The 11 Best Running Safety Gear

Stay safe while you exercise

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There's always a sense of accomplishment when finishing a long run or reaching your daily step goal, but running or walking alone can also pose a couple of safety issues surrounding visibility, emergencies, and self-defense.

When looking for safety gear, think about your needs. If you’re running in low-visibility conditions, like early morning or evening, you’ll need a high-visibility accessory. Runners with medical issues might need an emergency bracelet. Finally, consider your surroundings and whether you right need self-defense gear if you feel unsafe.

Here is the best running safety gear on the market.

Our Top Picks
Features a rechargeable battery that gives up to 20 hours of light.
Best Runner-Up:
FlipBelt Belt at Amazon
This Spandex-Lycra blend belt works by first storing your items into any or all of the four openings around the belt’s exterior.
Covered in comfortable velveteen backing that won’t chafe, the bands come in highly visible, neon colors.
Best ID Bracelet:
Road ID Bracelet at Amazon
Helps first responders get the information they need.
Best for the Young Athlete:
Apace Vision LED Safety Lights at Amazon
Comes with an elastic Velcro strap to secure the light onto your ankle, wrist, or arm.
Has an extremely powerful bulb that gives off 300 lumens for over 260 feet of light
Best for Self-Defense:
SABRE Pepper Spray at Amazon
Causes an immediate closing of your attacker's eyes.
Easy to operate your phone through the clear, touch-sensitive panel.
Offers 360-degree visibility at distances of up to 1,200 feet.
Features an alarm and a security screamer whistle as a backup.

Best Overall: Illumiseen LED Reflective Belt

This bright belt is an effective and affordable option for keeping you seen and safe when running in low-light conditions. It gives you 360 degrees of visibility, and you can change the light between "flash" and "glow" with just one click. The straps are elastic and easy to adjust for a comfortable fit. The belt also features a USB rechargeable (cable included) battery that gives up to 20 hours of illumination in flashing mode.

It’s so lightweight and comfortable, and you may even forget that you have it on. A bonus is that you can use this belt to clip on some other safety devices, such as a personal alarm, for added security.

Best Runner-Up: FlipBelt Running Belt

Whether going for a daily run or entering a race, runners need to bring their keys, phone, ID card, and headphones. While an armband and waist pack are still go-to accessories for storing, some runners thank that they are too bulky. The FlipBelt combines the convenience of holding items with the safety of reflective material. 

This machine-washable Spandex-Lycra blend belt stores your items into any or all of the four openings around the belt’s exterior. When you flip the belt inside out, your items stay locked in place. Users say the belt doesn’t move or bounce up, and since it has no additional closures, it protects against chafing. This streamlined, elegant strap is so lightweight, you can wear it under your clothes.

Best Budget: Nathan Reflex Snap Band (2 Pack)

Nathan Snap Band

The budget-friendly Nathan Reflex Snap Bands can be used on ankles, upper arms, and wrists. Covered in comfortable velveteen backing that won’t chafe, the bands come in highly visible, neon colors. The band also coils perfectly around equipment and accessories, often used around handlebars, backpacks, and waist packs. The stay-put band is fully reflective up to 400 feet.

Best ID Bracelet: Road ID Bracelet

If you get hurt while running, someone needs to be able to identify you and get in touch with your emergency contact. The Road ID bracelet solves this problem since it's laser-engraved with your name, address, phone number, and emergency contact. If you’re unconscious or confused and need to go to the hospital, first responders and medical professionals can get the information they need to alert your loved ones.

This essential safety item includes a silicone band with a stainless-steel clasp and faceplate. Unlike an ID card or piece of paper, it’s durable and permanent, so it won’t get torn, crumpled, or damaged. It’s available in black, red, blue, and lime, and can be cut to fit all wrist sizes.

Best for the Young Athlete: Apace Vision LED Safety Lights

These lights are a versatile and straightforward way to make you more visible and safe when walking or running any time of day. They come with three high-powered LEDs per light and feature three different lighting modes—steady, slow-flashing, and fast-flashing, accessible with just one click.

They also come with an elastic Velcro strap that you can use to secure the light onto your ankle, wrist, or arm, suitable for any young athlete. Weather-resistant and versatile, these lights are so lightweight, your child will barely even notice they have them on. They can also be used on pockets, a jacket, winter coat, or backpack, so they're ideal for your athlete waiting for a predawn school bus or coming home late in a winter afternoon.

