The Headband: A Running Staple

By: Kyle Markley

When most people think about wearing a headband, they probably think Daniel from the Karate Kid movies about to fight the Cobra Kai. Or, you think Rocky heading out for an early morning run before his big fight with Apollo Creed. But for runners, they think about the all time greats that have donned this secret weapon. People like Evan Jager, Brian Barraza, Sam Parsons, Ben Blankenship, and Drew Piazza. Legends of the sport that all have one thing in common: they all wear headbands. 

The headband comes in many shapes and colors, including the OG thick cotton sweatband, the new and improved sweat wicking version, the tie back, the thin elastic version, and the old school bandana. Each are unique in their own way, but all serve their purpose. Which is to help runners run fast and look good.

(Photo: Evan Jager Instagram) (Photo: Brian Barraza Instagram) (Photo: Ben Blankenship Instagram) (Photo:Sam Parsons Instagram)

Now there is no scientific study to prove that headbands make you any faster, but the benefits definitely outweigh the negatives. First off, a headband is practical in nature as it keeps the sweat out of your eyes, something that is critical for the success of runners. Secondly, the headband brings a style to the sport. Being able show your own unique style by wearing the headband style of your choice allows you to stand out from your competition (and helps your coach pick you out in a race). It also shows everyone else on the starting line of a race, “oh dang, this guy’s got a headband you know he’s a contender”. The headband also serves its original purpose, keeping your hair in control, because whether you have luscious flow or short hair, the last thing any runner wants to think about mid-race is their hair. Lastly, the headband is just a good look. Because as the saying goes, “look good, feel good, run good”. 

(Photo: Drew Piazza Instagram)

So next time you are heading out for a run or even packing for a race, do not grab the usual running hat, but instead throw on a headband and channel your inner Evan Jager as you envision crossing the finish line setting an American Record. Or maybe you start humming the Rocky theme song as your shadow box your way down the sidewalk. Either way be like the Toad himself and rock the headband.