As the days get shorter, running becomes not only cooler, but also darker. Often we must put in long miles at silly early hours before work or into the evening. And with impending snowstorms, running on trails may not be a viable or safe option.
For this reason, a large variety of safety and visibility products for runners and athletes have popped up:
Jackets & Vests:
Many apparel pieces and some shoes contain small, or even large, strips of reflective materials. 3M Scotchlite Reflective material is a well known element of many athletic and safety oriented equipment. These panels reflect light sources, such as car headlights, and can alert driver to a runner’s presence.
Brooks utilizes highly specific paneling locations on their Nightlife Essential Run Jacket II. The collective orientation of these small strips can be perceived as a human body, even if the actual body’s outline is not discernible!
Reflective strips (wrist and ankle):
Small elastic or velcro bands can also provide some protection and visibility. Small neon snap-bands – much like are used at concerts – are a really cool and portable option also
Example include ankle bands, wrist bands such as the Nathan Reflective Wrist Arm Runner Band, vests, and jackets.
Small blinking lights can also identify a runners. These light may attach via plastic clips, or velcro straps, onto runner’s ankles or biceps. Nathan has also come out with lights which attach to a runner’s heels, the LightSpur *, resembling spurs. While these may sound silly, these do actually look fantastic and pretty cool in the middle of night!
The latest wave of light oriented products includes the integration of LED lights into gloves, hats, headbands and jackets. Nathan, Saucony, and Brooks have all released a great selection of items with USB rechargeable LED lights integrated into them. These are easily managed, as they can be recharged in the same USB connection on your PC as your iPod or phone.
*On a personal note, I have been using the LightSpur on my bike shoes at night, commuting and just riding*