Running In The Dark? You Need These Reflective Running Essentials

reflective running gear
Image courtesy of Amazon
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It’s a new year, and many of us have committed to the resolution of getting fit. While gym memberships can require a daunting subscription fee (and may not be open this year), the great outdoors does not. But, when running outside, it’s extremely important to invest in a set of reflective gear to keep you safe.

Whether you’re running at night or in the day, you should always opt for wearing your reflective gear. Granted, a full reflective outfit might not be necessary during the day, but having some reflective patches on key parts of your body, such as the head, shoulders or feet, is wise. 

Running outdoors has a lot of positives, but it can be particularly dangerous at night. The cooler temperatures and perhaps quieter roads are a plus, but this time of day also brings attention to visibility levels. It is highly, highly (can’t stress this enough), highly important that other runners, cyclists, car drivers, moped riders, milkmen, cowboys, literally everyone can see you. Don’t take this lightly, and get yourself some reflective running gear.

Everyone wants to feel good in their running gear, reflective or not. You may have received the gift of a new workout set for Christmas which you want to upgrade with some reflective add ons, or perhaps you’re starting from scratch. Either way, reflective running gear is the key to visibility when exercising outdoors. When picking out your reflective running gear, keep these elements in mind:

  • Lightweight – To make a material reflective, it is coated with micro glass beads which are designed to react with incoming light. This coating can be applied to most materials, including polyester and spandex, which are often used for lightweight running gear. Having reflective areas on your running outfit should be an easy adaptation, completed without any noticeable extra weight.
  • Elasticated – One of the best ways to upgrade the reflectiveness of your running gear is with elasticated bands. They’re available in different shapes, sizes and colors, which can be placed over your existing outfit. The elasticated material ensures a good fit for most users, making these pieces of running kit a universal and affordable way to promote visibility without investing in a new get up. 
  • Waterproof – It is common for reflective materials to also be waterproof due to their coating. You will not regret having a water resistant hat, jacket and pants when running outdoors. Who knows when the heavens are about to open and catch you out? 
  • Storage – Many reflective accessories double up as storage too. Visibility takes priority, but safe storage is also a big benefit when running outdoors. You don’t want your phone and keys ending up in the mud.

In addition to wearing reflective running gear, there are a few things you can do to keep safe when running. First of all, be sure to turn your music down, so you can hear things and check both ways, twice, when crossing a road. Alternatively, you can run without music entirely, so you are more aware of your surroundings. But really, running with reflective gear is one of the best safety measures you can put in place when out jogging. 

Of course, you can promote visibility across all areas of your body or select some key zones which you’re comfortable with. Whatever you do, do not ignore the need for a reflective accent in your running wardrobe. And, once you are glowing like a nuclear, green fuel-rod (a la Simpsons), that’s when both day and night running outdoors becomes really exciting!

We’ve rounded up the best reflective running gear to help you stay focused on outside running and not inside surfing. Included are clothing options as well as some accessories which can be worn to your preference.

1. XIAKE Reflective Running Vest

BEST OVERALL

XAIKE have given the good old-fashioned Reflective Running Vest a revamp and produced this new visibility cloak. It’s made from luminous and breathable material, featuring reflective patches on both the front and back. On either side, there is a black adjustable belt strap for fitting the vest to your body. What’s great about the ever-faithful vest is that you don’t have to compromise your existing running gear. You just slip it over the top. So, when in doubt, toss this thing on.

reflective running gear xiake adjustable vest Image courtesy of Amazon

  

2. YOA Reflective Band

BEST VALUE

YOA Reflective Bands are stretchy and visible from up to 700 feet away. Their design features three horizontal stripes. Two are luminous yellow, and one is made from reflective silver, all of which promote visibility. The elastic material from which these bands are made makes them adaptable to suit all runners, and they can be worn either on wrists or ankles. The YOA bands make it easy to upgrade your running gear in seconds!

YOA Reflective Running Gear Image courtesy of Amazon

  

3. E Tronic Edge Running Headband

BEST HEADBAND 

The E Tronic Edge Running Headband is not only a great accessory to improve visibility, it acts as a sweatband too. Its one-size-fits-all design has a silicone grip strip running around the inside to hold it in place, even when running. The stretchy material from which it’s made is breathable and encourages a refreshing airflow, allowing your head to stay cool and for sweat to be absorbed quickly.

reflective running gear e tronic edge headbands Image courtesy of Amazon

  

4. ARMORBILT Reflective Knit Beanie

BEST HAT

The ARMORBILT Reflective Knit Beanie’s 360-degree reflective strip gives you maximum visibility and warmth when jogging, especially at night. It’s available in orange or yellow and is ready for all weather conditions. To keep your ears warm, the one-size-fits-all design has been extended at the sides, allowing deeper coverage. The softness of the quality knit means no itching, and the stretchiness means it will morph to your head for a snug fit. Plus, being a beanie, it’ll keep your head nice and toasty.

