Monday, August 12, 2013

Running gear: what to look for when trying on

Buying running gear should be easy but it varies in quality, cut and function so much that it's easy to be overwhelmed. Here's a couple of things to look for when shopping for running clothes.

On the rack/online:
  • Function is key
    • Shorts - Men: buy shorts with a liner so your junk doesn't jump around. Women: buy shorts with a liner so you don't have to wear your cute underthings and don't give a show while stretching
    • Top - Everyone should have a quality wicking top. This is the one area where it's worth spending a little more. A lot of companies claim their shirts wick away sweat but many don't. I recommend Nike, Asics, Brooks, Under Armour and sometimes Road Runner Sports.
    • Champion sausage bra
    • Sports bra - ladies, consider these two things: poke through and jiggle. A lightly padded sports bra will handle poke through. If you don't have much to poke, focus on compression. A tight fit will hold you in place and flatten your pokey parts. HOWEVER, too much compression and you'll be squishing out like a sausage. Check the flesh around your armpits to make sure you aren't oozing out (yep, that's as sexy as it sounds).
  • Think big picture
    • This is for the ladies. There are a lot of cute tops out there. Many of them have
      Cute but bad for layering
      interesting tank styles. This is great looking, until you put your sports bra underneath and most of it shows.If it doesn't have a built in bra, go for a slightly more traditional cut.
In the dressing room
  • Comfort is king
    • When trying on your gear, hold still for 30 seconds. Can you feel the clothes? Good gear should sit on your body, almost weightlessly. If it feels tight under the arms, it won't get better and may lead to chafing. If it's pinching off the circulation in your thighs, you'll have a hard time running. Don't look in the mirror, just FEEL.
    • Now, swing your arms, try to touch your toes and squat. Again, feel the gear. Do the shorts ride up? Does the shirt twist or ride up? Are you already getting overheated as if you were wearing a polyester blanket? If it's not comfortable, you're not going to want to wear it.
  • Take look
    • Once you know how it feels, see if you like how it looks. Does seeing yourself all geared up make you wanna run? Do you feel faster already? Jump up and down - are you putting on a bouncy show? Hopefully the answers are yes, yes and no.
If the price is right and your gear meets the criteria above, buy! And then get out there and RUN!

Happy trails.