I was recently contacted by a men’s clothing company who are planning to release a range of skirts for men, to include running skirts. The company is Apostrophe. I really hope they are successful – it’s a tough thing to try, but judging by the number of people who have come across my initial running skirt review there does seem to be some interest out there.
The one thing they have me thinking about is what would make the perfect running skirt for me, so I thought this would make an ideal blog post.
I have run in 3 different skirts and they all have their issues.
1. The Sport Kilt – issues with this one are the weight and the length (too long) – although when you have one made you can request different lengths so at least one of those can, in theory, be dealt with. The main issue with the length is also related to the weight issue and that is the amount of material and the “bounce” factor. I found the constant flapping around of the skirt quite annoying.
2. Runningskirts.com – the only issues I have with their skirts are that a) the material gets very heavy when wet (from rain or sweat), and b) the patterns are very girly unless you go for plain black
3. Icebreaker Swift Skort – I haven’t yet written my review of this one, but again this one is a little on the heavy side although it deals with moisture well due to being made from Merino wool. It is also a little too flared – it’s not much of a problem but I do notice that “bounce” against my legs as with the Sport Kilt (although nowhere near as bad). I also don’t like the pocket, and the sizing is all wrong (based on the sizing charts this would seem to be the one that would fit me and I would guess that the smaller size would be too tight; however, this one is very loose at the waist although it stays up okay.
So, what would be the ideal components that build my ideal running skirt? Let me preface this by saying that I have no idea whether any of these would cause other issues (I’m not a designer – for example I have no idea if lighter fabrics would cause problems with holding the shape or anything similar). Anyway, here we go with my wishlist:
1. Material – lightweight (as light as possible), moisture-wicking, durable performance fabric: the fabric on quality running shorts is ideal for moisture wicking and general comfort.
2. Length – approximately mid-thigh, or a bit shorter – my runningskirts.com skirts seem to be a reasonable length but as short as is decently possible would definitely better. Someone suggested that I should maybe go for about 11 inches long (the runningskirt.com one is 13.5 inches long apparently), so 11 would definitely be worth a try.
3. Pockets – again the runningskirts.com skirts win here; pockets are high on either side and can hold a packet of shot bloks – they have a velcro fastener but a zip would be preferred (not a fan of velcro particularly). Would want the dimensions to be such that it could be closed with a credit card and car key fob inside, or a couple of packs of shot bloks. The preference for the high pockets on the sides is so that items placed in them are held against the body so they don’t bounce around while running. I’ve heard of similar solutions where pocket spaces are built into the waist band so perhaps that would be an option.
4. Shape – I’m thinking the best would be straight up and down, rather than being like the flared look of the running skirt, with overlapped slits in the sides.
5. Interior – I cut the briefs out of my running skirt but that was partly due to comfort. I would hope that a brief specifically designed for men rather than for women would get around that problem. Avoiding chafing is the big issue here. I have found that on longer runs I did have an issue with chafing from my inner thighs rubbing together. I get around that by wearing boxer briefs for those runs – I would imagine that an internal liner similar to that found in most men’s running shorts would be the ideal solution. UPDATE (25th Sept): Further reflection has lead me to be unsure about the need for anything under the skirt – this would leave it as flexible as possible. With the skirts I have now it’s helpful to keep the skirt in place, but that’s only necessary as the skirt is too loose around the waist.
6. Waist – both of the women’s skirts I have, I’m guessing due to not being designed for men, have loose waistbands. I do like the elasticated waistband of the running skirt, but of course I would prefer if it fitted me properly.
7. Color – for every day use I would probably stick to fairly plain, dark colors – perhaps something similar to the sort of shorts I used to wear ( something like this: http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/en/mens-ua-anatomix-run-9-shorts/pid1238720-001).
Having written all of that I have no real idea how this would turn out. I’m hoping it’s good enough that someone could take it and perform some designer-y magic on it and come up with something that looks good while being practical.