10 Best Running Caps Reviewed

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Searching for the best Running Caps? Take a look at the best caps of 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them online or in a store.

Your head is by far the most important part of your body, so it deserves some special care. When it comes to running your head can get exposed to a lot of different things.

So today, we’ll talk about running caps. Specifically which are the handpicked 10 best currently available. Some of these are highly technical hats made from performance grade materials, others are simple and straightforward, others add a bit of bling to your kit. Whatever your needs and criteria are, there is undoubtedly something here for you. We know that choosing the best cap isn’t an easy task to do. The market is full of caps that are excellent, although there are some caps that shouldn’t be produced. Quality is the most important thing when it comes to choosing the best product. Who would like to buy a product that maybe is cheap but it doesn’t work. We know that our readers are very demanding and we try to do our best to select the products with best quality. Our products range from those who are expensive to those that can be purchased for about 10 dollars. The price isn’t the key but we are trying to find products suiting every pocket.Enjoy!

Last Updated: July 26, 2017
By Brian Price:

Even shopping around for a good running cap requires a small amount of research, at least for those who like to know exactly what they are buying.

We spent some more time on this guide, adding in a bit more information that might prove to be helpful in your search.

Our Top 3 Picks
Arc’teryx Calvus Cap
  • Arc’teryx Calvus Cap
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Socora face fabric with DWR coating
  • Price: See Here
2XU Run Visor
  • 2XU Run Visor
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Moisture wicking properties
  • Price: See Here
Adidas Adizero II
  • Adidas Adizero II
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Climacool technology
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Running Caps

 

1. Arc’teryx Calvus

1. Arc’teryx Calvus
Rounding out our list is the Calvus Cap, from Arcteryx. This is a premium grade cap that comes in the form of an elegant contemporary design. This hat is perfectly calibrated for runners needs.Be protected and comfortable in this slick cap, also never worry about it wearing out as it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Pros
  • Snug but flexible brim and strapback closure, fits well
  • Perforated mesh backing, breathes well
  • Cool, yet understated design
  • Anti-glare brim
  • Unbeatable manufacturer warranty
Cons
  • Great hat, but expensive

2. 2XU Run Visor

2. 2XU Run Visor
Breaking genre here a bit, we’ve included a running visor simply as an alternative to folks who like to not be blinded by the sun but also like to feel the wind in their hair. In terms of visors the 2XU Run is one of the best options out there, with the high absorbing sweatband and graduated brim being its highlights.
Pros
  • Keeps sweat out of your face efficiently
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Adjustable for a snug fit
Cons
  • Not much defense against weather

3. Adidas Adizero

3. Adidas Adizero
tons of positive reviews can’t be wrong. The men’s Adizero cap is a great choice when seeking a bit of protection for your head. It protects you from the sun, keeps airflow around your head, and has famous Climacool technology built in. Plus there are over 20 colors to choose from!
Pros
  • SPF 50 material
  • Anti-glare underbill
  • Performs well in the heat
  • Lightweight and flexible, but brim keeps shape well
Cons
  • It costs a name brand price

4. TrailHeads Race Day Running

4. TrailHeads Race Day Running
If what you’re after is a simple, budget-friendly cap this is your ticket. No frills or fancy materials here, just a solid cap to keep you head protected and the sun out of your eyes. For the price this is simply too good a deal to pass up.
Expand to see more

Pros
  • Priced very reasonably
  • Glare resistant underbill
  • Mesh outer, keeps cool well
  • Satisfaction guarantee
Cons
  • Plain design

5. Under Armour Fly Fast

5. Under Armour Fly Fast
Tired of unisex hats sliding around on your head? Give the Under Armour Fly Fast Cap a try and see the difference of gender specific design. Throw in top quality HeatGear fabric and a sweat wicking band and you’ve got yourself the perfect running hat.
Pros
  • Gender specific fit
  • Performs well in hot temps
  • Super lightweight won’t weigh down
  • Form fitted brim
Cons
  • The brim seems a bit too short for some

6. Mountain Hardwear Chiller

6. Mountain Hardwear Chiller
Want a hat with some cool technology built into it? Look no further. The Chiller Ball Cap has Cool.Q ZERO technology which actively works to cool the user’s head when wet. Additionally, this hat is ultra lightweight and packs down into almost nothing, making it extremely portable. An overall great pick.
Pros
  • UPF 25 sun protection
  • Great mesh/venting system
  • High grade cooling technology built in
  • Malleable and very portable
Cons
  • Color choices are a bit plain

