Should You Carry A Knife When Running (Find Answers Here)

There are several reasons to EDC a knife. However, how far is too far?

Already, I have provided reasons why you should carry a knife when hiking, especially if you are going on multi-day hikes. On the back of that, would you need to carry a knife when running too?

Runners should carry a good EDC knife as it can come in handy in first aid situations, for self-defense, or other common EDC applications. Consideration should be given to the kind of knife carried such that it is legal and doesn’t impede the running exercise.

Read on to find out more about why you should run with a pocket knife, how you should carry your knife when running, and more.

Top Reasons to Carry your Knife when Running

If you have not already started doing this, here are some reasons that might convince you to start.


If you run off-trail, chances are you only have your phone, water bottle, and light running clothes on you.

A phone is great to call for help, but what if it doesn’t work when you run out as far as you used to?

Here, a knife for self-defense will give you a better sense of security than if you didn’t have one.

If you’re carrying your knife for this reason, it makes sense to learn some basic knife self-defense tips first lest you just be arming your attacker with a blade.

Go here for some beginner tips.

First Aid

A lot can happen on a run, either to you or around you.

If you’re running in the woods and got stung/ bitten by an insect or animal, for example, it’s recommended that you tie a piece of clothing around the wound to prevent the flow of poison. A knife is a useful tool to cut that piece of clothing to size.

With a multitool like a swiss army knife, you get to do even much more.

Likewise, you might witness an accident – and you are one of the first or only people on the scene. Your knife might be the difference between cutting the seatbelts to get the passengers out in time, or leaving them to choke in the smoke.

If you, or someone else in the running pack, were to break a bone too, a knife helps to make a fine splinter in mere minutes.

I cannot think of all the possible options now, but a knife sure helps with first aid.

Fending animals off

Even if you don’t run into the woods, you might have to fend animals off one day.

This is usually common with stray dogs and other stray animals that might decide to come after you. With a knife, you have your wits about you even better and you can easily scare off the animals.

Most times than not, you won’t even need to cut any animal. The added confidence that you get from your weapon allows you to read the situation better and diffuse it before it gets violent.

Does Everyone Need A Knife When Running?

I don’t think so.

If you do mostly urban running, or you live in a generally safe environment, you might not need to take a knife with you.

Of course, I recommend having a fine EDC that you can call on anytime you are out, no matter what you are doing. Thus, you could carry the knife like you would on any other day.

How Do You Carry A Knife When Running?

There are different ways to carry a knife.

You can pass the knife around your neck with a lanyard, hip the knife on your belt, or carry it in your pocket.

When running, these options will look and feel less than ideal for you. They get in the way of the run and keep you conscious of carrying the knife. In the true sense of things, you don’t want to remember that you have a knife on your person till you need to use it.

In these cases, I would prefer well-made knives that have a hip holster or clip instead. That way, you can carry the knife on your side hip such that it doesn’t press into your thighs when running or get in the way anywhere else.

Fixed Vs Folding Blade: Which Is Best for Running?

Under intense conditions, your fine motor skills deteriorate.

If you were to whip out a folding blade after running, you might cut yourself.

Of course, that risk of injuring yourself reduces once you learn how to properly open and close these knives – time and over again. It takes dexterity and commitment to building that muscle memory, though.

That is why I would prefer fixed blade knives.

While they tend to be a little heavier than the folding blade knives, they are more practical, functional, and applicable for you here. The better part is that the weight difference turns out to be negligible once you have carried the knife for a while.

So, go for fixed blade knives (like the Esee 3 or 4).

Is It Illegal to Run with A Knife?

Only if it is illegal to carry a knife, or that kind of knife, in the first place.

Generally, I would steer clear of:

Make sure to check with the relevant local, state, and federal knife laws before you attempt this.

Fortunately, most pocket knives and fixed blade knives that I’d recommend for running are legal in most areas.

What Running Knives Should You Get?

You should get an Esee 4 knife for the fixed blade appeal and the ease of use that will come with whipping them out under tension.

These blades ship with a horizontal carry sheath already, and you can also clip it anywhere on your body where it is most comfortable.

If you don’t need all the strength that this one brings to the table, consider the Esee 3 knife instead.

Esee 3 Vs Esee 4 Which Is My Best EDC Utility Knife
Esee 3 and 4

The Esee 3 does everything the Esee 4 can do but with a lesser weight and lesser generated power also. To make a better decision, look at this Esee 3 vs 4 knife comparison guide and you’ll be sure to know which one works best for you.

However, don’t forget to rinse off the knife after every run. The moisture and sweat that would have gathered on the knife could be setting it up for rust.

One neat way to get rid of that, especially if you don’t mind folding blade knives, is to buy a Spyderco Salt series knife instead.

Spyderco Salt Series

They are designed to withstand salty situations without damage to the scales or blade. Coupled with a hole in the blade for easy opening when needed, I like the practicality of this knife also.

Final Thoughts: Carrying a Knife when Running

When you carry a knife on your runs, that should never substitute for your alertness and other security tips.

The idea is to be more secure and have a tool that’s useful on your runs, not to neglect other best practices now that you have a knife.

If possible, run in packs. Avoid areas where there is a history of violence, and know your route. Vary your routes across different days without any pattern so that you don’t have anyone waylay you.

Also, remember that it is better to carry a knife on your runs and not need one than to need one and not have any knife handy.

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