Whether you’re looking for a way to take your fitness routine to the next level or you feel like your running performance has stalled, a weight vest can make a big difference. These vests filled with sand, barbells, or weight plates are worn just like a regular vest but can add anywhere from a few pounds to over 100 pounds of weight. Because this extra weight is spread over your entire torso and back, it’s not as dangerous or risky as trying to run while holding 100-pound dumbbells, for example.
Weight vests are not recommended for beginners who still need to build core strength and endurance to support their body weight while running. But eventually, most people reach a point in their training where they feel like they’ve plateaued and stop making progress toward their goals.
That’s what a weighted vest is for. It can help you break through that plateau by adding a new challenge to your workout. The result: a stronger heart, better endurance, better cardio conditioning and faster race times. According to a systematic review of research on weight vest training, wearing a vest between 6% and 19% of your current body weight while running for at least three weeks can improve your finishing time by approximately 9%.
So grab one of these higher weight vests designed for runners, and throw on a pair of reliable vestsAnd head outside – or into your house -For a challenging workout that helps you step up your old routine.
The most comfortable weight vest: Hyperware HyperFest Pro
For runners, a comfortable and warm fit is key. So the Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro is hard to beat. They’re designed to fit like a regular vest, but with elastic bands on each side so you can get a perfect fit to fit your exact torso size and shape. The steel weights that slide into the pockets of this adjustable weight vest are ultra-thin, so they remain comfortable even after loading them with weight.
The 4.5-star rated vest comes with 10 pounds of weights already included but you can purchase additional weights ($36) to fill it up to its maximum capacity of 30 pounds. Get the comfortable and breathable Hyper Vest Pro on Amazon for $210.
The most important features of Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro:
- The stretchy, breathable fabric and comfortable fit prevent chafing while running.
- Side ties allow you to get a perfect contoured fit from top to bottom for a more comfortable jacket that doesn’t slip or bounce while you run.
- Adjustable weight vest can hold up to 30 lbs.
$210 at Amazon
Best all-purpose weight vest: Runmax Adjustable Weight Vest
For hardcore trainers, the Runmax weight vest can hold up to 150 pounds of additional weight—and still leave room to store a water bottle and your phone. Thick Velcro strap makes it easy to adjust the fit so it is comfortable while running.
Each vest comes with all the removable weights you need to reach maximum weight capacity, so specify the maximum weight you want when ordering. You can remove weights or add them back as needed to achieve your training goal for that day.
The 4.6-star-rated 20-pound sweater is 40% off at Amazon, so you can get it for just $36 (reduced from $60). Prices increase with additional weight.
Key Features of Runmax Adjustable Weight Vest:
- The secure and easy-to-use Velcro strap helps you get a comfortable fit.
- Convenient water bottle holster and phone pocket securely store your essentials while running.
- The adjustable weight vest comes in various sizes ranging from 20 pounds to 150 pounds of maximum capacity.
$36 and up at Amazon
Best budget weight vest: Aduro Sports Weighted Vest
The Aduro Sport Weighted Vest features a minimalist design for runners who want extra weight, but don’t want to feel heavy in the front or restrict their range of motion. The padded, weighted straps go around your shoulders but don’t cover your chest.
Two adjustable buckle straps on the chest help you get a secure fit that won’t slip or bounce while you run. The soft and smooth neoprene material allows air to pass through and prevents chafing.
The jacket includes a handy mesh pocket that can fit your phone, keys, or wallet. Its weight is not adjustable, so you will have to purchase the exact size (or combination of sizes) you need for your training. The vest is available in weights ranging from four pounds to 30 pounds.
The comfortable, lightweight jacket has over 6,900 5-star reviews on Amazon. Prices start at just $30 (reduced from $35) for a four-pound sweater.
Key Features of the Aduro Sport Weighted Vest:
- The neoprene material is soft, padded and breathable.
- The simple belt design distributes weight evenly without making you feel restricted.
- Two adjustable buckle straps ensure you get a comfortable fit.
- The mesh pocket on the back can fit a phone, wallet or keys.
$30 at Amazon