One of the latest fads in running fashion is the running skirt. This is evidenced by several Complete Running articles on (running skirts, and more running skirts—not that we’re obsessed or anything, we can stop anytime—and this is only part one!) the numerous apparel companies who have sprung up as specialty retailers, and the now ever-present women in running skirts you have likely seen at local races. (Read part two of our running skirts series.)[ad#inPost-Big]
I tested running skirts from eight different companies and will mention skirts from a few others. I hope that reading this will help you determine what the best skirt is for you to run in and you can join in on the fun!
I tested skirts from Nike, Sugoi, Zoot, Moving Comfort, Hind, Skirt Sports, RunningSkirts.com and Atalanta. I should mention up front that skirts from Running Skirts and Atalanta were sent to me for this review. I bought the others. I think one of the perks of working with a “smaller” company like Running Skirts and Atalanta (or even Skirt Sports) is you get a lot more attention and better customer service.
I wore each skirt for a minimum of two runs of at least three miles each. My runs are also always on trails though that does not factor much into this review. I analyzed the length of the skirt, coverage, type of undergarment, weight, skirt material, pockets, colors, price, and more. I also did a “wet” test of the skirts to see how they would hold up in rain, etc. Since there is no rain in California this time of year I submerged them in water then put them on for the test.
In Part one of this review I’ll look at the skirts I tried from the five “major” companies: Nike, Sugoi, Zoot, Moving Comfort & Hind.
I tried the Adventure skirt from Nike which is currently the only running-specific skirt they offer. It comes in black, gray and blue though colors may vary with the seasons. It is a very popular skirt and from my time working at the Nike Women store I know that it was a very fast seller and was hard to keep in stock. Along with the Moving Comfort skirt, this was the shortest skirt I tried. Short can mean cute but it’s not a good choice for the shy skirt-wearer. The material felt great, though not the lightest in the review, and I really enjoyed running in this skirt. It’s got a simple but cute design and comes in mainly basic solid colors. The back pocket is fairly large though not as easily accessible as the pockets in many of the skirts. ($65 US at Nike.com.)
The Stamina skirt from Sugoi is the most expensive skirt in this review. Sugoi is widely known for triathlete apparel but also has a nice run offering as this skirt demonstrates. This skirt also is more medium-weight but felt great to run in and I enjoyed each time I took it out for a test. There is a fairly large back pocket on the right side good for holding gels, keys, etc. The Stamina skirt is neither short nor long and is a perfect length for someone worried about wearing a skirt too small but also doesn’t want a whole lot of extra coverage. Like Nike, the Sugoi Stamina skirt has a simple but cute design and also comes mainly in basic colors. ($65 US.)
Zoot Sports is another company widely known in the triathlete world. Their offering, the RUNfit Skirt, comes in a mesh material which makes it super lightweight. This material also performed well in my wet test. It has a slight repellent quality and when it does get really wet, it dries rapidly. This skirt comes in some fun, feminine colors such as “lei” and “ocean”, as well as basic black. The RUNfit skirt also offers a convenient inner pocket on the right front side. While this skirt does come with a compression short (as most of them do), the compression short is very short, making it more like a boyshort than actually compression shorts. I also enjoyed running in this skirt though the bold and unique “ocean” color is difficult to match to a running top unless you get a matching one from Zoot. ($39.99 US at Activa.)
Moving Comfort is a company that carries only women’s clothing and if you want silky smooth, tight, and short, this is one of the skirts for you. Along with the Nike’s Adventure skirt, Moving Comfort’s Hopkinton skirt is the shortest skirt in this review. It’s also a bit more body hugging than the Nike Skirt so it is not for the faint of heart. It does feel great and fits almost like a second skin. While I enjoyed running in this skirt, it’s lack of any type of pocket poses a problem for me. Unless you are carrying something else with a pocket, this means there is no place to put your car key. Perhaps with enough feedback from women they will add this feature to their next version of this skirt. A nice appeal to the Hopkinton Skirt is that at $40, it ties with Hind for the cheapest skirt in this review. (At press time, $28 US fromTwo Roads Fitness.)
The Hind P.E. skirt is one of the best skirts if you looking for more coverage. It’s not quite the longest skirt in the review but it feels that way. It also has long compression shorts for added coverage. I though the material in the Hind Skirt was a bit paper-like (though the liner material was very soft) and it was not one of my favorites to run in. Most of the skirts in this review are silky soft or made from flowing fabrics but I didn’t find that to be the case with Hind. The P.E. skirt does offer a lot of breathing room. While it is not quite the longest, it is also looser fitting and is probably the best option for someone who is worrying about those extra pounds she is trying to lose. The Hind skirt’s unique fabric had some water repelling properties and it dries fast. It also is priced at only $40 like the Hopkinton Skirt and has a convenient inner pocket on the left front. (At press time, $28 US at Two Roads Fitness.)
Stay tuned for part 2 of this review where I will cover the skirts from Skirt Sports, RunningSkirts.com, Atalanta and at the end I’ll provide a summary table, and wrap-up of the best skirt for your preference.