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The Best Alternative to Safety Pins for Race Bibs

I hate fumbling to hook safety pins to my shirt before a race. Whether its a single marathon or a few short races, safety pins also create permanent little holes in my nice running clothes. So, imagine my delight when I came across an alternative to safety pins called, BibSnaps.

How does it hook to the shirt?

BibSnaps are made by the company, BibBoards. The are simply two pieces of lightweight plastic, rubber or metal that snap together. One piece goes on the front of the shirt and race bib, while the other goes on the back of the shirt. You simply press and snap them together.

The front piece essentially pushes the material of your shirt through a hole of the back piece of the BibSnaps. I found it easier to attach the race bib with the BibSnaps before I put my shirt on--but I’ve done it both ways.

Do they stay on? Do they rub?

At first I was skeptical about whether these things would actually stay on. I thought that perhaps they would pop off during the race. I also wondered if they would rub against my skin or feel heavy.

I tested them several times and so did my family members. My wife ran the Boston Marathon with Boston themed BibSnaps, which BibBoards graciously provided. Two of my kids also ran with them in a couple of cross country races. My wife, kids and I all used them for a Thanksgiving 5K as well. So, we got good use of them in our effort to test them out.

We also tested them on thick t-shirts, thin tank-tops, and typical dry-wick running materials. They worked on everything!

None of us had trouble with them ever coming off, rubbing, or feeling heavy. In fact, I found the complete opposite was true--they took a bit of effort to pull apart--and that’s a good thing.

Your Running Clothes

Unlike safety pins, BibSnaps do not create holes or tears. That’s the biggest appeal!

After you remove them, there is a very slight wrinkled on the shirt, which simply flattens out when you rub it, and even wash and dry it. We've used these several times and we plan to use them with all of our races.

We only experienced one very minor issue with a thin shirt. There was a barely seeable sweat stain from build up around the BibsSnaps. I think we could have easily prevented it by simply scrubbing it before we washed the shirt.

Customizable, Affordable & Reusable

The BibSnaps cost between $12 to $19 for a set of four. Most are about $15. The price is also significantly cheaper if you buy them in bulk.

These things are not only practical, but they look cool! Individual runners, Race Directors, High Schools, and Colleges should all order these. It’s a very inexpensive way to get your logo and branding on something that people will use over and over again.

Every single BibSnap is customized with whatever design, logo or saying that you want on it. They also recently came out with 3D rubber and metal versions that include fun designs, like Minnie Mouse, donuts, avocados, bicycles and a variety of other designs.

For individuals, $15 may seem costly compared to safety pins, but safety pins have ruined several of my shirts that cost way more than $15. Not to mention the fact that once you buy a set of BibSnaps--or get a set from a local race--you can reuse them hundreds of times again!



Well, his real name is actually Dave...but "The Average Joe Runner" seemed like a catchy name for a blog. Born a sprinter, but converted to distance running in adulthood, Dave has run for more than 25 years. He is the father of four awesome kids and the husband to one amazingly talented, smart and fast-running wife.

The Average Joe Runner blog and website was born after Dave continued to get questions from friends and family alike for running tips and gear advice. However, this blog is also meant to hear from other Average Joe and Jane Runners out there. You can contribute to the blog by clicking Submit or Request. Follow The Average Joe Runner on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @TheAvgJoeRun. Read More.


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