In case you hadn’t noticed, a lot of women like to feel like a woman both on and off the trail. Just like everybody, they are sweating, burping, farting (from what I’ve heard), blowing snot rockets, getting dirty and grunting it out in a definitely non-traditionally feminine manner, the last thing most women want to do is LOOK masculine when they’ve already proven themselves to be as hardcore as any runner out there.
Several companies have heard the desires of lady bad asses everywhere and offered them the greatest treasure of all…the ability to chick dudes and look fancy while doing it. Well, we couldn’t resist the urge and we were able to review a couple dresses and skirts for you ladies…
This is going to be a comparative mass review so we won’t go in depth with each piece, but rest assured that it went through the usual testing standards and each piece will still be assigned an overall score based off the 5 individual standards. Let’s start with the dresses!
NUU-MUU Ruu-Muu Pocket Dress ($80)
Overall Score: 4.45
The Ruu-Muu piece that we tested is their only version that has a pocket across the lower back. Large enough to carry a couple gels and a key, the pocket is definitely useful. They’ve strategically included the pocket in just the right way with a secure enough fit in the dress to keep if from bouncing too much but also remain flattering to the figure.
With their best score being in fit, it was sad to see that appearance was their lowest score. Testers agreed that this was very flattering and fit really well, but the patterns weren’t their favorite. Materials are very breathable, comfy and soft and never once caused problems. And the $80 is easily justified when you don’t have to buy the shorts/top combo. Overall, our women testers really liked this fresh new option to tear up the trails with.
PATAGONIA All Weather Dress ($59)
Overall Score: 4.7
Patagonia scored big with this dress. As a company that is known for high end, they delivered. This was top in the dresses category for style, material and value. This dress really shines at only $59 dollars. You’d expect that you wouldn’t get much for the least expensive dress, but they really packed it in well with two pockets; one in the small of the back and one in the front chest strap, and nothing more than just what you need.
All testers loved how light and airy this higher cut dress was, helping them beat the sun through countless miles. No chaffing in the light seems and with a more comfortable fit. The fit was a perfect balance between comfortable and not so loose that you are sent flying once it snags any branch you happen to traipse by. The only problem with this dress is wearing it everywhere around town while you run your errands after a good run it… even though you certainly could get away with it.
SKIRT SPORTS Eclipse Dress w/Shorties ($72 Dress/$30 Shorties)
Overall Score: 4.5
Skirt Sports has been in the game for a while now and it definitely shows. Their attention to detail and finish was above the rest. Their use of the compression bra and Cleavage Alley pocket was a huge hit for most women. This was definitely a very flattering cut and mid-length skirt for those who want to be a little more conservative while wearing a dress.
One big bonus from Skirt Sports was the Shorties that they sent us. Our testers literally fought over them! Great feeling compression shorts that helped reduce mid-thigh chaffing and also added pockets for storage. This combo was the best in storage and that was just enough to help them take the second place spot on the podium.
SO THERE’S THE DRESSES. Patagonia takes the top spot with Skirt Sports barely out edging Nuu Muu for other two spots on the podium. All of these women were super pleased with the dresses so really it’s all a matter of finding which features you like best and what fit you prefer. The comments were the same, “there’s just something about passing that guy who passed you at the start line and snickered at your dress that puts a little smile on your face”. Check these ladies out and give them a shot… you won’t be disappointed.
Skirts are the ultimate combination of sexy and sporty. They allow you to feel feminine yet are based just as much on comfort and performance than looks. Get the freedom and breathability of spandex shorts with a little more style and storage of a skirt. Nothing like throwing in a little sass with your race day outfit to let the rest of the field know that you love to win and look good doing it.
Here are a few of the skirts that really showcase the different options out there:
PATAGONIA Nine Trails 11” Skirt ($41)
Overall Score: 4.75
“I’ve never been disappointed with Patagonia gear and this piece keeps the streak alive… even though I was first skeptical with all the waistband storage and how it would work. I was happily impressed to see that Patagonia really took the time build purpose into every stitch and seem so that the fit was perfect, even stuffed full. The worst part about this skirt is that eventually I had to take it off.”
This piece really hit the mark for dirt dashin’ ladies. Patagonia reigns the top piece again and it’s for the exact same reasons as the dress comparison. Their attention to function, detail and “purpose in every stitch” really sets them apart. You can tell that there was a lot of thought and designing that went into the envelope pocket and two drop-in pockets on this piece. It seemed a perfect fit with enough nutrition for a couple hours of running, making this skirt last through any run from daily miles to long races. And who doesn’tlike an anti-microbial liner for stink free errands after your workout?