7. The North Face Mudder Trucker

7. The North Face Mudder Trucker
Some folks prefer to wear a trucker hat, and who are we to argue? If you can find one that fits just right they can be great for running. The North Face Mudder is a good place to start. Comfortable 100% cotton, mesh backing and the classic adjustable rear strap make this a durable and stylish running hat.
Pros
  • Very cool, rear mesh
  • Built to withstand heavy use
  • Cool design
Cons
  • Doesn't protect from the elements

8. Sugoi RSR

8. Sugoi RSR
A great choice for a casual striding around the park or a good companion for race day, the Sugoi RSR cap is an all around winner. Airs flows well through this hat and there is a moisture wicking headband built in to keep the sweat out of your eyes. Reasonably priced, it’s hard to go wrong here.
Pros
  • Race inspired design
  • Smart construction allows airflow
  • A pre-curved brim offers protection from the elements
  • Has a few reflective accents
Cons
  • Color options are limited

9. New Balance 5-Panel Performance

9. New Balance 5-Panel Performance
This is a great hat for summer with a breezy and light mesh construction. It will protect your head from the sun, and has a reflective logo front and center making you more visible at low light run times. New Balance quality through and through.
Pros
  • Very breathable and well ventilated
  • Adjustable rear strap
  • Highly reflective logo
  • Comes in a few varieties of color/trim
Cons
  • Doesn't offer SPF protection like some other choices do

10. Gore Air Gore-Tex Active Shell

10. Gore Air Gore-Tex Active Shell
This hat was built to withstand a rainstorm using the Gore Tex technology, so when the weather turns foul throw it on for a bit of extra protection. Made from high quality flexible materials this is not a cap you use for a bit and then trash. This hat will last for many years and hopefully many great running memories.
Pros
  • Elasticated hem, keeps things tight but not overly so
  • Reflective elements ensure you’ll be seen at night
  • Extremely durable, will not rip or fray
  • Lightweight and breathes well
  • Simple yet classy design
Cons
  • Seems a bit expensive


The Criteria We Used When Choosing The Best Running Caps

As we search for the best product, we need to state some point which decide whether the product is good or it isn’t. We really try to work with this list and really expose not only the advantages of the product but also the disadvantages. Products that are best for us may not be the best for you so this is why we present here the points that we used for our evaluation. You don’t need to read it all, just pick the points that seem to be the most important for you. Enjoy !

Fit and performance

How many times you find a perfect product for you bit then you realize that it doesn’t fit. This is the one of the saddest moments while shopping. As we know this feeling very well, we want to raise an issue of goof fit. Let’s be clear, if you go to the store and you see the product that looks like the best cap you have ever seen, try it! Many customers that shop in store, they are sometimes so absorbed by the beauty of the product that they forget to do the most important thing- try it. When you put your cap on, you should feel well in it. The key to success is the size. Choosing too small cap may have an impact on blood flow. Choosing the cup that is too big will make it very possible that it will fall down and you will lose it. Producers know that every head is different. It’s not all about how big the head is.

When it comes to choosing the best cap, customers have problem with fit as their heads are in different shape than heads of the most people. If the cap doesn’t fit, don’t waste your time. Spending money on the cap with bad fit will only give you less comfort during running. Many runners search for the snug fit and this is the best option. There is one thing that many runners forget about as it’s not very obvious for them. When you search for best running cup, you need to check if you are not allergic to any of the material used in the cap. When we review our products, we read that many buyers have problem with allergies. We know that it is only a cap and it doesn’t cover a big part of the body, but it can still have bad effect on your running performance. The most common symptoms is rush on the skin and blisters. It’s usually visible the most on the forehead. The most popular reason for this is an allergy to polyester. Many runners aren’t even aware that they suffer from this allergy. If you happen to have a rush or something connected with allergy, you should stop wearing the cap. You should see the doctor and ask for advice.

