Bright idea! Hi-viz goes high fashion: From glow in the dark gloves to light-up laces… the best running gear to be seen in
- New technologically advanced exercise gear is designed to keep you visible
- Anna Maxted picked out a selection suitable for an evening run or bike ride
- Among her picks are novelty light-up laces and a hoodie with reflective stripes
Ah, the joy of an evening run or bike ride — even if only in retrospect.
Braving the chill of a late winter afternoon can be perversely exhilarating, and, after a sedentary day indoors, feel like a smug victory.
But how to keep yourself both safe and warm? Happily, ANNA MAXTED discovers, there’s an array of new technologically advanced exercise gear out there that will keep you visible, cosy — and supremely stylish.
LACES LIGHT YOU UP
Glowtopia LED white shoelaces, £5.49, glowtopia.co.uk
Anna Maxted picked out a selection of technologically advanced exercise gear suitable for an evening run or bike ride – including Glowtopia LED white shoelaces (pictured)
These novelty light-up laces will keep you a step ahead in the style stakes. They come attached to a lozenge-sized battery case that neatly rests at the base of your trainer’s lace tongue.
Ten tiny white LED lights (blue, green and multicoloured are also available) housed inside the fabric of the laces at intervals are linked by a thin flexible wire.
The laces can be tied as normal. I can set the LED lights to flash or simply stay lit.
‘They could save your life!’ says my husband admiringly. I assumed that I’d feel silly, but they’re surprisingly brilliant — in every sense.5/5
BRIGHT AT NIGHT
Proviz Reflect360 women’s hoodie, £69.99, provizsports.com
Anna said Proviz Reflect360 women’s hoodie (pictured) doesn’t scream hi-viz in the daytime, but is unmissable in the evening
This baby-pink fleece hoodie has a reflective silver-grey tiger stripe effect on the hood and lower arms. Proviz specialises in outdoor sportswear. Its motto is Defy The Darkness.
The innovative ‘Reflect360 Technology’ is engineered using millions of tiny, highly reflective beads. If you feel you need full-on, enhanced visibility, the Reflect360 CRS Women’s Cycling Jacket, £129.99, also boasts the Colour Reflective System, meaning its fabric is pastel by day, but bright when hit by a light source at night.
In the daytime, this hoodie doesn’t scream hi-viz, but when I go for a run in the evening, I’m unmissable. My only caveat is that running on a mild night, you heat up fast in this; but for freezing nights, it’s ideal. 5/5
AHEAD IN A HI-VIZ HAT
Sealskinz waterproof cold weather reflective beanie hat, £30, sealskinz.com
Anna said Sealskinz waterproof cold weather reflective beanie hat (pictured) has stitching that becomes reflective in the glare of headlights
In the season of storms, snow and ice, Sealskinz’ beanie is a reliable heat-preserver. In its favour, it looks like a plain normal knitted hat. It’s black with grey stitching that becomes reflective in the glare of headlights, and has a comfortable fleece lining. Frill-free and functional.4/5
On-Cloud Waterproof trainers, £135, on-running.com
Anna said On-Cloud Waterproof trainers (pictured) complement a highly reflective item on your top half
I wouldn’t rely on these trainers alone to be seen, despite the elegant reflective elements — three silver stripes across the back and heel, and the neat insignia, ON, on each side of the shoe.
However, if you wear one other highly reflective item on your top half, these trainers are a terrific complement.
Research has found that wearing reflective details on ankles or knees while walking or cycling makes you particularly visible to drivers, as we instinctively recognise the patterns of human motion.5/5
A SLICE OF LEMON
Lululemon Swiftly Tech long sleeve top in highlight yellow, £68, lululemon.co.uk
Anna said Lululemon Swiftly Tech long sleeve top in highlight yellow (pictured) is the perfect antidote for a run in fading light
One doesn’t wish to look like a glow-worm, but when exercising on a dark evening, wearing a signature item that’s fiercely, unashamedly bright makes sense.
That said, I’m fussy about how loud (or frumpy) my fitness gear is. It can make the difference between feeling bouncy and keen, or like Giant Haystacks on a sprint.
This lovely soft top is clingy, which is intimidating after the inertia of lockdown, but with a good sports bra, more forgiving. I fear it might be a little too garish, but when I run in the park, in fading light rather than pitch dark, it proves the perfect antidote to the gloom.
This tallies with a 2009 scientific review into increasing visibility for the prevention of death and injuries, which found that even during the daytime, fluorescent materials in red, yellow and orange improved detection and recognition.
Yellow was the most effective non-fluorescent colour. However, to be seen by drivers at night, you do need to wear a reflective item, so if I were running close to a busy road in the evening, I’d wear this as my luxury extra.5/5
FLEECY NOT FRUMPY
Sweaty Betty Thermodynamic running leggings in vine purple, £95, sweatybetty.com
Anna said Sweaty Betty Thermodynamic running leggings in vine purple (pictured) boasts a dignified amount of reflective detail
For those who love dark colours, anything too bright can feel clownish.
These deep purple leggings don’t feel over-jolly, but boast a dignified amount of reflective detail — a couple of black stripes.
(If you want to go full-beam, Sweaty Betty also does Power Reflective Gym Leggings, with an all-over grey reflective geometric print.) I joyfully embarked on an evening run and, thanks to the butter-soft brushed fleece, the smugness increased. I returned home almost insufferable.5/5
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