Best Running Hats for Sun Protection: Dodging Rays While Pounding the Pavement!

Training for a race means a lot of time outside – protect your precious face with some of these favorite sun protection hats designed specifically for runner!

Anyone who enjoys running outdoors should wear at least some kind of hat to shield their face from the sun. While some runners may feel that heading out on a run is already quite hot enough, many runners worry about getting sunburned atop their face and head. 

Let’s dive into the different considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a UV-safe running hat, as well as several of our top picks!

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Running Hat for Sun Protection

  • UPF Rating. Look for running hats with UPF 50+ to ensure that the hat will adequately protect you from UV rays while you jog.
  • Correct Fit. Nearly all sun hats are adjustable to some degree, but you’ll want to be doubly sure your running hat can be fitted accurately. You can wear most running hats under or over a ponytail, but you should make sure that the fit is comfortable either way so you’re not distracted while on your run by an ill-fitting hat. 
  • Material. Your running hat should be made of a fabric that’s ideal for sun protection. The material should feature a tight weave and a moderately wide brim. This will make certain styles of hats – like trucker hats – unsuitable due to loose weaves in the mesh.
  • Quick Dry Capabilities. Some running hats feature quick-dry technology that allows that hat’s material to wick away sweat and moisture from your head, keeping you more comfortable and cool. If you’ll be running in hot weather, you may want to consider quick-dry tech a required feature.
  • Reflective Trim. Some hats feature reflective trim, which can provide additional safety for runners who prefer to exercise at dusk.
  • Ponytail Hole. Anyone with long hair will likely want to seek out a running sun hat that has a hole cut out where a tied ponytail can go through. Otherwise, you’ll be running with your hair down, which of course is sweaty and uncomfortable work!
  • Color. While it won’t be important to all runners, some may prefer a brightly colored cap over blander styles. Hats can vary in terms of color and style selection.

Best UV Running Hats: Top Picks

1. TrailHeads Women’s Running Hat with UV Protection

TrailHeads Women's Running Hat with UV Protection | UPF 50 Hats | Summer Hats for Women | Outdoor...
1,115 Reviews
TrailHeads Women's Running Hat with UV Protection | UPF 50 Hats | Summer Hats for Women | Outdoor...
  • BLOCK THE BURN - our women’s running hat offers excellent UV protection with a 50+ UPF rating.
  • QUICK DRY HAT - this women’s running hat will keep you comfy all run long. Our women’s running hat is 97% polyester, 3% spandex.
  • DARK UNDERBILL - the 2 ½” dark underbill shades your eyes and reduces glare from the sun.

This women’s running cap offers excellent UV protection with a 50+ UPF rating. In addition to traditional sun protection, this hat also includes a 2 1/2″ dark underbill that shades your eyes while also reducing glare from sunny streets.

The TrailHead’s running hat also includes quick-dry capabilities, with a polyester/spandex fabric that will keep your head cool and sweat-free.

With an adjustable hook and loop closure in the back of the hat, TrailHeads ensures that no matter what size your noggin’ is, this hat will fit snug. Machine washable, this hat can be tossed in the wash without worry after an especially sweaty run.

2. Sun Runner Cap

Whether you’re an elite runner or just a novice jogger, the Sun Runner Cap is a great cap to wear on those scorching, sweaty days. This hat features a UPF 50+ rating with an anti-wick sweat liner.

For ultimate shade coverage, this hat even includes a removable cape with an adjustable chin strap that offers protection for your ears and neck, similar to what you might see in a more traditional men’s sun protection hat.

The Sun Runner Cap includes built-in vents on each side to keep air moving, along with a headband liner to wick away sweat as you pound the pavement.

3. GADIEMKENSD Folding Outdoor Hat

GADIEMKENSD Foldable Running Sports Hat Reflective Baseball Cap Quick Drying Hat for Men Woman...
6,647 Reviews
GADIEMKENSD Foldable Running Sports Hat Reflective Baseball Cap Quick Drying Hat for Men Woman...
  • EXCELLENT PROTECTION - The cap body is made of special materials with UV rays. It provides UPF50+ UV protection(Except for breathable nets), which can...
  • REFLECTIVE DECORATION & BREATHABLE DESIGN - Reflective decoration for increased visibility & safety on low-light runs, two sides airy meshes are more...
  • FOLDABLE BRIM: The brim with 3-panel bill design, can be folded and fit into any pocket or backpack. This GADIEMKENSD unstructured outdoor cap is the...

Perfect for the runner that needs a more portable hat, this folding cap featured UPF 50+ UV protection with plenty of extra features. This hat includes reflective trim for increased visibility & safety on low-light runs, plus two sides of mesh that allow for better ventilation to keep you cool.

The hat’s unique design features a brim with a 3-panel bill design, allowing it to be folded and stored away in a pocket or bag. Plus, you can choose from six fun color options to run in style!

