Best Running Belts Reviewed & Rated for Comfort
The first step in any journey, running included, is preparing for the task at hand and should help you to win before you begin. Running or not, part of all modern life requires us to carry some important personal belongings like our identification, money, debit cards, or even something as basic as food and water. Unless you were gifted with a kangaroo pouch or a few sets of arms like the woman from mortal kombat you’re likely going to struggle to find a clean, dry area to store all these items while you’re running. One of the best solutions for small and light carrying capacity is a running belt. These belts are generally designed to hold more than your standard pocket and do so in a way that is more comfortable while running and will prevent them from bouncing out of your pocket.
- Nathan Trail Mix
- Dual Water Flask
- No Bounce
- Flipbelt Zipper
- Easy Slide Storage
Having encountered this fickle beast of burden I set out to establish what makes a great running belt and then compare them amongst each other and other running belts to evaluate which of the products would be the top contenders. I’ve organized them from the best of the best to the worst of the best so regardless of which product you desire they all offer you something you’re sure to need.
10 Best Running Belts
1. Nathan Trail Mix
This belt has a dual water flask design that spreads 20 ounces of water across your belt. This separation spreads the weight of your water and the weight of the contents of your pouch out over the belt allowing it to rest on your waistline and feels very balanced.
Many belts struggle to combine the ease of access we need out of our water with the stability the belt needs to provide to hold your water in place while running. The Trail Mix Hydration bag uses speed fit holsters that hold the water firmly in place while you’re running but can also be easily removed by a single hand when you need a drink.
Cost and Value
Not only meeting but exceeding my expectations this belt was the decisively and clearly the top choice I found while researching these belts. The inclusion of the dual water bottles and spreading them apart to make for excellent weight distribution allow you to stay hydrated during the most taxing runs. At a comparatively higher price than every other belt on this list and many other belts on the market, this is a belt you won’t regret spending the extra penny on due to the ingenious design and simplicity of use.
- This ergonomic fit and everlasting soft monofilament belt provides endless mobility that won’t hold you back during a run.
- With a half liter capacity, the zip pocket pouch can and will fit many cell phones, wallets or other personal belongings you may need to carry during a run.
- Using shock cords with a single-pull tension lock you can easily add any item that can’t fit into your pouch to either side of your belt.
- The waistband on these belts is adjustable and one size fits most.
- The stitching on the pouch is not reinforced and with enough weight and time this stitching can tear.
- The pouch and water bottles bounce during running due to there mounting.
One of the most common areas of concern whenever any runner is buying a belt is the amount of bounce the pouches or water bottles will generate while you run. Over time this repetitive movement can be annoying and if you’re running far enough even hurt a bit. With the pouch being an extension of the belt rather than an addition you won’t experience any bounce with this belt.
One Size Fits Most
With the use of spandex and adjustable straps, this belt can accommodate most runners. The belt can sit comfortably on a waistline as small as 26” and expand up to a maximum of a 47” waistline.
Cost and Value
This belt is exceptionally well designed and should it have had more carrying capacity could have been in the number one spot. With that being the only clear limitation this belt is hands down the best for short distance running that you can find today. Coming in at the mid-price range when compared to the other products on this list the SPIbelt delivers the performance you would expect from a more expensive belt.
- The expandable pocket is a welcome change to what is generally an industry dominated by rigid and tougher fabric pouches.
- The soft elastic used in the production of the pouch prevents chafing during use.
- The sturdy three prong buckle and elastic waistband will slide against your skin allowing for easy adjustments on the fly.
- The slim and compact construction make this belt one that can be worn under or outside of clothing.
- The zipper on the pouch leaves something to be desired as they seem to break easily.
- The same troublesome zipper tends to open itself while your run exposing your items.
3. Amphipod Airflow Microstretch
If you’ve ever participated in a marathon, triathlon, or really and timed running event you’re already familiar with the number tab. This belt will readily accommodate your number tab so everyone knows exactly who is ahead of them winning the event.
Elastic Storage Pouch
With how wildly the sizes of items you may carry will vary finding a pouch that can conform to the all can be challenging. The Microstretch uses a 9” expandable pouch that will bend and contort to any shape you may need for your items.
Cost and Value
As one of the most cost-efficient products on this list, the value is instantly apparent during use. The thin waistband that holds this belt firmly and comfortably in place is made to prevent chafing and reduce bouncing. Using an interior divider allows you to separate your items and acts as a second pouch.
- The add-on tabs are a nice addition to your already amazing running belt.
- The sizing for this belt is very accommodating and can adjust from a 28” waist up to a 50” waist.
