Thursday, November 17, 2022

Brooks Run Visible 2022 Men's and Women's Apparel Round Up Review

Article by Jeff Valliere, Beto Hughes, Renee Krusemark, Mike Postaski, and Sam Winebaum

With shorter days, wet and messy roads, snow banks, and really any time of year with increasing traffic and distracted drivers being seen on the roads is essential. The Brooks Run Visible apparel tested here not only make you stand out and be seen but we found is high performance running gear with no compromises for the additional safety provided. In the article we review choices for men and women.

For several years Brooks has been perfecting its Run Visible collection of high day and night time visibility apparel and accessories in recent years in partnership with 3M which has done extensive research around how the human eye discerns people in low light and at night. 

All the pieces reviewed here feature:

  • 3M Carbon Black retro reflectivity in areas of motion that help identify you as a human and not a random sign. 

  • Each piece in the Run Visible Collection returns at least as much light as 300 candles burning in the same location.

  • The Run Visible apparel balances the use of fluorescence, contrast colors and patterns for daytime (and night time) visibility and to alert that you are a runner in motion.

  • The reflective elements in motion can be seen when lit by cars, and identified as a human form, at up to 600 feet at 35mph. 

For more on the science behind Run Visible see the Brooks article here

Run Visible Short Sleeve for Men and Women 

Men’s $75, Women’s $65 now on sale at Brooks for $52.50 (men’s) $45.50 (women’s)

Jeff V:  The Run Visible Short Sleeve features high viz 3M Scotchlite Carbon Black Stretch reflective accents, is quick drying and made with 89% recycled materials.  Brooks has partnered with color experts to create a unique fluorescent color for Run Visible, a hue tested for the best performance in little to no-light scenarios, which increases the chance of being seen no matter the lighting.  The shirt is made of DriLayer fabric to wick sweat fast and keep you cool in warm weather.  Brooks claims that each shirt is made with recycled fabric which equals 14 plastic water bottles.

Renee: The women’s version has basically the features as the men’s version and is $10 less. Unlike the men’s version, Brooks does not label the women’s shirt as “sustainably made.” 

Beto: The Run Visible Short Sleeve is very eco friendly apparel and has 3M Scotchlite Carbon Black reflective accents on the shoulders and bottom of the shirt . They really shine with ease at night. The shirt is made of DriLayer fabric which helps to keep you cool and fresh and wicks sweat fast. 

Mike P: Details are covered by others, but I’ll just concur that it’s an ideal shirt for road running on summer nights, or for cooler temps with perhaps a baselayer underneath. I also used it quite a bit during hot sunny days, as a white t-shirt always stays cooler than a dark one. I found the material to be a bit thicker than some of the ultralight shirts I prefer (ex- Patagonia capilene cool lightweight), but it’s not an issue at night, and even preferable when it’s slightly cooler.

Fit and Style

Jeff V:  The Run Visible Short Sleeve is semi fitted and fit is as expected in my normal size medium.  I would call it just right overall, not baggy in the least and not at all too snug or conforming.  Style is debatable and I would love to see a variety of colors, but also am keeping in mind the Run Visible purpose of this shirt and the line.  Paired with the shorts and my matching neon yellow Caldera 6, I think the entire ensemble is pretty trick.

Renee: The women’s version (like the men’s) is labeled as semi-fitted. I wore a women’s size small, and the volume itself is what I call “mid-range.” The shirt is definitely not tight, and might be a bit baggy for petite framed runners. The length is mid-range too and definitely a women’s cut. For style, I don’t like running in super short shirts that show my mid-drift, and the Run Visible shirt sits right at my waist line. As compared to the Brooks Carbonite Short Sleeve shirt (which I reviewed in 2021) the length is longer, which I like. 

Beto: The material is soft and stretchy, and is very comfortable in my normal size L. I can even say I would fit in a size M. The fit is long enough as a normal casual shirt right at my wais.  As you move around it has a nice stretch in the arms and shoulders so no restriction in that area as some other shirts tend to have. It has a free feel when moving or arm swinging and especially so during track workouts.

Mike P: I received my normal size S and I’d say fit is good. There’s slightly more space in the torso than other size smalls that I have, but I do have a thin frame. I agree with Beto - the material does have a nice stretch to it. So even though the material itself is not super lightweight, the stretch makes up for it. Ease of movement is good and there’s no shoulder restriction.


Jeff V:  Performance is excellent, as the materials are very comfortable on the skin, feel cool on hot days, dries quickly, does not stink and serves the intended purpose of keeping you visible at all times of the day and night, varied light conditions, etc….  The shirt feels high quality, durable and should hold up well for many many years.

Renee: I reviewed the Carbonite Short Sleeve shirt for RTR in 2021, and was expecting a similar shirt. The Run Visible Short Sleeve is a heavier, thicker material. Both shirts have a women’s specific style/cut, although the Run Visible Short Sleeve is longer in the same size. 

For hot weather running, I thought the Run Visible felt heavy, but the sweat-wicking tech works. While I wouldn’t choose it for hot summer days, the assumption is runners are wearing it when the sun is down. I agree with Jeff, the durability is top notch. For colder weather, the shirt fits well over a base layer, so it makes a good choice to wear simply for the reflective and visibility factors.

Beto: I tested on a couple of local races and for a very hot and humid half marathon and the shirt worked very well keeping me fresh even though it was completely damp with sweat. After the race it dried fast and with no bad smell.

