Differences Between a Running Hat and a Regular Hat

The right hat can be a great accessory for runners, providing them protection from the elements and keeping them comfortable on even the longest routes.

Of course, you can’t just pick up any old headwear and expect it to perform well when you are working out. A hat that has been specifically designed for running will offer lots of advantages over an all-purpose alternative, so let’s look at the key differences to help guide your hat-buying efforts.

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Ventilation is important

When we exercise, we sweat, and a running hat will recognize this reality by including ample ventilation so that the moisture our bodies produce can evaporate easily and keep us cool.

Hats that lack this kind of ventilation will not just leave you hot and bothered, but could actually cause chaffing, as the sweat will be absorbed and held against the skin for longer periods. 

If you suffer from sensitive skin in the first place, this is an even bigger issue. Plus there’s the likelihood of lingering smells to worry about.

Meanwhile, thanks to a combination of breathable materials and ventilated surfaces, running hats have regular hats beaten fair and square.

Hair management is helpful

Unless you have very short hair, it’s likely that it will get in the way when you are running. This applies whether you have a man bun, a swinging ponytail, a massive mohawk, or anything in between.

Regular hats will work to restrain your hair to a degree, but they might not do this job well indefinitely. This is because they tend to have a fixed circumference, allowing hairs to be jolted loose with each pounding step you take.

Conversely, a running hat should be adjustable, allowing you to tighten it up and not only get the best possible fit for your head size but also to manage your hairdo with ease.

This is partly why runners sometimes choose visors with peaks over full-blown hats. This approach ensures your hair is housed securely, while still preserving it from the dreaded ‘hat hair’ dilemma. If you use running as a means of commuting, then such a specialized hat could be a godsend.

Inclement weather is less of an issue

As briefly discussed earlier, runners can use hats to shield their eyes from the bright sunlight and protect their faces from the wind and the rain when the weather takes a turn for the worst.

Once again, a running hat comes into its own here, because it will have been made under the assumption that it will see a lot of outdoor use come rain or shine. 

Thus the materials will be durable enough to withstand plenty of punishment in adverse conditions, and generally, deflect whatever the day might throw at the wearer with ease.

This isn’t just about keeping you comfortable, but about safety. If your vision is impeded by the weather, then you could be at risk of injury, especially if you are running in an urban area where you might be sharing a road with other users.

Performance matters

Lastly, running hats are put together to provide their wearers with the optimal opportunity to fulfill their potential, whether they are going for a gentle jog or participating in a full-blown competition.

Firstly this is achieved through their lightweight designs, which don’t have any unnecessary adornments that could otherwise weigh you down.

Second, running hats are aerodynamic in their own right. While this might not really make much of a difference for most people, it’s definitely something to think about if you are trying to choose which hat to buy.