How To Run With Your Phone [8 Best Hacks]

Wondering how to run with your phone without risking damage – or affecting your workout?

As frustrating as it can be to run with extra weight, there are many reasons why we’d want to take our phone on a run. In the event of an emergency, or as a safety precaution when running alone are two of the most common reasons.

But those of us without smart watches also need a way to track the data – because social media, right? – and using a phone is the easiest way to get those runs on to Strava to be combed over later.

Running with your phone doesn’t have to be inconvenient, and there are many hacks you can use to make it easier.

Likewise, there’s a booming market for runner’s accessories that take the pain out of carrying your phone (and chafing!) on a workout.

So let’s take a look at the best options…

8 Best Ways To Run With Your Phone

How to run with your phone

Sometimes the best ways to run with your phone don’t require expensive gear that will put you out of pocket. But if you’re looking to invest, there are some pretty cool runner’s accessories and cellphone holders out there too. 

Let’s delve into the best ways to run with your phone:

Keeping Your Phone In Your Hand

The first way to run with your phone is simply to carry it in your hand. Not everything requires fancy and expensive gear, especially if you’re on a tight budget. 

If you usually run short of medium distances, you can choose to carry your phone in your hand. It won’t be your favorite or most convenient way to carry your phone, especially if you tend to have a sweaty hand after your run, but it isn’t that bad either. 

The best part of holding your phone while running is that it’s completely free as well! To make holding your phone while running easier and reduce the risk of dropping it, you can add a ring grip to the back. 

If you do not refer a ring holder, there are also hand straps available, which seems to be promising if you’re stressed about possibly losing your grip on your phone.

Generally though, we wouldn’t recommend this solution if you are planning to run long.

Pros Of Keeping Your Phone In Your Hand:

  • Free or cost-effective
  • Simple
  • Easy access to your phone in case of an emergency

Cons Of Keeping Your Phone In Your Hand:

  • Potentially dropping it
  • Zero water protection
  • No extra room for your card or keys
  • Can possibly encourage asymmetric gait
  • Requires one of your hands 

Keeping Your Phone In Your Running Shorts’ Pocket

Because of the shortage of pockets when it comes to women’s clothing, running with a phone in your pockets used to be a lot easier for men. Men’s pockets tend to have much deeper space, even if it isn’t designed for that specific purpose. 

Many women’s running shorts have become more and more accommodating, allowing for more and more oversized pockets that appear to be designed for keeping bigger appliances, such as phones. 

It is great to hear that more running and fashion companies are getting with the program these days and designing more phone-friendly pants, even for women! 

The major downside to this method is that a phone bouncing around in a pocket can be a major distraction. It could also lead to chafing or skin irritation on a longer run.

Pros Of Running With Your Phone In Your Pocket:

  • It leaves your hands free
  • Reduced risk of dropping your phone

Cons Of Running With Your Phone In Your Pocket:

  • Will limit your choice of running shorts to those with only big pockets, which can be difficult if you have a popular size
  • It may or may not give you easy access to your phone, depending on the pocket’s overall design
  • Your pants may bounce inconveniently if the shorts are not a good fit for your body, and it could cause chafing

Keeping Your Phone Attached To Your Water Bottle Pack

If you have already solved the problem of how to carry water and keep yourself hydrated while running, you may also have just found the solution for where to put your phone while going on your run. 

Most available hydration vests, packs, and belts will easily be able to fit your phone. 

For longer runs, this will be your perfect choice, though you might have a difficult time choosing the perfect one because there are so many.

Some handheld water bottles will fit your phone and keep you hydrated for shorter runs.

Pros Of Carrying Your Phone Attached To Water Bottle Packs:

  • Both of your hands will be free for running
  • It offers your phone protection from the elements
  • Little to no risk of dropping

Cons Of Carrying Your Phone Attached To Water Bottle Packs:

  • It could be more expensive
  • You have to take your phone out in order to use it, which can be tough with particular designs
  • It can be cumbersome and only makes sense if you go for a longer run that requires carrying a source of water

Carrying Your Phone In A Hip Belt

If your run isn’t long enough or the weather isn’t hot enough for you to require water, but you still want to carry your phone on your run, this is a good option! Consider a running waist belt that includes a pocket for your phone. 

This will leave your hands free and opens up your options for a running short that don’t necessarily need to have pockets. It is crucial to purchase a hip belt that fits you perfectly, or you may come across issues with bouncing and chafing. 

Flat and wide bands are popular because they tend to minimize the issues with bouncing and chafing.

