Skirt Chasers Rejoice! (Running Skirt Roundup & Contest!)

Non Gear Girl Allison PattilloKrissy Moehl won the 2009 Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in one (Patagonia Multi Use Skirt), Moeben CEO Shannon Farar-Griefer debuted hers at the 2009 Badwater Ultramarathon, and Nicole DeBoom won the 2004 IM Wisconsin in a prototype version (Skirt Sports). If you think running skirts aren’t for serious athletes, try chasing one of these bad asses around the block.

Krissy Moehl UTMB Vasque Mindbender

Krissy Moehl rocking a Patagonia skirt at UTMB.

Skorts and running skirts generally inspire great passion. There are those like Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, authors of the recently released book Run Like a Mother, who suggest a running skirt as your must have, best finish photo ever, race attire. Yet other women make argument for skorts being debasing, sexist and making a mockery out of female athletes. They happen to be flattering to most figures and take fit and function beyond the standard, somewhat androgynous running short. And while most men will agree they are easy on the eyes, just as many will balk at being “passed by a skirt”.

Call me shallow, but I know I perform better when I feel good about myself, and I feel better about myself when I am confident in what I’m wearing. I wore my first running skirt, an early loin-cloth version of the Skirt Sports Race Belt Skirt, at a half IM tri in 2005. I had just made the turn on the out-and-back run course and was thinking of all the things I’d rather be doing at that exact moment, when I heard, “Hey you…in the skirt.” A lady approaching the turn-around got in my face, and said, “If you have the guts to dress like that, shouldn’t you be running a little faster?” She had a point. I refocused, motored to the finish line and relished in my negative split time. I then waited for my tough love angel to appear and handed her my stinky, sweat-drenched skirt. She accepted it with post-race endorphin rush, tearful appreciation. In retrospect it was rather gross, but we were happy!

From personal observations, the swish of a running skirt adds a spring to your step, while gracefully glossing over most women’s perceived trouble spots (before you eviscerate me, I’m not suggesting anyone has actual trouble spots, but an inordinate number of females will complain about their bellies—me—hips, thighs and/or butts). If you are a hater, that’s your prerogative. But I dare you to test out one of these running ready models, or wrap one up for a female runner in your life, and see for yourself!

For the sake of comparison, all models I tested featured boy short liners, which make chafing a thing of the past, and were 14” long, but can look longer if you wear them on your hips or shorter if you wear them on your waist. That’s up to you!

Brooks Epiphany Skort – $40
Brooks Epiphany SkortThis sassy number has a wide, comfortable waistband to keep it where you want it, the outer fabric has a bit of stretch which moves with you and resists snags and the boy short liner did not ride up into the discomfort zone. The skort also has a zip rear pocket, a side slit and a vented side panel for breathability. Comfort and functionality at a great price point.

GoLite Tilly Jane Run Skirt – $60
GoLite Jane graniteThe Tilly Jane wore shorter than its length and was short enough to illicit the stink-eye from other car pool moms, but I felt adequately covered while being able to feign naive naughtiness. That’s enough to make me order one in every color! It features a belly flattering, V-cut, wide waistband, a little extra fabric for thigh coverage, a zip pocket and reflective logo. The shorts liner is made from Minerale fabric which dries fast and is soft against your skin, yet it rode up a bit on me—what can I say, I have really skinny legs!

Mountain Hardwear Pacer Run Skort – $55
Mountain Hardwear Pacer Run Skort - blueThe Pacer Run Skort has all the advantages of the Pacer Run Shorts (iRF Pacer Run Shorts review) in a fun, functional, trail-ready skort package. It features a wide and soft, low profile, rear-yoke waistband with a drawstring for personalized fit, an internal key pocket and rear zip pocket, UPF 30 sun protection and a high visibility safety logo. The fabric wicks sweat, dries fast and stretches to move with you. Plus, I never noticed the liner shorts—they were that comfortable.

