My Skirt Is Faster Than Yours

Posted by Filed Under: Gear & Apparel, Outerwear, Women's Running

(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.

  1. Jessica on June 6th at 7:06 am

    Great review! We might not be done yet with Skirt articles because I’ve now tried 7 different skirts and plan to write a comparison review of all of them soon 🙂

  2. 21stCenturyMom on June 6th at 9:37 am

    As the purveyor of the comment “screw those running skirts” I feel it incumbant upon me to say that I bought an Atalanta running skirt and love it. The sizing is a bit hard to figure out and mine is probably a size too big but I love it anyhow.

  3. Irene on June 6th at 1:30 pm

    There were a ton of ladies ~ and a few guys 😉 ~ wearing running skirts at the SDRNR Marathon on Sunday. I’m thnking they’re way past a novelty. Comfort is everything, which is why I am looking to invest in a few more. I now own two (Adidas and the one from and plan to add more. Maybe with popularity the cost will go down?

    Great article Bex!

  4. Irene on June 6th at 1:31 pm

    I am finding that the running skirts run a bit larger than normal, even between brands.

  5. Kathleen on June 6th at 4:19 pm

    I now own two of the commitment skirts and love them!! I have tried multiple skirts and this one works the best for me and for several of my running friends…try it and your skirt search will be over!

  6. Whitney on June 6th at 4:19 pm

    I love Atalanta skirts! The waist band is the most comfortable of any running bottom I have ever worn and Heather has really put a ton of effort into getting the briefs and shorts underneath to fit just right – no bunching, no chub rub. Try one, you won’t go back!

  7. Soozan on June 6th at 5:28 pm

    Do you know of a discount or promotional code? I MUST have this commitment skirt.

  8. Ovens to Betsy on June 6th at 6:56 pm

    Does anyone happen to know what the short inseam is? It’s tough to tell from the company’s sizing chart. I’m quite tall and the 2 skorts I currently have (one is a cheapy Champion skort, the other is Adidas) both ride up my leg. They’re fine for short runs, but I know I’ll have chafing issues with any run over 8 miles. I’d also love to see more colors!!!

  9. Vacey on June 6th at 11:25 pm

    Love LOVE the Atalanta skirt- it’s so comfortable and the mesh pocket is brilliant. The flashy blue shorts underneath are fun- declaring that though I’m wearing a skirt, I’m not afraid to flaunt it.

  10. bex on June 7th at 8:05 am

    Betsy – the short inseam for the skirt varies depending on size. You can see the sizing chart on the Atalanta website. For instance, the short inseam for Size II (which is S) is 11 inches. For Size III, it’s 11.5 inches, and for Size IV, it’s 11.75 inches. For Size V, it’s 12.25 inches. Hope that helps!

  11. Heather on June 7th at 9:26 am

    hi there Betsy,
    Thanks for your question. And Bex, thank you for responding with seam info. My concern Betsy is how it will fit through the waist. We find in some of our taller girls that the crotch-waist is too short, and are considering the addition of Long and/or Tall sizes. Feel free to email me directly if you have further questions. Cheers
    heather, atalanta athleticwear

  12. Susan on June 7th at 6:58 pm

    I Love my Atlanta skirt. It’s tops on comfort, cool, dry, decency, sexy, expandable waist, 2 mesh pockets for phone, key, cr card, Golf friends envy the comfort & look. My sliming favorites are , black w/silver logo, & black with red. Atlanta skirt replaces skin tight tacky shorts. Gratefully Susan

  13. Carlene Paquette on June 7th at 10:14 pm

    I now have 6 skirts from (4 with briefs, 2 with shorts). I am a convert. I expected to prefer the style with the shorts, but found the shorts didn’t stay put. So for me I think they are OK for some activities (like say yoga or rowing), but not great for running. The briefs style skirts are comfy and I haven’t worn shorts once since getting my latest order in the mail last month. I would prefer a slightly higher waisted and longer skirt when standing around pre/post workout. But during the runs these skirts rock. I wore one for my first marathon at the end of May and was comfortable from start to finish, despite getting soaked by a steady rain. And the customer service from Cindy at has been awesome. Hmm… too bad I can’t wear these skirts to work.

  14. Scott on June 11th at 7:22 pm

    I went for a run wearing running shorts over compression shorts ( to prevent chafing). The running shorts kept riding up and causing irritation, so I thought to myself, “There’s gotta be something more comfortable than this? Like maybe a skirt or something.” (Which I couldn’t wear anyway since I’m a guy.) When I got home and logged my miles online, I stumbled upon this article. It’s like serendipity, baby!

  15. missy on June 12th at 8:28 pm

    I am a real running skirts fan also! I have at least 5 of them. My favorites are the ones from – their fabric is light weight and the wide waistband is so flattering – it doesn’t squeeze like some of the other skirts I”ve tried with thinner elastic waists. I also prefer the 2 pockets on the side – it’s so much easier to access my gels and music without having to reach around my backside and guess at what I am pulling out (and hopefully not pulling up). haha. I love this new trend & that we can run in feminine style. Go Skirts!

  16. Heather on June 20th at 12:54 pm

    haha!! Scott, that’s pretty funny. Though, it’s not that unusual. I hear guys saying the same thing all the time. We even had a guy wear a skirt in the Red Tail long course adventure race last weekend. Apparently it got rave reviews.

    No reason why guys shouldn’t also have to same option for comfort that gals do!

  17. Running Skirt Blowout » Complete Running Network on August 6th at 8:07 am

    […] fashion is the running skirt. This is evidenced by several Complete Running articles on this topic (here and here—not that we’re obsessed or anything, we can stop anytime—and this is […]

  18. Athleta Girl on December 14th at 12:28 am

    I work for Athleta. If you don’t love your Athleta Skort, even if you’ve worn it, send it back! We’ll give you a full refund!

  19. jennifer on June 18th at 6:47 pm

    I haven’t heard of this brand until now. I’ll have to try it. Anyone heard of skirt sports? I love my Gymgirl Ultra and Classic! Absolutely awesome to run, walk, and shop in!