The 7 Best Dog Leashes for Running, Tested by Experts
best dog leashes for running

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Most runners will tell you that a hard run is the best and worst part of their day. It can be tough, even grueling, but few things get the blood flowing and the endorphins going like a good, long run. But, if you’re a dog owner, you know that running with your dog elevates the sport to a whole new level. If your “good boy” is good enough to run with you off-leash, great. If not, you’re going to need a proper dog leash for running.

Nearly every leash kit made for running features the same three components: A collar or harness for your dog, a waist belt for you, and an “umbilical cord” to tether the two pieces. It’s a deceptively simple design, but any dog-owning runner will tell you they’re surprisingly difficult to shop for. Both the harness and the waist belt need to be properly sized (not too loose, not too tight), durable, designed for both stretch and control, and comfortable enough for you and puppers to wear for miles and miles of running. Thankfully, we did the hard work to compare more than two dozen of the highest-rated models available. These are our picks for the best dog leashes for running in 2022.

  • Best Overall Dog Leash for Running

    6-in-1 Hands-Free Dog Leash

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  • Best Dog Leash for Trail Running

    Trail Runner System

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  • Best Budget Dog Leash for Running

    Hands-Free Dog Leash

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  • Most Comfortable Dog Leash for Running

    Jogging Belt and Hands Free Dog Leash
    Kruz Pet

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  • Best Running Dog Leash for Medium/Large Dogs

    Hands-Free Dog Leash for Running
    Tuff Mutt

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Best Overall Dog Leash for Running

6-in-1 Hands-Free Dog Leash

  • Versatile design works with almost any running style
  • Comfortable even on long runs
  • Durable construction can handle larger dogs
  • Adjustable to almost any size waist
  • Built-in reflective safety trim
  • Affordable
  • Lifetime warranty

We love the Swiss-Army-like design of Kurgo’s 6-in-1 Hands-Free Dog Leash. The adjustable carabiner makes this one incredibly versatile, allowing for six unique positions—as a tether, around your waist, over your shoulder, etc.—so it’s guaranteed to work with your personal running style. The padded handle and belt also make for comfortable runs or walks, no matter how far you’re going or how hard your puppers pulls. The best part? At a hair under $30, it’s also one of the most affordable runner-friendly leashes we’ve found. All of which makes it our pick for the best overall dog leash for running.

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Best Dog Leash for Trail Running

Trail Runner System

  • All-in-one design
  • Comfortable even on longer runs
  • Ample storage space for essentials
  • Built-in reflective trim for added safety
  • Included water bottle
  • Adjustable belt up to 45 inches
  • Leash is a bit too short and stretchy

Most dog-owning trail runners need a hip belt and a run-friendly dog leash. Ruffwear’s aptly named Trail Runner System packs both into a single design. The Ridgeline Leash helps secure your dog while absorbing shock for even the toughest, most jarring trail runs. The locking clip works well on both harnesses and collars. It’s all connected to an adjustable, padded hip belt that disperses your carry load for comfortable wear even on longer runs. A 21-ounce water bottle is included and stashes neatly away around the back/side of the hip belt, while interior and stretch pockets provide plenty of room for all your run essentials.

Read more: Best Trail Running Shoes

Best Budget Dog Leash for Running

Hands-Free Dog Leash

  • Quick-release button for off-leash runs
  • Bungee-style lead absorbs shock
  • Dual stainless steel clasps provide added security
  • Great for medium/large dogs
  • Adjustable up to 47-inch waist
  • Wallet-friendly
  • Not quite as durable as other models on this list

For a decent, budget-friendly option, SparklyPets Hands-Free Dog Leash offers all the most essential features for around $20. Dual stainless steel clasps ensure even larger dogs won’t break free mid-run. The bungee-style lead helps absorb shock and is safer and more comfortable on your dog’s neck and midsection. A quick-release button allows for easy transitioning between on- and off-leash runs. It’s a versatile design that works well for everything from walking to hiking to running. We also like the available two-dog model for those who like to run with more than one pooch.

Most Comfortable Dog Leash for Running

Jogging Belt and Hands Free Dog Leash

  • Built-in pockets for storing essentials
  • Solid nylon and polyester construction
  • Adjustable design accommodates almost any waist size
  • Built-in reflective stitching
  • Decent price
  • Bungee leash might be a little too stretchy

Kruz Pet’s Jogging Belt system is the best mid-priced dog leash we’ve found for running. It checks all the boxes in our list of must-have features. The adjustable, unisex belt fits waist sizes from 26 to 48 inches, while the hands-free leash length stretches from one to five feet, depending on how much control you need. The 1.25”-wide waist belt is extremely comfortable, and two built-in pockets offer enough storage space for stashing essentials like a smartphone, keys, license, and lip balm. We also especially love the multiple available colors and sub-$40 price tag.

