Personal Safety Devices For Women Runners: (Tested Advice That Works)

Personal safety devices for women runners can safe your life. Women know all too well the dangers of running alone. This article provides safety tips for female runners and it examines some of the tools you can use while running to stay safe from man or beast.

It includes some of the more advanced GPS apps that women can use for safety & connectivity, without giving away their location to everyone. No one wants to be spied on while working out or running.

Personal safety devices for runners

  • Strava – A great app for data and performance metrics. This is a must for serious runners. It has an interactive locater that shares your location in real time with friends and is one of the better personal safety devices (as an app). 
  • Runkeeper – Also has a huge community of runners but, unlike other apps, it has cool routines that you can personalize. The app can plan your workout and offers many more options. It has been out for a while and has been tested by our running community. 
  • Endomondo – Has plenty of features and is great for tracking more than one sport. It has a free and premium version which has training plans and advanced data that you can’t get in the basic app. Friends with the app can follow you to know your status. It also integrates well with heart rate monitors and smartwatches.
  • Map My Run – The free version is good for novice runners who don’t need all the data that seasoned runners are chasing.
  • runtastic PRO
  • iSmoothRun

11 Safety Tips for Female Runners

  • Leave the headphones at home. This is going to suck. Listening to music is half the fun while running.  Unfortunately you will need to be able to listen to someone coming up from behind you. If you have ear buds on then you won’t be able to actively listen for other people. Alternatively, listen to your music on a a low setting.
  • Carry something on you that you can use to fight back.
  • Know self defense. If you need general training or just a refresher, seek out self defense training in your area. There should be monthly classes you can sign up for. Men should also sign up for self defense classes. The key here is to minimize risk and be confident in your ability to stop an attacker so you can get away.
  • Run with a partner if possible. This is not always practical since everyone’s schedule changes from day to day and you may want to run alone. It is nice to have a running partner but make sure you have a plan if you don’t. Join a running group- many local running stores have meet ups. you can also check facebook for running groups to get a partner.
  • Share your running time and location with a partner or friend so they will know where you were planning on running.
  • Share your location with them in real time via a GPS tracking app like MapMyRun or iSmoothRun just to name a few.
  • Keep your route off facebook and public sharing sites. You want a small group of trusted people to know where you are going. Not the whole world.
  • Vary your run –  So your route is not predictable and strangers or stalkers will not be able to anticipate when and where you will be. Predictability is not your friend.
  • Run against traffic. That way you will be able to see a slow moving car a lot easier and it won’t be able to creep up behind you.
  • Trust your instincts and stay away from areas that are known to be very isolated.  If a path does not feel safe don’t take it that day. Or turn around if you feel as though something is off, even if it means shortening your run.
  • Have an alternate route for days when it may get dark (i.e. residential verses woods), run during busy running times to ensure that other runners will be out on the paths

Pepper sprays vs. wearables – what is the best?

Peppers sprays provide female runners with the perfect opportunity to stop an attacker for some period of time and run away. If used correctly, pepper sprays can do great job for runners in personal defense situation. However, you’ll not be able to ask somebody for help in personal defense situation. This means that a female runner should only rely on herself with a pepper spray. Otherwise, you should consider wearables.  

As it was mentioned above, wearables come with an alarm system. So you’ll be able to press an emergency button and ask somebody for help anytime. Wearables also have a mobile app. So, you and your relatives will be able to install an app and see your current location on their mobile devices. Plus, you’ll be able to see the distance as well as routs that you’ve run during the day. 

Are Pepper Sprays Effective in Self Defense?

It’s fair to say that pepper spray is an effective personal safety tool for quick self-defence. If used correctly, a personal safety device can do great job and protect a female runner effectively if such a need arises.

Numerous experiments have shown that pepper sprays really work. A female runner will be able to stop even a criminal with a gun if pepper spray is used in the right way. In average, pepper sprays work great within 4 – 20 feet. It all depends on the size of pepper spray. It’s worth noting that strong winds can affect the efficiency of pepper sprays.   

You should know that the vast majority of pepper sprays are the most effective within 10 feet of use. That means that a female runner has to do everything possible to use a pepper spray within 10 feet. By doing so, she will be able to get the most out of a pepper spray.

