As a runner, you are no stranger to sweat. And if you’re a heavy sweater like me, you know there’s no shortage of it especially on hot, sunny days. I personally love working up a good sweat because I love the feeling of pushing myself. It’s a reminder of strength, endurance, and staying healthy. What I don’t like about sweat is when it gets in my face – and I’m going to guess that you agree. Here I’m focusing on finding the best running hats for sweat that give great sun protection at the same time.!
Here is a preview of the top running hats of 2021 I’ll be showing the features of:
“All the Features” Category Running Hats
1.) Womens’ TrailHeads Folding Bill Running Hat
2.) Men’s TrailHeads Reflective Running Cap – Quick Dry Hat
3.) Nike Men’s & Women’s AeroBill Featherlight Cap
4.) Under Armour Men’s Launch ArmourVent Cap
5.) Under Armour Women’s Shadow 2.0 Cap
6.) Adidas Men’s SuperLite Cap
7.) Outdoor Research Unisex Sun Runner Cap (Best hat for trail runners!)
“Value” Category Running Hats
Read on to find out what characteristics you’ll want to pay attention to when purchasing a running hat as well as additional tips for keeping sweat and sun off your face when you run.
What to Look For in a Running Hat That Keeps Sweat and Sun Off Your Neck and Face
These are some characteristics to look for when purchasing a hat for the sweatiest of runs:
- Moisture-Wicking – this feature is necessary to keep sweat pulled away from your head. Hats will often say they are moisture-wicking but look for hats made from
- Breathability – look for ventilation and breathable material around the hat to help keep your head cool
- Quick Drying – Not only do you want the moisture pulled away from your head, but you also want it to evaporate as soon as possible.
- Inner Sweat Band – You’ll want to choose a running hat that is lined with what looks like a sweatband on the inside of it. This will help soak up additional sweat and keep it from running down your face.
- Sun Protection – If protecting your head and neck from the sun is important to you, look for a cap that has a longer bill, a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating, and perhaps a neck flap, as well.
- Durability – One of my biggest pet peeves is purchasing something that doesn’t hold up. I’ve used the same Nike running hat for over a decade. Spending a few extra dollars to get something that lasts is worth it.
- Fit – Before you order a hat, you should always measure your head so you can follow size guidelines to get a perfect fit. Choosing a women’s or men’s specific hat will also probably lead to a better overall fit.
These are some bonus features to look for in a a great running hat depending on your needs:
- Reflective features – If you plan to run at night, safety is key (which we talk more about here). having a hat that has reflective details on the outside will make you much more visible.
- Size adjustability – Most hats will be adjustable, but they are often listed as “one size fits most.” Check size guides to ensure a proper fit.
- Ease of Washability – Nobody wants a hat that’s going to look terrible and fit poorly after washing. You’ll want a washable running hat that can be thrown in the washing machine and come out ready for your next run.
- Place for your ponytail – Most adjustable hats will have a space for this anyway, but some have this as a specific feature like this cute Ponyflo Active Hat.
Now onto our Best Running Hats…that I assure you will be great for plenty of other outdoor activities, too.
Best Running Hats for Sun and Sweat – All the Features
You may pay a little extra for these running hats, but you’ll get some extra bonus features along with a hat that promotes sweat-wicking and breathability even in the hottest summer months. Plus you can ensure you’re getting a product with longevity that you won’t have to replace for years to come.
If you’re looking for hats for sweaty heads, you’re in the right place!
One of the cool features of this women’s hat is the fold line along the bill. This makes it extra simple to fold and pack (great if you have an out of town race!) TrailHeads also offers a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your purchase which is great peace of mind.
Other features include:
- 50+ UPF protection
- super lightweight at 2 oz.
- micro-grid quick-drying fabric
Want a bigger color selection and don’t care for the folding bill? Check out the TrailHeads Race Day Performance Running Hat for Women!
This is another great choice from TrailHeads – a company that is fully committed to ensuring you’re happy with your purchase. This adjustable hat is specifically designed to fit most men. The 360 degree reflective trim means you can also wear it at night and be seen from all angles.