4. TrailHeads Race Day Performance Running Hat

TrailHeads Women's Race Day Performance Running Cap, Lightweight & Quick Drying Mesh Sports Hat with...
  • ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT: This lightweight performance cap weighs only 2 oz, giving you protection without sacrificing comfort or impeding your movements...
  • QUICK DRYING: Race Day Cap features a moisture-wicking fabric that helps keep you dry and comfortable by drawing sweat away from your skin. Mesh...
  • PERFORMANCE ACTIVEWEAR: Pull your ponytail through so you can keep your hair out of the way without sacrificing comfort or performance. Hook and loop...

The TrailHeads Women’s Race Day Performance Running Hat is a favorite women’s cap that provides solid sun protection. This lightweight cap features a snug fit due to its adjustable Velcro closure that also includes a back opening to allow for comfortably wearing a ponytail.

While this cap does not have a UPF rating, the 2 3/4-inch visor provides decent shade coverage while the dark underbill keeps your face additionally shaded and reduces glare. The moisture-wicking fabric works to keep sweat off your face, helping to keep you dry and comfortable, while the mesh construction of this quick-drying cap delivers great breathability and airflow

Plus, this hat comes in nine colors, with bright options like purple, pink, and seafoam green. There are even two-packs available!

5. MISSION Cooling Performance Hat

MISSION Cooling Performance Hat, Sand - Unisex Baseball Cap for Men & Women - Lightweight &...
12,592 Reviews
MISSION Cooling Performance Hat, Sand - Unisex Baseball Cap for Men & Women - Lightweight &...
  • COOL DOWN TO DO MORE - Designed for everyday activities, from working out to sports games, this baseball-style cap not only keeps the sun out of your...
  • PERFORMANCE FEATURES - Lightweight and breathable, this hat provides UPF 50 sun protection and features a chemical-free band for cooling and sweat...
  • THE COOLEST TECHNOLOGY - With HydroActive Wet-to-Cool Technology, our fabric cools up to 30 degrees below average body temperature in under 1 minute &...

The Mision Cooling Hat is a unique water-activated cooling hat that will keep you comfortable even on scorching summer runs. Featured also as one of our top sun hats for golfing, this hat boasts a reliable UPF rating of 50.

The hat cools when activated with water, cooling to 30 degrees below average body temperature in under 30 seconds. To activate it, just wet it, wring it and wave it – the hat should then stay cool for up to 2 hours!

Even with its cooling properties, this hat is lightweight and comfortable. The adjustable hook and loop tab on the back allows runners to get the perfect snug fit. Plus, the cap is machine washable, and uses permanent chemical-free cooling fabric technology that won’t wash out.

6. Summer Sun Visor with Retractable Brim

Summer Sun Visor Hat - Women Adjustable Golf Cap with Retractable Brim, UV Protection Beach/Tennis...
  • Retractable Side Sun Visor: Our breathable hat adopts a unique design. The brim is designed with a retractable and elongated sun visor brim to protect...
  • Excellent Material: Our spring sunshade hats are made of polyester, weighing about 88 grams, light and comfortable, with a soft sweat band, and...
  • Size: Our women's sports hat has a brim length of 9.5CM, a brim width of 21CM, 32CM after opening the retractable brim on both sides, a cap...

This women’s visor hat from Summer Sun is a stylish and visor option for runners who don’t want to wear a full cap. Despite this visor lacking a recorded UPF rating, it features a unique 3.7-inch long brim that includes an additional retractable and elongated visor brim for even more face protection.

In addition to the extendable brim, this visor includes a sweatband and an adjustable closure in the back to allow for fit adjustments. This women’s sun protection hat comes in six different colors, as well as variations for full-cap versions.

7. Adidas Women’s Superlite Performance Cap

adidas Women's Superlite Relaxed Fit Performance Hat, White/Light Onix, One Size
  • Made from recycled material.
  • Lightweight 6-panel cap with premium 3d weld badge of sport logo.
  • Mesh provides ultimate air flow and moisture-wicking.

The Adidas Women’s Superlite Relaxed Adjustable Performance Cap is a 6-panel UPF 50 cap made from recycled materials, featuring mesh panels for added airflow in addition to moisture-wicking capabilities to keep sweat off your brow.

The hook and loop closure at the back allows for adjustability. This cap comes in over 24 colors and pattern variations, so you can find a style that suits you perfectly.

8. Adidas Men’s Superlite Cap

adidas Men's Superlite Relaxed Fit Performance Hat, Black, One Size
  • Made from recycled material.
  • Lightweight 6-panel cap with premium 3d weld badge of sport logo.
  • Mesh provides ultimate air flow and moisture-wicking. Non-glare lining under visor for improved vision

The Adidas Men’s Superlite Cap is the larger men’s version of the hat detailed above. It too offers 50 UPF sun protection in a 6-panel design with mesh panels and moisture-wicking properties.

Whether you’re running a short 5k or training for a marathon, adequate sun protection is essential for staying safe while pounding the pavement. Make sure to pair your running hat with sun sleeves for additional sun protection during your jogs.

Which of these running caps do you like the best? Any favorites we missed here? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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The Sun is Killing Me
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