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The 10 Best Running Belt Options To Store Your Essentials On The Go

people running

Do you enjoy running or even jogging, but hate having to hold things in your hands? Do you get thirsty on your run but have to leave your water bottle in the car because you have nowhere to put it? Well, look no further, we have found the 10 best running belt options for storage of your essentials on the go.

Have you ever gone on a run and dropped things because you had nothing to carry them in? Well, you are not the only one; many people have purchased running belts because of that reason.

Now, you can carry your items with you, and you will be able you enjoy your run without worry if you need something.

But what exactly is a running belt?

Comparison Table

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What Is A Running Belt?

A running belt is similar to a fanny pack but suggested for active people. The belt can carry many things such as your phone, a water bottle, keys, and other small stuff you may require while you are running or walking.

What does a running belt do for you?

What does a running belt have?

Where can you buy a running belt?

How much does the best running belt cost?

How We Reviewed The Best Running Belt

people running

Image Via pexels

We know that you take your running seriously and don't have time to waste researching the best running belt, so we took to the internet and found them for you.

We read and compared the reviews to other running belts, and came up with a list for you. Check it out.

Our Top 10 Running Belts

After we finished with comparing reviews, we had to narrow it down to 10 of the best running belts. We did not put the 10 best running belt options in a particular order.

1. Runtopia Super Slim Running Belt

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The Runtopia Super Slim Running Belt is a simple design. It has only one pocket but can fit many objects such as keys, credit cards, cash, and your phone. Runtopia also has a spot for your earbud cord, so you can listen to your music while you run.

The belt is waterproof and has an adjusting elastic strap. It is made from a polyester fiber so it will not scratch your phone. The Runtopia Super Slim Running Belt does not tell you if you can machine wash or have to hand wash.

Amazon customers rated this running belt a 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. There was only one review, however, so that may change. The customer says the belt is lightweight and great for holding keys and credit cards. The price range for this belt is $ to $$. We found this belt only comes in black or grey.

2. Sport2People Running Pouch Belt

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The Sport2People Running Pouch Belt has two pockets and is waterproof. One pocket is smaller than the other so that you don't scratch your phone or drop things out when trying to get your phone.

Sport2People says their belt is the best running belt or your money back guarantee. It has a hole made for your earphones. This product does not explain whether to hand wash or to machine wash.

Amazon customers gave this product a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. There are hundreds of reviews for this running belt and the majority of customers say the product is the perfect size for extra small body types and up to extra large body types.

They are also happy you can hide the belt under your clothes, and it doesn't move while running. There are many complaints about the zipper breaking very easy and even receiving the belt with an already broken zipper. The price of this product ranges from $ to $$. The belt comes in seven different colors.

3. Runtasty Winners' Running Fuel Belt

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Runtasty Running Fuel Belt makes a belt for those who want to carry more with them while running. The company includes two BPA bottles and has a touchscreen compatible cover. You will be able to change your music, answer a call, and text without having to remove your phone from the belt.

The belt has two extra large pockets to hold everything you need. It is made with neoprene and has a separate waterproof pocket to keep your things dry.

Runtasty has a 90-day money back guarantee and includes a bonus E-Book called "Runtasty's 10 Tips for Running Faster, Better, and Longer." The product does not tell us if you can machine wash it or only hand wash it.

Amazon ratings for this product are 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Customers are pleased with this belt and say they can do long distance runs without the belt moving and love being able to use their touchscreen.

As others say they also enjoy having the belt, they are upset the water bottles are so hard to get out of the belt and very hard to open. It costs between $$ and $$$. We have only found this belt in black.

4. 247 Viz Hydration Running Belt

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The 247 Viz Hydration Running Belt has one pocket in the front that can hold most phones except the larger ones and can hold cash, keys, and credit cards. This belt holds four 8 ounce bottles that are included in the purchase and the containers will not bounce around while running.

This company also has a money back guarantee if you do not like the product. The belt can be worn in a front facing or back facing position and suggested for long distance runners.

The 247 Viz Hydration Running Belt does not say if you must hand wash or if you can machine wash the belt.

The Amazon rating for this product is 4.3 out of 5.0 stars. There are only a little over 20 reviews, but for the most part, everyone is happy with this product.

There are complaints about the water bottles having a bad chemical smell that couldn't be washed out. This belt comes in four different colors and sells for a price range of $$ to $$$.

5. PYFK Running Belt Hydration Waist Pack

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This running belt is made mainly for women and has an adjustable strap you can cut off if it is too long for you. The belt has one pocket to hold your phone or other small belonging and holds one water bottle that is not included with purchase.

The pouch has an antitheft buckle on the zipper and has an inner pocket for your keys to prevent scratches on your phone. It also has an earphone built-in design and night reflection to enhance visibility in the dark.

The product does not state if you can machine wash or must hand wash it.

PYFK Running Belt comes in three colors and has a price range of $16 to $20. Amazon customers rated the product with a 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. The customers are happy the belt did not move while running and can hold full water of bottle without bouncing. As a few customers complained, it was too bulky.

6. LotFancy Running Fuel Belt

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LotFancy Running Fuel Belt is one of the larger belts and has a large pocket. The running belt holds two water bottles that come with the purchase. The LotFancy Running Fuel Belt is waterproof, has a headphone cable hole, and includes two inner pockets to help prevent scratches on your phone.

