The 10 Best Hands-Free Dog Leashes for Running in 2021
Hands-free dog running leash.
Have there ever been five better words in the English language?
Who doesn’t love running?
And if there’s anything better than running, it’s dogs – arguably the best thing.
So, a product that allows you to enjoy both at the same time – while keeping your hands free, no less – is a huge win in my book.
The 10 Best Hands-Free Dog Leashes for Runners in 2021
Of course, there’s more than one hands-free running dog leash on the market. There are probably hundreds designed specifically for people who want to go running with their dogs.
But you don’t have time to peruse all of them.
You need to get your hands on one of these hands-free leashes ASAP, so you and your four-legged friend can go for a run.
That’s why I put together what I believe to be the 10 best hands-free dog leashes for runners as of 2021.
1. Mighty Paw Hands - $17.99
Let’s start with one of the most basic options on our list of fantastic running leashes for dog owners: Mighty Paw Hands.
It’s the cheapest leash on our list, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking.
The leash is made with a high-quality material that will hold up against the elements, so you don’t have to worry about it deteriorating quickly if you live somewhere that has extreme temperatures and/or plenty of rainfall or snow.
Unsurprisingly, it was also designed with dogs in mind, which means the bungee comes with 16" of spring, allowing it to fully extend all the way to 56". Mighty Paws also added a handy D-ring that can hold onto your pickup bags.
Although the running belt is rather minimal, that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. After all, who wants to be weighed down when running?
And despite this minimal design, it still offers a second D-ring for connecting the leash that will rotate around the belt so that it can move with your four-legged friend.
2. SparklyPets Hands-Free Dog Leash - $19.95
The SparklyPets Hands-Free Dog Leash might be the best version on our list if you’re worried about safety when running with your pup.
Maybe your dog is easily excitable and equally strong.
Or maybe you sometimes run in cold weather and worry about slipping on the ice – especially when going downhill.
Whatever the case, SparklyPets designed this leash with a quick-release button that means you can let your dog go if you run (literally) into trouble, so you don’t pull them with you.
At the same time, this leash also comes with dual stainless-steel clasps, which ensures that even the most powerful pooch isn’t going to be able to break free on their own.
And despite these great features, it’s still one of the most affordable dog leashes on our list.
3. Paw Lifestyles Retractable Hands-Free Dog Leash - $21.95
The Paw Lifestyles Retractable Hands-Free Dog Leash brings a lot to the table.
One great feature that sets it apart from the others on this list is that it comes with a pouch for your phone. That makes it perfect for those of us who wear leggings or running shorts that don’t always have enough room.
But that’s definitely not the only reason to love this hands-free running leash. Although the bungy feature gives it plenty of stretch, so your dog can roam a bit during your jog, it also comes with two handles, which will make it easy to control them if necessary (great for large dogs).
4. Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash - $24.97
The Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash is a great value for any owner whose dog is more than 30 pounds thanks to a bungee that lets it stretch from four feet – already a great length – to five. This is another hands-free leash that also comes with two handles, which is another fantastic feature if you have a slightly larger dog who might try to pull you off the trail every now and then.
Speaking of pups who like to move around, this leash also has one of the better clips for attaching the leash to the belt. The metal clip slides smoothly, so your dog can move side-to-side without the belt causing chafing as it tries to keep up.
5. Howling Dog Distance Harness - $35.00
If you have a larger dog, there’ a lot to love about Howling Dog Distance Harness. The woman who designed it, Ivana Nolke, is a veteran of Alaskan sled dog racing and partnered with four-time Iditarod champion, Jeff King, to make this one-of-a-kind running dog leash.
So, right off the bat, you can probably rest assured that this leash can handle a dog that likes to run hard.
The leash connects to a harness, which many owners prefer for their dogs over the traditional collar-leash connection. The harness is also made out of webbing that’s 1.24 inches thing, which is another great feature if you have a powerful pet who loves to pull hard when running. Plenty of padding ensures the harness can easily rotate freely around your buddy’s body no matter which direction they decide to head.
And, best of all, this harness is perfectly safe for dogs with lower back problems or who prefer to crab (run sideways). It’s even recommended by a top canine physical therapist, Wes Rau.
6. Pet Dreamland Hands-Free Dog Leash for Two Dogs - $37.99
Few challenges compare to trying to walk two dogs at once. Without fail, you will constantly get pulled in two separate directions. And maybe the only exception will come when they both decide it’s time to take you for a ride because they just saw a squirrel.
