Hello! I have another review for you guys. I’m quite excited about the products as most of them are all to do with being visible during your run or cycle – so it’s perfect timing for the current dark mornings and evenings. The lovely guys from 9Point9, the UK distributor of Feetures! and Nathan Sports, sent me a selection of products to test out. Let’s get to it.
Feetures! Socks (find HERE) SRP: £14.99
I’ll start first with Feetures!, which is a company specialising in performance running socks. What’s great is that they’re conscious of the environment. They use eco-friendly packaging and have an association with the National Forest Foundation, which I think is pretty cool. They also back all of their products with a Lifetime Guarantee. The products are designed to withstand repeated wearing and washing, and to maintain their fit and feel over the lifetime of the product. So if your socks fail to live up to this standard, then you can return them for an exchange or a full refund.
My socks were the Elite Merino+ which uses a blend of super fine Merino wool and soft rayon (kind of like a pulp?) from bamboo so feel incredibly soft. They insulate when wet so your feet are warm in cool and damp conditions (perfect for right now!) and also have anti-odour properties. There’s a nice bit of compression in the sock too so it “hugs” your foot comfortably and stays in place.
Thoughts? I really liked them. They were SO comfortable. Almost spongy but not thick. It’s also really nice to find a pair of socks that are hidden in your trainers but don’t slip down. Trainer socks always fail me on this account so I was apprehensive to run in these at first. But they’ve never slipped down. They also have that handy left and right indicator on them so the cushioning is in the correct place. And they wash perfectly fine! No blister issues with these bad boys either (thank god). I will say though that for almost £15 they’re not the most cheap socks, but with a lifetime guarantee and how good they are, it does seem worth it.
Nathan Sports (website HERE)
As the market leader in creating the Running Essentials™ gear, Nathan’s performance-driven products aim to help improve an athlete’s running experience. They specialise in hydration vests, belts, handhelds, bottles, running paks, active visibility and reflective vests, and other gear, all designed to help you run stronger and longer.
I was kindly sent some really snazzy looking visibility gear. I won’t lie, I got quite excited. Especially considering how useful these products would be to me as I run so god damn early in the morning when it’s pretty dark!
LightSpur (find HERE) SRP: £19.99
This LED light attaches to the heel of one of your trainers. I was initially concerned that I’d feel it and it would either annoy me at best or cause me an issue running at worst. But neither of these happened. It fits very securely and you honestly cannot feel it. It has two settings: pure light and then a flashing light. It’s also waterproof (it has survived quite a few rainy morning’s run now!) and runs on replaceable watch batteries (40+ hours of illumination).
Thoughts? I loved it. Honestly, this is a brilliant idea. It’s now something I won’t run without on an early morning or evening run. Anything that can make you more visible to cars, cyclists and pedestrians is a big thumbs up in my book. It takes nothing away from your run so it’s a no-brainer really.
Zephyr Fire 100 Hand Torch (find HERE) STP: £44.99
This is a torch which is rechargeable (via USB ) and is strapped onto your hand – so you don’t actually have to physically hold it. With 108 lumens and 3 lighting modes, there’s light at the top and a red light at the bottom and the torch has a 24 degree downward projection angle to focus on the path in front of you. There’s also a siren built it that activates when clicked (I’d advice that it’s best not to test this before 6am in the morning when you’re perfectly safe!!)
Thoughts? I used to consistently wear a head torch on my dark runs but I found it quite annoying and bouncy on my head so I was really chuffed to try a hand-held torch instead. It’s also less expensive than a head torch as well.
It gives a good beam of light and I love the fact is has a siren. Early morning or late evening running is dangerous, particularly for a lone female. Whether anyone would come and save me is questionable though! But it’s a good deterrent anyway. My only issue is that my arms are always moving when I run so the light flays about a bit and you have to remember it’s attached to your hand. It’s very easy to forget and then point the torch at someone’s house window or a car, which is never good! But I do think it’s brilliant – not only allowing you to be seen but also showing any puddles, tree roots, rubbish etc. that might be hidden on your path in the dark. As a side point, it’s great for when I take Alfie out on his walks because he tends to find the most dark and difficult corners to do his business which makes poop scooping tough work! #dogownerproblems
LightBender (find HERE) SRP: £19.99
This is an LED band that straps round your arm. It has two settings: regular light and flashing. It’s water resistant and, like the heel spur, has a replaceable watch battery. It’s also very bright.
