The Best Way to Carry Your Phone on a Run

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Some runners prefer not to carry their phone with them on a run. But if you like listening to music or want to stay connected in case of an emergency, you’ll probably want to take it along.

Phones are expensive, so it’s in your best interest to keep your phone as safe as possible while running. But what is the best way to carry your phone on a comfortable, safe run that doesn’t make you a target for would-be muggers?

The good news is that there are multiple ways to carry your phone while running. There’s no right or wrong here. It all comes down to what feels comfortable to you.

Consider these options for carrying your phone safely so you can have complete peace of mind running with your fragile smartphone!

Arm Bands

You couldn’t step out for a run or go to the gym without seeing multiple people wearing phone armbands! They’re still quite common because they work well to keep your phone safe and secure while you’re moving.

A phone armband usually fits around the upper arm and can be used on either side, depending on your preference. Just make sure the armband you buy fits your phone.

Pros

  • Usually have a touch-ready plastic cover
  • Most include a slot to carry cards or cash
  • Some are reflective, great for night runs
  • Customizable size to suit most arms
  • Come in a variety of colors

Cons

  • May not fit unusually thin or muscular arms
  • It can bounce or chafe if not properly tightened
  • The band may stretch out over time

Hand Strap Holder

If you prefer having a firm grip on your phone but don’t want to risk it slipping out of your hand when you work up a sweat, a hand strap holder could be the right thing for you.

This is similar to an armband, but instead of wrapping the strap around your upper arm, you wrap it around your hand, so the phone sits comfortably in your palm but is held in place by the strap.

It’s great if you want the option to access your phone directly while running, as it’s just as easy as lifting your hand as you normally would with your phone.

Pros

  • Convenient and easy to access to your phone if you need
  • It can help to wick away moisture on your hand
  • Some have space to carry cards, cash, etc
  • You always know that your phone is safe!

Cons

  • It may throw you off balance having extra weight on one side
  • It can cause your hand to get very warm
  • Leaves only one hand free for drinking water, nutrition, etc
  • If you’re using corded headphones, the running motion may pull on them

Running Belts

A running belt is a popular choice for carrying your important items while running. The waistband design allows you to have both hands free at all times, and it’s still easy to access if you need something.

You won’t be able to get to your phone screen if you need to do something on your phone. But it’s secure, stable, and convenient. Running belts are the most minimalistic of the belt choices, without hydration options, just storage.

Pros

  • Convenient and comfortable to wear with a phone inside
  • Many different designs available to suit every person
  • Versatile enough to carry other items along with your phone
  • It can be worn under or over clothing
  • It can be worn in front, back, or even on the side hips

Cons

  • May feel slightly uncomfortable if packed full
  • It can bounce a little if it’s heavy
  • It might be a tight fit for larger phones
Hydration Belts

A hydration belt is a more versatile version of a running belt. It’s a bit bulkier but includes space to carry water with you. It’s a great choice for longer runs, allowing you to easily carry water and other items, including your phone.

You can upgrade this to a hydration pack if you like. This backpack-like storage holds a larger amount of water and offers space for carrying other items.

Pros

  • Versatile belt with storage space for hydration and other items
  • Excellent choice for longer runs that need more hydration
  • Generally, offer enough space for a large phone and other items
  • Most have water-resistant pouches to keep your valuables safe

Cons

  • It may bounce a little due to carrying water
  • As you drink, the belt will get lighter, which may require adjustment
  • Can’t wear underneath clothing
Handheld Water Bottle Pocket

This is handy if you prefer to carry your water bottle instead of having it on your belt. The phone holder gadget simply attaches right to the bottle, so you’re basically holding your water bottle and your phone in your hand at the same time.

It’s fairly secure, as it straps around your hand, so you don’t even need to grip it. As your phone is already in your hand, it’s easy to access if you need it while you’re running.

