Running at Night: Staying Visible

It’s important that you’re detectable to cars and other runners when going on a nighttime run. Before your next jog at sundown, learn more about running reflective options.

You’re a runner. It’s in your blood. Running outside may be your ideal activity, but are you best prepared best for night runs?

Running at night can not only inhibit your vision, but also the vision of those around you, including fellow runners and motor vehicles. To help stay visible and safe, you need the right running gear to stand out in the dark.

STAYING VISIBLE

The best way you can prepare to be seen is to wear reflective clothing, lights or a combination of the two. From reflective vests to strobe lights, there’s a variety of options you should take advantage of.

So, how does it work?

Reflective materials are passive, which means they react to other forms of light, including headlights on cars. Because of this, think about the size and amount of reflective you don during your runs. This is why larger reflective gear, such as vests, are great to help keep runners safe.

Nevertheless, smaller accessories like arm, wrist and ankle bands are also effective. When lights and reflective move, they can stick out more. Wearing these smaller accessories on your arms and legs when they are in motion can help signal to others that you’re a moving object in the distance.

Let’s break it down and shine light on the gear choices available so you know what’s best for you.

REFLECTIVE VESTS

Reflective vests are highly-visible running accessories that you wear over your shirt to highlight your chest, back, shoulders and waist, helping people spot you from all angles. Most vests are made of bright yellow mesh and silver reflectors. They are also designed to be breathable and allow a full range of motion, making them a popular choice for runners.

ARM BANDS, WRIST BANDS AND BELTS 

Brighten up your running outfit with reflective armbands, wristbands and belts. These items may be small, but they’re mighty. They can help trace your image to drivers and other runners or bikers in the distance. Not only that, some wristbands feature hook-and-loop fasteners and can be attached to equipment such as bikes and backpacks for even greater visibility.

LIGHTS

Luminous lights can do more for a runner than just highlight their presence. Headlamps, flashlights and strobes also act as a beacon so you can see what’s in front of you. Most of these lights are also weather resistant as well.

OTHER RUNNING ACCESSORIES  

On top of all the gear mentioned above, you can also look for products that may be a bit more unique. Reflective shoelaces, bright snap bracelets, stickers and magnetic clip-on patches are all possible options you can choose to add to your ensemble. Many footwear, apparel and accessory manufacturers are now adding reflective details on their running gear as an added benefit. Every little bit can help!

COLORS, WEATHER AND MORE SAFETY 

When choosing reflective gear, you may notice an array of color choices. Yellow, green, silver and red are popular choices as they tend to stick out well in the dark. Keep in mind, the more reflective pieces you wear, the more likely someone off in the distance may be able to recognize you.

You should always try to run in familiar, well-lit surroundings, but, If you get caught in the rain or if it’s darker than you planned for, no need to worry. Reflective items perform the same regardless of the level of darkness or in rain, but again, you may want to wear more than one reflective piece.

In addition to wearing lights and reflective gear, be sure to have pepper spray and an identification tag that includes your name, address and phone number. Safety should be your first priority.

Remember, you can never be too visible. Now that you know what to look for in your nighttime running gear, be sure to follow these nighttime running tips to help maximize your safety even more.