The horrifying news of the murders of three female joggers last week has terrified women, making all of us who love to run outside rethink our exercise choices.
Alexandra Brueger, 31, was shot in Michigan; Karina Vetrano, 30, was raped and murdered in Queens, New York; and Vanessa Marcote, 27, was murdered within Massachusetts — all while running on well-marked trails or streets during daylight hours, just like we’re all told to do. Police do not think the killings are connected (which may be the scariest information of all) and all 3 murders remain unsolved. This has left female runners in a terrible position. The sheer awfulness of the crime has forced us to decide whether it’s worth the risk to run outdoors or if we should just stay in on the treadmill.
But while this is a deeply personal choice and will be different for each person’s situation, it is still summer — prime time for beautiful, balmy runs in the sunset. So if you do decide to head out but want to have a little extra protection, here are some safety gadgets designed specifically for women.
1 . Go Guarded
Scratching is a natural self-defense move, but unless you get steel-reinforced gel tips filed to a point as part of your weekly mani, your nails may not be optimal weapons. But now Go Guarded, a plastic and metal “claw” you wear on your finger like a ring, turns your tips into talons Wolverine would be proud of. Best part: It’s lightweight and automatically accessible so you don’t have in order to waste time getting it out of a pack or even pocket. (GoGuarded. com, $16)
2 . TigerLady
One claw is great, but when if you’re facing down an assailant, you might prefer a whole handful of razor-sharp claws. The TigerLady is a felt pouch a person wrap around your hand, just like a hand-held water bottle. But instead of drinking water, when you squeeze it, out pops a set of steel paws , similar to the way the cat’s claws extend plus retract. The makers also included a groove under each “nail” with regard to gathering DNA from an attacker. The company motto — “You don’t have to see him to ID him” — says it all. (TigerLady. com, $29)
Pepper spray is every woman’s self-defense standby. And Blingsting takes pepper spray to the next level , packing a potent spray inside a tiny quick-spray bottle that’s camouflaged to look like a blinged-out lipstick. While you still have to carry it somehow, either inconveniently in your hand or in a pack or pocket, you have more range to use it than claw or even punching devices, and it’s just as good at deterring a human attacker as it is the canine one. (Blingsting. possuindo, $22)
4. Knuckle Lights
A headlamp will give you light on a nighttime run, but these knuckle lights give you trail illumination with the added bonus of brass knuckles . Throwing a punch wearing these won’t be fun, but in a tight scenario the metallic and glass should make it more painful for them compared to for you. And with 280 lumens of brightness they might also help temporarily blind a good attacker or scare off an animal. ( KnuckleLights. apresentando, $40)
5. Emergency Whistle Necklace
Whether you’re injured, scared or even lost, sometimes a girl just needs to make a little (or a lot) of noise. This stainless steel necklace whistle by Guardian keeps a low profile under your top and is tough enough to stand up to a workout. And if the worst happens and you do need it, it’s just a quick tug away. (Amazon. com, $16)
6. Vigilant Wrist Alarm
This tiny wrist alarm packs a powerful sound: At 130 decibels, it is louder than a jet engine taking off and definitely louder than you can scream. It looks like a simple silver watch and it is easily activated with only a quick push of a button. (Vigilantpps. com, $25)
7. Zipper Pull Whistle
The safety device can only work if you have it so remembering to bring yours is priority No . 1 in self-defense. One way to make sure you never forget your emergency whistle is to attach it to your running jacket or top
. You can buy small, plastic whistles designed to be attached to any zipper pull or some jackets, sweatshirts and backpacks even have them built in. (Amazon. possuindo, $10 regarding 10)
8. Road ID
While this isn’t a self-defense gadget per se, Street ID definitely improves your personal safety by making your emergency information readily available in case you are found unconscious. The plate, which can be attached with a bracelet, anklet or even tied to your own shoe, contains your name, any relevant medical information and crisis contact numbers. (RoadID. com, $20)
nine. A note
It’s the most low-tech item on this list, but it may also be the most important. Safety experts say that letting people know your route, the time you left and the time you expect to be back is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself. A quick note left around the counter or a text to some friend can help people recognize quickly should you be in trouble.