Running After Dark: Tips and Gear to Keep You Safe

If the cooler temps have your little runner heart going like this:

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But the fact that it’s getting dark so dang early has you more like this:

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Well, we’ve got some gear — and tips! — from Brooks Running that you’re gonna dig so hard. Because running when it’s dark out means you’ve gotta take a few extra safety precautions, and you can take steps toward a safer run before you even set foot outside by wearing bright, reflective clothing, shoes, and accessories.

(As always with Brooks, we want to remind you that we’re proud ambassadors for the brand, so that means we received the following gear to review, but we’ll always give you our honest opinion. And we’ve got some affiliate links in here, so if you make a purchase, we might earn a couple of dollars — thanks!)

When it comes to nighttime visibility, you want to start with Brooks’ Nightlife line of reflective running gear. They approached the design with a few ideas in mind for improving other people’s ability to see you in the dark. First, they incorporated the one color not found in nature — because, yep, there’s a reason bright yellow is the go-to for highlighters! It draws the eye and picks up light. Then, they added the reflective power of 300 candles, so those reflective details are bright. And, finally, they made sure to include those bright and reflective details in strategic spots, so that it’s not just the color and the reflective material, but also the fact that it’s moving that’ll catch the eye of drivers who happen to be out as early (or as late) as you are.

Here’s what Jenn and I received to review:

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Chaser 5″ Short. Are you sick of hearing about our love of the Chaser yet? Hope not, because it’s even stronger after scoping out the reflective nebula design.

The fit is the same as what we’ve always loved, and the pattern is subtle enough to just look decorative during the day, but boy, does it stand out when the light hits it in the dark! —Kristen

Greenlight Tight Nightlife. I honestly wasn’t sure how much I’d like the look of these tights on. Like, Kristen said, that highlighter yellow is bold, yo. But, I really, really love not only how these feel on (soft and and supportive — very luxurious without feeling heavy), but also how they look. The fade into that signature nightlife yellow from the calf to the ankle is actually made with a different and very breathable fabric that performs well and looks really cool — almost like you’re wearing a pair of high socks over your tights for a fun pop of color. Double cool that the pop of color helps you to be seen at night! —Jenn

Women’s Dash Hoodie Nightlife. When I was in Seattle over the summer, a few of the other bloggers were raving about how much they loved the Dash Hoodie, so I was thrilled that this was an option. It’s billed as “light and warm and soft all over,” and I can attest to the fact that this is all true. I’ve not yet run in it — because, you know, Florida doesn’t do autumn like the rest of the country and it’s still shorts and tank top weather down here — but I’ve been throwing it on post-workout and love the feel … not to mention the holes for my thumbs. The one thing I’ll note is that, if you’re between sizes or want it to be a slimmer fit, size down, because it’s designed to be fairly loose. But I’m going to be cuddling up in this all winter, I’m certain. —Kristen

LSD Jacket in Black/Nebula Reflective Colorway . It may be tiny and light but don’t let that fool you: this jacket is one powerhouse of an outer layer. I went out for a very chilly fall run a few days ago (dude, 35 degrees feels cold after some 70+ degree days!) and layered this jacket over a Dash Hoodie from last season and it was a runsaver. Windproof and rain-resistant, it cuts that chill in the air — and, best of all, once you and/or the weather warms up as you get your jog on, you can easily fold it up into one of its built-in pockets and then wear it on your wrist or hang it from your fuel belt. Genius. —Jenn

Greenlight Beanie in Nightlife. This is a perfect lightweight hat for chilly mornings and cold nights. It’s lightweight and fitted, so you won’t notice it when you run, and it pulls just low enough to go over your ears if needed. Even more importantly, it folds up quite small, so if you heat up midway through your run, you won’t have much trouble stuffing it in a pocket, waistband, or bra strap for storage. The nightlife color isn’t available online just yet, but stay tuned, because it’s coming! (And if you’re more into caps than beanies, be sure to check out the Run-Thru Hat in Nightlife and the Sherpa Hat in Nebula.) —Kristen and Jenn

Oh, and if you’re in the market for some high-viz kicks, you’ll be happy to know that the Glycerin 16 — you know, the same style I received over the summer and immediately fell in love with — is available in a super sweet, super reflective version. Yum.

Night Running Safety Tips

Brooks also put together a few simple safety tips that we should all keep in mind when running at night — or, in the case of a lot of these tips, most of the time, really.

The other thing I’d add is that it’s important to remember that, just because you can see a vehicle (or a cyclist) coming, that doesn’t always mean they see you — or even if they do, they might not quite realize you’re a runner. So when in doubt, keep yourself well out of the way of traffic.

Are you a night runner? A morning runner? Do you prefer running when it’s light or in the dark? I run more in the evening, but my longer, more focused runs tend to be in the morning. I love beginning shortly before sunrise, because that feeling of having accomplished a few miles before daylight is just so empowering. Plus, that usually helps me stay cooler! Kristen

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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2 Comments
  1. Raj says:

    that’s good ideas for running…

  2. akshara says:

    Good idea and more compartable…for all.