Running cap – the best protection for sun, rain and wind

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-weight.
  • 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.

Seasons

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.

UV protection

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.

Sustainability

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.

Final words

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 angelique@morefun2run.com or leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

 


18 thoughts on “Running cap – the best protection for sun, rain and wind

  1. I’ve definitely been one of those who doesn’t like running with something on my head. I get hot so easily plus I have a hard time finding one that fits me properly. I guess I just have always tried the wrong ones. I’ll look into the ones that have the qualities you’ve mentioned here. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Hi Carla, Thanks for your comment. I like the wind in my hair too and if the weather allows, I run without anything. But given its benefits a running cap and for winters a running beanie are a certainly good “investments”. When I just started running I just wore whatever I had, but I’ve learned that good quality stuff is really worth the money. Enjoy your runs!

  2. What great tips! We often think of getting the shoes etc right, but how much time do we put in to thinking about how the cap we may be wearing could affect our experience or performance. I will be sure to be taking a look at hats in a different way now and will look out for the key points that you mentioned.
    Thanks for sharing this information, i look forward to reading more of your posts now that I have come across your page.

  3. I have always wondered why people wore caps while running, because to me it just seems like it traps all the sweat making it hotter. Now I know the advantages, and that it actually provides good ventilation and that it dries quickly too. Would probably pick up a hat to try in the future, but I’m definitely more of a headband kind of guy for running. Will check out the caps that you linked on Amazon to see if it is suitable for me!

    1. Thanks for your comment Terence! Let me know if you feel the difference with a running cap! Wishing you MoreFun2Run!

  4. Good article

    I have been a running for the most part of my life and have never used a running cap at all.
    I have always preferred the option of running free with nothing holding me back.

    However I do acknowledge the fact that a running cap can actually do a lot of good things for a runner like protection from the sun and improving visibility during rainy days. I will consider this in the future. Thanx again.

    1. Hi, Thanks for leaving a comment and sharing your personal experiences. I like to run without anything too, but I must admit that on a hot sunny day the sun does heat up my (almost black) hair a lot. And the sun straight on the face does some skin damage too. I do use facial sun block, but I’m still squeezing my eyes to protect against the bright sun light su all in all a running cap is on the really hot and sunny days (and in fact also on rainy days) a good extra option.

  5. Great article! I wasn’t informed about running hats before I read this article! And it makes sense! I like running a lot. Now I’m thinking about getting one running hat for myself. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment. I’m glad the article offered you some new insights. Enjoy your next run and if you decide on your running cap, let us know how you go with it!

  6. Hello,
    Great article. Thanks for bringing out this topic. I recently bought some running caps and after a few days, they were starting to be uncomfortable so thank you for writing about choosing your cap. Good job and keep it up.

  7. Hi Angelique,

    I am one of those people who like running with a running cap instead of wearing sun glasses. Not only it helps me to look sporty (my favorite look of all times) but it protects me from the sun as well. But lately, my eyes get so sensitive with the bright sun, so I do run with both sun glasses and a running hat. It needed sometime to get used to it but we got to do what we got to do, right? 🙂
    Great post. Keep it up!

    1. I totally get what you are saying, but unfortunately I really cannot stand sunglasses during my runs. Too sweaty. Maybe I havent found the right ones…. 😉

  8. Wow such a great article! I never thought about a running cap before! Thanks for all the information! I like the set up and how easy you made it to understand!

  9. Running caps are really very advantageous to every runner, for me I don’t put on caps for just running I do it every day because it’s just the best way to protect my face from sun burn.the sun over here can be compared to hell fire. Running caps are really needed for good ventilation, temperature regulating & cooling and they also add to one’s beauty. 

    1. Hi! Thank you for your comment. Luckily the choice for caps and hats is really big, so you can find one for every occasion and look! 

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