We have no truck with headband doubters here, so if you took exception to the above suggestion that they are stylish then you can jog on, pal. Headbands are either making a comeback or never went away – whichever it is, they’re definitely in right now. They’re cool, they’re functional and they’re a must for your running wardrobe.
Headbands keep both sweat and hair out of your face, as well as keeping your ears warm come winter time. It’s basically all the benefits of a hat without the overheating problem. Here are some of the best available.
Buff R-Blue Dryflx Headband
The classic Buff can be used as a headband as well as a neck warmer, but the large amount of fabric involved means it requires careful folding to not spill down your forehead. The solution is to buy one of Buff’s excellent dedicated headbands, which are made from a quick-drying fabric and have reflective details all the way around for 360° visibility.
Buy from Buff (opens in new tab) | From £11.80
Kalenji By Night Running Headband
The sides, back and upper hem of this headband have a reflective design, and there’s also a loop on the back to which you can attach a small LED light (not included) if you want to take your night-time visibility to the max.
Buy from Decathlon (opens in new tab) | £6.99
Waring Brooke Personalised Patterned Headband
There comes a point in every headband lover’s life when it becomes not just acceptable but unavoidable to purchase a monogrammed band made out of extra-fine Merino wool. Once you reach that point, you’ll be delighted to find out that it only costs £25 to make such a luxurious acquisition. The Waring Brooke personalised band might only accommodate two initials (a sucker punch to double-barrelled headband lovers) but it comes in a range of colours and is supremely comfortable and warm. You can double the fabric over for a standard-sized band or open it up for more coverage.
Buy from Waring Brooke (opens in new tab) | £25
Wodable Pachanga Headband
This quick-drying spandex band is great for hot days or indoor running, absorbing more sweat than you’d expect from such lightweight fabric. It has a tapered design, which is a boon for those who don’t want too much material at the back of their head, and comes in a large range of splashy designs. Of these splashy designs, the Pachanga is our favourite.
Buy from Wodable (opens in new tab) | £9.99
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Inov-8 Race Elite Headband
Made from a breathable, wicking material called Meryl Hydrogen, which certainly sounds sciencey, this headband will keep your ears and head warm on cold days and stop sweat from sloshing all your face on hot ones. Inov-8 has opted to make men’s and women’s versions of the headband, though they look pretty much identical to us, so they could perhaps be described as just “blue” and “purplish”.
Gore M Headband
This headband has a fleecy lining to keep your noggin warm when running on frosty days, but the material is still lightweight enough to wear year-round to stop sweat dripping into your eyes. The fluorescent yellow colour (opens in new tab) might be the best pick for visibility fans, but the hibiscus pink is pretty much irresistible in our book.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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