Thanksgiving is over and many of us survived heated political debates with our relatives or are feeling lucky to have avoided sending Uncle Joe into a red-faced finger-wagging tizzy as he passed the mashed potatoes. And with the turkey trots in the rearview mirror, it’s not Christmas lights we’re looking forward to. It’s tights season! It’s finally here and along with it, the cold late autumn winds blow back another age-old debate: to go commando or not to go commando under our spandex. And thus we ask you:
Since we were kids, fall has always been a time to shop for clothes. Fall also happens to be the season for runners, so, naturally, running apparel companies are eager to take all our money. In catalogs and ads everywhere, we’re seeing the hottest trends. Some, like the all grey footwear or cozy cowl necks we can get behind. But others leave us saying, “Hmmm.”
Shirts that are so complicated you can’t figure out how to put them on. Puffer jackets when it’s not -20 degrees. Vests and shorts ever. A complete ensemble of sports bra and tights, capri or full-length. Who wears this stuff?
So we want to know:
- What’s the weirdest running ensemble you’ve seen in an ad?
- What’s the weirdest or most fashion forward article of running clothing you own?
- What circumstance if any would you run in just a bra and tights?
- On what level do you care about fashion over function when it comes to your running clothes?
Brooks sponsored this post to inspire you to Run Happy. See more at talk.brooksrunning.com
With her fall goal race right around the corner, one of my best running friends went in search of the perfect versatile tank to wear on her big day. She fell in love with the Brooks Pick-up Running Tank Top, but couldn’t decide whether to go with the red or the blue. She was leaning towards the blue, but asked my opinion. I remembered hearing somewhere that red equals fast.
“Really?” she asked skeptically. “With all my training, strength work and mental preparation, could something as simple as the color of my shirt affect my running performance?” Read more >>
Keeping the lights on at Salty HQ means we need to appeal to sponsors here and there, but we’re committed to making sure we only bring you stuff we really think you’ll like. That’s why we were so excited when The AJC Peachtree Road Race approached us about sponsoring today’s Readers’ Roundtable. Not only is Peachtree an Atlanta 4th of July tradition, it’s the world’s largest 10k, the largest American road race of any distance, and attracts runners from all over the US and beyond. The AJC Peachtree lottery ends tomorrow, March 22 at 11:59pm, and AJC and the Atlanta Track Club want YOU to enter that lottery in hopes you will be one of the 60,000 runners who line up on race day. They don’t even charge you until you get in, so there’s nothing to lose!
One of the many reasons “The Peachtree” is so celebrated is that each spring there’s a t-shirt contest, in which Atlantans (and you!) can vote for the race shirt design. The winner is only revealed on race day, when runners finally receive the winning shirt after completing the race. Inspired by all the nifty designs throughout the Peachtree’s history, we want to know from you what makes a great race shirt. Is it design? What’s more important, the cut or the color? Does it have to have gendered sizing? Do you like a ringer tee, a cap sleeve, a longer hem? Does it need to be a threadbare “vintage” shirt from a race your mom ran in 1986 or do you prefer a brand-new tech shirt?
We want to know: What does your ideal race shirt look like? What makes a race shirt great?
The setting: Early January. The mood: That post-holidays funk settled on the Salty crew like a cold, heavy fog. Energy and creativity-levels were low; we needed something, anything, to liven things up in the dead of a dark, dreary winter. The idea that sparked our curiosity and got us a little excited to check the mail obsessively for a couple of weeks? Leggings. Obnoxious, personalized to our specific tastes, bright and shiny new running tights to look forward to and to wear for our running buddies’ delight on the cold streets and trails. Retail therapy, cheap retail therapy at that, combined with running seemed the answer to our group winter-blues.