Best Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

A headlamp not only makes you more visible to oncoming traffic, but it also helps you see what’s in front of you. This Black Diamond Spot Headlamp has a powerful bulb that gives off 325 lumens—lighting a distance of about 260 feet. You can choose from six different lighting modes, such as red night vision, strobe, and dimming, to customize your lighting for any situation. The adjustable strap provides a snug, but comfortable fit, so it won't slip off your head.

Besides running you can use this headlamp for other uses like camping, or reading at night next to your partner. Your kids will also have a fun time trying this on for size.

Best for Self-Defense: SABRE Pepper Spray

It's never a good idea to go running alone in the dark or deserted areas. But if you're worried about potential attacks by strangers or animals at any time of day, you may want to carry pepper spray. It's non-lethal but causes an immediate closing of the eyes, difficulty breathing, runny nose, and coughing in your attacker, whether it's a person or animal.

The Sabre pepper spray bottle is small enough to hold in your hand or to keep in a pocket while you're running. With a 10-foot range, you’ll get protection from a safe distance. Just be sure to keep these locked away from your children.

Best Phone Armband: Trianium ArmTrek Sports Exercise Armband

Running with your phone means you can call for help if you’re injured or find yourself in an unsafe situation. The armband is one of those essential items that make your running easier. Your phone will also be protected in this durable, sweat-proof, weather-resistant armband. If you need to call someone quickly, it’s easy to operate your buttons or screen through the clear, touch-sensitive panel.

The armband features an adjustable Velcro strap so that you can customize it for a secure and comfortable fit, and cutouts for a headphone jack and a charger.

Best Reflective Vest: Nathan Streak Reflective Vest

Nathan Streak Reflective Vest

With 360-degree visibility at distances of up to 1,200 feet, the Nathan Streak Reflective Vest makes sure you’ll be seen and stay safe when running on the road in dark or low-light conditions. Made of a lightweight, breathable fabric, it features reflective strips on the shoulder and reflective patches on the chest, back, and waist.

The vest’s minimalist design allows for a full range of motion and won’t ride up as you’re running. It’s easy to adjust and will fit over all types of clothing, including winter jackets. This vest folds up easily and doesn’t take up too much space, so you can keep it in a running belt or pocket during your run and take it out when necessary.

Best Personal Alarm: Vigilant Personal Protection Systems Vigilant 130dB Personal Alarm With Backup Whistle

Vigilant Alarm

If you don’t like the idea of carrying pepper spray, you're going to want another self-defense product to protect yourself, especially if you're running alone. Consider a personal alarm for protection from strangers, dogs, and wild animals like this one from Vigilant. It features a 130 decibles alarm and a security screamer whistle that serves as a backup if the battery fails.

You don’t need any special training or skill to operate the alarm—press the button on the back of the unit, and it emits a loud alarm. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket and can be easily attached to your keys with the keyring or your running belt or backpack with the bag clip.

Best Whistles: LuxoGear Emergency Whistles with Lanyard

LuxoGear Whistles

For kids and adults alike, a reliable whistle is an affordable and easy-to-use safety accessory. This multi-pack from LuxoGear includes two vibrant whistles attached to reflective, adjustable lanyards. Slider buttons on the end of the lanyards will help the whistle stay secure, whether you choose to wear it around your neck or around your wrist.

Made with high-impact ABS plastic, the waterproof body of the whistle is designed for durability and can produce up to 120 decibels of sound—meaning it can be heard over a mile away. And if it doesn't perform as expected, the pack is backed by a lifetime warranty for worry-free use.

Final Verdict

If you’re running takes you through the early morning or late evening hours, you’ll love the Illumiseen LED Reflective Belt (view at Amazon). This bright belt keeps you safe, giving you 360 degrees of visibility, with the convenient ability to alternate the light between "flash" and "glow" with just one click. 

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly safety accessory, use the Nathan Reflex Snap Bands (view at Amazon) on the ankles, upper arms, and wrists. Covered in comfortable velveteen backing that won’t chafe, the bands come in highly visible, neon colors.


Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Certified running coach and fitness writer Christine Luff has spent years researching, testing, and recommending fitness and athletic products and knows that the right gear can tremendously improve performance and comfort.

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