Recently it came to my attention that my running gear was in serious need of a re-vamp. It wasn’t so much the style, as the hole which I had worn on the inside thigh of my running shorts. The seams had also been caught with Velcro from my running jacket so many times that they were now furry on the outside – and that’s really not a good look by anyone’s standards. Having said that they have served me well and the cost per wear over the years is now negligible.
For anyone unsure, and/or possibly too polite to ask, the below shot is the after shot – after I had bought the new clothes and after I had been running, hence the red face!
So where to start? Well the first thing is that I don’t really like buying running gear. Not only would I rather spend the money on something else (preferably other clothes) but I don’t like trying it on. I like my old stuff – it fits, it’s comfortable and I don’t have to worry about it. It’s not particularly flattering but then I’m not sure that any running gear is really – and anyway, it’s just functional clothing. Nonetheless, it is falling apart.
As a lot of my friends run, I decided to do a little survey to see where they went for their running clothes. The first friend I spoke to said that she bought a lot of her things from GAP active, which I hadn’t really contemplated before as an option. With a couple of hours to spare yesterday (two out of the three children were making ukuleles which we now have at home – lucky us) I headed to GAP where I bought the Gap capris (£19.99) in charcoal and neon sunshine.
Having already owned black bottoms, I thought that the grey and yellow combination would make a nice change. I wore them last night and really liked them. The waist is fairly generous compared to the rest of the proportions but they didn’t fall down, which was good for myself and particularly for fellow runners. They have a pocket on the waist band at the back for “stuff” and they also come in grey and pink. I’ve included a link to GAP active for the full range available.
Another friend buys her running things from Sports Direct, so (after taking a deep breath) I then went there and found this Puma tank for £19 instead of £27.99. It also has a built in bra but what I really liked about it was the fact that it didn’t have a racing back to it, which makes the whole bra situation so much easier. I also like my vests to be quite thick and tight fitting – substantial rather than flimsy – so that nothing moves!
I also visited our local Tennis Centre where last week I noticed that they sold Pure Lime. It’s a Scandanavian brand and one which I hadn’t come across before. I picked up this top for (£20 instead of £28) – yet to be tried on. The best selection of Pure Lime that I have found online is at Simply Sweat. They do a good range of underwear plus tennis and leisurewear too.
Sweaty Betty is the brand of choice for another friend and she’s had some cracking pieces from them in their sale. She usually orders in bulk, on the basis that fitness gear can be tricky in terms of size – and then returns a lot of it. She recently bought this dance vest, reduced from £50 to £25 and it looks great with really short, shorts. I think it’s quite “Flashdance” and as it’s long, it’s great for bottom coverage – and also for anyone who is taller. I’ve included a link to the sale vests and bottoms and there are some great savings on Stella McCartney pieces for Adidas, as well as really high tech performance gear which is more affordable in the sale.
I also bought these USA Pro leggings from Sports Direct, just because of the hole issue in my existing ones and at £12.99 instead of £24.99, they were a great price. Whilst I really liked the fit and feel of them, they turned out to be too long so will be going back. However it’s definitely a range I will investigate closer.
I shouldn’t say this but I’ve never been a fan of sports bras, always preferring to wear my usual bras, which seemed to offer much better support and a better shape than the sports bras I had tried. However Sports Direct had this USA Pro sports bra (£10.99 instead of £19.99) which is not only slightly padded but is also underwired. I think that we will get on fairly well together, although perhaps not with the tops with the built in bras too as then it all gets a bit much!
Finally, when in JD Sports yesterday, I fell in love with these Nike Flex trainers (£65). I really like the look and colour of them – but that’s not really a good enough reason to buy them. When I need new trainers I always go to a proper running shop and pretty much let them tell me what I should be wearing (Saucony, generally) after they have watched me flailing around on the treadmill.
I’m sure that many of you will have your own ideas on the best places for sports wear, together with the best styles and fit but for those who are a little less sure, or who are perhaps just starting out, I hope that this helps.