If you use social media or if you shop Amazon, you’ve probably seen pop-up ads for a seemingly endless array of leggings. Many of the pictures feature women wearing amazing tights twisted into a pretzel-form in a yoga class or dead-lifting at a Crossfit gym. Sometimes the models are just hanging around and looking cute, but most often they’re working out. This made us wonder: since regular ol’ running tights run upwards of $75 and come in variations of black or grey, how would these incredibly cheap flashy tights compare? In the end, eleven of us purchased a pair (or three) and took them out for a test-run, ranking them on a 1-5 snail-scale: “1” being throw-them-away-and-burn-them-now and “5” being out-of-this-world fantastic.
When I started running, I was a single mom living on my teacher’s salary during the Great Recession. Let’s just say there were many grocery store trips where I decided my favorite feta cheese was too expensive. My running gear investments included a pair of shoes and a sports bra. One of the greatest things about running is that you don’t need a bunch of super-expensive gear or instructor-led classes to get your run done. When I started, it was a relatively cheap hobby and even now when I’m up to seventy mile weeks it still costs me less than a monthly gym-fee to maintain.
However, at this level running this cheaply is not easy. Eight years into this hobby/lifestyle/addiction the costs can quickly add up. Between run-cations, race entries, high-tech gear, fancy outfits, medical costs, and shoes, shoes and more shoes, running can get really expensive really quickly.
Additionally, like everything in our consumer culture, there is an endless amount of running gear cleverly marketed to convince us that we need that shiny new product to run better. Although I don’t need to worry about splurging on the feta anymore, I am a cheapskate who is turned off by the running catalogs that tell me life just isn’t worth living without a $90 sheer color-block tank. Whether you’re a cheapskate, on a tight budget, or simply looking for a way to spend less on running, here are my tried and true tips for running on the cheap.
Peeing. Everyone does it. I do it. You do it. Michelle Obama does it, the Queen of England, Mother Theresa did it, so did Joan of Arc, Kara Goucher, and Salty herself does it and gives advice about peeing when there’s no potty to be found.
Every human in the history of humans has peed. It’s part of the grand Human Experience. For most women however, and women athletes specifically, another part of that human experience involves struggling with this very essential and ubiquitous bodily function.
The struggle need not be so real. There has to be a better way and that better way might very well be a running skirt with a trap door. I’m not even joking. Read more >>
Sometimes I go to the bar with my friends only to hang out with them … without drinking any alcohol. They hate me for this. During training season I typically avoid drinking excessively. Wine with dinner every now and then or a beer at a happy hour.
But sometimes even the most serious runner’s gotta cut loose. Whether you’re consciously choosing to wear running gear to the bar for comfort purposes or you’re running late (again) for happy hour and finish your tempo cool-down at the pub, there is a running outfit and a matching drink for you. Let the
bad decisions begin.
Read more >>
In my newbie running days, I ran with two great training groups who taught me many things about the world of post-collegiate running. One of the lessons that stands out the most was the cardinal rule of race shirt etiquette: wearing a shirt from a race you hadn’t run was a huge no-no. I mean, it was the equivalent of lying! For years I didn’t dare wear a shirt for a race I didn’t run.
Sometime later I realized I don’t give a damn what race shirt so-and-so is wearing, and who cares if they did or didn’t run the race? More than a few times I’ve grabbed friends’ race packets when they didn’t plan on racing and you know what? I don’t care if they wore those shirts or not. Um, it’s a t-shirt!
There are a few situations in which, to my mind, it’s perfectly fine to wear a race shirt even if you didn’t run the race. I guess you could call them fashion dos and don’ts … that is, if race shirts can be considered fashion! Read more >>
All my running shorts have liners, meaning there’s a built-in brief that protects my lady bits and prevents chafing. This is ideal to me, since wearing underwear is unthinkable: cotton retains too much moisture, and all my other pairs are too frilly to be comfortable.
A couple years ago when “running underwear” started popping up in stores, I made a joke about it to a friend. She looked at me like I was crazy and confessed that she had been wearing it for years! I was completely confounded until she gave her reason: she didn’t want to have to haul her running shorts down to the laundromat after only one wear.
