A few weeks ago my wondering mind started to consider the practicality of running skirts and how lucky women were to have so many options for running clothes. Then I turned to google and discovered I wasn’t the first man to think about this. So, what were the practical benefits of running skirts that I was considering?
Mainly it seemed like comfort was a big selling point. How many times have you been annoyed by the material of your shorts riding up your leg? So why bother with that extra fabric that goes in between your legs – just use a skirt, right?
A running friend (female) runs in skirts from runningskirts.com all the time so during a run that weekend I took the chance to talk to her about why she loves them. There are two different types – one with internal briefs and one with shorts. This list of reasons come from that conversation and from other things I picked up from my online search:
- The main reason appears to be comfort.
- The skirts have two decent sized pockets in the sides which are very practical.
- Freedom of movement
- Cooler (I assume this is referring to the “briefs” version rather than the shorts).
- They are a good alternative to tight shorts if you don’t feel comfortable just wearing that type of short, or if you want to add the practicality of pockets. Good quote from this blog which says it way more eloquently than me: “Hides the parts you don’t want to show. Forgiving and flattering at the same time.”
I was tempted, but couldn’t justify spending the $49 (or more) + shipping just to see what it was like, but just the next day I spotted that http://gearup.active.com had one cheap… (as I was going to have to pay for shipping, I thought I might as well get some more shoes too, but that’s another story – I have a shoe-buying problem).
I would rather have had a plain black one, but at least they had one that wasn’t pink in the size I thought I would need. The ones I ordered were the ones with the briefs – I thought this would probably be the better option because of the fit – I can’t imagine that the shorts designed to fit a woman would be a particularly good fit for a man, but maybe they would have been. At least with these, I could supplement with my Under Armour Boxerjock Boxer Briefs.
They arrived this week and I tried them on that evening (but not for a run yet). The briefs seemed to fit just about right, but the waist band was a little loose. It would certainly stay up though. I probably shouldn’t have looked in the mirror because that’s when I started to feel a little self conscious about it. There was a slight psychological barrier to get over before I could go out to run in it.
That first run happened this morning. I knew I could go out early enough so not too many people would be around (not that it really mattered at this point anyway – I did mention the psychological barrier didn’t I?). The skirt was really comfortable but as I started running I got a little worried that the back of the skirt was bouncing up too much and parts of me might be more visible than they should – I don’t think that was the case (I put my hand so the bottom of the skirt was touching it to gauge how far up it really was – did I mention those psychological barriers?).
As I ran I did notice that my inner thighs were rubbing slightly and I started to worry that was going to hurt by the end of the run, but I decided to stick to my plan of 6 miles anyway. It was actually fine, but it has me worried enough that I think I will add those boxer briefs for longer runs (next question would be – over or under the internal briefs? I will have to research that for myself).
The pockets are the biggest plus for me on this skirt. When I wear shorts and want to carry Shot Bloks, if I put them in my pocket they bang against my leg constantly. The pockets sit high on the side so anything in them is tight against your leg so no more movement. Honestly this is probably the biggest reason to keep using the skirt for me.
There are a couple of things for me that make this skirt a better option than something like triathlon shorts – the triathlon shorts show a bit more of me than I’m comfortable with (yes, I could wear a longer, looser t-shirt, but I’m a big fan of compression shirts as without that the nipples are prone to suffering) – the skirt also shows a slight bulge but I think it’s less of an issue because the fabric is not so close to the skin; they lack pockets; and I still have to wear underwear underneath them (I tried without and they chafed my backside). As for regular shorts, the fact there is less material waving around, and the pockets (I think I mentioned this before – love the pockets).
There’s a good chance I’ll wear this skirt (with the boxers) for my long run with the club tomorrow – what sort of comments am I going to get?
If this morning is anything to go by, I’m not sure. Usually when you run that early most people will say good morning, or at least wave as you pass each other, but out of the 6 people I came across in the park, only one acknowledged me in any way. He was out for a walk, and I came across him twice, and both times it was a very cheery good morning (so much so I was a bit worried that this may have been because of the skirt).
I guess I should give you a picture of this; it’s not the best as it was so early that everyone in the house was still in bed, but here you go.
(Did I mention the pockets?).
I have now had a chance to wear a running skirt designed specifically for men, read about it by clicking here.