Best Running Accessories Reviewed & Fully Compared
In a Hurry? The test winner after 21 hrs of research
Compression zones help them stay in place
- Rockay Accelerate
- Mpow Headphones
- Garmin Vivofit 3
- URPOWER Running Belt
- BSeen LED Slap Band
- Flip Belt
- Suunto Ambit 3
- Balega Running Socks
- Road ID Bracelet
- Salomon S-Lab Skin 3 Racing Vest
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Running Accessories
1. Rockay Accelerate
Compression zones help them stay in place
A little expensive
We know they're boring, but socks are basically the ultimate running accessory, so we put two pairs on here. This option comes from a newcomer to the industry that is quickly making a name for themselves with their high-quality, well-designed products. These are made from naturally moisture-wicking merino wool, help prevent blisters, and feel soft and supple on your feet.Read more
Comfort and Features
These consistently get very high marks from reviewers for how good they feel to wear, a lot of which comes from the natural softness of the merino wool used in these. They feature compression zones at the heel and in the toe to help prevent dreaded hotspots and blisters. The wool also has natural anti-microbial properties that give these the ability to fight smells and odors. They also have a reflective logo for a bit of added safety at night. It's small but every bit helps and it's a thoughtful feature which says a lot about the company.
Value and Weight
These aren't the cheapest socks on the market because they're well made in Europe with high-quality materials and have been shown to be durable and comfortable. Again, socks might seem boring, but grandma knew what she was doing when she bought you them every year for your birthday. These are about average in weight for a pair of running socks.
Our research didn't turn up any complaints about long-term durability, and the product appears to be well-made and capable of standing up to many miles of hard running.
2. Mpow Headphones
Long battery life
Behind the neck design enhances comfort
Headphones fit snug in your ears
Other wireless headphones have longer battery life
Product doesn’t react well to sweat
Wearing a pair of Bluetooth headphones eliminates the hassle of running with a dangled wire connected to your phone or mp3 player. The Mpow Bluetooth headphones come with a behind-the-ear design, with snug earbuds that ensure stability while running. These headphones offer you a battery life of 8 hours; enough time to get over a handful of runs in before charging again.Read more
Wireless connection gives you the ability to feel free and unbothered by any wires that could potentially end up tangled in front of you. The Bluetooth connection encourages a hands-free experience that makes your run that much easier. All you have to do is sync these headphones with your iPod and/or Apple /Android cell phone and you’ll be ready to go.
The 8 hours of battery life offered by the Mpow wireless headphones is reasonable. If you finish your runs quickly, you can get a lot of use with these headphones until the next time you have to charge them.
Cost and Value
For a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones, the Mpow Cheetah headphones are considered inexpensive. Many of the brand name headphones are overpriced, but these are ready to provide an excellent experience for the right price.
3. Garmin Vivofit 3
Very long battery life
Special active alerts
There aren’t phone notifications
This watch is produced by one of the most popular watch brands on the market: Garmin. This one will be perfect for those who don’t need GPS watch but want something multi-functional to make their running more organized and keep user data.Read more
The band is made of silicone, it’s very sleek so you can wear it all day. It’s easy to stay motivated as this watch counts the calories. It also monitors sleep. It also shows intensity minutes, has a backlit display to make it more readable by night and auto sync. You can track your goals in a very easy way- there are many charts and maps to show your progress. When you will be inactive for about an hour, you will get a reminder that you should move more. The watch is compatible with Connect IQ makes you able to track not only running but also swimming, biking and cross training activities and you can also use it for everyday life, even in the office.
Many runners appreciated that the watch is very small. Not many people like to wear bulky watches covering most of their wrist. This one is petite. Vivofit 3 is also very lightweight so you can sometimes forget that you’re wearing it. There’s a special locking mechanism so you won’t lose it during your training.
Cost and Value
You can use Vivofit 3 for about a year without any charging so it really saves your time making it worth the price. The average cost is about 80 dollars but you can try to find them on sale.
4. URPOWER Running Belt
Waterproof main compartment
Comes with two water bottles
May not fit all users
Front pocket not as large as advertised
This versatile product is great for running, hiking, or other outdoor activities, and easily converts from a waist to a shoulder pack. Its neoprene main compartment is large enough to hold your phone, wallet, keys, energy gels, or other useful items, and it comes with two water bottles to help you stay hydrated.Read more
Comfort and Features
This one has a mesh backing to help with breathability and keep you comfortable. Most users were happy with it's comfort level even during long training runs and races, although a couple of people said it rode up their stomach during use. With this product you can carry your water, phone, keys, energy gels, and/or other useful items with you while you run, and the neoprene main compartment is waterproof. It also has an easy-to-use port for your headphones.
