Best Hands Free Dog Leash

After 60 hours of research & testing, we’re comfortable recommending the Mighty Paw Hands-Free Dog Leash as the best hands-free dog leash for running currently on the market as of spring 2020. Read further to find out what we found out when testing & reviewing other popular leashes.

Best Hands Free Dog Leash

Best Overall
Mighty Paw Running Leash
Mighty Paw Running Leash Best Overall
$18
on amazon
9/10
  • What we Like
  • 2 leash size options
  • High-quality material
  • Shock-absorbing bungee
  • Good fit for all dog sizes
  • Mid-range price
  • What we Dislike
  • Leash is heavy
  • No extra handle for added control
  • Only 2 color options
Product Details
Material Waterproof nylon and metal hardware
Visibility Reflective stitching
Hands-free
fits waists up to 42”
Leash Clip Rotating metal D-ring for extra control
Leash Length 2 options: 36” and 48”
Our Review

The Mighty Paw Running leash is one of the best on the market. It has two different leash length options at their both tailored for bigger or smaller dogs. The leash is a bit heavy, but they account for this with the smaller size by making the leash thinner. It doesn’t have dual handles in the leash but it makes up for that in the quality of the bungee leash. With all that said, this leash is one of the more straightforward options and it performs exactly as you’d expect. Which is why it is our number 1 pick for running leash.

Best Quality
Iron Doggy Running Leash
Iron Doggy Running Leash Best Quality
$0
on irondoggy
9/10
  • What we Like
  • Designed for a minimum of 215 lbs of breaking force
  • Dual handle design
  • Highly durable and perfect for bigger dogs
  • Dual bungee leash
  • What we Dislike
  • Pretty heavy for the runner and unnecessary for trained dogs
  • Limited color choice
  • High price point
Product Details
Material Military-grade nylon and metal hardware
Visibility
3 seams of reflective stitching through the leash
Handsfree
waist belt up to 42”
Leash Clip Metal D-ring on the leash and an additional clip connecting the waist belt to the leash.
Leash Length Extendable from 30” - 54”
Our Review

The Iron Doggy is the toughest and highest quality leash out there. It’s an amazing pick for those serious about running with their dogs. It is a bit heavy for smaller dogs and unnecessary if you have a very well-trained dog. But if you were ever worried about your running leash breaking or if you have a dog who gets easily distracted, then you should highly consider this leash.

Best Budget
SparklyPets Leash
SparklyPets Leash Best Budget
$0
on amazon
9/10
  • What we Like
  • Dual handle design (1 rubber grip handle)
  • Usable as hands-on or hands-free leash
  • Comes with a convenient storage bag
  • Shock-absorbing bungee
  • Medium-low price point
  • Comfortable for larger waists
  • 3 color options
  • What we Dislike
  • Not for small dogs
  • Doesn’t fit smaller waists
  • Some complaints of bungee snapping (not many)
Product Details
Material Weather-resistant nylon and plastic buckles
Visibility Reflective strips
Handsfree
fits waists 28” - 47”
Leash Clip Double metal D-ring
Leash Length Expandable from 50” - 68”
Our Review

SparklyPets says this leash is perfect for runners, active parents, hikers, adventure lovers, and walkers . . . and we are inclined to agree! If you have a medium or large dog, then you absolutely cannot go wrong with this choice. The vast majority of runners seem to be absolutely thrilled with this leash and shocked that the price point is so low. There are a handful of reports of the bungee snapping, but they seem to be few and far between. Overall, a wonderful option!

Stunt Puppy Runner Leash
Stunt Puppy Runner Leash
$0
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • 6 color options
  • Wide range of adjustments
  • Very lightweight
  • Dual handle design
  • Shock-absorbing bungee
  • What we Dislike
  • Plastic buckles aren’t the most durable
  • Not ideal for pullers
  • No reflective stitching
Product Details
Material High-grade nylon and metal hardware
Visibility

reflective
but bright color options
Handsfree
waist belt from 28” - 49”
Leash Clip Sliding metal D-ring
Leash Length Extendable from 35” - 51”
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.

