Be prepared for a run with knee brace, pepper spray

Exercising outdoors offers a myriad of benefits, but it does have its risks. Runners in particular are susceptible to attacks, particularly in the early morning and evening hours.

While pepper spray is an essential tool in many runners’ arsenals, it can be cumbersome to hold and difficult to grab right when you need it most. Sure, you can stash it in a pack or even your sock, but you may be fumbling when trying to retrieve it, particularly if in a panic.

SABRE Red’s The Runner Pepper Spray makes carrying and using the device much easier with a specially designed handstrap holder for runners. Fully adjustable with a flexible nylon strap that fits over the hand, it provides comfort and peace of mind.

The Runner provides 35 shots and allows up to a 10-foot shooting range. It delivers a steady, powerful stream and includes a reinforced safety mechanism to help prevent accidental use. The product is made in the USA.

Available in black and pink. Size is 0.75 ounces. To purchase, visit Price is $4.99. Practice spray is available for $4.99.

Shelby Sheehan-Bernard, McClatchy-Tribune

Support for knees

What: A knee brace that stabilizes your knee without softening up and includes springs and hinges for support

How much: $100

Where to buy: Sports Authority and Dick's Sporting Goods carry the brand. But McDavid,, has a vast catalog so no store will carry all of them. Buy online or order them through a store. When ordering, ask for 428R McDavid Level 3 Knee Brace.

Why buy it: Your gear guy has tried these and they work. Mine are 4 years old and look like new. This new, higher-priced model is for support brought on by injury or (in my case) arthritis and other life-sponsored wear and tear. Springs in the supports return the leg back to start position with each step. The manufacturer says they're good for running and support for ACL and MCL injuries, which is quite a claim. The website has a size chart from small to 2XL; the 2XL is for thighs 20 to 22 inches. The hinges are made of a special design and material to allow "unrestricted movement." It's latex-free, fits with Velcro fasteners, has smoothed edges to prevent irritation. A hint: Use talc generously or wear hosiery beneath them, or both, for maximum comfort.

Harry Jackson Jr., St. Louis Post-Dispatch