Running in a Bucket Hat?

Running in a hat is a great way to cover your scalp to protect it from sun damage, especially along your part. Or if you have no hair. But your ears are still just hanging out exposed to the sun. You can obviously apply sunblock to them. You should apply sunblock to them. But ears are so weird, there’s lots of little curves and turns where you can miss application. So I got to thinking, maybe I should run in a bucket-style hat? And even though I’m in my 40’s and supposedly I’m at the point where I don’t care what people think anymore (I’m not), there is a part of me that thinks I would look absolutely ridiculous wearing a bucket hat while running. (PS – There are affiliate links in here. So if you click through to Amazon and then make a purchase, maybe I’ll earn some pennies. If so, I’d really appreciate that!)

Magda Boulet looked pretty cool winning the Western States 100 in a brimmed hat. But then again, she was winning Western States 100 at the time, not just running around suburban Las Vegas…

Photo from Outside Magazine

But I got to poking around and found some options that might work. Maybe. I don’t know… it’s just so different from what I’ve seen on most people when running, but I’m also starting to get more obsessive about sun protection. My 7-year-old so graciously pointed out the lines on my forehead and while I know that time marches on, I’d like to slow adding to my collection and reduce the risk of skin cancer as much as possible.

This Mission bucket hat is cooling in that when you wet it down, it stays cool. Not sure I’d wear a wet hat around all the time, but I guess it’s an option that’s available. It also looks like it’s flexible and wouldn’t be a super stiff hat. The navy color is okay, I’m going to say a khaki hat is a NO for me, it wouldn’t match any of the running gear I have and I don’t want to look like I’m missing from a safari. Granted, there was an escaped tiger wandering about Vegas in my neighborhood exactly where I ran one time…

Another bucket hat from Mission. This one looks a little stiffer than the previous one, but it’s hard to judge for certain from pictures online. Another one that comes in safari khaki! Both of these have a cord, which seems a little dorky, but it also seems it might help keep the hat in place in a breeze?

This is probably some brand from China and you’ll get funny instructions like “For wearing the hat to keep sun protection on face and skin outdoors.” It’s pretty cheap and it has UPF properties. It’s available in a wide range of colors, like gray or khaki or army green. Okay, not so wide.

The previous hat also comes in versions with neck coverage and full-on face coverage. If you really want to look like a nutjob while running? I’m not considering this one, I just shared it here because the thought of running in this makes me laugh.

This one has a hole for your ponytail. So that would be another way to help anchor it to your head in the event of a breeze! It’s not that expensive and comes in several bright fun colors. But the brim looks really wide, so it might be annoying. I don’t know, this one might be worth a try, even if it’s just for wearing while doing yard work.

Or maybe I’m overthinking this. (Highly possible, I’m the person who is worrying about her 2nd grader dealing with high school situations.) Let me know your thoughts though, is this a crazy idea? Which hat would you pick?


  1. I know this post is 6 months old, but I found it googling bucket hats for running. I have worn one a few times on a run during the last several months. As much as the cord makes the hat look dorky, I’m thinking I need one now as the wind blew my hat right off my head during today’s run. Luckily, it didn’t go far and I was able to retrieve it. I’m in my 40s as well and enjoy running with a bucket hat.

  2. I’m right with you too! I’m so worried about sunspots On my face (I’m 47) and the visors and regular ball caps don’t protect the sides of my face . I think I’m going to try the hat you found with a ponytail hole. Here’s to being dorky on the trail!

  3. I couldn’t stop laughing reading this. Not sure if it helped in making a decision but was fun to read. I guess I’ll try out one of those new adidas or Nike ones and see how it goes.

    • I did buy one from Amazon. Even with the cord it kept blowing off! I made it a quarter mile before I took it off and then carried it for 4.25 miles, which was super annoying and it almost ended up in the trash a few times. Maybe Nike/Adidas are better? If you get one, let me know how it goes! I’m not ready to abandon this plan quite yet!

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