Ventilation

Here comes the factor that is very important. Many runners have big problems with sweating. This is not something rare and good air flow can help them to perform better. An open mesh construction will work perfectly for you. This will help your head and brain ,,to breathe” You may not think about it right now, but when you run and you have this airflow, this is an amazing experience. Ventilation is also a very important factor for your health. Overheating is the common issue that runners struggle with. Even if you run a few kilometers, your body’s temperature start to rise and this may result in health problems. You can lose consciousness and it has also a very bad impact on your running performance. So as you see, cap with good ventilation is a must-have.

Reflectivity

When we talk about running caps, we talk about this part of our running look that is easy to recognize. When you run on the road and there are also cars, the drivers at first look at the face- so in our case at the cap. You may wonder why it is so important. Well, the answer is simple- safety. Many runners adore to run in the night. The truth is that many of them have time to run only in the night. Running in the dark can be very dangerous. We are really hard to see, especially if we wear dark running clothes. This is why we totally recommend reflective logos and materials. It may seem crazy but actually they can save our lives. Wearing a cap with reflective material, we are more visible to the driver. This is really helpful when we run upward and the driver coming from the opposite will see the cap first. It’s also useful in the forest, as driver may not expect us on the road.

Material

The material is very important as the factor that has the biggest impact on runner’s comfort. It must keep the cool well and be breathable. That is why many producers decide to create caps with breathable mesh. This will boost your comfort and will give you more enjoy for running. Polyester is the most popular material chosen by the producers. Why? Because it is really breathable and it’s moisture wicking. It is also very priced for quick drying. When it comes to choosing the material, it’s advisable to touch it before the purchase.

Some materials are very rigid and are terrible for many users. The additional thing that many users search for is SPF. This was created to protect from the Sun. You must also be aware that cheap materials are prone to smell bad after a few uses. There are two kinds of materials. First one is very flexible, it is said to be very comfortable. However, some runners said that the cap doesn’t stay in one place and that’s horrible for them. Snug fit is the best one because it will let your cap to stay in one place. You also don’t need to worry that you starts sweat as most of caps like that have this moisture wicking function.

Durability

Here comes the factor that may be the most important. How many times have you bought something that didn’t last for a long time. We really know this experience and that is why we really appreciate if the product is durable. The one thing that is very hard to stand is that we can’t check the durability of the product before purchasing it. We can’t take cap to home and check for how long it would last. But don’t worry, here comes the help. If you need to know is it worth to buy a cap and how durable it is- read online reviews. We really recommend reading the reviews from Amazon. They are written by people, customers, who purchased the product and are able to say how long did the product last. When you decide to purchase the product, it’s really useful to observe the product before and after first washing. We know that it may take some time for the first washing to come but it’s a very good way to check not only the durability of the cap but also its quality.

Transfer of moisture

At first, we had an idea to match this to connect this factor with ventilation. These two things work together to make runner feel more comfortable. These two things also prevent from appearing of the strange smell. The good transfer of moisture will give you much more comfort that you may think.

Other Important Factors To Think About While Shopping Around

Here are also some factors that were used for our evaluation. They are still important, some of them may be the most important. Focus on the parameters that attracted your attention, however, you won’t lose anything if you read it all. Enjoy the reading !

Look/ design

This is the section that is placed on our list very often. Running is this kind of activity that will take you to many places you haven’t known before. This is also an activity that gives you a kind of distinction. You are a runner, you keep your body healthy and you are a sporty person. This is why running is the activity that makes you feel that you want to different, original. Many runners spend a lot of their time on searching for the clothes that can make them look like they were queens or kings of the streets. This is why even a small element like a cap is very important. Choosing the design is very personal thing. What we are aware of is that runners want to match their caps with their running suit. There must be match in the color and style. If you are a runner that looks for a stylish cap, you won’t be disappointed. Producers offer wide range of products in many colors. Let yourself to develop your individual style and remember that wearing extra cap will boost your self esteem and it will give you more power to run. A thing that we find extra cool is that some manufacturers offer embroideries that make your look even more extraordinary.

Guarantee/ Returning

Choosing the cap that will work perfectly and will make you feel comfortable is a very complicated task. Runners who have been running for a long time, they are aware that buying running tools and clothes isn’t always the pleasure. Everyone at least purchased a product that didn’t come up to expectations. This is why many runners search for caps with the possibility of giving it back. A guarantee is a real must-have for many of them. We know that running caps are hard to damage and in most cases, you don’t need to ask for a new one. However, there are situations when the product must be returned. We know that sometimes, there are problems in a factory and you receive the product that for example doesn’t have a strap to tighten ( and it was supposed to have in description of the product) or the color is the different from the one you wanted. We really recommend to check if the product has guarantee and are there any additional costs if you want to return it.