Tuff Mutt Running Leash
Tuff Mutt Running Leash
$38
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • 7 colors options
  • Dual handle design
  • Easy glide clip
  • Shock-absorbing bungee
  • What we Dislike
  • The leash is heavy
  • The elastic leash will wear out if your dog is puller
  • Incomplete waist size information
Product Details
Material Premium
weather-resistant nylon and metal hardware
Visibility Reflective stitching
Handsfree
waist belt up to 42”
Leash Clip Gliding metal D-ring
Leash Length 48 inches long leash that can stretch to 60 inches
Our Review

The Tuff Mutt leash is a good choice if you have a large dog that loves to go for runs. It’s made out of excellent material but it is a bit too heavy for smaller dogs. There’s a wide range of colors to pick from and the leash has reflective stitching.

Road Runner Dog Leash
Road Runner Dog Leash
$23
on amazon
4/10
  • What we Like
  • Low price point
  • 4 color selection
  • Comes with clip-on LED light
  • What we Dislike
  • Colors vary greatly in price
  • Gets loose when dogs pull
  • Plastic buckle known to break due to pulling
  • No handle design
  • No shock-absorbing bungee
Product Details
Material Nylon
plastic buckles
and metal clip
Visibility

reflective
but comes in bright colors
Handsfree
waist belt from 31.5” - 50”
Leash Clip Plastic buckle connects to leash plus metal D-ring
Leash Length Extendable 33.5” to 59”
Our Review

This running leash is pretty straightforward and is fairly basic. If you’re looking for something simple then this is a good leash for you to consider. However, you’re trading quality for a cheaper product and it doesn’t always hold the adjustments you make. There’s also a HUGE price difference between color choices because they come with additional items. These items though don’t really make up for the price hike.

Hertzko Running Leash
Hertzko Running Leash
$0
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Comes with an extra handle near leash clip
  • Mid-range price point
  • Shock-absorbing bungee
  • Dual handle design
  • What we Dislike
  • Only 1 color option
  • Bungee is very stiff
  • Plastic buckle is flimsy
Product Details
Material Premium nylon
plastic buckle
and metal hardware
Visibility Reflective stitching
Handsfree
waist belt up to 48”
Leash Clip Metal clip
Leash Length 2 options: 36” and 48”
Our Review

The Hertzko comes with what you would expect from the running leash. The leash attaches to either two fixed metal D-rings on your waist. However, some folk on Amazon have expressed concerns over the plastic buckle being flimsy and breaking suddenly. Which is probably the worst case scenario when it comes to a leash like this. Not everyone has reported this happening to them but you should definitely beware that there may be some manufacturer issues.

Riddick’s Running Leash
Riddick’s Running Leash
$19
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Accessories included
  • 3 color options
  • Designed for 2 dogs to be attached at once
  • Dual handle design
  • Shock-absorbing bungee
  • What we Dislike
  • Adjustment buckles are plastic and don’t stay very well
  • Incomplete waist size information
Product Details
Material Durable nylon material
plastic clip
and metal hardware
Visibility 3 seams of reflective stitching
Handsfree
waist belt up to 48”
Leash Clip 2 fixed metal D-rings
Leash Length 48”
Our Review

The Riddick’s running leash is a great option for those of you looking for a lot of value. It comes with a pretty standard leash and waist belt. What makes it special is that it comes with two accessory packs (1 for a water bottle and 1 for holding doggie bags). These accessory packs are the reason to get this running leash over other ones. If you’re not crazy about them then we’d recommend proven leashes that are of higher quality.

Ruffwear Flat Out Leash
Ruffwear Flat Out Leash
$0
on amazon
3/10
  • What we Like
  • Modular design to be used for everyday walks and runs
  • Has a spot for poop bags
  • 11 color selection
  • What we Dislike
  • No bungee cord in the leash
  • Recent changes in the leash have lead to lower quality
  • No longer has the Talon Clip and the nylon is thinner
Product Details
Material Reinforced stitched nylon and metal hardware
Visibility

reflective
but comes in bright colors
Handsfree
adjustable waist belt can be resized to hand leash (no sizing information)
Leash Clip Leash is one piece of reinforced nylon
Leash Length 72”
Our Review

The Ruffwear Flat Out Leash has the making of a real contender. However, what once made this leash great seems to have changed for the worse. The pictures show a thick leash with a Talon clip for added strength. But now it is a standard clip and the nylon is much thinner and not as reinforced as it once was. Overall, the design is sound and the idea of making a leash that could be used for daily walks and runs is still stellar. But we cannot recommend this leash until the old designs are once again being used.

