Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nite Lite/Lite Brite

As I’ve mentioned, I run at night, and in order to make this not suicide by car, reflective strips become a girl’s best friend*.  Because diamonds are great, but not only are they not moisture wicking, they sure won’t keep that drunken CFO in the Beemer from broadsiding you.

So why  don’t running apparel companies do this right?

I wear a lot of brands.  I wear the apparel they designate for runners.  I’m the girl these folks are looking for—I panicked when my cheap stuff failed me utterly and splurged and then went and told all of my friends to splurge.  Things that you ask to work this hard are worth it.  And yet I am not a satisfied customer.  In fact, I’m feeling a little bitchy. 

Because the safety features that are, you know, supposed to keep me safe, are ridunculous.  On average, my sports bra has more and better reflective piping than any other single piece of apparel.  And sure, there are ladies who look great in just a compression bra, but er, wait, isn’t this designed for low light sport? Should I be running around in just my bra at 10pm?  Does this seem safe/sane to Nike?  Really?  Well not so much to me.  So let’s look at shirts.  Whether singlets, tanks or tees—and heaven forbid it be cold weather gear because you’ll just be SOL there, tops straight up fail the safety test.  The reflectivity on my tops is all on the front.  Even then it’s mostly just a teeny logo.  First of all—the FRONT?  Now unless I’m so out of it I shouldn’t be on the road to start with, I think I should be able to spot and avoid collisions with things headed towards my face.  Why are they not on the back-where my eyes aren’t?  Is it really that hard to put two lines down the back of a moisture wicking run top? As far as I’ve seen, pretty much Mission Impossible.  (IDEA: twin lines curving in from my underarms to the small of my back. Safe and slimming= bonus points.)  And pants, why is all the reflectivity on the sides?  So that cars can notice me as they draw abreast?  Or way up at my hip?  Because, see above argument that I can see with my eyeballs in the front of me, not in back, with an additional complaint that most of my tops cover that space.  So even if I needed the help in front, it’s invisible as soon as I put on a shirt.  Sigh.  It seems simple and intuitive that the same seems that Athleta boasts ‘slim the hips and thighs’ could easily sport reflective stripes so that I don’t die while looking slim and lovely.  Because even in straight 12 noon sunshine, no one has ever died of extra reflectivity.  (I think.  I should google that statement, but I’m too lazy.)  But instead, if I’m lucky, my options are tiny, misplaced and frankly nonsensical.  Or I could do the dreaded neon vest.  Oh gods of road running, please don’t make me wear the Vest of Shame.  

If there isn’t ANY reflectivity, I don’t buy at all.  And a vast amount of running gear falls into this category.  Now I realize that a lot of (girls) are strictly gym runners.  And that’s great.  Go them.  But reflectivity won’t blind the old lady on the treadmill behind them and it could potentially save me. 

So I’m left wondering if the stuff that makes gear shiny is maybe gold or plutonium.  Expensive as hell or super hard to get.  Because otherwise, lots of folks run in low light.  Not just night runners, but twilight and dawn too, where in many cases the oddness of the light makes drivers’ differentiating runners from chipmunks even more difficult.  So, please, Reebok, Moving Comfort, Mizuno, MAKE  ME SOMETHING TO WEAR.  I’ll pay you, I swear. In money.

*Note: No amount of shiny shit will make the difference paying attention will.  I know this.  Adidas knows this.  It’s not the question.  The question is why aren’t these folks trying to give me all the help they can—at 60$ a pop?

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