Choosing running gear is bit like buying a car: If you base it on looks alone, you may miss out on comfort and safety. But New Balance's recently dropped Hi-Viz collection serves up a heavy dose of both, and after your eyes adjust to the fabric's extremely bright glow, the protective garb begins to feel stylish as well.
While summer running has a certain obvious appeal, crisp fall temperatures really make for perfect workout weather. But as the days grow shorter, keeping up a sunlit running schedule becomes more of a challenge. New Balance's new luminescent gear makes exercising in the dark easier and safer without sacrificing performance. We tested two of the brand's latest offerings, the High-Visibility Beacon Jacket and the Glow in the Dark 1400 racing flats.
High-Visibility Beacon Jacket
True to its name, the Beacon Jacket is visible in every kind of light. Reflective trim ensures visibility from direct floods, such as streetlights and headlights, while the jacket's all-over neon colorway provides full low-light visibility, perfect for substandard city streets. Most important however is the unique no-light visibility: Simply expose the jacket to light for around 10 minutes and the gecko-like design on the sleeves will glow for about an hour.
Visibility aside, the jacket also performs well in a range of temperatures. Testing it on a warm windy night, you'll find it both blocks wind and wicks away moisture, meaning you'll stay warm and dry without overheating. While the High-Visibility Beacon may be intended for running, it makes an excellent cycling piece for training or commuting. The jacket sells in both men and women's versions for $175 and is available online from New Balance.
Glow in the Dark 1400
Utilizing the same multi-light visibility design and technology as the Beacon Jacket, the Glow in the Dark 1400 racing flat provides added safety without sacrificing performance. The 1400 is an exceptionally lightweight shoe, balancing a neutral yet responsive feel with enough added stability for longer runs. For marathoners training in the wee, dark hours of the day, this high-visibility version of the 1400 is a blessing. On an early morning run, the shoes felt nimble and responsive with just enough cushion. The only unsafe aspect of the shoes we could see, is the desire to look down at your own feet as you run. Glowing in complete darkness and low light, the high visibility 1400 starts at $90 and also sells online from New Balance.
Photos by Hans Aschim