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Safety APPs for Runners – 2020 Update – Free or Low-Cost

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With tons of running apps to help you get started or find a good path or trail, we like focusing on the apps that are either designed for safety or include an added safety option for you. Here are some of our favorite free or low-cost runner’s APPs that bring a safety feature for you on your run. Of course all of these can be used to track or trace you wherever you go and not just for running, jogging or exercising.

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5+ Phone Apps That Help Keep Runners Safe

1) Road iD

Remains on our list of top safety apps for runners.  You can allow friends and family to track you in real time using the eCrumb feature which follows you much like Hansel & Gretel used in their story to help trace and find their way home. The app creates an "electronic breadcrumb" trail for your designated friends and family to follow along via a map link sent through email or SMS.

If you prefer, Road iD also uses physical wearables, bracelets and tags, that have been helping keep runners (and pets) safe for years.

In addition, the app can also set up an In Case of Emergency card with your emergency contacts, as well as health information like blood type and allergies that you can use as a lock-screen wallpaper.

Free, extra for accessories and wearables:

roadid runners app Available for iOS and Android Phones


2) Strava Beacon

The free Strava app is a running tracker and has a variety of training features. The app can record your running speed, distance traveled, time and course taken for metrics and tracking, but can also combine all that with leaderboards, achievements and challenges as you race against your friends.

You’ll have to upgrade to a paid monthly subscription to get access to advanced safety features like Beacon. Strava Beacon allows you to share your location and route details in real time with three designated friends or family safety contacts.

Strava supports a variety of smartwatches and fitness devices such as the Apple Watch and Wear OS devices.

Free, or $5 per month for the Beacon extras:

strava runners phone app Available for iOS and Android Phones


3) Runkeeper Go

This is another app that you’ll need to upgrade to get the premium safety Runkeeper Go option. The upgraded option will give you live tracking, premium training plans, weather insights, and more. But the main safety option allows you to select friends and family who will be able to see your races or runs in real time from their phone or desktop.

Runkeeper basic allows you to use your phone's GPS to track your running, cycling, hiking and other distance activities. The app records your pace, distance, total exercise time, calories burned and other useful metrics, while delivering a variety of training plans, complete with reminders and gamified challenges. Users can go freeform or download and follow popular running routes. You can measure your progress and workout history, as well as sync with numerous other apps and services and receive detailed reports of your tracked activity.

Runkeeper supports a variety of smartwatches and fitness devices such as the Apple Watch and Wear OS devices.

Free, or $10 per month or $40 per year for the premium Go options:

runkeeper runners phone app Available for iOS and Android Phones


4) Kitestring

Kitestring is an online service, and technically not an APP. The service allows you to activate a safety plan for the times when you’re headed into a potentially unsafe situation like a late night run or a just out late or alone.

Visit the Kitestring site to enter your emergency contacts. Then, when you’re ready to go out or on your nighttime run, let Kitestring know, and ask the service to check in with you via text in 15 minutes, 45 minutes, 2 hours, 5 hours or even 12 hours. If you don’t respond to their text message within a specific window of time (for example in five minutes), Kitestring will automatically notify your emergency contacts.

Free, or $3 per month for unlimited trips:

kitestring runners phone app Available on any device.


5) RunGo

RunGo, a run tracker and navigation aid, allows users to discover new running, jogging or walking routes, complete with voice navigation to help guide them through unfamiliar locales. So if you are new to a neighborhood or you are just starting out as a runner, this can help you past the tough task to find a good and safe jogging route in an unfamiliar or new area.

You can download routes for offline use, start routes halfway or create their own within the app. Coolest of all, premium subscribers can access "guided tours" — verified routes created by local runners through safe and scenic areas, with the app announcing points of interest and other information.

Free, or $1.99 per month for the subscription extras:

rungo runners phone app Available for iOS and Android Phones


+1) Extra Stay-Safe-At-Home App: Zwift

While the Zwift APP doesn’t hold a specific safety feature, staying at home in itself can! So… If you find yourself doing a lot of exercising at home these days, Zwift can help you change up your surroundings while you shelter in place. And the mobile app even adds a little gamification to your runs as part of the bargain.

With Zwift, you can take your runs through virtual courses, while staying on your treadmill. Along with the different courses, you can run alongside other people, using their times for encouragement or competition.

You'll need a compatible treadmill and footpod, supported watch, smart shoes or treadmill sensor to make Zwift work. But the run aspect of Zwift is free to use. (Zwift also works with cycling, but after a 7-day trial, rides require a $15 monthly membership.) If you've got the right equipment, Zwift offers a unique way to get more out of your at-home runs.

Free for Runners:

zwift runners phone app Available for iOS and Android Phones


Additional Safety Phone APP Resources:

Other safety APPs to check out from our 2018 list of 5 Phone Apps that Keep Runners Safe:

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