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. Sarah

    My favorite running skirt is the Atalanta commitment skirt. It has full length compression shorts underneath to protect those of us that have larger thighs and bits that rub together, like a lot of women do. Unfortunately, they are going out of business. I have two skirts and hopefully those will last me a long time but I would love to try some of the other ones mentioned here.

  2. Mike

    My girlfriend and I met a year ago through running. She's the main reason I've improved my speed and distances in that wonderful year. She works 2 jobs, is a fantastic mother to her 12 year old daughter, and still finds time to run

    I'd also like to point out that we were part of a 2 man/2 woman team that completed a 5 Mile Marine Mud Challenge last year dressed as Catholic schoolgirls. The Marines called me "bootylicious". That has to count for something.

    Mike, Charlotte, NC

  3. Colleen

    The best skirt I've found is the Atalanta Commitment skirt, but like Sarah said above, they're going out of business :-(. Time to find something new

    Colleen, Arlington, MA

  4. Amy

    I was actually in the midst of drafting a skirt review for my blog bc I only run in skirts. I probably own between 8-10 different skirts, and my favorite by FAR is the Brooks PR Mesh skort. It is super comfortable, super short and the inner shorts are nice and short (I prefer the ones w/ undies underneath). I now own 4 of them and it's all I wear.

    My least favorite of all is the Mountain Hardware pacer skort (so you don't need to enter me in the drawing). The material snags really easily, both on plants and on unshaved legs. My skirt was looking pretty bad after just one run. And the design with the slit on the side never seems to lay the same after one washing. Plus the inner short material is heavy, and the crotch part is weirdly thick. But I have read reviews where others love this skirt, so every one is different. I think they need to work on the design and fabric.

  5. Paige T.

    Running skirts make everything prettier! I recently fell in love with REI's OXT Fleet Skort. I just wish they came in more colors. I loved the granite color so much that when I got home after my first run in the skirt I hopped online to buy the black one, too! Love it!

    I really want to try out the MH skirt, too. It's adorable!!

    Paige

    Chicago, IL

  6. KarenM

    Like Amy, I like the Brooks PR mesh skort. The fabric is nice and it's got storage capacity. Warning, it is SHORT! I was a little self-conscious at first, but I'm over it! I'll also have to check out the REI one that Paige mentioned above. I have read Run Like a Mother and I would love to win one for my pregnant running friend.

    Wish Jimmy was my husband – I'm also in Richmond, VA!

  7. Julie Karafiath

    Utah's summers are SO HOT, and I'm wondering how much warmth the liner + skirt adds? I'd love to try one out, but I'm leery of any additional layers. Can anyone comment on how well the skirts perform over a marathon distance singletrack run on an August day?

    Regarding inspiring women, my sister-in-law endured (and ultimate lost her battle) with ovarian cancer at the age of 29. She was one of the kindest, most generous, and wonderful women who I have ever known. I often think of her when I'm in the wilderness, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature surrounding me, and whether she's gazing down upon me with a smile.

    Julie

    Draper, UT

  8. Hone

    If someone would make a baggy plaid Scottish/Irish inspired running skirt for dudes I would be the first in line to buy one. My wife always tells me I look great in skirts! Totally kidding….but seriously….someone needs to start making them.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Hone, I man up in a Melanzana skirt sometimes. Melanzana is a little company in Leadville, CO. I can't say I'd ever race in it, but it's a nice easy on/easy off extra layer of warmth on long runs or when pacing. Just be careful where you wear it!

      1. The Alaskan

        I will check them out. Having a bunch of tattoos allows me to wear things most people can't get away with. I just want to show up at a race with blue face paint looking like William Wallace. Mountain races are a battle for survival and we should show up looking like warriors! HA!

  9. Sarah

    I could care less what others think of my attire on the trail. What matters is my comfort and happiness out there. I find that most running shorts ride up in between my thighs anyway. And since I have zero desire to yank my shorts down every 3 miles I've wanted to try a skirt for some time. I have found that often, different skirt reviewers have very conflicting feelings on the very same models. So unless the reviewer describes her exact body type, and it is inline with my short and stocky frame, I'm at a loss as to whose skirt to try first….. So maybe you could just send me the Mountain Hardware one? Pretty please?

    Sarah

    Roanoke,VA

  10. Ash

    My husband is into running and I try getting into it but maybe I just need the right outfit! One of these probably aren't in our budget but would love to have one!

