For today’s connected, data-collecting runner, a smartphone is a must-have. There are routes to be tracked, paces to be calculated, playlists and podcasts to listen to, and selfies to take. But every runner who brings long a phone has to face the question: How do I carry it?
There are a variety of ways to carry your phone on a run, some better than others.
If you’re trying to figure out which way is best for you, check out some pros and cons of each method to decide what is right for you!
Of course, there’s the standard “hold it in your hand” approach, but if you’re trying to run fast or far, this is definitely not going to be the best option out there. Plus, your phone can get pretty slick in your hands, especially if you’re sweaty. And it may alter your form. But hey, it is free, right?
For those who don’t wish to risk dropping the phone as the pace and miles tick upward, here are some better options:
Arm Strap Holder
If you don’t want to have to worry about your phone jiggling around in a pocket, but you want easy access to it without having to carry it, an arm strap holder can be a good choice.
Arm strap holders—or armbands—used to be the most common product to hold your phone, but with the ever-increasing size of smartphones, that has changed.
- With a touch-sensing cover, you’ll be able to access your phone without having to take it out of the holder. Bonus points if the cover can be used with sweaty fingers!
- There also will likely be a slot for stowing an ID, credit card, or cash
- Arm strap holders are great for smaller phones (if you happen to have an older version of the iPhone!)
- You know that you won’t lose your phone with an arm strap holder because it will always be in your sight.
- You can purchase different sizes of arm strap holders to customize the fit for you.
- Many models are reflective, for visibility and safety at night.
- Arm strap holders are not as good with larger phones, as they could alter your arm movement, impeding your running ability.
- The arm strap holder may bounce easily and need continual adjustment, which is not ideal for running.
- You’ll have to figure out the balance between making the armband too loose or too tight (and maybe even mid-run).
- Poorly constructed arm strap holders can cause chafing and/or slipping. Plus, it may be uncomfortable to have your phone on your arm for a long time.
- Arm strap holders can be particularly challenging to use in cold weather, as it may be challenging to place them comfortably over clothing in the winter.
- A final downside is that you’ll have to purchase a new armband every time you upgrade your phone. Not too bad if you upgrade every two years, but a bigger deal if you prefer a new phone more frequently.
Our Favorite Arm Strap Holder
SonicStorm Smartphone CarrierCheck Price on Amazon
Hand Strap Holder
If you’re looking to have your phone easily accessible, but want it more secure than just holding it in your hand, a hand strap holder could be a good fit.
- Easy to use your phone to listen to music, navigate your route, and even take pictures, because it is right there.
- Since you’ll have eyes on your phone all the time, you’ll know that it is staying secure.
- It might be tricky to use your phone while you’re running, and it could be uncomfortable to have a weight in one hand but not the other.
- If you fall, your phone is going to take the brunt of the hit.
Our Favorite Hand Strap Holder
SonicStorm Smartphone Carrier
The good news is that there are many varying options for running belts. No matter what shape or size you want, you’ll be able to find it. Plus, you’ll be able to carry your phone and other small items such as gels, killing two birds with one stone.
Want more? Check out this article for the best running belts.
- You can use the belt for multiple purposes and storing other items. An arm strap holder is only going to carry a phone.
- You’re used to wearing belts, and you probably won’t even notice that you’re wearing the belt because it is so lightweight.
- As some describe, it’s a good compromise between an arm strap holder and a backpack, as you can carry more items without too much weight.
- The bounce is minimal if you get a belt that fits properly, and you won’t need to adjust it that much. Plus, you shouldn’t experience any chafing or rubbing.
- You’ll want to make sure that you get the right fit because otherwise it will be uncomfortable and could create shorter breaths.
- If you like to run without many constraints, you might feel somewhat inhibited by a running belt. Some belts, though, are so thin that you probably won’t even notice them.
Our Favorite Running Belt
Hydration Belt Pocket
If you’re running longer distances and need more hydration plus a place for your phone, you could get the best of both worlds with a hydration belt. You’ll wear the belt low on your hips to eliminate any bouncing, and you’ll have quick access to water bottles and hydration. And of course, there are pockets for your phone and other essentials.
