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Running belts are a no-brainer for storing all your gear during your run. And while you may be used to storing your stuff in your legging pockets, waistband or sports bra (I've definitely done it!), you run the risk of losing your stuff or putting up with uncomfortable bouncing or limited space.
Running belts solve all that by holding practically everything: your keys, phone, credit card (in case you need to buy something mid-run), water, and maybe even a snack if you're a long-distance runner. And the best belts do it in style and oh so securely.
Meet the expert: Brooke Torres is an RRCA-certified running coach, ultrarunner, and CEO of Hilma, personalized fit running shoes made for women
Ready to smash that buy button already? Take a sneak peek at these top running belt picks:
Best Running Belts For All Levels
What To Look For In Running Belts
If you need a bit more intel before you're ready to purchase, I gotchu. Running belts come in all shapes and sizes, but it can be overwhelming sorting through all the options. To streamline your shopping, these are the features that really make a difference in your run, according to Brooke Torres, RRCA-certified running coach, ultrarunner, and CEO of Hilma.
- Materials: "A stretchy, soft and comfortable material is great if you’re just carrying a few items," says Torres. "If you’re carrying more, you’ll want a little more structure or adjustability, so you can loosen or tighten it as needed."
- Storage options: What you’ll need for storage in your running belt depends on the duration and remoteness of your route. "If you’re running for an hour or more, you’ll typically want some nutrition too, and water or something else to drink," says Torres. "Depending on the season, you might stuff a rain or wind shell in there or mittens, in addition to chapstick and your keys." Separate sections for different items are ideal if you're using your stuff regularly (eating and drinking and grabbing your phone frequently). But, if your cargo is for emergency use only, one catch-all pocket works fine. The biggie: Everyone needs a secure spot for a phone or communication device, according to Torres.
- Adjustable fit: Finding the right fit for you is important with belts, otherwise you’ll spend your run adjusting it or feeling uncomfortable. Remember to check the fit with all your stuff included, according to Torres. "Adjustable belts will allow you to carry more or less on different days," she says. "Additionally, our bodies naturally fluctuate, so, I always recommend something that adjusts whenever possible."
- Water weight: Something to consider is the more you carry with a belt, especially water, the snugger it needs to be in order to reduce bounce. And, a tight belt isn't for everyone. "Some people don’t mind the sensation of a tight belt, but for others, it’s worth checking out a hydration vest instead," says Torres. "Personally, I opt for vests or sling packs when carrying water, as I find it more comfortable and can sip while running rather than needing to pull bottles out and replace them in the belt."
With one of these beloved 18 running belts, your next run will be worry-free and fully stocked.
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