    Ashley

    Charlotte

  11. Meredith Murphy

    I love running skirts! LOVE LOVE LOVE. I got mine from runningskirts.com and when i was pregnant, i wore their maternity skirt. It was the only comfortable running attire I wore while pregnant.

  12. Heidi

    I've never tried a running skirt and I'm a little skeptical. It seems like extra fabric, because don't most have some sort of inner shorts under layer attached? Why bother with the extra cloth?

    I can't knock it till I try it, though, so send me one to try and I'll give you my full, unvarnished review.

  13. Pam

    I was one of those die hards that thought wearing a skirt was too girly for me. But after trying the Commitment skirt I quickly changed my tune. I do have a problem with the longer compression short underneath since it would keep riding up so I am anxious to try the shorter boy short version. So your review is very timely!

    Thanks and please add me into the mix for the drawing of the free MH skirt and Run like a Mom book.

    Pam

    Westland, MI

    1. Kay Allen

      I bought a running skirt from runningskirts.com when they sponsored a local trail run last year and haven't run in anything else since. I adore my running skirts. They feel great to run in and I've never had any chafing issues. The runningskirts.com brand have great functional side pockets too, perfect for everything I need to carry on the run.

      Skirts have an added benefit when you find yourself needing to go on the trail too. ;)

      I'm very curious to see what other brands are like.

      Thanks.

  14. Mariko

    I have been a long-time proponent of the running skort. In fact, I made my own before they were commercially available! Anyway, as for inspiring women, I always think of my friend Beth, who inspired me to start running in the first place. She ran since she was a little kid, and for her, running was as natural and normal and necessary as food and shelter. Beth died a couple years ago at too young an age, and when I am out there on the trails, I often think of her and how I wouldn't even be running if it hadn't been for her.

  15. Mike Bohi

    Would love to win this for my wife. She is an incredible person who continues to amaze me with her juggling of family, work and fitness. This would be a perfect gift for her.

    Thanks,

    Mike Bohi

    Stockton, CA

  16. Sophia

    I wear SkirtSports for the comfort, but love the look too. The well-thought out design by an elite female athlete shows. Would like try-out the other brands for comparison.

    I have a bet with one of my male running buds that he will have to wear a skirt if he doesn't beat one of my race times. So I guess he inspires me to train harder ;-)

    Sophie

    Monterey, CA

  17. Steve

    I'd love to win a running skirt for my new-runner wife. I might go buy her one…in the unlikely event I don't win ;-)

    thanks,

    Steve Wallen

    Cicero, IN

  18. Bobby Love

    My wife ran her first 5k of her life 4 months after giving birth to our son…it was a big inspiration for me to start running.

    Bobby Love

    New Milford, CT

  19. Kay

    I bought a running skirt from runningskirts.com when they sponsored a local trail run last year and haven’t run in anything else since. I adore my running skirts. They feel great to run in and I’ve never had any chafing issues. The runningskirts.com brand have great functional side pockets too, perfect for everything I need to carry on the run.

    Skirts have an added benefit when you find yourself needing to go on the trail too. ;)

    I'm rather liking turning up in a skirt and proving that skirts can run.

    I’m very curious to see what other brands are like.

    Thanks.

    Kay (Charlotte NC)

    [sorry – not sure if this double posted? my son climbed on top of me and hit send before I was ready]

  20. Bill

    My wife absolutely, unequivocally, undisputedly, positively ADORES your running skirts. She would wear them to go grocery shopping in if she had more of them and I think that in and of itself is a great reason.

    They put a smile on her face which usually puts a smile on mine.

    Thanks,

    Bill

  21. Leon Lutz

    If only the giveway skirts came with the extra time my wife deserves on the road, on the trail, even on the track (should she so desire). Our two little girls love to go running with us and, as much as they love their stroller, I can already see that the oldest of the two is itching to log miles on her own two feet…because of their mom, both girls are sure to have very strong feelings about "you run like a girl" wisecracks.

    Happy Mom's day to all!

    Leon

    Manheim, PA

  22. SaraM

    I have ardently opposed running skirts, but I'm finding myself wavering. I'm sure I would enjoy the additional breeziness if you will. :) I love the pacer shorts so I bet I'd like the skirt too.

    Seattle, WA

  23. Wendy

    I am a huge skirt fan, having worn them for all 5 of my marathons and countless training miles. I especially like the skirts at runningskirts.com with the attached brief. They are extremely comfortable and I find them cooler than shorts in the summer, plus the two side pockets make them very functional for races and long runs. I love to look stylish and feminine when I'm out there running & racing, and if any guys have a problem with being "passed by a skirt" then my only words of advice are: be prepared to run faster, because I'm not slowing down!