Price

When you check all the important parameters, the last thing that you should do is to check the price. There are many producers of the caps on the market so you can choose from many. While considering the price, you must be aware what you pay for. It is obvious that breathable and very high quality materials will be more expensive than those which aren’t as moisture wicking and ventilated as the expensive ones. If you want a good running cap, you need to invest some money. However, the most expensive caps aren’t always the best ones.

What many runners forget about is that some companies, those very popular, exclusive, offer higher prices also because of the prestige. It means that even if the product isn’t very high quality, you pay even a 30 or 40 dollars more for the logo and prestige. Of course, this prestige doesn’t come from nowhere and in many cases, companies like that offer the best products on the market. We would recommend to check the price at the end, first you need to check whether the cap really works for you. It’s useless to pay a lot of dollars for a thing that won’t work.

Shopping in store or online

Here comes the question that is very hard to answer. What is better- go to the store and search for the best product or go shopping online. Well, the choice is yours as both ways are good. When it comes to buying in the store, the biggest advantage of it is that you can touch and see the product. While searching for the product on the internet, you see only the pictures. You must be aware that it is very easy to exhibit the product and take a photo. Good light and special effect may cause that even the ugliest cap may look nice.

When you see the product in the store, there won’t be any photoshopping and you are able to evaluate if the cap looks nice for you. The best thing about buying in the store is that you can try on the cap. This will help you to prevent from choosing the wrong size. On the other side, many runners decide to shop online. There are all brands available, not like in store when the choice may be much smaller. There is also a bigger chance to find the products in smaller prices and there are many sales online. You should also consider the price for delivery. The choice is yours, if you have a tendency to choose wrong sizes, go to the local store but when you look for a product on sale, finding it online is more probable.

Weight

This is a factor that we wouldn’t have put on our list if we hadn’t read the complaints of the buyers. Can you imagine that some runners complain about the weight of the cap? Well it may be funny for you at first, but when you purchase your cap and it will be too heavy, you will realize that weight is also an important thing. Runners who are used to running without the cap, when they try the cap for the first time, they say that the cap is too bulky. Usually, caps aren’t very heavy but it’s rather the case of getting used to wearing a cap. People with very thick hair complain that when they put the cap on, they feel like they were wearing the helmet. It is also kind problematic for people who used to wear very lightweight caps, not created for running but for normal use As running caps have more professional features, they may be much more heavier than the normal ones. It’s all about getting used to it and remember that when you run a lot of kilometers, in the last minutes of run, you will feel like everything is so heavy.

Logo size and placement

This is the factor that may be funny for some runners. Who cares about the logo and where it is. You would be surprised how many people pay attention to a logo. We’ve got two groups of people. In the first group, there are people that want to show that they’re wearing an expensive and exclusive cap so for them the logo must be very visible, usually in the front. There is also the other group and we must say that we appreciate these group more. In this group, people while searching for the product, they don’t care about how big or visible the logo is. All they care about is the quality and this is very reasonable. Some producers really exaggerate with the logos, they create them so big that they are visible from the very long distance even though the logo is placed on the cap. We talk about it because many runners forget that the quality is the most important factor not the logo. What’s the funniest about this is that some people look for a cheap products of brands as Adidas or Nike and they purchase the fakes. We really recommend to put the quality above the logo and remember that when the logo is too big and visible, it ruins the proportion of the look.

Don’t you need a clasp?

Many people don’t know how crucial for the cap performance may the clasp be. This is one of the most functional features in the cap. You must be aware that not every cap has a clasp . We really recommend to purchase the cap with clasp for some reasons. First, you can adjust the tightness. This is the key to a good wearing. Even if you purchase the wrong size, there is a big possibility that when you use a clasp with Adjustable Velcro closure at back, the cap will fit you well. The other function of the clasp is very useful for those who have long hair.