This company makes the belts with reflective tape, so you are visible in the night. The belt comes in four colors and is adjustable. According to the Amazon review, you can only hand wash the belt.

The price range for LotFancy Running Fuel Belt is between $ to $$. Amazon customers give this belt a rating of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars.

Reviews for this belt are great, and one person even made an update post two years later to state the belt was still in great shape and has held up to long-distance running.

On the other hand, one person was upset the zipper broke on the first day, and the other customer couldn't adjust the product.

7. FreedomVentures Running Belt

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The FreedomVentures Running Belt is durable and water resistant. It has one pocket and a headphone hole so you can listen to your music while you run. The belt has a reflective strip across the front of it for nighttime visibly and safety.

Inside, the belt has a divider so that your keys do not scratch your phone. It has a clip on the front of the belt in case you would like to carry things such as pepper spray. The product is machine washable and comes in two colors.

The price range for this product is between $ and $$. Amazon customers give it a rating of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars. There are a little over a hundred reviews for this product.

Amazon customers say the belt is comfortable and an excellent fit for any run. Some customers say the belt is too bulky and the zipper is fragile and broke after just two days.

8. Gritin Running Belt

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The Gritin Running Belt is a straightforward product and only has one pocket with a headphone cord opening. It has a reflective design on the front by the zipper and is waterproof. The belt is machine washable and is quick drying. The Gritin Running Belt has an adjustable elastic waist belt.

It only comes in black. The belt has a rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. The customers on Amazon say the product is lightweight and excellent for many purposes, like traveling and shopping.

Some customers are upset the zipper broke so quickly, and others say it is too big. The price range for this belt is between $ to $$.

9. URPOWER Running Belt

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URPOWER Running Belts comes in a lightweight neoprene material. The belt is waterproof and tear-resistant. It has an adjustable band, reflectors, large pocket, and two water bottle holders. The water bottles come with your purchase, and you have a lifetime guarantee.

The URPOWER Running Belt comes in black and soft blue. The running belt does not state whether or not you can machine wash or if you must hand wash after use.

Amazon customers have given this belt a rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. The price range for the running belt is $ and $$. Customers are happy the belt is lightweight, and the bottles are dishwasher safe. Unfortunately, some customers are upset the belt doesn't fit for smaller body shapes.

10. EAZYMATE Fashion Running Belt

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The EASYMATE Fashion Running Belt comes in thin spandex material. The belt has two pockets and zippers for security. It is also a travel money belt. This running belt comes in three different colors. The belt is not waterproof, and it does not say if you can machine wash it or if you have to hand wash it.

Amazon customers are happy that the product can be hidden under clothes and it is very lightweight. Some of the customers are not pleased with this running belt, saying the belt is a horrible design and doesn't fit larger people well.

It has a rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. The price range for this belt is $ to $$.

Our Final Decision On The Best Running Belt

Our final decision on finding the best running belt was a difficult one. There are so many great belt options available for purchase. It all depends on whether or not you want to carry water or want something simple to carry your keys and phone.

The list we made of the 10 best running belt options has a wide range of prices, reviews, and sizes. So, please read the information we provided to see which running belt would better fit your needs and buy that brand.

Take a moment and let us know which running belt is your favorite in the comment section below.

How to Breathe While Running for Maximized Efficiency and Minimal Strain

how to breathe while running

You love to run and always have. Of course, you feel this way, because it's great exercise and it really helps you clear your head. Unfortunately, you don't do it more because you have some problems when it comes to learning how to breathe while running.

It's not that you're in bad shape, but you feel like if you improve your breathing patterns, you would be able to run faster and avoid putting strain on your body. And you're right in thinking this.

The truth is that there are breathing techniques that you can practice that will make running much more enjoyable for you. If you have an interest in learning how to breathe while running, this information could change your life!


Common Breathing Mistakes for Runners

There are many breathing mistakes that people make while running. However, there are two common ones that you can easily fix. This is a big part of learning how to breathe while running.

A lot of runners focus on training their legs and hearts when they're running. However, they often make the mistake of ignoring their lungs and diaphragm. You can breathe much more efficiently if you learn to breathe fully utilizing your diaphragm.

The other very common mistake is putting more strain on one side of the body than the other. You can actually remedy this by learning how to utilize rhythmic breathing while you're running.

how to breathe while running man running on dirt road

Source: Pexels

Training, training, and more training

If you want to learn how to breathe while running, one thing you need to do is learn a little bit about the anatomy involved. Basically, you have to learn how to utilize your lungs and diaphragm properly while you're running.

Think about it. Your muscles need oxygen in order to be able to give you optimal running performance. Doesn't it make sense, then, that learning how to breathe while running could be the best possible thing for your performance?

Fully breathing

When you think about breathing, you probably think about your lungs first, right? The truth is that your diaphragm actually does about 80 percent of the work when you take a breath. So the key to learning how to breathe while running actually lies in conditioning your diaphragm more than anything having to do with your lungs.

In fact, it's been shown that runners who have the most strained breathing have the most weakness in their legs and are more likely to become fatigued during a race. If you want to be the best runner you can be, it's important to learn to breathe fully while you're running.

