Night Runner 270 Shoe Lights

Night Runner 270 Shoe Lights Review

I’ll admit it, I rolled me eyes pretty hard when I saw Night Runner 270 shoe lights for the first time.

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Shoe lights? You mean like little kids have? Why would an adult need lights on shoes when we’ve already got handhelds, waist lights, pack lights, and headlamps? Seems like a product with no market.  

Pretty sure my inner dialogue went something like that, but then an offer came across for me to try them out to see what I thought.  Until I injured myself a few weeks ago, I wore these on all of my night/morning runs on both the trail, road, and bike path. Here’s what I found:

In the box:

  • Two shoe lights.
  • One cord with two charging ends.
  • Travel pack.
Shoe lights
What’s in the box?

Beta:

  • Each light weighs 1.5 oz. Super light. I had no idea they were on my feet.
  • Site claims the lights emanate 150 lumens and are good for 30 meters, visible for 100 meters.
  • Site claims 4-8 hours battery life. My testing shows about 4 hours on high. Battery fades, rather than immediate shut off.
  • Three light options with button: Bright, mid, and strobe.
  • Each pair of Night Runner 270 shoe lights cost $60.
  • More info here.
As if the Caldorados aren't bright enough, right?
As if the Caldorados aren’t bright enough, right?

Likes

  • The Night Runner 270 shoe lights provide an incredible amount of trail detail. Headlamps don’t show grades or rocks well, while these will cast shadows and help you navigate your way.
  • Super light weight.
  • The lights clip on with tension and never came loose. Easy to switch from shoe to shoe.
  • Decent price if you need the additional light.
  • On road and bike path, a static headlamp can be mistaken for a streetlight, house light, headlight, etc, while these move with each stride and are unmistakably attached to a human being.
  • The red light for the rear is a nice addition.
  • My kids freaking love them, and since they’re rechargeable, I plug them in and they’re good to go again.
Little red light shines well at night for rear visibility.
Little red light shines well at night for rear visibility.

Dislikes

  • Takes a few runs to get used to the movement. Since they shine with each kick, it does seem a bit dizzy at first. I get used to it within a few minutes each time I use them.
  • It’s tough to run with someone else if they’re not used to it. During the Folsom Lake Trail Ultra, I ran with Bev Abbs briefly and her response was “Nope, Eric. Turn those damn things off.” Point taken.
  • Strobe option is near impossible to run with without getting vertigo, but a new version of the beer mile may have just been born: Beer mile in the dark, illuminated only by blinking lights on shoes. You in?
  • Definitely make sure that both are charged at the same level. Because the battery charge fades, you may have one light brighter than the other. That’s happened to me, and it really messed up my balance.
  • The light is not sufficient for trail running, but makes a great supplement light.  I’m comfortable on the bike path using them alone, but other terrains require additional light.
  • If I hear something or need to “use” the light, it’s awkward to point at something with the foot, whereas with a headlamp or chest lamp, manipulating the light is easy.

Overall verdict

If you’re looking for something that gives just enough light to get around a neighborhood while greatly increasing your visibility, these would be a $60 well spent. Likewise, if you’re a trail runner who trips on the little roots, rocks, and divots at night and needs additional depth help, the Night Runner 270 shoe lights would make a great addition to your light kit arsenal.

And of course, a great gift idea for that runner who “has everything already.”  They probably doesn’t have shoe lights!

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Disclaimer: Lights were provided to me for review purposes only. All thoughts and images are my own.

 

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