Buying a sports hijab can be tricky. It must be the perfect marriage of form and function. It needs stand up to the rigors of high impact exercise, be lightweight, wick sweat, stay in place, and hopefully look as stylish as our everyday hijab. To this end, I put two sports hijab brands to the test.
Capsters is a proven company that revolutionized the hijab back in 2001 when they first appeared on the market. They worked with athletes across the globe, designing a rugged and effective line of products for everybody. They are the officially sanctioned sport hijab for FIFA. Their range of products runs from $38-48 USD and are available in five different models (runner, runner XL, runner kids, fitness casual, and a swim hijab). They are available in black, white, grey and navy, with a few interesting color combinations for the line of swim hijabs. The best thing about these hijabs is the fact that they were designed with real athletes in mind.
Pictured here is Capsters Extra Long Runner which provides ample coverage down the chest. Get it here.
Asiya is a Muslim American brand that is relatively new on the market. Designed with young girls in mind, the women behind the brand’s expressly stated mission is to empower young hijab observant Muslim girls to play sports and fully participate in society through sports and exercise. But, don’t be fooled, these hijabs aren’t just for children. They are large enough to fit most women comfortably. They retail between $35-49 USD and are available in four styles (Sport, Fit, Lite, and Diamond). They are available in standard colors (black, white, blue, grey, and red) except for the Diamond model which has a fun print that goes with almost anything. And the best part is that you can leave a donation at checkout to sponsor an athlete so that girls whose families who can’t afford the $40 price tag don’t have to get left on the sidelines.
Asiya Diamond Model Sport Hijab really stands out with it's colourful fun print. Get it here.
For this matchup I pitted Capsters’ Runner XL against Asiya’s Sport. While I, myself, tried both products I enlisted help for this matchup. I gave them to a busy fitness enthusiast and part-time personal trainer, and a busy middle schooler.
Both items have a similar fit. They hug the head without making you feel like it’s wrapped tightly. The material skims along the neck and, ideally, is tucked into the shirt. This is great for sports where you could get snagged by the extra material. For women with especially long or thick hair, neither of these styles would be ideal, as it had a limited amount of give. But, most women could simply tie or braid their hair up and slip the hijab on top without any problem.
Neither of them slipped around during the day and were able to be worn without any kind of under scarf or pins.
It’s June and so we are all looking for ways to beat the heat. A good sport hijab must work on two levels. There must be adequate heat exchange to keep you cool and sweat wicking to help keep you dry. Nobody wants to run around with a wet rag on their head.
How did they hold up?
The Capsters did a great job keeping our heads dry. Even if we spent all day sweating, the hijab remained dry. The Asiya, however, took top marks in heat exchange. At the end of the day, after wearing the Capster, we all felt as though we’d a been wearing a cap all day. The Asiya allowed for better air circulation, which let us forget about it as the day got busy.
Both products did an excellent job of staying in place through sixth grade P.E., intense workouts, and long afternoons at the playground. There was no need to constantly adjust. No uncomfortable closures. No crazy lumps or bubbles. No material that sags after a few hours under the sun. Once you got it in place, it was easy to stop thinking about it.
Not exactly. But that has much more to do with the design than anything else. Neither of these models offers you the option to simply jam your hands under your scarf once it's in place. Both fit rather snug against the face (without leaving marks) and slip down into the shirt. If you stop and pray you will need to take it all the way off to make wudu. This isn’t a problem if you are someplace where you can get some privacy. But if you happen to be at the park, making wudu with a bottle of water, you may have to get a bit creative.
Both hijabs have a similar design. It fits close to the head, tapers in at the neck and slips under the shirt (or on top if you’d prefer).
The Capster runner XL has a larger flap of material in the front that can be used to cover the cleavage. However, it has more of a “turtle” design, streamlining the shape of the head to avoid bumps or bulges. My middle schooler called it a “sock for your head”.
The Asiya model is similar in design, but has more give, allowing you to wear your ponytail or bun more easily underneath. It doesn’t have as many seams along the head, giving it a more unobtrusive appearance.
Both hijabs performed splendidly, and your preference will be determined by your needs.
For my fitness enthusiast friend, the Capster was the way to go. It was very functional and rugged, keeping her hair out of the way during long sweat sessions. And for my middle schooler, the Asiya was the perfect complement to her school uniform. It was sleek and comfortable, and she could dress it up with cat ears and accent scarves.
Because Asiya is an American brand and in manufactured in the United States there is a slight incentive for those in North America (yeah, Canada, we see you too), to choose the Asiya brand. Capsters is manufactured in Poland which might be a boon for European hijabis looking for a great sports hijab.
As for me, I would recommend both brands. The Asiya is obviously courting a younger, more image conscious demographic. And the Capster is better people who take their health and their sports seriously. Both products have done a lot to help Muslim women reclaim their space in public life and in sports, and that makes us the real winners.
Safura Salam is a freelance writer, mother, and a part-time gym hero. She studied journalism at Penn State, and went on to work for the DNC before deciding to write full-time. Her work focuses on helping others fulfill their potential, tell their stories, and encouraging diverse voices in storytelling. You can follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SafuraWrites