Updated: January 11, 2017
Whether you’re running (or walking!) to the store, to the park, or just out for some exercise, running belts can be one of the simplest ways to get your gear from point A to point B without using a backpack.
There are literally hundreds of running belts available though. Fortunately, we’ve created this complete one-stop-shop guide to make it easy to find the right one for you.
Running Belt Features to Consider
First off let’s talk about some features to consider before buying.
(Note: if you’re familiar with running belts you can skip ahead to our top 10 list by clicking here.)
Belt Use. This is first and foremost. The last thing you want is a belt that doesn’t meet your needs. Don’t assume that each running belt is made for the same use. Some are intended for longer runs, while some are for shorter runs, while even others try to be all inclusive. Review the 3 key features below (secure fit, hydration, storage) before making your decision.
One last thing to keep in mind is these belts can be used for running, walking, working out, day trips to Disney (one of our favorites), money belts, and more.
Secure Fit. If you don’t know your waist, get a tape measure out and measure it before buying. Most running belts have straps that are adjustable from 27″ to 40″, however some come in small, medium, or large (where each size has a specified range). Last thing you want is to order a pack that 1) won’t fit around your waist, or 2) is so big it bounces every which way when you run.
Hydration. Running belts do not have hydration storage options. Think of them as ultra cool fanny packs for runners. If you’re looking for a pack that also has water bottle holsters then check out our picks for best hydration belts for runners.
Storage. What exactly are you going to be carrying? We recommend you grab a sheet of paper and jot everything down. This honestly helps with the visualization process. Then you can determine if the pack has enough storage (or possibly too much storage) for your needs.
Even though this is supposed to be a top 10 list, we couldn’t help but add a bonus belt. (Note: the bonus belt at the end of the list includes free headphones!)
Superior Running Belt
Camden Gear Belt
Finish It! Gear
Fitletic Race Belt
If you’re still having trouble deciding which belt might be right for you, don’t worry. We’re going to break it down for you even further.
For the minimalist. The FlipBelt, SPIbelt, Superior, and Above Elite are all very similar. The FlipBelt and the SPIbelt have the least amount of bounce of the four, with the SPIbelt boasting slightly more storage, but not quite as lightweight as the FlipBelt.
Our favorite of these is the FlipBelt.
For the traditional. If you think you might need a little more storage than some of the minimalist belts, then take a look at the Camden Gear Belt, Nathan 5k, Nathan Gel, or Fitletic Race Belt. While the Camden Gear Belt did receive a higher rating, you can’t go wrong with anything by Nathan as they’ve been around running waist packs for quite a while.
For the unconventional. The Buddy Pouch by Running Buddy is probably the biggest surprise for this list. Mainly because it’s not a conventional running belt. Along with the Finish It! Gear Belt, they both offer something fairly different in terms of storage and fit. Ultimately though, we love the uniqueness of the Buddy Pouch.
You may have noticed that none of the belts dipped below 4.5 out of 5 stars. So, regardless of which running belt you decide on, we’re pretty confident you’ll be happier on your next run.