Fair weather runners

Summer running is a different animal; common sense dictates that running in Autumn, Winter and Spring is preferable; temperature and humidity in the British Isles is more agreeable to such hot, sweaty work. But Summer is also when people’s thoughts turn to how they’ll look on the beach, and how best to shed those excess pounds – plus it’s a hell of a lot easier to motivate yourself to get out on a sunny morning than on a cold, wet day.

We’ve rounded up some clothing options and accessories to make running hassle free. From lightweight waterproofs to sun protection clothing lines, fabric plays an important role in keeping you cool, dry and even injury-free.

Apparel

Brooks

Brooks fabric for women and men’s apparel is outstanding in my opinion as it is incredibly soft to the touch, easy to wear with great moisture wicking qualities. The women’s ‘EZ fun T’ at £18 RRP is outstanding value for a moisture wicking top and the Epiphany stretch short £20 RRP compliments the figure and look.  

For men the competitively priced Equilibrium T at £22 has flat locked seams allowing it to be used for a base layer, or on its own. Sherpa Short 2 for men is stretch woven and moves with the runner. Also featuring key fob pocket and dual rear holster pockets for gels.

Salomon

Salomon XT Wings Tights in Salomon’s Smartskin use controlled compression to enhance performance and improve body position. actiLITE Lycra Power fabric wicks moisture away from the body, dries quickly and is coupled with ClimaUV 50+.  Clean, seamless designs avoid chafing and are complemented by reflective branding, mesh panels around knees, waist adjustment and a small back pocket.

At only 120g for the women’s and 170g for the men’s, the Salomon Fast Wing Hoodie jacket takes lightweight running to the next level. Featuring ClimaWIND Super B Taffeta fabrics, it will protect from light showers, wind and fold easily into its own chest pocket to be strapped to the arm – just right for an unpredictable British summer.

Matt Roberts

Introduced last year the Matt Roberts range is doing very well. This year they have a newly developed running specific range: “We were inspired by the retro running look; we have re-invented old classics and brought them into the modern day,” says Matt.

The men’s high cut running shorts and men’s running top feature 180grm Coolmax which is ideal for wicking moisture away from the body. The shorts have an inner fitted boxer for support and modesty and the top has mesh inserts and reflective inserts. The ladies crop performance pants in 260grm supplex features unique engineered seaming, teamed with supportive properties for the bum – this item sold out in two months when first released. The ladies _ sleeve performance top has 180grm Coolmax, contoured seaming and breathable mesh panels with reflective piping and rubberised hem that grips to your bottoms. The ladies clear running jacket is lightweight, breathable and fully waterproof.

Matt Roberts will be showing their very impressive new range at the Intersport Q1 show in June.

Montane

The stretchy Aero Cap is designed to keep the head protected from the sun: It’s wind and water resistant providing great sweat absorption and includes highly breathable side panels, a wicking inner band, adjustable back strap and reflective trim. The Bionic T-shirt is made from SPORTWOOL, a blend of merino wool and polyester.  It provides dry-to-the-touch comfort, odour-free UV protection with rapid moisture movement, natural elasticity and reflective trim; it’s a true all-round base layer.

When the weather is not so kind, the Sonic Shorts are highly wind-resistant with a wicking mesh inner; extra features include reflective trim and three pockets. The Slipstream with PERTEX Quantum fabric, offers the wearer full windproof cover with great breathability and packs down into a tiny stuffsac weighting only 85g. The Featherlite Marathon Jacket uses windproof and water-resistant PERTEX Microlight, has side vents for extra airflow and 360-degree reflective trim.

X-Bionic

I’m so impressed with X-Bionic – if you look at the photo of the Fennec Top you can see the different channels and zones built into it.  These channel sweat away from the body and keep air circulating aiding the body’s natural cooling system. Garments are designed for each sport separately, with features suited to men’s and women’s physics, so channels are placed dependent on how the muscles are used and how the body deals with the demands of that activity. When you consider that 97% of energy is used controlling body temperature, a purpose-built product therefore means about a 30% energy saving – energy which can be used for performance.

The other feature that really works is that you are insulated when you stop sweating, so body temperature is maintained whether active or inactive which again is due to garment construction and the Xitanit fabric which conducts heat away from the body and reflects back heat from the surroundings.

Saucony

Saucony’s Ignite Shimmel uses technical ‘PowerKnit’ which holds your muscles in position for performance and fit – the internal breathable, wicking shelf bra gives good support and comfort, while Aero mesh stretch panels increase breathability and enhance the flattering shape. The Ignite Tight Capri also features ‘PowerKnit’, it has a small zippered rear pocket for keys and comes with trim colours to match tops. Hydralite is Saucony’s most wicking, quick drying technical fabric; the mini-grid pattern reduces the points of contact on the skin for heat and moisture management. The Speed Short Sleeve features hydralite and is the lightest weight shirt, which features flat-locked seams to reduce chafing.

