In order to simplify this decision, you can remove 50% of the belts on the market with this question. Quickly there are two camps on the division of if you need to carry water and then do you need to carry water in a belt? The answer to this is a question of the distances you run. Sub 10k or roughly an hour in duration helps answer this. And so long as you have hydrated yourself then you shouldn’t need to carry the extra load of water. This more than likely covers you. So really then for most of us water isn’t needed. Don’t look for one of these if you are an average runner. You don’t want a belt that has inbuilt water, it will bang and bounce like mad. They are gimmicky and not what seasoned runners would go for.
Right, let’s move on to other benefits of these running belts and things to look for.
Do you need a waterproof belt? Only if you plan on running regularly in the rain should you consider a waterproof belt and also know that there is no fully waterproof belt! Just be sensible and the added weight of the waterproof materials might be overkill.
So if it’s not for storing water or repelling water why use a running belt at all? Carrying things in your pockets is not secure but also thoroughly uncomfortable. Keys dig in and bounce, your mobile the same. You need a small amount of storage close to the body-hugging you.
So being able to store valuables such as mobile phone, money, keys cards passport the running belt serves more than just the running crowd. Backpackers would find this a useful item when moving through crowded cities where they become a target for pickpockets. Runners find free pockets in shorts and running trousers a godsend. So storing things around the waist is where the running belt is now considered essential.
The other main considerations for running belt design are weight and bounce. A lightweight elegant solution sees a hugging and close design. The bumbag design introduces weight away from the torso even 4 cm of distance gives rise to a level action on each stride and introduces a bounce. The runner has to tighten ever more this kind of running-belt and discomfort ensues. The better designs are close fitting such as the bodbud running belt and flipbelt design. The flipbelt features a tube of spandex material that you stuff your items inside securely. The bodbud is a hybrid of this design but also is adjustable to fit you perfectly.
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Other keys to a good belt are fit and stretch. We are all different sizes and your belt should have some way to be adjusted. Buying a fixed size often results in a non-perfect fit - something to think about.
Buy a belt that has a very lightweight as every step of the way you will be feeling it. Get a hugging lightweight design.
Get a belt with a key clip. A bunch of keys can be jammed in but if you have a single small key then a key clip is essential. Bith the flipbelt and bodbud have these inside.
If you are looking at reflective materials as a benefit don’t bother – if you run at night you need to get lights to be properly SAFE! Don’t rely on a small reflection and think you will be safe. Again you will be increasing the weight to get reflective materials built in, it’s unnecessary.
If you got here you are now equipped to make the right buy in terms of a phone running belt. That is the number one reason people buy one- to hold their phone.
So enjoy your running more with a quality waistbelt. I personally like using mine and freeing up my pockets all year round. Let us know if you run with any accessory which helps your personal performance.