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5 reasons to wear a running hat

Running hats, running caps, whatever you may call them - some runners swear by them while others steer away. We talked to some of the world’s best athletes about why they wear running hats and how wearing one might change your next run.

 

Few items seem to be as polarizing amongst runners as the running hat. Some feel naked on the run without it, others weighed down while wearing one. Having spent years testing, researching, designing and finally developing the new On Lightweight Cap, we decided to share the major reasons why runners of all levels choose to run in a hat, and to help you find the best running hat for your needs.      

 

1. Keeps you cool

The most obvious benefit when it comes to a running hat. By design, they draw perspiration away from the head helping keep you cool through evaporating sweat. At the same time, the best running hats also let air in through their fabric to further cool a runner down and provide a level of breathability for the head.  

 

2. Controls hair

If you run with longer hair, you’ll know that this is one of the great uses for headpieces. A running hat with ponytail hole for instance keeps hair from locking in heat from the shoulders and neck, and the ends of the hair out, able to dry quicker while away from the body.

 

3. Aerodynamics and shape

In cycling, helmets have been shown to matter when it comes to cutting time with their ability to cut through the wind. Same with swimmers shaving their heads or wearing speed-caps. Of course, when it comes to running, drag isn’t something most runners think about, and in most cases, would make such a small difference to effort. Still. Combined with the other factors, a single, streamlined headshape VS wild, wet, wind-catching hair may create some advantage when it comes down to the seconds that can matter most in a race...  

Fredpics11
When champion triathlete Frederik Van Lierde collided with a shower-head causing him to bleed heavily, the hat he was wearing may have provided a layer between the impact and his head (he went on to win the race and claim the title of Ironman France)

4. Protects from the elements

Of course, a running hat, like all hats, is made for the elements. Shielding the head and scalp from the sun, keeping eyes protected and clear in the rain, providing you with a visor from wind and dust – versatility is what’s needed from the best running hats that can match changing conditions of the run.

 

5. Looks good

In sport, how you look – or more importantly how you think you look – plays a huge psychological role in performance. Dubbed “enclothed cognition” the term comes from research that strongly suggests what we wear and how we (perceive) we look can hugely effect performance. Athletes are known for their confidence. Looking good increases confidence. Knowing your hat may be keeping your sweat at bay, hair in check and you feeling cool may help turn off internal worries, so you can focus instead on pushing yourself harder. 

 

At the end of the day, the best running hat for competitions to casual use is the one the runner forgets they’re wearing – the one they wear effortlessly. So for your next run, whether the sun’s out or not, or you have long hair or short, or you’re just getting back in to running or racing to reach Kona, a lightweight running hat might be that final piece of the puzzle for your running game. Learn more about the new the On Lightweight Cap here.

Hat 3
On Lightweight Cap
Ultra-light has for hard-working protection.
See it here