The Best Running Belts in 2021

It is tempting to head out the door for a run with nothing – unburdened and ready to run…until you realize that you need your house keys, and you’d better take your phone and you should probably bring your knee brace too – just in case.

Using a running belt is way more comfortable and convenient than having all of your ‘must-haves’ tucked away in various bouncing pockets of your running attire. It keeps all of your items compact and easily accessible where ever your legs may take you.

But which one is the best running belt for you? We have analyzed the pros and cons of a variety of excellent running belts to help you decide which option you’d like to have with you for your next race or workout.

flipbelt
  • Material: Micropoly
  • 4 storage pockets
  • Extra key chain
  • Fastener: none!
  • Sizes: XXS – XXL (waists from 22” to 38”)
  • Weight: 3 Oz

This simple yet unique running belt is super comfortable and is very versatile in terms of what if holds. The FlipBelt features 4 openings, evenly spaced around the belt, in which your phone, credit card, driver’s license, and/or snack bars could be kept. Actually, it can stretch to hold just about any small item such as or an EpiPen or wallet. A key clip ensures that your keys are doubly secure. The secret to the comfort and simplicity? There are no zippers, Velcro, or other fasteners on the openings: one simply flips the belt so that the pocket openings face inwards – just like that your items are locked into place while still remaining easily accessible.

The other aspect of this running belt which makes it especially comfortable is that it has no buckle: the highly elastic belt is available in a wide range of sizes and is pulled on just like a pair of pants then settled at whichever point along the wearer’s hips or waist that is most comfortable. The pull-on design does make the FlipBelt somewhat awkward to remove in public, however. Very versatile, it can be used for running as well as a variety of other physical activities or travel. It can subtly be tucked under clothing and lays quite flat on the wearer’s skin.

The FlipBelt is very durable with reinforced seams and double stitching along with the internal pockets. Available in a wide variety of solid colors, this belt is also machine washable and dryable so you don’t need to think twice about working up a sweat!

Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • Very comfortable
  • No buckles or zippers
  • Internal facing pockets
  • Machine washable and dryable
  • Durable
Cons:
  • Awkward to put on and off
  • No waterproof pocket
  • Not adjustable

Sport2People Running Pouch Belt

The Best Budget Running Belt

sport2people running pouch belt
  • 2 zippered storage pockets
  • Headphone opening
  • Reflective darts
  • Fastener: plastic buckle
  • Sizes: adjustable waist from 27.5″ to 40.5″

This running belt features two expandable, zippered storage pockets. The material is water-resistant meaning that your phone or other items will stay well protected from both your sweat and the elements when you are on the move. The larger pocket can accommodate most smartphones and features an opening for your earphone cable. The smaller pocket is ideal for cards and keys.

The adjustable waist makes it easy to wear this belt under or over clothing depending on your preference, activity of choice, and clothing. Should you choose to wear your Sport2People Belt outside of your running gear, you can count on the reflective darting to help you stay visible and safe. This belt is easy to take on and off with a standard plastic buckle.

This running belt may not be the sleekest design, but it can be adjusted to fit anyone well and keeps your items safe and dry while you are on the move!

Pros:
  • Water resistant pockets
  • Pocket with headphone opening
  • Adjustable waist size
  • Wide variety of colors
Cons:
  • Closure with bulky buckle

Running Buddy Magnetic Buddy Pouch

Best ‘Beltless’ Running Pouch

running buddy magnetic buddy pouch
  • 1 zippered storage pocket
  • Headphone opening
  • Sizes: 3 options available
  • Fastener: magnetic

You can attach this magnetic pouch to the waistband of any pants or shorts – no belt required! The magnetic fold-over design is guaranteed to stay put with two separate magnets. Depending on how snug or loose the waistband of your pants is, the pouch may bounce around while running. The inner flap of the pouch is thin and flat; however, it will still rest inside your pants and can potentially chafe on your skin. While it could be a great running companion, the Running Buddy pouch is better designed for hiking, walking, and lower impact activities. Check out this review which provides a good look at the Buddy Pouch from the perspective of a traveler.

The pocket of this pouch is water and sweat resistant making it ideal for your valuables. The pouch is also available in three sizes depending on your needs: the largest size can accommodate any smartphone. The one large main pocket is divided into two sections, the exterior section features a zippered headphone hole. We recommend choosing your pouch size based on the size of your phone. The classic and subtle black fabric combined with the flat fit makes this wearable pocket especially sleek.

