When you’re looking for a simple cardio exercise that is tried and tested to burn calories and improve your cardio, then running will most likely be your go to exercise. After a while as you become more and more dedicated to running, it becomes easier. You begin being able to run more miles at a time, and you begin being able to run it faster than previously possible. You body adapts, and soon you have to run longer and harder just to get the same type of cardiovascular exercise that you did before. That being said, there are certain ways to up your workout and making it even more demanding, without spending hours running… you need a weighted vest for running!
What Is a Weighted Vest for Running?
As mentioned before, when you are consistently running for exercise, your muscles get stronger, and your cardio improves. This might sound like a good thing, and it is! But it does have one downside, it takes longer more intense runs to keep improving your performance and keep pushing your body to its limits. But thankfully there is a way to push your body to its limits and really improve your athletic performance, and that’s with a weighted vest.
Weighted vests are sleeveless vests that you put over your shoulders, and strap around your body. These vests are fitted with slots and compartments where weighted plates can be inserted. These vests provide you with added resistance and weight to your body, in a comfortable and safe way. This allows you to push your body even harder and increase your muscular and cardiovascular performance! Along with this, it’s been proven that by training with a weight vest, you’ll be able to increase your sprint speed and your overall endurance. That being said, we’re going to jump right into my reviews of my favorite weighted vests for running!
Benefits of Weighted Vest for Running
-Weighted running vests increase the cardiovascular demand on your body, giving you a more intense run.
-The increased weight you are running with will also increase your strength and endurance if used regularly.
-Weighted vests will make you burn more calories. If you want fat loss, a running with a weighted vest on will definitely help.
-Weighted vest create variance to your training, which is the core of Crossfit.
RUNFast/Max Pro Weighted Running Vest
- Select the weight you want, receive the vest with the weights picked
- One size fits most and manufacture warranty included
- Weights can be removed in the 20 lbs./40 lbs./50 lbs./60 lbs. models
The first weighted running vest on our list is the RUNFast/Max Pro Weighted Running Vest! This running vest is one of my overall favorites because of it’s sleek design, and just how comfortable it is. I’ve tested a few vests that were extremely clunky, and you could almost feel the weights bouncing off of your chest as you ran, but thankfully this vest is different. This vest comes with a few different weights available for purchase. You can either purchase the vest with 12 pounds, 20 pounds, 40 pounds, 50 pounds, or 60 pounds. That being said, a great thing about this vest is that the weights are included with your purchase.
A great thing about this vest is its comfort. This vest is made out of extremely breathable nylon which makes it great for indoor and outdoor exercises. Along with this, this vest has just the right amount of padding where it matters the most. I have worn this vest while hiking and I didn’t notice any discomfort around my armpits which I’ve had with some other weight vests. Along with this, this vest features a nice mesh pocket on the front which has a headphone slot to allow you to pull your headphones through while your phone is in the pocket.
This weighted vest comes with both shoulder pads or without shoulder pads. These shoulder pads help to give you more support and give you a little more comfort while running. I definitely suggest you select shoulder pads if you are going for the heavier weight ranges (50 pounds or 60 pounds), but if you are looking at the other weights, then I don’t feel that you will need them. That being said, if you select the 12-pound weight vest, then you should know that the weights are not removable from that vest. That being said, the weights are removable on all the other vests, and you can take out weights depending on your needs and activity.
Overall this is a great weight vest that is extremely comfortable and gives you a huge range of weights that you can choose from. This vest gives you the ability to use it for running, hiking, or even doing chores around the house! Overall this is a great weight vest if you are looking for an extremely comfortable weight vest that also can be used for a wide variety of other activities, then definitely check out the RUNFast/Max Pro Weighted Running Vest!
ZFOsports Weighted Running Vest
- Premium features: Pocket for your phone/music devices
- Water bottle holder, designed to fit all water bottles 16oz or smaller
- One size fits most
- Belt attached on the vest for easy set up
The next running vest on my list is the ZFOsports Weighted Vest Running Weight Vest! ZFOsports is a relatively new brand, but ZFOsports focuses on providing innovative fitness and crossfit exercise equipment. Now ZFOsports is part of the Implus Fitness LLC which is one of the largest fitness equipment companies in the world, and they provide equipment to athletes all over the world!
This ZFOsports weight vest is a weight vest that comes in 3 different weights, 40 pounds, 60 pounds, and 80 pounds. Along with this it also comes in two different colors, black and artic camo. This is a unique weight vest because of the fit it has. This is a one size fits most designed vest, and I’ve seen people from waist sizes from 24 inches all the way to 50+ inches, so it’s pretty safe to say that this will fit you. Along with this, although this vest is a one size fits most, no matter your size this vest will keep the weight close to your body, and keep it from bouncing up and down. Along with this, this vest offers a nice water bottle holder, and mesh pocket for your phone and wallet.
Along with this, a great thing about the ZFOsports vest is the design allows for extreme versatility. This vest features a handful of straps to help adjust where the weight plates sit, and how far down your torso they will go. This makes it extremely helpful for people of all sizes. I have a friend that is shorter, and all he has to do is tighten the straps and make sure the weights don’t sit too low on his torso. That being said, this weight vest usually sits from your shoulders around the belly button area. This allows you to still have a wide range of mobility and range of motion while exercising with this vest. This vest allows you to run, do push-ups, do sits-ups, and burpees, without any issue of the weight vest blocking your range of motion. Overall ZFOsports got the the design absolutely right on this vest, and the tight fit of the weights to your body allows you to actually run and move in the vest without feeling like you’re getting punched by the weights.
