Sure, you gained an extra hour of sleep this weekend. The downer is that it's now pitch-black by the time you get out of work. If you're a runner, and have no intentions of succumbing to the "dreadmill" all winter, it's time to adjust to working out in the dark.
Lucky for you, we asked Bennett Grimes, associate product line manager at Brooks Running, for tips on what to look for, and how to wear reflective apparel and accessories.
“It is not just about visibility, it is about recognition,” says Grimes. “The location of the retroreflectivity on five key motion zones signal to the brain that the wearer is human, versus a traffic cone. The five key motion zones include the knees, hips, elbows, shoulders and wrists.”
With these tips in mind, we’ve round up nine essential pieces of gear so you can light the night no matter how dark and daring your running route gets.
Keep your head warm with the Nathan Domelight Running Beanie. The cap features a brushed fleece lining for comfort and a BudLock system that cradles your earbuds to support audible awareness. It's even fixed with LIGHTWAVE LED lights giving you up to 1,300 feet of visibility—so there's no doubt you'll be the light of someone's eye.
"The reflective details in Brooks Running Nightlife apparel are fully integrated into each piece for 360 degrees of visibility; 360 degrees of visibility helps the runner be seen from all angles," says Grimes. And the Seamless Arm Warmers are no exception. The lightweight compression sleeves come in six bright colors. Rest assured that any arm movement and signals will be seen by passersby.
The Mobium Ride Nightcat Running Shoes have 360 degrees of reflectivity and a blue LED light affixed to the top of the tongue to keep you safe (from say, pot holes and branches) in low light conditions. They also feature a specially-crafted Mobium Band designed for heel strikers. Comfort and functionality: what more could you want?
Obviously your legs are in constant motion when you run. The Smartwool Men's PhD Run Wind Tight takes advantage of that; they're equipped with reflective ankle zips and have 360 degrees of reflectivity to boot.
Reflective weather protection meets sleek design with Nike's Shielf Flash Running Jacket, part of the brand's 'We Run the Night' collection. Reflectivity on the lower half of the jacket, as well as the sleeves, delivers high visibility. Inclement weather isn't an issue either since the dry-FIT fabric has a durable, water-repellent finish.
Designed for pre-dawn and post-sunset excursions, the USB-rechargeable, 75-lumen Sprinter Headlamp from Black Diamond is an absolute must. The lightweight headlamp has a red taillight strobe in the rear for visibility in urban areas and a front scope of up to 100 meters. This is a go-to piece you shouldn't leave the house without.
Visibility bands like the Stretch-Bright Fluorescent Reflective are super-affordable and easy to wear. The ultra-bright bands easily adjust to fit around your ankles or wrists, and are crucial in adding extra visibility when you step out at night.