Pros:
  • Fits on any pants
  • Water and sweat resistant storage
  • Magnetically fastened to waistband
  • Flat and subtle appearance
Cons:
  • Fit depends on your waistband
  • Can cause chafing
  • Only one pocket

SPIbelt Large Pocket Running Belt

Best Value Running Belt

spibelt large pocket running belt
  • 1 expandable zippered pocket
  • Sizes: 1 size fits all
  • Fastener: plastic buckle

This running belt features one large, expandable zippered pocket. It is simple and functional and keeps all your items compact. The pocket is relatively low profile and can be stretched up to 8” easily accommodating a large phone, keys, wallet, and more. In this review, the runner loves how the stretchy pocket changes sizes to perfectly fit whatever you fill it with. The waistband is also made of a soft, elastic fabric and can fit a wide range of sizes ranging from 24” to 47”. The band of the belt is fastened with a plastic buckle and can be adjusted with 2 sliders – one on each side ensures an even fit although it does add more plastic parts.

Available in a wide range of colors and seasonally changing patterns, SPIbelt has something for everyone. The workmanship is quite good with reinforced seams and a smooth zipper. This running belt is funky, simple, fits well, and doesn’t break the bank either.

Pros:
  • Large, expandable pocket
  • Low profile
  • Adjustable, no-bounce belt
  • Quite comfortable
  • Great quality
Cons:
  • Buckle and sliders can be bulky
  • No waterproof storage
  • No headphone opening

Nathan Hipster Running Belt

Lowest Profile Running Belt

nathan hipster running belt
  • Material: 89% polyester, 11% spandex
  • 4 stretch pockets
  • Sizes: XS – XL (26” – 102” waist)
  • Fastener: none!

This running belt is the definition of barely-there: it is an ultra-low profile with no buckles, zippers or other hard-wear. The super stretchy material is sewn into a loop which the wearer pulls on and off like pants and it fits so flat on the body that you can forget it is there. The belt is divided into four pockets allowing the wearer to distribute items based on what is most comfortable. The material is extremely stretchy allowing the pockets to easily accommodate the shape and size of just about anything you put in there. The one downside of the fabric is that it dries quite slowly if it gets wet on the go.

Your items are secured by the snug fit of the belt and the overlapping fabric of the pockets. While this works quite well, it isn’t quite as reliable for small items as a zippered pocket would be. The Nathan Hipster Running Belt is machine washable and in many ways is more like a small addition to your running attire than a ‘belt’!

Pros:
  • Fits to any body shape
  • Low-profile
  • 4 versatile pockets
  • Machine washable
Cons:
  • No closure on pockets
  • Not adjustable
  • Fabric dries slowly
  • No waterproof compartment

URPOWER Running Belt with Water Bottle

The Best Hydration Running Belt for Casual Runs

urpower running belt with water bottle
  • Material: coated neoprene
  • 1 central pocket
  • 2 x 6 Oz water bottle holsters
  • Sizes: adjustable for 23” – 53” waist
  • Fastener: plastic buckle
  • Weight: 1.2lbs with full bottles

This hydration running belt features one 6.5” large front pocket with two additional 6 Oz water bottles on each side. The URPOWER belt includes a lot of practical features: the storage pocket is water-resistant and is securely closed with a waterproof zipper. The main pocket also has a headphone cable outlet. The front of the pocket and water bottle holsters are edged with reflective taping for increased visibility.

The belt is adjustable for a wide range of waist sizes and small elastic loops allow excess belt length to be rolled up – no irritating strap to flail around while running! Both sides of the waist belt are individually adjustable with classic plastic sliders. The backside of the water bottle holsters has an anti-slip silica gel texture to prevent bouncing, even with full water bottles. Additional elastic loops with small grip tabs for easy handling can be stretched over the neck of the water bottles to secure them. The system is great in theory, but these water bottles stay in place perfectly without the loops and actually fit so tightly in their pockets that they can be a bit challenging to replace while running.

Overall an affordable, functional hydration belt for runs of all lengths as long as you don’t mind spending a few extra second to get the water bottles in and out.