That seems pretty logical, but I remain an advocate of dropping your panties when you go running, even (and especially) when you’re wearing tight bun-hugger shorts. To me, commando is just more comfortable! But I’m curious to know how many of you are wearing your knickers out there.
Do you wear underpants under your running clothes? How would you defend your position to someone who takes the opposite stance?
Leave your skivvies in the comments!
This morning Salty forwarded a promotional email from Anthropologie, retailer of overpriced (in my opinion) luxury women’s apparel and other stuff. Guess what they have now? Activewear!
I couldn’t help but laugh – everyone is getting into the game! As much as people have blasted Lululemon, ever since it burst onto the scene and showed people that being active can be sexy, more and more luxury activewear brands have cropped up, and now even the store that made frilly aprons cool again has given into the hoardes of sweaty women waving their credit cards when they see tech fabric in a cute print or a sassy cut.
A lot of this stuff (the bras especially) is made for low-impact activity, not for running, so I have my doubts as to its durability when compared to the six-year-old Saucony shorts that still look as good as they day I bought them. (And where do you put your key in these!?) But there are still cute things I’d love to wear at the track! I’m interested to know what you all think about fashion getting into the running game.
Will you pay primo prices for primo style? Do you prefer your running gear in a more traditional “sporty” look or do you like the modern fashionista stuff? What do you look for most in your running gear, fashion or function?
As always, I’ll take your answers in the comments!
This post originally published on Aug 31, 2012. We thought it was a timely follow-up to the The Essential Guide to Salty Summer Running!
I’m in love with Clove’s Salty Running Challenge! Leaving my shirt behind when I go for a run is a real struggle, but the more I practice the more I just stop caring what others think of my tummy and start feeling great about showing off the amazing athletic machine that is my body.
Now Salty already posted about running shirtless, but I wanted to point out that when we wear our bellies on the outside for a run there are a couple things to consider in your bra. I’m not talking about your boobs, either (at least not this time). Read more >>
In my dream world, I would be strutting around today in a purple and orange jacket of questionable taste. This jacket would not be the sort of thing I usually wear, it certainly isn’t something I’d ever choose for myself, and I would have paid way too much money for it.
You know what I’m talking about.
I mean, it’s okay that I didn’t make it to Boston this year…I’ll make it someday! Until then I’ll have to make do with a homemade knockoff that’s even less stylish than the real deal.
Learn how to make your own Boston Marathon jacket (for less than five bucks!) after the jump! Read more >>
I’m going to talk to you about a very serious problem that plagues all of us female runners: pants. I’m not talking about our beloved running tights, ladies; I mean dress pants and – dare I say it – jeans. Oh, the horror!
As an athlete, I celebrate my muscular body. Unfortunately, it would seem not a lot of clothing companies do. Like most of you, I have a full-time job, and I am expected to dress the part of a professional every day. The problem: finding pants that fit comfortably and look … well, presentable. (I’m really not asking for much here.) Heck, Oregano can’t find pants that fit her frame, restricting her options to wearing only shorts and skirts, even in the winter! #thestruggleisreal Read more >>
Boy oh boy, at 40º Fahrenheit, yesterday was just balmy here in the Big Apple! So when it was time for me to hit the road, naturally I took off my pants without hesitation. Shorts time!
I don’t think about it too much usually, but last week the Salty bloggers were chatting about our legs, so when I saw the forecast I made sure to bust out a fresh razor and give my gams a quick once-over. But then as I was cruising down 5th Avenue in the afternoon I started thinking about how silly it was. I mean first of all, who’s looking? But more than that, why do I even care? It’s February, it’s been so disgustingly cold that shorts haven’t been much of an option. In fact, leaving the house without tights has been unthinkable most days. Frankly if I happened to check out some chick’s legs and notice she was sporting a fur coat on her calves I’d be a little jealous at how warm she must be.
So I gotta ask you gals: do you bother keeping your legs shaven in the cold months? What are we doing this for!?
As always, we’ll take your answers in the comments!
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