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5 Most Important Features to Look for When Buying Running Hats


March 01, 2024

Running is a tedious exercise. You do it under the possibly skin-damaging UV rays and push yourself hard to keep a certain pace by the sweat of your brow.

Luckily, one item among your running gear that can shield you from the scorching sun and the discomfort of the inevitable sweating. It is the running hat.


What are Running Hats?

Running hats are caps people wear when running. They belong to the baseball hats category and have similar features as other baseball hat types, like snapbacks and trucker hats.

Men in hats running


You need your running hat every time you exercise to keep your hair out of the way and absorb the sweat from vigorous running. However, running hats are especially useful in the summer heat to protect you from UV rays. 

Your cap must have certain features to count as a running hat, especially being light enough not to feel heavy when running.

We explain this and other quality features of running hats in this article that also works as a buying guide for your next running cap.


What to Look for in the Best Running Hats

Here are the 5 most important quality features you should look for when buying a running cap, with a brand example you can consider.

1.Right Size and Color of Brim + High UPF Rating

The brim is the part of your running hat that extends over your face. If it is too short, it will not protect your face from UV rays. And if you are a daily runner, an extra-short brim could take a toll on your skin, increasing UV rays risk for sunburn and premature skin aging, to say the least.

Consider that dark colors, like black and blue, absorb UV rays, while brighter colors reflect them and can direct the rays toward your face instead of away. If your running cap isn’t all dark color, go for one with at least a dark color on the underside of the brim.

To completely keep UV rays away from your face, the right size and color of your running cap should pair with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating. Running caps with a UPF rating of 30-49 give good protection. A ≥50 rating is perfect!

Brand Example: Consider the Janji Transit Tech Cap. It comes in both dark and bright colors, so you can opt for black. It’s water-repellent and has a UPF rating of 50.


2.High Moisture-wicking and Breathability Levels

Running and sweating are inseparable. As such, running cap material should have high moisture-wicking and breathability properties.

While real moisture-wicking and breathable fabrics like wool and cotton, respectively, are too heavy for a running cap, fast-drying polyester is an alternative option. Polyester works at moisture-wicking by pulling moisture away from your skin and letting it into the atmosphere. It is also fairly breathable.

Wear a running hat with a sweatband inside to completely manage the sweat and keep it away from your face and neck.

Brand Example: Go for the Rnnr Distance Hat: Blackout. This running hat is the perfect reflection of breathability and moisture-wicking. It is lightweight, perfectly manages moisture with its SPDWick fabrics, and has large side mesh panels for the hottest days. 


3.Lightweight and Unstructured

Lifting your own weight while running is already heavy enough. So, additional weight from a heavy running cap isn’t what you want in a hat.

You shouldn’t feel the weight of your cap when running. So, opt for running caps with the least weight. 

Getting an unstructured running cap can serve a double purpose. It is lightweight because it has no additional firming material such as buckram. Besides, it is also foldable for when you don’t need to keep it on.

Brand Example: The On Lightweight Cap fits this feature perfectly. Described as feather-light, the cap weighs only 58g (2oz). It uses laser-cut ventilation technology to keep your head cool in any weather.


4.Size and Fit Adjustability

Running often means going against the wind. That implies your running cap could be blown away by the wind.

To preempt that, buy a right-fit size running cap if you go for a fitted option. Instead, prefer a hook-and-loop fitting mechanism if you opt for a cap with adjustable closures. Hook and loop are easier to adjust while running than snaps and clip closures.

Also, consider that a running hat with an adjustable closure works best for long hair control. You can easily pull it back into a ponytail and firm it at the closure opening.

Additionally, bear in mind that men’s hats often have a larger fitting than women’s. Rather than a one-size-fits-all running cap, go for one custom-made for your gender.

Brand Example: The Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap has exceptional adjustability features. It comes with detachable extra coverage to shield you from the sun. The adjustable hook and loop strap customizes the cap to your fit.


5.Reflective or High Visibility Features

Especially if your running workouts happen at dawn or dusk, letting motorists know you are on the road or path is responsible.

To do that, choose running caps that have reflective or high visibility (hi vis) accents. It could be a custom hat patch with reflective colors or a high visibility logo at the front of the cap’s crown.

Needless to say, being safe and well-muscled should go together.

Brand Example: Consider the Proviz REFLECT360 Running Cap. The running hat is 100% reflective. The material maintains its modest color by day and turns completely reflective when hit by an external light in the dark.


Quick Summary

Every serious runner wears a running cap to protect their face from UV rays, the bother of wind-blown hair, or uncomfortable sweating.

When buying your running hat, ensure it is well-fitting, has sun rays absorbing colors, and has a high UPF rating. That will keep your face safe from UV ray damage.

Also, check that your running hat is moisture-wicking and breathable, that you can easily adjust its fit, and that it has a reflective element for safe running at dawn or dusk.

Talk to us here at Viviprints if you need running caps customized for your employees or as brand promotional items.

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Article written by

Ryan Johnson

Introduction for Hats

I’m Ryan Johnson. As head of the hats department at Vivipins, I bring that leadership in hat design and customization that transforms our customers’ visions into a headgear reality everyone will admire and wish they owned. My team and I bank on the most innovative hat patterns, styles, and types, and we crown it all with stitching, embroidery, painting, or patches with a durability guarantee.

To be precise, ordering hats with Vivipins taps into these advantages:

  • A team that listens: You can talk to Vivipins about every one of your hats desires. Whether you want baseball, snapback, or trucker hats, our team is at your service 24/7.

  •  Quality that’s trusted: We’ve created vintage, foam mesh, embroidery, and other hat styles for a vast range of customers, from celebrities to fashion brands and renowned Big Techs, and they all keep coming back.

  • Hats you can afford: Vivipins believes in giving its customers the highest quality hats at prices that won’t break your budget. Besides, we let you order what you can, without intimidating you with minimum orders.

  • The customer is the boss: Vivipins prioritizes the customer’s desire, so we work with you until you confidently sign off the digital proof before fashioning that hat to your heart’s satisfaction.

  • Get your order now! We fit perfectly into the fast-moving pace of today’s economy. That’s why we are swift when it comes to fast delivery.

Despairing over finding a custom hat company that will make your headwear swag turn heads? Talk to us now at Vivipins and get that urgent hat order rolling.

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