The Best Running Belt for Runners – Reviews & Comparisons

Batman had his utility belt to hold all his gadgets. Likewise, if you’re expecting to perform like a superhero out there on your runs, you need your hands free. You can’t be juggling keys or energy gel packets.

Bias Alert: Our Top Running Belt

Beam Belt By Runner's Goal

We've just released a running belt of our own, the Beam Belt, which holds all your gear + has a detachable LED light on the front to keep you safe. We think it's pretty awesome, click below to check it out: 

That’s where finding the best running belt to suit your needs will come in handy. You’ll be able to run without a care in the world, knowing anything you need is within reach.

Quick Look: Our Top Picks

Do I Have to Have a Belt?

It’s not a requirement for runners, but it’s a good idea. I ran for about a year without a belt before I finally decided I should spring for one. I was tired of relying on my friends standing at the finish line to hold my keys, and on my longer runs, I hated carrying my energy gel packets in my hands.

After I bought my first belt, I wondered why I waited so long. It’s made my runs more enjoyable.

When looking for a running belt that will work best for you, you’ll want to make sure it meets all the requirements you’ll need it to. Here are some of the things you should consider when buying a belt.

Is It Comfortable?

It can be hard enough to psych yourself up for going out on a run some days. You don’t want to make it harder by wearing something that’s uncomfortable. If your belt is riding up on you or sagging downward when running, it isn’t the best choice for you.

The best belts barely even let you know they are there until you need something. You really should be able to forget you’re even wearing them and concentrate solely on your run instead. Miles already feel long enough without dealing with an uncomfortably fitting belt.

Does It Fit You Well?

You want your belt to fit you snugly so there’s not a lot of annoying bouncing going on. But you don’t want it to be so tight that it feels like you’re encased in concrete or gives you the appearance of having a serious muffin top.

That’s where you’ll have to do your research before buying a belt. Some come in only one size, while others are adjustable. Make sure you’re getting the type you like before you buy.

Is It Functional?

You need a belt with enough space that you’re able to easily fit all your essentials while you’re on a run, like your car key, chapstick, energy gel, and a few tissues.

But you don’t want one that’s too bulky or heavy because it’ll interfere with your run.

Will It Secure Your Possessions?

If you’re wearing a running belt, you have to be able to rely on it to keep your stuff secure. There’s no point in wearing a belt if it can’t keep your items in place.

You don’t want to finish a half marathon only to find out your car key has dropped out somewhere in the past 13.1 miles.

Another thing you’ll want to check out is whether your items shift around when you’re wearing the belt.

If your belt has a tubular design, it means there aren’t any pockets per se, but a hole in the belt fabric where you can stuff your possessions. Some tubular belts do a great job at holding those possessions firmly in place, while others have a fair amount of shifting.

Does It Meet Your Fashion Standards?

Running isn’t a fashion show, but there’s no reason to look ridiculous out there. If you feel self-conscious about your belt, you won’t be able to keep your head in the game come race time.

Most running clothes are so bright it can hurt to look at them if you aren’t wearing sunglasses. With all those bright neon colors you’re rocking, you might not want to add one more loud color into the mix, especially if it won’t go with most of your running wardrobe.

You might want to consider a basic black belt or a neutral-colored one that doesn’t clash with all the bright colors of your running clothes.

Will It Hold Up Use After Use?

You’re going to be logging a lot of miles with this belt. And once you find the perfect belt, you won’t want to replace it. You’ll need to find one that will hold up to that kind of punishment and repeated usage.

And since runners have been known to break a sweat in the name of their hobby, you’ll need to find one that won’t fall apart when it comes time to wash it.

Is It Reflective?

If most of your running clothes are already bright and reflective, you don’t have to worry about whether your belt is reflective. But if you’ve had some close calls with cars on the road or you do most of your running at night and you’d like some added visibility, look for a belt that is reflective.

Too many runners die each year from being hit by vehicles while they are working out. A reflective belt may be an added safety feature that might help you avoid becoming one of those statistics.

The Best Running Belts

Some FlipBelts come without zippers, but I like that this model offers a zipper. I feel better knowing there’s a secure compartment for things like my phone and my car keys.

Pros

  • The belt offers four openings so you can slide your possessions in and out.
  • One of the four pockets has a zipper, but the zipper is never directly against your skin. You won’t have any uncomfortable rubbing or irritation from it.
  • The tubular design gives an even weight distribution.
  • The contoured design means that you won’t have sagging or bouncing, if you order the FlipBelt in the correct size for you.
  • If you’re a heavy sweater, the belt dries quickly between runs.
  • To wash it, simply throw it in your washing machine and it can even go in the dryer.
  • The belt may look small, but it’s really stretchy, which means you can fit quite a bit of stuff in there.
  • You can comfortably wear it either under or over your shirt.

