A lot of runners and joggers like to use running belts because they’re so convenient. They can keep various items on hand without having to stow them in their shorts pocket or in your hand. Runners wearing these belts are a common sight these days since they are so comfortable and handy.
A running belt, which is sometimes known as a sports belt, should have a pouch at the front. It should sit low where your hips are widest. A running belt with a stretchy elastic band can be adjusted for a snug fit, while silicone grips inside the belt stop it bouncing.
An ergonomically designed belt shouldn’t cause chafing. It should distribute weight evenly and not interfere with your run. In fact you can even forget you’re wearing a very comfortable one.
Table of Contents
Who Needs a Running Belt?
It’s not only joggers who will find a running belt useful, but also hikers, rock climbers, cyclists, and other adventurers. This snug belt fits around your waist and keeps your items safe, leaving your hands free.
There are other times when a running belt is ideal, such as an outdoor concert when you might be dancing around and won’t want any valuables to fall out of your pockets.
A good belt will have secured pockets so you can safely stash your possessions. A larger model will be able to hold a water bottle and snacks while a smaller one is good for perhaps your house keys, a credit card and your mobile phone.
Running Belts are a Must-Have for Runners
These belts will hold your things to give you a lightweight and bounce-free experience. You can expand the storage pouch to fit a variety of items in there and to keep your stuff safe.
If you’re in a race, you can attach your race number directly to the belt material. This means you won’t have to poke holes in your clothing.
Some running belts offer up to 3 liters of space, giving it nearly the capacity of a small-sized running backpack.
When you start looking at this size though, you might want to look at the pros and cons of carrying this much around your waist as opposed to on your back where the load might be more comfortable.
You won’t be carrying water throughout your run though of course; the weight will be going down as you are drinking it.
Useful Running Belt Features
As well as thinking about which items you want to carry with you, you will need to consider which activities you will be using your backpack for. Perhaps you want it for jogging or running or maybe you want to use it for hikes in which case you’ll probably want a larger one.
A larger running belt can hold a tablet while a smaller one will hold a smartphone. Even if you opt for a medium to large size, a well-fitting belt should still be comfortable to walk and run in.
You can get a belt with a pouch for your phone, a phone armband or even an add-on pouch which will hold your mobile. If you opt for an armband you can get one with a clear window allowing you to use the phone without having to use any flaps, Velcro or zippers.
If you don’t like armbands then a belt with a zippered pouch is your best bet. If you don’t mind then you could always pair a sleek running belt with an armband.
Some running belts are meant for short runs while others are designed with marathons in mind. It’s important to choose a running belt which serves the right purpose.
Durability is always important but if you are planning longer trips then you will probably want something water-resistant. Some running belts work well during good weather while others are designed more for marathons or triathlons so they are able to withstand poor weather conditions.
What’s a Running Pouch?
Running pouches, which are also known as running packs, can hold more than running belts. These are suitable for long distance running and come in various sizes. The biggest ones are similar to a bum bag.
Some running pouches offer belt loops so you can attach water bottles. If you need to carry quite a few items or you are running a long distance, a running pouch will probably suit you better than a slim running belt.
How to Choose a Comfortable Running Belt
A running belt allows you to run for a long time and keep everything you need with you. You don’t have to keep going back home or to the car to get items. With everything you need to hand, you can run for longer, especially if you choose a running belt that can hold water bottles.
It’s a good idea to pick one out that can hold your phone and keys at the least. To minimize how much your stuff moves around, choose a running belt that lies flush against your back.
Lightweight belts are usually preferable but if you plan on wearing the belt long-distance or you have a petite build you might prefer an ultra-lightweight option.
Something that can carry a bottle is necessary if you will be doing longer runs or if you are going to train in warm weather. You can get designs to hold single or multiple bottles.
For better weight distribution, you might like to get a belt with a small bottle on each side instead of one larger one, since this means you can distribute the weight between left and right.
Nothing will be more frustrating than a too-loose belt which you have to keep adjusting. These belts come in various sizes and have adjustable straps for a perfect fit, so take your time and choose a good one.
Which Material is Best for Running Belts?
