Running in the dark has its critics, but there are so many fantastic reasons to hit the road at night.
For some, running after sunset is the only logistical time they can find to log their miles consistently. But for many, night running isn’t just a matter of convenience, it’s a lifestyle. Not only is the evening a cooler, quieter time to hit the streets, but it’s also a great way to unwind from a long day of work, social commitments and various other responsibilities.
The trend isn’t limited to individuals: New York City-based running groups like Electric Flight Crew, Orchard Street Runners, and Brooklyn Track Club host after-hours meetups and group runs for its members, creating an entire community around the idea of reserving your evenings for workouts. And if FOMO doesn’t motivate you to get your sweat on at the end of the day, know that research shows muscular function and strength peaks in the evening hours.
Whether running at night is a time management tool, a personal preference or a social endeavor, taking the proper precautions to ensure you’re visible to cars, cyclists, and other runners while logging mileage is incredibly important—and we don’t just mean dressing in brightly colored clothes!
Luckily, there’s no shortage of gear available to ensure your pursuit of night running is a safe one. The trick, however, is choosing the best products that will keep you visible and safe on dimly lit streets.
Check out the best gear for night runners below.
Night Runner Shoe Lights, $49.95
These shoe lights may look super technical, but they’re actually quite simple and easy to use—and unlike a headlamp, you won’t even feel them! Just slip them on over your shoes (your shoelaces will keep them secure) and stride confidently down dark paths and dimly lit roads knowing that 130 lumen LEDs will illuminate your route up to 30 feet ahead. Back-facing red tail lights ensure you’ll stay focused on the road in front of you while still remaining visible to motorists.
YOU GLOW GRRL BRA, $58
Keep your #SportsBraSquad game strong without compromising visibility with Oiselle’s You Glow Girl bra. With reflective standards so high it passes Ragnar’s safety vest requirements, this racer-back top doesn’t mess around when it comes to visibility or comfort. Designed with Oiselle’s custom brushed elastic, it’s designed to move and stretch with you—so you’ll feel safe, secure and supported in multiple ways.
Reflective Teal Blue No Lock Laces, $9.99
A wonderful complement to Night Runner Shoe Lights, these reflective lock laces will add another subtle layer of reflection to your kit. Plus, no-tie shoelaces give you less time to have second thoughts about getting your run in!
FlipBelt Reflective PT Belt, $35
Running at night can be a perfectly safe activity as long as you take the proper precautions. Do so by investing in this reflective FlipBelt that provides 360 degree visibility while providing storage for personal items like your keys and phone. While it’s unlikely you’ll need to make a call at any point during your run, it’s wise to have the option.
Amphipod Xinglet Reflective Vest, $30
This reflective vest provides 360-degree reflection without cramping your style. Adjustable straps and a chafe-free design make it easy to slip over your outfit for impromptu runs—whether you’re dressed for the heat or a blustering blizzard.
Lululemon Active Jacket, $118
Men, if you’re going to buy one running jacket this season, make it the Lululemon Active Jacket. This lightweight, water-repellent and wind-resistant zip-up has underarm ventilation to keep you warm but not too warm during brisk late night runs, and is decked out with functional details like zippered pockets and Shine Bright reflectivity.
2XU Hyoptik Compression Reflective Socks, $30-50
Add another layer of visibility while reaping the benefits of compression wear with the 2XU Hyoptik Compression Reflective Socks. Designed to support the shin, calf, ankle, Achilles and arch of the foot while promoting recovery, these socks will also support your pursuit of safe night running with its subtle reflective notes.
New Balance Women’s Seasonless Tank, $24.99
While there’s nothing wrong with reflective accents and logos, this tank is equipped with fabric boasting 360-degree reflectivity so you’ll shine bright from every angle under city lights. With a heathered, mid-weight knit fabric, it’s the perfect piece to keep you safe and seen through multiple seasons.
Brooks Unisex Run-Thru Hat, $38
This super lightweight unisex hat has multiple purposes. It can hide your runner’s hair, shield sweat from your eyes, and keep you visible to cars and others out on the road during late night jaunts.
The Top 10 Benefits of Nighttime Running
Running at night doesn’t always get the best reputation, but if you have the right gear for running in the dark, it’s a great way to end your day. There are many reasons to lace up your shoes after sunset, from scheduling complications to feeling a flutter in your chest just thinking about dodging potholes and racing through noiseless streets like a superhero on a mission.
Below, we broke down the top 10 benefits of running at night.