We’ve hit that time of year when 5 p.m. looks like 9 p.m., every single night. If you’re an evening runner, this poses a problem. You want to get your miles in but you also want to make sure you’re safe and seen in both low-light and no-light settings. The best way to do that? Grab some reflective gear.
Brooks Sports recently worked with 3M and other vision scientists on the new Run Visible collection to create a patented reflective material that combines high-contrast colors with high-visibility fabric. Mike Orton, the men’s apparel and accessories product line manager explains: “We were able to pinpoint key motion zones along the runner’s body to better help identify them as humans rather than objects.” They found that reflective accents are most effective when placed in high-motion zones like the wrists, knees, elbows and ankles. “This helps allow headlights to pick you up so that drivers know what they’re looking at sooner and have more time to react.”
But when it comes to wearing reflective gear, keep in mind that more might not always be better: “Our research showed that too much shine can be blinding, and it doesn’t necessarily help drivers identify you as a human in motion.” It’s also worth noting that the technology is most effective when used strategically on clothes and accessories you’re already comfortable running in.
With that said, here are 21 pieces of our favorite reflective running gear, so you can mix and match to fit your personal style and setting (though, please, don’t wear them all at once).