THE running skirt

It was a while ago when I posted some thoughts on what would make a perfect running skirt for men.

Apostrophe took up the challenge and developed a running skirt specifically for men, taking into account my ramblings. A couple of weeks ago they were nice enough to send me the skirt to try, but with being sick, it being too cold, and having a lot of races where I didn’t dare try something new, it was only this weekend that I managed a short run in it.

The first thing of note is that the fit was perfect (they do custom make these so I suppose that shouldn’t be a surprise).

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It wasn’t entirely obvious which part was the front and which was the back, but trying it on both ways one side felt too tight across my legs so I selected based on comfort.

The material is perhaps a little heavier than I envisioned but I wonder how well something lighter would work in terms of shape, so perhaps this is the best (I’m definitely no expert on that sort of thing).

The important thing is it felt good, and, I think, looks pretty good too – one selling point for me, and perhaps others, is that the cut does not make it look so obviously like a skirt at first glance, so I felt less self conscious wearing this than wearing women’s running skirts. I do wonder how it will feel on longer runs, or when it is raining so I will update when I can.

Any questions, use the comments section below.

Damn Near Kilt ‘Em Sport Utility Kilt review

The temperature has gone up dramatically on the East coast so it’s time to bring out the running skirt again, and post on this blog again.

It was also time to try out my new kilt from Damn Near Kilt ‘Em.

kilt

I wore this kilt all day yesterday at Monmouth Park Race Track and it was a very good choice for the weather. Again, I was hesitant at first but decided that it really isn’t a big deal to wear something like this out in public. I tend not to notice whether people are staring at me or talking about me so it really shouldn’t be a big deal anyway. The kilt is definitely darker than this image makes it appear (the image was taken from Amazon) – it’s the Dark Grey. I only actually noticed one young couple take note of it and saw her make a comment to her other half; my wife said she saw at least one other. I can take the positive approach and assume they were being complimentary.

This kilt has some real weight to it and I was a bit worried about that making it too hot but despite the hot sun shining on the dark material I felt cool all day.

It was so good I ordered another one (the light grey) as soon as I got home.

 

Sugoi Verve Skirt Review (for men)

A week or so ago I was ordering something from REI and spotted that this skirt was on closeout, so I ordered it.

sugoi

This time I took a risk – the Medium was listed as 28 – 30 waist and I was worried this would make the skirt too tight but given my previous skirt buying experiences, where I have bought large and ended up with something a little too loose, I thought it was worth a try (REI has a pretty good return policy).

This seemed like it was going to be a reasonably close match to the requirements I set out in my previous post, and when it arrived I wasn’t disappointed.

The liner is actually shorts, which wasn’t clear before I ordered it – I thought I would prefer briefs but after putting it on I’m not sure it matters. The shorts are very airy and extremely soft and comfortable (similar material to the liner you would get inside running shorts).

I ran in it for the first time this past weekend – I wrote about the actual run on my other blog – here.

This is currently my favorite skirt, but there are two improvements I would like to make it perfect (well, maybe 3 if you include the color, although it isn’t too bad). Firstly, the only pocket is in the waistband at the front and it is small, and also does not close – so, it doesn’t hold much and I think I would worry about things falling out. Secondly, it has a little more flare than I would prefer.

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The perfect running skirt

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.
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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.

Sport Kilt Review

I’ve mentioned before how much I love my Sport Kilt (so much so I recently bought a second one).

Post race in my sport kilt (although I didn't race in it)
Post race in my sport kilt (although I didn’t race in it)

So far I have found this to be a perfect item of clothing for after races as it’s easy to change into if I want to get out of my sweaty running clothes (just wrap it around and remove said running clothes from underneath). I also enjoy wearing it casually on hot days.

I wasn’t sure that this would be particularly good for running though, but I decided I had to at least try it once. The weather was still reasonably hot but not as bad as it could have been but my initial thoughts were correct. I did find that I prefer the shorter length of the running skirt. I found that this was so long that I might as well have been wearing shorts with all that extra fabric that was flapping around.

It’s also much heavier than the running skirt, although it didn’t seem to get much heavier with the accumulation of sweat so that is a positive.

Maybe I could try again when the weather is cooler, however I think that the extra length will still be a problem – http://sportkilt.com does indicate that they will make their kilts custom length for an extra $10 but I’m inclined to stick with running skirts. The overall weight of the Sport Kilt would still be higher even at a shorter length.

Running skirts for men – update

There are several things that have changed since my initial review of running skirts (which I just re-blogged from my other blog over at Run NJ).

The first thing that happened was that I decided to remove the inner briefs. This allows for greater freedom of choice in what to wear under the skirt (I did discover that they do make skirts with nothing underneath at runningskirts.com but cutting out what was there seems to have worked out well, and I got mine cheaper on sale).

I’m very glad that I did this, because it seems that with cooler weather I am more prone to what I have been informed is known as “chub rub”. This is where the thighs rub together while running and cause chafing. This only just started happening to me despite the fact that I have had no problems at all up until recently, even on longer runs. I have my suspicions that the cooler weather and lower humidity means I am sweating less and that the sweat was acting as a lubricant to prevent chafing. It seems as though I have no problems up until about 7 miles, so I will adjust to wearing compression boxers such as these from Under Armour for longer runs. I still think the skirt is worthwhile – I’m not so bold as to just wear compression shorts (as I’ve said before, it might be okay if I were wearing longer, looser shirts, but I need my t-shirt to have compression on runs over about 5 miles to prevent chafing on the upper half if you know what I mean).

I hope to add more thoughts on skirted running in the near future, including a review of running in a Sport Kilt – I wrote a review of the kilt here but hadn’t tried running in it at that point.

Running skirts – a review for men

This was my initial review of the running skirt. As mentioned in the “About” section of this blog, I am continuing my thoughts on running in a skirt as a man here rather than allowing it to take over my Running in NJ blog.

Running in NJ

On Friday I posted about running in a skirt for the first time. This was partly to prepare some of my running club friends for me turning up wearing it at the club run the next morning.

The reactions have been interesting to say the least and have covered pretty much the whole range of possible thoughts on it.

It’s interesting that my Warning: Man in Skirt post had more hits than any other post I have written, with the exception of my Merrell Trail Glove 2 review which has had a fair few search engine hits, but has had very little reaction in the way of likes and comments. I take this to mean people aren’t really sure what to make of it. My Facebook friends were much more vocal on it, and it pretty much ended up with a discussion on the merits of running skirts (at…

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