Pros Of Carrying Your Phone In A Hip Belt:

  • A waist belt will keep your hands free
  • Protects your phone from any accidental drops which could potentially break your phone

Cons Of Carrying Your Phone In A Hip Belt:

  • It would be best if you found the perfect fit, or it will bounce and chafe
  • Your phone can get sweaty if you do not protect it with a ziplock bag or any other type of waterproof bag

Carrying Your Phone In An Armband

Runners have been using armbands to carry their phones for quite a while, and it has gotten seemingly more popular over the last few years.

Many new styles, colors, and designs are readily available on the market, and by finding the perfect one for you, you will be optimizing your running experience.

The phone armband for runners

Some of the first armbands weren’t all that great, but since then, armbands have also become available in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the model you’re interested in and your budget, you will receive some very cool features. 

Some models have clear touchscreen windows or just a cloth pocket for your phone. Some models even have a wide variety of other features, such as a rotating mount, so you can still see your phone while it’s on your arm.

Pros Of Carrying Your Phone In An Armband:

  • Usually, it is cheap, good value for your money
  • Will keep your hands free
  • It will protect your phone, as some designs are water-resistant
  • It is possible to see your phone without taking it out
  • Great for emergencies

Cons Of Carrying Your Phone In An Armband:

  • If not a good fit, it could bounce on your arm, chafe, or not fit securely and could fall off
  • It could be too big for people with small arms
  • Challenging to use your phone in a sleeve, and it can be challenging to get your phone in and out, depending on the design
  • If you live in a hot climate, it could cause some strange tan lines on your arm

If you want to purchase an armband for your next running session, it would be best to look for one that’s easily adjustable, especially if you have smaller arms.

Also, make sure your armband will not chafe your arms and is easy to get your phone in and out of if this is something you need to do while you are out for a run.

For Ladies: Putting Your Phone In Your Sports Bra

This one is for the ladies, so men, just skip this one!

Ladies often lose out in the pockets of the running shorts, but they do have one option of carrying out phones that men do not…

We have the brilliant invention of the sports bra, and designs have gotten more and more creative that companies now add a separate compartment in a sports bra that allows you to put your phone in

Obviously, the fit of your bra is a personal thing, and it may not work for everybody, but it certainly is an innovative solution. You can either place your phone at the back or in the front with some designs. 

It will solely depend on what you prefer and which is most comfortable.

Pros of putting your phone in your sports bra:

  • Very convenient location if you like to run with wired earbuds
  • Will keep your hands free
  • Protects your phone from being dropped

Cons of putting your phone in your sports bra:

  • Your phone could get sweaty, especially on longer runs. This could be fixed by a ziplock bag or any kind of waterproof bag
  • It can be challenging to take your phone in and out of the pocket, especially if it is at the back of your sports bra
  • It could be uncomfortable for some women
  • Finding a high-quality and well-fitting sports bra could be difficult, and finding one with a pocket for your phone could complicate it even more

For Men: Phone Holder Vests 

Running vest solution

Now, there’s no written rule that these phone holder running vests are strictly only for men’s usage, but the chances are that no woman would want her phone bouncing against her breasts while they are out on the run. 

Running vests are designed to fit the chest snugly in order to prevent it from bouncing and chafing you while you are on the run.

Some designs also come with a fully adjustable waistband that has more than enough space to put your keys, gels, credit cards, along with your phone. It works great for shorter runs, but it is advised to make use of a proper racing vest for those more extended and intense runs. 

Racing vests have much more space for you to stash your extra gear for emergencies, as well as a water bottle. Racing vests can be on the more expensive side, but some of them are so lightweight they won’t feel like you’re wearing one at all.

They are ultimately the best option for you when you need to take your bottle of water with you when you’re running on a hot day.

Using a Slim Fanny Pack For Your Phone

A running slim fanny pack style belt is made from a lightweight spandex material blend that is highly durable and flexible. They can stretch to accommodate almost every waist side, and they can hold several items in up to four pockets. 

This includes phones of any size.

You place your belongings in this belt and flit it over, securing your phone and any other things you might need or want on your run. You can choose to either wear it over or under your clothing.

This is a nice simple solution for anybody who only needs to carry their phone and their keys.

Final Thoughts on Running With a Phone

Finding the best way to carry your phone while running might seem like a small thing, but the easier you make it for yourself, the more you will want to go out there and enjoy your run.

Carrying your phone while you run is ultimately the best way to keep you safe as well, especially if you prefer running alone.

Always make sure the method you choose will allow you to have quick access to your phone in case of an emergency, no matter what the emergency may be.

Author Profile

Michael Paulson

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Michael is a frequent contributor, which is a miracle to us as he quite literally runs for days with the rest of his time. An ultra marathon specialist, Mike is the kind of guy who posts a 30K Morning Run on Strava before we’ve had our breakfast and prefixes it with the smart-assery: “Guess I wasn’t feeling it today.” He runs like he writes: slow with bits flying everywhere.
Michael Paulson

Revel SPorts Contributor

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