Spring '13 running apparel goes ultra lightweight

Running apparel for Spring ’13 gets cooler and goes ultra lightweight. Check out our coverage of running apparel we saw at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

This SNEWS Outdoor Retailer Summer Market recap is brought to you by Cordura:

Running Apparel used to be just about performance, but like all sectors in the outdoor industry, fashion and style are creeping in

O.R.D. staff saw a lot of mesh, seamless construction, cooling fabrics and laser-cut designs for ventilation in running apparel offerings at Outdoor Retailer.

Columbia and ExOfficio already have been in the cooling apparel game for a few seasons, but now New Balance will enter the space with New Balance Ice cooling technology designed to lower the skin’s temperature as an athlete heats up during a workout. The collection includes Impact Short Sleeve (MSPR $40), the Impact Long Sleeve (MSRP $45), the Impact Tunic Tank for women (MSRP $38) and the Impact Singlet for men (MSRP $38).

Companies also are trying to lighten the apparel load for runners by offering items that are extremely lightweight and includes mesh in high heat areas.

Plus more companies are offering products that go together like Fera’s Women’s Run Short (MSRP $65), which features a smooth stretch mesh brief, a laser-cut Fera logo for ventilation, a low-profile back zippered key pocket and a reflective logo. Fera promises it would help your female customers “run weightlessly.”

The ARD Split Short (MSRP $54) is Asics’ lightweight answer that also includes welded seams and hems that minimize chafing and the company’s seamless liner and exposed elastic waistband.

Pearl Izumi’s new Infinity Short (MSRP $45) for both men and women has a full Minerale liner that dries 50 percent faster than other fabrics and also has welded seams that reduce weight and the possibility of chafing.

Brooks has a pair of plaid board short-style running shorts for men (MSRP $65) called the Board Racer (6.5-inch inseam) and the Board Runner (9-inch inseam), which can easily go from a run to the grocery store and be worn every day. The EZ T III (MSRP $30) is a polyester shirt that looks like a comfortable cotton number that’s also very casual.

On the singlet side of things, Brooks new D’Lite Reversable mesh tank top (MSRP $45) has the “less is more” for running attitude said Liz Wilson, Brooks’ director of apparel. The tank top features stripes on one side and a solid, bright color on the other to let women runners choose their pattern based on their mood for the day. Though it’s mesh for increased breathability, it doesn’t show a woman’s stomach.

Skirt Sports brings its new Adventure Girl tank (MSRP $50), made from lightweight heathered fabric with UV Ray sun protection. 

Compression continues to be a growing category in running apparel and CW-X’s new muscle-centric Pro Series and joint and knee centric Stablix Series. A few notable new products are the Stablix Women’s Tights (MSRP $86) and the men’s Pro Shorts (MSRP $72).

2XU also offers a few new items in the compression category including its three models of compression tights: The Standard (MSRP $99), the Elite (MSRP $140), and the Recovery (MSRP $160).

Skirt … shorts? Skirt Sports offers its first line of running shorts

When Nicole DeBoom founded Skirt Sports, she vowed never to make a pair of ugly running shorts that rode up in all the wrong places.

“This is a category I vowed I’d never get into,” DeBoom said with a laugh. “I used to say shorts suck — they weren’t cute, they rode up, but we polled our customers and they said, ‘I love skirts, but I love shorts, too.’”

Though she said she’s eating crow now that she’s released her first line of running shorts, fitness shorts and even a capri pant, technically she’s remaining true to her word. The new line is attractive, has been “tested hardcore” and contains comfortable products that don’t give women the dreaded camel toe or wedgie while running.

Skirt Sports’ new Redemption line includes the Redemption Run Shorts (MSRP $50), with built-in Spankies for full butt coverage, a stretch stomach panel and a back-paneled waistband with a five-inch zipper pocket and headphone cord escape hole.

The Redemption Fitness Shorts (MSRP $45) provide an alternative to the spandex shorts that inevitably end up violating women during workouts. The compression shorts have a feature that makes them stay in place on a woman’s leg so they don’t ride up. The Redeption Capris (MSRP $65) offer the same features as the fitness shorts, but include reflective elements great for women who run in the dark.

--Ana Trujillo

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