Cons

  • It would be nice if there were more color options than carbon, aqua, black and hot pink.
  • The reflective 3M logo could be bigger for added visibility.
  • Can be a little hard to access your items if you’ve shoved them far into the belt’s compartments.
  • Pricier than some other running belts.

2. SpartaBelt Running Belt

The SpartaBelt looks like a hybrid of a sleeker running belt and a fanny pack. It may not be as cool looking as the FlipBelt, but what it lacks in appearance, it makes up for in performance.

Pros

  • It has a large strap with adjustable buckles so you can wear it as tight or loose as you want.
  • It won’t bounce even during the most vigorous runs.
  • It’s roomy enough to hold all the gear you want to bring on a run. You can easily put gels, a phone, keys, chapstick and money in your belt and still have room to spare.
  • Because this belt is made from neoprene, your stuff will stay dry if you happen to be caught in heavy rain.
  • The belt is well made and durable so it will hold up to years of use.
  • It has a reflective stripe on it so you have added security when running at night.
  • This belt is an affordable option for most budgets.

Cons

  • Not as stylish as many other running belts are.
  • The waist might not be big enough for larger runners. When stretched to capacity, it fits waists that are up to about 46 inches.

3. Foot Forward Running Belt

You’ll be able to run confidently with the Foot Forward Running Belt, knowing your items are well protected at your waist. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about dropping your phone again on a run.

Pros

  • This slim belt has a stylish, modern look.
  • It can hold a lot of stuff without feeling big or baggy.
  • Nice, long reflective stripes run across the length of the belt for added visibility.
  • The belt has a water resistant pocket with a zipper for any electronics you carry with you on your run.
  • It has an interior clip so you can attach your keys, which gives you added security and allows you to quickly locate your keys when you need them.
  • It’s machine washable.
  • It won’t bounce and the soft material won’t cause chafing.

Cons

  • Larger-sized runners will have to look for another option because the belt fits sizes 24 to 46 inches.
  • If you keep the pack part of the belt in the front, the buckle will sit on your tailbone.

4. Running Buddy Mini-Magnetic Running Pouch

Whoever designed this running belt was thinking outside the box. There’s no pesky strap on this belt -- it’s held in place on your waistband with the help of magnets.

Pros

  • This belt will hold all your basics, like an inhaler, an MP3 player, chapstick, money, hotel room key and card keys.
  • The magnets hold the mini in place without any annoying bouncing.
  • The Dri-Fit material helps your stuff stay dry.
  • You don’t need any straps around your body to make this running belt work.
  • Fits well under your shirt -- it’s small enough to be discreet.
  • Your stuff is super easy to access while you are on a run.

Cons

  • The mini will not hold a phone. You’d need to get the regular-sized Running Buddy for that.
  • Some runners, especially in the beginning, may feel uncomfortable without the traditional strap of a belt. They may worry the mini will fall off during their run so it might take some getting used to.
  • Only comes in three colors -- black, pink and blue.

5. SPIbelt Running Belt

You can confidently wear the SPIbelt, which is made of Spandex, without fear of chafing. It won’t bounce around or ride up. Instead of fiddling with your belt, you’ll be able to concentrate on your run.

Pros

  • Lots of colors to choose from -- you’ll find just about any color you want.
  • The SPIbelt can fit large phones, even those up to 6.5 inches long.
  • The clip for this belt is sturdy and comfortable.
  • SPIbelts are made in the U.S. for people who like to buy American.
  • It’s easy to adjust the size of this belt.
  • If you have food allergies or asthma, this pouch can hold inhalers and even EpiPens.
  • Looks small and discreet under clothing.
  • Your belongings will be super secure and won’t budge until you remove them.

Cons

  • It’s not waterproof like some other belts. If you sweat a lot, you’ll want to put your phone in a Ziplock bag before putting it in the belt.
  • Although big phones fit in the belt, it takes some work to get them in and out, which is inconvenient for people who want to access their phones during runs.
  • Although you can get them in bright colors, these belts are not reflective.

And the Winner Is …

The SPIbelt gives the other running belts a run for their money. It’s our favorite because it comes in many colors, and is super discreet. You can wear one under your shirt and no one will know it is there.

Although they aren’t reflective, you can make up for that fact by having reflective stripes on your clothes instead.

They won’t ride up during your run, and the zipper on the pouch gives all the security you’ll need. The fact that these can fit larger phones is one of the reasons these belts are at the top of the list.

Bias Alert: Our Top Running Belt

Beam Belt By Runner's Goal

We've just released a running belt of our own, the Beam Belt, which holds all your gear + has a detachable LED light on the front to keep you safe. We think it's pretty awesome, click below to check it out: