Weight vests are an excellent way to get the maxim results out of your running. You’d be surprised how much they can help to prepare you for competitive events.

Or to drop a few extra pounds.

But before you just pick up the first weight vest you can find, make sure you consider this.

There are products that are suitable for strength training like push-ups and pull-ups, but they will likely be less than suitable for running.

The problem is how much they end up bouncing on your body, which can be distracting and sore.

So, we’ve tested out 51 different products to come up with this list of the best weighted vests for runners.

Our Top Weighted Vests For Running

1 - Tone Fitness Weighted Vest (Editor's Choice)

Tone Fitness Weighted Vest

This Tone Fitness product is at the top of our list of best weighted vests for runners for two important reasons.

First of all, it’s very comfortable, and you hardly feel any shoulder pressure even on longer runs. Secondly, the completely open front means you won’t excessively sweat with it.

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Weight: 12 lbs
Pros
  • Shoulder straps provide a comfortable fit
  • Fast to put on and take off with just one clasp
  • Completely open front design for better cooling
  • One size fits all with an adjustable front strap
Cons
  • It’s not an adjustable weight vest

Just keep in mind that you can’t add to the vest as you gain higher fitness levels.

2 - Zelus Weighted Vest

Zelus weighted vest

What we liked about the Zelus are the good weight options and the broad shoulder straps.

This helps to distribute the weight more evenly without causing pressure points that can cause stiffness on longer runs.

There’s also an enclosed pocket on the front to safely keep your phone. And the ventilated design should reduce the amount of sweating.

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Weight: 4 to 20 lbs
Pros
  • Wider than average shoulder padding for more comfort
  • Front zipper pocket to hold your smartphone
  • Breathable material seems to reduce sweating
Cons
  • Slimmer people might find they can’t tighten it enough

We just heard from a few female clients that they thought it didn’t tighten enough on their slim upper bodies.

3 - Adurance Weighted Vest

Adurance Weighted Vest

If you tend to go for a run when it’s dark, then safety should be a top priority. With this Adurance vest, you get a large reflective strip on both the front and back.

We also liked the mesh pockets on the back. They are tight enough to keep a few things like your phone and keys or some snacks for longer runs.

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Weight: 6 to 18 lbs
Pros
  • Reflective strips on the front and back
  • Convenient mesh pocket on the back
  • Very well balanced feeling even when running at faster speeds
Cons
  • Parts of the straps seem to be a little bit rough

Just be careful with some areas of the straps where the material can rub on your skin a bit and make it sore.

4 - Cross101 weighted vest

Cross101 weighted vest

We’ve seen a few people wear this one in cross-training workout sessions, and it’s great because you can pile on a bit more weight.

There’s also a water bottle holder that fits larger bottles and keeps them from bouncing around too much.

  • Material: Nylon and Neoprene
  • Weight: 20 to 80 lbs
Pros
  • Available as heavier options for higher intensity training
  • Includes a convenient water bottle holder
  • Cool camouflage pattern
Cons
  • Slightly limited range of motion due to full body design

Just keep in mind that you might have some limited movement with the vest if you plan to use it for other types of exercises.

5 - miR Air Flow Weighted Vest

MiR Air Flow WEighted Vest

The miR adjustable weighted vest gives you two design options. One with a fully closed front part to it and the other with a zipper that some people find makes it easier to get on and off.

If you’re going for one of the heavier ones, then I think that could be a good idea.

The weights come out easily enough so that you can adjust it quickly enough if you want to switch from running to other types of exercises.

  • Material: Washable Cotton
  • Weight: 20 to 60 lbs
Pros
  • Also available with a zipper front for easier removal
  • Maximizes airflow to help you stay cool
  • Easily adjustable with removable iron weights
Cons
  • Position of the weights can limit deep breathing

The only thing we found with the miR adjustable weighted vest is that the weights sit quite high on your chest, which can limit your breathing.

6 - ZFOSports Weighted Vest

ZFOSports Weighted Vest

This is another one size fits all option with a great range of weights to give you a lot more flexibility when it comes to making changes to your training intensity.

We also liked that it fits tightly, which reduces the amount of bouncing or rubbing on the skin that can become very uncomfortable.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 12 to 50 lbs
Pros
  • Convenient front pocket to keep a phone and keys
  • Fits tight but comfortable to reduce rubbing and bouncing
  • Even weight distribution with wide straps to reduce pressure points
Cons
  • It’s not the easiest to keep clean

Because of the material design, it tends to repel less sweat, which makes cleaning it more of a challenge.

7 - RunfastMax Pro Weighted Vest

RunfastMax Pro Weighted Vest

The RunfastMax Pro weighted vest has a durable enough material that a lot of our clients like to use for obstacle course challenges and cross country training.

