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Best running belts to keep your water, keys and phone safe

A running backpack is so last year: here’s why you need to invest in a running belt to carry your essentials while you're going the distance. 

By Alice Cruickshank | Last updated Apr 21, 2022

Best running belts

Whether you’re taking up a new hobby or you’re a running aficionado, a good running belt is a must-have purchase to make your runs as comfortable as possible. And while it won’t combat that leg burn (sorry!), a running belt will help you keep all your essentials safe and secure. 

So what are the benefits of a running belt over an arm strap or a rucksack? Essentially, running belts act as useful holsters that can store items like energy gels, keys, your phone, and even water bottles in a way that won’t hurt your back or affect your running form. Once you start using a running belt you’ll wonder how you ever went out on runs without one.

Here’s the best running belts to buy in 2022. 

1. Best overall running belt: Flipbelt Running Belt

Flipbelt running belt

Price: £28 | Buy now from Amazon 

“I love my Flipbelt - probably one of my best buys ever.” - AuntieStella

“I have a Flipbelt - there's cheaper versions available but this one has very sturdy material. I've had it six years and it still looks new. I can fit my phone, a big bunch of keys, a lanyard and other bits and bobs in it. ” - TheWholeWorld

“A Flipbelt with their rectangular bottles are great! “ - Greybeardy

Flipbelt revolutionised the running belt market, and its innovative design remains one of the best and most loved. This super slick option slips on without any bulky buckles to avoid chafing, and serves as one large pocket around your waist or hips to keep items like keys, gels, and cards close to hand. The stretchy tubular design can accommodate even large phones, and there’s an internal key hook for added security. The Flipbelt comes in a selection of colours and sizes, although you’ll need to purchase a water bottle to fit inside separately. 

Key specs:

Size available: XS - XXL

2. Best budget running belt: Fozme Running Belt

Fozme Running Belt

Price: £7 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re a beginner runner then the Fozme Running Belt is a great piece of kit to get you started, and at under £10 is a total bargain too. This adjustable belt features two large zip pockets that are spacious enough for a large phone or a flat water bottle. Reviewers say this running belt sits nice and secure, and the outer is waterproof (so there’s no excuse anymore not to go out for a run when it’s raining!)

Key specs:

Size: One

3. Best running belt for water bottles: FitFeelsFun Running Belt With Water Bottles

FitFeelsFun Running Belt With Water Bottles

Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have this one - cheap and cheerful, and does the job. I like it because it's a stretchy band as opposed to one with a clip fastening, which I can imagine would slip up and around a bit more. It also has a pocket/clip for keys and a waterproof pocket for your phone.” - rbe78 

It’s the eternal question when going for a run: what should you do with your water bottle? The FitFeelsFun running belt offers a solution with its three 200ml water bottles. As well as keeping you hydrated, this running belt offers front storage slots and an interior zip wallet. The slipover shape prevents chafing, and reflective piping around the belt provides added safety for running in the dark. The FitFeelsFun running belt is also available in five colours to match or contrast against your favourite running gear. 

Key specs:

Size: XS - XXL

4. Best running belt for storage space: TuTuShop Running Belt

TuTuShop Running Belt

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have this waist belt, bought a year ago. Cheap but seems to be lasting OK. One of the pockets unzips top & bottom and has a mesh insert that allows for a small bottle of water. It's big enough to fit mobile phone and keys as well.” - Gerwurtztraminer 

If you’re used to taking a bum bag when you go running, then this convenient and affordable running belt by TuTuShop is a great upgrade. It features three spacious pockets, one of which converts into a small bottle holder. There’s also a secure key holder and a hole for wired headphones. This running belt comes in eight jazzy colour combinations that will brighten up even the earliest of morning runs. 

Key specs:

Size: One (adjustable) 

5. Best slim running belt: Nike Slim Waistpack

Nike Slim Waistpack

Price: £19 | Buy now from Amazon

“Another must have for me is a lightweight running belt, useful for my phone, keys, tissues & emergency fiver. I find it far more comfortable than an arm strap.” - nbee84

If you’re into taking as little as possible on your runs, then the Slim Waistpack from Nike is an excellent choice. This petite running belt can fit a phone in it, but reviewers advise against using it with a larger model as this can overstretch - and therefore shorten the lifespan - of the belt. Instead, if you tend to leave the house with just keys and energy gels then this slim running belt is a comfy and secure place to keep them. The belt features an adjustable belt so you can wear it on your waist or hips. 

