Running belts are the perfect companion if you want to keep hands free while running yet don’t have the need or desire to wear a heavier and more cumbersome running backpack.

They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to suit many requirements, ranging from whether you want to safely keep your keys and phone while doing a park run, to ones that have space for bottles and energy gels designed for longer distance, to something suitable for a day of running on remote trails, capable of storing a spare jacket, poles and more.

As we approach marathon season, we know they’re extremely useful for all the things you need to attempt a marathon personal best: stash your favourite race snack (jelly babies?!), keep Vaseline handy, or a pair of sunglasses, or gloves and a hat for changeable weather.

Don’t forget to think about the fabric either and if you need it to be waterproof – not just from unpredictable British weather but from sweat too.

And make sure when you buy one that yours fits snugly around the widest part of your hips and doesn't ride up.

We have selected a range of belts suited to a multitude of different types of event, and also different styles of runner.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

The verdict: Running belts

We think the Montane Via bite 1 is affordable, well made, durable, lightweight and fits a fair amount of gear good for most runs. If you’re looking for a minimalist belt for just phone and keys, the Kalenji waistband is perfect. Perhaps you’re heading out on the trails for the full day, in which case the Norrona bitihorn hip pack is the one for you.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.