closure making it adjusted to a perfect fit. This means, you can wear it tight during your favorite activities or more relaxed for casual wear. The SAAKA Sport Hat has a built-in, triple layer sweatband that keeps you cool & dry plus it keeps the sweat off your face and out of your eyes when running.

2. Best Baseball Style Hat – Adidas Superlite 2 Cap

adidas Men's Superlite Relaxed Fit Performance Hat, Black, One Size

$25.45 at Amazon.com
$28.00 at adidas.com

If you prefer a baseball style hat this is a classic Adidas hat which is made from recycled material is for you. It has a lightweight 6-panel design with premium 3d weld badge of sport logo.

The mesh provides ultimate air flow and moisture-wicking with a non-glare lining under visor for improved vision. This also has a UPF 50 sun protection factor to guard against the sun’s most harmful rays. It’s lightweight and comfortable and can be adjusted to fit your head using the hook-and-loop back closure.

It’s quick drying and you can wash it and dry quickly overnight in time for your next run.

3. Best Performance Running Hat – Sprints Race Day Performance Running Cap

Sprints Flamingos Race Day Performance Running Cap | The Lightweight, Quick Dry, Sport Hat Blue, One Size

$32.00 at Amazon.com
$32.00 at getsprints.com

We love this brand as they produce technical running hats with funky prints. If you want to stand out from the crowd, then this hat will help you do just that! ABRIC: Sprints OG hats are made with a proprietary blend of featherweight fabric.

Each hat is made with a premium Velcro closure allowing the hat to adjust and fit most adult head sizes. The circumference is 22.8 inches and expands to about 24.3 inches which is a hat size 6 & 1/4 to 7 & 7/8.

A built-in sweat band wicks sweat away from your face and eyes while teardrop mesh vents allow heat to escape keeping you cool on your workout. If you do it get a bit sweat stained, you can wash it in your washing machine – no sweat!

4. Best Running Visor – Gone For a Run Runners Lightweight Comfort Performance Visor

Runners Lightweight Comfort Performance Visor | Happy Hour

$14.99 at Amazon.com
$19.99 at goneforarun.com

The Happy Hour running comfort performance visor is great for all sports including: running, hiking, golfing, playing tennis, or even just relaxing. This one size fits most visor features a 3” brim as well as a 3” headband. The moisture wicking and quick drying fabric of this visor helps keep the sweat out of your face as well as shield your eyes from harmful UV rays or constant driving rain.

The Running Comfort Performance Visor provides extreme comfort as well as ventilation. The lightweight stretchable performance polyester and spandex along with the wide stretchable no slip design band allow for the visor to remain perfectly positioned throughout any athletic activity. No more irritating Velcro getting stuck to your hair.

This visor can go anywhere and is reversible so you can sport two different designs!

It is soft and easy to fold or bend, which is perfect for putting it in your luggage while traveling, or your pocket while indoors. This flexible visor is machine washable, so you can wear it as often as you would like. The stretchable fabric is perfect for bringing this with you on the road!

The greatest gift for the runner, coach, or fan in your life! We know they’ll love wearing this popular lightweight comfort performance visor for every run or race. This moisture wicking lightweight visor is so comfortable they will not even realize it is there. This is the perfect gift to replace those heavy, bulky hats or visors that most runners wear.

5. Best Running Beanie (Thermal) – Cycology Frida Thermal Beanie

$19.95 at cycologyclothing.com

This is a very versatile beanie as it can be used for both running and cycling. It’s loose fitting and fits easily under a cycling helmet. For running it will keep your ears warm and you can wear headphones under it.

It has a soft brushed fleece lining and a multi panel construction with 4-way stretch. One size fits all and it features CYCOLOGY original artwork.

6. Best Running Beanie (Wool) – Smartwool Merino Sport 150 Beanie

Smartwool SW0173590841FM Merino Sport 150 Beanie Medium Gray Heather 1FM

$25.00 at Amazon.com
$25.00 at moosejaw.com

I’m a big fan of Smartwool products and have quite a few pairs of their merino wool socks.

