Reflective running gear for women: what are the options?
I know a lot you readers live up in the northern hemisphere, and now the temperatures might be starting to cool down… and the hours of daylight getting shorter…and you might be starting to wonder about what is the best reflective running gear for women to wear.
While I rejoice in the sunlight we’re starting to experience here in NZ, I have spared a thought for you guys going into the dark winter, and I’ve got just the information you’re looking for to keep stylish but safe. Make sure to bookmark this page, I’ll be doing some thorough reflective gear reviews very soon.
There can be lots of great things about running in the winter:
- you don’t need to worry about overheating
- the exercise can be really invigorating (and you can feel smug when others just curl up on the couch)
- you can avoid the dreaded winter weight gain
But you do need to be extra vigilant about your safety when running in lower light, and part of that is having some great reflective gear. So let’s see what you might need.
Let’s get reflective
If you’re anything like me, you’ll want some gear that can do double duty as reflective and for use in the daylight hours without blinding every person you come across. It can be a balancing act finding gear that looks pretty and is reflective.
What you probably don’t want is some horrendous yellow vest that goes on top of your outer layer, a neon arm band, or some other such ungainly piece of apparel. So what options do you have for stylish reflective clothes then?
There are actually a ton of options. Let’s take a look at the ones I’d be happy to use, going from head to toe.
I love hats, at all times of the year. They restrain my frizzy hair and stop sweat dripping in my eyes!
They’re also a great option for a piece of reflective gear, because as well as keeping your head warm on those cooler evenings, 1) you won’t be able to see it yourself if it’s a colour you don’t like so much 2) a few reflective strips on a hat actually looks quite effective to do the job you need 3) it’s a piece of kit that’s easily removable – if you don’t want to be reflective, you simply take it off (unlike the giant stripes I’ve seen on some shirts or pants… and I hope you won’t take off your pants mid-run).
You can get a great range of jackets these days, with a variety of reflective options. Some will have subtle pannels, others big garish ones, and I’ve even seen jackets with little light strips built in.
My favorite idea for a jacket is to get one that is reversible. That way, you’ve got the reflective option on one side, and one that’s a bit more low key but still keeping you warm on the other. Two for the price of one!
Too warm for a jacket, but too cool for just a top? A vest could be a good option. I’m not talking about a bright yellow harness-like contraption, but a cute, snug, little zip up top with some reflective adornments. I particularly like reflective zippers and seam details on the back.
If you’re doing a longer run in the dark (perhaps you’re setting out early morning for some marathon training), you’ll need to keep yourself hydrated. Why not go for a hydration pack with reflective panelling? This makes perfect sense, because if you wear it on top of your reflective jacket or top, the pack is going to cover it anyway.
Now these are my personal favorite. There are more and more tops coming out with beautiful reflective designs on them. My top shown in the picture is a case in point. The silver design looks pretty and low profile in the daylight, but lights up like a silver sparkling Christmas tree in the dark. Perfect.
Just like with tops, there are many running tights that now come with pretty reflective designs on them. Another great option for the cooler weather (and to hide those hairier legs you don’t always feel like tending to in the winter…..)
Do you get really cold hands on a long run? Some reflective gloves could be a good option for you. Again, there are some really pretty ones out there. To be honest, this would not be my first choice as my hands get really hot within 5 minutes of setting out on my run, so they wouldn’t be much use to me personally: they’d be taken off way too quick!
I really love cute socks, in general. So add a pop of color to your winter running wardrobe with some colorful reflective socks! I think the ones that have a reflective band around the top of your ankle look very effective, I always notice these on runners when I’m driving in the dark. Just make sure they aren’t being covered up by tights if you’re wearing them.
There are so many shoe options out there these days. Including shoes with reflective details. These can stand out quite well like reflective socks, but I wouldn’t make it one of my first criteria for choosing a shoe when you’ve got so many other pretty and easy to wear reflective options available to you. Remember, with shoes, the most important thing is how they fit and how they support you.
So my preference for reflective gear is:
Items you can’t remove: (like tights, tops) go for pretty reflective details that are effective but not overwhelming.
Items you add: (like hats, jackets, gloves) the brighter the better! If they’re too much for you, you can always take them off.
Do you have a favorite piece of reflective gear? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll include it in my reflective gear review.
Your running buddy,
image one by AngryJulieMonday, CC 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/bPeF3e