Most view the UK as a safe place, but this is not really the case. Female runners are a demographic that are often targeted and harassed in the UK - with 46% of women saying they have been harassed while out running. That's astonishing, nearly 1 in 2 women runners are experiencing abhorrent and dangerous behaviour.
This tweet recently went viral about the fitness app Strava and how, as a women, posting your running route daily can be extremely dangerous - and we agree.
How can Women be Safe Running?
Unfortunately, the responsibility is always shifted onto the women to become "safer" - however, we saw with the Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa that it just doesn't prevent the worst. Yes it can make you safer taking these tips, but there needs to be systemic changes in society, government and infrastructure to make women safer. The UK just isn't as safe as it seems for women.
Runners are frequently told to not to run with headphones in, or with loud music - Don’t run in the dark and definitely don’t run alone. We even gave our tips on how to stay safe as a female runner but we are fully aware that the issue is bigger than just the women becoming "safer".
However, we also believe that while the circumstances are the way they are currently, we need to work to be as safe as possible - it's the issue that plays in our heads daily. Selling personal safety alarms to empower women to run when and where they want is great on one hand, on the other it shouldn't be that way.
So, here's our list of the top safety gear you can use to stay safe running.
The Best Safety Gear for Running
Knuckle Lights are devices you can carry while out running at low light or at night to illuminate your surroundings. This, in turn, allows you to have better visibility and reduces the liklihood of you being attacked.
They are extremely durable and have a bright light giving you +25 foot visibility at night. The best are waterproof and lightweight - the best we found are here:
Safety Skin Reflective Skin Spread
This is a new, innovative product to hit the shelves in the UK - its applied similarly to stick deodorant. You swipe it across your skin and a refelctive material is left behind.
Made with a hypoallergenic wax base, it’s also rain and sweat-resistant, so you can run in all weather conditions and it's still as bright as ever.
This again increases the visibility of you as a person so that others can see you.
You can buy it here:
Personal Safety Alarms (Rape Alarms)
These devices, like the Empowered By Ashley alarm, are made to deter attackers and raise the alarm if there is a dangerous situation. With a powerful 130dB alarm and 300 lumen light, it's hard to miss - that is as loud as a plane on the runway.
At Ashley, we have donated over 3000 of these to charities and sold 10's of thousands to women in the UK. These devices are also known as rape alarms and attack alarms - we prefer to call them personal safety alarms.
These alarms pair really well with the products above as those improve the visibility of you and the alarm is there for when someone gets too close or follows you.
Live Tracking Watches
If you're one to track your runs then we would 100% suggest getting a watch with live tracking that you can share with a close friend or relative. Garmin have made one of the best running watches and most accurate for live data. For a high performance watch, it's very affordable too.
Other options are apple watches or even using your phone and WhatsApp's live location function - although we recommend not having your phone on display when running as it attracts theft.
High Visibility Running Vests
This is obvious why it works - high-vis vests reflect light and help you to be seen. This is a method that really helps to avoid danger, as best as possible.
There are lots out there, you could also wear a high visibility windbreaker instead!