Even with the higher weight limit, you’ll find that the straps are wide enough to properly distribute the pressure.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 12 to 60 lbs
Pros
  • Very durable materials even when used for obstacle courses
  • Straps on tightly to reduce bounce when running faster
  • Includes a phone pocket and water bottle holder
Cons
  • Removing the weight plates is a bit difficult

It’s just not the simplest option to get the weights in and out, so keep that in mind if you like switching intensity in your running.

8 - Cap Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

Cap Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

The Cap Barbell Adjustable weighted vest is most suitable for people who really want to take their training up a level with a range from 40 to 150 pounds.

It’s relatively quick and easy to swap out a weight if you need to, and we liked that the materials don’t tend to get sweaty and smelly. It should be easy enough to wipe down after use.

  • Material: Nylon and Polyester
  • Weight: 40 to 150 lbs
Pros
  • One of the highest weight limits we could find
  • Easy to adjust the weight vest pockets as needed
  • Sweat-resistant so doesn’t get smelly
Cons
  • The really heavy vest might not be suitable for running

We just found the 150-pound option didn’t sit quite comfortable enough for running or hiking, as it resulted in a few pressure points.

9 - GoFit Papped Adjustable Weighted Vest

GoFit Papped Adustable Weighted Vest

We noticed a lot of people in online forums talk about this weight vest and its durability. Some people have been using it for years with no signs of wear and tear.

And if you tend to run in all weather conditions, you’ll like the fact that it repels water rather than get soggy and wet.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 10 to 40 lbs
Pros
  • Very durable materials should see you using it for years
  • Water-repelling so it doesn’t get saturated in rain
  • Large reflective strip on the front and back
Cons
  • Difficult to remove the weights from the pouches

What we didn't like is that the pouches are tight, and that makes it tough to get the weights in and out.

10 - Pure Fitness Adjustable Weighted Belt

Pure Fitness Adjustable weighted belt

This one is popular with a lot of runners who go running along roads with a lot of traffic. The vest is highly reflective, which should make things a lot safer for you.

It’s also a good weighted vest for women and men, as the straps are highly adjustable to different body sizes.

  • Material: Nylon and Terylene
  • Weight: 20 lbs
Pros
  • Highly reflective material for safer runs in the dark
  • Snug fit means it won’t bounce around while running
  • The vest comes with broad shoulder straps that spread out the weight better
Cons
  • Switching out weights is quite difficult

I just wouldn’t buy this if you need to regularly adjust the weight as it’s difficult to get at them.

Buyer’s Guide

vest for running

Here are the seven areas that you want to keep in mind before making your final decision.

1. Durable Materials

My experience with weight vests has been that they almost take as much punishment as your runners do.

That’s why you cannot underestimate how important heavy-duty materials are to make sure you don’t end up replacing your vest every year.

Nylon [1] or neoprene material are the two best options we found, and a combination of both works great.

Look for the softer neoprene on the straps and any other padding, while any areas that support the weights should be tough nylon.

2. Water And Sweat Resistant

You want running vests to be heavy with sand or iron, not rain or sweat.

The most important thing for me is that I like to wash down my running vest with a wet cloth, rather than having to take out all the weights every time to put it in the wash.

The more sweat-resistant the materials are, the less smell you’ll notice. This can also be achieved with certain chemical treatments that work as an antibacterial barrier.

3. Weight Limits

wearing a weighted vest

There are two things you want to keep in mind here.

First of all, each vest will have an upper limit, and you should avoid going above that limit.

It happened to me before that I overloaded a vest, and it started to tear quickly.

Secondly, if you like switching around your training intensity, then you’ll need a vest with adjustable weight pockets.

These allow you to add and remove weights up to the max.

“Wearing a weighted vest could help people lose weight by making them burn more calories and by tricking their body into reducing a person’s appetite so that they eat less, a new study has found.”

- Tom Bawden, Contributor at iNews.co.uk

It’s also a great option if you plan to use the same vest for running and other workouts like CrossFit, where you’ll need to make adjustments.

4. Type Of Weights

You’ll generally find two types commonly used.

Lighter vests will typically use either small bags and pockets of sand. The advantage of this is that it’s a cheaper solution and still works very well.

But, I have found a few vests where the sand pockets weren’t watertight. As a result, the sand becomes wet, and the vest is heavier.

My preferred option is dedicated iron weight plates that slip into tight pockets. These should make it a lot easier to adjust the weights, and they remain very accurate.

You might also notice some vests that have pockets of small iron balls. Apparently, they are a bit cheaper than the plates, and personally, I don’t think there should be an issue with them.

5. Breathability And Ventilation

fixing vest

You’ll find the running vests that only have straps on the front tend to provide the best amount of ventilation.

But you’ll always have some part of the vest covering your upper and possibly lower back.

Some of you might think: I’m going to sweat anyway, so why would this matter.