Merino wool is sustainable, temperature regulating and odor resistant. Merino wool also make less bulky products than standard wool so you can put this under your cycle helmet as well as run in it. This hat is a definite winner for comfortable, warm winter running.

7. Best Hat with Neck Protection – Columbia Unisex Schooner Bank™ Cachalot

Columbia Schooner Bank Cachalot III Sun Hats, Fossil, One Size

$27.99 at Amazon.com
$28.00 at columbia.com

If you are running in the sun, then having your head and you neck covered is a good idea. Columbia as a brand is known for its quality and durability and this hat is no exception.

This hat is extremely lightweight, but completely covers the scalp, neck, and ears from the blazing sun and has an Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection. It allowed me to only apply sunscreen to my face.

The peak gives great face coverage from the sun and the lightweight fabric draping over the ears and neck is barely noticeable. Also, if you fold the drape under the cap when neck protection is not needed, the sheer fabric is not even noticeable under the cap. I also like the elastic tightening band rather than relying on an aggravating chin strap. This elastic tightening will keep it in place when you run.

8. Best Packable Hat – Long Haul Cap

$39.00 at territoryrun.co

This is Territory Run’s bestselling performance running cap and it’s easy to see why with stunning design and practical features. It is an extremely lightweight design with rapid drying materials with breathable laser venting in upper and side panels. The Long Haul hat has an unstructured 5 panel construction with deep fit.  

The pliable crushable brim makes it easy to pack away and will always regain its shape. As with the other hats in our list is has a moisture wicking sweatband and brim. The soft and light materials give you all day comfort for running, traveling or both. The adjusting back band fits the majority of sizes and has extra elastic stretch for comfort when running.

9. Best Budget Running Hat – GADIEMKENSD Stretch Running Hat 

Sport Cap,Soft Folding Brim Lightweight Running Hat Breathable Baseball Cap Quick Dry Sport Caps Cooling Portable Sun Hats for Men and Woman Performance Cloth Workouts and Outdoor Activities Navy

$13.99 at Amazon.com

For the money this hat has it all – lightweight, stretchy, and comfortable plus it will wick away your sweat as you run. This hat has proved a big hit on Amazon with many runners buying multiple hats of different colors.

This hat is hand wash only so not as convenient as others we have reviewed.

Bonus Hats from ChiliTri

I may be biased but I think these two hats are great and worth a mention. These are ChiliTri branded hats, and my athletes love them!

ChiliTri Pom-Pom Beanie ($18)

This hat is ideal for an early morning, cold start for on race day or when you get up early for your workout. It’s also ideal for wearing after a cold open water swim. This 100% acrylic speckled pom-pom beanie made in knit ribbed pattern is soft, cozy, and has a solid cuff to ensure a comfortable fit.

ChiliTri Snap-Back Hat ($19)

The ChiliTri cap is great for after training or race or just out and about. This hat is structured with a classic fit, flat brim, and full buckram. The adjustable snap closure makes it a comfortable, one-size-fits-most hat.

In Conclusion

So, there you have it – the lowdown on why hats are a runner’s best friend, the different types available, and how to choose the perfect one for your needs.

Whether you’re logging miles under the sun or braving the chillier months, a hat is a simple yet effective tool to elevate your running experience.

So next time you lace up those sneakers, don’t forget to top it off with your favorite hat – your head (and your performance) will thank you for it!

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Karen Parnell
Karen Parnellhttps://chilitri.com/one-to-one-coaching
Karen Parnell is British Triathlon Federation (BTF) Level 3 High Performing Coach and Tutor and ASA Open Water Swimming Coach. She is also a qualified NASM Personal Trainer, Nivel 3 Técnicos Federados FATRI España and IRONMAN® Certified Coach as well as being a Stryd running with power coach. Karen is based near Malaga in Southern Spain where she runs ChiliTri coaching and camps. You can find training plans for swimming, cycling, running and triathlon on Training TiltTrainingPeaks and FinalSurge.

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