Treadbands cost $16 – $18 and come in two major sizes: a 2.5-inch wide version called “All-Terrain” and a 1.5-inch version called the “Low-Profile”. Both work excellently.

The thing that really sets Treadbands apart is a tiny rubberized strip in the front of each headband. The strip holds the headbands in place with shocking ease, and it also tends to keep sweat from dripping down the front of your head. The pressure of the rubber against your skin pushes liquids towards the knots in the back. It’s a simple mechanism that works amazingly well. I’ve even noticed when they get supersaturated with sweat, it will actually drip off of the ties in back before sweat drips down my face.

When I recently discovered the company calls devotees “TreadHeads,” it seemed about right. After a few weeks of runs, I’ve become as obsessed as my friend who rambles about “that” live recording of the Grateful Dead’s 1968 show at the Carousel Ballroom. I don’t leave home without one.

Tie Back or Bust

Treadbands are not necessarily the prettiest things ever—I look a bit like the David Foster Wallace of fitness—but they get the job done better than anything I’ve ever used before. I especially like the thicker All-Terrain size when running with earbuds, because it helps hold them in place better than earfins alone. That extra width also buys a bit more absorbance, so it’s been my go-to on longer runs.

The company also makes non-tying versions, and sent me one to try, but I just didn’t like it as much as the two tie-behind bands. I like pretending I’m a warrior tying my headscarf before battle to pysch myself up for exercise—and besides, tying them myself guarantees a perfect fit.

Speaking of knots, I’ve just been double looping them. The stretchy spandex material is super easy to untie even when soaking wet, aided in part by the taper at each end of the band.

I haven’t been using Treadbands for too long yet, but I feel fairly confident in their durability. I’ve been using the same two bands nearly daily for weeks, and they’re holding up. In fact, they dry fast enough that you can even get two runs or rides in a day with the same band—a feat I’ve been hardpressed to achieve with hats or traditional sweatbands.

If you care about how you look when working out, you can even match them to your outfits. They come in a wide assortment of colors, heathered colors, and patterned designs. I’ve been running with a tie-dye one, but I’m eyeing one of these taco-print versions to go with my favorite running socks.

Call me a Treadhead, I guess? These are the best bands I’ve found.

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