Dec 26, 2016 Promotional Products Review – Sport LED Lights For Shoes
Because I love promotional products so much, I use them a lot. Even before I started Perfect Imprints in 1999, I was a big advocate for promotional items. The ones I use, I test thoroughly in several different scenarios. Sometimes they work great. Sometimes they are not up to the task. This review is for the Sporty Shoe Lights. My review below is based on real world usage of this item with honest pros and cons.
I am an avid runner. I run for fun and not competitively. My average run is around 4 miles. I strive for a proper running form to help reduce injury and thus reduce the pounding on my joints each time my foot hits the ground. I mention my form only because of the results I found with this particular product while testing it.
The Fat Foot Run
I’ll have to admit, I was stoked about this product. LED lights on my shoes when I run at night is a product I can really get behind. I’m big into safety while running, especially at night. With darkness setting in around 5pm during the winter season, staying visible to drivers is a big concern to me. Each time I go out for a run, my goal is to return home alive.
I attached the two pictured Sporty LED Shoe Lights to my size 11 running shoes and turned them on. My wife told me she didn’t see how those were going to stay clipped to my shoes during my run. I assured her they were tightly clipped on the soles of my shoes. My shoes are a bit wide due to my Flintstone-wide feet, so the LED shoe clip was stretched quite a bit, but it felt very firmly attached.
I set off for a 4-miler around five o’clock one afternoon. I made it about a tenth of a mile before the light on my right foot fell off. I paused my workout, clipped the attachment back to my shoe, and restarted my run. Within another 30 seconds, the light on my left foot fell off. I stopped my workout once again and attached it back to my left shoe. This time, I tried attaching clip upside down to see if it would work better and started my run again.
Less than a quarter mile into my run, the light on my right shoe fell off again, so I doubled back to pick up the light, pulled off the clip on my left shoe, and opted to hold the safety lights in my hands before restarting my run.
I thought about running back the quarter mile to drop the lights off at my house so I didn’t have to carry them for 4 miles, but opted to continue on running while holding them. My other thoughts were to leave them in the road (but my anti-litter self wouldn’t allow that) or to drop them in someone’s trash can that was still left on the curb.
After a couple of miles into the run, I got tired of holding the lights, so I looped them around the back of my shirt collar. All of the stopping, restarting, and fidgeting with the lights during my run significantly messed up my normal run time, adding several minutes to my overall time. The lights clipped on the neck of my shirt proved to be an uncomfortable choice. The experience wasn’t a good one, especially when I was originally so excited to use the product.
The Narrow Foot Run
Because I’m so in love with the concept of this product and the safety functionality, I wanted to look for more pros. Would this product work well for someone with smaller feet, particularly for most women and children? I employed my daughter to test it out with her size 7 shoes. By employed, I mean I agreed to continue to provide food, shelter, clothing, and other basic needs for her. This is my athletic daughter, so she was definitely up for the task.
I clipped a shoe light to each of her shoes and she set out on a short run to test out these shoe lights. She ran down our street and back, which is a quarter mile distance roundtrip. She ran the distance at a typical long distance pace and as she approached our house near the finish line, the light on her left shoe fell off. As she stopped to get it, she noticed the light on her right shoe was missing.
She and I walked up the street looking for the missing safety light and we found it…shattered in many pieces. In a time span of less than 5 minutes a dually truck had passed by and crushed the light which fell off in the middle of the street (see the picture of the remnants).
The Bike Ride
My 12-year-old daughter and I decided to test out these safety products on a bicycle. If the impact from a run was too much for them, maybe a gentle bike ride would be a better sport for them.
I fitted one light on my fat shoe and the other on my daughter’s small shoe.
Twice during our 3-mile bike ride, I lost the light from my shoe. Both times it was because the crankarm for the pedal hit the light and knocked it off my foot. My daughter had to stop to readjust the light on her foot once and by the end of the ride, her light was barely positioned correctly.
I desperately wanted to find a redeeming quality for these LED safety shoe lights. The concept is so great and could save many lives. I thought maybe the pounding of my feet during my run may be too much along with the clip stretched beyond its normal capacity set up this item to fail. For biking, the crankarm comes in such close contact with the side of the shoe light, so it is easy to knock off the shoe. So I decided to try it out during a walk.
My wife and I each clipped a safety light to one of our shoes and took our Basset Hound for a walk. The walk was at a leisurely pace, so no speed walking was happening. My wife’s shoe is a size 8 and much narrower than my shoe. The product looked like it was meant for a smaller foot such as hers. It didn’t look like the clip was overstretched like it was on my shoe.
Our walk was only a little over half a mile (because that’s all our Basset can do). Not once did either shoe light fall off nor did it come close. When we completed our walk, both were still firmly attached to our shoes.
For walking, this product worked beautifully! Finally, a useful application for this product. Walking.
I can recommend these for walkers of most foot sizes (at least up to size 11).
I can NOT recommend these shoe lights for runners (no matter what shoe size).
I can NOT recommend these shoe lights for biking.
Because of my field testing, I immediately updated the product description on my website to recommend these for walking (and not running).
While my hope for this product was shattered, it forced me to find some other products that I feel will work better for running and cycling. A few running safety promo recommendations which won’t fall off during your run can be found below. These will help keep you visible and safer while running, walking, or cycling at night.