- This belt has assorted color options that allows for a bit of personalization.
- The pouch divider helps to keep your personal belongings separate and can help with organization.
- The elastic used in the pouch can work a bit too well and make remove your items rather difficult.
- This belt is not waterproof and with a close fit that is less than ideal.
4. Waterfly Water Resistant
There are ample amounts of storage space on this belt and it uses a double zippered compartment for your primary personal belongings. Additionally, they use a hidden inside compartment and two smaller front compartments.
This belt is made with a polyweb material and uses a ripstop design that keeps your belt strap securely attached the pocketed bag. This high-quality belts strap is soft to the touch and will firmly but gently grabs your body as you run.
Cost and Value
Not only does it fulfill its primary purpose of being a great running belt but it has all those amazing amenities that you wouldn’t consider necessary but still love. The ability to store many different items and separate them in the same pouch is a wonderful way to keep your items organized on your run. Combined with the water-resistant materials this belt makes your daily run more enjoyable. Now it’s time for the catch right? Well fortunately for you and the rest of the world this belt is one of the cheapest belts on this list.
- The large assortment of color options make this belt easy to accessorize with and will match most any outfits.
- The higher quality materials and slim design ensure a durable and form fitting functionality.
- Using a flexible adjustable waistband allows for just about anyone to use this belt.
- The inner hidden zipper pocket provides an added means of protection to your valuable possessions.
- The main zipper is made with less than ideal quality and can break easily.
- The belt is not elastic so smaller or larger sizes can be more difficult to accommodate.
5. Aqua Quest Kona
Aqua Quest used an ingenious design in the construction of this belt when they implemented the use of a removable waterproof pouch. This pouch has enough space to accommodate your standard sized phones, keys, or even a smaller wallet.
Durable Water Repellent
The fabric used in the production of this belt is treated with a DWR ( Durable Water Repellent ) coating that has hydrophobic characteristics and will prevent water from penetrating your belt.
Cost and Value
Possessing the most basic requirement of being a running belt that is capable of storing the items you carry while running this belt can be an effective choice. The separate waterproof pouch that can be stored in the main compartment is a great way to divide your items between what can or cannot be exposed to water. This belt is a more expensive belt compared to others on this list and finding any one aspect that redeems this cost wasn’t possible causing this product to be placed lower than it could have otherwise.
- A comfortable soft and breathable option this belt combines functionality and simplicity to provide an enjoyable use.
- Very few manufacturers take the time to consider that they may be exposed to water and the waterproof capabilities of this belt are exceptional.
- At 2.6 oz this is one of the lightests belts on this list and while easily go unnoticed while you wear it.
- With a width of 13” you have plenty of pouch space for just about anything you may need to carry on a run.
- Over time the strap will loosen and eventually start to bounce.
- The zipper on this belt is quite easy to break and will require a delicate touch.
6. Nathan 5k
Sometimes simplicity is the most effective path to take and the dual pocket design embraces this method. Using a smaller mesh pocket and a larger full pocket allows you to divide your items and keep to ones to access more frequent visible and easily accessible.
Scotchlite Reflective Surface
Early morning or late night runs do come with a bit of risk due to low visibility. This belt has a retroreflective surface that increases the contrast of your belt to the surrounding area keeping you visible at night.
Cost and Value
Your wallet and phone would be easily stored in this pouch and you would have some room for a protein bar or running gel in the easily accessible mesh pocket. The use of 3M Scotchlite reflective surfaces could potentially prevent an injury which could prove to be invaluable. All in all, with an average pricing point compared to other running belts one could be content with this simple belt.
7. fitTek Running Belt
The ability to wear a belt under your running clothing is a discrete way to keep your items safe and out of sight. With a much thinner design and more specific purpose this belt is one of the better candidates should you have concealment in mind.
With nearly everyone having a cell phone these days of uninterrupted media is a thing of the past as many apps use forced advertisements. The TPU clear window is touch screen friendly plastic that will allow you full access to your phone to change a song or close an ad even while it’s in your belt.
Cost and Value
Being uniquely suited and limited to use with a phone this belt has a very specific runner in mind and should your carrying needs be limited to only a phone this is likely the best choice. My favorite feature was the use of reflective trim along the edges and zipper is a great safety feature. As the cheapest running belt on this list, it’s hard not to give this belt a chance and it's well worth the small amount you’ll spend.
- With the full touch screen friendly TPU window this belt is the best way to store your phone while running.
- The added grommet for the headphones is a nice addition to allow you access to your music.
- The extreme low price is hands down one of the most redeeming traits.
