I bought these shoe lights as a part of a Kickstarter campaign last spring. After another frustrating winter run, a woman and her husband conceived of the idea of a running shoe light that lit up where you were going, not just the bob of your headlamp. As I run in the dark for almost half the year and loathe running with a headlamp, I was excited to try these out.
These were my first ever Kickstarter purchase, so I’ll admit that I was surprised when they arrived looking like something I would buy in a running store. The package includes two lights, a charger for the rechargeable battery, a bag to store the lights in and simple instructions. The lights themselves are sturdy and feature three different levels of light: low, medium and flashing. There is also a red light on the back for people coming up behind you.
I tried this out on a run with Will at 6 pm the other night, which took us from dusk to full darkness. They were easy to get onto my shoe, although I was anxious about whether they would stay on as they just slide over your laces. I didn’t change anything about my stride, however, and they stayed put for the whole run. I didn’t realize it until we got home, but I did the whole run with the lights on low, so the review is even more positive.
From the first few steps, I absolutely loved them. The light beams do bounce just like a headlamp but are aimed at the ground ahead of you, which allows you to be more sure-footed than when you are just hoping you’re stepping high enough. They also make you extremely visible. Cars were staring at my feet at every intersection and other cyclists and runners kept commenting on how awesome my shoes were. When we hit the totally unlit bike path, Will and I were both able to run with great visibility even though only I had the lights on. The only time I didn’t have great visibility was when we were facing oncoming traffic while the bike path ran along the road, but there’s nothing any light can do to stop car blindness.
As we go forward into the winter, I plan to only use the Nightrunners and my Nathan reflective vest. My guess is that most people will also want a headlamp, but I absolutely hate running with them and felt much safer with the Nightrunners than I ever have with a headlamp. At $59 with totally rechargeable batteries, these are a must-have for anyone who runs at dusk or in the dark.