The belt works as one continuous pocket with multiple openings for extra storage. Logo is reflective for night running. No-bounce design. Includes interior key fob.
Correct sizing can be difficult to find. Logo can come off during washing.
Adjustable waist fits many users for easy sharing. Water-resistant. Single larger pocket for smartphones with headphone connector. Two smaller pockets for keys, ID, and other items.
Some buyers had problems with the product's durability. Small.
Comes in a variety of color options and styles. Large enough to hold most smartphones. Stays firmly in place with no-bounce construction. Waist strap is adjustable.
Many plus-size customers had issues fitting into the adjustable belt. Zipper could operate more smoothly.
Large phone pouch able to hold larger smartphones. Phone pouch includes headphone connector. Water-resistant band. Second pouch available for smaller items. Adjustable waistband.
Many owners had trouble with customer service. Belt could be more durable.
Zipper enclosure keeps all your running accessories safe and secure. Feels breathable and lightweight. Fully adjustable, so multiple users can wear this belt. Suitable for biking and hiking as well. Available in multiple colors.
Not waterproof, so can be difficult to clean afterward.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
When you’re trying for a new personal best, pockets full of gear are the last thing you need weighing you down when you run. Still, carrying some personal items is nonnegotiable whether you’re running a mile or a marathon. You need your keys, your phone, and maybe even a gel pack or two for a long-distance run. But no one runs well with metal jabbing them in the leg. You need another solution. You need a running belt.
Running belts are fabric pouches that hold your valuables securely on your torso while you run. A far cry from fanny packs, running belts are sleeker with a lower profile. Some are larger than others, but most are designed to hold small essentials like keys, ID, credit card, and possibly a smartphone.
But the belt that suits distance runners best might not work for weekend warriors. Keep reading to learn more about your options, and before you buy, check our recommendations for the best running belts on the market.
When choosing a running belt, it’s important to decide whether you want one that’s a fixed size or adjustable.
Belts that are one size offer users many advantages. You pull one on like a pair of pants, so there are no bulky clasps to snag your clothes or chafe your skin. You can choose to wear it at your waist, hips, or anywhere in between that feels right. These belts tend to lie flat against the body, with little to no bouncing. And these slim-fitting belts look sleek and stylish.
But as the name implies, fixed-size belts aren’t adjustable. That’s fine if you’re an occasional runner or maintaining your body size. But if you’re jogging as part of a weight-loss program, you might need to buy a smaller belt at some point. Likewise, if you gain weight, you might need a new belt or need to wear it on a different part of your torso. Keep your fitness goals in mind when making a decision.
Many belts can be adjusted to fit a variety of waist, hip, and torso sizes. This feature is attractive if you’re running to lose weight because you won’t need to buy a new belt when you go down a size. But adjustable belts do have buckles that can irritate skin or snag clothing. They tend to be a bit bulkier, too, so one is more likely to bounce as you run than a fixed-size belt. Adjustable running belts are more economical but less ergonomic.
Once you decide on the basic type of belt, you can make some choices about the other features that will make a difference for your run.
Poorly sized or organized pockets can make it hard to find your essentials. Even worse, valuables could fall out while you’re fumbling for your keys. Look for a belt with a number of pockets in various sizes so you can keep everything well organized and safe.
Smartphone pocket: Aside from keys, your smartphone is probably the take-along item that matters most, and phones are growing in size as well as capabilities. If you want a belt that will fit your phone, keep in mind that you’re committing to a broader belt. Check carefully before buying, and be sure to include in your measurements any phone covers or cases you’ll be using.
Music is a must for many runners. But it’s risky to leave a zipper open for headphone wires because you could lose your keys or drop your phone. Instead, look for a running belt equipped with a hole or adapter for your earbud wires.
Belts that hold electronic key fobs and phones must offer some protection from water. Waterproof belts are hard to find, but a number offer pouches and pockets with significant water resistance. Look for belts that can stand up to water if you live in a rainy climate, if you regularly encounter sprinklers on your jogging route, if you’re a trail runner who’s likely to encounter puddles and mud, or if you sweat a lot.
Visibility to traffic is always a concern when running in the early morning or late evening. Experts recommend wearing reflective clothing on your jog so oncoming vehicles can see you coming. Choosing a running belt with reflective patches or lettering can help keep you safe and keep you from wasting precious time searching for something reflective if your run gets postponed until after dark
A few other features can help improve your security and your experience while you run.
Key security: Many belts include a key hook or specially designed pocket that reduces your chances of losing your keys when you open your pouch.
Water: Some belts include small water bottles to help keep you hydrated without weighing you down with a full-size bottle.
Energy gel: Distance runners should look for a belt designed to hold energy gel packs.
You can find a budget running belt of reasonable quality for $10 to $15. In this price range the belts are adjustable, featuring a long strap that holds a zippered pocket. This pocket should offer some water resistance and be large enough to hold the basics like keys and phone. Most of these belts fasten with a buckle.
Running belts that are a little higher in quality cost $15 to $20. Most of these belts are adjustable, and many include longer pouches that are more thoughtfully segmented to hold your keys, phone, snacks, and other personal items. Some have value-added features like key hooks or miniature water bottles.
Expect to pay $25 to $35 for a high-end running belt. Belts that cost this much can be either fixed or adjustable. They have significant internal storage space with multiple access points for your keys, phone, and other items. Belts and fasteners alike are more comfortable, with no bouncing or slipping as you run. They may also have value-added features that make taking your belongings on your run more convenient.
A. Your belt is bound to collect some sweat, so periodic cleaning is a good idea. The good news is that many running belts are made from the same materials as athletic wear and are machine washable. If you have a machine with an agitator, consider washing your belt in a lingerie bag to keep the straps from getting caught. Be sure to check the washing instructions that come with your belt because a handful of belts have zippers and inserts that require gentler care.
A. Water bottles are a mixed bag. Runners need the water but hate the extra weight and bulk of carrying bottles. Manufacturers feel your pain and are trying to find ways to balance runners’ needs. While a few offer water-bottle attachments for an additional price, many achieve this by creating special miniature or slender water bottles that fit in your belt. These specialized water bottles aren’t going to fully satisfy your thirst, but they might be enough to get you through. Generally, you should drink four to six ounces for every 20 minutes of running. If your pace is faster than 8 minutes per mile, increase the amount by a few ounces.
A. Many manufacturers boast that their running belts don’t jiggle, slide, or bounce. But the truth is that many do, or else the companies wouldn’t feel the need to differentiate their products with the claim. Different belts are a better fit for different bodies. If the one you order ends up sliding, try wearing it at a slightly different point on your body. Some runners add small lead weights to their belt’s pockets if the belt tends to move. Weights can keep your belt in place and increase your calorie burn.