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I’m a nightrunner. While I’ve read, and continue to read, about others who do their first-thing-in-the-morning runs, that just doesn’t fit into my schedule. Sure, I could make it work, but only while making things more complicated. Instead, I like getting into work early, getting done to get back and spend time with my boys, get dinner made and them to bed, and then hit the roads. Besides getting in that family time, my body also responds better. I get a full day of hydration, plus food in my stomach I can burn as fuel.

Yes, there are times that I do run mornings (for group runs or when travel conflicts with my usual schedule), but they are definitely not the norm.

However, I do take extra precautions doing my sunset (or post-sundown) runs, which I am sure that my pre-dawn running counterparts can appreciate: reflective gear.

While much running clothing and shoes have some reflective elements, I’ll admit that they’re not quite enough to make me comfortable. However, there are a lot of reflective vests/pinneys that are uncomfortable, so I was being picky about what I wanted to use.  I settled on two pieces of gear that I use for most runs: an Amphipod Reflective Xinglet Vest and a set of Nathan Tri-Color Ankle Bands.


The Amphipod Reflective Xinglet Vest provides an ideal combination of minimalisim and visibility. Since it is basically just a set of straps, it provides freedom and adjustability. Even when I was tipping the scales at 270 pounds 18 months ago, it was a tad snug, but still comfortable on the run. It stayed in place, and I knew I was visible in the dark.


However, just to be safe, I like to pair that with the Nathan Tri-Color Ankle Bands. These provide a different type of reflective material to add more visibility. I typically wear them as anklets, which means that passing cars should see them both shining back at them and moving. Plus, I get used to the feel of something being on my ankles, which makes the occasional ankle-strap race timing chip feel less akward.

As a bonus, neither of these is expensive. So, it’s a good investment to make sure I get back home safe.

So, until they figure out how to create a high-reflectivity thread and weave it into some technical shirts, I’ll be keeping these running accessories in my closet / travel bag.

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  1. I am an early morning (i.e. 4AM) runner, and even now as we are getting lighter each day I still start off wearing my reflective vest. That one looks really cool. But when I travel I always have my headlamp just in case.

  2. Greg Nilsen Greg Nilsen

    I haven’t done a headlamp to this point because I’ve always been running in pretty well lit urban or suburban areas. I just want to make sure that the passing cars don’t miss me (or…well, that they DO miss me!).

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