Belly breathing

It's important to learn how to breathe with your belly, rather than your chest. Most runners make the mistake of breathing with their chests instead.

how to breathe while running physically fit woman

Source: Pexels

If you breathe with your belly, you'll be able to inhale more air into the air sacs of your lungs. That will end up delivering more oxygen to your body, including the muscles that you need for running.

There's a fairly simple way to tell if you're breathing with your lungs or your diaphragm. After you've been running for a period of time, put one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen.

If you're breathing with your belly, the hand on your abdomen should be moving, while the one on your chest should be relatively still. Unfortunately, with most runners, the opposite is true. The good news is that you can change this and really learn how to breathe while running!

Coordinate these two things

Did you know that each time your foot hits the ground, the force of impact equals two to three times your body weight? It's also worth knowing that the impact of your foot hitting the ground is the highest when it happens as you're beginning an exhalation.

The reason for this is when you are starting to exhale, your diaphragm and the muscles associated with it relax. That leads to a situation where there is less stability in your core. Less stability in your core at the time when the greatest impact is being forced upon your leg and foot creates a significantly higher chance of injury in that leg and foot.

If you're not practicing rhythmic breathing, chances are that you're exhaling while landing on the same foot each time. That is obviously going to place an uneven amount of strain on both sides of your body. It's also going to subject the side of your body where you're landing as you exhale to a higher risk of injuries.

Have you ever noticed that one of your feet always seems to carry the aches and pains, while the other is almost always fine? Does one side of your body consistently feel more worn down than the other? If you're not mindfully keeping track of your breathing while you're running, there is a very good chance that this could be the why.


How to Breathe While Running: Techniques to Practice

woman wearing smartphone armband and blue earphones

Source: Pexels

The best way to breathe when you're running is a technique that is referred to as diaphragmatic breathing. It's all about learning to use your diaphragm when you're breathing. This way, you'll not only find yourself getting winded much more rarely, but you'll also set your lungs up so that you're able to deliver more oxygen to the muscles of your body that you need for running.

If you practice diaphragmatic breathing, you can strengthen your diaphragm and ultimately make it easier for you to breathe. You can also slow your breathing rate, making breathing less work in general. You'll need less oxygen to breathe, and it'll take less effort and energy overall.

You can practice this technique while you're running. However, in order to get a feel for it, you might want to do it while laying still first. If you want to get a feel for how to breathe while running, it might be best to understand the actual breathing pattern before trying to apply it during your exercise.

If you truly want to learn how to breathe while running, it's important that you learn how to breathe from your diaphragm and how to breathe rhythmically.

1. Position matters

The first thing you want to do is get into position. Lie on your back with a pillow underneath your head and your knees bent. You can put a pillow under your knees to give them support.

2. Hands in place

Put one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage. This will make it possible for you to feel your diaphragm as you're breathing.

3. Breathe in

Now, it's time to start the actual breathing. Breathe in through your nose, so that your stomach moves up against the hand that's beneath your rib cage. Try to keep the hand on your upper chest as still as possible.

4. Now do this

Of course, every inhale is followed by an exhale. When you breathe out, tighten your stomach muscles so that they move inward. Continue to keep the hand that is on your upper chest as still as you can.

5. Apply what you've learned

After doing this while lying down for a while, you should get a feel for diaphragmatic breathing. You should also see that it actually allows you to breathe more efficiently then working your upper chest as much as you probably do.

Now, it's time to actually employ this technique while you're running. You'll see that learning how to breathe while running is the best thing you could have done for your exercise sessions.

6. It's all about rhythm

Another thing you should definitely try to do is coordinate your breathing with your foot strokes while you're running. Some runners inhale for three steps and exhale for two, for example. This makes your breathing more efficient and injury less likely.

The reason that three-step inhales with two-step exhales is a good idea is that this will prevent you from exhaling on the same foot over and over. Many runners get trapped in a rhythm where they're always inhaling or exhaling as the same foot hits the ground, which is exactly what you're trying to avoid here.


Are You Ready to Run Now?

man running beside street

Source: Pexels

Now that you know more about how to breathe while running, you're probably excited to go on your next run. Of course, you'll need to practice diaphragmatic breathing and rhythmic breathing if you want to see results.

You may not see results immediately. After all, particularly with rhythmic breathing, the main results are going to be less strain on one side of your body. If you already have aches and pains, it may take a while for them to go away.

However, it's definitely worth it to practice the techniques described above and see just how they influence your exercise time. Learning how to breathe while running is definitely worth the time and effort. You'll likely be really happy you took the time to practice these techniques when you see just how much easier and more enjoyable running is for you!

Do you have anything to say about what you've just learned about how to breathe while running? Feel free to shout out in the comments section!

Best Running Gloves For Chilly Conditions: Our Top 8 Picks

black running gloves on the table

For someone who's used to running outdoors, treadmill workouts can seem like a punishment. But how do you maintain your routine in the winter when the elements seem to be working against you? Well, investing in the best running gloves will go a long way in helping you stick to your routine.

With running gloves, you shift your focus from your frozen fingers and direct it to where it matters: getting some leg work done. Running gloves are also beneficial because they allow you to keep warm without adding too much weight to your gear.