Best Running Dog Leash for Medium/Large Dogs

Hands-Free Dog Leash for Running

  • Bungee-style design stretches from four to five feet
  • Two built-in handles for better control
  • Easy-glide clip for seamless side-to-side movement
  • Waist adjustable up to 42 inches
  • Built-in reflective threading
  • Great price
  • Some reviewers complain of durability issues
  • Not ideal for dogs under 30 pounds

Running with larger dogs presents a unique set of challenges that makes finding the right leash difficult. Tuff Mutt’s Hands-Free Dog Leash works well on medium to large dogs (even larger than 100 pounds). The design features a durable bungee leash that’s strong enough to wrangle dogs larger than 30 pounds. With a stretchable length from four to five feet, it allows enough slack to protect their neck and midsection while running. Dual reinforced handles provide extra security for keeping larger dogs under control, especially those who like to wander or suddenly dart off-trail. It’s also reasonably priced at around $25.

Best Leash for Mostly Off-Leash Running

Raddog All-in-One Collar + Leash Combo

  • All-in-one design combines a collar and a leash
  • Switches seamlessly between on- and off-leash running
  • Solid nylon construction is freshwater and saltwater safe
  • Available in four sizes to fit various breeds
  • Great price
  • 36-inch length might be too short for some dogs
  • Some reviewers complain of durability issues

For the right pup, sometimes the best dog leash for running is no leash at all. Nite Ize’s clever Raddog All-in-One Collar + Leash features a unique design with a retractable leash that tucks neatly into the collar. It’s perfect for owners who need the flexibility to switch back and forth between on- and off-leash running. The all-nylon construction is durable and built to survive extended exposure to freshwater and saltwater. On the downside, the 36-inch length is relatively short—possibly too short for some owners—compared to others on this list. It is, however, available in four sizes (from Small to XL), so it’ll work with almost any dog breed.

Best Value Dog Leash for Running

Hands-Free Dog Leash with Zipper Pouch

  • Plenty of storage
  • Built-in poop bag dispenser
  • Great for dogs up to 150 pounds
  • Adjustable waist up to 48 inches
  • Nearly seven-foot leash length
  • Available in many colors
  • Budget-friendly

We’re big fans of all-in-one designs that combine a runner-friendly leash with a waist belt storage pouch. iYoShop’s Hands-Free Dog Leash offers all the features we love in a simple, $20 package that make it this year’s best value dog leash for running. The included zippered pouch is large enough to stash a cell phone, keys, dog treats, and other small essentials, and features a built-in poop bag dispenser too. Plus, the storage pouch is removable for those quick runs when you need to travel light. The leash combines two bungee-style shock absorbers with traditional nylon leash material for a hybrid design that balances the right amount of give with ample control.

Finding the Right Dog Leash for Running

The most important consideration when shopping for dog leashes for running is the size of your dog. Generally, the larger the breed, the shorter the leash, and vice versa. A shorter leash provides better control, especially for pups who like to wander or explore. Most runner-friendly dog leashes are built with a full bungee-style nylon strap with a good amount of stretch, while others combine pieces of stretch material with traditional, fixed-length nylon. There is no “one size fits all,” so finding the best dog leash for running with your dog may require a bit of trial and error.

Also, note that there’s no standardization for sizes between brands. Your dog might be a Medium in one product and a Large in another. If you have any questions, it’s best to contact the company and see which size and model they recommend for your dog’s breed and weight. Most offer lifetime guarantees. So, if one leash doesn’t work for your pooch, you can usually exchange it for one that does.

Other Features to Consider for Runner-Friendly Dog Leashes

Some dog leashes for running include a built-in storage pouch, while others are strictly leashes. Consider how you run and what you like to carry with you. For shorter runs around the neighborhood, a simple leash might be all you need. If you prefer longer, meandering runs, you might need a model with stash pouches for your phone, keys, dog treats, and more.

These days, almost every model on the market includes reflective trim or stitching for better visibility. If yours doesn’t, consider adding a bit of reflective tape to make your runs that much safer for you and your dog.

There are hundreds of runner-friendly dog leashes on the market. We thoroughly researched and tested several dozen of the highest-rated models to find what worked and what didn’t. We paid close attention to long-term durability, pup-friendly ergonomic design features, potential storage space, customer reviews, price, and more. The list above represents our honest picks for the seven best dog leashes for running in 2022.

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