AccessoriesGear Reviews

Best Running Hats to Block the Sun

What You Need To Know

  • Don’t let your noggin get burnt… or frozen
  • Why not wick sweat while you’re at it?
  • Oh, and keep the sun out of  your eyes, too

Once you’ve locked down a great pair of running shoes and some comfortable socks to go with them, it’s time to accessorize. Where you start your accessory adventure is up to you, but we’re big fans of running hats here at Believe in the Run. For starters, they take care of our worst hair days. More importantly, running hats keep the sun out of your eyes, and they can keep sunburn at bay if you’re not as full of the follicles.

There are plenty of good running hats for summer and winter, though our list primarily covers the warmer days. And yes, we’ve shamelessly added a hat of our own — it’s a good hat, alright?

As always, all of our picks come from our own running experiences. We’ve run in just about all of these picks, even if we haven’t given them the full review treatment. Don’t worry, we’ve also stuck to hats that you can actually buy. Otherwise, we’d have suggested the winged cap of Hermes.

Anyway, let’s get into the picks.

» Path Projects Muir Cap

running hats path projects

When we say this running hat is perf, we mean it. Not necessarily perf as in perfect, but the perforated material is pretty darn good. The Path Projects secret is a careful laser-cut design, with 94 2mm holes spread across the entire surface. Path Projects’ Muir Cap is UPF 50+ rated against the sun (well, the 94 holes aren’t because they are holes). If you have a larger melon on your shoulders, you can always adjust the fit with a handy velcro strap.

The Path Projects logo on the front is reflective, and you can choose between gray and white finishes until the black version is back in stock.

PRICE: $27

Shop Path Projects

» Boco Gear Trucker

running hats boco gear trucker

You might recognize this pick if you ran Summer GRIT with us last year. We designed a special Believe in the Run Technical Trucker hat for the swag package, but it’s a great running hat even if you don’t have our version. It packs an internal wicking sweatband, which is a blessing in the summer heat, and Boco gear has more colorways than you can shake a stick at. We picked the California Mountain Scene as an example, but there aren’t many limits on what you can do.

The mesh back and side panels add extra breathability, and the trucker design is great for big heads.

PRICE: $30

Shop Boco Gear Trucker

» Believe in the Run Short Bill

We love our own running hat, and we’re not ashamed to admit it. In fact, I had to talk Robbe out of listing this as the only hat to buy. Our Short Bill caps are limited-edition collaborations with the team over at Boco Gear, so when they’re gone, they’re gone. We’ve previously had white colorways and black colorways, but our current offerings might be our favorite.

The Herring is great if you want a little bit of noise with neon green hits on top of the black and purple camo, or you can grab the McHenry for some subdued style. If either one sells out, just know that we’ll have more soon.

PRICE: $32

Shop Believe in the Run – Herring Shop Believe in the Run – McHenry 

» Janji AFO HyperLight

running hats janji afo

If you know Janji, you already know what’s coming. Janji loves to partner with artists and athletes for bright prints every time a new collection drops. There’s always the classic black or blue, though they’re more affectionately known as Midnight and Royal. We’ve had more than a few chances to run in the AFO HyperLight running hat, most recently with Renaldo’s Southwest Collection review. Instead of a velcro design or a fitted closure, the AFO HyperLight uses a bungee cord across the back that takes just seconds to adjust.

PRICE: $38

Shop Janji AFO

» Ciele Athletics GOCap

Ciele Athletics GOCap

Can you tell that we have a favorite style of running hat? It’s all about the short bill, the wicking material, and the packable design. The Ciele GOCap relies on a classic five-panel design, and the COOLwick fabric pulls sweat off your head to keep you cool. Ciele added UV protection on the brim and the front and back panels, while the sides are lighter to improve breathability. The GOCap’s reflective details should offer some peace of mind if you plan to run after dark.

Learn more: Our favorite Ciele Athletics caps

Ciele’s hats are their money-maker, so you can expect a whole heap of new colors every season. The GOCap also comes in limited edition finishes for the world’s biggest marathons.

PRICE: $40

Shop Ciele GOCap

» Tracksmith x Ciele GOCap

We love Ciele, we love Tracksmith, so why not put the two together? That’s precisely why this version of the GOCap makes our list, even if it’s technically identical to the hat listed above. However, it comes with a special Tracksmith colorway and the famed Tracksmith Logo in place of Ciele’s. Right now, you can choose between two limited-edition designs to add to your Off Roads collection.

Just be ready for the Tracksmith Tax — this GOCap is significantly more expensive than the standard colorways.

PRICE: $55

Shop Tracksmith x Ciele GOCap

» Nike Dry Pro Trail Cap

running hats nike trail

We’ve never been shy about putting Nike’s trail offerings among its most stylish, so why should that change when it comes to running hats? The Dry Pro Trail Cap isn’t the most colorful, but the blue strip adds some flair. Nike describes it as an update to the classic trucker hat, though the mesh design covers all sides instead of the back half. You can adjust your fit with the rear buckle, and reflective details should make you pop a bit more on dark trails.

PRICE: $32

Shop Nike Trail Cap


running hats rnnr

You know the rules — ditch the vowels, and you’ll run faster. Don’t hold us to that, but it’s not not true. Either way, RNNR left the vowels behind for its entire slate of running hats, and the results are sweet. Overall, RNNR’s style is similar to Ciele, with crushable bills and colorful designs, but it might be a better option if your head runs hot. The RNNR Distance cap has a wide-open mesh on both sides, which is just about as breathable as they come.

If you prefer the Pacer style, you’ll lose the open mesh, but the all-over perforations should keep you cool under pressure.

PRICE: $36-38

Shop RNNR Pacer Shop RNNR Distance

» Brooks Propel Mesh

running hats brooks propel

The last running hat on our list just might be the brightest of the bunch. Brooks added enough mesh to the Propel cap that it should keep you cool in any conditions, though bald heads may end up with dots of sunburn. You can choose from quite a few colorways, though the Icy Grey and Nightlife version is a personal favorite since it matches the Carbonite collection. I mean, it won’t do much to keep the water away, but you’ll basically glow in the dark.

The rear enclosure slides to tighten, which isn’t as easy to adjust as velcro, but you shouldn’t have to worry about it shifting on your head.

PRICE: $36

Shop Brooks Propel Mesh

1 Comment

  1. I have a very large head and I prefer the old style (1960’s and 1970’s) baseball hats. What would you recommend? Thanks. Ken O.

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