Keep Your Cool: 6 Mile-Tested Running Hats for Summer

Looking for a running hat for summer to keep you cool, shade the sun, and wick sweat away?
It doesn’t matter if it is warm or cold outside, once I start running, I start sweating. 

  • This includes my forehead. I live in Utah, and our summers are hot and dry. 
  • When I go out for a run, an essential article of clothing I always have is a good running hat.

🧢When I started looking for a good running hat, I quickly realized they're not all the same. So I picked 6 different running hats and put them to the test.
Here's what happened...

🧢A good running hat is going to solve several problems.

  1. Stop sweat from dripping into your eyes.
  2. A hat with a visor will help keep the sun out of your eyes.
  3. A hat with a built-in sweatband will help keep your head dry.
  4. If your hairline is receding, a good hat is going to help protect you from sunburn and other problems that come from UV rays.
  5. Keep other elements like wind, dust, rainwater, or even your own hair away from your eyes.
  6. A vented hat with wicking fabric will keep your head cooler on a hot day.

There are probably a lot of other reasons why runners like to wear a good running hat. 
Why do you wear a running hat?

🧢What makes a good running hat?

There's at least FOUR things to look for in a running hat...
1. Fabric Type 

  • I want a soft fabric that wicks moisture. 
  • A wise runner I once met on a trail told me to always remember, “Not all polyester is created equal.” 
  • This is true. How many times have you selected a clothing item online because of it’s fabric type, only to find when you received it that it was definitely not what you were expecting it to be?

2. Weight

  • I want my hat to be as light as possible. I want to forget I’m wearing it.

3. Visor

  • I want a visor that fits in the right location. 
  • It is terrible to put on a hat with a visor so low that your eyes are almost covered. 
  • Runners got to be able to see where they’re going. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings. There are too many hazards like potholes, rattle snakes, skunks, dogs, and who knows what else…

4. Sweatband

  • A hat with a thin sweatband built in is invaluable.

In my recent search for a good running hats...

  • I found all sorts of options. I wanted to give them all a try. 
  • The hats I tried ranged from $10 - $30 each.
  • I tested 6 running hats. 

Ranked in order of 1 being Most Favorite and 6 being the least favorite...

1. Outdoor Essentials Running Cap
  • Price: $16.95
  • Material: 100% polyester
  • Weight: 51 grams

This was my favorite hat. It is comfortable. It has a moisture wicking fabric liner around the forehead and sides, and this keeps sweat away from my eyes.

  • Great fit
  • Soft fabric
  • Lightweight
  • Velcro strap (and it works)


  • I wish there were more color options.
  • It's only available in black, gray, navy and white

Fun fact: I liked this hat so much, I wear it for additional activities like mowing the lawn or doing yard work. When I’m done with it, I take it into the shower and wash it out. I hang it on a hook, and it is always dry when I’m ready for my next run.

Headsweats Running Hat
  • Price: $25
  • Material: 100% polyester
  • Weight: 50 grams

I like the color and design of this hat. It is soft, fits well, washed in the shower easily, and comes in a variety of fun bright colors. It has a built-in sweat band, too.

  • Looks nice
  • Lightweight
  • Wicks moisture
  • 4-way stretch


  • Not vented
  • Price is a bit high 

One recommendation I would give Headsweats is...that this hat include the headband, but also use vented fabric in the top. Overall, it's great for running, but if I could add one feature it would be to use ventilated fabric, too.

Under Armour Iso-Chill Launch Run Adjustable Hat
  • Price: $30
  • Material: 100% polyester (Softest fabric of all the hats I tried)
  • Weight: Weight: 48 grams (lightest hat in weight of all 6)

Upon receiving this hat, I wasn’t too impressed. I really hoped for something more.
While it was the softest, and the lightest in weight of everything I tested, it was also the most expensive.
I wasn’t impressed with the overall design, and it seemed the higher price tag was for the name, more than the hat.

  • Reflective logo
  • Adjustable closure
  • Vents in the fabric


  • Most expensive option
Nike Trail Running Hat
  • Price: $16.95
  • Material: 100% polyester (soft woven/knit style fabric)
  • Weight: 81 Grams (heaviest of all the hats I tested)

I’ve worn this Nike hat for a couple years of running in cooler temps. I have definitely learned it is better for wearing while it’s cold outside than when it's hot outside.
I like the design, but the brim is a bit too flat, and can’t be shaped. It is heavy, and it absorbs a lot of sweat in the built-in headband.

  • I really like the look of this hat. It is black with turquoise trim
  • Good hat for cooler weather
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Stap has a clip and is easy to adjust to fit
  • Thick built-in sweatband 


  • This is flat brim hat, not my preference
  • Heavy
  • Absorbs moisture vs wicking moisture away

One more thing...This exact running hat is getting harder to find. It's sold out at Nike and Amazon. But there are some other Nike Trail running hats available.

Connectyle Foldable Mesh Sports Cap
  • Price: $13.99
  • Material: 100% polyester
  • Weight: 62 grams

The first thing that caught my attention with this hat was that it's made out of multiple pieces all sewn together.
It is designed to fold up into a small compacted hat that would easily fit in a pocket or between your hip and your waistband. The brim is made of 3 pieces that fold into each other.

  • Looks nice
  • Lightweight
  • 11+ color options
  • Foldable brim 


  • A bit heavier among the lightweight hats
  • Since the brim folds, it doesn’t hold a very true shape
Aisiyedo Running Hat

Price: $9.99
Material: 100% chinlon (the best word I can think of that describes the fabric is “crunchy”)
Weight: 68 grams       
Of all the running hats I tried, this one was the most disappointing. Online, the material description said the hat was made from nylon. But when I got the hat, the tag said it's made of chinlon. My first thought: What is that?
Here's what Google said:

  • Chinlon is a variation of nylon. It is not as durable as nylon but it is smoother. It will have a smoother feel to it than either nylon or polyester, and it is vulnerable to crinkling, especially when folded too many times.


  • Variety of colors


  • Made of chinlon. "Crunchy" and less durable than nylon.
  • The visor on this hat is HUGE. It’s almost like a cartoon, way too long.
  • Fastener is a knock-off of Velcro, and is horrible. Does not work.

🧢What's your favorite running hat?

Do you have a favorite running hat for summer to stay cool, provide some shade, and keep sweat out of your eyes?
👉Share yours in the comments or Create a WeeView and tell us all about it.

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Jason Stucki
Mapleton, Utah
42 Following

I am happily married to my wife Jill, and we have two daughters. I love running, and my goal is to never run less than a 5k d...


Michael Young Brooks Base hat, Salomon Sense Aero, and Path Projects Muir Cap are my go tos

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