On the track the fit was great when swinging my arms I felt comfortable and my arms felt free with no discomfort. One thing I noticed is when the shirt got really wet it was a bit transparent so something to notice as you can see in the picture below from during my half marathon.

Mike P: As mentioned earlier, I did use the shirt quite a bit this summer, both for night runs and also hot sunny days. The best compliment I can give is that it’s become a part of my rotation for the warmer months. The price is quite high though (although now on sale, and I can’t say that I’d recommend any t-shirt at $75. But if you’re doing night runs where visibility is an issue, there’s not really a price you can put on safety. It’s by far the most reflective piece of running apparel that I have.

Run Visible Men’s Tank Top ($65 and now on sale at Brooks for $45.50)

Sam: At first glance, and as Renee and others say about the Short Sleeve, the material seemed quite heavy and dense. I tested it during very humid New England summer days as well as for dry hot Utah runs and it wicked very well and was super comfortable.  Yes, not for the warmest of summer days but other than that it has a really fine comfortable fit and feel.  And I totally agree with Renee that wearing it over other clothing in cooler weather for its reflective and visibility elements. I did that with the Carbonite Short Sleeve last summer, sizing up to a large from my usual medium although the Singlet is already quite generous in fit.

Run Visible 5” 2-in-1 Short  ($75 now on sale at Brooks for $54.60)

Sizes XS - XXL

Jeff V:  The 2-in-1 Short features the same high viz 3M Scotchlite accents, fluorescent liner, with 13% recycled materials vs. 89% for the shirt.  The 2-in-1 short features a supportive liner and 2 storage pockets built into the liner.

Beto: As Jeff mentions the 5” 2-in-1 Short has the 3M Scotchlite accents and a fluorescent The short is a 2-in-1 Short but made in a single piece as the liner is the main short and the outer short attached to it, it makes the short more comfortable and free during every stride. It has 2 pockets on each side, the right one has a zipper for small important items (keys,cash,coins,etc…) those small items that are more important to be in place and on the left side is a semi deep pocket that actually holds 3 gels or a phone pretty well. There is a drawstring

Fit and Style

Jeff V:  Fit for me is perfect in my normal size medium, with the liner length being just right without feeling too short or too long and it dos not ride up (an annoyance with some other liner shorts when stepping up steps).  Waist size is also perfect, just right for my 32-33” waist, where I typically choose to tie the waist tie, but this is not essential (depends on how much I have recently eaten and how far I run).  Style is good, with a nice cut and matches especially weill with the shirt, but also looks nice with other shirts as well.

Beto: The Fit is perfect.  It is very comfortable in my size L. The liner is a perfect length, not too long or too short and it stays in place while running. The pockets are very useful on longer runs or for races with the zipper pocket good when you need to keep your car keys safe. 

The style is nice and eye-catching. I received good compliments on the looks as the main color is  a dark gray. While testing during races including a half marathon It was completely wet because of how hot and humid the weather was but iit didn’t feel heavy at all. The outer short wicked and dried faster than the liner but I still felt fresh and comfortable during the whole race.


Jeff V:  Performance is excellent.  The materials are exceptionally soft, comfortable, breathable and quick drying with a very appealing style.  Some liner shorts can feel a bit warm, but I appreciate how cool these shorts feel in warm weather, yet offer nice draft protection on cooler mornings or when running above treeline.  

I prefer waist pockets, or a combo of waist and liner pockets and here there are only two pockets, one stretchy phone pocket on the left leg liner and a zippered pocket on the right leg.  These pockets are adequate for carrying a smaller iPhone (my iPhone 12 mini slides in no problem) and a car key or a few gels, but not much more than that.  

I would highly recommend the Run Visible 5” 2-in-1 Shorts for their soft comfort, breathability, style and reflectivity.

Beto: The Performance is excellent, the short is comfortable and has enough stretch to open the stride with ease at any pace from training to intervals to race day. 

On race day it was such a perfect short and I’m glad I wore it for a Half Marathon in very humid and hot conditions. It worked very well even though it was completely wet. 

I do prefer normal pockets or waist pockets as on last year’s version and I hope the next version can be this same model of shorts with pockets on the waist for extra stuff and easy access. I can honestly say I would run a Marathon in this short, with no issues,and still be comfortable on the whole run.

Women’s Run Visible Tight ($130 now on sale at Brooks for $91)

Renee: Like the rest of the Run Visible line-up, the women’s Tight features “Fluorescence, high contrast, and 3M™ Scotchlite™ Carbon Black Stretch reflectivity.” Drop-in pockets are located on both sides of the leg.

Fit and Style

Renee: The fit is fitted, but not super tight. The fabric is meant to balance warmth with comfort, offering minimal seams and a compression fit. I wore a women’s size small, my typical size for running tights. The stretch is excellent, and the seam placement is comfortable (i.e. I don’t notice any seams!). The waist is a “stay-put” band. 

The rise is mid-high, in my opinion. I’d probably prefer a lower-sitting waist, but overall the fit is comfortable. 


Renee: The side pocket placement is great and fairly standard for all running tights. A phone, gloves, a key fob, maybe some gels fit great with minimal bounce. I don’t like heavy items such as phones in leg pockets, but for runners who don’t use a storage belt or vest, the pockets provide options. 

I tested the tights in summer conditions, and they run a bit hot. I suggest usage during colder spring or fall morning/night runs, or even during the winter. Even in a running tight, I prefer a stretchy waistband. The waistband definitely does what Brooks states as “stay-put,” but they were a bit tight for me. 

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