Nathan Sports and Feetures! socks review #FireUpYourRun

Hello, hello. Well we might as well just wrap ourselves in a huge duvet, stock up on comforting food and hibernate now until May. Winter is most certainly coming. As our shorter days with depressingly dark mornings and dark evenings. Like last year I’ve been reviewing some of Nathan Sports visibility gear, designed to help runners and early-morning exercisers to stay visible during the these dark, dark times.FireUpYourRunJust because it’s dark, cold and, let’s be honest, quite miserable out there early in the morning or later in the evening, this doesn’t mean you should just hang up your trainers and give up. There are loads of ways to keep safe and stay visible to traffic and other pedestrians. Avoid the ninja runner syndrome!

Bandolier Vest

Bandolier vest

This is a very simple but effective piece of kit. It’s a reflective vest that you just pop over your normal running gear. I like it because it’s not like other reflective vests I’ve had that have been a bit restrictive and, well, cumbersome. This is slim and allows your arms to swing normally. There are adjustable straps on both sides to make it as loose or tight as you want it.

Bandolier

Handily there’s a zip pocket to store keys etc. It’s available in yellow or pink.

Zephyr Fire 100 Hand Torch

Zephyr Fire 100 Hand Torch

This is a rechargeable (via a USB – hugely handy) hand-torch that you can strap to your wrist and use while you run. It has 108 lumens (I won’t pretend to fully understand what this means – I think it means ‘how’ light it is) with 3 lighting modes. The angle of the beam points downwards meaning you can easily see where you’re going as you run, similar to a head-torch. There’s also a built-in siren function so if you are in danger you can sound it off (it’s rather loud so use wisely). And, essential for Britain, it’s weather-resistant.

Zephyr Fire 100

I don’t mind carrying things while I run so this wouldn’t bother me to use, though I know some people dislike it. But you don’t have to consciously hold on to it which is good. I like to use it when I’m walking Alfie as well as it can be hard to see where he does his business in the morning… (TMI?).

LED lights

Nathan Visibility Gear

Light Spur

This LED light attaches easily onto the heel of your trainer. Again, it’s water-resistant and has two settings (normal strobe and flashing).

Light Spur

I’m a big fan of the Light Spur. You can’t feel it at all when you run and there’s no risk of it flying off. It’s such an effective and easy piece of visibility kit.

Strobe Light

Strobe Light

This is a strobe light that attaches on to a belt or your clothing using a secure clip. The LED has is 8+ lumens.

Though I prefer the light spur just for the ease of attaching to my trainer, the light spur is very good for making yourself seen. It’s just awkward finding the appropriate place for it to attach to without it being at risk of flying off.

Pulsar Strobe

This is similar to the Strobe Light, but it is a lot smaller and has a 6 lumen light. So quite a lot of brightness for something so small. It attaches really nicely to the front of your trainer.

Pulsar Strobe

It has three different strobe modes as well (different speeds of pulsing basically).

HyperBrite Strobe

HyperBrite Strobe

This is another LED light you c an attach to yourself that lights up. It has four modes and is available in three different colours (blue, red and purple).

I actually attached to this to Alfie’s dog harness so when I took him for a walk early in the morning or in the evening I could see where he was, and he was also visible to others. My biggest fear is of him being run over or running away and not coming back so having a light attached to him made me worry a lot less. OK this isn’t exactly how these lights were aimed to be used but it is very handy in this respect. A few other dog owners commented on what a good idea it was. But again it would be very handy to attach to yourself when you go running or cycling. It’s very bright – I could see Alfie from a long distance away when I let him off his lead in my nearby field, something I’ve been less inclined to do now it’s getting darker.

Orion Strobe

Orion Strobe

This is a 30 lumen LED light that comes with its own belt for easy wearing. The white light provides visibility for your path as well as making you visible to others with a red strobe. It is USB rechargeable as well. You can detach it from the belt as well and attach elsewhere.

Orion Strobe

In the left picture I’m wearing the belt and strobe light

I like the fact it comes with a belt as I don’t always wear running gear that has an easy place to attach a clip. I like that it’s a hands-free way to see what’s ahead of you. I’m not sure it would entirely replace a head torch though when I’m running through really dark areas, but definitely a good little gadget for when running along streets in the morning or evening that are slightly lit.