Check this article out for the best hydration waist packs.
- The belt is designed to evenly spread weight, so it shouldn’t be uncomfortable even with extra items.
- You should be able to easily fit any size phone—no matter how large—into the pockets.
- Your phone will be easily accessible and secure, especially if you need to go for a longer run.
- If you don’t like a lot of excess gear/clothing, a hydration belt could be uncomfortable.
- This method isn’t really ideal for shorter runs, as you’ll have a lot of bulk that you don’t need.
Our Favorite Hydration Belt
Ultimate Direction Access 600
Handheld Water Bottle Pocket
If you want to encourage yourself to stay more hydrated and have a place for your phone, a handheld water bottle pocket might be an excellent choice. You’ll get two things done with one object!
These are our top picks for best handheld water bottles.
- Your phone will be easily accessible because it’s close to your hand.
- Thanks to a zippered pocket, you know that your phone is going to be secure. It’s like holding your phone in your hand, but with added protection.
- You may even still be able to listen to music or podcasts if you unzip the pocket just slightly to feed your earbuds in.
- Your form may be impacted when you run because you’ll have the weight of the water bottle and phone on one wrist/hand.
- If you fall, your phone might be a goner because there’s a good chance that you could land on it.
- Handheld water bottles are great for shorter distances, but if you’re training for a half or a full, it might be less ideal.
Our Favorite Handheld Water Bottle
Nathan SpeedView Plus Insulated 18oz Flask
A wrist wallet is like an arm strap holder, but it uses your wrist instead. This likely will be more comfortable than an arm strap holder, especially if you’re not Mr./Mrs./Miss Muscles with large biceps.
- A wrist wallet is great because it keeps your phone out of the way as well as safe and secure while you’re running.
- Your phone won’t get hot and sweaty, and you’ll be able to use the wrist wallet for other activities like riding your bike.
- Your phone may bounce around a lot, and the wallet could be somewhat bulky if you have a large phone.
- While it’s going to be easier to access your phone with a wrist wallet than with an arm strap holder, you still might have some difficulties getting to it.
- If you have thin wrists, it can be awkward with larger-model smartphones.
Our Favorite Wrist Wallet
Sprigs Banjees 2 Pocket Wrist Wallet
While it’s challenging to find running shorts or tights with safe pockets large enough to fit today’s smartphones, short/tight pockets are great options if you have them.
- Your phone won’t be in your hands or on your wrist or arm. It will be extremely freeing and liberating knowing that your phone is safe in your shorts/tights.
- Some shorts give you a speed pocket in the front where you can be sure your phone will be easily accessible yet securely in place.
- With well-fitted shorts/tights and pockets, you shouldn’t have to worry about any bouncing.
- One of your best options might be compression shorts, as they have other benefits beyond keeping your phone from jostling around.
- Depending on the design of the pocket, you may have to get used to running with your phone on one side in your pocket.
- While many shorts and tights have pockets, they may not be safe for your phone.
Tucked in Running Bra
For you women out there, a running bra seems like the ideal place for your phone. You know that it won’t fall out and break into thousands of pieces (unless you faceplant!), and you know it will stay secure no matter how many miles you’re trying to get through.
If you want to run with your phone in your bra, you should get a special running bra with a back pocket design that allows you to store your phone securely in the back where it won’t get sweaty. Some even have an earphone hole in the bra to allow you to listen to music.
These are our picks for the top sports bras.
- You know you won’t lose your phone and that it’s going to stay secure!
- It’s also easy to access if you need it.
- If you get a bra with a back pocket, you know that your phone is secure, and it won’t get sweaty or damaged.
- Without a back pocket, your phone is going to get sweaty and wet pretty fast, which could even ruin your phone if it gets too wet.
- Obviously, this isn’t an option for the guys out there.
Our Favorite Sport Bra
Brooks Fiona Sports Bra