The men’s Elite Singlet also uses Hydralite and the shifted shoulder flat-stitch seams avoid chafing.  Lightweight Hydrator fabric gives maximum moisture management and breathability to the Ignite Short Sleeve; this also features shifted shoulder seams and has aero-mesh panels on reverse for mobility and breathability with a reflective Saucony logo for safety. The Traditional cut running short incorporates Aero flex mesh panels in the Stretch UltraSilk giving great fit and feel. Incorporating rear zip pocket with lock-down zipper, with a flat drawstring and smooth waistband for maximum comfort and the new Sheertek brief for wicking. Also in UltraSilk, the Performance Short, which doesn’t have a split leg, has breathable, moisture wicking liner, reflective Saucony logo for safety and an internal envelope pocket for keys.

Ronhill

The Advance and Aspiration collections by Ronhill block virtually all ultraviolet rays, which can harm your skin.  Fabrics that have been selected for UV protection and high wicking performance and breathability but remain lightweight and comfortable – UltraWick and Powerlite are rated UPF 50. All products feature a sun protection swing ticket to aid consumer awareness.

GoLite

The Women’s Drimove Top, DriMove Lite Sleeveless and Baja Short are made in fast-wicking DriMove fabric – a polyester blend with activated carbon from coconut husks – and which serve as a great all-round performance layer for a wide range of activities. Cocona activated carbon provides 50% better moisture transfer than polyester baselayers, it doesn’t wash off or wear out over the life of the product and boasts a UPF of 50+. Garments made with this fabric can be worn as base-, mid-, or outer layers depending on weather conditions. The shorts also benefit from Drimove lite stretch panels to move easily with each stride.

 GoLite’s semi-fitted Ether Jacket is great for days when you can’t predict the weather: The jacket has an adjustable hood, in anti-static fabric that is lightweight and easily packed into its own pocket.
The Slim Kickins Short features a wide, flat knit waistband, internal key pocket, and is made in ‘conciousbody’ knit which is 88% recycled polyester and 12% Lycra.

Asics

Asics’ new Top Impact line works with the body to help enhance performance. Aimed at professional athletes, serious and competitive runners this revolutionary range combines different technologies to meet every demand of the serious runner. Four posture control panels have been designed to stabilize the core of the body; in all tops for example, Pro Fit technology allows vertical and horizontal back stretch and Inner Muscle panels are situated across the shoulder blades to increase movement for better posture and breathing, helping to increase oxygen intake by up to 5%. Asics premium dry fabric which is multi-layered reduces the clam and chill that is produced when sweating.

New Balance

New Balance offers product for all runners from those training hard to the casual runner enjoying a few miles in the warmth of a summer evening.

The Short Sleeve Half Zip top combines a slim fit with superb ventilation and an integral sleeve pocket for iPods. If your preference is for something looser and lighter the Logo Tees or Singlet are great – all have Lightning Dry technology fabric. The 4″ Loose Woven Short or the Split Leg Race Short team up with tops for the best in weight reduction, ventilation and freedom of movement.

Base-layers

S2XU

2XU’s recommendation for an ideal run or race would be to wear compression top, bottom and socks to aid blood flow to the heart. The fit of the fabric in the shorts and tights compresses the whole region of the upper leg giving extra support to the quadriceps, hamstrings and posterior thigh muscles.The 2XU short sleeve compression top supports the shoulders, back and stomach, which are the core stability muscles. The hottest item from 2XU is the recently launched race compression socks – the benefits include faster flushing of blood lactates and improved circulation, heightened proprioception and reduced muscle vibration. 2XU is distributed by Triathlon Consultants in the UK.

Skins

Skins say, “with a long hot summer predicted, runners are recognising the benefits of wearing a base layer from Skins to keep them cool”.  Skins fabric wicks sweat from the surface of the skin to the outside of the garment where it dries quickly and cools the body.  Runners can choose Skins existing ‘Sport’ range of tops and tights or its revolutionary ‘ICE’ range – featuring micro-encapsulation that releases a menthol substance helping runners feel cooler, as well as breathe easier. Skins’ fabric has a UPF of 50+.

Linebreak

Using the latest fabric technology Linebreak create gradient compression from the waist to ankle for optimal blood flow; this reduces lactic acid build up, which enhances recovery so you have a product that works for you both during and after exercise. Moisture management qualities of the fabric also keep you drier and regulate your core temperature.

Canterbury

The IonX Baselayer Hot and the IonX Baselayer Hot Under Short from Canterbury saves energy for performance and improves body awareness and posture. Prof Mike Caine, B.Sc., Ph.D., Director of the Sports Technology Institute at Loughborough University, said: “Preliminary findings of a study indicate that athletes wearing IonX-treated garments demonstrate an improved level of power output during repeated, short duration maximal efforts.”

Improving oxygen delivery to the muscles increases average output by 2.7% and accelerates recovery. The ‘Hot’ technology is designed to keep you cool in hot conditions – it dries quicker, helps to protect the skin from direct sunlight and helps to prevent skin chafing.

Bras and Undies

Odlo

Renowned for men’s and ladies technical undergarments, Odlo has introduced a technologically advanced running wear range of clothing for summer, using high-specification materials guaranteeing optimal moisture transport away from the skin, thus maintaining a more even core body temperature. The cut and styling of each piece combine to give the wearer greater comfort and a wider freedom of movement.