Fire and Ice Bottle

Fire and Ice Bottle

This is a double-walled BPA-free hydration bottle. It’s got a reinforced leak-free, easy-squeeze design and is dishwasher safe. It’s got a reflective fabric within it, helping increase its visibility. I wouldn’t run with a bottle this size but it would be perfect on the bike, which helps make the bike more visible to traffic.

Thoughts? I love all this gear. I think if you’re running in the dark then you need to wear something that lights up at least. You don’t have to wear all the items above and look like a Christmas tree, but one light is enough to make yourself at least somewhat visible. I personally love the Light Spur for the trainer just because it’s so easy and so effective, but any of the items are a great idea.

Feetures! Running Socks

Feetures socks

I was also sent two pairs of Feetures! Socks. I’ll start by saying I’m a huge fan of these socks. I have a pair from a previous review and honestly it’s my go-to race sock. I only wear it for running for fear of their ‘magic’ wearing out.

I was sent a pair of the Elite low-rise socks and a pair of the Elite Meriono+ Blend.

Elite Merino+ Blend

So called because it contains Merino wool which gives it a very soft feel and keeps your feet dry and warm due to the moisture wicking properties. It has targeted compression and cushioning with an anatomical design to ensure it’s comfy and wards off blisters.

They’re so comfy. My only qualm is that I prefer the lower rise ones only because I like to keep my socks a secret from everyone… 😉

Elite

These are similar to above but don’t have the Merino blend. It still feels lovely and soft though and still has wicking properties to keep away moisture and blisters

Thoughts? I love both pairs of socks and can’t recommend them enough.

Do you continue with running/cycling during winter?

How do you stay visible in the morning/evening?

What type of socks do you wear to run/work out in?

**Full Disclosure: I was sent all these items for free in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

14 thoughts on “Nathan Sports and Feetures! socks review #FireUpYourRun

  1. Oh my goodness PLEASE stay visible out there. I now live in a place where it gets INSANELY foggy during the colder months and Im thinking of actually stopping my one day outdoor runs – unless I can get to a track. Its just too dangerous, even with something like these products on! But I do think that these products are super important to have when running in the dark!
    Kat recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #57My Profile

  2. I love the look of the Bandolier Vest as I get so warm running, even in the winter, this would be perfect to help keep me cooler and visible without having to wear a huge hi-viz.
    I have black tights but the t-shirts I run in tend to be t-shirts from races so often really bright colours so with a hi-viz as well I should be fairly easy to spot.
    I am guilty of running in normal socks and only tend to wear running socks for the longer mileage. I can often be found out running in July with christmas trees on my socks.

  3. I won a hand torch and a light spur last year and they are both really good. Also if the strap on the torch is tight I find I don’t have to grip it . I pressed the alarm instead of the torch by mistake in sweatshop and it made everyone jump! I bought some light led straps in aldi, they were £4 for a 4 pack and either flash or have constant light. It’s so important to be seen by cars but it does mean it takes longer to get ready for a winter run!
    Maria recently posted…Earth miles goodies, a trip to London and a chilly runMy Profile

    • Yeah I know what you mean. Attaching all these different gadgets to yourself and, when I run at work, remembering to pack them!
      I pressed the alarm button the torch accidentally this morning actually when I was walking Alfie. Terrified me!!
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Eco-Friendly ChoicesMy Profile

  4. Oh wow. You are going to be super bright this Winter! 🙂 I tend to run in a reflective vest and headtorch now that the nights are much darker. Although I miss the light evenings, I do love running through the Winter, and I’m so excited about all the off-road night running coming up! At Dusk ’til Dawn this weekend we get given glow sticks for our packs so that we can be easily spotted out on the hills which I thought was a good idea. I probably should invest in some other lights for day to day use though.
    My parents have a flashing collar for their dog which they’ve used and loved for a few years now. Much easier to see him in the evenings as he is running around.
    Mary recently posted…The first XC of the season: WellingboroughMy Profile

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