Brooks Run Visible Apparel Review: Glow-Up Your Running
Brooks is back with some hi-vis gear
Warm and cold weather options
Features hits of 3M black carbon reflective tape for increased visibility
Highlighter yellow is… bright (as it should be)
LINDSAY: The age-old struggle of running based on daylight hours is a thing of the past. Now, the targeted reflectivity of the Brooks Run Visible collection makes it possible to run safely in low light conditions.
Whether it’s dodging the blazing rays of summer or craving Vitamin D in the depths of winter, this apparel collection will ensure you’re seen with a literal glow-up. For real, you’ll give off strong radioactive vibes. My social anxiety actually made an appearance when I wore this because I felt… seen. Have you ever watched that video of people dancing in the dark with glow sticks on their arms and legs? This is the runner’s version of that.
See also: Brooks Carbonite Collection Review
SAM: There’s something peaceful and refreshing about running at night or in the morning, especially when you know that other people are already asleep or haven’t even woken up yet.
When I first started having to run in the dark, I loved this, but the only problem was the cars. I always felt like I would get hit, and people would honk and say mean things like, “get off the road, you idiot!” which is a nice way to say “go f*ck yourself,” so I’ll take it. I figured this came with the territory until my neighbor forced me to take her reflective vest with me, solving my problem but creating another one. Because let’s be real– running with a reflective vest makes me look like I’m late for my first day at work on the construction site.
With that in mind, I was excited to see if Brook’s elegant solution to safety with style would be a hit.
LINDSAY: When you consider the goals of this collection, Brooks nailed it. “Night running gear for added safety.” Yes. It’s definitely that. The Nightlife Neon Visible colorway brings high contrast to each piece. Brooks strategically added 3M stretch carbon black reflective material at high motion zones like the wrists, elbows, and upper body, adding sparkle to the night.
I also like that the Brooks Run Visible collection has pieces for cold and warm climates, so there’s something for everyone year-round. The top’s material is somewhat thick, but it didn’t hold heat and was very sweat-wicking. Dare I say, it even stayed a bit cool after sweating in it?
As far as the Carbonite Tight goes, I liked the two side pockets on the thighs, which held my iPhone X and gels nice and snug. Again, the reflective bands are strategically placed at the hips, above the knees, and at the ankles with high contrast neon yellow along the calves. Somebody had their thinking cap on when designing this line.
SAM: As a 4th-grade teacher, I’m constantly reminding my students, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all… unless it’s funny.” Thankfully I don’t have to leave this review blank because I have some good things to say about this collection. I reviewed the Brooks Run Visible Short Sleeve and Tank and the 2-in-1 shorts.
Lindsay is entirely right here. Brooks hit its goal of making stylish yet safe gear. The contrasting color theme catches your eye’s attention, and the Nightlife Neon is Bright with a bold capital B. The 3M stretch carbon black reflective material is the most flexible reflective material I’ve run in and does not restrict movement.
The only positive I have for the shirts is that they look cool. When I wear them around, the thick material Lindsay mentioned is comfortable due to its weight (I’ll get into why this is a negative later). The shorts were an absolute hit for me. I’ve never worn 2-in-1 running shorts before, but I loved how they toed the line between supportive with the compression layer underneath and breathable with the perforated and vented shell on top. I wore them for a few easy runs in the heat, which left my legs feeling refreshed.
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LINDSAY: I’m going to be blunt here and say that I’m relieved this was made to be worn in the dark because there is no way you’d catch me with the Brooks Run Visible collection in the daytime. This may be vain, but highlighter yellow does not look good on anyone. I said what I said.
The tank top is meant to be worn both ways, but I couldn’t vibe with either. With it on forward, it has a weirdly narrow cut at the chest that reveals any shape of a sports bra at the sides. Backward, you feel like you straight up ran through a color-run of solely highlighter yellow. Not to mention the awkward feeling of wearing a shirt backward. High neckline and all. No, thank you.
I didn’t wear the leggings much, given the current state of back-to-back heat waves in Baltimore, but when I did wear them, they were a bit high and long for my 5’3″ bod. I wasn’t a massive fan of the Asphalt/Nightlife combo, either. A petite length in the Black/Icy Grey/Nightlife combo is something I could see myself wearing in the wintertime, though.
SAM: I have to say the best thing about the stretchy reflective material is that it makes the shirt easy to take off, which is the only thing I wanted to do while wearing it. While I love a good heavyweight t-shirt for wearing around, the weight of these shirts became unbearable while running. Within 15-20 minutes of starting my run, the shirt and tank were utterly soaked and began to bounce. I should add a disclaimer here: I regularly run in the 90% humidity of the Mid-Atlantic here in Baltimore, and this testing came on some of the hottest days of the year. These tops will hit a whole lot different in drier and cooler climates.
Along with the weight, it felt as if the placement of the reflective material trapped sweat and weighed the shirt down at the waist and sleeves. I used the tank for a treadmill run to escape a thunderstorm but still felt like I was in the rain. I had to tuck in the shirt so as not to spray those around me with sweat (one of those embarrassing moments that I’ll think of at a random point in the future and cringe). Brooks is marketing these shirts as lightweight, breathable, and quick drying, and I found none of these to be true.
My other issue is the price. If I was in a position where I had to run in the dark often, I could not see myself buying these shirts or even the shorts for $65-$78. Even though they can be uncomfortable, most vests have more reflective material and can be used for a few runs in a row by only being rinsed after and hung up to dry. Maybe that’s the 3M premium, but it’s a bit steep. Sorry Brooks, even though you achieved your goal, you set out to solve a problem that’s not there.Shop Brooks Run Visible Collection
LINDSAY: All in all, the Brooks Run Visible collection is not my cup of tea, but it meets a need for high visibility clothing in low light conditions. Economically speaking, it isn’t the most cost-efficient option considering you will wear it once and then wash it before it can be worn again.
The only piece I can confidently say I’ll wear on a regular basis is the Run Visible Half Zip. Otherwise, I think I’ll stick with reflector vests. One last thing: There are a TON of items in this collection, not just questionably colorful clothing. The arm sleeves, gloves, shoes, jackets, and hats are all multi-wear, Brooks Run Visible items I would consider buying, and could certainly be useful in the winter months, so check them out.
SAM: I wish I could have loved the pieces I got from this collection. Runner safety is incredibly important, and I get secondhand anxiety seeing people run in all black through Baltimore at night. Sadly I couldn’t love them with the price and the weight of the shirts, especially combined with a good layer of sweat.
There are reflective running vests that are much cheaper, more breathable, designed to promote movement, and don’t have to be washed after every run, so I’m not sure how these pieces fit in unless you’re a Brooks superfan. For solely running purposes, I loved the 2-in-1 shorts. They’re breathable, supportive, and can be a great transition short between running and the gym.
Lindsay also makes a great point by bringing up the other items in the collection. The accessories all have the same reflective material, and for me, the cost of reflective accessories that can be used with different running outfits makes more sense. I would also like to try out the reflective jacket during the winter.
You can pick up the Brooks Run Visible collection at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Brooks Run Visible Collection
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