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Visor versus hat: a comparative study

Head gear is a divisive topic in the running community. Which do you wear?

Head gear is a divisive topic in the running community. There are runners who like to go bare, runners who prefer visors and those who are hat devotees. 

It’s undeniable that wearing some sort of head gear promotes sun safety, but which is better: the hat or the visor? 

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The running visor is making a comeback in a big way. Lots of major running brands like Lululemon, 2XU and Saucony have come out with lightweight, stylish and effective visors for men and women, accompanying their staple lines of hats. 

Pro-visor arguments: 

  • Especially for women, a visor allows for more hairstyle options. For example, a bun or ponytail is easily done in a visor.
  • Visors are cooler than hats. Because of the open top, visors allow for more breathability than a hat.  
  • Obviously, visors provide sun protection for your face. 
  • Like hats, they keep sweat from dripping onto your face mid-run.


Pro-hat arguments:

  • Hats provide more coverage than visors. Because hats have a full top, they cover more than a visor does–nobody wants a sunburned scalp, after all. 
  • Hats holds short hair in place better than a visor. Because the cap has full coverage, short hair is less likely to move around.
  • You can put ice or cold water in your cap at an aid station to help you keep cool. 
  • Hats (like visors) provide sun protection for your face. 
  • Hats (like visors) keep sweat from dripping onto your face. 

Lululemon, Nike and Solomon, among other companies, all make breathable and comfortable running hat options. 


Regardless of which side of the argument you occupy, be sure to grab some head gear for those warm summer runs. 

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