Why Do Runners Wear Necklaces? Top 4 Reasons

Why do runners wear necklaces?

If you're a runner, you've probably noticed that many of the elite in your field wear necklaces, but why do runners wear necklaces?

I try to keep it as easy as possible to get going when I go for a run because the last thing I want to do is put on a bunch of jewelry. However, most of the elite runners wear necklaces, which can be due to superstition, to measure cadence and incorporate some personal style into their running gear.

Which Elite Runners Wear Necklaces?

In a sport where a 6/100th of a second can mean the difference between first and second place, it stands to reason that every little thing can make or break you.

Runners famously wear super light clothing so that they can work more efficiently with aerodynamics. Nevertheless, the best of the best seem not to be slowed down by wearing necklaces around their necks.

Does it make sense for these powerful runners to wear gold chains? On the surface, maybe not. However, many of them do, and they're still super successful.

Which Famous Runners Wear Necklaces? 

Why do runners wear necklaces?
Erik van Leeuwen, GFDL http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Bernard Lagat
  • Asafa Powell
  • Sanya Richards-Ross
  • Dayron Robles
  • Wallace Spearmon
  • Michael Johnson
  • Jeremy Wariner
  • Robby Andrews
  • Mo Farah
  • Galen Rupp
  • Paul Chelimo
  • Cole Hocker
  • Cooper Teare

You might also be interested in our explainer on do tights make you run faster.

Top 4 Reasons Why Runners Wear Necklaces

Most runners don't wear necklaces to help their performance (although some claim it does). So why do runners wear necklaces? Here are some of the reasons.

To Emulate Running Superstars

In the LetsRun online community, one runner asked just how fast you have to be to earn the right to wear a chain. Apparently, in the world of elite runners, there seems to be a premise that only the pros are entitled to wear necklaces.

The thinking is that these elite athletes operate at such a high level that the tiny bit of extra weight doesn't slow them down, but it does add some artistic flourish.

To Help Their Cadence

For some runners, the metal's clang against their chest helps them to keep track of their cadence to ensure that it's not slowing down or picking up.

To Enjoy A Bit Of Personal Style And Flair

Traditionally, runners aren't allowed to wear jewelry on high school tracks. Because of this, when many runners make it to college or the pros, they enjoy being able to display some personal style.

Healthy Superstition

An anthropologist named Dr. George Gmelch called traditions such as baseball players spitting and runners wearing necklaces “instruments of magic.”

You might also be interested in learning why do runners shave their legs.

FAQs About Why Do Runners Wear Necklaces

Can You Wear Necklaces On Track?

In high school athletics, most districts disallow the wearing of any type of jewelry, citing a possible injury to the athletes. If they break the rules and wear jewelry, they can be disqualified.

Why Do Athletes Wear So Much Jewelry?

In most cases, athletes who wear jewelry do so because it gives them a bit of flair. In other instances, the jewelry is considered a sort of good luck charm.