- The rear expandable pouch is perfect for smaller items you may need.
- This belt is very limited in storage and would accommodate only your phone and a few smaller items.
- The home button will not work with this TPU clear window.
8. fitLetic Hydration Belt
Whether you’re a marathon runner or simply enjoy a longer run this hydration belt is the ideal companion. The no bounce design, dual water bottle, and large insulated pouch are time-tested and valued features that will speak volumes during that long run.
Fitletic thought of everything with this one by using an insulated pouch to keep your drinks cool and refreshing. Fitletic uses a reflective insulation that works to slow the warmth conductivity through the pouch.
Cost and Value
This belt seemingly combines all the best features you could ask for into one unit but unfortunately for us, the price tag reflects that. Although that isn’t necessarily a bad trait as you do in this instance get what you pay for. One very unique feature is the insulated pouch that is very rare amongst other running belts. As the most expensive belt on this list the price played the biggest role in its positioning on this list.
- The zero-bounce design keeps this belt firmly in place even during the longest runs.
- Using and insulated pouch is nearly unheard of in this industry.
- The water bottles come equip with quick hydration lids that funnel the water more effectively.
- As a larger belt you won’t have issues finding storage space for your required items.
- Larger water bottles would have been a better choice.
- The water bottles have a very strong plastic smell.
9. Flipbelt Zipper
With many belts, your items have a way of catching onto any bit of fabric that is close and could cause you to drop what you were reaching for. The fabric used to make this belt allows your items to slide in and out with ease.
Moisture wicking Fabric
Being that this belt may be exposed to moisture the fabric composition was made to wick moisture away from you and your items to keep you dry for a short run.
Cost and Value
With how close the items are and the form-fitting design of this belt it is better suited towards a short run limiting its purpose slightly. As one of the more expensive options, this belt does little to provide any substance associated with the increased price.
- The 4-way opening system allows you full access to your items front and back.
- The simple tubular design prevents any parts of this belt from interfering with your natural movement while running.
- This elastic waistband bends and contorts to your specific shape and size.
- This belt is machine washable and can be easily added to your regular laundry.
- Smaller phones can and will seemingly get lost inside this belt.
- This belt can be a bit thick which might be uncomfortable in warmer climates.
10. Dimok Running Belt
Whether you run with your dog and want a separate pouch for some dog treats or just need a separate pouch for storage dimok provided plenty of space with a three pouch compartmentalization.
Should you prefer a traditional pair of headphones to the new more modern Bluetooth set this belt is the best bet. It has a small grommet on the front of the pouch that you can use to feed your headphones through allowing access to your device.
Cost and Value
Of all the features on this belt, my favorite quality is the assorted colors. This belt is very simple but that is one of the reasons I chose to include it in this list. It is one of the cheapest belts on this list and the only thing it’s missing is a way to store water.
- The use of water resistant materials will keep everything in your pouch safe from water and sweat.
- Sitting above your hips allows for gravity and the form fitting wrap around constriction to keep this belt firmly in place.
- The pouches were design to keep you items in place while running to preventing bouncing.
- The headphone holes is a nice feature that allows you full access to the music that motivates you.
- The velcro on the small pouch wears out quickly.
- The seams around the zipper are weak and need reinforcement.
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Running Belts
One of the most important parts of running is making sure to stay hydrated. Your performance can be directly linked to the amount of water in your system and with the perfect mix of the elements and dehydration failure to have the proper intake of water could spell disaster during any run. As holding water isn’t a specific requirement of being a running belt any belt that did go the extra mile and had a way to store water was place higher on this list.
Many runners myself included the need to carry a small set of items no matter where they go and being able to do so without using your hands would be a challenge without one of these belts. Knowing that these items will generally be important and or expensive I tried to select belts that had storage pouches and any that were waterproof providing extra protection helped their positioning.
With weight as little as a single pound being capable of effecting a mile time by up to 12 seconds, it was important to keep these belts as lightweight as possible. While that 12 seconds may not seem like much should you be running a 26k or more when combined with your fully loaded belt you could be losing as much as 4 or 5 minutes on your time. In order to assist the more competitive runners, I selected the more lightweight belts that were sure to minimize their impression.
Each of these belts was selected because they possessed a way to increase either your performance, comfort or some combination of both during your run. From water bottles to secure storage each one of these belts is sure to have something uniquely suited to help you.
Part of being a reliable belt is keeping your personal items safe during each and every use. Inclimate weather can and will occur during your run and should your belt not be waterproof you can say bye bye to many electronics. Waterproof belts were given a higher rating and value due to their reliable nature.
