Want to burn more calories and build strength on your run?
We reviewed 95 of the best selling weighted running vests of 2023 to bring you the top 9!
Below you’ll find vests for every budget, size and weight requirement along with the ultimate guide to choosing and learning to use a weighted vest in your runs.
A quick peek at the best weighted vests for running
- Most comfortable weighted running vest >> Hyperwear Elite Vest (Review)
- Snuggest fitting running vest >> MIR Air Flow (Review)
- Best value for money weighted running vest >> Lekaro (Review)
- Best vest for short runs >> Gymnastics Power (Review)
- Great value for short runs >> Cross101 (Review)
- Best value for highest weight vest >> RunMax Pro (Review)
- Best budget comfortable weighted vest for running >> Zelus (Review)
- Best budget choice of colors for weighted running vest >> Henkelion (Review)
- Cheapest weighted vest for running >> Aduro Sport (Review)
Best weighted vest for running
The most comfortable weighted running vest that actually feels like clothing.
The Hyperwear Elite vest is the ultimate for weighted runs
- Hand Washable
- Thin profile for best fit and movement
- High range of motion
- Fits like clothing
- Very adjustable
- Difficult to change weights
A weight vest that balances weight capacity with flexibility and unrestricted movement.
- Machine washable
- Air flow design for a cooler run
- Enhanced range of motion with a short torso design
- Snug fit
- Very adjustable
- Bit bulky when fully weighted
More than just a running vest this is a great value fitness bundle with a weighted vest, wrist, and ankle weights including 100 steel plates totaling 45LB.
Customize the weight distribution using numerous pockets for a personalized workout.
Its comfortable with a slim design and very breathable while running
- Includes wrist weights and leg weights
- Slim design
- Velcro straps can wear out
Solid vest that will last. Easy to adjust and change weight. It's not very breathable so much better for short runs. The shoulder pads provide great cushioning making it very comfortable.
- Zip packet
- Great quality and durability
- Adjustable fit for comfort during various exercises
- Easy to add or remove weights
- Not very breathable
Affordable, high max weight, comfy, but lacks breathability. An ideal budget weighted vest for short runs.
- Water bottle holder
- Good price
- High max weight
- Poor breathability
- Can impede range of motion
A great choice to add some serious weight with a very high max weight and very adjustable. Better suited for those with a larger frame
- Storage pocket
- "High max weight
- Very adjustable
- Detachable shoulder pads"
- A bit bulky
Top affordable and comfy running vest with elastic and adjustable front pockets. Users find it very comfortable and reasonably priced. Note: Weight cannot be modified after purchase.
- Elastic pocket and adjustable front pocket
- Very comfortable
- Locked into the weight you purchase
An affordable and compact weighted vest, perfect for running without breaking the bank. Available in 5 different colors
- Reflective strips
- Storage pocket
- Simple design
- Good range of motion
- Bounces a bit
- Can not adjust weight
A very simplistic weight vest for lightweight static exercise routines but not cardio
- Hand Washable
- Storage pocket
- Simple to use
- Mesh pocket
- Can bounce a bit
- Often needs adjusting
How we chose these weighted vests
The weighted vests featured in this article were chosen using specific criteria:
Product specifications and features: We evaluated important details like vest style, available weights, adjustable weights, shoulder pads, along with special features such as breathability, pockets, range of motion and bounce, to identify the top choices.
Customer reviews: The vests on our list have received mostly positive feedback from customers.
Price: We included a diverse selection of vests to cater to different budget preferences.
Quick comparison of the best weighted vests for running
|Weighted Vest||Vest Style||Available Weights||Adjustable Weights||Shoulder Pads||Other features|
|Hyperwear Hyper Elite||10 lb base with max capacity of 42 lbs||Yes||No||Hand Washable, thin profile for more movement|
|MIR Air Flow||20, 30, 40, 50, 60 lbs||Yes||No||Machine washable, air flow design for sweating|
|Lekaro||Up to 45 lbs over 100 steel plates||Yes||Yes||Includes wrist weights and leg weights|
|Gymnastics Power||6, 10, 12, 25, 35, 45, 60 lbs||Yes||Yes||Adjustable fit|
|Cross101||20, 40, 60, 80 lbs||Yes||Yes||Water bottle holder|
|RunMax Pro||20, 40, 50, 60, 80, 120 lbs||Yes||Yes||Storage pocket|
|Zelus||Vest||6, 8, 12, 16, 20, 25, 30 lbs||No||Yes||Elastic pocket and adjustable front pocket|
|Henkelion||Vest||4, 12, 16 lbs||No||No||Reflective strips, storage pocket, available in 5 different colors.|
|Aduro Sport||Vest||4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 20, 25, 30 lbs||No||No||Hand Washable, storage pocket|
What is a weighted vest?
