By: Jeremy Neisser
If you’re a serious runner, you probably go above and beyond when it comes to running shoes.
A running hat, when worn in warmer temperatures, wicks sweat away from your head, keeping you cool by evaporating sweat. It also helps to keep perspiration out of your eyes. Wicking away sweat from your head and keeping your head dry is critical, especially if you're going to run for lengthy periods of time in cold weather.
A lot of professional runners and experts know that well. That’s why you’ll always find them using running hats in marathons and even while they’re training.
While they don’t look like much, running hats are among the most overlooked and underrated pieces of serious running gear.
In the following article, I’ll walk you through the 7 reasons of running with a hat on, and why you should always have a hat on while running.
Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Always run with a Hat on
In the following list, I’ll walk you through the most common (and uncommon) benefits of a running hat.
1. UV Protection - Protect Your Entire Head from the Elements of Weather
The first - and most obvious - reason why running with a hat on is essential is protection.
Since you’re most likely running outdoors, you’re prone to a wide variety of weather elements. But most importantly, the sun, the rain, as well as dust and debris from pollution.
Running under the sun with a bare head can cause a lot of problems. The harmful UV rays produced by the sun cause everything from skin wrinkles to full-on cancer.
However, you should never use a sunscreen on your face while running, as it’ll sting your eyes when you start seating.
By wearing a good hat over your head, you’ll be able to get adequate protection from the sun rays.
Rain is another major factor that can cause a lot of problems while running. Running under the rain without headgear means a lot of issues
These include hindered visibility and constant wiping. Not to mention, if you wear glasses, this means that you might even need to stop running.
2. Regulates the Head’s Dome Temperature in Various Weathers
Some people think that hats will heat up their heads and cause problems. However, good running hats do the opposite of that.
Thanks to their smart design, specialized running hats draw the sweat away from the head by helping the head to evaporate the sweat, which cools your head down.
This happens because these hats are highly breathable and lightweight. As a result, they keep your head much cooler.
Also, the head produced by exerting energy is much less than the heat from being bare-headed under the sun.
The awesome part is, this special design will also keep your head warm on cold days, as they will entrap the warmth from your body inside the hat keeping your body temperature consistent.
Yet, their breathability will keep the warmth in check, so your head doesn’t overheat.
3. Steps Up Your Aerodynamics Game
You might have noticed that all speed-related sports give huge attention to aerodynamics and how the air resistance can actually slow you down.
From a mechanical point of view, the less contact with air, the faster you’ll become. Our heads are bulky structures with various grooves that do hinder our speed while running.
On the other hand, running hats are designed to be more streamlined and they’re extensively tested to give a better aerodynamic performance than bare heads.
4. Sun Protection & Enhance Your Vision
If you’re running on a sunny day, sun glares can be a huge issue that will always force you to slow down to avoid accidents.
Running hats offer extended excellent sun protection from the glaring sun rays, so you won’t have to use your hands to shade your eyes and lose your balance or speed.
5. You Look Better, You Feel Better, You Do Better!
To put it in the simplest way possible, all athletes perform better when they look good.
The psychological part here is that when you feel better about your aesthetics, you gain more confidence, which translates to higher performance.
Runners are no exception from this rule. As you might’ve noticed, most brands make sure that their apparels and shoes look as good as they perform.
By wearing a matching running hat with your existing gear, you’ll get an instant boost in confidence, and therefore, performance.
6. Puts Your Hair on a Leash
Whether you have long or short hair, you’ll always need to keep your hair in check while running. This is one of the most common benefits of wearing a hat while running.
These running caps have a hole where you can ponytail your longer hair out and keep it far from your body and shoulders.
Some runners might think of using hair creams and gels to keep their hair stable while running.
However, it always turns into instant regret once they start to sweat, as these products can also sting your eyes when the sweat runs down on your face.
7. Doubles as a Sweatband
This takes us to the final reason why wearing a hat while running is a great idea.
Besides all its benefits, it also holds the sweat down like a sweatband and prevents it from running down your face. This gives you a lot less sweat on your face to worry about!
Best Running Hats on the Market
Now that you know the benefits of having a hat on while running, you might want to know about the best option on the market.
A good running hat has to provide you with decent sunshade, excellent aerodynamic, aesthetically pleasing design, as well as durability.
To help you make the right decision for your needs, here are some of the highest-rated running hats that you can find out there:
- Headsweats Performance Running Hat - best for sweat resistance and moisture wicking and plenty of ventilation
- Buff Unisex-Adult Pack Run Cap - foldable and excellent for storage in your pocket
- LETHMIK Sport Running and Protection Cap - Ideal option for buyers on a budget
- Headsweats Race Hat - great for adjustability, bright colors & adjustable straps
- 2XU Run Cap - high visibility while running and mesh panels
- Lightweight and breathable performance race baseball cap
- Eventure knit shell and Eventure terry sweatband
- Black undervisor to help reduce glare
- Adjustable rear buckle with ponytail opening
- One size fits most women and men (adjustable from approx. 57cm - 63cm)
There you have it. A complete guide with the 7 reasons why you should go running with a hat on. As you can see, hats aren’t just a sunshade that you can ditch when the sun goes down.
Instead, a runner’s hat is a critical part of your running gear that has a huge impact on your performance while running, especially in longer runs.
Hi, Jeremy Here,
I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journey. About Jeremy.
I have run over 250 races including the California International Marathon, Clarksburg Country Run, and various other 5K & 10K races throughout the United States. I am a former Athletics department employee at University of the Pacific and Shoe Consultant with Dicks Sporting Goods
Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API