Value and Weight
This is very lightweight at only 4.5 ounces, so it won't weigh you down. It's a very affordable product that's also very useful so it represents a good value.
The neoprene material is tear resistant, so with proper care this should last a long time and we didn't find any reports of long term concerns.
5. BSeen LED Slap Band
Easy to wear
Comes in different colors
Lightweight to increase comfort
Effective at helping you been seen
Difficult to replace battery
The BSeen LED slap band is a useful accessory that will help you be seen at night. The lightweight product is primarily made of Nylon, and as a result, is easy to wear. It is also “one size fits all”, so whether you are out for a run, bike ride, or just taking a walk, the B Seen slap band is something worth looking into if you like to go exercise at night.Read more
Easy to Wear
Easy Battery Replacement
The battery for the BSeen slap band can be easily replaced and comes with an extra battery upon purchase. You will always have the device working and gives you time to replace the battery when the extra set also runs out.
The BSeen armband is an inexpensive alternative for keeping yourself visible at night. The cost is very good for the product.
6. Flip Belt
Material is soft and stretchy
Variety of colors available
Made of quality comfortable material
Not pricey at all
Difficult to check phone while in use
“Flipping the belt” will offer you ultimate comfort while keeping your valuables safe while you run. You can easily place your phone, music player, money, or any other accessory in this item. Once you flip the belt, your items are “locked,” so they can be secure while you go out and run. Coming in nine colors, you have plenty of options when it comes to the Flip Belt.Read more
Unlike other running belts where you feel like you are getting burned by the material, the Flip Belt is a slim and stretchy cause of the micro poly material it is made of.
This belt is very convenient for the runner, primarily because you can hold most of your everyday items in the belt, and they will be secure. You won’t have to worry about your things falling out of a pouch, or your belt bouncing back and forth, because the belt itself is essentially so tight that it looks like it is attached to your skin.
Cost and Value
The cost of this efficient running belt is fairly cheap. While it may not look like much, you are getting a deal with this product.
7. Suunto Ambit 3
Easy to use and install
GPS monitoring tracks your movement at all times
Long battery life
Software/Suunto app isn’t always reliable
GPS feature takes a long time to load
Having a watch on you while you’re running is helpful. Having a watch that monitors speed, heart rate, and GPS can’t get any better. The Suunto Ambit 3 GPS watch is an easy to use sports watch that tracks different measurements and features its’ own applications. The applications on the Suunto Ambit 3 are primarily used to interpret the data you have established over a fixed period of time.Read more
Easy to Use
All you have to do is put this watch on, and prepare to monitor your physical activity. Basically, you just have to plug your watch into your computer, fill out whatever information is needed, and you’ll be ready to go! You can also sync this device to your smartphone to get a better understanding of your fitness numbers.
This watch will be able to record data using GPS satellite technology. In order to properly utilize this GPS data, Suunto has a motion sensor, which is needed to monitor GPS data. If you want the most accurate results, try putting the motion sensor on your ankle, that way the sensor can clearly pick up the difference between when you’re walking and when you’re running.
Cost and Value
For a watch, the cost of the Suunto Ambit 3 is high up there. When considering price, you need to ponder on what you’re getting in this product. The good news is that this sports watch isn’t limited to just displaying the time for you. With this sports watch, you get a watch that you can run and work out in, a product that can monitor different measurements of your physical activity. Other elements such as GPS, distance tracking, and a running timer also make this product more valuable compared to other watches.
8. Balega Running Socks
Limited range of colors
These great blister resistant running socks combine Drynamix and comfortable mohair to give us tech and nature working together in harmony for our comfort and protection. Not getting painful blisters while running due to a great accessory such as these socks makes these worthy of a must have tag.Read more
The weave of very comfortable materials are elastane for flexibility-2%, Neofil 3%, durability, and dry-out nylon 6%, durability, dry out and comfort polyester 54%.
Warm feet in winter, cool feet in hot weather, good wick capability, seam-free comfort to avoid skin irritation, extra deep heel pocket to ensure a secure FIT. These socks are real performers, specifically designed to comfortably protect your feet from blistering.
Cost and Value
This is considered to have an average price for a protective good quality pair of running socks. You will definitely have value for high quality socks.