A weighted vest is essentially a vest that’s designed to add extra weight to your body during exercise or daily activities. It contains small pockets or compartments where you can add weights, such as sandbags, metal plates, or other heavy materials, to increase the overall load on your body.
Weighted vests make workouts more challenging and increase the effectiveness of bodyweight exercises, strength training, and cardiovascular activities.
By adding extra resistance to your activities, you can increase the intensity of your training and target specific muscle groups more effectively.
What are weighted vests used for?
Weighted vests are generally used when running and hiking, during bodyweight exercises (like push-ups, pull-ups, and squats), and plyometric exercises. They are also utilized in certain athletic training programs to help athletes build strength, endurance, and power.
Beginners and individuals with certain medical conditions should consult their healthcare or fitness professional before including a weighted vest into their workout routine to ensure safety and appropriateness for their specific needs.
Benefits of wearing a weighted vest for running
Running with a weight vest has several health benefits. It’s best to start off gradually with the weights to give your nerves, joints, and muscles a chance to get used to the extra load. Here are some of the health benefits of wearing a weight vest:
Improved cardiovascular fitness
Running with a weighted vest increases your heart rate and promotes increased blood flow. This is beneficial for cardiovascular health and can help improve the efficiency of the heart and lungs.
Increased muscle strength and bone density
Running and exercising with a weighted vest will increase your strength simply because of the extra demand placed on your muscles.
A weighted vest will not only build lower body strength but also increase the strength in your core muscles and overall body strength.
It has also been shown to improve bone density, although studies are limited on this.
Running with a weighted vest challenges the cardiovascular system. This forces the body to adapt to the extra load which leads to improved endurance and stamina.
Reduced risk of injury
When used correctly, your muscles and supporting ligaments and tendons will strengthen. This can reduce your risk of injury.
Improved running form and efficiency
Regularly training with a weighted vest can improve your running form and speed. When you remove the vest, you’ll find that you run faster and have more endurance as your body has adapted to having extra weight.
Increased calories burned
Wearing a weighted vest for running increases the intensity of your workout which will result in more calories burned running.
How do you use a weighted vest safely?
While wearing a weighted vest for running is beneficial for your health, it’s important to keep these safety considerations in mind to prevent injury.
Choose a high-quality weighted vest
Choose a weighted vest that is of good quality and specifically designed for running. It’s very important that the weight is evenly distributed and that the material is durable.
Walk before you run
Before running with a weighted vest, spend a few sessions walking to get used to the load and weight. It also gives your body and nervous system a chance to adapt to the increased weight.
Gradually increase the weight
Start with a light weight and slowly increase it over time. A sudden increase in weight can place excessive stress on your body and also put you at risk of injury.
The general recommendation is to start with 5% of your body weight and slowly increase the weight to not more than 10% of your body weight.
Running with a heavier weight vest will make it difficult to maintain proper posture and can also put you at risk of injury.
Maintain proper posture
Be aware of maintaining good running form and posture while wearing the weighted vest. Poor posture can lead to injuries, especially when carrying additional weight.
Avoid high impact activities
Running with a weighted vest is already demanding on the joints and a high impact activity. Avoid combining it with other high-impact activities like jumping or plyometrics to reduce the risk of injuries.
Balance upper and lower body weight
Consider adding ankle or wrist weights to help distribute the added resistance between your upper and lower body.
Wearing a weighted vest for running can increase the amount that you sweat. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your run to stay hydrated.
Choose a flat and safe running surface
Choose a flat or even surface when running with a weighted vest to reduce the risk of tripping. Also, avoid the hills, as this can place extra strain on your joints.
Build core strength
Strengthen your core muscles so that they can support your spine and help maintain stability when wearing a weighted running vest.