Pros:
  • Hydration: 2 x 6 Oz BPA free bottles
  • Large water resistant pocket
  • Adjustable waist
  • Minimal bounce
  • Cons:
    • Water bottles fit too snugly in pockets
    • Water bottle neck loops are too loose

    Fitletic Hydra 12 V2 Hydration Belt

    The Best Hydration Running Belt for Racing

    fitletic hydra 12 v2 hydration belt
    • Material: coated neoprene
    • 1 divided central pocket: 6” x 3.75”
    • 2 x 6 Oz water bottle holsters
    • Sizes: S/M (24” to 34”) or L/XL (35” to 43”)
    • Fastener: plastic buckle

    This hydration belt combines two 6 Oz water bottles with a large central pocket which is divided into an interior and exterior portion. The larger exterior portion is water-resistant and can easily fit a large smart phone along with some other small items. The flat interior portion is designed to hold credit or ID cards.

    Designed for competition, the Fitletic Hydra has two loops beside each water bottle to hold energy gels for easy access, along with bib toggles to which one can attach a race number. The water bottle holsters are easily accessible and one can remove and replace the bottles easily while running. Additional elastic loops secure the bottles: these loops are attached directly to the bottle holster eliminating the need to extra handling. Silicone grip texture on the inside of the water bottle holsters helps prevent bouncing or riding up.

    The included BPA water bottles are not the same high quality as the rest of this belt, but they can easily be replaced in case of leakage. All in all this is a great choice for racing and training runs!

    Pros:
    • Water resistant main pocket
    • No bounce
    • External energy gel loops
    • 2 x 6 Oz BPA free bottles
    • Bib toggles
    Cons:
    • Included water bottles often leak

    How to Choose a Running Belt

    What makes a running belt great depends on how you use it and what items you like to carry with you. Just like everything else in the world or sport, it’s an individual choice – what is important to you? Having the best running shoes for plantar faciitis? Having the super lightweight running glasses? Or perhaps it is being able to comfortable and conveniently bring a few essential items with you for your next run!

    Let’s take a look at some of the most important running belt features to consider before making your purchase.

    Storage Capacity

    The first question is how much storage do you really need? Generally, a running belt should be as lightweight and compact as possible so you really don’t want a bulkier belt than necessary. Some belts come with different size options, while others are made of stretchy fabric that can expand to accommodate the items you pack. Do take the time to make sure that your phone and other essentials will fit into the available storage pocket or pockets.

    Access

    Another storage-related consideration is how easily or quickly you need to access your gear. If you are racing or serious about your splits you will want to choose something with easy external access. If you don’t mind stopping for a minute to grab your bar or check your phone, then belts with internal access could be great options as well.

    Hydration

    If you want your running belt to have space for water bottles then it goes without saying that you should choose a belt specially designed with easy access water bottle holsters. Most hydration belts feature 2 small water bottles which allow for a better distribution of weight and also allow runners to fill one bottle with an energy drink and one with water. If you plan on running longer distances then being able to bring water with you is definitely a worthwhile consideration.

    Adjustability & Fit

    There are two main designs of running belts: those with a classic buckle and adjustment sliders along the waist strap and those that are pulled on like pants and therefore have no adjustability or fastener. The major advantage of the fabric belts is that they are ultra-lightweight and very low profile with no hard-wear: they are only as heavy or bulky as the items you pack in them and are usually machine washable. The disadvantage is that they are rarely water-resistant, often have pockets that rely on a snug fit to secure items as opposed to a zipper, and cannot be adjusted for a snugger or looser fit.

    The classic belt design with an actual strap tends to be highly adjustable, but it is a bulkier accessory overall. The positive aspect of a more structured belt is that they tend to bounce less and be able to carry heavier items better – including water bottles. They almost always have zippered pockets and may have a number of additional features.

    Consider whether you may want to use your belt for activities other than running. They can be convenient for the weight room as well; however, if you work out with machines or need to lay on a weight bench you will want to choose a fabric belt without buckles that could create painful pressure points.

    Water Resistance & Other Additional Features

    Many running belts are not waterproof or are only water-resistant. If it is important to you that your phone or other goodies stay dry no matter what Mother Nature has in mind, then make sure you choose a waterproof option or perhaps put your phone in a plastic bag. Other features include headphone outlets – a must-have for running with music and cabled headphones, gel loops which are very convenient for racing, reflective detailing to increase visibility, and bib toggles that allow runners to attach a race bib to their belt as opposed to their shirt.

    So next time you lace up your running shoes, don’t forget your running belt – happy miles!

    About The Author

    AthletePath Staff

    We are a team of enthusiasts and professional athletes thriving to provide you with helpful advice on buying everything you may ever need to become a better athlete.

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