The Best Running Belts

A running belt lets you bring your phone, keys, and even water on the run while keeping your hands—and pockets—unencumbered. A good one does its job with zero bouncing or discomfort. We tested 31 belts and bands to find ones you’ll notice the least while logging miles. We recommend the SPIbelt Large Pocket for daily runs.

SPIbelt Large Pocket

The SPIbelt Large Pocket is our pick for carrying your essentials on everyday runs. The single stretch-fabric pocket can hold a large-format phone, cards, and keys. It won’t bounce during normal runs with the adjustable band tightened snugly. The belt can be adjusted from about 25 to 47 or more inches and has no annoying dangling straps, unlike many such pouch-on-a-strap-style belts. Its synthetic fabric wicks sweat well, which should keep you cooler, but it isn’t water-resistant—contents can get a bit soggy.

Nathan Zipster

We felt very little movement from the Nathan Zipster with an XL smartphone, ID and credit cards, keys, and gels distributed among its four pockets. Because it fully encircles the waist, it can feel hotter to wear than the simple single-pocket SPIbelt but it also can hold more. The divided sections prevent stuff from shifting around inside (a problem with similar waistband-style competitors).

Nathan Trail Mix Plus

The slightly stretchy band of the Nathan Trail Mix Plus made it the most stable of any two-bottle belts we tested, a style designed for max hydration on the run. It’s our pick for runners living in hot or arid climates or who often run where water fountains aren’t accessible. The bottles—which hold 10 ounces (about 300 mL) each of water or sports drink—slide easily in and out of the holsters, which flank a plenty-roomy compartmentalized pack (it holds an XL phone, cards, keys, and gels). 

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