Along with the design being right, and the fit being tight, this weight vest is actually quite comfortable. Because this vest uses sand bags for the weights, it is actually quite a bit more comfortable than steel plates. Along with this, the weight distribution of this vest is great, and helps to reduce any change of shoulder and neck pain.
Overall this ZFOsports Weighted Running Vest is a great option for those that are looking for a comfortable weight vest that also gives you a good range of motion. This vest allows you to go running, do push-ups and even do sit-ups with the vest on, which most other vests won’t allow. I definitely suggest you take a look at this vest if you are looking for a running and all purpose weighted exercise vest.
Z ZELUS Weighted Running Vest
- MADE TO LAST: Made of premium chloroprene rubber, this weighted vest stays super rigid, breathable, soft and elastic even under extreme conditions, ideal for all sports lovers
- STUFFED WITH IRON SANDS: Stuffed with chemical-free iron sands, this 12 lb. weight vest is perfect for strength training, muscle building, stair climbing, weight loss, weightlifting, walking, running and more, helping improve cardio conditioning and body strength, giving you more power, speed, and agility
- ADJUSTABLE BUCKLE STRAPS & REFLECTIVE STRIPS: The integrated adjustable buckle strap is perfect for bust between 35~45 in.; elastic edge of this weight vest provides superior flexibility for workout, accommodating users of different sizes; reflective strips on both sides of the weight vest safeguard your safety even at night
- INTEGRATED POCKETS: Thanks to the built-in pockets in the front and back of the vest, you can store belongings like keys, earbuds or a mobile phone in the pocket, allowing you to enjoy music in workout, no more missing calls or items
- FINE CRAFTSMANSHIP & WASHABLE: Double stitches craftsmanship prevent sand leakage; thickened & widened shoulder delivers weight evenly and avoid shoulder fatigue, delighting your workout with ultimate convenience; this training vest is totally washable, hand washing is recommended
The third running weight vest on our list is the Z ZELUS Weighted Running Vest. This weight vest is a fixed 12 pounds, and features a very sleek design. Z ZELUS focuses on providing quality exercise and workout equipment that will last, and this running vest is no different!
This vest is built to last, and is extremely durable. It’s designed out of chloroprene rubber and soft and elastic mesh to create a breathable and comfortable design. This running vest is very similar to a backpack because most of the weight is found on the back, and there are shoulder straps that go over the front. This gives you an extremely comfortable fit that stays extremely tight to your body.
Along with this, this weight vest doesn’t use metal weight plates, it uses high quality iron sand which gives you a better range of motion than metal plates would. Along with this, the shoulder pads are designed out of neoprene which gives it a nice comfortable cushion that will leave you feeling comfortable throughout your run. Furthermore, this vest features an adjustable clip buckle on the front of the vest that allows you to adjust the tightness and the fit of the weight vest. This allows the vest to fit on nearly any chest and torso size. Z ZELUS suggest that this vest fits best for chest bust sizes between 35 inches and 45 inches, but because of the design of the vest, there is a bit more wiggle room than that.
Speaking of the design of this vest, the craftsmanship on this vest is second to none. It features double stitches around the seams that not only prevents rips and tears, but it also prevents any sand leakage. Along with this, the shoulder straps on this vest are designed extra wide and thick to help distribute weight evenly and to help avoid unnecessary shoulder and neck fatigue. Because of this design I’ve found that I can workout longer and harder than other vests because the design helps to distribute weight in an ergonomic way that reduces soreness. Along with the quality craftsmanship, this vest also features 2 built-in pockets. There is one pocket in the front and one in the back. These pockets are great for holding your keys and your phone, and features a headphone jack to allow you to slide your headphones through the hole which allows you to listen to music during your workout!
Overall this Z ZELUS weighted running vest is a great choice for someone who is looking for a fixed weight running vest. This vest is fixed at 12 pounds via iron sands which makes it extremely comfortable for running and exercising. Along with this comfortable design, this vest is designed to last and is extremely durable. Overall if you are looking for an extremely comfortable designed weight vest that allows you to run comfortably without issue, then the Z ZELUS Weighted Running Vest is the one for you!
Final Thoughts on Weighted Vests for Running
If you are serious about exercising, and you want to step it up a notch, then weighted vests can help take you to the next level! When your body is used to running and exercising without resistance, you will eventually hit a physical plateau. When you hit this plateau, you eventually have to start running faster and even longer just to reach the same level of workout that you did when you first began running. Thankfully with weighted vests for running you are able to take your workout to the next level!
Weighted vests take your running workout, and any other exercise you do to the next level. By doing a little research and finding the best weight vest for your needs, you are able to find a vest that not only adds resistance to your workout, but it also can increase your sprint speed and improve your overall cardiovascular endurance! Along with this, these weight vests can be extremely comfortable, and give you the variety to make any workout you do even tougher! Before you purchase a vest you should definitely decide on what weight vest you want. The vests reviewed above come in a wide range of weights, anywhere from 12 pounds to 60 pounds. If you are looking for a vest that is strictly for running, then I would suggest you pick a lower weight vest that is extremely comfortable like the RUNFast/Max Pro Running Vest or the Z ZELUS running vest. That being said, if you are looking for a vest that can be used for running and a wide variety of other exercises, then I definitely suggest the ZFOSports weight vest.
Brett is a running junkie & fitness blogger based Raleigh, NC. Brett loves traveling the World to run marathons and is currently training to run a desert marathon in 2019.