Honestly, we furrowed our forehead just a tad when we heard about this wear-it-to-workout, then wear-it-to-get-coffee workout duds line called Pavement Optional from Hind. Honestly, we wondered what the big deal was about something where pavement was optional. We had our regular clothing for workouts, trail or road, so what gives?
Honestly, we were pretty wrong.
The SNEWS team skeptically accepted shorts and tops to wear-test. We wore the women's Sport Utility Short and the men's Wasatch Short, as well as the women's Banshee Sleeveless and short-sleeved jerseys and the men's Shale short-sleeve top.
Of course, we were hard-headed enough to pull the items out of the box and wrinkle our noses about how the cut and sizing looked all wrong â€¦ before we even put them on.
The women's Sport Utility Short has more pockets front and back than any trail runner or distance hiker could desire for storage of ID, snacks, lip balm or other small items, plus nifty little side seam zips to ventilate if you want AND a slightly low-slung waistline to just show off the belly if you so desire. Great styling! We found it not only looked good for casual coffees and city wear, but wore well on sweaty hikes and walkabouts. Too bad we decided not to wear it on a trail run since the material -- although a great technical pretty quick-drying nylon/spandex -- just added too much material in the wrong places, and we feared chafing.
The Banshee top did, however, wear superbly on runs, both road and trail, as well as on casual bike rides, with the side panel small zippered pocket being a nifty place for a hotel card key, piece of ID, or regular key. That's unfortunately all that will fit. We tried putting a packet of sports gel, but we tossed it away in about 30 feet because the weight caused enough bouncing and body-slapping to drive us nuts and be awfully uncomfortable.
The men's Wasatch shorts fit really nicely in a relaxed way with a style that reminded the wear-tester of his favorite comfy rugby shorts. It also wore around town well, making it a great double-duty short. The back pocket had a very convenient magnet closure, but beware -- don't put bank cards or hotel keys in it because they'll be demagnetized, as we discovered when we were left standing and dripping in a hotel corridor.
The Shale Top also had a side panel zip pocket, which was most convenient for a key, ID or small amount of money when just walking around town even. It also wicked well on runs and bike rides.
All in all, we think Hind has a big winner with this line, which hit retail in Spring and, we hear, is jumping off the shelves despite higher prices than running specialty and its other retailers are used to for items like these.
SNEWS Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection.)
Women's Sport Utility Short - $70
Men's Wasatch Short - $50
Women's Banshee Sleeveless Jersey - $45 (short sleeve - $50)
Men's Shale Top - $47.50
For information: www.hind.com, 1-800-952-4463