Find the hat that best fits your head.
Written by: Cielestia Calbay
As you expand your fall activewear wardrobe, a good running cap may be worth the investment. Whether it’s blazing hot or briskly cool, running caps can protect your noggin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, provide warmth during the colder months or add a reflective safety element when you’re running in the evening. We caught up with Mike McQueeney, president of Headsweats, for tips on finding the best running cap, and rounded up some of our favorites as well.
Fabric and Construction
1. Look for technical fabrics that specialize in wicking moisture away from the head and drying quickly.
2. A knit hat has a more porous nature that allows for better wicking and breathability.
3. A woven can still wick and breathe, but it provides better sun protection than others.
4. Generally if a fabric has a rough or crinkly feel, it’s a cheaper fabric that won’t breathe or wick away moisture.
5. Don’t be fooled with hat designs with cheap fabrics that add a mesh panel or gusset for breathability. The hat still doesn’t perform and the runner can feel overheated.
Seasonal Buying: Summer vs. Winter
1. Hot, humid and warm climates call for lightweight and breathable headwear.
2. Cool climates call for a lightweight, technical-wicking fabric beanie with ear coverage or a technical, moisture-wicking fleece fabric beanie. Since the athlete is generating body heat, the temperature will dictate the weight of the fleece.
Nike Dri-FIT Daybreak Men’s Visor, $22
This lightweight visor stays put and is sturdy enough to use in other sports like golf and tennis.
New Balance Endurance Cap, $15
Uses New Balance’s Lighting Dry fabric for moisture-wicking and a comfort ear design that doesn’t dig into your skin.
Headsweats Race Hat Semi Custom, $24
Headsweats’ most popular model can be customized to meet your style and performance needs. It’s made from a woven fabric shell and is machine washable.
Brooks Nightlife Hat, $15
Specifically made for nighttime and wet-weather runs (if you’re into that), this cap is made from a water-resistant, high-visibility fabric with a flashing L.E.D. light at the back to make sure you’re seen. The battery-powered light is easy to replace and remove.
Asics Shade 2-N-1 Cap, $30
Sun protection is this lightweight cap’s specialty as it features a sun skirt and 50+ UPF rating to provide maximum protection in blazing temperatures. The adjustable cinch straps are easy to adjust and keep the cap snug.
Asics Storm Shelter Cap, $25
Waterproof and windproof, this cap is seam-sealed but still has a full mesh lining for breathability. Its dark-colored underbill reduces glare.
Adidas Women’s Adizero Trainer, $20
A perforated mesh fabric is combined with Adidas’ ClimaCool technology fabric to provide breathability and UPF sun protection. It features a non-glare under visor, reflective stripes on the brim and a moisture-wicking sweatband.
Adidas Adizero Cap, $20
A lightweight cap with comfortable ventilated panels and a moisture-wicking, anti-microbial sweatband that keeps you dry and eliminates bacteria build-up.