Nearly every runner knows the feeling—or, can imagine it. Maybe you’re running a new, unfamiliar route. Or running past dark. You find yourself wondering, “what would I do if something happened right now?” and thinking through various personal defense tactics.
Just like you plan your mileage and hydration strategies, having a run safety plan can go a long way to not just keeping you, well, safe, but helping you feel more confident. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, common sense is the first and best defense: Be mindful of the routes you choose (and mix them up so you’re not running the same exact one day in and day out) and the time of day (opting for well-lit paths when heading out during low-light hours); when you can, head out with a buddy (yes, dogs count!), or at least let someone know where you’re heading and how long you expect to be; and stay aware and tuned in to your surroundings.
But if you like the idea of a little more assurance, these seven personal defense products can give you greater peace of mind—even if you never have to use them.
Road ID Silicone Bracelet
This one’s less about personal defense and more about essential safety. Road ID includes a silicone band with a stainless-steel clasp and faceplate. The faceplate is laser-engraved with your name, address, phone number, and emergency contacts. So, if you’re unconscious or confused and need to go to the hospital, first responders and medical professionals get the information they need to alert your loved ones.
Unlike an ID card or piece of paper, it’s durable and permanent, so it won’t get torn, crumpled, or damaged.
Lifeproof Armband with Quickmount
Running with your phone means you can call for help if you’re injured or find yourself in an unsafe situation. But those plastic sleeves that mess with your phone’s touchscreen sensitivity? Not ideal. This adjustable armband mounts your phone directly to the band with a single click (and comes off with a simple twist), making it easy to interact with apps or make calls mid-run.
Nathan Bandolier Safety Vest
With 360-degree visibility, this slim reflective vest makes sure you’ll be seen and stay safe when running on the road in the dark or low-light conditions. It’s super-lightweight (meaning you’ll hardly notice you’re wearing it) and adjusts to fit over any type of clothing, including jackets and extra layers.
Black Diamond Spot325 Headlamp
A headlamp can not only make you more visible to oncoming traffic but it also helps you see what’s coming in front of you, to prevent you from tripping and falling. Black Diamond’s fan favorite model is now lighter, brighter, and smaller.
Amphipod Strobe Flash LED Clip Light
These lights are a simple and affordable way to up your safety by making yourself more visible when running in the morning or at night. Clip them onto just about anything-sports bras, pockets, running belts-and choose from a solid bright light or one of 3 flashing modes.
Sabre Runner Pepper Gel with Adjustable Hand Strap
If you find yourself worried about potential attacks by strangers or stray animals, regardless of the time of day, carrying pepper spray may help alleviate those nerves. With an adjustable hand strap, this small bottle holds 35 bursts of police-strength protection, as well as a locking mechanism to prevent unintentional sprays. The gel delivery also boosts accuracy up to 12 feet and helps prevent wind blowback compared to standard pepper sprays.
SLFORCE Siren Song Alarm
If you don’t like the idea of carrying pepper spray, you may prefer a personal alarm for your personal defense product. Simply pull the pin out to activate an ear-splitting alarm (130 dB), and insert it back to stop it. This model can easily attach to your run vest, sports bra strap, running belt, or keychain.
Editor’s note: At Women’s Running, we are committed to helping readers feel safe and empowered on each and every run. This coverage is made possible by sponsorship from Sabre.