Any pair of gloves will get the job done, right? Not exactly.

The best running gloves have unique features meant to provide you with maximum protection.

So, how do you identify the best running gloves?

​Comparison Table

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The Ultimate Running Gloves Buying Guide

different colors of best running gloves displayed in the shop

​Via Pixabay

You won't need to rob a bank to afford running gloves. Still, you don't want to spend your hard earned money on running gloves that don't serve the purpose.

Here are some of the things you should consider when searching for the best running gloves.

Materials

One of the most important things you should consider is the material of the gloves. The most commonly used fabrics for running gloves include polypropylene, fleece, acrylic, and polyester.

These materials are different in terms of breathability, moisture-wicking capabilities, comfort, warmth, and keeping your hands dry.

So let's look at their features so that you can make an informed decision.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene is excellent for providing wind and waterproofing. Also, it's excellent for keeping your hands warm and dry. But to enjoy these benefits, you'll have to sacrifice breathability and internal moisture management.

Fleece

Fleece is super cozy. If you're looking for a comfortable pair of gloves, you won't go wrong with this material. However, it falls short when it comes to breathability and sweat-wicking.

If you can find a pair of running gloves which combines fleece and other fabrics that offer excellent breathability and sweat-wicking properties, you have yourself a winner.

Acrylic

Acrylic running gloves are warm, stretchy, and breathable, but they don't do a great job when it comes to wind and water-proofing.

Polyester

Polyester offers exceptional breathability and warmth and keeps your hands dry and comfortable. However, this material doesn't have water and wind-proofing properties.

Weight

The type of fabric you choose will determine how heavy your gloves are. Luckily, this isn't something you really have to worry about because the best running gloves are lightweight and won't interfere with your workout.

Warmth

When you're looking for winter running gloves, warmth should be your priority.

Whether a pair of running gloves are warm or not solely depends on a runner's temperature and circulation. While some people might need to have their gloves on for the entire run, others get warm really fast, and they need to remove them.

However, when searching for the best running gloves that offer the most warmth, go for gloves with liners and those that feature fabrics that have excellent warmth.

Thickness

In most cases, running gloves are thicker on the back side and feature thinner fabrics in the palm and fingers area. This design is excellent for providing wind protection.

However, some gloves are thicker than others depending on the material used and whether or not they have a liner.

If you're looking for maximum warmth, thick gloves are the way to go.

Protection

Another essential factor to consider is whether or not the running gloves offer you the protection you need.

You need to find a pair of gloves that is not only windproof but also waterproof. While wind is the primary concern when you're running in a cold climate, it's not the only thing that can get your hands cold. Rain and snow will also make you cold, not to mention how uncomfortable it is to run with your hands wet.

In addition, look for running gloves with moisture-wicking fabrics. Such fabrics will guarantee you have dry hands throughout your run.

Reflectivity

If you enjoy running in the dark, safety is critical. So look for a pair of running gloves that have reflective properties. The reflective material will allow motorists to see you, thereby preventing any accidents.

How We Reviewed

a pair of cotton fabric gloves

​Via Pixabay

It can't be easy to select the best running gloves. On your search, you'll be faced with thousands of options and narrowing down to a single pair won't be a walk in the park.

To help you get the best running gloves, we scoured the internet in search of the top options. It wasn't easy, to be honest. We came across a plethora of choices.

To narrow down our search, we considered reviews from experts and users to ensure we give you the best of the best.

Finally, we selected the best running gloves on Amazon with the highest rating.

No matter what your budget is, we believe you'll find a reliable pair of gloves on this list.

The 8 Best Running Gloves on the Market

In this section, we take a look at a handful — no pun intended — of the best running gloves for the money to keep you warm, protected, and dry as you enjoy your run.

Let's get straight to business:

1. Smartwool Merino 150 Gloves

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The Smartwool Merino 150 Gloves are made from a combination of wool, nylon, acrylic. With these materials, you should expect some stretch, warmth, and excellent breathability.

These gloves are most suitable for dry climates because they aren't waterproof. They won't protect your hands from the snow or rain.

However, they're an excellent choice if all you need is a pair of warm gloves to keep you warm in the cold. We also love that the gloves are touchscreen compatible. This means you won't have to take them off to use your phone. But it's only the thumb and index finger that have this feature.

2. TrailHeads Elements Running Gloves

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The TrailHeads Elements Running Gloves are the best running gloves for long distance runners.

One of the things we love about these gloves is the fact that they have visibility swatches. With this feature, you can rest assured that motorists can see you when you're running in the dark.

We also love that the gloves have a tight fit, which helps you maintain efficiency, especially on long distance runs.

The gloves are also lightweight and feature a mesh lining that allows your hands to vent out once they get too warm. At the beginning of your run, you might feel a bit chilly because of the mesh lining, but you'll be grateful for it after running for a while.

These gloves are water-resistant but not wind-proof, which means they may not be the best for frigid climates.

3. TrailHeads Men's Power Stretch Gloves

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Another great option by TrailHeads is the Men's Power Stretch Gloves.

Several things make these gloves stand out.

For starters, we love that these gloves have moisture-wicking and wind-resistance properties. These features make them an excellent choice for icy conditions.

