Welcome to our guide to the best protective phone cases for running, designed to help you find the right phone case to protect your phone while out running or hiking.
I don’t know about you but I’m ALWAYS getting my phone out while running and that can be risky if it’s not properly protected with a case. After several close calls with my iPhone during runs, I decided to do some research to find the ultimate protective phone case for running. As a runner, there are a few essential design features that you should be looking out for when buying a phone case. The cases on this list have these features and are available for popular brands like Apple, Samsung, and Google. For a protective phone case to be great for running with, it must:
- protect your phone from an accidental drop. Smartphones are expensive, so investing a little bit of money into protecting it is worthwhile.
- be slim. If the case is bulky then your iPhone may not fit in your shorts, armband, running belt or hydration pack pockets.
- be lightweight. Whether you’re running 5km or 100 miles, unnecessary additional weight could turn your run into a real slog.
- be able to take clear photos. Unfortunately, fully waterproof phone cases will cover up your mobile phone’s camera lens, degrading any photos that you may take while out running. Many new mobile phones come with a certain level of water resistance built-in, however. For example, the new Apple iPhone XS (the phone I use) has an IP68 rating, which means it can be submerged in 2 meters of water for up to 30 mins, so you should be ok if your phone’s exposure to water is less than this. Other phones with the IP68 rating include the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Google’s Pixel 3. I’m always taking photos of things I see on my run, so it’s important that my case doesn’t cover the camera lens.
This list of the ‘best phone protectors for running’ is continually updated, so make sure you check back before buying one.
1. Rokform Crystal Case
The Rokform Crystal Case features a slim and lightweight design. A slim case is really important for running as you’ll have more chance of fitting your phone into your short pockets, running armband, running belt, or hydration pack.
In addition to this, the Crystal Case will grip any magnetic surface! Until I got this case I didn’t realize how many uses a magnetic phone case could have. Some examples of how I’m using my phone with the magnetic feature:
- as a non-obtrusive GPS navigation device in my car using the Super grip phone vent mount.
- On our kitchen fridge as a recipe book, timer, and for listening to music while cooking.
- Taking running selfies.
- When I use my phone’s torch but I need both of my hands free.
This case works with Qi wireless charging but you’ll need to quickly pop out the magnet beforehand.
You can see the ways in which we like to use our Rokform cases HERE. Like all the cases in this list, the Crystal case doesn’t come with a screen protector but you can buy a tempered glass one here if you want to ensure your screen remains scratch-free too.
RELATED: Rokform Crystal Case In-Depth Review
2. Urban Armor Gear Civilian Series
Protective case specialist Urban Armor offers a range of rugged, outdoor adventure-worthy phone cases for phone brands including Google, Apple and Samsung. Their Civilian Series offers slimline protection for your phone in a range of colors including silver, green and black.
These Urban Armor phone cases use a patent-pending technology designed to dampen and disperse the energy created when a phone collides with another surface – essentially, lessening the blow, to protect your phone, with a 20ft / 6 meter drop protection.
These cases also come with a 1 year warranty and are wireless-charging compatible.
3. Otterbox Commuter Series
The Otterbox Commuter Series case is a slim and lightweight protective case that comes in a variety of colorways. The case absorbs and deflects impacts using a soft inner and hard outer layer.
A differentiator with this case is that it has a port cover that keeps dust and dirt from entering. Handy if you have particularly linty pockets. The Commuter case also has grippy edges on select parts of the case which reduces the risk of dropping it.
This case will work with Qi wireless charging, and similar to all the cases in this list, the Otterbox Commuter Series case can be removed effortlessly.
2 new from $29.96
3 used from $21.75
4. Speck Presidio Grip
The Speck Presidio Grip is another slim case but this one focuses on having a no-slip grip with its raised rubber ridges. It also has Microban antimicrobial protection, which is effective against most common bacteria, yeasts, molds and fungi that cause stains, odors and product degradation. The case is 10-foot drop protection rated too.
This case works with Qi wireless charging without the need for any case modification.
The Presidio Grip case doesn’t have any modularity in terms of optional accessories to give it extended functionality.