Well, the more sweat that doesn’t get away from your skin can make things very uncomfortable and even sore.

The vest and your clothes could end up rubbing on your skin, causing blisters.

6. Type Of Padding

In order to get the most comfortable fit, you’ll need to take a close look at the straps and the padding.

First of all, the shoulder straps need to be wide enough to better distribute the pressure on your shoulders. 

But they also need thick foam padding so that you don’t feel a lot of pressure in one place.

Also, a lot of vests are one size fits all, and that means you need to look for good adjustments to make it fit tight and comfortable enough.

7. Storage Pockets

workout vest

If you regularly go on longer runs, then you might want more than just a small pocket for your smartphone.

It’s great to listen to some music while you’re running, but if you want to stay hydrated, then you’ll need somewhere to keep a water bottle.

The problem is that it needs to be a tight-fitting pocket. I had one vest where the bottle ended up being quite loose. And as a result, it slipped out regularly, which was a major pain in the you-know-what.

So, always check that there are either elasticated or adjustable straps on pockets to keep things safe.

FAQs

Do Weighted Vests Hurt Your Back When Running?

No, weighted vests shouldn’t hurt your back while running unless you have pre-existing back problems. With the right padding and shoulder strap design, you should be able to evenly distribute the pressure to not develop any pressure points.

Does Running With a Weighted Vest Build Muscle?

Yes, running with a weighted vest can build muscle. You would need to run at high-intensity levels to fully strain your muscles. As a result, your body will respond by repairing the strained leg muscles and adding new muscle fibers.

How Many Extra Calories Does a Weighted Vest Burn?

A weighted vest can burn 10% to 15% more calories [2]. Some studies have shown higher results, but this is a good average to work on. It mainly depends on the weight of the vest, the terrain you’re running, and the average speed you run at.

Is Running With a Weighted Vest Better Than With a Backpack?

Yes, running with a weighted vest is better than with a backpack. Most backpacks are not designed to fit your body closely to avoid it bouncing around. A backpack is likely to start rubbing on your shoulders and back, which can become very painful.

Which Weighted Vest Is Best For Running?

The majority of people will find the Tone Fitness to be one of the best vests available.

Yes, it’s not the heaviest, but the open front design and very comfortable straps mean that you’ll barely notice that you’re running with it attached to your body.

Order yours today, and then let us know how much of a difference it made.

Tone Fitness Weighted Vest

Tone Fitness Weighted Vest

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Shoulder straps provide a comfortable fit
  • Fast to put on and take off with just one clasp
  • Completely open front design for better cooling
  • One size fits all with an adjustable front strap
Check Current Price
payment icons

HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS?

Join the discussion here on Facebook.

About the author

  • I’ve tried your #1 and #3 recommendation and I liked PhenQ more because I lost more weight. These pills are definitely the best thermogenic fat burner for men (not sure for the ladies tho)

  • I immediately purchased one of the products highlighted by Isaac. Since then, I have been taking for a week now. I never usually take any of this kind of pills for anything, but I wanted to shed a few pounds that I have gained over this quarantine period which has been hard to get off and it is pissing me off. I’m taking two pills twice a day. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I do feel and notice an immediate boost in energy and a little parched. So, make sure you stay hydrated with this when taking this. Also I ride my bike at least 3 times a week and it would take me about 45 min in before I start sweating before I started using this. Now with the pills, I am totally drenched in sweat 15 min into my activity. So evidently something extra must have been working on with me. I don’t know if this is the pill or not, but I find myself eating less and not snacking as much. I can’t even finish 1 plate of food anymore. My body does feel like it is changing, and I can already see a little difference from now even after just a couple of weeks. I will keep taking and hope for the best. Overall, I am glad I listened to Isaac about his thoughts. Please do listen to him as well.

  • Before I will start, I would like to extend my gratitude for the effort Isaac has been putting to help us with our decisions. Thank you, man. Now, let me tell you what I have experienced. Actually, this product is pretty amazing!!! A big disclaimer is if you put in the work. As I have noticed, it decreases my appetite so I’ve found that I only eat about half portions at meal times. I eat kind of healthy to begin with but I do not stick to a strict or specific diet as some of you may have been doing. I purchased this not a few while back and started using it immediately after preparing my needs. It gave me energy to do extensive physical activities, and even just do simple household tasks which we all men avoid to do. When I started, I initially weighed in around 160 pounds. I had previously been prescribed with another product by a friend but I was looking for something that fits my budget. I wanted to lose 10 more pounds and figured I could do so with a bottle of this. Just this morning, I weighed myself and I am 150.2. To be honest, I don’t work out every day since I am busy with work, but this has really controlled my appetite which has always been my biggest issue. So my advice is for people out there is listen to what Isaac say. He truly knows what he is sharing and people must try it! It’s at a great value to try it out because it really helped me deal with losing that last stubborn few pounds. Thankful for Isaac. Let’s keep on losing those unwanted pounds!