The gloves also have a tight fit, and they're lightweight, which means you can focus on your workout without thinking of adjusting your gloves every single time.

As if that's not enough, the gloves feature touchscreen compatibility. And unlike the Smartwool gloves, you get this feature on all fingers. How cool is that?

You'll also not have to worry about your phone slipping from your hands because the gloves have palm grips.

Unfortunately, the gloves aren't moisture-resistant, but they dry very fast.

4. Outdoor Research Running Gloves

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Outdoor Research Running Gloves have an excellent combination of materials. It features polyester and fleece which work together to keep your hands dry, comfortable, and warm.

But that's not the only thing that makes these gloves stand out.

They also have silicone grip pads on the palms and fingertips to ensure nothing slips off your hands. What's more, the gloves are quick-drying.

5. Lanyi Running Gloves

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The Lanyi Running Gloves are among the best running gloves on Amazon and for good reasons.

First, these running gloves feature polyester and fleece material which keeps you warm, comfortable, and dry throughout your workout. Besides, the gloves have an anti-slip palm design to ensure you have a tight grip on our devices. You'll also enjoy using your phone or iPad with these gloves on because they have touch screen compatibility.

The gloves also feature a four-way stretch that provides a snug and flexible fit.

And if you have sweaty palms, the gloves have a moisture-wicking capability that ensures your hands stay dry.

6. PRISAFETY Handlandy Running Gloves

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Another excellent option for individuals who love running at night or early in the morning is the PRISAFETY Handlandy Running Gloves.

These gloves feature bright fluorescent colors that will ensure you stand out on the track. But that's not all they have to offer.

The gloves also feature a thermal lining that ensures your hands stay warm throughout your run. What's more, they have a great stretch which provides a tight and comfortable fit to give you a hassle-free experience.

In addition to this, the thumb and index fingers of the gloves are touchscreen compatible to enable you to use your devices without exposing your hands to the cold.

Amazon buyers can't stop raving about these gloves.

7. Adidas AWP Shelter Gloves

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You've got to expect a lot from Adidas since they've been in the industry for such a long time and they're among the top brands when it comes to sporting gear.

When it comes to the Adidas AWP Shelter Gloves, the company doesn't disappoint.

These gloves are among the best running gloves for women and men.

One of the reasons they stand is the fact that they feature reflective accent styling, which gives you the confidence to run at night. What's more, the gloves have an inner that provides comfort and breathability. To add to this, they have extended cuffs which are excellent for preventing updrafts.

The gloves also have several touchscreen compatible points and excellent grip.

8. New Balance Lightweight Running Gloves

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If you're looking for the best running gloves in 2020, the New Balance Lightweight Running Gloves should also be at the top of your list.

New Balance combines polyester, spandex, and fleece to give you a high-quality pair of gloves that provides, comfort, warmth, and protection against the elements.

The gloves are also anti-microbial and have touchscreen compatible tips on the thumbs and index fingers to make using your devices possible.

These gloves are also very stylish and come in three colors.

Fight the Cold with the Best Running Gloves

a girl in a cold weather wearing gloves

​Via Unsplash

You don't have to give up your precious time outdoors because of the weather change. Buy one of these running gloves and get your fitness goals on track this winter. Based on what customers have to say about these gloves, we are confident you'll enjoy using them.

Have you tried any of these gloves? Did they meet your expectations? Please share your views in the comments section below.

​Featured Image Source: Unsplash

How Should Running Shoes Fit? Things To Know Before Lacing Up

a runner tying his shoe

We've all been there, trying on shoes at the store and asking ourselves "How should running shoes fit?" You don't want to get the wrong pair. That means blisters and possibly a sprained ankle.

So, do you guess? Nope.

Instead, learn how to fit shoes the right way.

When it comes to choosing the right running shoes, there's more to think about than you might realize. With the right information, you can choose a pair of shoes that will let you run like the wind -- and do it safely and comfortably.

How Should Running Shoes Fit?

tying the lace of the shoe

​Via Pixabay

So, how should running shoes fit? While you can guess at your shoe size and do the old "Feel the tips of your toes" routine, there is a better way to find the perfect fit. You can size your feet properly and look for a snug fit. Also, check out the arch, the collar, and the flexibility of the shoe.

Can you find a good shoe just by trying it on for a few seconds? Theoretically, anything is possible, but running shoes are not something you want to take chances with. That's why you need to learn how running shoes should fit before you hit the store.

Running Shoes and Your Feet

Feet wearing the black pair of shoes

​Via Pixabay

Here's something you may not have known until now: when choosing running shoes, think about foot mobility.

That is, how flexible is your foot? Some people have springy feet that can bend and arch with no problem. Others have rather stiff feet. Knowing your foot mobility will go a long way towards answering the question "How should running shoes fit?"

The more inflexible your foot, the more flexible the shoe you need.

That's just one thing to look out for. You need to make sure that your runners fit well because you don't want to live with painful heel blisters after each run. Even worse, a shoe that doesn't fit well could result in a rolled ankle. Ouch.

Let's dive right in.

How to size your feet

The first and most obvious, thing to look for is the right shoe size. But how do you know what size your feet really are?

Well, you can use the little foot measuring tool found at many shoe stores. Unfortunately not every retailer has one. Also, if you're ordering online, you'll need an alternative. But there's another way to measure your foot accurately.

