Best Headbands for Runners 2021

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Matt Trappe

The weather has finally taken to warming, and that means logging miles out in the freshest of spring air. Unfortunately, that also includes wind and gusts that can whip your hair all over the place. There’s nothing more annoying than hair flying in your face and sticking to your forehead, which is why it’s worth investing in a reliable headband (read: no slippage, not too tight, and super comfy) to keep loose strands in place. The right headband can also do a great job of sopping up sweat during your runs, preventing it from running down your face and burning your eyes.

For more advice on What to Wear, use the Runner’s World gear generator ‍♀️ ‍♂️

How We Chose

Not all headbands are built to withstand the pounding of the pavement or sweaty miles that most runners log. There are a lot of things to consider when picking a headband that works for you, including size, fabric, and grip. Thankfully, many headbands nowadays are equipped with extra gripping detail, such as silicone or velvet strips attached to the band’s interior. To narrow down your options, we’ve done all the research and testing for you. Here are our 11 picks for the best headbands for runners.

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Cinched Style

Airlift Headband

Style-wise, this Alo headband is super cute thanks to the cinched detailing. You can wear it in front or in back. It also has no-slip grips that keep the headband from moving around when running. I also love the fabric, which is a super-soft double-knit. You do need to hand wash these, so if that’s not your jam, it’s something to keep in mind.

Silicone Gripping

Core Seamless Headband

Calia by Carrie Underwood

Besides being a huge Carrie Underwood fan, I was excited to try out this headband. Carrie’s Calia activewear line has been around since 2015, and she personally rocks it during her hardcore workouts. I loved that this headband is seamless, and also has interior silicone grippers to ensure it doesn’t move as you’re running.

Fully Customizable

Boho Bandeau Headband

These bandeau-style headbands are super versatile. They can be worn eight different ways, so you can mix it up depending on your run. “I can wear it as a wrap or actual headband,” a runner noted. “They’re soft, seamless, and non-slip! I love that they’re machine-washable for sweaty practices.” The headband also comes in several patterns and colors, including tie-dye.

Fun Patterns

Big Bang Lite Headband

Junk’s breathable headbands are also on the larger side (they are 4.25 inches wide), which means they will hold in any flyaway that attempts to escape. They are made of the brand’s signature technical t-shirt fabric, which is a cooling polyester-spandex material. One runner said that “the reviews I saw made me want to try it. It really keeps the sweat out of my face and it comes in a million colors and patterns (including camo and doughnuts).”

Variety Pack

Headbands (6-Pack)

These Nike headbands are thin and simple. As someone with fine hair, some of the thicker headbands can slip off more easily. But these ones stick in place. They also have silicone strips to provide extra grip. And these are honestly a great deal: with six headbands in a pack, you get both variety and value.

Velvet Interior Strip

Fly Away Tamer Headband

This Lululemon headband has an amazing velvet strip on the inside to keep it in place. One Lululemon-headband-obsessed runner noted the Fly Away Tamer “is a little thicker compared to the thinner ones they have, and it has a breathable material that absorbs the sweat.” The band has a secure, non-movable fit.

Gentle and Secure

Running Performance Hairband

Sweaty Bands are known for their velvet-lined interior that is more gentle on your hair (preventing breakage) and head. Their tagline is “OMG…They Don’t Slip!,” and in my experience, they really didn’t. This “Run Run Run” print is adorable, but they also have 100s of different styles that are all designed in Cincinnati, Ohio. A note: If you do wash it, the brand recommends handwashing and drip drying, or you risk ruining the velvet.

Maximum Coverage

Original Headband

If you prefer more “coverage” with your headband, you will love these ones from BLOM. These headbands are a #1 bestseller on Amazon. (If you need proof, they have a 4.5 star rating, and over 6,000 reviews.) They’re more of a “turban” style, and made of a super-soft viscose material. This is great, but it’s not necessarily sweat-wicking, in my experience. But I love how diverse it is. They come in 35 colors and can be worn 14-plus ways. Each one comes with a style card to show you all the different ways you can wear it. 

No-Slip Tieback

All Terrain Tieback

If you prefer a headband that you can tie yourself, you’ll love TreadBands. They are 2.5 inches wide, so not super thick and not super thin. The biggest benefit is that because you tie it yourself, it’s super-adjustable. If your head is on the larger (or smaller, like me), you can get a customized fit. And it also has a patented foam rubber neoprene strip that keeps it in place.

Sweat-Wicking Material

Vital Headband

These Athleta headbands come in four neutral colors (white, black, camo, and heather gray), so they really go with any outfit. Performance-wise, they’re made with heavy sweaters in mind, thanks to moisture-wicking nylon/polyester/lycra fabric. The Vital Headband also has rubber grips lined on the inside to keep it in place and manage flyaways. 

Mini Headbands (6-Pack)

If you prefer thin headbands, these ones by Under Armour are a great option. They are only .4 of an inch thick, but also have a grippy silicone strip inside each band. Since they come in a pack of six, you get to choose from a bunch of colors to match your outfit perfectly. And you can choose from several color-themed variety packs, including equator blue/seaglass blue, peach frost/blue ink, and exotic bloom/crystal lilac.

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