(It might seem like completerunning has been writing a lot about running skirts lately. Well, we did write about them here, and here, and well, you might say one of CRN’s founders (I won’t say who) possibly has some sort of obsession with them, or maybe just really likes them. But after this in-depth review, we’re done. I promise. Maybe.)
It’s almost summer. You know what that means: time for some good-looking running gear. And for women, that means running skirts. Yes, skirts: a trend that is only gaining steam. When I wrote a story about them last year, the skirts were still a novelty.
But since then, more and more women have found that skirts don’t ride up uncomfortably like shorts, they don’t chafe one’s waist, and they were much, much more flattering than any pair of running shorts on the market. And over the past year, more companies have offered their own versions.
I grabbed Athleta’s Beach Run Skort after running a race in which my shorts were so big (even though they were a women’s small) that they fairly ballooned around me. I road-tested the skort in a track workout and a local 3K race. When I ran quickly, the skort, which looks like a wrap-around skirt, partially flew open, revealing the white and loose-fitting shorts underneath. Just an FYI. But that’s so you can take big strides and kick it in hard while barreling to the finish line.
Pros: The skort is feather-light and has a relaxed fit, so it’s great for hot-weather running. Cute and wholesome and non-fussy in a “girl next door” way. Versatile, too. Perfect to run errands in or meet friends for an aprés-run weekend brunch. Comes in black, persimmon, eucalyptus, and two prints.
Cons: If you tighten the strings on the skort’s waistband, the garment bunches up unattractively. Also, the skort only has one small inner pocket, big enough just for a key. I tried to stuff a credit card inside too, to no avail.
Soon after I got the Athleta skort, Heather Langendorfer, Atalanta Athleticwear‘s CEO (and a two-time Ironman Triathlon finisher), sent me her company’s Commitment Skirt to try out. The skirt looks fast. It’s the beach skort’s sexier, more assertive, but also more practical cousin. The skirt comes in black or carbon gray, and the compression shorts in red, orange, turquoise or white. They are shorts that are meant to be seen.
Pros: Another reason why you may get admiring glances from other runners while wearing this skirt is because it’s an inch or so shorter than the beach skort. A good thing if you’re only 5’2″, like me. Or if you just want to show some leg. Also, Hallelujah, the skirt has two back mesh pockets. So handy. In one long run, they held one vanilla GU, my driver’s license, a credit card, my car key and a lip balm. All without bouncing around or making my butt look fat. The shorts are snug but not tight and eliminate “chub rub.”
Cons: Hmm. I’ve been trying to find a downside, but it’s been tough. At $54, they are more pricey than the Athleta skort, which runs from $44 to $49. But I’ve found myself reaching for the Atalanta skirt more often than not.
In ancient Greek mythology, Atalanta is the goddess of the hunt, travel, and adventure. According to lore, she would only marry a man who beat her in a footrace. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, helped one love-struck suitor, Hippomenes, by giving him three golden, magical apples. Each time Atalanta drew close to him in the race, he dropped one apple. Intrigued by its beauty, Aphrodite would slow down and pick it up.
In some versions, Hippomenes’ strategy so impressed Atalanta that she let him win. Maybe that’s the 21st century revisionist version. But no matter. The skirt, which has Atalanta Athleticwear’s logo of three apples along its hem, is a keeper—whether you let your significant other win the next race or not.