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Running Gear For Your Noggin

You have your running shorts, shirt, socks, shoes, water, and a bit of fuel to keep you going.

Depending on the conditions of the day, a rather simple piece of noggin’ gear can add to the enjoyment of the run. It really can! For example, salty sweat dripping into your eyes throughout a two hour run can be painful and annoying.

Let’s take a look at some of the run gear options that lets you focus on the run, not the elements.

The Traditional Trusty Running Hat

This item is in the oldies but goodies category and can be used in most all conditions. I would look for a hat that is made from technical material for runners or active homo sapiens. Cotton is not a technical material.

The standard running hat can help provide some face/eye/top-of-head shade, a bit of warmth in the cooler months, and absorb sweat so it is not running into your eyes. I will typically use this hat during the mild winter months (I live in the south) or if I would need some sun protection on top of my head.

A company that has some of the best stuff I have used is HeadSweats. Their stuff is high quality and specifically designed for the active lifestyle.

HeadSweats three primary running hats:

Halo Headband is also big in the industry and makes a technical running hat called their Sport Hat.

The Badwater or other extreme ultra runners may be interested in the Headsweats built in neck protection Protech Collection and Halo Headband’s Solar.

One potential downside to the trusty hat is that it can slow the release of heat from your head which may not matter depending on the conditions of the day or your personal experience.

The Visor


My HeadSweats Visor

The visor started to become a more popular item over the last five years that seemed to begin in the triathlon scene and has started to migrate into the running world. This is my current favorite warm/hot weather running gear for my noggin’.

This item gives you the best of both worlds. You receive some facial shade as well as allowing the heat to escape quickly from the top of your head since there is no fabric providing a canopy. The visor also can be great at soaking up the sweat that would normally work its way to those navigation instruments.

A couple visors worth checking out:

I have two HeadSweats visors which have been been part of my staple running gear for a number of years.

The Headband

If you want to be minimalists yet keep the sweat out of the eyes, in walks the headband. The headband is alive and well in the running world but these items have come a long way since the 70s with their technical material and sweat soaking or redirecting abilities.

Here are a few options to style in:

  • HeadSweats Topless – It uses the same terry-cloth sweat absorbing band as their other products.
  • HeadSweats Winter Topless – For the cooler months to keep the ears warm.
  • Halo Headbands Halo I – Tie-behind headband.
  • Halo Headbands Halo II –  One piece pullover design.

If you are interested in getting away from fabric all-together yet redirect the sweat from your eyes, you can check out the Sweat Gutr. Interesting idea but I haven’t tried it. Plus a guaranteed conversation piece at your next race.

The Beanie

The beanie is noggin’ active wear without the visor. The usage could be for warmth in cooler training months, sweat collecting, and sun protection. For some it may even be a fashion statement.

Some styles to choose from:

  • HeadSweats Midcap – A versatile cool weather, breathable beanie. My personal favorite for my southern winters.
  • HeadSweats Summit – It seems like a step up in protection versus the Midcap.
  • HeadSweats Alpine Reversible – Another active cold weather beanie made from coconut shells.
  • Halo Headband PROTEX bandana – Bandana style for warm or cool conditions.
  • Halo Headband Skull Caps – Versatile beanie.
My HeadSweats Beanie

My HeadSweats Beanie

I personally have had a HeadSweats Midcap for the last 7-9 years and it still is in great shape. I just need to de-salt it once in a while by tossing it in the laundry.

Going Commando

There are days when noggin’ gear just isn’t needed for your run or race. It may be a short run or conditions are very mild. If that is the case, enjoy the cerebral nakedness. Be free my friend, be free. There are no rules to this game!

As you can see there are some great options that can match up to your preferred style and training/racing climate.

What is your preferred noggin’ wear?

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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