Baseball caps and flat brims are great, but they aren’t designed for running. They won't wick sweat off your head, they're definitely not breathable and you can't toss them in the washing machine when they get a little salty. But a hat is an essential piece of running gear — a good one can keep sweat and sun out of your eyes (and keep any unruly hair-dos out of your face). By "a good one," we mean light, stretchy, breathable and, of course, stylish.
Breathability in a running hat is crucial, and to provide unmatched breathability, Path Projects puts 94 two-millimeter holes all over the top and side panels. The cap just stretchy enough and easy to adjust, making it a solid grab for the running closet.
Janji's Transit might lack busy prints or dayglo colors, but the five-panel running hat has more to it than meets the eye. Most apparent is a small zippered pocket that has enough room for a key or credit card but isn't obtrusive on your noggin. Then there's its DWR finish, which adds a bit of weather protection, and the reflective logo adds a bit of protection protection.
It may look plain, but New Balance's five-panel running hat is stitched with features that make running in it a breeze. Mesh panels for ventilation, UPF sun protection and a reflective brim round out the list.
If you're looking to add a vibe to your regular runs, look to Paris-based Satisfy to supply it. Its Perforated Running Cap may be pricey, but it's super-lightweight at 1.4 ounces, and its Italian-made ripstop fabric is durable, too. It's hard to argue with that leopard print, too.
Arc’teryx makes high-quality gear that continually tops our buying guides, and this cap is no different. It’s designed for mountain training, but it’ll handle any road run easily. If you don't like a Velcro band, you're in luck: this cap has an adjustable stretch closure strap with a quick-release buckle instead.
Ciele makes all types of hats for running, but its very first, the five-panel GOCap, is still among its best. It's lightweight, very comfortable and is machine washable. Plus, Ciele is always coming out with new color designs, so consider this a hat you can build a collection around.
River, Storm and White with Fog are a few of the colors that Myles makes its five-panel Momentum Cap in. Each one has a casual look that belies its performance-oriented elements (mesh panels, a moisture-wicking headband). The adjustable snap band stays comfy, no matter how many miles in you are.
Copenhagen-based Saysky's entry into the five-panel running hat realm is the Blaze. It's a touch less technical than some of its louder run apparel, but only in looks; the technical features are top-notch. Primary amongst them are its moisture-wicking fabric and mesh panels. It also provides UV protection and is machine washable.
This list of top performers incorporates recent winners and time-tested standbys to help you find the perfect pair.