How a Running Belt Can Improve Your Run

How a Running Belt Can Improve Your Run

As seasoned runners would attest, the needs during a run can vary greatly. Some runners need a safe place to keep their keys or phone, others require energy gels for a quick boost, and almost everyone needs regular hydration. What's more, these items must be easily accessible without interfering with the runner's stride or breathing rhythm. That’s where a running belt can come in very handy. Let's delve deeper into the features and benefits of running belts.

What's a Running Belt?

A running belt, also known as a running waist belt, waist pack, hydration belt, or running fanny pack, is a compact, lightweight running accessory worn, well, around the waist. Its purpose is to make these items easily accessible during a run or race, all while keeping your hands free and minimizing distraction.

Reasons to Wear a Running Belt on Your Runs

Running belts are more than just a convenience – they can genuinely improve your running performance. Here's why:


Staying hydrated is crucial when you're running, especially during long-distance runs or on hot days. A running belt with a built-in water bottle holder ensures that you always have your hydration source within arm's reach. This means no more stopping at water fountains or stashing water bottles along your route.

Number Holder

During races, runners typically wear bib numbers for identification. A running belt often includes a clip or pouch for this purpose, freeing up space on your shirt and reducing potential discomfort.


Energy gels are a popular choice for mid-run fuel because they're easy to consume and digest. A running belt with additional storage pockets allows you to carry these gels conveniently, so you can easily refuel without breaking your stride.

Personal Stuff

Running belts come with various compartments to securely store your belongings. This means you can carry essential items like keys, your phone, and ID without worrying about them bouncing around or falling out.


Running belts are designed with your comfort in mind. They feature adjustable buckles for a snug fit, ensuring they stay in place without bouncing or sliding during your run. Additionally, many belts are made with soft elastic materials that prevent chafing, even on long runs.

Running Belt vs. Armband vs. Hydration Pack

Now you see, the running belt isn’t the only accessory for carrying your hydration and essentials. We also have hydration vests and armbands. So, which Pokemon should you choose?

We've all seen those armbands that runners use, right? They can be pretty nifty and carry some decent cargo. But let's be real here, there’s only so much you can strap to your arm before it starts to feel like you're running with a weight attached to your limb.

That's where the running belt comes into play. A sleek, comfortable band that sits snugly around your waist, able to hold all sorts of items in fairly large quantities. We're talking about your phone, keys, energy gels, and even a small water bottle. And the best part? Everything is within easy reach.

That doesn’t mean that armbands are off, though. If you run short distances, that’s a great accessory. For instance, say you only need your phone on the run and you also want to use it. Armbands with a waterproof, translucent cover that allows you to control your phone without having to unzip the case would be an ideal solution.

But what about those long-distance runs or adventurous trail running where you need more than just the basics? Enter the hydration pack or vest. These can usually hold 2+ liters of water, with the water often stored in bladders or flasks equipped with straws. Plus, they often come with compartments for snacks, personal items, and sometimes even extra clothing layers.

The main point is the longer the running distance, the more items (especially water) you need to carry with you.

Best Running Belts

Here, we’d like to present to you the best running belts for phone and running hydration belts from two top brands: SPIBelt and Amphipod.

Best Running Belts by SPIBelt

First up, let's talk about SPIBelt. This brand is all about creating minimalist, bounce-free running belts. Their belts are designed to snugly fit around your waist without chafing or bouncing.

This running belt is compact yet spacious enough to hold larger items like your phone, keys, and a couple of energy gels. With its reflective material, it ensures you're visible during those early morning or late-night runs.

This SPIBelt is all about visibility with its high-visibility colors, making it perfect for runners who love hitting the pavement at dusk or dawn. Plus, its large pocket is stretchable, meaning it can accommodate even the biggest of smartphones.

This SPIiBelt takes accessibility to a whole new level. Its transparent, touch-screen-friendly mesh pocket allows you to see exactly what’s inside and use your phone without unzipping the pack - no more fumbling around mid-run! Plus, its sleek black design makes it a stylish addition to any running outfit.

Best Running Belts by Amphipod

Now, onto Amphipod. This brand focuses on ergonomic design and functionality. Their running hydration belts and belts for phone are not only comfortable but also packed with features - let’s see which exactly.

The Amphipod RunLite 10K Bottle Hydration Belt is a godsend for long-distance runners. With its capacity to hold two bottles (a 20K version capable of holding 4 bottles is also available), staying hydrated during your run is a breeze. And the best part? The weight is evenly distributed around your waist, so it doesn’t throw off your balance. The pack is intended to be worn on the back, so the bottles positioned on the sides of the compartment won’t interfere with your movements.

This hydration running belt is built with ergonomics at the forefront. Firstly, the pack includes an ergonomic 16 oz soft bottle. The bottle is low-profile and fits snugly into the belt, minimizing bounce. The waistpack includes an expandable main compartment for your phone and nutrition as well as an additional stretchy compartment for low-profile items, like keys and ID.

For those who like a pop of color, this Amphipod running belt is a great choice. This belt features a see-through touch-thru pouch for easy access to your phone.


How do I choose the right running belt for me?

Consider your specific needs—how much storage you need, whether you require hydration features, and what level of comfort and adjustability you prefer. Reading product reviews and trying on different styles can also help you make an informed choice.

Will a running belt affect my running form?

A well-designed running belt should not affect your running form. It should fit snugly and comfortably around your waist without bouncing or shifting.

Should a running belt be in front or back?

The position of your running belt largely depends on what feels most comfortable for you. Some runners prefer to wear their belts in the front so they can easily see and access their items. Others prefer to wear it in the back, out of the way.

Should a running belt go over or under your shirt?

Some runners prefer to wear their belt under their shirt as it can help prevent any potential chafing from the belt material. Others prefer to wear it over their shirt for easy access to their items.

Oct 4th 2023 RunUnited