Ruffwear Roamer Leash
Ruffwear Roamer Leash
$27
on amazon
4/10
  • What we Like
  • 8 color options
  • Handle near the leash clip for added control
  • Bungee leash
  • What we Dislike
  • Bungee is not very durable
  • High price point
  • No sizing specifics for waist belt given
Product Details
Material Premium nylon
Visibility

reflective
but comes in bright colors
Handsfree
adjustable waist belt can be resized to hand leash(no sizing information)
Leash Clip Leash is one piece and connected with nylon
Leash Length 2 sizes: 7.3’ - 11’ and 5.5’ - 7’
Our Review

The Ruffwear Roamer Leash is the kind of leash we would only recommend to a casual runner and their dog. It has the convenience of being both a leash you can use daily and use it as a running leash. However, this means it isn’t exactly great at either and many people have reported on the bungee leash breaking in a matter of weeks.

The Buddy System Leash
The Buddy System Leash
$30
on amazon
3/10
  • What we Like
  • 4 color options
  • Good alternative to bungee leashes
  • Highly recommend by trainers
  • What we Dislike
  • No reflective stitching
  • No metal connection between the waist belt and the leash
Product Details
Material Nylon
metal clip
and plastic buckles
Visibility

reflective
but comes in bright colors
Handsfree
waist from 33”-60”
Leash Clip Connected with nylon and a plastic clip
Leash Length Expandable from 22”-40”
Our Review

The Buddy System is a great running leash for someone looking for a simple solution. If you’re not sure about using a bungee leash and you want something rather straightforward, then this is the pick for you. These are very cheaply made leashes though, with nylon webbing sewn and fused together with very little reinforcement. There is no retractability function on this leash and your dog is secured to you with a cheap plastic buckle. We would not recommend this one for serious runners.

Best for Outdoors
Neewa Tug Line
Neewa Tug Line Best for Outdoors
$40
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Made for skijoring with dogs
  • Meets the standards for safety and regulation for the dog sledding federation
  • Very strong and lightweight
  • Comes with a strong bungee for shock absorption
  • What we Dislike
  • High price point
  • Only includes the leash (no waist belt)
  • Only 1 color option
Product Details
Material High-grade
reinforced nylon
Visibility

Handsfree
only the leash (but can be attached to a trekking belt)
Leash Clip Metal carabiner for easy and secure attachments
Leash Length Expandable from 60” - 72”
Our Review

The Neewa Tug Line is an amazing product designed for dog sledding. It can be used for hiking and running alike. It’s probably one of the most secure leashes you can get. However, this is only the leash and does not include a waist belt. But if you were looking for the most secure leash option for outdoor use then you’ve found it! We would give this a 10 out of 10 but it isn’t the complete package.

Kurgo 6-In-1 Leash
Kurgo 6-In-1 Leash
$25
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • 7 color options
  • 6-in-1 leash
  • What we Dislike
  • Does not specify size for the waist belt
  • Spring clip is rather weak
  • Padding on waist belt does properly line up
  • No shock-absorbing bungee
  • No handles
Product Details
Material High-grade nylon with reinforced stitching and metal hardware
Visibility Reflective stitching and bright color options
Handsfree
adjustable waist belt (no sizing information)
Leash Clip Spring load clip that attaches directly to the waist belt
Leash Length Expandable from 36” - 72”
Our Review

The Kurgo 6-In-1 leash is an attempt to make the safest and most versatile leash for daily use. It’s a very strong leash and can be used for running, walking, and securing your dog to just about anything. However, there are a number of design flaws on this leash that need to be addressed. The spring clip, which looks rather impressive is actually very weak and not secure at all. Also, some people have had trouble readjusting the waist belt and the leash to properly line up again. It apparently bunches up very easily and is a pain to handle. So we cannot recommend this as a running leash until these design flaws are dealt with.

Black Rhino running leash
Black Rhino running leash
$0
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • 4 color options
  • Dual handle design
  • Handles are padded with neoprene
  • Comes with a mesh accessory
  • Shock-absorbing bungee
  • What we Dislike
  • Short leash
  • Not great for 2 dogs at once
Product Details
Material Nylon and metal hardware
Visibility Reflective stitching and bright color options
Handsfree
comes with waist belt but does not specify sizes
Leash Clip 2 metal D-rings (one is fixed and the other slides)
Leash Length Expandable from 48” - 60"
Our Review

The Black Rhino running leash offers a med price range option. It comes with all the features you’d expect from a running leash and offers quite a bit more for its price. The padded dual handles are really exceptional. However, the sliding D-ring isn’t designed with dogs pullings in mind. As it will go up against the adjustment buckle and undo it. They don’t specify what it’s for but we believe it’s for accessories, not an additional leash clip. Also, the leash itself is very short and doesn’t stretch very well, making it a rather mediocre running leash overall.