    -Wendy in Rochester NY

  24. Coleen

    love, Love, LOVE skirts! I won't run in anything else and I've found that in the super hot and humid KC summers, skirts are so much cooler and dry quicker then shorts. I don't get that "summertime soup ass" thing going on in a skirt. I'm glad to see more and more companies coming out with skirts… mine are all getting pretty beat up from all the mileage and I need to retire a few, so I'm looking forward to trying a few new kinds out, the Golite one especially.

    Coleen

    Kansas City, KS

  25. Tracy K

    I'll run in a pair of torn shorts with mismatched shirt – much to the chagrin of my fashion-conscious mom. I should get her a running skirt for Mother's Day so she'd have one less excuse for not walking more. I've been resisting the running skirt idea…but perhaps now is the time for me to give it a try!

    Tracy

    Alexandria, VA

  26. Sarah

    Another fan here of the Atalanta skirts (both Commitment and Inspiration) and sad they are going out of business. I'm interested in finding out more about that Patagonia one Krissy is wearing.

    Sarah

    Portland, OR

  27. Renee Webb

    I would love to try that skirt – I've tried lots of them, but not that one. I was one of the first gals in Tucson wearing one of the first skirts out there by Skirtsports. I got lots of complements. I was a fairly new runner at the time and I was always worried that I wouldn't be taken seriously as a runner in a skirt! Time told the story, and now look; women everywhere are wearing them.

    I like Skirtsports and Atalanta (going out of business).

    They make me feel pretty on the trail.

    Renee Webb

    Tucson, AZ

  28. Beth W

    I have a Moving Comfort skort that I adore, but decided to try the Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra after seeing them at a marathon expo. The Kendall collection has this happy print on the shorts underneath. I couldn't resist. Man, that skort is seriously fun to run in. I just love them.

  29. Dawn Lisenby

    I ran in a running skirt while I was pregnant with my 2nd son and loved the way it felt. I have not had the funds to buy another one since he was born and fortunately that one is too big. I am inspired to run by all those mothers out there who manage to run far and still find time to do all the things mothers have to do!

  30. Annie

    Just finished a trail race this morning and probably almost half of the women were wearing skorts. I have yet to try one but your post may have finally convinced me that I should…thanks for the round up!

    Annie in Chapel Hill, NC

  31. Maura

    I was against running skirts for the longest time, until I realized that as a field hockey player, I was a skirted athlete for most of my life. I'm now converted.

    Love Skirtsports and the Patagonia Multi Use skirt update for this spring. Much more comfortable than last year's.

  32. Laura

    Ok, I will no be a mother till early July but a tiny little skirt & Run Like a Mother would be great motivation on my comeback

  33. hollyM

    I received my 1st running skirt about 3 years ago as a gift from a non-runner friend of mine who heard they were the "in" thing. I was thinking, "There's no possible way I am running in a skirt! Who does that?" Well, after just one quick run around the neighborhood, I was hooked. I now do more than 70% of my runs in my skirts. They're comfortable, and the ones I run in have deep pockets for carrying my necessities, and I swear they make my legs look thinner ;) Who wouldn't want to run in the skirt?!

    I'd love to try the Mountain Hardwear skirt and some new reading material would be fabulous!

  34. Kimberly Rapp

    I have been wearing running skirts for 4 years. When I first saw them I was a bit taken aback. Run in skirt? Don't we want to be perceived as tough athletes? Would a skirt bring us less respect as athletes? I was on the first girl's cross country team in 9th grade. There was little money for us. Our shirts were hand made by a parent and we were issued men's cotton sweats (just like the boys). Sports have come a long way since then. I appreciate the women who came before me so that I could enjoy distance running.

    Well, I tried one of Brooks first running skirts and loved it. I got many comments when I wore it at different ultras. All positive. I love the pockets and the comfort. One improvement that could be made in general with different brands and styles is a boy short that truly does not ride up.

    Sometimes I wear shorts, but mostly I wear the running skirt. I'm not fussy and would absolutely love to win this contest to test out a brand that I am not familiar with. I am so happy that my daugthers can particiapte fully in sports and wear what they want. It's not about the skirt- it's about the run!

    Happy Mother's Day everyone.

  35. Kim Nelson

    I've been thinking of trying a skirt and have been "shopping" at the recent races to see what brand is being worn the most. Would love to get my first running skirt from you.

Post Your Thoughts