Whether it's to stop the sun beating down on your face during the summer, a convenient way of keeping your hair up when out training, shelter from the rain as you go running through all-weathers, or just as an alternative to sunglasses, a decent running hat or cap should be a staple in everyone's accessories draw.
Not any old hat will do either; of course you can wear that old trucker hat or your favourite baseball cap, but with technical fabrics being what they are these days, you can reach peak performance (not sorry) without ending up with a heavy, soggy mess on your head. Below are some of the best that have sat atop a sweaty head of late.
Attain. Run Cap
Do you want a running cap that performs well and also does good in the world? Hopefully a rhetorical question, but just in case, the answer is yes and you're in luck as the Attain Run Cap does both these things. From a running point of view it's really well constructed, the materials used are light and breathable, it fits well, is easily adjustable and doesn't sit on top of the ears, the brim is flexible so there's no chance of squashing it out of shape, the sweatband runs around the entire inside of the hat and isn't too thick and it comes in a range of colours. The extra bonus with this hat is that Attain is a non-profit organisation with 100% of its proceeds being donated to suicide prevention causes. Win-win.
Soar Run Cap
Ok, ignore the price to start with. The evolution of the Soar running cap arrives here with the Run Cap and it ticks all the boxes. The fit is great with the elastic cord at the back offering the simplest of tension adjustments, plus the depth of the hat felt spot on; not so deep that it sits too much on top of the ear but not so shallow that you're constantly shifting it around for fear of it slipping off. Often with lightweight caps, the peak is stripped back to save weight yet Soar have stuck to a traditional peak and it makes the hat that much more usable in all conditions. If you're looking to really invest in something decent, this is the hat.
The Nike 5 panel running hat is a bit a classic and this Aerobill hat pays homage to this, but with a few design tweaks. Well vented and comfy thanks to the dri-fit lining, the hat features reflective details to help keep you visible, including a strip along the rim of the peak.
Another nice touch to save weigh is that an inner section of the peak has been removed, leaving just the outer edge to handle the shape. A simple touch, but effective.
Kalenji Rain Running Cap
Designed for those wet runs, this Decathlon own-brand cap does the trick, without the price tag. With built-in sun protection, an adjustable tab to fit both men's and women's heads and a quick-dry fabric to wick sweat away, it's an affordable summer essential.
On Lightweight Running Cap
One of the more expensive caps on test, you really get what you pay for with On. Super lightweight and fast drying, the ventilation really works, so no matter how warm it might be, you won't feel restricted or like you're overheating. Unlike some of the other running hats on the market, it's got a gap on the back for a ponytail (a major plus for female runners) plus it performs well in a downpour. Available in three different colours, we're a big fan of the stylish design.
Compressport Pro Racing Cap
Aimed at those who like to count every gram of their kit, this offering from Compressport is extremely light and can be packed down small, so ideal for this who like to go far or long.
It shaded the eyes well, kept sweat at bay and the drawstring tensioner at the back of the hat was beyond adequate at keeping it on the head, even when the wind picked up. Style wise, it’s perhaps not the prettiest or trendiest, but function is king here and there are a few different colour options.
Ciele GO Cap
A brand that is somewhat responsible for the re-birth of the running hat, Ciele are have ramped things up with apparel and collaborations with design houses, but at the heart of it all, the simple GO Cap as endured and is still a great performer.
The materials used are all high quality, even after some sweaty miles and some washes. Details like the quality of the clasp on the adjustment strap and the fact the excess of the strap tucks neatly into the back of the hat are just two reasons why we liked them. A third is the variety of colours and styles available; running can be a pretty ugly place sometimes but these simple block colour combos means you’ll be able to find a hat to match all your look. Does come at a cost though.
OMM Kamleika Cap
Made from the same waterproof, breathable material as their jackets, this running cap from OMM is a good all-weather choice. With a reflective logo, like most of OMM's products, this has been designed and tested during the Original Mountain Marathon, so you know it's been given the hardy seal of approval, by a team of hardy mountain runners.