Take a piece of paper and place it on the floor. Keep your socks on your foot and place your foot flat on the paper. Keep your body weight on that foot. Then bend down and trace an outline of your foot with a marker.

Now you can step off the paper. Next, take a ruler and measure down the length of your foot trace. This is your foot length. Measure the width of your foot across the thickest part. This is your foot width.

But it gets harder because shoe sizes in America don't follow actual measurements.

Shoe size and width

Wondering what your foot size looks like in shoe size? You're in for a confusing time, because there is no standard and each manufacturer interprets market trends in their own way.

The closest thing you can do is to approximate using the following information:

​Men's Shoe Size Conversion

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  • 9 1/2 inches = size 7.5
  • 10 inches = size 8.5
  • 10 1/2 inches = size 10
  • 11 inches = size 11
  • 12 inches = size 14

​​ Woman's Shoe Size Conversion

  • 8 1/2 inches = size 5
  • 9 inches = size 6
  • 9 1/2 inches = size 7.5
  • 10 inches = size 9
  • 10 1/2 inches = size 10.5

As for width, if you're a woman and your foot is over 3 inches wide, you'll want to go for a wide fit. If you're a man and your foot is more than 4 inches wide, get a wide fit.

Shoe material

Are you ready to learn how should running shoes fit based on what they're made with?

You see, materials play a big part in the comfort and performance of running shoes. You want something that matches the weather you'll be running in. Also, you need a shoe that will absorb sweat. For these reasons, synthetic and real leather should be avoided.

If you're running in a gym or in warm weather, go with nylon material. It's light and breathes easily. Something like the Nike Roshe One for men and women works perfectly in this case. Of course, you don't want nylon on a cold winter run.

In that case, you want to go with a warm, padded runner that includes thick, grippy rubber treads. The Under Armour Charged Reactor is one of the best winter running shoes you can buy today. These shoes are available for both men and women.

Heel drop

There's one last thing to look for in running shoes. If you want to know how should running shoes fit, check out the heel drop.

Heel drop is basically how thick the shoe's heel is. The thicker the heel, the greater the angle from the heel to the toe. This is the "drop." As natural minimalist running gets popular, shoes with minimal heel drop gain in popularity. The difference is actually quite extreme.

Get this.

Thicker shoe heels force you to run heel first. It's the first point of contact with the ground. On the other hand, less heel drop allows you to run on your midfoot, spreading the impact energy through your foot instead of up your leg.

Tips for Trying on New Running Shoes

hand holding a black shoe thinking how should running shoes fit

​Via Unsplash

Now you know a few things to look for in your next pair of shoes. Once you get to the store, you want to know how should running shoes fit. We've got some tips for you.

First, remember that everyone is different. Your feet are not the same as the person next to you (twins excluded). That's why foot mobility is so important.

Also, don't skimp on style. You can find some great deals on running shoes, but you want it to match your personal tastes. If you hate orange, don't buy orange shoes just because they were the cheaper option.

Wear socks

The first tip is always to wear socks when trying on shoes. You'll be running with socks on, so you want to know what the shoe will feel like with socks on.

If you can wear the same type of socks, you run in, even better.

Also, remember your foot will swell as it heats up. You don't want your socks and the shoe to be too snug when you're at comfortable room temperature.

Wiggle those toes

The next tip when deciding how should running shoes fit is to make sure you have room to wiggle your toes.

The area of the shoe from the last lace to the tip is called the toebox. You want a toebox that doesn't rub against your toes. It needs to be spacious enough for your foot to swell and spread out as you run.

Wiggle your toes and make sure they don't touch the sides.

Collar your ankles

Are you ready for another great tip? Of course, you are!

Here it is.

You know the padding around the opening of the shoe that sits around your ankles? That's called the collar. It's supposed to hold your ankles in place so your heel doesn't move around. Some shoes use thick padding to accomplish this. Some others hope a funky shape will do the job.

The collar is the worst part of the shoe. If it slips and slides while you're running expect heel blisters. Even worse, your Achilles tendon can get rubbed raw.

When you're trying on shoes, strap them to both feet and seriously walk around quite a bit. Does the collar slip and slide? Does your heel feel loose inside? Pay attention.

Feel the saddle

The area of the shoe that wraps from the laces on the top, down the instep, to the arch of your foot is called the saddle. In a way, it resembles a saddle.

This is a key area of the shoe. It's what holds it all together and also what holds your foot firmly inside the shoe. If it's too tight, you end up with severe pain and bruising. If it's too loose, you're looking at blister city.

Instead, it should feel comfortable and secure. It should make the shoe feel like a part of your foot. There should be no slippage. That being said, it should be flexible enough to allow the arch of your foot to naturally dome and spring back with each strike on the ground.

Roll your feet

Finally, check how flexible the shoe is by rolling your feet around.

By this, we mean roll your left foot onto its left side, and then your right foot onto its right side. Balance on your heels and feel how comfortable the shoe is rolling back and forth.

If your foot stays anchored inside, and the shoe was flexible enough to roll with your feet, then you may have found the perfect pair of running shoes.

Get Running!

A woman running in complete gear

​Via Pixabay

There's only one thing left for you to do. Get running!