If you struggle with keeping your hair in one place during running and you don’t want your ponytail to move from side to side, put the ponytail through the clasp and the problem is solved. When researching for the best products, we have read many reviews where people complained that there were not sizes available for bigger heads or different shapes than these normal. Shape of the head may change after surgery and after the accident. This is why we would recommend to choose the cap with a clasp- of course many runners enjoy running without this but it’s a big convenience.

What about the brim?

This is the feature of the cap that will have the biggest impact on your comfort and performance. Brim is the real life-saver for those who hate being blinded by the sun. The brim will provide a lot of shade on your face. We know that the sun rays are very unpleasant for runners, runners aren’t able to see well. This may lead to very dangerous situations. Brims are very different. Run brims are perfect for runners who want to have a shade on the whole face and they will be better for rain. If you don’t need a long brim, finding a cap with short one will also not be a problem.

What about the weather conditions and the season?

People over the centuries were dealing with hard weather conditions. The nature is not always friendly to runners. This is why you need to evaluate all the possibilities that can ruin your running. Let’s start with considering when you are going to use the cap. Most runners use them the whole year but the most popular season for caps is summer. When sun is shining, running becomes very hard as sometimes you can’t see a lot of things. During the summer, the temperatures are very high and you must be prepared for this. Clasp is a must-have to protect you from the sun.

Something which is constructed with moisture wicking material will be the best bet, as you don’t want to feel sweaty. In the areas where the temperatures are very high , you need to purchase the cup that has breathable mesh for better air flow. When you plan to use the cap in more colder seasons like autumn or winter, you must also remember about few things. It is advisable to purchase the cap which the level of thickness is high. Thick running caps will provide more warmth. What you need also to think about the rain. Downpours are one of the biggest obstacles for runners. Although most of the runners decide to stay at home or use a treadmill, there are some that aren’t afraid of rain and really enjoy it. A water resistant cap will be the best choice.

FAQ

Here are some questions that we were asked by our readers. There may be obvious for you but better check if you have all the information that you need.

Q. I’m thinking of the purchase of running cap? Can you tell me why should I buy it, what are the advantages of running caps?

A. This is a very good question. Running in the cap has many advantages. At first, it helps to protect from the sun rays. It makes road more visible but this is not the only function. It also helps to prevent the head area from overheating. When you run, you may have problem with wind resistance. Sometimes the wind is so strong that the little pieces fly and it’s god to have a cap to protect the face. This is also a good way to protect yourself from the rain. The cap also gives you the warmth when the temperatures are really low.

Q. I have a big problem with choosing the best size. My head is very big and I have problem with choosing enough big size for me? Can you give me a piece of advice how to choose the best cap for me?

A. We know from our readers that people with bigger heads have a lot of problems with choosing the best. We are aware that it may be really hard for you to choose cap and we will try to help you. The first thing that you should do is to purchase your cap in the store. Searching for a cap online is a good option only when there aren’t any bigger sizes available in the store. We know that the shop may be far from your home but unfortunately, this will be the best option for you. The next thing that is a must-have for you is a Velcro strap- we mean that you really need the clasp. Because of this, you can easily adjust the tightness and even if the size is till to small, you can loosen the strap and then maybe it will be good for you. If nothing works here, we know that there are some manufacturers that design the cap on order. It means that they take the measurement of your head and create the cap that will fit perfectly for you. Although it is a great option because it will make you feel very comfortable, we still recommend to search in local stores. This is because caps made on order are so expensive that in most cases, you will prefer to choose something less comfortable from the local store.

Q. I used to use my sunglasses to prevent myself from Sun rays? Why would I need to change them for a running cap?

A. Nobody said that you need to choose between running cap and sunglasses. The combination of both is a guarantee of good sun protection. However, wearing only sunglasses may not have a good impact on your performance. Caps prevent from overheating. If you wear only sunglasses, you head is still prone to sun rays and in very warm areas it may cause that you will faint. Brim in the cap also gives you additional shade and helps you to see better.

We hope that we made it easier for you to make a good choice. We know that it looks quiet complicated but evaluating all the factors is crucial and it will let you enjoy your cup. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments? Let us know if you have tried purchasing a running caps. Did it work for you? Let us know in the comments below- your opinion is very important.

From sun exposure to driving rain to cold ears your head can take a real beating. Nothing takes the place of a good cap when it comes to protecting your dome.


Check out a few of the sources we looked at when researching for this guide:

NIKE Flyknit Racer
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