By now, each of us has a pile of face masks lying around. Your average surgical mask will work just fine for a trip to the grocery store, but when lacing up for a run (or any other form of exercise), you need something that’s designed for performance. A good running face mask won’t slide down as you move or overly restrict your ability to breathe, and it should also dry quickly, wick sweat, and withstand multiple washes.
Here, we’ve rounded up our six favorite running face masks. Whether you’re squeezing in a quick jog over lunch or pushing for a PR over the weekend, they’ll keep you safe without smothering you.
Buff Filter Tube
Buff’s headwear and face coverings were popular among runners even before the pandemic. This tube features a three-layer replaceable filter, and the antimicrobial coating on the interior mesh prevents odor-causing germs from forming. The polyester-elastane fabric quickly wicks sweat, and the tube fits snugly across your nose and cheeks so your glasses won’t fog as you charge full speed ahead.
Under Armour Sportsmask
Worn by all kinds of athletes, Under Armour’s best-selling face mask is full of run-ready features. Stretchy ear loops, an adjustable nose bridge, and five sizes ensure the perfect fit, while the Iso-Chill fabric stays cool even when you’re working hard. The polyurethane open-cell foam near the mouth offers good breathability, and the interior lining comes with an antimicrobial treatment to ward off stink.
BOCO Gear Performance X Mask
This running face mask is made from a lightweight polyester knit, and a slit in the interior panel can hold a replaceable filter (available in packs of 20) for added protection. The simple design for all kinds of running workouts, and it comes in a range of eye-catching colorways, too.
StringKing Cloth Face Mask
Known for lacrosse gear, StringKing also makes exercise-friendly face masks. They offer a great fit thanks to their choice of elastic ear loops: standard or adjustable (with a small rubber slider). Two layers of California-grown Supima cotton fabric hold up wash after wash and give the mask a soft feel against your skin, though it’s not as breathable as some synthetic fabrics. On the plus side, these masks are very affordable—a great pick for stocking up.
At 3.2 grams, this mask is so featherlight it almost feels like you’re not wearing one at all. The mask’s soft foam material is only 2mm thick and breathes well, which makes it ideal for high-intensity workouts like hill climbs or sprints. It also repels sweat, keeps its shape even after being balled up in a pocket, and stays fresh thanks to an antimicrobial treatment.
Outdoor Research Essential Face Mask Kit
This mask provides ultimate coverage without feeling suffocating. A built-in nose wire and adjustable ear loops provide a tight seal around your face, the fabric wicks sweat and resists stains, and it’s designed to accept replaceable filters for maximum protection. It’s also extra tough: Outdoor Research put it through rigorous testing to ensure stellar abrasion resistance. The kit includes one mask, three filters, and a pouch for hygienic storage.
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