Armorbilt Reflective Beanie Reflective Running Image courtesy of Amazon

  

5. VBIGER Running Gloves

BEST GLOVES

Gloves are a warming piece of running gear ideal for chilly weather. The reflective strip across the top of VBIGER Running Gloves makes them a great addition to your outside running wardrobe. The palms of the gloves are a milk fiber and spandex material mix, and the inside are lined with fleece for warmth. Additionally, the index finger and thumb tips are topped with touch screen material to enable phone use.

reflective running gear vbiger store touch screen gloves Image courtesy of Amazon

  

6. Rockay Running Socks

BEST SOCKS

Rockay is committed to producing top-quality socks and saving the ocean, too. For every pair of socks sold, they remove 125 grams of plastic from the ocean via their charity partner, ReSea. The luminous running socks are made from 100% recycled materials and come with a lifetime guarantee. Across the top and bottom of each sock are different stitching support patterns, and on the back ankle, there is a reflective brand logo. To top it off, these socks are also anti-blister.

rockay accelerate anti blister running socks Image courtesy of Amazon

  

7. Safety Skin Reflective Skin Spread

LIGHTWEIGHT PICK

Safety Skin Reflective Spread is a weight-free and chafing-free way to be seen. It is the lightest and most comfortable form of visibility in our roundup, and it won’t interfere with your existing outfit. The hypoallergenic wax is both rain and sweat resistant, but it also allows natural perspiration. Although this product requires having some skin on show, reflective skin spread is an ingenious way to improve your visibility when running.

Safety Skin Reflective Paint Running Image courtesy of Amazon

  

8. MOONSASH Reflective Sash

MOST COMPACT

Protecting yourself when running can be as simple as slipping on the MOONSASH Reflective Sash. Two layers of thick polyester are combined to deliver a quality product that can be folded or rolled to fit in your pocket. Simply place the sash over your head, rest the top on your chosen shoulder and let the material cross your body and fall into place. It’s available in either yellow and black or silver and black. Both color options feature a safety clip, which can be used to attach your keys, a torch or any other item you want right by your side when out running.

moonsash Image courtesy of Amazon

  

9. Przewalski Running Jacket

BEST JACKET

Shine bright as you run in the Prezewalski Running Jacket. Printed on the fluorescent yellow material are two logos and a black strip, all of which are reflective. The jacket’s moisture wicking fabric is designed to aid ventilation and protect against the elements. There are also several integrated storage opportunities, including front pockets and a double elasticated pouch on the back. With this jacket, you can stay focused on the path ahead, knowing your valuables are safe.

przewalski cycling bike jacket Image courtesy of Amazon

  

10. Nike Sphere Running Top

BEST TOP

Constructed of moisture-wicking Dri-FIT fabric, this Nike Sphere Running Top is an ideal running partner. There are cleverly placed reflective stripes on either shoulder, and the brand’s logo adopts the same finish. Mesh panels are sewn in across the shoulders, upper back and sleeves to promote ventilation. Additionally, the sleeves feature thumb holes to keep the sleeves down and your arms warm.

nike running shirt Image courtesy of Mr Porter

  

11. Noxgear Tracer360 Reflective Vest

BEST DESIGN

The multicolored LED braces and fluorescent waist strap of the Noxgear Tracer360 Reflective Vest ensure visibility in any level of light or location. You can select the color you want to glow while you’re running or, you can opt for the full flashing rainbow. The design of this vest ensures all angles of your body are covered with an increased level of fluorescence and reflectivity. Plus, it’s highly adjustable, so it can be worn over any running outfit. You’ll be the envy of the streets in this vest.

noxgear tracer 360 Image courtesy of Amazon

  

12. IllumiNITE Reflective Pant

BEST PANTS

In the city, car lights tend to be low beams. For a runner, this means the lights won’t stray higher than the waist, making it important to have reflective gear on the lower half of your body. IllumiNITE Reflective Pants feature a unique visibility-promoting print around the calves. They’re made in the USA from a polyester and spandex material mix, blended to deter wind chill. At the bottom of the grey and black tri-stripe leg design are elasticated ankle cuffs to ensure a streamline fit.

Illuminite Reflective WindBrite Pant in Graphite/Black Image courtesy of Illuminite

  

13. Nike React Mens Running Shoe

BEST SPLURGE

There are four highly reflective strips integrated into the design of each Nike React Mens Running Shoe. When the colorful design and iconic silver ‘swoosh’ are no longer visible under the cover darkness, four reflective rectangles on the ankle, top and big toe area can be seen. The shape of the trainer and the materials used to create them were inspired by athletes’ feedback and are designed to be extremely reliable, even on long outdoor runs.

reflective running gear nike free shoes Image courtesy of Amazon