I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails and Tweets about what kind of running belt I use when I run, so I thought it would be a good idea to put together a review page here to write about the five best running belts that I’ve ever used.
The great thing about running belts is that they’re not very complicated; they only have a couple of things that they’re responsible for to make sure they’re doing a good job.
A good running belt allows you to carry all your essentials on you, it allows for even weight distribution as you’re running, and it should cause as little disturbance as possible so it doesn’t interrupt your run.
Why do you Need a Running Belt?
If you’re a serious runner, you need a running belt: it’s really that simple. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons, but the main one is this: you’re going to need a place to hold all your stuff.
What kind of stuff? Just the usual belongings you need on you at all times, whether it is a quick three-mile run or a marathon.
- Cell Phone – This is the top priority for most people since most cell phones these days also double as an activity tracker (tracking how far you’ve run and in what time), and they also play your music as well, and you’re going to want to be able to switch tracks without losing stride.
- Keys – When hubby isn’t at home, and I want to go out for a run, I always need to bring my keys with me, as I’m obviously not looking to stay out of the house. So keys are the #2 most important thing that I’m looking to fit into my running belt.
- Energy Gels – If you’re a serious runner and are training for running in a marathon, then these best running water bottle belts and best-running hydration belts are your companions.
- Cash, Credit Cards, ID Card – If I’m going for a longer type of run, I typically like to have some cash or credit card with me, just in case I want to stop for a bottle of water, or a snack on the way home.
What to Look for in a Good Running Belt?
As I said earlier, running belts are not complicated pieces of exercise equipment. They only have to do a few key things to make you happy.
So when you’re shopping for a running belt, pay attention to the following things.
- Fit & Design – Do you want a really thin and light belt that only holds the essentials, or do you want a slightly larger belt that may way a bit heavier but also holds more of your things? Know what you’re looking for before you buy because different belts coming in different sizes & designs.
- Comfort – All of the belts I recommend below were quite comfortable to run with, and this is really important because when you’re in a running motion and you have something tied around your waist, you’re not going to want it to bother you by bouncing up & down. You want a belt that stays in place and one you barely even know is there.
- Cell Phone Handling – Some people don’t use their cell phones at all when they’re running and just want a belt that can hold it in place, while other people use their phones during their entire run so they can check their Nike+ app, control their music, and pick up phone calls. Some running belts cater to the first type of person, while other belts cater to the second type of person: so figure out your needs ahead of time, and buy accordingly.
- Price – The great thing about the running belt market is that it’s really competitive, which means that the pricing for the best belts is pretty much in line with each other. The prices on Amazon change slightly from day-to-day, but for the belts I recommend, they are generally between $17-$30.
Reviews of the Best Running Belts
It is the single best running belt on the market today, and to be honest, you wouldn’t get much pushback from me on that opinion.
First, this is one slick-looking belt. I’m a huge fan of the design, and while design can be a subjective choice, I think many would agree that the look and feel of this running belt are top-notch. You’re going to good look with your running waist belts.
Next, the FlipBelt features four openings: two in the front, and two in the back. This allows you to easily slide in and access your valuables, such as your cash, keys, and driver’s license.
In terms of comfort, the FlipBelt doesn’t disappoint. This belt doesn’t have any fasteners, so there’s nothing to rub or chafe against your skin.
Not only that, but the tubular design of the belt does a really nice job in eliminating any bouncing the best of any belt I’ve used.
One other thing worth pointing out is the material that this belt is made out of, a Polyester/Lycra combo.
This should help with protecting your skin, allowing the belt to dry quickly, and provides for a good amount of stretching.
All in all, if I had to recommend one running belt, it would be the FlipBelt. I’ve owned mine for a while now and haven’t looked back.
The running belt by Nathan is another great option. Really, it could have just as easily been my first pick. It’s a really solid running belt.
The greatest benefit by far with this belt is that it is specially designed to hold your cell phone if that kind of thing is important to you when you’re running (as it is to me).
The cover on this running belt is touch-screen, which is pretty sweet: it allows you to see your running stats, change your music, or take a call without having to stop your run.
This running belt is adjustable to fit nearly any waist size, and it does do a good job of staying in place on your waist, with very little disruptive movement.
Just be careful not to stuff too much of your belongings into the belt, because the more things you have in there, the more likely it is to move around.
Another neat thing about the Nathan running belt is the material that it’s made from: a sweat-free foam padding, which is a running belt for iPhone, cash, and other belongings from getting wet or damaged.
To be honest, I hadn’t used this running belt until my sister-in-law was practically begging me to try it, she swears by it that much. And I’m glad that I did because I really like it.
Whereas the Urban Active Sports is more of a flashy, do-it-all kind of running belt, the one from Running Buddy is more bare-bones and utilitarian. And I don’t mean that as a bad thing, not at all.
But if you take a look at the picture to the left, you can tell this running belt is kind of no-nonsense, with its basic black color and design feel.
Don’t let that fool you, though, as this belt does everything you need: it can hold your cell phone of choice, hand sanitizer, wallet, and keys, among other things.
The materials on the Running Buddy also protect your valuables from sweat and rain, and the dry-fit allows you to be comfortable and chafe-free when you’re in the middle of your run.
One neat feature of the Running Buddy is the magnets in the belt, which connect to any waistband for a bounce-free and secure hold during your run.
We’ll end our list with the insanely popular SPIbelt running belt, which as of this writing has nearly 1,100 reviews on Amazon, so you know they must be doing something right. And they definitely are: this is a fantastic running belt.
In my opinion, the single greatest feature of this running belt is just how compact it is. The belt was made with mobility and lightness in mind, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it, considering this is designed for people who are running.
The belt just feels so light when you’re using it like it’s barely even there.
Part of the tradeoff here is that it doesn’t hold a lot of stuff, just the basics: your phone, keys, and license/credit card, which is usually sufficient for most runs.
But I can see how some people would only consider using this for shorter runs outside, or runs on the treadmill, but not for longer runs where they may need access to more things.
This really is a snug-fitting belt, fully adjustable so I imagine it fits nearly any waist size.
The SPIbelt also makes for a great travel belt if you are a marathon runner who likes to race out of town because when I pack this belt for my own races, its pouch hardly takes up any room in my bag.
Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com