How should running shoes fit? They need to be comfortable and secure. Now that you've got yourself a great pair of runners, it's time to hit the pavement (or the treadmill) and get that heart rate up.

We love running. And with the right pair of running shoes, we know that everyone can love running, too!

​Featured Image Source: Unsplash

Altra Running Shoes Review: A Zero Drop Pair Designed To Fit Perfectly

altra running shoes review: Altra AFM1837F Men's Torin 3.5 Road Running Shoe

You can’t get very far into an Altra running shoes review without coming across two of the most mysterious words in the multi-billion-dollar business of sporting goods.

Zero drop.

Sounds a little like something a football coach might yell at his star wide-receiver, right? Actually, zero drop refers to a specification that's widely discussed in the running shoe industry -- by manufacturers, exercise physiologists, and runners alike. It describes a "flat" shoe where there is no difference in height from the heel to the toe.

It's otherwise known as flat-footed or pretty darn close to it.

The philosophy behind zero drop shoes aim to correct a perceived mismatch between standard shoe design (which historically have the heel higher with cushioning than the toe) and the shape of our feet (which, as you're probably quite aware, do not).

In recent years, some in the industry have theorized that the modern design of shoes, where the heel sits higher than the toe, contributes to a significant number of common running injuries. By eliminating that difference, zero-drop shoes are intended to enable what some experts see as a more natural running form that puts less stress on the joints.

According to Forbes, the founders of Altra helped popularize "zero-drop" shoes, almost into a category of their own. The company's founders are even associated with the creation of the term "zero-drop." The company offers a wide variety of zero drop shoes for men and women running both on trails and the road.

You'll find the concept of "zero-drop" discussed at length in nearly every Altra running shoes review you read. Ours is no different.

So What’s Deal with the Drop? 

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First, though, let's consider what we know about the "drop spec" in shoes as it is a source of ongoing debate within the running community.

Hardcore runners like to evaluate shoes at least in part based on the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the shoe’s forefront. This is commonly referred to as the “heel-to-toe” offset. Virtually every shoe sold includes an offset measurement as one of its advertised specifications.

The significance of the offset measurements comes in relation to your running form. Runners in shoes with a higher offset tend to be people who strike the ground first with their heel. Lower-and-medium shoes encourage mid-foot strikes, according to REI Cooperative.

Shoes with a lower offset tend to have less cushioning, which is designed to direct your foot toward a more natural gait. Higher offset shoes have more cushioning in the heels, REI says.

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The most significant advantage of a zero-drop or lower drop shoe is a reduced risk of injury, say proponents. But recent research raises questions. A study described by Runner’s World found no difference in injury rates in groups of runners wearing zero drop shoes or others with a taller offset.

Whether you buy the research or not, fans point out that zero-drop or low-drop shoes have plenty of advantages. They tend to be lighter, feel more natural on foot, and provide greater stability.

One issue that both proponents and critics agree on: if you’re used to running in a more traditional shoe with a higher offset, you should switch to a zero-drop shoe very carefully. A transition to zero drop may take months, according to The Wired Runner.

The best rule of thumb:: Go slow and listen to your feet. And read this Altra running shoes review to learn even more.

Altra Running Shoes Review 

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Altra's founders have helped drive zero-drop shoes into the consciousness of the running public. Marathoner Golden Harper and partners believe, then and now, that the flatter the shoe bed, the fewer the injuries. Given the growth of the company, since sold to the parent company of the North Face, he may have a point.

In addition to zero drop, Altra shoes also provide a toe box area that's wider. That allows the foot more space in the shoe and for the toes to sit normally and do the jobs they are intended to do in terms of keeping the foot stable.

Altra took the principles of building shoes around the natural design of feet even further in its shoes for women. The company developed what it calls Fit4Her technology, which aims to capture the unique nature of the female foot. Altra says the female foot is narrower in the heel, points to a higher instep, and a offers a longer arch.

One matter to make clear, as Harper tells Forbes: The term "zero-drop" has a very specific meaning when it comes to Altra shoes. Some have come to view zero drop as synonymous with "barefoot running" or "minimalist shoe" -- flat, with little or no cushion.

Altra believes in cushion, Harper tells Forbes. The company just believes it should be designed into the shoe as a flat.

As the company has evolved, it has begun to offer zero-drop shoes for other uses than running. However, that's probably not what you're here for. As this is an Altra running shoes review, let’s look at some of models you might be interested in wearing.

For the men 

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Are you someone who prefers the long distances? Take a long hard look at the Altra Torin 3.5.

Built with a synthetic mesh upper, the Torin 3.5 weighs about a half a pound -- very light for a well-cushioned shoe. It also offers an integrated tongue so you won't have to worry about the tongue migrating during your run and distracting your focus. If you don't mind a little extra weight, choose the knit version.

The Altra Torin 3.5 sells online for between $85 and $95. It gets 4.6 stars out of 5.0 on Amazon and is available in four different colors. Runner’s World calls it the most approachable shoe in the Altra line.

A 5-star reviewer on Amazon describes the Torin as the best Altra shoe yet. Less pleased was a customer from 2018, who found the shoe narrower than he expected and noted that it started wearing away quickly after a few months.

