Best Hands Free Dog Leash

Best Hands Free Dog Leash
Profile photo of Tara Lynn

Author: Tara Lynn

Last Updated: January 02, 2023

We purchased and hand tested a few of the best leashes for running or walking with one or a pack of dogs. After heavy testing we recommend the SparklyPets Hands Free Leash as the best hands-free dog leash for running currently on the market. Watch the above video and read below the full details of our testing of these popular leashes.

Best Products Best Hands Free Dog Leash

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Best Overall
SparklyPets Hands Free Leash
SparklyPets Hands Free Leash Best Overall
Review manufacturer sparklypets
on sparklypets
  • What we Like
  • High-quality material
  • Shock-absorbing bungee
  • Mid-range price
  • Hands-FREE or Hands-ON
  • Security Clips on the Belt
  • Comes with a convenient storage bag
  • Reflective stripes for nighttime usage.
  • Ergonomically designed to provide a comfortable yet secure grip
  • What we Dislike
  • Leash is heavy
  • Not suitable for small-sized dogs.
Product Details
Material Weather Resistant Nylon
Visibility Reflective stitching
Hands-FREE or Hands-ON
Leash Clip Stainless Steel Rings and Clips
Leash Length The bungee can be extended up to 68’’
Our Review

The SparklyPets Hands Free leash is one of the best on the market. This professional leash can be switched from hands-free to hands-on in a matter of seconds! It is designed with a unique extendable 47″ bungee system that absorbs shock and allows you to control your pet whilst keeping your hands free. The belt clips onto your waist and you can clip the lead into place when you’re ready to go. This is a great option if you have an energetic dog or are training them to walk alongside you in heel position while off the leash.

Best Budget
Mighty Paw Hands Free Bungee Leash
Mighty Paw Hands Free Bungee Leash Best Budget
on mightypaw
  • What we Like
  • Can support dogs up to 100lbs
  • Comes with rotatable attachment
  • Perfect for heavy and strong dogs
  • Comes with a free leash hook
  • Reflective stitching
  • Can be used with 2 dogs
  • What we Dislike
  • Pretty heavy for small dogs
  • Limited color choice
  • Fixed leash attachment
Product Details
Material Nylon
Synthetic Fabric
Visibility Reflective stitching
waist belt up to 42”
Leash Clip Metal D-ring D ring that rotates around the belt
Leash Length Two length options - 36" or 48”
Our Review

The Mighty Paw Hands Free Bungee Leash has great flexibility in the leash. It comes with a splitter so you can walk your 2 dogs together. It can also supports dogs up to 100 lbs. This dog leash comes with a free leash hook which allows you to hang it after use. They also offer 100% money-back guarantee within 90days. Common issue is that the bungee leash can be a bit too heavy for small dogs and there are only 2 colors available.

Best Design
Stunt Puppy Runner Leash
Stunt Puppy Runner Leash Best Design
on stuntpuppy
  • What we Like
  • 5 color options
  • We kept it simple, light and easy to adjust on the move
  • The D-ring on the waist belt can be moved to specific position
  • Flex in the bungee section absorbs variances in stride, speed and direction
  • Length adjustment allows dogs to run ahead, out wide or behind without creating a drag or drop on the leash when running in close and accommodates taller or smaller dogs
  • Static portion provides a grab-handle
  • What we Dislike
  • Plastic buckles aren’t the most durable
  • Not ideal for pullers
  • No reflective stitching
  • It only has fixed leash attachment
  • Doesn't have a handle
Product Details
Material Tubular webbing and Duraflex® buckles

but bright color options
waist belt from 28” - 49”
Leash Clip Sliding metal D-ring
Leash Length Extendable from 42” - 66”
Our Review

The Stunt Puppy Runner Leash comes with a lot of options for adjustment and is perfect for running. It features a sliding D-ring so that you can adjust it to whatever side you want the dog to be running alongside. However, if your dog isn’t leash trained then this won’t hold up and you will stretch out the elastic leash. Overall, this leash offers a lot of options of length for dogs big and small alike.

Best Quality
Tuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash
Tuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash Best Quality
on tuffmutt
  • What we Like
  • Ergonomically designed to provide maximum control and freedom for both you and the dog.
  • Weather-resistant.
  • Available in 13 unique colors to suit your style.
  • Easy glide clip
  • Shock-absorbing bungee
  • What we Dislike
  • Has a fairly shortest leash length
  • Not recommended for smaller breeds
  • Only have that one connection point
Product Details
Material Nylon
Visibility Reflective threading
Handsfree Hands-free
Leash Clip Easy glide belt clip
Leash Length 48 inches long
Our Review

Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash is a a perfect option when running with your dog. This nylon leash can actually be extended to five feet, offering plenty of space to run alongside your dog. Conveniently placed handles make it easy to keep your dog under control, and reflective threading is nice for late-night jaunts. There’s a wide range of colors to pick from and the leash has reflective stitching as well.

Best Products Best Hands Free Dog Leash
Product Name Best for Rate
SparklyPets Hands Free Leash Best Overall 9
Mighty Paw Hands Free Bungee Leash Best Budget 8.1
Stunt Puppy Runner Leash Best Design 7.4
Tuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash Best Quality 7.3

How To Choose

Running with your dog can be an incredible, exhilarating experience–as long as you have the right equipment to stay safe. From bungees to waist belts, dual handles to D-rings, there are many components to consider when choosing the right running leash for you.