Saucony

Saucony’s Motion Sensor Bra is both supportive and flattering which can be worn on its own or as a support bra beneath another top. Patented Performance Shape Technology provides stretchable, breathable moulded cups giving great shape and great fit. The Coolmax outer and Sorb-tek liner maximise moisture management and the hook and eye closure to allow for adjustment.

Saucony Motion Sensor Bra. Sizes 32B to 38D. £30 RRP

Thuasne

New from Thuasne is the Too Skin  – a totally seamless bra which is comfortable and light to feel at one with the skin. The moulded cups and anatomically designed back and arm holes give freedom of movement while side reinforcements give maximum support. Moisture is wicked away using the Meryl/Lycra fibre combination, which also has an exceptionally soft handle. Contact: sales@1000mile.co.uk

Socks

Wigwam

Wigwam have combined interesting new patterns with high-technology fibres as well as merino wool meaning socks are breathable, moisture-absorbing and moisture-repelling keeping feet dry, comfortable and blister-free. Ironman Surge Pro SSP£11 offers a unique lightweight design with patented moisture control and unbeatable comfort. Ener-G SSP £13 is a great cushioned, cool-weather running sock with the softness of Merino wool.

Ener-G SSP £13

Hilly

This summer Hilly are launching two new Twinskin developments – the Twinskin Lite Plus is a light-weight sock with synthetic fibre construction to manage moisture for durability and quick drying making it ideally for fast sports and competition. The Twinskin Aquaduct utilises all the great features of the existing twin skins but the inner sock is made from a hydrophobic (water hating) polypropylene and the outer layer is made from a hydrophilic (water loving) polyamide, which aids the transportation of moisture.

For those who like low-cut styles the existing Mono Skin Lite Socklet and Twin Skin socklet ranges are perfect for summer running as both allow maximum airflow and cooling to the legs. Other key features include seamless toe construction and an arch grip support.

1000 Mile

For summer running, socklets are a popular choice: 1000 Mile’s Trainer Liner Socklet is ‘No Blisters Guaranteed’.  The Tactel inner layer wicks away perspiration to the moisture absorbing outer layer, so feet are kept dry.  The combination of fibres and top venting maintains a comfortable temperature for the foot. The Performance Socklet is padded and features Wool Ultra, which is 20% lighter, dries 30% faster and wicks more than conventional wool.

Teko

Using only high-performance fibres and sustainable manufacturing processes TEKO creates performance socks that are safer for the environment: All materials except for the wool are sourced from the Usa and all of TEKO’s socks are knitted in North Carolina. The Teko Merino light low has a light cushion in footbed with a pull tab at back. Teko MERINO Ultralight Minicrew is un-cushioned, but has the same fabric proportions as the Merino light low: 54% teko-MERINO wool, 22% teko-POLY recycled polyester, 21% nylon, 3% Lycra spandex.

Hydration

Salomon

If you prefer to keep your hands free when running, the Salomon Hydra Revo compact backpack holds a 2L bladder.  It has an adjustable sternum strap, air mesh back system, key holder and reflective patch.

Nathan

The adjustable handstrap on the  22oz bottle of the Quickdraw Plus gives a secure but comfortable hold and also has a pocket for smaller essentials. Available in a range of colours. Contact: www.100
0mile.co.uk

New shoes

Asics have a new shoe development which we thought was worth a mention – the GEL Nimbus 11 has been updated with yet more gender-specific technology. For women a lighter density ‘injected’ Solyte within the sole has been extended from the lateral forefront across to the medial side to compensate for the lower compression rate, providing more comfort and increased flexibility within the shoe. Other new features on both men’s and women’s include: Solyte midsole under the forefoot providing a plush road feel, Solyte cap over the forefoot reducing weight and optimising comfort, memory foam added to tongue lining for improved comfort through the instep, stitch-less construction to improve heel fit, and asymmetrical lacing which follows the curve of the foot.

GoLite

GoLite offer 6 different models for carrying water on runs, they all feature: highly breathable adjustable hip belt, “no bounce” load control system, highly breathable quick-dry air mesh body, insulated bottle holsters, EVA plastic guide scoop at the head of the bottle holder for ease of use and are available in men’s and women’s fittings.

The Hydrocruise is GoLite’s most fully featured pack, with the ability to hold two 21oz water bottles and also has two large compartments for you to store essentials, such as waterproofs and two stretch hip belt pockets for energy bars. The Hydrosprint is a smaller pack which will hold one 21oz water bottle along with a gel flask.

Accessories

Buff

The High UV Protection Buff and the new Buff Headband are made with Coolmax rather than the standard polyester microfibre.  This special knit, not only wicks moisture away from the skin faster, but it also blocks 95% of all UV rays making is perfect for summer running.

This season’s range has also been treated with Polygiene, a silver ion solution, which restricts odour-causing bacteria. There is a choice of 18 prints/patterns and 5 solid colours, plus a further 8 designs in their junior/medium size designed for slightly smaller heads (50 – 55cm).

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