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The Best iPhone Armbands for Runners

Jun. 30, 2017

We run for all sorts of reasons. It might be to fit into those skinny jeans, ward off heart disease, or beat a personal record. Some people use running to get closer to nature and disconnect from the chaos of daily life; for others there are compelling reasons to run with a smartphone.

First and foremost there's safety. If you're heading for the hills on a long run and twist an ankle 10 miles from home, you're able to call a friend to come to your rescue. The same goes if you come across another injured (and phoneless) runner.

Then there's music. While some runners scoff at those who plug in and pump up the jams, many studies suggest athletes perform better with a soundtrack. In fact, in his book, Inside Sport Psychology (2010), renowned sport psychologist Costas Karageorghis claims listening to invigorating music can boost an athlete's performance by up to 15 percent, equating it with legal performance-enhancing drugs. After all, sometimes all it takes is an epic chorus line to push you up that last hill, am I right? Not to mention, a solid playlist can do wonders for beating treadmill boredom.

Thirdly, if you run competitively keeping your phone by your side can make your workouts more efficient. App stores are overflowing with fitness apps that track stats like distance, time, elevations, splits, routes, and run history. Analyzing that data can help you measure your progress and motivate you to beat a previous race time.

Now that we've covered the benefits of running with your phone, let's get down to logistics. Holding your phone isn't practical; it gets bathed in sweat and you can bet you'll eventually drop it on the pavement. Stashing it in your pocket—if you even have one—isn't ideal either because it bounces around with every stride.

So what's a runner to do? Invest in an armband to keep your smartphone safe no matter the obstacles you're up against. You want one that will endure rainy runs and sweaty sprints, include pockets for your keys and cash, and maintain your phone's touch-screen capabilities. We found seven sporty armbands that fit the bill.

Pro tip: If your armband allows it, slip your phone in upside down so you can more easily read the display.

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