With so many unknown factors lurking for those running at night, it’s critical that runners planning an after-dark jog take measures to ensure their safety. Factors such as poorly lit areas, distracted drivers, fog, and even predators are all hazards that are out of a runner’s control. Firmly in a runner’s control, however, is how visible the runner makes themselves to others in the dark. While many runners rely on simple measures, such avoiding dark clothing and small bit of reflector tape on their shoes, too many stories exist of nighttime running accidents that could easily have been avoided had a runner been properly equipped.
The proper night running gear can help solve the problem of safety after dark and can have you covered from head to toe. Many running stores, including Road Runner Sports, one of our preferred stores, features a catalog of safety equipment designed to match any runner’s comfort, style and need. From lighted headbands to reflective shoestrings, the variety of products available make it possible to stay safe without compromising an enjoyable running experience.
Reflective vests remain one of the most popular running safety articles, largely because they’re effective, comfortable and less intrusive than some other night running wearables. Road Runner Sports offers an assortment of vests, including the ultra-light Amphipod Reflective Xinglet Vest, an over-the-shoulders configuration of straps that offers zero restriction, as well as the Nathan Streak Vest, which delivers 360-degree visibility of a runner’s entire torso.
For more subtle safety gear, browse Road Runners Sports’ reflective arm and leg bands. With offerings from makers such as Nathan, Brooks and Fun Source, the variety makes it easy to match the style you’re looking for. The Brooks Nightlife Arm and Leg Bands are comfortable, elastic-fit bands that dramatically increase how well you’ll be seen when running after dark. Or, take a look at he belt-like Nathan Reflective Snap Bands, adjustable bands that use L.E.D. technology to make drivers aware of you from as far away as 400 feet.
To improve how well you can see, in addition to how well others can see you, turn to Petzl’s line of headlamp lighting bands, such as the Petzl Tikka XP 2 Headlamp. At its maximum level, the Petzl Headlamp beam reaches 60 meters, but it also offers an adjustable beam width to help you adjust the brightness to your needs. The strap also comes equipped with an integrated whistle to call for help, and features two kinds of lighting (red and white) to let you further adjust it to your needs. (Run Gadget Editor’s note: I personally use the Petzl Tikka XP 2 Headlight and am very happy with it)
To the runner who is inclined to simply wear a white t-shirt with intentions of staying in well-lit areas while running at night, these may seem like extreme measures to ensure running safety. But with so much out there that runners don’t control, it’s important to smartly handle that which they do. And, just as properly stretching before any run, or getting fluids up before a big race, are important parts of any training regimen, so too is making sure that when you are visible when running at night. There is nothing more important than wearing appropriate night running gear. Making certain that you’ll be seen should be priority one.
Many crimes happen to runners at night. Utilizing these ideas can help prevent that from happening. If identifying and preventing crimes like this from happening is important to you, consider taking courses in the Regis Online criminology masters program.