Key specs:

Size: One (adjustable) 

6. Most stylish running belt: Lululemon Fast and Free Run Belt

Lululemon Fast and Free Run Belt

Price: £28 | Buy now from Lululemon

If you’re after a running belt that’s both functional and stylish, then Lululemon’s Fast and Free Run Belt ticks both boxes. This option features a large centre pocket to hold phones of all sizes, as well as side drop-in pockets to keep things like keys and gels handy. The Fast and Free Run Belt is adjustable, and comes in seven colour options. We like the Smokey Red and Rhino Grey colourways to add a chic touch to any running look. 

Key specs:

Size: One (adjustable)

7. Best running belt for night runs: ActivRunner Running Belt

ActivRunner Running Belt

Price: £16 | Buy now from Amazon 

Reflective gear is essential for safe runs in the dark, and this running belt by ActivRunner is a practical way to make sure you stay visible. The bright, reflective exterior comes in Yellow, Pink, and Purple, and features an adjustable rear buckle for wearing either on the waist or hip. This running belt offers a large zip pocket for holding a phone, as well as a second, smaller pocket that is ideal for keeping your keys safe and secure. Reviewers say the ActivRunner belt is secure with no bounce, so it should be suitable for both shorter and longer runs. 

Key specs:

Size: One (adjustable)

8. Best running belt for races: Decathlon Bottle Belt and Number Holder

Decathlon Bottle Belt and Number Holder

Price: £20 | Buy now from Decathlon

Figuring out how best to attach your race number is annoying, but this innovative running belt from Decathlon offers a solution. As well as toggle clips to attach your number on race day, this running belt is useful year-round, with its two 250ml water bottles and zip pocket for gels and keys. The padded belt is adjustable to offer comfort on even marathon runs. 

Key specs:

Size: One (adjustable) 

9. Best running belt for phones: Sporteer Kinetic K1 Running Belt

Sporteer Kinetic K1 Running Belt

Price: £21 | Buy now from Amazon

If you want easy access to the music controls on your phone when running, then the Sporteer Kinetic K1 Running Belt could be your new best friend. It features a clear touchscreen window much like running armbands, but with the added comfort that comes from wearing it round your waist or hips. Reviewers say it’s big enough to accommodate even the largest of phones. There’s also a separate pocket behind the phone compartment to keep small snacks or cash, as well as two small side pockets. 

Key specs:

Size: One (adjustable)

10. Best running belt for comfort: Build & Fitness Running Belt

Build & Fitness Running Belt

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

If you find the traditional buckles on running belts a bit of a nuisance, then this silky soft, pull-on running belt by Build & Fitness could be the solution. Inside the no-bounce belt is a continuous open tube with four openings to store your belongings. There’s also a clip to keep keys extra secure. The Build & Fitness running belt is available in 10 colours, perfect for if you like your running gear muted or colourful. 

Key specs:

Size: XS - XL

What makes a good running belt?

It’s important that a running belt is comfortable and well-fitting (no thank you to chafing!), so look for either an adjustable buckle or a running belt that comes in different sizes. You should also consider the size of the belt’s pockets to ensure it will fit your phone, and whatever other essentials you need for your run. Some running belts have useful extras like key clips, water bottle holders, and waterproof lining. 

What can you fit in a running belt?

The size of running belts vary, but usually you can fit a phone, keys, and some energy gels as a minimum. More spacious belts might offer water bottle holsters, room for larger snacks and other essentials like money, and even toggles to hold a race number. 

Is a running belt better than a backpack?

Running with a backpack can offset your centre of balance, affect your posture, and just generally impact your running form. While a light and well-fitting backpack isn’t going to be a total disaster, many runners prefer the comfort that using a running belt provides. 

What’s the best running belt to buy?

We explored the Mumsnet forums to see what running belts active Mumsnetters are using for their own runs, and one option was repeated again and again: The Flipbelt . This clever running belt is a pull-on style with one large, tubular compartment that offers great flexibility in what it can hold, as well as a comfortable fit. 

How we chose our recommendations 

Because we know there’s nothing like a recommendation from a real parent, first we searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which running belts Mumsnetters really love. We also looked at other reviews to see which ones performed well across the board, and which running belts worked well for specific needs.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.