A couple of times a year I spend a few hours in the shop changing rooms trying on a selection of the new season kit that has arrived. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly it gives me a really good idea of how each item fits which is information I can relay to all the staff so that they can serve customers with more information. Secondly I like to be able to discover all the little features that each garment only reveals once you put them on and move about in them.
In this first post I will go through some of the new items of women's run clothing in the shop at the moment. Please note this is not everything we sell, just a little selection of some of the best.
Top: Zoot Microlite 1/2 zip - £40
This top felt very soft and breathable. I felt that it would take the edge off in the cold without cooking me once I got running. The fit was quite snug around the neck (great for keeping the cold out!) and I felt generally this top came up quite small. It has thumb loop for keeping your hands warms - but I felt that for me the arms were a little short (though I should say I have long limbs). Overall the feel of this top was very nice
Bottom: Zoot Megaheat tight - £55
I was really impressed with these tights from the moment I put them on. The waistband is very wide and the most comfortable I have worn. The material is very stretchy and soft and even stretched enough to get down to my ankles (which is unusual). There are nice little reflective details on the tights. Size wise - I went up a size in these as I have relatively wide hips which the size S didn't quite accommodate. Really love these!
Top: Zoot Flexwind Jacket - £80
This was a very well cut lightweight jacket that felt really nice against the skin. The fabric almost looks like it has reflective fibres in it which makes the jacket almost shimmer. It has plenty of reflective material on the front, back and sides to make sure you are visible. Zoot being originally from a triathlon background have added a really neat triathlon inspired large pocket at the back of the jacket which unzips to reveal three individual compartments for all your belongings. The front is wind and water proof, while the back is very well ventilated. Like this jacket a lot!
Bottom: Zoot Pulse Tight - £40
The pulse tight has a very similar cut and fit to the megaheat but is made of a slightly thinner material and doesn't have ankle zips. Much like the megaheat I was very impressed by the fit and feel of these tights.
Top: Salomon Park Long Sleeve Tee - £40
The fabric is the star of this top. It is soft, comfortable and not too clingy despite the close fitting of the top. I felt comfortable that I would not overheat in this top and loved the feel against my skin. The arms were nice and long and ended in a neat little cuff that can be folded over your hand to act like a little mitten!
Bottom: Salomon Endurance Tight - £60
The moment I put these tights on I could feel the compressive nature of these tights, especially on my quads which felt immediately supported. The cut of these tights is exceptional, and the look off them is really very cool (I like the little pink and green detail). For £60 I would say these are a bargain compared to other compression tights on the market.
Top: Salomon Trailrunner Warm Long Sleeve - £60
Although this is called a 'warm' long sleeve, it did not feel at all heavy or overly thick when I put in on. The top is cut to be quite long which gives you good coverage over the bum and extra warmth. This would be a great top on its own for running, or as a midlayer for walking in cold conditions. It has the same mitten feature as the park tee which I love.
Jacket: Salomon Bonatti Jacket - £140
The bonatti jacket is a totally waterproof jacket for running or walking in rainy conditions. It is cut superbly well and feels great on thanks to its breathable lining material. The two best things about this jacket are 1. It has a waterproof taped zip that doesn't get stuck! 2. The hood is incredible. It fits really well as has a little peak to keep rain out of your face. 3. There is a little popper at the front to stop your jacket flapping around if you open it up for a little extra ventilation.
Bottom: Salomon 3/4 Start Tight - £45
This is a simple 3/4 tight with a nice little zipped pocket for keys and attractive but subtle light blue stitching for a bit of detail. Ideal for when it's not quite cold enough outside for full tights.
Top: Salomon Start Impact Tank - £45
Usually I'm fairly unimpressed with integrated bras, but this one was much more substantial than what I'm used to seeing. It had adjustability with two sets of hook and eye fastenings, making it a genuinely usable bra (yes I'm wearing a shock absorber in the photos, but this was simply to save time!) The cut of the top is flattering with a nice tight top half and slightly more flowing bottom half.
Bottom: Salomon Park 2in1 Short - £35
This short has a built in lycra short underneath with a more flowing outer layer for those that like the comfort of a tight short without wanting the world to see every contour! The inner short did indeed feel very comfortable and the length of the short is about right I think. I do really like the pattern too - girly without being overly so.
Top: Adidas Supernova Long Sleeve Tee - £33
This top is lovely. Really really soft material that is tight fitting without being at all clingy. The arms are nice and long with generous cuffs with thumb holes. The back is well ventilated with a pattern cut out in a mesh material - pretty but subtle. There are also reflective panels on the arms
Bottoms: Adidas Supernova 3/4 - £40
These 3/4s from Adidas are simply very cool. They remind me in design of some of the Stella McCartney designed stuff that Adidas do with panels of different fabrics ( for clarification from the knee to half way up the thigh there is a wet-look material, which is also on the waist band in places). This is possibly more form that function but it looks brilliant. The waistband is also very wide and comfortable.
Top: Adidas Adizero Tee - £38 (reduced to £25)
This is the top of the range lightweight tee for serious runners. This is the stuff you would see sponsored professional runners wearing, and when you put it on you can see why. You can't tell its there it's so light and ventilated.
Bottom: As Above
Top: Adidas Supernova Short Sleeve Tee - £28
This tee is the same as the long sleeve version tried on above apart from the short sleeve. Its made from a lovely soft and flattering fabric.
Bottom: Adidas Techfit Long Tight - £29
This is a basic black tight from Adidas with a nice little panel of colour down the side. I was glad to find that the material was stretchy enough to accommodate my long legs, but I did feel this left the hips a little baggy. A good pair of value tights, but not as nice as the Zoot or Salomons I tried on (though obviously a fair bit cheaper!)
Top: Adidas Adistar Jacket - £120
This jacket is simply awesome. I can't believe it is only £120! Its got plenty of insulation using merino wool in a detachable inner gillet for moisture wicking and added thermal properties. When its not that cold the gillet can be taken out and you have a waterproof and windproof outer shell. If you like you can wear the gillet separately for a little extra warmth. The styling is superb making it the kind of jacket I would wear for all occasions not just running. Its a great colour with reflective panels and a great cut.
Bottom: As Above
So theres a little selection of my favourite pieces. For me the star pics are the Salomon Endurance Tight or the Zoot Megaheat tight (both are fantastic in my opinion!), Adidas Supernova long sleeve and then the Adidas Adistar jacket.
Thank you for reading - Holly Burrage