You wonder, "What would I do if something happened?"
In addition to making smart choices about where you run, what time of day and who you go with, there are numerous self-defense products that can give you a better peace of mind, even if you never need to use them. Here are five that are ideal for the everyday runner.
Note: Before investing in any of these products, please make sure to check your state and local laws. Use all products responsibly.
Tigerlady$29.00 1 of 6
The name Tigerlady isn't used lightly here—this product was modeled after a cat's retractable claws.
This small, handheld device is lightweight and will easily fit into the natural grooves of your hand during runs. It also comes with a wristband so you never have to worry about losing it.
If you feel threatened, a simple squeeze will make the claws come out and give you a line of defense. Additionally, the channels on the underside of the claw are actually designed to capture DNA, so you can later identify an attacker.
This product was made with women in mind, and a portion of the proceeds from each sale will go to a non-profit focused on ending violence against women.
Runner Pepper Spray$12.99 2 of 6
This classic self-defense item gets a runner-friendly reboot with an adjustable hand strap that helps you hold the device in whatever way feels most comfortable.
The canister comes equipped with police-strength pepper spray and can send out 35 bursts at up to 10 feet away. The spray also has a four-year shelf life, so you don't need to worry about it not working after a few years.
The strong delivery stream should minimize chance of blow-back—a common (and dangerous) problem with pepper spray—but regardless, make sure to always point the nozzle directly away from you and keep in mind current weather conditions.
Go Guarded Ring$19.99 3 of 6
Another self-defense item geared toward female athletes, this product was created with the belief that you'll instinctively use your hands to protect yourself should you ever be attacked. And with this ring on, you'll feel much safer.
Go Guarded was founded and created by a female runner—who found herself vulnerable and defenseless on runs—with a background in criminal justice and law enforcement.
The ring can be worn on any finger and features a heavy-duty, serrated-edge weapon. Unlike some products, you don't have to retrieve it from a pocket, running belt or fanny pack, and it's harder to knock out of your hand. The ring comes in women's sizes 7 to 9.5 and colors blue and pink.
PetSafe Spray Shield Animal Deterrent Spray$4.87 4 of 6
Not all threats come from other people. Depending on where you live, loose and aggressive dogs can be a concern for many runners.
This spray distracts animals with a powerful citronella scent, halting an aggressive dog in its tracks. Unlike pepper spray, it has no negative side effects—for you or the dog.
There's enough liquid in the canister to spray a 10-foot stream for 12 seconds, and the compact comes with a belt/pocket clip, making it easy to carry on a run.
Doberman Security Jogger Alarm$18.99 5 of 6
This safety device was designed specifically with runners in mind: it's light, water-resistant and comes with an adjustable, elastic band so you can wear it on your wrist or arm.
Just one push of the button will send off a 110-decibel emergency alarm to alert others that you're in trouble. The device will also start brightly flashing, with the light visible from over a mile away.