Thoughts? I have quite thin arms and struggled a little to get it to fit snugly but I got there in the end with fiddling about with the straps. Like the heel spur, this is excellent to make yourself seen. I wear the heel spur on one foot and the armband on the opposite arm which works perfectly. It’s very bright and isn’t uncomfortable at all. A very neat little gadget that makes me very visible to anyone driving or walking nearby.
DomeLight (find HERE) SRP: £39.99
This is very clever. It’s a water-resistant hat with a front white LED light and a rear red LED light. It has 2400 feet of visibility and reflective trims. It’s USB rechargeable and the female version has a hole for your pony tail! There’s also a small pocket to put a house key or what have you. I was fairly excited when I saw this I won’t lie.
Please ignore how truly horrendous I look – it’s 5.40am
Thoughts? Though I was reluctant to wear a hat so soon into the cold weather season (you gotta save the good stuff for the really cold days to appreciate it more), I quite happily donned this to give it a spin on my runs. What a brilliant idea! It’s no head torch but that’s not what it’s for – it’s for people to see you. It fits snugly, my pony tail fits nicely (as you can see in the photo) and the lights are awesome. Very pleased with this. It’s very warm and snug as well.
Wrist Runner 2 (find HERE) SRP: £9.99
This is a lightweight fabric wrist pocket. It can fit a credit card, ID, cash, and other small essentials. It’s very stretchy and water-resistant. It comes in two colours – not just pink
Thoughts? This is quite handy as putting things in jacket pockets or wearing a bag can be a bit annoying as they bounce around, but because this is quite form-fitting it doesn’t. On a long run I could keep a debit card (or my parkrun barcode card!) in there which is always handy in case you need to grab a water or something like that. Nothing has fallen out yet either from the pocket. My only quibble with it is that it doesn’t fit on my wrist as I have quite small wrists, but it did fit snugly higher up my arm. I put a key and a card in there and it only slightly slipped down my arm once before I readjusted which was good. It is a little expensive for what it is I think but I like that it’s reflective and it’s useful for carrying a few odd items without going overboard.
Lock Laces (find HERE)
As the pack says, they are elastic shoelaces with a lock-and-clip system. The laces are also reflective.
Thoughts? I’m currently wearing three different trainers in rotation (Mizunos, Brooks and Boosts) and decided to put the laces on my Mizunos as they have ridiculously long laces and it drives me mad (I have to triple bow them!). The laces were very easy to thread into the trainers and they could be pulled nice and tight so my feet were very secure. You then just snip off the excess lace and then attach the locks and then the clips at the end. I was a little confused with the clip things and struggled a bit with the instructions given on the packet. I’m not entirely sure what they’re for either as the locks hold the laces down quite nicely. But anyway, they work very well. So much easier than faffing about with tying the laces as they’re very easy to tighten and un-tighten. Ideal for triathlons for definite!
Conclusion: these products have really made me think about how easy it is to be seen when running. It is STUPID to go out like a ninja runner without any sort of light or reflective gear on. Yes you’re on the pavement but you still need to be seen – you cross roads, you can be on badly lit roads or paths, and pedestrians are normally completely hidden in darkness so giving them a bit of notice of your arrival always helps (I’ve scared many a dog walker or walking commuter by flying past with no warning). You’re also less of an easy target for someone to stealthily grab you if you’re more visible to everyone.
There really is no excuse. Be visible. Be safe. The Nathan website has loads of great items from lights to reflective gear. Your only risk is looking a bit like a Christmas tree if you rock out all the lights at once
I would fully recommend the Feetures! socks as well. Expensive though they may be, I fully appreciate anything that makes my feet feel nice and comfortable on a run and don’t slip.
All in all I very good selection of products. Perfect gift ideas for runners or stocking fillers in my opinion!
How do you stay safe if you work out outside in the morning or evening?
Are you a sock snob – do you only wear running-specialised socks? I fully admit I am a sock snob. Compression socks or running-specific only!
What would you prefer: a hand-held torch or a head torch?
[Full disclosure: I was sent these products for free to review. All opinions are my own.]