The other strong score on this dress was for it’s great looks. Its not quite as long as the rest of the skirts for those who like to show a little leg as they fly by. This was still the least expensive option, making the value incredible. There were a whole lot of positives on this skirt and none of the categories scored low. We tried, but really couldn’t find anything wrong with this one. Patagonia does it again.
SKIRT SPORTS Adventure Girl Skirt ($70)
Overall Score: 4.4
“Can’t complain about the quality of this skirt. The materials were awesome on the trails and as rough as I was on it, I never had a single snag. It was a little longer, which helped protect my legs on the bush whack. Absolutely had more than enough storage.”
Skirt Sports made a great trail specific product with this skirt. Five pockets and a drawstring waistband on a skirt made of durable eco-fibers, what’s not to love? This is really the commando of all skirts. Just make sure you size down since this skirt seemed to run a little big.
The fit and appearance were the lowest scores on this skirt. It seemed to fit a little boxy and touch baggier than the rest of the options. But, again, the Adventure Girl Skirt has an entirely different purpose than being cute and the scores on the storage and durability made up as the highest scores in the review. The fibers are a little heavier than the other skirts, but that has its tradeoff of durability. This is definitely made for the woman with peaks to bag and routes to find.
MOVING COMFORT Sprint Tech Skort ($56)
Overall Score: 4.0
“Such a fun skort. The design and colors were great and the fit was spot on. It took a little tweeking to figure out how I needed to wear it so that the skirt didn’t ride up (it works best with the ties on the side actually tied up rather than let down). One of the cuter skirts I’ve seen.”
The ONLY thing stopping this skirt from becoming a knockout hit was the lack of storage that the other two options had and the fit not being perfect because of the ties on the side. But this skirt still scored well and rightfully so. It was definitely one of the cutest options we’ve tested and the materials were as comfy as it gets.
The value helped this score out as well. Our testers felt that they were getting a great deal considering the comfort and high end feel of the skort. And this a true skort comes standard with the anti-chafe thigh length brief with a single pocket built in. A standard rear zip pocket finishes off the storage. The wide waistband was certainly a huge hit with the testers as well since it proved to be a great comfort and very flattering. This was definitely a go-to skirt for our ladies on the trails, especially the ones that were looking for a fashion piece that was a little more girly than anything else on the list.
JWALKING – Little Black Active ($56) & Mad About Plaid ($62) Skirts
Overall Score – 4.5
JWalking is a new brand on the market, but making a big impact. Their skirts for both women and men (you read right, they make men’s activewear kilts) are made of high quality fabric, 84% of which is recycled, so they are extremely eco-friendly. Both the Little Black Active and Mad About Plaid skirts have sewn in shorts, like other brands, but offer a unique 3 pocket system – a zippered one in the back for gel, a velcro pocket on the left for keys or additional gels, and one on the right that will hold a smart phone. With all this space, you can go longer by carry less in your hands. Testers found that the pockets didn’t offer much bounce either, when loaded with stuff.
The Little Black Active skirt is of standard length. Testers reported that it was comfortable and easy to run in. The 4 way stretch material made for easy movement and quick drying. The Mad About Plaid skirt is slightly longer, for modest wearers. Upon first inspection it would appear that the skirt would offer less movement because of the length, but thanks to the construction of the skirt movement was easy and flowing. Testers reported that their only concerns were with the waistband. While wider and extremely comfortable, the elastic inside the waistband is not attached to the fabric on the outside and therefor has a tendency to roll and fold. Adding a line of stitching a couple of times around the waist would fix this issue. Overall our testers were extremely pleased and found the value of the skirts to be well-worth it.
Skirts are always fun to see on the trails. And with the way these models tested out, plan on seeing a lot more out there – especially the Patagonia Nine Trails Skirt with its all around high scores and super functional pockets. The Skirt Sports was a solid runner up and option for those are planning on being a little more aggressive on the trails and isn’t necessarily wanting to look girly but still really wants all the benefits of a skirt on the trails. Lastly, the high scoring Moving Comfort skirt is for the more feminine runner who wants that extra cute look and flattering fit. Find out which one you think you’d like and give them a gander. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Ladies – do you like wearing a dress/skirt on the trails? Discuss in the comments!
Guys – feeling a little left out? Be sure to check out our review of the JWalking Mens Running Kilt.