Apparel & Accessories

The Best Reflective Gear for Running When It’s Dark

Be safe (and stylish) on your night runs.

As we near the winter solstice, our dawn and dusk runs will start getting darker. Shorter days mean less time to hit the pavement during sunlight. The most important thing when running at night or in low light is your safety, especially if you run anywhere near cars. When choosing the right apparel, pick those that guarantee you will be seen on the street. The best reflective running gear includes clothes that are entirely reflective or have hints of reflectivity at specific body parts, ensuring that passing cars know someone is running along the road.

You’ll also want to take into account the warmth factor, because cold weather and lack of sunshine will make it hard to be motivated to get out of bed or off the couch. Also, consider waterproof coverings: For better or for worse, snow will be arriving in no time, if it’s not already here. Gear that you can easily add to give you light or add reflectivity to your activewear are small things that can have a big impact. The quick addition of a sash or flashing light can be just the thing to keep you safe.

We’ve rounded up the best reflective and lighted running gear to make sure you stay safe while running in the dark.

Our 12 Picks for the Best Reflective Running Gear

White and black jacket with matching pants

Brooks Running Carbonite Jacket | $180; and Leggings | $130

Brooks Running’s new Run Visible collection launched this fall—just in time for the end of daylight saving time. The collection’s Carbonite jacket and tight feature 3M reflective tape strips and help runners get recognized in light or no light environments from up to 600 ft. away. The hint of neon is fun and bumps the line up a notch from purely functional to fashion-forward.

Black gloves

Athleta Flurry Reflective Gloves | $42

Cold hands can cause miles of discomfort. That is why it’s crucial to keep your digits covered and toasty while temps are low. These lightweight gloves are stretchy and comfortable, and when lights shine on them, they will completely glow white. Also, the fingers have touch screen capability in case you have to send a quick text or pick a different podcast to get you motivated.

Honeycomb-patterned brown headband

Sweaty Betty Power Headband | $14

For some ear coverage or security for your ear pods, a cozy headband quickly gets added to your daily run look come fall. This black reflective style from British activewear company Sweaty Betty has a geometric print on a stretchy sweat-wicking and quick-drying fabric. Its key detail: a concealed hole for your ponytail to poke through.

White, coral, and yellow Asics

Asics Gel Nimbus 22 Lite-Show | $150

Soft cushioning and a responsive sole will lessen the impact of each stride, a reason this running sneaker is a fan favorite year after year. What makes the Nimbus so great for dusk or dawn are the reflective accents in the design. Low light conditions won’t hide how fast your feet are moving.

Blue Buff

Buff DryFlx Neckwarmer | $25

The appeal of Buff lies in its versatility—the super-soft, super-stretchy bands can work as a headband, sweat wipe, hat, neck warmer, earmuff, face cover, and impromptu ponytail holder. The brand’s DryFlx Neckwarmer is perfect for cold winter months. Thermally efficient fabric protects the face and neck from the elements, while 360-degree reflectivity ensures you are visible.

Silver and light blue harness

Nathan Vibe Reflective | $25

Bulk and additional weight can slow you down. For a simple and slim, solution try this 360-degree Vibe Reflective vest from Nathan. It is one size fits all, so slip on top of your down jacket in the winter and your racerback tank in the spring.

Black headlamp

Biolite Headlamp 750 | $99.95

It can be tricky to find a headlamp that works and feels comfortable to wear while running. In our experience, they are either too tight or too loose or the lighting too bright or too dim. With a slim-fit design making it equally comfortable and functional and 750 lumens of brightness Biolite’s Headlamp 750 achieves just that. This headlamp can endure anywhere between seven and 150 hours, depending on the lighting setting you pick.

These black patterned leggings from Spanx are one of our picks for best reflective running gear

Spanx Every.Wear Reflective ⅞ Legging | $128

Yes, the shapewear brand also has an activewear line that they recently expanded. New is a stretchy, lightweight performance legging with a reflective detail surely to make you stand out on the road. Anti-odor finish and breathability will make sure you are feeling dry and smelling fresh. Get the matching crop top for a cool head-to-toe look when running at dusk in the spring.

Gray and bright green beanie

Headsweats Graphite Hi-Viz Reversible Beanie | $22

If you’ve ever extended an evening run when it unexpectedly felt amazing and found yourself logging miles in the dark, you know how helpful a piece of versatile reflective gear can be. This reversible beanie offers cold weather protection by day and visibility by night. Moisture-wicking properties keep your head dry and focused on the strides ahead. Machine washable for easy cleaning.

2 safety lights

Whole Human Safety Light Two Pack | $12.74

Clip it, click it, and go—it’s that simple. This safety light is battery charged (it even comes with four extra batteries) and has three lighting modes that are bright enough to let anyone nearby know you’re coming. Best of all, this lightweight tool is smaller than a candy bar and won’t add noticeable weight to your run look. It can be easily clipped to your clothing or worn by the armband included.

Bright red clip belt

Illumiseem LED Reflective Belt | $19.99

Above all, the best reflective running gear should be effective, but its second-most important quality is the ease of use. Luckily, this LED reflective belt is both. This not only reflects light, but it also illuminates with a USB rechargeable battery. No one will be missing you on the road with this slung across your body.

Purple reflective strips

Brilliant Reflective Strips | $9.25

Most running gear these days features some level of reflectivity, but it’s not always prominent enough to make you visible around cars while running at night. Enter Brilliant Reflective Strips: These are easily ironed directly onto clothing, with stick-on options for use on shoes and other gear. The stick-on strips won’t last forever, but the iron-on will—or at least as long as the item of clothing on which it’s applied.