When you are new to canicross one of the first places you go searching for information is on the internet.
You may already know that, in terms of kit, you will need a waist belt for you, a harness for your dog and a special bungee line.
But which specific make and style do you choose?
There are so many different brands on the market and I’m afraid there is no ‘one size fits all’ product, especially when it comes to the dog’s harness as it will vary according to their size, strength, running style and individual needs.
But an equally important item is your canicross waist belt. Getting the right fit is critical to your enjoyment of the sport and staying injury free!
Over the next three days I will cover the three waist belts that we feel are currently the best in the market. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t others available that perform a great job but these are the belts that we personally run in and, based on our experience, would highly recommend:
Note, all three belts sit on the runner’s bottom, not their back. This is the optimum way to wear the belt as the force of the pull then comes from the bottom and hips, thus reducing pressure on the lower back and allowing you to run freely and injury free.
So, first up is the DogFit Canicross Belt
The DogFit Canicross Belt is a high-quality product (made in the UK) that sits snug against the runner’s body so there is no friction or movement. It is made of a very lightweight material so you barely notice you are wearing it, making it ideal for races and everyday/general use.
It comes in standard and XL sizes with fully adjustable waist and leg straps.
It has a handy zip pocket too which is useful for carrying your car keys and essential poo bags!
The main section of the waist belt (with the pocket) sits on the runner’s bottom and the precise fit (slightly higher or lower on the glutes) is down to personal preference and can be adjusted using the straps incorporated in the sides of the belt.
The thinner waist strap (the section above the main part of the waist belt) sits on your hips and fastens together at the front of the belt behind the strap where the metal ring you attach your bungee line is located.
The ring performs two essential tasks. Its strength takes the force of the pulling dog and its functionality in sliding effortlessly along the strap as the dog negotiates turns maximises comfort and efficiency.
There are leg straps with this belt, as there are with all of the ones we recommend. They are an essential part of the belt as they work with the belt itself to ensure that any force generated from your dog pulling travels through your hips and not your back and thus avoiding stress and strain and longer term injury. The straps can be adjusted for maximum comfort.
Advantages of wearing a Canicross Belt
- Sits on top/middle of runner’s bottom (rather than their back)
- Sits flat against the body making it exceptionally comfortable
- Comes in one convenient size
- Has a handy and compact zip pocket
- Lightweight, making it perfect for racing
Written by Gail Walker