Some materials prevent sweat and help regulate heat more than others. Neoprene is a good material for a running belt, since it is elastic, lightweight and not bulky. Spandex is also good or you can choose a belt with a mixture of fabrics.
More Handy Features to Look Out For
Choose a pouch that’s large enough to hold a phone. Also think about your preferred earphones. Do you want to thread a headphone cable through the belt or are you using wireless ear buds?
Remember phones come in different sizes and there are also XL-phones which are similar in size to a small tablet, so bear in mind the model of your mobile when choosing a sports belt. Phones can be up to 17cm in length.
A well-fitting belt which stays in place while you run is perhaps the most important thing. The more comfortable the belt is, the more you can forget about it and focus on your run.
Consider what you’re planning to carry with you. If you want to bring all your essential items then you will want a larger one which will hold a phone or small tablet as well as other items.
If you only want your ID, a key and some cash, then a small, minimally designed belt could be your best option. Bringing your phone, energy gels and other items of course means you will need more storage capacity.
Look out for a belt you can easily access while running. Extra features like loops are handy and a belt you can open one-handed is also convenient.
There are running belts for every requirement whether you want something lightweight which will hold a house key and some energy gels or if you need to bring a liter of water and enough supplies for an all-day expedition.
Do you want pockets in the running belt to hold a water bottle? Carrying water around your waist can limit movement somewhat and it also adds weight, which is why some runners opt for a light backpack instead of a belt.
You can stash your headphones and gels easily in a running belt and it’s certainly more convenient than using your pockets or hands, and more comfortable than wearing a backpack.
• A close, snug fit
• An affordable price
• A key-ring to secure your keys safely
• Raised rubber backing to stop the belt slipping
• Enough space for 1 or 2 water bottles
• Elastic strap to stop the bottle from sliding
• Holes to feed ear phones through
• Reflective strips for night time visibility
• Breathable mesh so sweat can evaporate
• Expandable pocket to stash essential items
• Adjustable dividers to organize your stuff
• Quick-release buckle for easy removal
• Straps to hold pepper spray or a torch
Sometimes you will want to bring a few things out with you while other times you might intend a full day of activities.
A brief jog around the block might not require you to take much more than your house key and mobile phone, while a longer run might mean taking water and snacks along.
If the weather is going to be changeable, you will want to take a lightweight jacket or other layers. The problem is deciding whether to use a small, medium or large running belt, a larger running pouch, or even a small backpack.
You can either take a lot of things along with you or leave most at home and hope you don’t need them. Nobody wants overstuffed pockets, especially when out running. This is why it’s good to have alternatives.
A running belt is ideal if you don’t fancy wearing a cumbersome backpack but you still want to be hands-free. You can choose from all kinds of shapes and sizes depending on the capacity you need and the style you personally prefer.
Is Water-Resistant or Waterproof Better?
It’s important to choose at least water-resistant fabric to protect your valuable items if you are running in rainy weather. Belts with stitching or zippers aren’t completely waterproof so they should not be submerged.
Some of the better running belts are made from microfiber constructions like neoprene or spandex. The material should allow the belt to fit snugly without riding up or bouncing around which would interfere with your running comfort and enjoyment.
The fabric should be waterproof, especially if you’re going to have your mobile phone or other electronics in there. Even if you won’t be running with your device, it’s still a good idea to choose at least something water-resistant, if not waterproof.
It’s handy to carry your mobile if you’re out jogging and want to listen to a music playlist or track your run on a running app. Of course, if it rains while you’re running, you won’t want to run the risk of water damage.
Other items can be damaged by moisture such as anything made of paper. Even if you won’t be running in the rain, you might still sweat so you will want a water-resistant sports belt.
At a pinch, you can wrap your mobile phone in a plastic sandwich bag and put that in the belt in case the skies unexpectedly open while you’re halfway through your run!
Running Belts: In Conclusion
Choose something sturdy and durable which you will be happy to use every time you go for a run, hike or bike ride. While a bum bag might be good for walking around, you need something that won’t bounce around if you’re going to be jogging or running.
Running belts come in many sizes, styles, fabrics, and colours, so you should be able to find something perfectly suited to your preferences and activities. A well-fitting sports belt will be your best friend while you’re taking a run!