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Proper running gear is crucial all year ‘round, but it’s particularly important during the winter months when the days get shorter and it gets dark early. Thanks to the internet, the quantity and variety of running gear available is seemingly endless. For this blogpost, we will focus on my favorite running gear for the neck up that’ll keep you warm and safe at night.

Balaclava – One of the best ways to stay warm while running in the winter is to wear a balaclava. These full-face running masks protect your neck and head from strong winds, rain, and cold temperatures without blocking your peripheral vision. Before purchasing your balaclava, read up on the different designs. Most balaclavas are gender-neutral, so focus your search on the fabrics and designs. Just be mindful to take it off when you’re done with your run or you’ll scare the bodega owners. Here is a list of some of the top balaclavas for running.

Running Hat – All runners could benefit from a good running hat. They’re great for shielding your eyes and face from rain and direct sunshine, and also hold back hair and sweat from your face. There’s a multitude of options to choose from, so decide on the type of functionality you want (protection from heat, lightweight, breathable, etc.) before beginning your search. Check out this curated list of top running hats in 2018.

Glow-In-The-Dark Cap – Glow-in-the-dark running caps or caps with LED lights can be extremely useful when running at night. Not only can they help drivers see that there are runners along the road, but they also help to light up the runner’s path. Check out some of my favorite glow-in-the-dark options here.

Earbuds – With all the recent advances in technology, wireless headphones—also known as earbuds—can be a runner’s best friend. Bluetooth connectivity means you don’t have to deal with annoying cords, and longer battery life means never having to cut a run short because you run out of energy (pardon the pun). Sound quality has improved, noise cancellation has gotten a lot better, and different modes have been designed, such as the ambient sound setting that helps keep runner safer outside of the gym. Check out some of the top wireless earbuds here.

Running glasses – Picking the right running glasses can be a bit more involved than many of the other neck-up running accessories since there are a lot of factors to consider, like face size and shape, lens tint, and runner performance. The best-in-class will always be lightweight, scratch-resistant, sweat-resistant, with nose grips and UVA/UVB-protection. Read this list on the best performance running sunglasses for every face shape.

The Finishing Touch – Last but certainly not least, if you’re going to step out for a run in Central Park, never do it without the one neck-up accessory that every NYC runner needs: a get-out-of-my-way-tourists scowl!