Trail and Ultra has been having a lot of in depth conversations about womens’ specific apparel for running over the past year. The focus and discussion on creating high performance products for a diverse and dynamic body style of women athletes has been the impetus for this progress. We wanted to put the products to the test, here is what we found…
The Brooks 3 in 1 shorts
The new Brooks 2 in 1 have a build in spandex shorts, proving full coverage with a full size I phone pocket on the side, it can be a great way to keep the runner’s hand free from the phone or any other small item. The outer “shell” shorts lay loosely over the spandex, the shorts have full open side splits giving a quick access to grab the phone from the built in spandex while in motion. The outer short has a back zip pocket for keys or gel easily accesible during the run. The wide elastic waistband with a cord string it helps the runner with adjustability around the waist, the waistband sits higher around waist which female runners might not like that fit. The width of the waistband can be greatly improved by giving it a smooth finish and perhaps with an option to sit a bit lower from the waist. Some female runners are known to fold the waistband for extra comfort. The waistband can be fold it, however; it might give it a bulky look which for some female runners might not like that as it will create a bubbly look around the hips. The fabric on the outer shell is made out of 100% polyester, is a light breathable material which it will keep the female runners happy and free from chafing. During short or long runs the set of this Brooks 2 in 1 shorts will work great for any female runner, the shorts will deliver comfort, breathability where needed the most and the peace of mind that the inner short will not rise up, however the outer short do have a tendency to rise up occasionally. There is only one small Brook logo on the left side which it does not reflect very well at night, as with any female runner, wearing this shorts at night for a run, a reflective pattern on this short will be ideal. Not true to size, small tends to run a little bigger.
Ritual tank is a bright colored pattern tank top with a 80’s look, an awesome top to wear during hot summer days on a leisurely run. Overly loose fit throughout, the Ritual Tank gives the female runner a bare feeling while running. The arm openings have a very low side drops and hang very loose, the side and the back has a mesh fabric which runs from the top to the lower mid back section, not giving much coverage to the female upper back, a solid fabric material covers the back side below the hips, which for some female runners might have a preference for full lower back coverage. Although this tank delivers great mobility, comfort and full ventilation ( front and back) for female runners, it might not meet the expectations for a high performance tank top in this model as front side shifts sideways while running by exposing one side of the sports bra and it can be distracting if the focus on the runner is to hit a specific goal pace.
Hot Shot ( Low Impact ) sports bra
Ghost High-Waist Mesh Crop Tights
The Ghost high-waist mesh crop tights are extremely light-weight, acting as more of a “second-skin” than a running tight. The mostly-nylon material is incredibly sweat-wicking, and the mesh around the knee and back of the calf provide ventilation and breathability not found in your typical running tight. The mesh also gives them a subtle feminine feel, without being bright pink or decorated with flowers. The black color makes you almost feel sexy during your workout –when was the last time that happened?
Other specs include a wide comfortable waistband, with a pocket on the front hip. Unfortunately, this front pocket is quite small, and has no fold over flap or zip, which may make some hesitate to use it for crucial items like a key or photo ID. And although the pants claim to be high-waisted, the fit is much more apt to the hips.
Despite a few small drawbacks, the Ghost Mesh Crop tights are a must-have article for running through the transition seasons between summer and winter. They are sleek enough to also be worn around town, before or after the gym, or to second as a yoga or CrossFit tight.
Stealth Tank Top
The Stealth Tank is incredibly light and breathable, and gives you a weightless feel on the run. Although Brooks launched this tank in its new Spring apparel line, it’s mesh upper and thin material make it more fitting for a summer piece, or a top to wear to the gym or yoga studio. The main body of the Stealth Tank is made of polyester, with mesh around the neck and upper back. The material has just a hint of elasticity to it.
The neckline rises up higher than many running tank tops, but still has plenty of breathing room and mobility. In light of a focus to cater to all women, this top might appeal to bustier women who feel uncomfortable with lower-cut tanks. However, flat-chested women may not notice much difference.
The tank comes in three colors, white, black, and teal. The white color is fairly see-through. If you are a woman who likes showing off fun and bright sports bras, this tank is the one for you.
Chaser Shorts (3″ and 5″)
The Chaser comes in multiple lengths, colors, and patterns for varying preferences and leg shapes. The shorts are quick drying and light-weight, and have a wide comfortable waistband that does not squeeze your hips or chafe with sweat. The waistband also has two small slit pockets on both front hips. Unfortunately, the pockets are small and would not be appropriate for larger items like a phone or iPod, and they lack a flap or zipper to seal the pocket.
The legs of the shorts are wide and flowy in both the 3” and 5” models. While this allows for easy movement, and a minimalist feel on your run, women with smaller thighs may find the extra material annoying or prone to chafe.
The Chaser shorts receive an A+ in style, and feel of the material, however, the fit is one up for interpretation.