When assessing hands-free running leashes, we wanted to find an option that will allow you to have comfortable runs without losing control over your dog. Below are the criteria we considered, starting with what we believed to be the most important factors.

On daily walks, you want to know your leash isn’t going to give out on you–and this only becomes more paramount when you add in some speed.

Nylon is the most common material for running leashes, but it’s important to read the details: not all nylon is created equal. Some of the leashes will sport a high-quality waterproof nylon with reinforced stitching, while others will just feature basic nylon, which isn’t ideal for long-term wear and tear.

Since we’re looking at hands-free leashes, many times the leash will connect to a belt around your waist. The material here matters for making sure adjustments stay in place (metal or plastic buckles) and that the leash stays connected.

Staying visible is one of the key factors to being safe while running with your dog. Many running leashes feature reflective stitching throughout the entire leash and waist belt, but there are some options that come in bright non-reflective colors. When deciding what is best for you, we recommend you carefully consider the environment in which you’ll be running.

It’s difficult to run and keep a grip on a leash at the same time, which is why we are specifically looking at leashes that are hands-free. As we said before, most hands-free running leashes use a waist belt–but not all. For this criteria, we’re looking at the specific hands-free design (waist belt or other?) and the size of the waist belt.

Leash Clip
Keeping your leash safely secured to your waist belt (or other hands-free device) is a priority. For this criteria, we evaluated how the leash attached. Is it reinforced? Additionally, some running leashes will “glide” along the waist belt to give you and your dog more freedom and ease stress, while others are secured in place for added control.

Leash Length
This may seem generic, but it’s extremely important. If you run in a crowded city, you likely want a leash that’s shorter to maintain control. But, if most of your running is in a less densely populated area, a longer leash may give you and your dog a bit more freedom.

How Running Leashes Work

Running leashes are all about making sure that your dog is secure and comfortable, and your hands are free to move without fear of losing control. Typically, this comes from a 2-part design: an adjustable belt that slips around your waist and a leash that connects to your dog’s harness.

Please note: all of the leashes we reviewed should be used with a dog harness. A dog harness will give you more control over your dog and help prevent stress injuries. If you’re looking for a quick and easy pick for running, we love the Embark Adventure Harness. It’s padded, very secure, and sports an additional handle on the back for added safety.

There are a few features that come standard in most running leashes. Often, running leashes have shock-absorbing bungee built in, which helps to reduce pulling. Effective bungee is particularly important if you or your dog have any sort of back problems. Additionally, most running leashes come with at least one handle (many have two) to offer you immediate control in emergency situations.

When it comes to the waist belt, size and thickness are two extremely important factors. You want a waist belt size that gives you flexibility, so you can adjust as you figure out if you prefer a tighter or looser fit. Additionally, a thin waist belt can be lighter weight, but can also increase back pain if your dog is a puller. Lastly, some waist belts come with added padding for extra comfort and impact absorption.

If you’re used to conventional leashes, it may take a little bit of time for you and your dog to adjust to a running leash. The number one hurdle is overcoming the fear of losing control over your dog. If you’re used to gripping a leash with your hand, it can be difficult to trust that your dog is safe when the leash is tethered to your waist.

With that being said, we hope that these reviews can ease the transition by giving you peace of mind that the leash is an excellent, sturdy pick.

Building Up To The Run

Before you and your dog embark on your first run, it’s important to assess whether your dog is ready. There are some serious health concerns if you push your four-legged running companion too far too soon. So, be sure to work them gradually and understand what their limits are.

First and foremost, be sure you have a breed that’s fit for running. As unfortunate as it may be that you can’t take your Frenchie on a multi-mile run, it just isn’t safe. Your dog should be trained and healthy enough for it. For obvious reasons, dogs cannot tell you if they aren’t feeling well, and it’s unwise to suddenly take a couch potato dog out on a 10-mile run.

Additionally, veterinarians and trainers recommend waiting until your dog is at least 6 months old before running–some larger breeds need to wait even longer. This is because their bones and joints aren’t ready for the repetitive impact. Even once your dog is old enough, it’s important to consider what type of ground you and your dog are running on–your running shoes may have built-in support, cushion, and heat protection, but your dog’s pads don’t. For this reason, it can be best to stay off the asphalt and on more natural ground when possible.

Lastly, when in doubt, think about the kinds of things you’d do for yourself on a run and be sure you consider the same for your dog: don’t run them right after a big meal, bring plenty of water and stay hydrated, ensure adequate rest time, and take any injuries seriously.

The Cool Down

Running with your dog can be an amazing bonding experience, as well as an extremely healthy and relaxing routine. In order to create the overall best experience for you and your dog, it’s absolutely essential that you choose the right leash to fit your needs.

There are tons of options out there, some affordable and others worth every single penny, some with lots of give and others with lots of control, some rugged and durable and others lightweight and comfortable. We hope this guide helped you to navigate the incredibly varied landscape and choose the perfect hands-free running leash for you and your dog.

Please let us know which leash you went with, and happy running!