Running in changeable weather conditions demands us to choose the right protection wear. Wearing a good running cap will keep us comfortable and protected while running in the wind and rain, as well as on a warm and sunny day.
Running cap versus sunglasses and headband
Some runners don’t like to wear anything on their heads, whilst others prefer a headband and some sunglasses. Choosing the right runners wear and accessories is crucial, as it helps us stay focused on the run, instead of being distracted by discomfort or other issues.
A good quality running cap has much more to offer than just a fashionable or cool look. Not only will it keep the sun, rain, and wind out of our eyes, it is also designed to wick away moisture and protect your head against overheating. Many running hats are produced with materials with built-in UPF protection.
Unlike a headband, a running cap protects the entire head from UV rays. The cap’s bill keeps the sun out of our eyes and protects our face from getting sunburned. On warmer days we may sweat faster, get thirsty earlier, and become dehydrated and overheated more easily. With the lack of temperature protection and shade, we could even develop a heatstroke. Many running caps come with a padded sweatband to prevent sweat dripping in the eyes. It’s easier to wipe away our facial sweat while wearing a cap, than with sunglasses being in our way.
Benefits of a running cap
Some people think a running cap is just an extra fashion item to complete the runners’ outfit. But the opposite is true, a running cap has some important benefits:
- sun protection of the eyes to prevent your eyes to become tired due to the filtering of the light.
- UV protection of your head and face to prevent sunburn.
- improved visibility during rain.
- moisture regulation to prevent perspiration to get into your eyes.
- temperature regulation to keep your head cooler. Looking for extra cooling? Then wet your running cap before putting it on.
- wind protection to keep your head a bit warmer. In cold weather conditions with strong winds a running beanie may be a better option.
Disadvantages of a running cap
Some runners prefer to feel a nice breeze through their hair while running. To them a running cap may feel less free and airy.
Regular cap or Running cap?
Running caps could be a bit more costly than a regular hat. But we should keep in mind that running caps are designed with quality materials with special features, like cooling and moist wicking effect. And they often have a better adjustable closure for perfect fit, so you can’t lose them during a run. Regular caps are often less ventilating, not moisture-wicking, and not as lightweight as a running cap. A good, comfortable running cap will certainly contribute to your running performance.
What to consider when buying a running cap?
A good running cap should fit perfectly and feel comfortable. For optimal weather-protection of the head, face, eyes, and neck, the cap should cover the whole skull and have a good bill that offers you enough shade. When choosing a good running cap, it is important to pay attention to its specifications:
Fabrics & Materials
Good quality materials will definitely make the difference in how we experience our running cap. Many running caps contain the following features:
- moisture-wicking (no cotton).
- water resistance & quickly drying.
- good ventilation & breathable.
- temperature regulating & cooling.
- light color (such as white or pastel colors) for optimal sun protection.
- reflective elements for runs in the dark.
Men’s, women’s or unisex caps
Women’s and men’s heads are anatomically shaped slightly differently. It is therefore important to check whether the cap is for women or men. Men’s caps often have a straighter, more angular shape than women’s. Some running caps are unisex though.
Adjustable closures to fit our head outlines
An adjustable closure for each personal our head outline is crucial. There are three different types of adjustable hat closures to choose from Velcro, elastic band, or bungee cord. Which one to choose is a matter of personal preference. A Velcro closure is easily adjustable but can be painful for ladies with long hair. An elastic closure, on the other hand, can lose its elasticity over time. A bungee cord may cause a tickling feeling at the back of your heads or neck. Just try which one suits you best.
It is best to adjust your headgear according to the season. On a hot sunny day a thin white cap with optimal ventilation and UV protection might be best. When running on cooler and windy days you might better opt for a thicker and waterproof cap. On really cold days you may even choose to wear an ear warmer cap or a running beanie.
Look for a cap with a high UPF sun protection to protect your head and face. There are also running caps that feature a neck flap to keep your neck in the shade. You can tuck it up when the sun isn’t too strong.
Washing & Drying
Most runners caps must be hand washed and cannot be dried in a dryer. Still, you may find some good runners caps, that are OK to be machine washed with your sportswear. These often contain a plastic bill interior to keep it in its original shape. Always check the washing & drying labels.
All of us have our own ecological footprint. By purchasing sustainable products we can contribute to a better future. At the website www.goodonyou.eco you can check the sustainability of your favorite (sports) brand. Vaude for example uses 100% green energy and fewer chemicals and packaging materials. Other well-known sports brands are becoming more aware as well. Unfortunately, not all products are sustainable.
To stay focused on our runs and to help improve our performance, it is crucial to protect ourselves from all kinds of weather conditions. The right running shoes, socks, and sportswear are the first things that come to mind. But given its benefits, a good running cap is certainly not an unnecessary luxury item.
I hope this was helpful to you and you’ll find your perfect running cap. Please share this post! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below and I will get back to you.