That’s why I wanted to be sure to include a hands-free dog leash designed for walking two dogs at once.
The Pet Dreamland Hands-Free Dog Leash for Two Large Dogs is the best option I’ve found for going on a run with more than one pooch.
There are a lot of “dog leash couplers” out there that you can add to the end of a typical leash to split it in two, but that adds a lot of distance between you and your pals. And if you have large dogs, that space gives them a lot of room to build up momentum if they decide to go running after something.
This leash can be adjusted from 43" to 55", which is much better, and you get a handle on each of them in case you need to pull back one of your pups and readjust the length to keep them a bit closer.
The 360-degree-swivel splitter is also a genius decision. Otherwise, it’s inevitable that your dogs will twist up the leashes. Nothing will bring your run to a screeching halt quicker. And if you’ve ever faced this predicament, you know that dogs have absolutely no interest in helping you solve it.
7. Ezy Dog Road Runner Leash - $42.00
The Ezy Dog Road Runner Leash is another really basic leash but an option that has still managed to become extremely popular, nonetheless.
What it lacks in fancy bells and whistles, it makes up for in ease-of-use. Clipping the running belt around your waist couldn’t be easier. Then just attach the simple bungee and you and your pup are ready to run.
If you decide to use the tether as a traditional hand leash, it’s 6.5 feet, which is the perfect length for dogs of all sizes. There’s also a D-ring with a barrel lock for any accessories you want to carry hands-free during your runs. This is great for carrying your waste bags or treats if you want to do some training.
8. High Sierra Walk-A-Belt Heavy Duty with Carabineer - $42.95
A great choice for larger breeds, the High Sierra Walk-A-Belt™ Heavy Duty with Carabineer definitely sports the thickest belt on our list – complete with a padded fleece that increases the belt’s width to 3".
Unfortunately, this also means you probably won’t want to wear this belt unless you’re running in cold weather. Otherwise, that fleece may become a bit uncomfortable.
The good news is that if you decide to wear it in warmer weather and work up a bit of a sweat, the material is machine washable.
This belt also sports a welded stainless-steel O-ring with a 1-1/2" diameter and a bolt snap that’s solid brass. So, again, if you plan on jogging outside during cold weather, you’ll find these features extremely easy to open and close, even with your gloves on.
9. Iron Doggy’s Hands-Free Dog Leash - $59.95
The Iron Doggy Hands-Free Dog Leash is another choice for dogs of all sizes. Its minimum breaking strength is an impressive 215 pounds, so if your favorite four-legged friend has a mind of their own, this leash is up to the challenge. Aside from being a great hands-free leash for large dogs, it’s also extremely comfortable.
It features two hold knots, as well, so if you do end up having to pull on the leash to bring your dog back to the sidewalk, there are specific spots to get a grip and no need to worry about “leash burn.”
This leash is 54" long but can be adjusted to 46" and 30". And again, shortening the leash down is a great way to keep your pup from straying on your runs, even when you’re using a hands-free leash.
10. Ruffwear Trail Runner - $69.95
Finally, the Ruffwear Trail Runner is really your quintessential hands-free dog leash for runners. It’s designed with a belt that goes around your waist, which you connect the leash to – hence “hands free.”
It’s a pretty simple design, but you really don’t need a whole lot more than this setup to enjoy runs with your pup.
Ruffwear designed their belt to be bounce-resistant and load-dispersing, so you can run as fast as you want without worrying about chafing or other types of discomfort. The leash itself can be adjusted from 3.3 to 5.9 feet.
I also love that it comes with a water-resistant pocket, which every dog owner needs for their bags. There’s also a stretch mesh pocket – perfect for your phone – and it comes with a 21-oz BPA-free water bottle so you can stay hydrated on those longer runs.
Choosing the Right Hands-Free Dog Running Leash
If you’re in the market for a hands-free dog running leash, the most important factor to consider is the size of your dog. Generally, the larger they are, the shorter you want the leash. Obviously, you still need some space between you and your pup, but too much of it may mean you have to continuously lead your pooch back on the path, which defeats the purpose of buying a “hands-free” leash.
Otherwise, I like to think I included enough affordable options above that you can experiment a bit if necessary.
At the end of the day, that experimentation will be 100% worth it. If you’re a runner who has a dog, being able to run with them hands-free is about as good as it gets.