For the women 

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The Altra Escalante is Altra’s best-selling shoe and might offer just the right option for the female runner. First, how can you resist the cool raspberry color? It also comes in teal, blue, and four other cool colors.

The shoe weighs only about six ounces and comes with a knit upper. It also, of course, includes the patented Fit4Her technology, which aims to capture the unique structure of the woman’s foot.

The Altra Escalante 1.5 sells online for between $60 and $130. It scores an overall review of 4.5 stars out of 5.0 on Amazon.

One pleased runner described the Escalantes as "great shoes" that kept her free of rubbing or blisters. On the flip-side, a two-star reviewer said she felt she developed severe hip pain after wearing the shoes.

How We Reviewed Altra and Zero-Drop Shoes 

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Where else do you start evaluating running shoes except for Runner’s World? It’s a specialty magazine, for sure, but offers content to appeal to all types of runners – the hard-core multiple marathoners as well as the couch-to-5K runner.

Putting together our Altra running shoes review also required a deep dive into Altra’s site. We wanted to understand what types of offerings the company puts out for runners. And we wanted to know about its zero-drop philosophy.

We expanded our Altra running shoes review from there. To select alternative shoes, we looked at reviews and articles in different publications and web sites, such as REI.com, runningshoesguru.com, runningwarehouse.com, and others.

Finally, we dove into the websites of shoes that provide zero-drop alternatives to the Altra line. All in all, our search was more than, not less than, zero.

X marks the spot 

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We absolutely had to include this brand as a viable alternative in our Altra running shoes review. Not only does it get good reviews from customers, but the shoes themselves have zero in their name.

Xero zero-drop shoes from the appropriately named Feel the World Inc. of Colorado are built around the concept of natural -- natural feel, natural fit, natural motion. They promise wider toe boxes and flexible soles, including a patented "FeelTrue" material.

Our choice to look at in comparison to Altra was the Xero Prio, a minimalist shoe billed as suitable for running both on trails and the roads. The shoe is very lightweight, at just over a half a pound, and comes available in six different colors or styles.

In the Zero Prio, your foot will hover close to the ground, the way many believe it's supposed to.

Available for men and women, the Prio sells online for between $50 and $95. Reviewers at Amazon give the Prio a rating of 3.9 stars out of 5.0. One reviewer indicated that wearing the show helped him re-organize his running mechanics and encouraged a stronger core.

A less enthusiastic customer was unhappy with the shoe’s durability, writing that they started to fall apart after just 40 miles. You might say she felt she got zero for Xero.

Fits like a glove 

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The next alternative in our Altra running shoes review wants you to believe its shoes fit a little like a second skin. The Merrell Vapor Glove, available for women and men, is geared for use on trails.

They may well feel like a second skin – and you may not feel them at all. The men’s shoe weighs a whopping six ounces. Since trails present a different set of challenges, the shoe comes with a protection pad in case you step on unexpected obstacles.

Merrell's Women's Vapor Glove, now in its fourth edition, is available in many attractive and fashionable colors, such as "very grape" and "Persian red."

The Vapor Glove can be found online anywhere from $40 (if you’re lucky) to as high as $90. The shoe gets better reviews than Xero – scoring a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.0 from Amazon customers.

One reviewer of the women’s shoe found it to be incredibly lightweight and flexible, but with an underlying structure that some zero-drop shoes can’t offer. An unhappy reviewer criticized the shoe’s fit; while another reviewer was driven to distraction by the shoe’s squeaking.

All we can say is that we’ll take a squeaky shoe if it’s comfortable.

Brooks Pure Cadence 

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No wordplay in the next alternative in our Altra running shoes review. It's just an alternative to the zero drop. You don't have to go all the way to zero drop to get the benefits that enthusiasts champion.

The Brooks Pure Cadence is an attractive-looking shoe with a 4mm drop – perhaps giving you just enough ramp while keeping your foot in a natural position. Pure Cadence is mainly for women. However, you might also find men's sizes if you look hard enough.

Weighing less than half a pound, the Pure Cadence will appeal to runners with a medium to flat arch. The shoe has a rounded heel and a woven upper to allow for flexibility in your stride. The rounded heel assists in keeping your body and stride aligned, which eases pressure on your joints.

The Brooks Pure Cadence sells online for anywhere between $50 and $110. The line gets a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5.0 from customers on Amazon.

One customer who has run in the shoe praised it for accommodating her unusually narrow feet. Another positive review said the shoe helped clear up repeated problems with shin splints.

A less favorable wearer felt that the shoe was too tight for her liking. Others related problems with fits, finding the show too big for their needs even in their own personal sizes.

Keep the Pure Cadence and other minimal drop shoes on your list when trying to find a shoe that works.

Don't Drop the Ball 

It's time for our verdict before closing our Altra running shoes review. Having experienced our own foot troubles from running, we admit to being skeptical about zero drop.

Running styles matter. And in the later miles of a long race, we feel that extra cushion and stability can help us through the tough end miles of a long race. Zero drop shoes might not be for everyone.

But we can't turn away from zero drop entirely. For our money, we would stick with the original in the field, the company that continues to innovate: Altra.

Do you have a pair of Altra shoes, or perhaps another zero drop shoe you're in love with? Tell us about it in the comments!

Featured Image Source: Amazon