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2017 Running Gear Guide: Hats

Running caps are better than ever, and no runner should be without one these days.


Highlight: A comfy and functional hat you’ll never want to take off

A go-anywhere hat with soft comfort that dries quickly, the Pop-Up is just about everything you want in a steamlined run cap. It folds up nicely but retains its shape, and the back has stretch elastic rather than nylon, velcro or snap-back.


Highlight: Rain protection in a lightweight package

It’s hard to believe this tissue-thin baseball-style cap could possibly stop rain, but its DWR-coated fabric does keep your dome dry when the skies open up. The sweatband gets high marks for comfort, and the reflective logos on the front and back are always handy.


Highlight: The best parts of a visor and headband

This simple, minimalist bit of headwear combines the sweat-wicking, or ear warming, or hair holding qualities of a headband with the sun protection of a visor. Its low profile easily tucks into your shorts when you don’t need it. The interior is ultra soft, and there’s a bit of reflectivity in the rear.


Highlight: All wool, all business

This form-fitting, low-profile, 100 percent merino wool hat is unbelievably comfortable and a reliable choice for cool-weather runs. There’s a subtle bit of reflectivity running along the rim of the bill. It comes in two sizes, but the larger size runs a bit small. Made in the U.S.A.


Highlight: Storage in a high-performance running hat

While it’s otherwise a great hat on its own (the AW84 is a perennial classic), Nike cleverly added a hidden zip pocket onto this one. Obviously it can’t hold a ton, but it can easily carry a key, ID, credit card or cash without any annoying bounce. A great hat for when you’re short on pockets.


Highlight: Stylish and original with run-specific features

The little Canadian company that’s been making the coolest caps in the sport releases a cycling-inspired lid this spring. The front panel is water repellant, and the rest of it breathes well, wicks moisture nicely and sits snugly. It’s a fun, high-performance change of pace from the standard running cap silhouette.


Highlight: Rough and rugged classic trucker hat

Many runners just love a trucker cap, and for them, this Vuori checks all the boxes of a classic. It’s got a stiff wool front panel, O.G. mesh around the rest of the crown, and a nicely curved bill. And like all good trucker hats, it’ll stand up to abuse and improve with age.


Highlight: Unmatched sun protection

Made with Chill Out fabric, which Zoot claims says 3 degrees cooler when wet—along with being all white, and having a huge, French Foreign Legion-style flap—this is made to withstand long runs at the peak of summer. The black underside of the brim deflects light. It runs a bit small.