Almost every runner has had that uncomfortable feeling. You're by yourself on an early-morning or evening run when you realize you're in a vulnerable situation. You can't help but 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 better peace of mind, even if you never need to use them. These 15 items 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.
15 Self-Defense Products for Runners
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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 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.
2. Sabre Red Pepper Gel Spray for Runners
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 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 the 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.
3. Knuckle Lights
Designed to be worn on your hands, Knuckle Lights throw 280 lumens of light, illuminating a runner's entire path—meaning their own visibility is maximized and passersby in vehicles can't miss them.
So, whether you're running before the sun comes up or after it's gone, you can leave the headlamp at home and wear what you want without fear of not being seen.
4. Go Guarded Ring
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.
5. Epinki Defense Whistle Necklace
Searching for the perfect gift for the runner you love? The Epinki Whistle necklace just might be the answer. The stylish, stainless-steel necklace can be worn daily, for virtually any occasion.
Better yet, the whistle feature ensures that a runner can be heard from anywhere along their route, should they become injured or endangered.
6. PetSafe Spray Shield Animal Deterrent Spray
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.
7. Aerowave Cord End Whistle
A whistle can be an invaluable accessory for a runner but wearing a necklace can be a bit obtrusive for those who aren't used to having something around their neck. The solution? A non-descript whistle that simply clips to a drawstring or cord.
The Aerowave Cord End Whistle is subtle, effective, and inexpensive. Just clip it around your cord and forget about it—until you need to be heard.
8. Doberman Security Jogger Alarm
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.
9. Road ID Wrist ID Elite
Self-defense doesn't always mean physical resistance. If a runner should fall ill or be injured during a run, quick identification could be the difference between life and death.
The Road ID Wrist ID delivers that peace of mind, both to the runner and their loved ones, with a comfortable fit and an easily found nameplate.
10. Terminator Mini Stun Gun
Our sincere hope is that a runner should never need to resort to self-defense of this magnitude. However, the Terminator Mini Stun Gun is a viable option for those who are genuinely concerned about their surroundings and/or ability to resist an attack.
The compact size of the unit allows a runner to easily slip the gun into a pocket or running belt. More importantly, a simple test fire into the air will almost always be enough to deter an ill-meaning individual.
11. Kuba-Kickz Self Defense Control
The Kuba-Kickz Self Defense Control device fits easily and comfortably beneath the laces of your running shoe on top of the tongue. The product is virtually unnoticeable without close examination and its construction will allow a kick to deliver a devastating blow.
The device is the only non-lethal self-defense accessory designed for shoes, putting it in a very convenient location for a runner who should find themselves in danger.
12. React Mobile -- Personal Safety App
Never run alone again with the React Mobile Personal Safety App. The app allows runners to add friends and family to a network who can then follow them while they run. By simply sliding the control bar on their phone, runners can change their status from "I'm Fine" to "Follow Me" if they grow uncomfortable. From there, simply tapping "Help Me" will trigger a request for emergency help.
13. Million Mile Light
Oftentimes, the key to a runner's safety is simply being seen. The Million Mile Light, designed by FlipBelt, is a battery-free safety light that can be easily clipped to clothes or a FlipBelt.
The Million Mile Light's differentiator from other lights is that it doesn't require batteries. The light is motion-activated, so a runner never has to worry about running out of juice mid-run.
14. Amphipod Xinglet Pocket Vest
Maximize reflective visibility with the Xinglet Pocket vest from Amphipod. Not only does the vest offer up to 50 percent more reflective area than similar products, but it also offers consistent 360-degree reflectivity.
The Xinglet Pocket Vest is also aptly named, with a 4x3-inch ventilated zipper pocket for keys or gels.
15. 180S Torch LED Gloves
The Torch LED Gloves feature an integrated LED light on the knuckle of a runner's index finger, which is nice but shouldn't be counted upon to provide all the illumination you may need in the dark.
The gloves make the list thanks to a combination of the light with ALLTouch technology that allows you to control your phone with any finger—an often-overlooked function while running in the cold.