9. Road ID Bracelet
Great for those with medical conditions
Style works for both men and women
Only one design and color option
This bracelet is a favorite among many runners, especially those who like to hit the trails. You never know what may happen or if you will get hurt along the way--so this is a perfect way to ensure you have the necessary information on you at all times.Read more
This is definitely a must-have if you have any medical conditions, but also a great addition to all runners. You can have your information engraved in capital letters, making it easy to see. It's easy to put on and provides a nice and secure fit. Its simple design will go well with everything and makes it universal between men and women.
This bracelet was built to last forever and withstand any outdoor elements you may expose it to. This also means you are able to save on our money since you will not be making any replacements any time soon.
This item isn't too pricey and a great thing to have with you at all times. Moreover, the fact that it is made of durable material is a plus to adding to its quality. However, this item isn't too pricey and is a great thing to have with you at all times.
10. Salomon S-Lab Skin 3 Racing Vest
Doesn’t bounce while you’re running
Has plenty of pocket space
Doesn’t come with a water bladder
Strings sometimes get in the way
A hydration pack isn’t a mandatory item for outdoor activity, but it can sure be of assistance in some of the hottest days. This hydration pack is lightweight, offers a comfortable fit, and easy to reach pockets. This product looks like it could be used exclusively for hiking, but thanks to the lightweight material incorporated, runners can use this to stay hydrated while going on long walks and runs.Read more
Running with a vest that is heavy will make a runner uncomfortable, quick. Fortunately, this hydration pack is made with lightweight mesh that fits the body snugly. The vest won’t move all over the place while you run, so there are no distractions while you are engaged in physical activity.
This vest is convenient for the user because they can just place their drink in the pockets available. In other words, they can keep their hands free while using this product. Instead of running around with a water bottle in hand, you can just run with your drinks in the vest; stopping any time for a water break. The pockets on this vest are strategically placed so that you are able to hold a maximum amount of liquid and access it easily.
Cost and Value
This vest resembles the cliché “you get what you pay for.” The value for this product is high end, but the material is worthwhile. Upon purchase, you receive a hydration vest made with a legitimate material, the only downside being that it does not come with a bladder to drink out of.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Everything you carry or wear during a run should be both comfortable and breathable. You should also try to remain as lightweight as possible so you aren’t slowed down by non-essential items. If you are a long-distance runner you know how important this is and that is possible to have lightweight and effective gear to carry your essential items.
Because of the diversity of products on this list, comparing each one to the other is like comparing apples to oranges, but we considered over 1600 reviews, and if a product had a lot of complaints about it not being comfortable it didn't make our list.
All running accessories have unique features that make it stand out and facilitate the running experience. They are developed to be functional, make your running experience more enjoyable, and contribute to your overall comfort. Looking at fitness trackers, they have amazing features that help them stand out. Make sure the features the product you are looking for are relevant to your needs, within your budget, and able to enhance your experience.
What kind of hardware does it have? Battery life can vary greatly from 5 hours to 50 hours or more. Some GPS watches may include built-in sensors such as heart rate, altimeters, thermometers and more. Screen sizes also vary and should be considered as larger screens may be too heavy while a smaller screen is harder to read.
What data does the watch track? This can include speed/pace, distance, time, elevation, heart rate and more. Some models will also track temperature and swim strokes or laps if used for swimming.
What training tools does it have? Some GPS watches will alert the user if programmed with a particular training plan. This could be alerting the user at certain laps or mile marks. This may be done using vibrations or sound. Another useful tool to consider is on screen maps.
What accessories does it come with or are available? Many watches have accessories that work with it that either come with it or are available for an additional cost. These accessories include heart rate monitors, foot pods, cadence sensors and mounts for bikes.
Just because something is more expensive does not necessarily make it better. While there are some pricier brands that are known for their high quality and durability, this does not apply to everything–and it also doesn’t mean you can’t find a similar product at the fraction of the cost. When looking for a product make sure you consider your own situation–consider your budget and narrow down the features you need. Sometimes we buy products with features we don’t even need instead of going with something that has just the essentials we need specifically.
Lightweight products are a must for all runners. The last thing we need is to be slowed down by heavy gear or to wear clothes that will retain moisture and make us heavier and uncomfortable. We looked for products that were lightweight in their category while still being at least fairly durable, as that's often a trade-off that needs to be made, because lightweight materials usually aren't as durable as heavy ones.
