Wearable IDs can help emergency officials identify you and contact your family if an accident occurs.

A Good I.D.-ea

Caroline Keating was bloodied, disoriented and dizzy when some strangers came upon her sitting on a curb. The 33-year-old had been on a run in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, when she was struck by heat exhaustion, causing her to black out, trip and slam her head into a telephone pole. Seeing the rough shape she was in, the passersby called 911. But when she was asked for her family members’ phone numbers, Keating drew a blank.

“I was close to losing consciousness,” recalls Keating, who suffered a minor concussion and needed a dozen stitches in her head, among other injuries due to her fall. “But then I realized I was wearing my Road iD. I pointed to it, and by the time the paramedics had me loaded into the ambulance, someone was in touch with my mom, dad and boyfriend.”

Keating’s story is a strong example of why wearable ID is so essential for runners. It’s the reason Edward Wimmer created Road iD—the wildly popular brand of ID wristbands and accessories—in his dad’s basement 20 years ago. “While training for a marathon, I was nearly hit by a truck,” Wimmer says. “Afterward, my dad said, ‘What if something really happened to you? How would I know?’”

As personal safety continues to be a paramount concern for women runners, Wimmer hopes that wearable ID will become as ubiquitous as running shoes and sports bras.

“We want to create a shift in terms of your safety,” Wimmer says. “I don’t send my third-grader out on a bike ride without his helmet, and I wouldn’t want you going out for a run without wearing ID.”

The Info

So what should you have etched into your ID, anyway? Wimmer says the most important info is your full name with your middle initial (so there’s no confusion when your medical records are pulled), and ideally two emergency contact numbers. You should also include any medical conditions, like allergies or a chronic illness, and if you’re a cancer survivor or an organ donor.

Because many Road iD faceplates allow you to enter up to six lines of text, you can even add your favorite mantra or quote for a touch of extra motivation. “The idea is that this piece has the essential info, but we also want people to love wearing it,” Wimmer says.

Peace Of Mind

Wearable ID can be anything from a simple wristband with a faceplate to something a bit sleeker (rose gold, anyone?). The key is to look for something made from a durable material, like silicone or nylon, with a stainless steel faceplate that’ll withstand workout after workout.

Cut the clutter. Don’t love a wrist party? Secure an ID to the band of your watch or Fitbit and reduce the need for multiple accessories.

Go for the (rose) gold. Because no one wants her wearable ID to clash with the rest of her bling.

That’s a shoe-in. Strapping an ID to your shoelaces keeps you safe right down to your toes.