Moving Comfort Sprint Skort – $44
Moving Comfort Sprint SkortThis piece is a confidence booster for those nervous about a running skirt! Heavy-duty Aerosilver skirt material lays flat and flattering over the compression boy short liner and a wide, smooth-knit waistband with internal drawstring provides a “no ride” fit. An internal key pocket, two external pockets, reflective detailing on the front and back and two mesh side panels for breathability will make a running skirt convert out of the biggest skeptic!

Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra – $60
Skirt Sports GymGirl Ultra Pink CrushWhile you may not be as fast as Nicole DeBoom, the well thought out details in the Gym Girl Ultra will ensure you are just as comfortable. For starters, the skirt is a little longer in the back to allow enough fabric to cover your bum, the shorties are made from semi-compression fabric to smooth and stay put, and the cut of the shorties is wicked comfortable in the front—no center seam—plus mildly lifting in the rear. Two under skirt thigh pockets, a waistband music port and a pair of side slits for ultimate swish and ventilation add up to a complete package for your more civilized trail runs. [Note, iRF previously reviewed the Skirt Sports MarathonGirl Ultra skirt.]

Mother’s Day Skort Giveaway!
Mountain Hardwear Pacer Run Skort - graniteIn honor of Mother’s Day, we teamed up with Mountain Hardwear to give away their brand new Pacer Run Skort to two lucky readers or their lucky woman friends. The two winners will received a copy of the book Run Like a Mother.

Lean Lutz won the contest on behalf of his wife, a mother of two. Jenny Handy, a mom three times over, also won the contest. Congrats to both of them.

Call for Comments
What do you think of running skirts? Ladies, got any favorites? If so, let us know what they are and why!

[Disclosure: The products reviewed above were free samples provided by the respective companies for that purpose. The book link to Amazon is part of an affiliate program that helps support iRunFar.com.]

There are 87 comments

  1. Kelly Wilson

    I've been wearing skirts for 2-3 years now and love them! I have one by Hind and 2 Brooks ones which are no longer available-guess I should try the one described in the article. However….what I really want to try next is a dress! I've been checking out the Skirt Sports ones and just found out that K Swiss makes them too. but I'd be totally happy to receive a new skirt-I'm a personal trainer and wear them to work as well, not just for running.

  2. Kristin Zosel

    skirts are pretty fun… i'm liking my skirtsports super light weight one… it's white (unfortunately or fortunately, depending) = i tend to stand out a bit at ultras = my crew can find me… i also have tendency to spend some time on the ground courtesy of little roots and rocks = white shows the evidence. ;)

  3. Colleen

    I started running at 45 and 10 years later am a slow but determined runner. I am always bringing up the rear. One time I was passed by a woman pushing a stroller up a hill, yet found it very inspiring. She was a 65 year old grandmother in a skirt pushing her grandson in a stroller. I hope that I hang in there that long, get stronger as I get older, and keep on running!

    Colleen

    Linden, VA

  4. Krista

    Although I had never done anything athletic before, I started running about 4 years ago. I am still at it, although I'm often bringing up the rear at races. I am slowly getting faster and fitter. I purchased a Moving Comfort running skirt last year, and I absolutely love it! I almost always race in it. I would love to add another skirt to my (tiny) collection of running gear.

    I recently visited a website (womenofsb6k.wordpress.com/) for three ladies who are all accomplished runners working together to achieve amazing things and help others at the same time. They are definitely inspiring, and…they are all pictured wearing running skirts!

    ~Krista

    Big Island, VA

  5. Jenny Handy

    I absolutely LOVE running skirts. I just had my 3rd baby 3 1/2 months ago and am not a fan of my jiggly bits on display in shorts. What better way to feel more comfortable out there on the trails!!!

  6. Carolyn

    I would love to win a new skirt. I wear one for all of my long races and couldn't be more happy. No chaffing. I wear the MH skirt and if my budget would let me I'd have one in each color.

  7. Steve

    I'd love to give a skirt to my wife. She likes the idea but was disappointed by the poor fit of the (cheap) one she tried before. I'm sure the MH is much better designed.