On those longer and marathon-style nearly adventure like runs you need a belt that can hold a relatively larger amount of items that will assist you in the journey at hand. Running gels, water, and sunglasses or anything else you might need should be able to be easily stored in many of these belts and will prove to be invaluable and well worth the effort of loading up one of these fabulous belts.
No surprise to nearly anyone that has run before but you can generate a substantial amount of movement while running. This movement causes added stress to your running belt and will work to jostle it out of place and even cause it to slide down. Each of these belts will be capable of remaining on your waist even during the most vigorous runs.
One of the best ways to focus and get the most of your run is to listen to music. Something about the repetitive nature and the music brings out the best performance you’re capable of. While Bluetooth technology is readily available many people still rely on the use of an auxiliary cable. Any belt that had a grommet for headphones was given a few brownie points when it came down to placement.
Runners come in all shapes and sizes and finding a belt for the extremes in either direction is a very difficult task. Many of these belts will only accommodate the standardly sized runner but a few on this list go above and beyond to ensure most anyone can use these belts.
With any product, these belts include, the pricing point speaks volumes about the item and the manufacturer. When selecting these belts I compared the prices to other belts on the market and other belts on this list. I established what the average price was and then compared each item on this list and assigned a value based on features. The higher the value was the better rating I would give a specific belt.
While not commonly assumed to be a dangerous sports running has its own unique risks. Late night or early morning runners know all too well the dangers of cars and many of these belts use reflective 3M surfaces that ensure every driver can see you well before they pass.
One of the most important aspects of durability when you consider these belts is the fabric used in their construction. While you could use a fully plastic design that wouldn’t be durable, efficient, or look very good. Many of these belts use spandex, elastane, neoprene, and other expendable and durable fabrics that will keep your belt in fine running order for some time to come.
Aside from how annoying a bouncing belt can be while you run this design flaw will cause your belt to wear more quickly. While selecting each of these belts I sought traits that would ensure that belt bounce was not a common issue amongst them and if it did occur it wouldn’t happen too frequently.
The most common area any fabric-based product will struggle to maintain is the stitching. These seams have a knack for tearing, fraying, and ripping when you need your belt the most. Any belt that had a reinforced stitching or used a sealed stitching approach was given a higher value and placed towards the higher end of the list.
After a long and tiresome run, the last thing you want to do is come home and hand washes a belt that is difficult to maintain. While it is more gentle on the material its a hassle and generally more trouble than it’s worth. I tried to select belts that had the option of being machine washed for your convenience after those sweat drenched runs.
While my primary focus was the best running belts sometimes the best products work hand in hand with another. In this case, it is generally a water bottle or some other small but wonderful addition to your purchase. I didn’t use this as a requirement or way to select the products but when it came down to organizing this list belts that went the extra mile to include a water bottle or other added item increased their value.
The last trait I tried to consider with these belts was whether or not the possessed a unique feature that wasn’t common amongst other running belts. Those that had insulated pouches or a separate waterproof bag as an added layer or protection were placed higher on the list while the more basic and standard belts were lower.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can any of these belts fit my cell phone into the pouch?
A: With the large variety and shapes of cell phones finding belts that can store them effectively was more difficult but I think I did a pretty good job of providing a diverse selection that will find a way to fit most any cell phone.
Q: Are the water bottles included with the belts?
A: Hydration is a crucial part of any run and many of these belts realized the importance. While not every belt included water bottles many did and those that went the extra mile were featured higher on this list.
Q: Can these pouches hold passports?
A: Many of the belts are large enough to accommodate your passport, however, I would recommend storing it with the belt under your clothes as an added safety measure.
Q: How much do these belts weigh?
A: With a single pound being capable of slowing you down I made the weight of these belts a primary focus while making this list. Each of these belts comes in below one pound of if they were heavier, only just above a single pound.
Q: How wide are the straps on these belts?
A: The width of the belt straps on this list vary quite wildly but encompass a range of between half an inch and up to 2 inches or more in some areas of these belts.
Q: Will sweat penetrate the pouch?
A: While many of these belts are waterproof there is a larger number that isn’t and they would generally be better suited for a short 30-minute run that would get your daily cardio in.
Q: Can you wear any of these belts under your clothing?
A: With these belts generally carrying your more valuable items discretion was a key focus with a few of this belts. Many of them use basic thin and simple designs that can be easily added to your normal running wear.
Q: Should you wear these belts on or above your hips?
A: If you wear your belt on or lower than the largest point in your hips you will likely encounter sliding of your belt. I recommend you place them just above the largest point of your hips and this will let gravity and the best work together to keep it in position.