Other features include:
- Extra Sun Protection with a UPF of 30+
- dark underbill (this offers protection from the sun’s glare)
- 100% polyester wicking fabric and wicking inner band make this a perfect hat for lots of sweat
This unisex Nike cap has a back adjustable closure making it a proper fit for both men and women. What I like about this one is how it comes up a little bit more above the ear. This way you don’t have to worry about the hat pushing against your ears and you can expect a comfortable fit.
Other key features include:
- sweat-wicking fabric
- mesh panels for breathability
- made from 100% recycled polyester – great environmental choice!
- long-lasting quality
This men’s cap is available in several color choices. It boasts unstructured front panels giving it the ability to contour to any head for the perfect fit.
Other key features include:
- reflective features for extra visibility in low light if you’re an early morning or evening runner
- “ArmourVent” technology for fast-drying and breathability
- Inner band to wick extra sweat away from your head
This is another top choice from Under Armour for women who need a great hat to wear on the sweatiest of runs. The 100% polyester material means it’s going to be a hat that easily wicks away moisture which is what you want! Other key features include:
- mesh insets for breathability
- reflective features make it a good hat to wear in low light
- 4-stretch construction gives the perfect fit
- machine washable
I personally love all the color choices for this hat! It’s also a #1 Bestseller. Key features include:
- UPF 50 means it’s blocking out the sun’s harmful rays.
- mesh insets make it breathable
- non-glare color and fabric under visor
- Quick drying
Ultramarathon runners, endurance runners training in extreme sun and heat, or those just wanting ultimate sun protection on their ears and neck will love this hat from Outdoor Research. What’s great about it, too, is that the neck cape is removable making it double as a typical running hat.
Other features include:
- Lots of sun protection with SPF 50+
- Dark fabric under brim to offer protecting from bright glare
- water-resistant and quick drying
- breathable with moisture-wicking
- loose fit allows air to continuously flow in hot weather
Don’t need the cape, but like the hat? Try the Swift Cap!
Best Running Hats for Sweat – Value
It’s good to remember that value shouldn’t mean cheaply made. Some of my favorite products are “off-brand” which you would probably not recognize the name of the company that made it. Value should mean you’re getting a good deal on a product that will work the way you need it to.
These hats are right for the price, and they’ll do a great job of keeping sweat out of your eyes and away from your head.
If you’re looking for an affordable hat that is breathable, adjustable and will also help you be seen at night with reflective features, this is a great choice. Since it’s a 2-pack, you’ll always have a back-up while the other one is in the wash.
- Great choice for sweaty, nighttime running
- The sleek and light design means you’ll forget you’re even wearing a cap while you workout
Though this is a brand that may be new to you, all this company does is make great headwear. That means their sole focus is on creating great hats to align with every outdoor adventure you might be seeking. And that includes running. Key features include:
- Eventure Fabric Technology for quick-drying and moisture-wicking
- Lots of color choices
This hat is a stylish choice that is adjustable to fit both men and women. If you want a hat that is great for those hot and sweaty outdoor runs, this is a good, affordable choice.
Key features include:
- UPF 30+ sun protection
- curved, long bill to keep sun off of your face
- quick-drying material
Other Great Ways to Keep Sweat and Sun Off Your Face and Neck
Many runners living in hot areas or who just seem to sweat a lot no matter what (that would be me!) tend to wear hats in order to stay cooler and more comfortable on their runs. Here are a couple of other good options if you want something besides a hat or as an added accessory to your hat to keep sweat at bay.
Visors are a great way to keep sweat and harmful rays out of your eyes and off your face while maintaining 100% breathability. (Hats are better for keeping sun off your head, but if you have a lot of hair, visors work great.)
Find several more of the top running visor options here!
No more soggy sweatbands! This can be used alone or along with a hat to keep any extra sweat off your face.
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you won’t sweat. This is a great moisture-wicking skull cap that will also keep your head warm. It can be worn with a hat or visor to get more face protection from a bill. Great for under helmets too if you also enjoy cycling.
If you’re worried about your favorite running hat getting ruined by all that sweat, these liners would be great to try. The liners absorb the sweat to keep it off of your hat. Great for lots of other sports, too!
Not only is this product great for chafing as we discuss in this article, but if you line some around your head it’s one more way to keep sweat off your face.
Looking for other top recommended running gear? Read: