What's a Snapback Hat and How is it Different Than a Trucker Hat

Posted by Printed Kicks Team on

What's a Snapback Hat and How is it Different Than a Trucker Hat

Two of the most popular hat styles today are the snapback hat and the trucker hat. These two hats have risen to relevance because of their simplistic designs and versatile fits. Both the snapback and the trucker hat are variations of the old-fashioned, traditional baseball cap. Long gone are the days of fitted caps! 

If you don’t know, a snapback hat is a baseball cap with a plastic fastening strap or “snap.” This snap usually comes in two pieces, with one carrying multiple holes and the other carrying knobs to snap into those holes. A trucker hat, on the other hand, is any cap with a mesh backing. Often, trucker hats are also snapbacks. 

At Printed Kicks, we carry a variety of both snapbacks and trucker hats. Offering a plethora of different colors and designs, we have hundreds of hats to match your look! Consider checking out one of our leather patch trucker hats, which feature genuine leather patches stitched professionally onto the domes of the hats. 

In this guide, we will be discussing the similarities and differences between snapback hats and trucker hats. All hats are made with the buckram button on the top of their dome, holding them together. However, these two styles of caps differ in the way they’re constructed and the styles they display. 

Trucker Hats

Before comparing the two styles of hat, it’s important to have a foundational understanding of what these two hats are. Today, we’re going to be starting with the trucker hat; a trucker hat is defined as a baseball cap with foam front panels, a pre-curved brim, a mesh backing, and a plastic snap closing. This type of hat can be five to six panels. 

Trucker hats were originally known as “gimme hats” in the 1960s because they were commonly given away for free by companies for promotion. These types of hats are cheap to make, simple to design, and very comfortable for everyday use. Thus, many brands took advantage of the gimme hat craze and started distributing caps with their logo on them. 

The name “trucker hat” eventually replaced the “gimme hat” term as they became the favorite hat to wear by employees at automobile companies. Nowadays, you will likely see truck drivers on the highway sporting these mesh-backed caps. They have become a beloved aesthetic in the hat industry. 

Snapback Hats

As stated previously, snapbacks are known for the adjustable, plastic snap closure that they feature. In past years, the fitted cap was the trendy, hip hat to wear. People used to love the fact that they could get a personalized hat fit just for them. As of late, though, the snapback has become the dominant hat style in fashion. This snap function is also sometimes used on dads hats and trucker hats. 

Snapback hats are typically made from six cotton or twill panels with a wide, flat peak. The brims can be pre-curved or flattened. The flat brim has been made famous in past years by hip-hop music, but more and more people are starting to move toward curved brims. 


Both snapback hats and trucker hats are one-size-fits-all. But they also share a number of other similarities. For one, they both are casual, everyday hats to wear. Both styles of hats are extremely versatile. 

You can wear a snapback or trucker hat with sweatpants on or jeans, with a t-shirt on, or with a winter coat. The only thing you might not be able to wear these two hats with is a suit! 

In terms of function, both hats are equally as effective in blocking out harsh sunlight and wind. Ultimately, the functionality of the hat depends on the shape of the brim, but both hat styles are useful against the weather. 


The main difference between these two styles of hats, besides the materials they use for their backings, is the designs they tend to use. Snapback hats tend to have more flashy and eye-catching designs, while trucker hats almost always feature plain and simple designs. 

With how stiff the dome of the snapback hat is, the design on the front of the hat is much more visible than on a trucker hat, which features a more wrinkled, relaxed dome. 

When you sit a snapback hat on top of a flat surface, the shape of the hat probably does not change; it will look just like how it looks sitting on top of your head. However, with trucker hats, the dome of the hat will often fall flat when you place it on a flat surface. 

The type of people that wear these styles of hats differs as well. Snapback hats are definitely worn more by the youth, especially if they’re athletes. Contrastingly, trucker hats are generally worn by older consumers. Trucker hats and dad hats tend to coincide with each other because of their laid-back, subtle styles. 

History of Baseball Caps

Now that we’ve compared and contrasted the two styles of caps, we’re going to dive into their histories. Both these caps draw inspiration from the original baseball cap. The first baseball cap was seen in the 1860s as part of the Brooklyn Excelsiors baseball team’s uniforms. 

At first, the purpose of these hats had nothing to do with style or fashion. They were strictly intended to keep the sun out of players’ eyes. The first baseball caps were made from wool, with a short, leather bill.  These hats did not have any closure system and just sat loosely on the head.

Gradually, the baseball cap began to spread to other men’s baseball teams, placing their logos and colors on hats for their players. It was only during the 1920s when fans started to buy replica versions of these hats themselves. The hype for baseball caps grew tremendously due to the popularity of Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees. 

In the 1940s, the baseball cap began to look more like what it is today. Manufacturers began to use a  latex rubber stiffening material to define the shape of hats more clearly and produce a better fit on the head. 

A few decades later, in the 1980s, baseball hats became even more in demand because of the crime drama TV series, “Magnum P.I.” In the show, actor Tom Selleck, who quickly became a sex symbol for his role in the show, wore a Hawaiian shirt and a Detroit Tigers baseball hat. This outfit became renowned as a trademark for the times, being imitated for years to come. 

In the 1990s, baseball caps were brought to the forefront of the media again, this time through hip-hop music. Most prominently, rappers Tupac Shakur and Ice Cube were known for rocking baseball caps. It was then that the flat brim style began to outsell the previously favored pre-curved brims. The flat brims of hats usually consist of plastic or cardboard. 

Variations of Snapbacks & Truckers

Besides snapbacks and trucker hats, there are a few other styles of hats that are still sold to this day. Some hats, instead of using a plastic snap closure, use a velcro strap to change the size of the hat. Some hats feature a leather strap to adjust the size, encased in a metal closing. 

Another style of hat worth mentioning is the “Flexfit” hat, which was also popularized by the hip-hop movement in the 1990s. They are essentially fitted caps, but the dome is made from elastic materials that are able to stretch to the shape of your head. This style of hat basically fuses elements of the snapback and fitted cap and brings them together. 


Almost everybody has a hat or two sitting on their shelf nowadays. Especially in the summertime! If you’re one of these people, you probably own a snapback hat or trucker hat. 

These two styles of hats have taken over the cap market. When shopping for headwear, it is likely that you’ll mainly see these two types of hats in stock. The fashion world is moving toward a trend of simple, adjustable hats. 

In many ways, snapback hats and trucker hats are very similar. They may both have a plastic snap closure, they may both have six panels, and they may both have a pre-curved brim. 

However, they also hold some distinct differences between each other. Trucker hats have a mesh backing rather than a twill or cotton backing like snapbacks. Snapbacks also have wider peaks and high-profile domes, which trucker hats do not. As a result, snapbacks usually display more intricate, vibrant designs since the domes are more visible than on trucker hats. 

Here at Printed Kicks, we’re keeping up with the times! We provide hundreds of different snapbacks and trucker hats to keep you looking and feeling fresh when you’re out and about. Whether you are looking for a hat with great function or an awesome aesthetic, we’ve got you covered! 



Baseball vs Trucker Hat | Fast Fashion News 

Baseball vs Snapbacks vs Trucker Hat | The Leisure Society 

How to Wear a Snapback Cap With Swagger - The Trend ...https://www.thetrendspotter.net › Men's Style

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