best running belt

Best Running Belt

Which is the For You?

I think we’re all in agreement when I say that without his belt, Batman is just a weird dude in unseasonal fancy dress, so why not join the caped crusader in never being seen out without your () belt?

A belt can provide the answer to all those questions you have when setting off for a run.

Whether it be somewhere for your phone, your cash, your keys, or just about any other kit you might need mid-run, a belt might just be the answer for you.

If the idea of a running belt makes sense, you’ll be happy to hear that there are loads of options and all kinds of budgets (none of them particularly expensive) for you to consider.

However, if trawling through all those belts sounds like less fun than doing your long run on a grey and damp winter evening, don’t worry. Sit back and let me do the work for you 🙂

I’ve rated and reviewed five of the very best running belts currently available, then I’ll run through an in-depth buyer’s guide and a brief FAQ section to tie up any loose ends.

On your marks, get set, GO!

Reviews

Flip Belt Original

My top pick is the ultimate sleek running belt. Donning this, you’ll be storming down your route, unencumbered by all your essential items.

What’s impressive about this belt is just how much you can store in it without forfeiting minimalism, comfort, and style.

It can accommodate large smartphones, money, cards, snacks, keys, and headphones all in the large internal pockets, or if you need to carry emergency medication, it can fit EpiPens, Insulin pumps, and…

…very applicable in my case, inhalers.

Made out of a spandex-lycra blend, it’s got a second-skin feel, and thanks to the absence of fastenings, it’s completely chafe-free.

Lycra isn’t exactly breathable, but it is strong, so mixing it with some other breathable spandex fibres is a stroke of genius.

Flipbelt is supposed to be a non-bounce design, but you can expect a little bit of shifting around.

If you had to be picky, it can get a little confusing what item is where, as the pockets are in different positions, which isn’t great if you need immediate access to medication. 

Ultimately, this is a great running belt, offering an impressive amount of comfort and utility.

Obviously, there’s no larger pocket, so I’d recommend this for shorter runs or for exercise with nearby.

Pros

  • Four large pockets that fit all the essentials
  • Will fit any size smartphone
  • Breathable spandex blend keeps it nice and comfortable
  • Room enough for pretty much any kind of emergency medication
  • Machine washable
  • Flipbelt comes in a variety of awesome colours
  • Stylish and supportive design

Cons

  • No holder
  • Belt shifts a little during use
  • Not all that water-resistant

Ruffwear Trail Runner Series Running Belt

This one goes out to all the pooch lovers out there that like to get some exercise alongside their fluffy friend.

No longer will they zoom off, leaving you to eat their dust, and no longer will you have to run with bulky harnesses.

It’s a deceptively clever design.

The leash fastens safely through a central strap while the refreshment holder provides equilibrium, counteracting the shifting centre of gravity due to the pull of your pooch.

The leash is a non-bounce design, with loads of flex, perfect for absorbing shock from an excitable pup.

When it’s good and safe to do so, the leash strap is easily unbuckled on the go to give your dog some open playtime. 

The wide, padded back provides loads of lumbar support by dispersing weight equally and prevents your drinking bottle from rubbing or causing discomfort.

In addition, you have a small water-resistant zip pocket for safely stashing phones or keys.

This belt is designed for long runs over challenging terrain, and as such the inside is built up of mesh layers, keeping your skin feeling fresh and comfortable for longer.

One thing to be wary of is that if your dog is more wolf-sized than most, you may need a stronger release buckle.

Other than that, this is a quality belt, suitable for running, walking, or hiking, even if you don’t own a dog.

Pros

  • Designed for use with your dog
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Rear bottle holder balances weight
  • Appropriate for hiking, running or walking 
  • Padded lining
  • Non-bounce
  • Water-resistant zip pocket for essentials#
  • Chock dampening leash

Cons

  • Quite pricey
  • Not safe for very big pooches
  • Pretty tight squeeze for large phones

Sport2People Running Pouch Belt

My third belt is more of a sleek reimagining of the humble ‘bum bag’, taking that classic design to new heights of practicality and performance.

It has two expandable pockets. The largest is intended for phones exclusively to prevent other items scratching your screen.

The other slightly smaller pocket is a great place for money, cards, keys, or medication. There’s even a great little headphones hole so you can blast those calves and some tunes during your workout.

It’s a buckled design, but it’s also highly adjustable. You can fit it snug to your body shape to prevent shifting and rub almost entirely.

Made out of high-quality, water-resistant spandex, you won’t need to worry about getting caught in the rain or sweat seeping through to your phone.

If you’re a pre-dawn or nighttime runner, you’ll be happy to hear that this belt has three reflective darts laced around the entire circumference, keeping you seen, keeping you safe.

Pros

  • Reflective strips enhance visibility
  • Dedicated phone pouch
  • Buckled design makes for easy removal
  • Fits a wide range of body types
  • Both pockets expand to fit larger loads
  • Super affordable
  • Headphone loop for listening to music on your phone
  • Water-resistant

Cons

  • Buckle may Chaffe if worn directly on the skin
  • No drinks holder
  • Not as many pockets as my top pick

Nike Lean Waist Pack

If you’re looking for a simple, durable running belt, you are sure to love the Nike Lean Waist Pack.

The running belt is made completely out of nylon, and it’s possible to adjust it as needed so it will remain in the correct place. 

