Now that the time has changed back to Standard Time for most of us, we find ourselves with a lot less daylight for those after work runs. Running in the late evening and night is particularly dangerous for all the obvious reasons. Drivers can’t see you even though you can see their headlights just fine. This is where modern “retro-reflective” fabrics have made a huge impact for runners. “Retroreflection” allows light to be reflected directionally instead of being dispersed. It is usually made up of microprisms or lenses that redirect the light directly back in the direction of it’s source.
For example, if you are a runner in an orange shirt and car lights are shined on you, the light reflected off of you will go out in many different directions allowing the driver to see a dull orange object in the distant. If that same orange shirt has a retroreflective decal, stripe or or other fabric on it, the driver will see an intense light emitting back at them. I’m sure you can understand the benefits for low light environments.
Many running shoes already have small amounts of reflective material on the backs, sides and even front of their shoes. Lots of running clothes also feature logos or other trim that features reflective material. But if you are on the lookout for some other items that allow you to be seen in the dark, we’ve compiled some of our favorite Reflective Running Gear for you.
1. X-1 Momentum Headphones
Every pair of Momentum Headphones has a retro-reflective cable that really pops in low light. Weather you like to wear your headphones up the back, front or up the arm, these will give you an extra bit of visibility on low light runs. There are three models to choose from, Momentum Ultra-Light (MSRP $49.99), Momentum Custom (MSRP $39.99) and Momentum Sport (MSRP $29.99).
2. Asics Lite Show Shoes
Asics have a whole line of highly reflective running shoes made especially for night running. They all feature much more reflective material than the average running shoe. They also have a full line of Lite Show reflective clothing that incorporates these same reflective design elements.(MSRP $125)
3. Nike Reflective Beanie
Nike has a really nice reflective beanie that can also keep your head warm on those colder night runs. It features their Dri-Fit fabric that wicks moisture away while also having a large band of integrated reflective fabric. (MSRP $25)
4. Nathan Reflective Snap Bands
If you are looking for a quick and portable reflective solution, the Nathan Reflective Snap Bands may do the trick. These are high quality snap bands that were all the rage about 10 years ago with kids (at least they were where I live). You can snap these around bike frames, backpacks, dog collars or an ankle. They are very versatile not only for runs but any situation you need a little extra visibility. Plus they are pretty cheap too. (MSRP: $10)