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If you’re looking to boost your running routine and build muscle strength and agility faster, then buying a weighted vest for running could be a perfect option. As the name suggests, weighted vests are vests with weight-containing pockets and by adding extra weight to specific points in the vest, you can engage more muscles while you run on a treadmill or outdoors.
In this article, we put together our top picks of the best weighted vests for running enthusiasts. We also discussed the things you should look out for when shopping for weighted vests and some common questions about them.
Top 7 Best Weighted Vests for Running
The Mir air flow weighted vest for running is a high-quality vest designed to be lightweight and breathable while adding extra load for running. Although it might appear a little bulky for some people, it has adjustable straps to provide a perfect fit and allows you to have a very comfortable running experience.
The weights, ranging from 20lbs to 60lbs, can be swapped out to your desired capacity, allowing you to tailor the load to your fitness goal. And after your workouts, you can simply take the weights off and throw the vest into a washing machine as it is fully machine washable.
You get a lifetime limited warranty with the Mir Air flow weighted vest, making it a great product at a good price.
The Ironwear speed-vest starts our list of the best weighted vests for running for having a versatile design that suits both light and intensive workouts. It boasts a slim design, adjustable loads (one per pocket), and a double lock system that keeps the vest stable. Its material allows free flow of air which gives room for expansion during use.
The Ironwear Speed-Vest (long) is easy to wash and maintain either by hand or machine. The weights are adjustable and removable from each pocket, allowing users to set their desired weight goal.
Following the Ironwear speed-vest, is the upgraded/premium weighted vest from Ironwear. The new speed-vest has been built to have an ultra-slim and ergonomic design. It has twenty adjustable weight pockets that are evenly distributed to enhance comfortability. It also features padded belts that hold the vest in place during use making it safer and more convenient to use.
Just like the regular Ironwear speed vest, the premium model features adjustable chest straps with an improved four-layer shoulder pad for support. It also has an outer layer of large pore mesh that allows free airflow while working out, so that you don’t have to be trapped in your own sweat.
The Aduro Sport Adjustable Weighted Vest made with sweat-resistant materials is worthy of a mention on our picks of the best weighted vests for running. It has an ergonomic slim design made from a padded soft neoprene material which makes it surprisingly comfortable to wear. It also features easily adjustable straps which so that finding the perfect fit is as easy as adjusting the straps. The vest contains six weight packs that weigh 2lbs each. These weight packs are mainly filled with iron pellets and you can adjust the total weight by adding or removing the packs.
Finally, it has two main pockets: a mesh pocket at the back and a Velcro pocket at the front. Both pockets are lined with reflective materials that improve safety while running at night and you do not need to worry about where to keep your small accessories. Overall, the Aduro Sport adjustable weighted vest is a great pick for runners who want something light and stylish.
The Runmax Pro Weighted Vest, with a wide variety of weight options, is one of our favorite weighted vests for running. It has a snug fit design with additional shoulder padding to make it convenient and comfortable, and the sandbags used as adjustable weights are versatile for a wide array of challenges.
It has a handy pocket for accessory storage, a water bottle holder, and impressive weight distribution to prevent back and muscle strain.
However, the higher weight-bearing capacity makes the Runmax Pro vest look considerably bulky. This aside, you’re getting a very functional and affordable weighted vest for running with a lifetime warranty.
CAP Barbell makes a variety of weighted vests of high quality. Their weighted vests for running start from 40lbs capacity and go up all the way to 150lbs for the very hardcore runners. It features adjustable sandbag weights contained in separate packets and thick padded shoulder straps that allow for a comfortable and secure fit. It has anchor hooks (if you ever decide to jump from a plane with a parachute) as well as reflective strips to aid visibility at night.
The CAP Barbell weighted vest can fit both men and women perfectly, using the adjustable side straps. If the bulky size is not an issue for you, the CAP Barbell vest is one of the best weighted vests for running that you can buy right now.
Our last entry, the Hyperwear Hyper Vest FIT is made of soft, high-quality fabric with reflective strips that make it comfortable and safe for outdoor use. The material is breathable and fits snugly to the body, thanks to a lightweight design and adjustable straps. The weights are interchangeable which allows you to choose your preferred weight before the start of your running routine. It comes with a total of ten plastic weights containing steel shots instead of the more popular/less durable sandbags.
Fit for jogging, running, and various aerobic workouts, the Hyperwear Hyper FIT weighted vest, though pricey when compared to some others on our list, comes wholly recommended.
How to choose the best weighted vest for running.
Here are some essential factors to consider when shopping for running vests.
Weighted vests come in various sizes, small, medium, and large. If you’re a lady, you should look out for vests specifically made for the female body as this ensures you have a snug fit wear. Also, adjustable straps and padded shoulders are added advantages to look out for when shopping for a weighted vest. It’s not a bad idea to look great while working out.
Most brands make vests with a wide range of weights. It’s not uncommon to see a brand with both a 40lbs and a 60lbs vest. The good news about weight consideration when buying weighted vests is that most of them are adjustable and removable. You must however be wary of a few brands that make one-size or non-adjustable vests.
Very few vests come without pockets. These pockets are handy, especially if you need to keep your gadgets and accessories close to you. Some vests come with a front and back pocket to aid flexibility. In addition, most vests use pocket flaps to add reflective strips and materials that make you more visible if you prefer to run outdoors in the evenings.
Most weighted vests are usually made with spandex, nylon, and polyester, which are durable materials. Blended synthetic materials such as Cordura found in the Hyperwear brand are less common. An essential consideration here is whether the material is breathable, so as to not trap sweat while you run, and how easy it is to clean/wash. For the latter, machine-washed materials have the advantage of being more convenient to clean over hand-washed weighted vests.
Frequently asked questions
What are the advantages of Wearing a Weighted Vest for Running?
Weighted vests for running sound like an extra challenge, as running itself is an arduous task. However, using these vests comes with the following benefits;
- Improved muscle strength due to the long term effect of running with extra weight
- Increased endurance from increased resistance while running
- It helps to burn calories faster as the more you weigh, the more calories you burn.
- Improved cardiovascular health from efficient blood flow and increased respiratory functions.
- Strong bones and improved fitness.
How heavy should a weighted vest be for running?
There’s no specific weight for all users as people differ in weight and fitness goals. Most weighted vests come with adjustable weight options. You can also remove and add the weights as you like. The most important thing is to make sure you start light and ensure the weights are secured to prevent unforeseen injury. Some experts advise starting with a vest that is 20 percent of your body weight. If you wish to go higher as a beginner, consult your trainer or physician.
Can Weighted Vests make you run faster?
Weighted vests give you an undoubted boost when it comes to endurance. This is because of the accumulated effect of running with extra weight on your body. You develop more endurance when you’re off the vest. As for speed, the same thing applies. Over time, your leg muscles develop giving you an extra edge in speed when you run without the vest.
Are Weighted Vests Safe for Running?
Weighted vests are generally safe for running. However, certain precautions must be taken to ensure safety.
- If you have an underlying health condition, consult your medical practitioner before using weighted vests.
- Start small. Most vests come with adjustable weight and, as such, make use of lighter loads before you embark on heavier ones.
- Get a vest that fits but not tight. Oversized vests can lead to falling off of weights thereby, causing injury.
- Maintain a proper posture while training to avoid spine and muscle injury.
To sum it up, buying a weighted vest for running should be a no-brainer if you’re looking to add some challenge to your regular routine and most of our recommended vests should suit you well.
Last update on 2021-09-20. Affiliate links and images from Amazon product advertising API