Beginner’s guide to running safely after Daylight Savings strikes

If you work a nine to five, chances are you’re running in the dark November through February (at least). For about $40, you can make sure cars (and scooters, and hipsters on bikes, and skater bros) won’t miss you when you’re out crushing it.

You’ll get the most bang for your buck with a reflective vest, however, not all vests are created equal. There’s the “singlet” style, which is eerily similar to the safety patrol belt you may or may not have worn in elementary school. I wasn’t chosen as a safety patrol. Scarring childhood memories aside, a vest or singlet is up to your personal preference. I wanted storage and didn’t want to spend much, so I opted for the Amphipod Full-Visibility Vest.

I liked it because, as the name suggested, it has a ton of reflective material on it which was my main priority. Plus, it has a zipper pouch in the front which is awesome since lady’s running tights don’t usually have pockets larger than a pinky nail. I’ve kept keys, my ID, an extra ear warmer, snacks, and more in that pouch. It’s super handy and surprisingly roomy.

It goes over your head and adjusts with straps that wrap around your waist. There are two sizes, Small/Medium and Large/XL. I’m typically an extra small or small in shirts, so I opted for the Small/Medium. It’s a little big on me even when I’m bundled up. If you’re small and want a super snug fit, you may need a different vest that comes with more size options. I can’t speak to how the sizing is for anyone larger, so if you have feedback for that or suggestions for a more size-inclusive option please let me know so I can update this post!

reflective gear for beginner runners 1
Looks fly…
reflective running gear
…and they weren’t lying when they called it full visibility!

What are those snazzy pink bands you ask? If you grew up in the 90s, you should know. For some unknown reason, Nathan (a company, not a random man) decided to use the glorious technology of snap bracelets for reflective gear.If you don’t want to spring for a vest, start with a budget-friendly option like anklets or bracelets.

Don’t worry, if you’re not into pink, they come in other colors. Find them here.

You can wear these on your wrists or ankles, but I prefer my ankles since my feet move more than my wrists and are more likely to be caught by headlights. Having something around my ankles bothered me the first few runs, but I got used to it pretty quickly. Just make sure you clean them off every once in a while with a wipe or something – they get gross with all the sweat that drips down your legs and you can’t throw them in the washing machine.

reflective gear for beginner runners 3
I wore the darkest clothes possible to demonstrate safe nighttime running. Don’t do that.

The entire get-up is not too ridiculous looking, and the entire set-up will run you about $40. The anklets are $10 on Amazon, making them a great starting point. Denver drivers have a very liberal interpretation of stop signs and red lights, so I still didn’t feel safe with just the anklets and decided to upgrade to a vest.

No matter whether you’re running around the block, live in the city, or are out in the ‘burbs, wearing reflective gear is the easiest way to stay safe when you’re getting those winter walk-runs/jogs/runs in.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. I am so not looking forward to these kind of days! Right now, if I wake up too early to run I might have to worry about my visibility. Luckily our streets all have sidewalks and the path is well lit in such a big city. But I’m surprised this is so cheap! That’s awesome!

    Unrelated: I’m going to Denver in March and I might want to talk to you about where I can get my snowshoe on. I remember a post about that from earlier this year. 🙂


    1. Laura Cardon says:

      Yes, absolutely! I am hoping to get on some more level trails than the one I tried out last winter. Happy to give you any advice 🙂 And yes, that’s the only thing I hate about winter…it’s dark when I wake up to work out now!


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