I consider it my personal responsibility to make myself visible when I run in the dark. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cringed (and maybe spoken some choice words under my breath) when I’ve seen a runner/walker/bicyclist out there in dark clothes with no lights before/after the sun is up. When I heard about the Night Trek 270 Tactical Shoe Lights, I was eager to try them. Not only do they provide hands-free lighting on your feet to help you see every rock, root, or crack in the road, but the bright light ensures that you will be seen by others as well. A win-win.
I have to be honest about my initial impression of the lights when I opened the box. The units seemed a bit on the large size and I wasn’t sure how comfortable they would be on my running shoes. I was also not super confident about them staying on my shoes, as the method in which to attach them is not terribly unlike the concept behind a paper clip. Did I really want to paper clip 2 large lights to my shoelaces and go for a run in these? I also noticed that the box for the Night Trek lights mentioned they were good for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and dog walking. All these activities seemed like great uses for the shoe lights, but there was no mention whatsoever of running.
So I put the lights on my running shoes and was pleasantly surprised to see that the clamps for them were very good. They held tight to my shoelaces and didn’t slide or budge in any way. Additionally, despite the size, they were very lightweight. I didn’t feel them at all after I put them on. You can also adjust the angle of where you want the light to shine and there are a couple different options on brightness and one option for flashing lights. They are easy to turn on and off, with the button conveniently right on top where you need it, and they are waterproof as well, which comes in handy in a place like Oregon.
The lights are 150 lumens and project 30 ft ahead of you, so there’s definitely no problem seeing what’s ahead of you in the dark. The first time I took them out, it was a dark winter night and I didn’t feel as though I was going out there blind. I saw everything in front of my feet. Even better, there are small red “tail” lights on the backside of the units so that people coming up behind you will see you as well.
I love that these lights are rechargeable and come with a charging chord. One of my biggest complaints about many battery-powered headlamps and flashlights I’ve had is that you can’t tell when the battery is low until you experience a blackout while wearing them. There are rechargeable headlamps available but I personally find them bulky and uncomfortable, so I love to find alternatives. These shoe lights last for at least 3-5 hours and I am planning to recharge them after every couple of uses. I feel confident that they will stay bright longer than I’d even need them to.
Even though these don’t appear to be marketed for running, I don’t see any reason why a runner couldn’t wear these for a dark run. I wouldn’t want to wear these on my running shoes all the time, but with them being so easy to get on and off, it would only take a minute to get them ready when I need the extra visibility. When it comes to being safe while running, there’s really no excuse good enough to justify not purchasing something like this like.
Company: Night Trek 270
Specs (from website):
- Ultra-lightweight LED units (weighing only 1.5 oz. each)
- Rear-facing red tail lights to grab motorists’ attention
- Long-last 3 to 5 hour battery life
- Li-ion rechargeable battery with micro-USB charging port
- 150 total lumens for bright night running
- 30+ feet of hands-free illumination
- 270 degrees of visibility guaranteed
- Water-resistant, high-impact casing
- Secure, multi-position shoelace clips that won’t fall off
Thank you to Night Trek 270 for providing us with a sample pack. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.