Daylight is precious this time of year. With fewer hours of sunshine, runners often make adjustments to their workout routines, rising in the wee hours, sneaking in runs at lunchtime and punching out of work a few minutes early to beat the sunset. Knowing that many women are busy chasing daylight, the Independent Running Retailers Association (IRRA) sponsors National Running Safety Month in November.
Chief among the initiatives of National Running Safety Month is visibility, since there is often no choice other than to run under the cover of night. It wasn't long ago that even the best reflective gear on the market couldn't be seen from much more than 10 yards away. Thanks to fluorescent fabrics, retroreflective materials, headlight-catching LED lights, and reflective yarn, runners are safer than ever on the roads today. Fortunately for runners, the best brands in the industry are going full throttle when it comes to addressing this need. Get seen with some of our favorite shoes, garments and gadgets available this season.
GoMotion LiteBelt 100
A more stable alternative to wearing a headlamp, the GoMotion LiteBelt 100 fits snuggly around you waist, simultaneously lighting the road ahead and making you visible to drivers. In addition to the 100-lumen LED light on the front of the belt, it features red flashing LEDs in the back, as well as a reflective badge and trim. This makes it easy for drivers to see you regardless of the direction of their approach. The angle and intensity of the front light can also be adjusted depending on the conditions, allowing you see all of the road's ruts and rocks. What's more, mesh pockets big enough to fit a wallet or music player are built into the belt for convenience. Price: $59.95.
Skechers GOrun Ride 2 Nite Owl
You can forget the scant reflective logos on traditional running footwear because you will literally light up the night in Skechers glow shoes. Whether you're running at dusk or in the middle of the night, the photoluminescent technology creates a glow when it's activated by any light source. Providing a unique approach to the visibility conundrum, simply charge the shoes in sunlight for 10 to 60 minutes, and they will give off a distinct glow for several hours and plenty of miles. Light and flexible with a sock-like fit, oncoming traffic will be more aware of these shoes than the runner herself. Price: $100.
New Balance HI-VIZ Beacon Jacket
While plenty of high-visibility jackets are hitting the market this fall, the New Balance HI-VIZ Beacon just might be the best. Perfect for low-light conditions, the Beacon utilizes a fiery coral-colored material, along with reflectivity in key areas and a unique glow-in-the-dark luminance. Simultaneously employing several different reflective technologies, all it requires is a short time charging under any light source and it will glow for miles. Also featuring wind- and water-resistant fabric and welded zip pockets, the Beacon will withstand just about any weather condition, day or night. Price: $175.
Nathan's TorchLight Hydration Collection
Nathan has the perfect hydration solution for those early-morning and late-night runs. The Torchlight Collection offers a 10-ounce handheld water bottle, a 22-ounce handheld bottle, and two separate hydration packs, creating options for runners training for everything from 5K to 100 miles. With the use of retro-reflective, lightweight 3M fabric, all models feature zip pockets for easy storage. An important accessory for any nighttime runner going long, Nathan's systems perform two very important functions, keeping you both hydrated and safe. Price: $30-$150.
Moving Comfort Sprint Tech Tight
Like the little black dress of running tights, every runner hitting the road at dusk or dawn should own a pair of Sprint Tech Tights. With 360-degree reflectivity, these tights serve as the perfect complement to a high-visibility jacket for nighttime running. A wide waistband and flatlocked seams make for a chafe-free, comfortable fit, and cooling mesh inserts and a DriLayer Buzz internal waistband will keep you warm and dry through various weather conditions. A security zip pocket in back and an infinity stretch drawcord round out the features, making these a great all-around fall and winter running tight. Price: $82.