The running belt has an adjustable strap and you can put your keys and your phone in the belt when you’re on the run.

This makes it a great choice for people that like to walk or run and want to look good when they do it.

Now, it should be mentioned that the belt is a little bit heavy.

However, it also has a zipped external pocket that is very handy, and this will allow you to access your stuff much more easily.

You can also take it off with ease thanks to the buckle closure. There are even fluorescent strips on the exterior for people that like to run during the evening. 

Pros

  • Durable
  • Fluorescent strips for runners who like to go out in the dark
  • Can be used to carry phones and other items

Cons

  • A little heavy compared to some of the belts.

SPI Belt

My fifth and final pick keeps things nice and simple. It’s a single pocket, thin strap, streamlined ‘bum bag’ style for short to medium-length runs.

Minimal in design, it has much more of a subtle, essentials vibe, which may appeal to you if you’re a self-conscious runner. 

The strap is made from an extra soft elastic material that makes things comfortable, even on the longest of runs.

I like the low width idea, as it is less cumbersome that some of the designs, but it does mean less support, especially if you’re carrying some weighty things in that pouch.

Pocket-wise, it’s very sleek and low profile, but it can expand to a whopping 6.5 inches to fit those expansive smartphones if need be.

It’s a little disappointing that you have to stack items in a single pocket, but then again, more pockets would ruin the elegant simplicity of this belt.

Available in a ton of high visibility or muted colours, you can pick out whatever you feel comfortable with, and they come in sizes to fit 24 to 54-inch waists.

Pros

  • Minimal design
  • Soft, stretchy spandex construction
  • Low profile pocket
  • Pocket expands to 6.5 inches
  • Loads of sizes available
  • Thin strap provides an unencumbered feeling
  • Comes in loads of great colours
  • Affordable

Cons

  • On certain body types, the pocket may flip
  • Only one pocket
  • No room for liquids

Buyer’s Guide

Before you buy a belt and bolt out the door for your daily run, it’s good to mull over a few key considerations first.

Material

Running belts need to be as breathable as possible. Breathability helps reduce build-ups of sweat by allowing the passage of air molecules, keeping you from feeling damp and preventing chafing.

Most belts will be made of some sort of spandex, but not all spandex fibres are breathable.

It’s a good idea to do a little fact-checking on the material before settling on a belt. For heavily padded belts, keep an eye out for mesh linings.

That’s a sign that a lot of thought has been put into breathability. One material to avoid in particular would be nylon. It’s very strong, but it’s stifling too.

Weight

The ideal running belt would be lighter than air, but since that kind of fabric technology hasn’t been invested yet, we’ll just have to make do with gravity-laden belts instead. 

So make sure you compare weights as well as the look and capacity of your belt.

Width

The wider a belt is, the more support it’s probably going to offer you, but the greater the surface area it will take up.

If you’re after something that you’ll barely notice, thin to medium width belts are best.

Pockets

Now for the exciting part, pockets! This is where you get to decide what and how you’d like or need to take with you on your route.

If you only want to take your phone with you, a single pocket belt is perfect, but make sure you measure your phone and match it up with pocket dimensions.

If you’re looking for more of a utility belt, multiple pockets are essential. The last thing you need after a brutal workout is to find your phone all scratched up.

Belts with pockets running all the way around are great for keeping your belongings separate but can be quite difficult to retrieve them on the go.

My favourite pocket design is the many-in-one style.

Everything is more or less safe and separate, and you know where to find it all. That said, those designs can get a bit bulky, shifting your centre of gravity.

If you’re after a hydration belt, things get a little more complicated as flasks come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Try and find a belt that comes with a custom flask that fits perfectly in the drinks pocket.

Bounce

Ah, the dreaded bounce, scourge of the running belt, chaffer of flesh.

The primary objective of a running belt, after holding your things, is to keep everything firmly in place.

I’m pretty sure the completely bounce-free running belt has yet to be created, but the ones on this list get pretty damn close 🙂

The key to eliminating bounce is a snug fit around the waist, and pocketed items locked down.

Fastening and Fit

Buckles can be a problem, which isn’t to say you should avoid them, just be wary.

There are loads of fantastic buckled running belts available as you’ve seen from this list, but they can become an irritant.

Try looking into some customer reviews to see if they caused a problem, or look carefully at the design to see if any measures have been put in place to reduce possible discomfort.

Belts that fit using purely elastic are mega-comfy, but they can sometimes ride up.

A grippy lining will help them stay in place, and avoid riding up – or down. Very important if you don’t want to be constantly adjusting the belt on your run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I take my phone on a run?

Yes, it’s a great idea to take your phone with you on a run.

I know jogging is escapism for some, a way to disconnect for a while, but in the event of an emergency, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you brought a phone.

(I can personally relate to this, seeing as the number of times I’ve had to ring my wife to pick me up as I was struck down with another pull!)

Are flip belts any good?

Flip belts are awesome running belts. They’re comfortable, keep your belongings secure, and they can be quite supportive too.

The only thing they’re not great for is accessing their contents on the go.

Where do you wear a running belt?

Some manufacturers will give suggestions for optimal belt placement to reduce bounce and shifting, but ultimately, whatever feels most comfortable for you is best.

Summing Up

There you have it, fitness fanatics, five awesome running belts for taking your essentials out with you on your workout.

Once you’ve found the right one, you’ll never want to work out without it.

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