  • One of these product works and I’m glad I stumbled upon your post before actually purchasing one! But, it would be unfair for the product if it works and you are no doing your part. So you also have to do your part. What I am trying to say is this. I’m a huge snacker every afternoon. So at noontime I take 2 pills. It holds me over til dinner. Simple as that! I’m up before the sun rises every day. I have would take the usual breakfast. Before lunchtime, I have to eat a nice size lunch. Then by noontime, I pop 2 of these pills and these pills will take me until the sun sets. When the night comes, I eat dinner. Done and that’s my usual routine. What may have worked for me may not necessarily work for you. So you have to figure out for yourselves the right time to take these pills and you’ll see results! Thanks Sir Robertson. I am a huge fan of yours.

  • At first I was unsure about this product but when I started doing my research, I ended up in Isaac’s post. I have been trusting him for my decisions when it comes to this thing. I got encouraged to order some right away and believe it or not, that was the last money I had left on my debit card. But I wanted to try this product so much that I said why not plus the words came from your trusted writer Isaac who had a lot to do with me making up my mind whether I was going to try this product or not. When I finally ordered it, I couldn’t wait to get it. When I received it, I started using it immediately and I started seeing results immediately. I am a part of a gym so I’m working out as well. the stubborn pounds are just melting off like sweat. It’s like someone put it in a pot and it just melted away like magic. I am glad I listened. Thanks Isaac.

  • I’ve just started using this product when I found out that Sir Isaac has done and posted his thoughts on these. As soon as I began, I have noticed a significant reduction in my appetite. I’m usually someone who has constant cravings that are uncontrollable – not just simple hunger, but that pregnancy-strength cravings similar to what my wife has experienced when she was pregnant. Those cravings that can only be satisfied with whichever specific food. With this product, I’ve found that I’m much more in control of what I actually put in my mouth, not just how much, and it’s really helped me stick to my goals. I also have really appreciated the professionalism of Isaac in the way he conveys his thoughts. It’s clear that he genuinely cares about his avid readers’ experience. 10/10 will purchase again when I am out of stock. Thanks!

  • I have always been skeptical of these kinds of products. I have researched so much throughout the years on many brands and products. I finally decided to give this brand and formula a shot since Isaac has been my trusted writer over the years. When I tried it, actually it works. I started out with one pill as recommended for about a week, then been doing 2 since then. I’ve lost about 10 pounds, and I’m still using the product now as of writing. I would recommend these if you’re looking for a true pill that works like magic. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it does, and I’m glad I bought them. Thanks for encouraging me Isaac. I am a more invested reader starting now.

  • First of all, thank you Isaac for the thorough list. I tried this because the I have been his reader since who knows when. Also I’m the father of the bride in 3 weeks with a hundred things to prepare for and lots of pictures to pose for soon. This product is amazing. I’m only on day 2 and will keep you guys posted in a month if I remember to write it. Day 1 was unreal. I had no idea I could feel so alert, able to make quicker decisions that have been hard planning a wedding. My house hasn’t been this clean in a while and I had energy all day to clean it. My mood was better than it’s been in a long time. While I’m certainly not an expert in this area, I’m so glad to feel the benefits of this on day 1 taking one pill twice a day. I can feel the appetite suppressant working however I’m more happy about the mood boost and energy at this time. If your hesitant to try a product like this, I can say this is worth a try for everything it says! Plus Isaac has written it out so there is nothing to worry really. I’m looking forward to seeing more results after a month on this product.

  • I have seen several negative posts about these products however I did not believe them knowing that Isaac is my most trusted writer when it comes to this topic. After buying it, I immediately took it up. It works fine to me and lost 15 pounds already in a month. Of course, you also have to do your part. Try not to eat anything that’s white like bread, rice, and flour. Also drink greens such as blend, shake or smoothies whichever works for you. For dinner, I eat salad. Most important is that you eat right. If you are full then don’t eat until your tummy tells you to eat something. Take a pill when you wake up, drink greens for lunch then have healthy meal for dinner. You cannot just take a pill and not doing anything or eat all you want to. This WILL NOT help you lose weight!!!

  • I don’t normally use products or dietary pills but when weight keeps you from doing what you want you’ll find any means to change that. Initially, I started using this product to help my metabolism in conjunction with going to the gym and only a few weeks after I started I’ve already lost 8 pounds. If this product didn’t work for me then I wouldn’t leave a comment like this. But it does. So if you’re considering a product that will help you shed off those pounds, this is what I would consider a tried and true product you should consider purchasing. Thank you Isaac. I am new to your blog but I am glad I listened to your loyal readers.

  • Will try this product and leave a review in 1 month. I tend to gain and lose fat very fast so this should be interesting.