Don't overdo it
Running with a weighted vest is taxing to the body. Make sure you include rest days to give your body a chance to recover.
Limit the frequency and duration of weighted vest running and training sessions to reduce the risk of overtraining and excessive strain on your body.
Consult a health professional
Using a weighted vest can place additional strain on your body. If you have a pre-existing health condition or injury, it’s best to check in with your healthcare practitioner before starting your new routine.
The goal of using a weighted vest for running or any exercise is to challenge yourself safely and effectively. If you experience any pain or health symptoms such as dizziness or unusual shortness of breath during your workouts, stop and seek advice from a professional. Listen to your body and rest if needed.
Types of weighted vests for running
When choosing a weighted vest for running, consider factors such as comfort, weight adjustability, material durability, and the activities you intend to perform while wearing it.
Every type of weighted vest has its advantages and may suit different people depending on their fitness levels and training goals.
The most common weighted vest is a plate-loaded weight vest. These vests have pockets or pouches that can be filled with weight plates.
The weight plates are usually made of steel or iron, and you can be add or remove them to adjust the weight of the vest. Plate-loaded vests are usually more durable than weight-block vests, and can be used for a wider range of activities.
Weight-block vests have pockets or pouches that are filled with weight blocks. The weight blocks are usually made of plastic or rubber, and they are not as durable as weight plates.
Weight-block vests are generally lighter than plate-loaded vests. It’s also easier to adjust the weight.
Adjustable weighted vests
Adjustable weight vests have pockets or pouches that can be filled with different weights. You can adjust the weight of the vest to your individual needs. Make sure you balance the weights evenly.
Water-filled weight vests
Water-filled weight vests have pockets or pouches that can be filled with water. The weight of the vest can be adjusted by adding or removing water.
Weighted vests with built-in weights
Built-in weighted vests have weights that are sewn into the vest. The downside to these vests is that you can’t adjust the weight. However, these vests are usually more comfortable to wear than other types of weighted vests.
How do I choose a weighted running vest?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing a weighted vest for running or any other type of exercise.
Look for a vest that has evenly distributed weight across the front and back. This will help maintain balance and good posture. It will also prevent straining certain muscle groups.
Key to comfort is ensuring that the weighted vest fits you properly. Choose a weighted vest that has adjustable straps so that you can tighten or loosen as needed.
Breathable and moisture-wicking material
You’ll sweat a lot more running with a weighted vest. Make sure the vest you choose is breathable and has moisture-wicking properties.
If you will be running in low-light conditions, make sure your vest has reflective elements to improve visibility and safety.
Easy to clean
Choose a weighted vest that is easy to clean to prevent bacterial build up and odors.
If you are going to be using a weighted vest for running, choose one that is designed to withstand the demand placed on it through running. Make sure the weights are securely held, the straps are solid and fastenings will stay fastened!
Comfort and range of motion
Choose a weighted vest that is comfortable and won’t restrict your range of motion when running. Make sure that straps won’t rub or chaff, especially if you are sweating.
Purpose and fitness level
Consider your fitness level and your specific goals you aim to achieve and the type of activity that you’ll be performing with the weighted vest. Different vests may cater to different fitness levels or training purposes.
If you are just starting to wear a weighted vest for running, start with 5% of your body weight and gradually build up the weight. It’s recommended that it’s no more than 10% of your body weight.
If you are wanting to build strength, endurance and speed, then using a weighted vest for running is a good option. Use it on flat, even surfaces to avoid tripping.
Wearing a weighted vest for running builds strength, endurance, increases your fitness and improves your overall health. It also increases your speed.
It’s not recommended to wear a weighted vest everyday as this can put stress on your nervous system, muscles and joints. Make sure you include rest days into your routine to give your body a chance to recover.
Yes, running with a weighted vest will improve your running performance over time. Start light and slowly built the weight to allow your body to adapt.
- A weighted vest for running has several health benefits and can be a useful piece of fitness equipment
- Remember to start light and build up the weight gradually
- The weight should be 5-10% of your body weight.
- It’s recommended not to wear a weighted vest that’s heavier than 10% of your body weight to avoid injury
- Find a weighted vest that is comfortable, durable and fits you properly