    Steve

    Idaho Falls, ID

  8. Trevor MacKenzie

    My wife is a trooper! The lovely mother of one (two, if you include dad!) runs rain or shine. We take our turns on baby duty come race days and she's bounced back from pregnancy with a vengeance. I am always reminded of just how lucky I am to have such a great running (and life) partner. She truly deserves to look as great and fast out there as possible. Bring on the gear!

  9. Shelly Knight

    I love my skirts, most from SkirtSports right her in Colorado. I also have a Hind one that I love the length on, but the shorts always ride up. The SkirtSports one have grippers. So, I guess that's the favorite of this Mama, SkirtSports Gym Girl.

    Shelly

  10. Debi

    My dear friend Lisa Batchen is running 50 miles in 50 states for Hope Across America abd orphans and usually in a skirt! My hero and mentor!

  11. kelly bradbury

    Skirts are great for running on trails for many practical reasons. Wearing a skirt is also a celebration of one's feminine nature, which provides an element of fun and lightheartedness to training/racing!

    kelly bradbury

    smithfield, utah

  12. Jenna Z

    I LOVE running skirts! My favs are from SkirtSports, I love their gymgirl and rollergirl skirts!!! For cooler weather running, I also like their Sweetest thing capri skirt and the Toughgirl skirt with pants! I have at least one of each!

  13. BethM

    Love the running skirts! Mountain Hardwear is nice, like the shorts and the skirt fabric. Wish they would consider some type of pocket on each leg like skirt sports and maybe a gromet to thread your headphones thru as well. Also consider getting rid of the tie system at the top and just go with elastic.

    beth minnick

    abingdon, va

  14. AshleyR

    I run in skirts by runningskirts.com. I absolutely love them and won't run in anything else. I always get the skirt with the brief and not compression shorts.

    Gastonia, NC

  15. mikaila

    I HATE RUNNING SKIRTS. HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE. If I wanted to participate in a sport with skirts, I would have played tennis. My philosophy is, if you're concerned about how you look in your finish line photo, you're running for the wrong reasons!

    LONG LIVE THE SHORT!!!

  16. Holly

    I am amazed that no one has mentioned lululemon! I guess since they are Canadian you all might not know about them yet (but they are quickly expanding in the US as well!). I have tried many different brands of running skirts, and the lulu ones are by far the best. They are a thousand times more comfortable than shorts, and I ran my first 50k and 2 marathons in their skirts. Check them out at http://www.lululemon.com.

  17. Jon

    I am a straight male. I like to wear running skirts when I go walking or jogging. They are super comfortable. No chaffing and they do not ride up like running shorts. I love them.

  18. lisa

    Why is is that companies are always looking for a way to lure women into buying things? They don't target men like that. Can you imagine? Men! wear these running shorts and your legs will look great! or hide that belly! Women are so ingrained to think about how their bodies look for others- it is ridiculous when you really think about it.

    Why is it always about looking good?

    I will never run in a skirt, let me tell you! When I run, I feel strong and capable. Like I can tackle anything. I don't need to put on a damn skirt to make me feel more feminine for pete's sake!!!!!!

  19. Nikki

    I think it is interesting how women will attack women for wearing what they want to wear. I am more comfortable running in a skirt, because I just feel the shorts are too uncomfortable, always pulling them down, etc… I used to jog in my capri yoga pants, and it got too hot in the summer. I tried out a skirt, which was a bit short, but for the summer it was my perfect running partner. If the shorts ride up underneath a bit, it doesn't matter because no-one can really see. :)

    It would be really nice if people would stop judging what other people wear or don't wear, since it really isn't anyone's business but the person wearing the clothes, you know? I love running skirts, but I certainly don't HATE shorts because I like skirts. It doesn't make me less strong as a woman to wear a skirt. In fact, I feel like it makes me stronger, because the skirt is seen as a "feminine" and "soft" item of clothing. Well, I'm not all that soft and feminine, and I am still running in one.

    Nikki, Cumberland BC

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