The big question is – what statistics is available about pepper spray’s efficiency? Many studies have shown that pepper sprays work very well in 70% – 93% personal defense situations. It’s a great idea to practice using pepper sprays ahead of time. There is no doubt that this helps you increase pepper spray’s efficiency dramatically. 

Ok, so pepper spray is good. Which works best?

There are many different types of pepper sprays available these days. These include but not limited to gel capsule projectors, foams, gels, foggers as well as CS powders. It’s incredibly important for you to get familiar with each type of pepper sprays. This will help you choose a pepper spray that fits your needs in the best possible way.

Pepper spray is not an accessory that you should take occasionally when running, it is a mandatory tool.   SABRE RED Pepper Gel Spray – Police Strength have several thousands of verified purchases and excellent reviews.  The spray has roughly 35 bursts – which can reach up to 12 foot.

It is great for repelling multiple threats from wild animals, dogs and creepy attackers. You should be prepared for threat not just would be human attackers.  Make sure you train to use pepper spray during and after your run. Since you will be exhausted from the run and muscles will be using your blood, your brain won’t be able to clearly think in the situation, aim and spray.

The studies have shown that pepper sprays work great against bears in 90% of cases.  

It’s important for you to know that pepper spray does not paralyze an attacker. It causes an injury to an attacker, but an injury is minor. You should know that pepper sprays make it possible for a defender to stop an attacker for about 10 – 15 minutes. If you use 5% pepper spray you’ll be able to stop an attacker for about 35 – 45 minutes. This gives a female a great chance to run away from an attacker.

Is pepper spray legal in MD?  What about In DC?

Pepper spray is legal in all 50 states. As long as you are using it in a lawful manner then you are not breaking any laws and are well within your rights to spray your attacker and protect yourself. Again, it is strictly for self defense against a would be attacker or animal. It is never to be misused. Don’t play around and test it on yourself. It burns like hell. 

What about wearables with  emergency buttons? 

Wearable emergency buttons are personal safety wearable that allow you to quickly sound an alarm which gives off an ear piercing siren to scare the hell out of your attacker. The Vigilant 130dB Personal Alarm is a great choice and an incredibly loud alarm that will most likely scare off any animal or would be attacker. It can be clipped to your shorts, keys and has a long 1 year stand by time.

I bought this alarm this year and girl, does it work, and LOUD. I used it in the parking lot at the grocery story last New Years Eve. Some crepe came up behind me and boxed me in by the cart corral. I pushed the button and it went off and scared the crap out of this guy who quickly ran away. I’m so glad I had it to ward off that potential attacker. You can never be too safe. 

What other wearables are women using for safety while running?

 Here are some other wearables that women runners are using. Our family has used the pepper spray, alarms and my husband has used the cat claws on a watermelon. Let’s just say it does work but is a bit cumbersome to pull it out of your back pocket, put in your hand, then squeeze and punch. It really depends on what you are comfortable with.

I carry the alarm on my key chain so it is always within arm’s reach and can always be activated. When I run I keep it in my outside pocket so I can quickly access it. The battery lasts over a year so you can have plenty of use for it (hopefully you won’t have to use it). If you do, you will be prepared and can easily activate the alarm and scare the creep away.

These personal alarms are a huge part of self defense and are being used by more people everyday. The technology is so good and reliable. It works so well at scaring your attacker so you can diffuse a scary situation before it escalates. Not to mention cheap! This alarm is legal to carried everywhere including on the subway, on airplanes and boats. There are not restrictions.

Apps are great for transmitting your location but are not ideal during an scary encounter.  You won’t have time to pull out your phone, disable your password, start up the app and then notify your friends, or partner that you are safe. This will probably take at least  5 seconds to do, if you are really quick.  


Unfortunately, in today’s world it is a dangerous place for women running alone in secluded areas. It is a good idea to be prepared and take proactive measures like sharing your location with friends, bringing pepper spray, a personal alarm device and using apps that share your GPS location with friends so you can always be located. These measures will go a long way in stopping a dangerous situation from occurring and will scare off any would be attacker. For more information on GPS technology click here.

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