Hurtta Hands-Free
Hurtta Hands-Free
$32
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Medium price point
  • Good for small dogs
  • 2 leash thickness options (¾” for <50lbs; 1 ¼” for <75lbs)
  • Padded, ergonomic handle makes it easy to hold water bottle, keys, etc.
  • 5 color options
  • What we Dislike
  • Not good for large dogs
  • Unhelpful for pullers
  • Mislabeled as “hands-free” but it is not
Product Details
Material Nylon with neoprene handle
Visibility 3M Reflectors sewn in
Handsfree

Leash Clip n/a (grip is woven directly to the leash)
Leash Length 2 sizes (2’-3’ and 3.5’ - 6’)
Our Review

If you have a medium to small dog and want maximum control on your runs, the Hurtta Hands-Free leash may be a good pick for you. The name is a bit deceiving–the leash isn’t actually hands-free, but it doesn’t require much grip as the ergonomic handle slips over your hand like a glove, allowing you to use your hands as you wish. Unfortunately, if your dog is a strong puller, there is very little give or support.

Taotronics leash
Taotronics leash
$28
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Dual handle design
  • Dual bungees
  • Good for dogs up to 150lbs
  • “Retractable” leash
  • Medium-low price point
  • What we Dislike
  • Only 2 color options
  • Not good for small dogs
  • Waist size not specified
  • No padding on the waist belt
  • Leash a little long for city running
Product Details
Material Nylon and metal buckles
Visibility Reflective stitching
Handsfree
waist not specified (likely up to 42”)
Leash Clip Sliding metal D-ring and fixed metal D-ring options
Leash Length Expandable from 28” - 63”
Our Review

Taotronics’ leash is a simple, effective, and affordable leash for running outside of the city. Many, many runners absolutely love it, but it’s definitely a no-frills option–if you have back problems, this leash doesn’t give you much room for error. Unfortunately, since a waist size isn’t specified, it’s hard for us to recommend this wholeheartedly–there are simply too many solid options that give more information to make informed decisions.

Lanney Leash
Lanney Leash
$55
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Dual handles
  • Medium-low price point
  • 5 color options
  • Shock-absorbing bungee
  • Detachable waist pouch
  • What we Dislike
  • Pouch slides around as running
  • Leash may be too long for city running
  • Metal is noisy as running
  • Pouch too small for larger phone models
Product Details
Material Nylon with premium metal clips
Visibility 3 seams of reflective stitching
Handsfree
fits waists 27” - 46”
Leash Clip 2 options--sliding metal D-ring and fixed metal D-ring
Leash Length Extendable 49” - 69”
Our Review

Many walkers swear by the Lanney Leash. It’s affordable, sturdy, and gets the job done. The colors are bright and the leash holds together over time. Some owners dislike the size of the pouch, as it is too small to hold larger models of the iPhone. Unfortunately, once you move up to a run, the pouch begins to slide and the metal can be a bit noisy. Overall, a great pick for avid walkers–not the best for running.

Pet Dreamland Hands Free Double Dog Leash
Pet Dreamland Hands Free Double Dog Leash
$0
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Handle allows control of both dogs
  • Can be used with one or two dogs
  • Extendable
  • What we Dislike
  • Not for dogs that pull
  • Best for smaller to medium-sized dogs
  • Waist does not go smaller than 27"
Product Details
Material: Nylon webbing
Visibility:

Handsfree:

Leash Clip:

Leash Length: 55"
Our Review

This is a great idea for the owner who has well-behaved dogs that can walk side-by-side and is brave enough to have them both attached to you at the waist. The handle at the main segment can allow you to control both dogs at the same time or you can use the handle attached to each dog’s leash. We would have liked to see stronger reinforcement where the nylon webbing folds over to secure the hardware and clips and stronger/larger clips. Due to these design issues, we’d recommend using these leashes with well-behaved or only small to medium dogs.

Best Hands Free Dog Leash
Product Name Best for Rate
Mighty Paw Running Leash Best Overall 9
Iron Doggy Running Leash Best Quality 9
SparklyPets Leash Best Budget 9
Neewa Tug Line Best for Outdoors 8

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.

Material
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.

Visibility
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.

Hands-free
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!