This is a very important factor for runners to consider when buying new gear, and often has to be weighed against other factors such as weight and value. First of all, when picking products for this list we didn't pick any that have consistent durability issues. We looked for products in several different gear categories such as running lights, reflective gear, hydration options, fitness trackers etc. and found the ones that were highly rated in several different places. Sometimes a product can be well reviewed in one place online, but nobody else has tried it out and that's something you don't want. So we made sure that all our products score consistently well across the internet, and then made sure all of those were well-made and durable.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
With any electric devices such as a smartwatch or fitness tracker, you may think it's a good idea to let it charge all night while you sleep. However, overcharging your device can degrade its internal components and shorten the lifespan of its battery. Although this problem has been made less urgent with more recent models, it's still a risk that you're better off avoiding.
When it comes to caffeinated supplements such as Run Gum, it's possible to ingest far too much of a given substance without realizing it. Although it isn't usually fatal to overdose on caffeine, you can suffer from severe headaches and stomach issues. Remember to err on the side of taking too little of a substance; you can always take more, but you can't take less!
Other Factors to Consider
All running gear is made of materials that specifically allows it to provide certain features. Winter gear is made of heavier materials that can retain heat and gear for cooler weather tends to have moisture-wicking and highly breathable properties. Take into consideration the climate in which you run as well as the distance you are planning to complete. A marathon may require a racing vest that can hold additional water and energy bars but a short 5k may just require you have a little extra storage room for your personal belongings.
It is important to know the materials that suit you best in order to avoid any chaffing or irritation. The materials used in most running clothes are:
Acrylic fabric: offers added durability and strength to the main fabric, this synthetic in nature fabric has a sweat-wicking ability and is praised for its fast drying time.
Fabric made from Bamboo: Pulp is extracted from bamboo grass and used to make this fabric. It has amazing lightweight features and very strong, and since its made from bamboo. The fabric has both wicking abilities and antibacterial properties and most preferred by athletes who suffer from allergies.
Combed Cotton Fabric: it’s among the softest fabrics used in manufacturing sports’ apparel. It’s also lustrous in nature and of very high quality.
Cotton Fabric: One of the most common fabrics, though over the years it has been losing its popularity with manufacturers. Offers good breathability and comfortability. Though there are different versions of cotton fabric like the: Organic Cotton fabric, Prima Cotton fabric, Ring Spun Cotton fabric and lastly the Supima Cotton fabric.
Coolmax Fabric: This is an improved version of the polyester fabric, preferred in making inner garments for athletes since it has amazing sweat-wicking abilities and comfortability.
Latex Fabric: Originally made from rubber, it has amazing compression abilities this makes it best for fitting sporting clothes like running tights. Same traits as Spandex.
Nylon Fabric: the best synthetic fabrics in the market, adored for its great durability and its lightweight nature. Though its breathability together with its sweat-wicking abilities is not that good, its ability to withstand tear and wear is what most athletes opt for.
Polyester Fabric: Another common fiber that is synthetic but very durable. Has the ability to dry very fast and keep off wrinkles.
Other materials that are used include:
Viscose Rayon Fabric
Frequently Asked Questions
Heart rate monitors can make calculating your heart rate simple and often do not disrupt your workout. These devices also centralize your heart rate information in one place and reduce the need to keep a log or journal. However, heart rate tracking devices might not be ideal for everyone. Deciding to use one is a decision for you and your healthcare provider.
The right material varies between accessories and also depends on their purpose. While the best are both durable and long-lasting, the manner in which this is achieved can vary between products. For example, some material is waterproof while others protect against UV rays. Before you make your decision you need to narrow down what you need specifically and go from there.
This depends on what your specific needs are and what you plan on using the product for. Generally, you should always look for the right fit, appropriate levels of comfort, breathability, and ensure it is lightweight.
Moisture-wicking properties are another important feature to look out for–especially during the hot summer months. Many products with this features also gave anti-microbial properties, to prevent odor and bacteria taking over. If you are an outdoor enthusiast you should also look for weather resistant features, reflective properties, and light colored options if you will be out in the heat. UV protection is another important factor and can be found in a lot of running products.
Lastly, make sure to look at the overall functionality of the product and how it pertains to you. For example, additional zippered storage is ideal for added security.
Running accessories can be very expensive, so considering your budget beforehand is a wise decision. That being said the products above that may seem really expensive can be justified because of the quality and durability of the product. Choosing an effective product is very important, so saving for a more expensive product might be worth it in order to get a good quality accessory.