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How To Carry Your Keys And Phone On A Run

When it comes to running gear and apparel, many runners prefer light running shoes and fitted clothing.

That’s great for a comfortable run, but less great if you need to carry things with you. If you need to carry your keys and phone on a run, it can feel like they get in the way. But there are methods to carry your valuables that will keep them safe and your hands free.

When I first started running, I hardly carried anything. I ran to and from home and didn’t bother with a phone. But those routes got old pretty quick and I discovered running with friends in new places was much more enjoyable. So I started driving to different spots for a run. And on days when I’m running alone, I now carry a phone both so I can listen to podcasts (Freakonomics is one of my favorites!) and in case I have an emergency or need to reach someone.

Nowadays, I prefer a pair of shorts with big, zippered pockets to stash my phone and keys. But there are some other great ways to take these with you on a run. Read on to see some different options for bringing these with you.

Why Carry Your Keys?

If you have a partner or family member at home who can let you in, or you have a safe hiding spot for your keys, then you don’t need to carry them with you while you run. But it’s not always possible to leave your keys at home or to hide them somewhere safe while you run.

You may need to carry your keys with you if you need to lock the house or your car and there won’t be anybody there to let you in when you get back.

Hiding your keys always presents a slight risk that they may be found, moved, or stolen. You may prefer to keep them with you for this reason.

Why Carry a Phone?

Many of us live our lives on our phones. Carrying it with you may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s to use a run tracker app, navigation, or music streaming, phones are very useful to runners. Even if you have a GPS or smart watch, it may not have all the features you need to be able to leave your phone at home.

Carrying your phone could also be important for safety, in case you get hurt and need to contact someone. Or you might need to be available so others can contact you in case of emergency.

6 Ways to Carry Keys And Phones

Clothes Pockets

Running brands are really stepping up their pocket game. Today, even tights are designed with carrying phones and keys in mind.

In fact, most kinds of running apparel contain some type of pocket. The latest running shorts for both men and women have zippered pockets on the sides and a zippered back center pocket that’s designed for phones. Many of them also have special key pockets that can hold a single key without it being in the way or even visible.

Jackets, shirts, and tights also often have pockets to keep valuables safe. Tighter pockets are best for phones so that they don’t bounce around while you’re running and cause bruising or chafing. It’s also essential that the pockets are zippered so your items can’t fall out and get lost.

Running Belt

Running belts can carry a variety of personal items: ID, credit card, money, phones, energy bars, etc. A running belt is an ideal option if your running shorts or jacket don’t have pockets that can safely hold your items.

Running belts usually have a variety of zippered pockets that can carry items of various sizes. They’re lightweight and offer hands-free running.

Some have small key pockets for a single key while others have a loop to hang keys on, although this may become irritating.

Hydration System

Hydration systems can also be used to carry phones, keys, and other valuables. They come in the form of handheld water bottle holders, waist packs, or full vest systems.

Most of them, even the smallest ones, have an extra zippered pocket specifically for a key. The larger ones will usually have room for a phone, and they may also offer space for a bigger bunch of keys.

Hydration vests usually offer a variety of pockets and pouches, both open and zippered. There should be a space for you to store both your phone and your keys safely.


Phone armbands are a popular way to carry your phone while you’re running. They usually fit around the upper arm, and can fit a variety of phones but may not be able to hold some of the larger smartphones.

They are convenient and keep your phone within easy reach. Many of them use a plastic screen that you can still use as a touch screen to change your music if necessary. If you use wired earphones, the cable won’t have to stretch too far.

Many phone armbands have extra storage for ID or credit cards and a single key. You won’t be able to carry a large bunch of keys on a phone armband.

Shoe Bag

Shoe bags are small pouches that can be attached to your shoe. They are convenient, as they stay out of the way when you’re running. Just make sure you tie it down securely enough to prevent bouncing.

You won’t be able to store a phone in one of these pouches. They are best for storing a single key or small items.

If you don’t like the idea of having a bag tied to your shoe, and you need a way to carry a single key, you can always look at tying your key to your shoe directly.

Just thread your shoelace through the hole on the key, and tie your shoelace like normal. Your shoelace should stay tied properly, keeping your key safe. If you are worried about losing it, tie a double knot in your shoelace.

Hold It in Your Hand

If you have no other way to carry your phone or keys, you can always hold them in your hand as you run. It may be old-fashioned, but it works! You can never lose your phone or keys as you run because you’ll feel it immediately.

If you sweat a lot or you have to run in the rain, you can wrap your hand in a plastic bag to protect your phone.

Ben Drew

Ben Drew

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.

The Wired Runner