What a marathon runner wears to protect her eyes and face all year round

August 27, 2019 at 02:00AM by CWC

My name is Hilary, and I am a former Floridian. However: despite spending roughly 18 years of my life in the sunshine state, I rarely ever wore hats. Sunny, humid, 90-something degree summers? “Bring on the rays!” declared teenage me. Fiercely squinting my eyes, I forever loved basking by the pool without a rim to block the sun, because who wanted their face and body to be different shades? Not this woman. But nearly a decade later, with no desire to cause wrinkles (both by sun, and, you know, by scrunching my face in order to lessen the light penetrating my eyeballs), I am now in favor of the accessory that covers my head. And more importantly, my face


Truth be told, I first reconsidered the idea of wearing hats while marathon training (read: running outdoors for hours and hours each week). Frankly, sunglasses—however chic, sporty and stable they may be—were just not cutting it. And so, I decided to take a deep dive into the head accessory I would normally wear only to conceal my hair on its greasiest days.

On my mission to minimize the sun in my face, here are the cute and functional hats I found that work best, whether you’re exercising or walking outside, or simply want some shade while sitting still.

best hats for running
Photo: Athleta

Athleta Stealth Camo Training Cap ($38)

Specifically for running short and long distances on a trail, with this pattern you’ll be able to seamlessly blend in with your natural surroundings. Quick drying fabric keeps you comfortable, even while breaking a sweat mile-by-mile.

Up to 30% off Homewear
best hats for running
Photo: Brooks

Brooks Running Nightlife Hat ($34)

During a late-night run, it’s important to stay safe and visible, and you will definitely be seen in this brightly-colored hat. Mesh paneling enables breathability, and a DriLayer Seal sheds water so you have no excuse to skip training day, even when it’s raining.

Best hats for running
Photo: Vineyard Vines

Vineyard Vines Blank Trucker Hat ($30)

This solid colored hat is easy to match to any outfit, whether your ensemble is bold or back-to-basics. The mesh backing allows for ventilation, and an adjustable closure allows for a desired fit in a snap. Literally.


Best hats for running
Photo: Ulta

Scünci Black with White Stripes Visor ($13)

While the visor protects your face from the sun, the headwrap acts as a headband to absorb sweat. Bonus points: because it’s not a full-blown hat (aka there are no materials covering the top of your head) you can wear a top bun while you workout rather than trying to finagle your ponytail through the awkward hat hole.

Best hats for running
Photo: New Balance

New Balance Pride Pack Hat ($25)

Show your pride all year long with New Balance’s rainbow cap. With four interchangeable pride patches, you can switch up your hat-style on the reg so you’ll never get sick of your race day look.

Best hats for running
Photo: adidas

adidas Climaheat Beanie ($25)

Summer isn’t the only time we should all be thinking about protecting our heads while exercising. lightweight and warm, this beanie may not shield the most sun but it will keep your head toasty during outdoor (and indoor) workouts. It’s fabric dries quickly, too, so no frozen sweat here (ick!).

Wear your favorite running hat with some chafe-proof shorts and our style editor’s favorite sports bra, and you’ll be good to go. 

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Author Hilary sheinbaum | Well and Good
Selected by CWC