Pros

  • Makes your phone easily accessible at all times
  • Hand strap means you don’t have to grip your water bottle
  • The phone is safe and secure in a zippered pocket
  • Space to carry cards, cash, or sachets in the pocket as well

Cons

  • Not easy to use wired earphones with this phone holder
  • It may not be compatible with all water bottles (most come with their own specific water bottle)
  • It could be a little bulky and uncomfortable

Wrist Band Wallet

A wristband wallet is inconspicuous and easy to wear. It’s excellent for small items like cards, money, and little nutrition items like energy gels or electrolyte tablets. They look pretty cool and come in many colors and patterns. You can get one for every outfit!

The only potential downside is that bigger phones may not be able to fit comfortably in them without hurting your wrist and being uncomfortable.

Pros

  • Keeps your phone secure and safe while running
  • Easy to access if you need to grab your phone in a hurry
  • Keeps your valuables relatively out of sight unless you have a bulky phone
  • Versatile enough to wear any time, anywhere

Cons

  • May only fit smaller phones
  • Could be uncomfortable with a phone inside
  • It may feel a little warm on your wrist

Shorts to Carry a Phone

If you’re not interested in any sort of fancy phone-carrying items and would prefer to just use your regular shorts, you can do so. But not all pairs of shorts are made to be safe for a phone, so choose wisely.

The biggest annoyance with looser shorts is that the phone may bounce around as you’re running. Thankfully, most pairs of shorts these days have a large pocket in the middle of the back, which safely holds your phone with no bouncing.

Pros

  • Convenient, as you’re likely to be wearing shorts anyway
  • You can choose from a variety of styles and colors to suit you
  • Many pairs of shorts also have a separate key pocket

Cons

  • May be uncomfortable with your phone against your back
  • Some shorts don’t have a back pocket but bouncy side pockets instead
 

Sports Bra With a Pocket

A wristband wallet is inconspicuous and easy to wear. It’s excellent for small items like cards, money, and little nutrition items like energy gels or electrolyte tablets. They look pretty cool and come in many colors and patterns. You can get one for every outfit!

The only potential downside is that bigger phones may not be able to fit comfortably in them without hurting your wrist and being uncomfortable.

Pros

  • Built into a piece of gear you’ll already be using on every run
  • Inconspicuous and keeps your phone out of view
  • Close enough to wear earphones comfortably and easily
  • The back pocket should be out of the way and not chafe

Cons

  • Unless you want to wash it between every run, you may need to buy more than one, so your phone is always safe
  • Your phone could get sweaty
  • The phone isn’t easy to access in a hurry
  • May not be the best choice for those who aren’t flexible

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How to Not Carry Your Phone

In Your Hand

You may think this is the best way to keep your phone secure, but the truth is it leaves your phone more open to damage.

If your hands sweat while you run, there’s a chance of your phone slipping out of your grasp and falling to the ground. It can also throw you a little off balance as you’re holding a (slightly) heavy object on one side.

In Small Pockets

Be careful what pockets you choose to place your phone in. Many pairs of shorts have a large, zippered back pocket designed specifically to securely fit a phone.

However, some pairs of shorts only have small, thin pockets without zippers. It can be tempting to slide your phone into one of these, but the lack of a solid closure leaves it open to falling out and being damaged.

In Your Waistband Lining

Even if your waistband is quite tight, carrying your phone between yourself and your waistband is not secure. There’s a high likelihood of the phone wiggling its way out as you run due to friction between the phone, your skin, and the waistband as you move.

In Your Sports Bra

Wait, we just said put it in a sports bra! But there’s a caveat. Some sports bras have dedicated phone pockets, making it very handy. If you have one of these, you can easily carry your phone in your sports bra with little worry of it falling out or hurting you.

However, regular sports bras are not designed to hold a phone. There’s a high chance of it bouncing out while you’re running, or if you have it secured, it becomes a chafing hazard and can cause pressure points.

In Your Sock

It seems counterintuitive to carry your phone in your sock, but some runners try it! Not only is it more likely to fall out while you’re moving, but it’s also more likely to cause pain or discomfort while running.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

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.