Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Balance Glow Beacon Jacket and NB 1400 Glow Review

The North Carolina winters and not harsh but the change in seasons can be a bit schizophrenic with one week feeling spring like followed by an Artic (relatively speaking) blast. Choosing layers for each run can therefore be a bit problematic. The time change also impacts clothing selection as by the time I am ready to run each evening the sun is setting and my run begins in daylight and often ends in darkness. I require flexibility in comfort and warmth as well as visibility for safety.

I have accessed two products in this new line, the New Balance Glow Beacon Jacket and NB 1400 Glow Running Shoe. I will review both in this post.

What They Say:

“Defy The Dark”

“This might be our brightest idea yet. The Beacon Jacket helps you run safely day or night. In low light, the bold color really pops. Reflective trim gives 360-degree visibility at night. And in no light, the Beacon literally glows.”

Like a beacon of light, the Beacon Jacket features three levels of visibility details, making you visible from dawn to dusk. The low-light visibility comes from the bright color, blending safety with style. The oncoming-light visibility comes from the 360-degree reflective trim, so you’ll catch the light when the headlights and streetlights hit you at night. The no-light visibility comes from the revolutionary glow-in-the-dark technology on the sleeves and back: charge the Beacon Vest under direct light for 10 minutes and you’re ready to go, and ready to glow.


·         Material: 86% Polyester and 14% Spandex
·         A minimal charge to the glow-in-the-dark graphics of 10 minutes under direct light illuminates your performance. There you glow.
·         Drop back hem
·         Glow-in-the dark gradient dot screen print graphic at sleeve, back panel, and logo
·         Interior media pocket for storage
·         Reflective logos and trims
·         Two secure zip pockets
·         Wind-resistant

What I Say:

Out of the package the Beacon Jacket is a BRIGHT yellow. This alone would provide a nice level of visibility. But throughout the jackets chest, arms and back are strips and lines of reflective material. These serve not only as reflective visibility but also afford a glow in the dark benefit. Incredible Design = Peace of mind!

The jacket has two large zippered pockets and the from zipper slides easily with a covering flap to prevent any air gaps. The jacket is extremely light and wears well. Out on the run it provides that wonderfully, flexible top layer providing warmth but with the option to unzip fro enhanced breathability.

But it is in the NB Glow design where I have fallen in love with the Beacon Jacket. My runs are all residential and with each entrance to a neighborhood I always hesitate and look for cars. But even with my caution I fear a turning car may not see me. With the Beacon Jacket’s extreme visibility I feel far more safe and secure. And, bottom line, I feel incredibly awesome running in the jacket!

Form meets function! Highly Recommended!

What They Say:

“Bright and light on your feet, this special edition Glow in the Dark 1400 is designed for efficient training and racing — day or night. Break your PR and stand out while doing it, even after the sun goes down.”

Lightweight performance designed for both training and racing, this special edition 1400 men’s running shoe boasts glow-in-the-dark technology that defies the dark by making you more visible in low-light conditions. You’ll love the shoe’s ultra-light yet secure fit and feel that comes from the innovative mesh/no-sew overlay upper and responsive yet durable midsole cushioning.


·         10 mm drop: due to variances created during the development and manufacturing processes, all references to 10 mm drop are approximate
·         Blown rubber outsole
·         Glow in the dark application
·         No-sew material application
·         Synthetic/mesh upper

What I Say:

I have been a big fan of the 1400 Series prior to the release of the NB Glow edition. I actually tooled through much of a mid-winter trail ultra wearing the 1400s and was absolutely please with their design. The shoes fit wonderfully with a nice, but maybe not plentiful, room for toe splay. I would describe the ride as flexible but not squishy, perhaps more on the firm side. I will add the reference to a "10 mm drop" amazes me. I am primarily focused on running in shoes with a 4 mm offset or less. I have run successfully in the 1400 and do not feel they have anywhere near this design specification. Interesting. I really enjoy the ride they provide and they are always in my “go to” shoe rotation.

The NB Glow 1400 incorporates the same technology of the Beacon Jacket and is bright-bright in daylight, and provides a glowing sense of security at night. While I cannot fully appreciate the glow of the Beacon Jacket on the run I can witness the benefits of the NB 1400. They catch my eye as they step into view with each stride in daytime. And at night I have observed the glow they produce in oncoming headlights.

The conclusion? I love the feel and ride of the 1400 Series from New Balance. Enhancing this wonderful design with the NB Glow visibility and safety is an incredible addition. I highly recommend checking out this shoe, and the full New Balance Glow line.

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