Blyss Running Distance Short and Skirting Around Crop Review

Blyss Running is a small, women-owned company in Asheville, North Carolina that creates clothing for those who prefer women’s fit and style. The company sent the Blyss Running Distance Short and the Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop, and I’m comfortably racking up miles in both.

It’s not often that I get to review clothing made by women for women! Blyss Running was founded by Alyson Neel, who started running at age 41. When she couldn’t find a pair of running shorts appropriate for a hot summer race yet still offered the coverage and pockets she preferred, she simply made herself a pair. Her talent for sewing and eye for design led to so many compliments and product requests that by 2015, her business’s booth was very popular at regional, in-person events. By 2020, her online presence had grown to the point that the COVID-19 pandemic simply gave her a reason to augment that angle and forge onward.

Blyss Running’s clothing is made in the USA of imported fabrics and consists of colorful skorts, shorts, tights, crops, and capris with flat seams, wide waistbands, and functional pockets. The sun-protective fabric featured in each piece moves moisture well and includes anti-microbial properties to keep the fresh-and-comfortable feeling going long after the adventure has ended. Size ranges currently include waist measurements from 24 to 38 inches and hips from 34 to 48 inches in sizes extra small through extra large, which are modeled beautifully on the website.

The entire line of running bottoms has some defining features that I especially appreciate given the shortie-shorts trend in the current women’s market: longer inseams for more chafe-free coverage, flexible skirt drape that allows for unrestricted movement whether in yoga or mountain running, a large drop-in pocket on the outside of each leg, and a zippered pocket along the back of the waistband which swallows even large phones. Additionally, as part of Blyss Running’s dedication to sustainability, all clothing will be manufactured from recycled polyester and spandex material by 2022.

Blyss Running Distance Short

The Blyss Running Distance Short ($74) is my favorite of the two pieces I tested. They are buttery-soft, snug-fitting wonders with an inseam of eight inches. Though the higher four-inch waistband and longer length offer more coverage than I’m used to, the shorts are so comfortable to wear that I kind of forget they’re there. This increased coverage does make them feel a bit warmer for me, so I prefer to wear these when temperatures are below 75 degrees Fahrenheit, although the moisture-wicking features surely allow them to function well in temperatures over that if you choose.

Blyss Running Distance Short front view

The Blyss Running Distance Short. All photos: iRunFar

The face of the 88% polyester/12% spandex material glides easily under any outer layers including casual-errand clothes, so I’ve found them to be ideal in the shoulder season here in Colorado where temperatures can swing 20 or more degrees within a few hours. Also, I often have 10 things to do in town immediately following my run, so I can just slip a pair of joggers on top and be on my way. The smooth, flat elastic band at the leg openings absolutely stays in place without chafing even with high step-ups on rocky ledges or scooching down rubbly descents.

Blyss Running Distance Short back view

Blyss Running Distance Short back view.

The pockets: I love the pockets. The rear zip pocket lies flat on the waistband and fits an iPhone X snugly but without difficulty or whatever else you’d choose to put there where the security of a zipper is desired. The leg pockets keep a pouch of energy chews, a key, and similar items secure with no rattle and bounce. There is no lip on top of the leg pockets for larger items to catch on for enhanced security, so I don’t use these pockets for my phone unless I am only walking or hiking. On warmer days or shorter runs, having these three larger pockets allows me to carry what I need for a couple hours on the trail with just a handheld water bottle for fluids rather than using my standard hydration pack.

Blyss Running Distance Short outside thigh pocket

One of the two outside thigh pockets on the Blyss Running Distance Short.

Truly, everything about the Blyss Running Distance Short fits perfectly and conforms to me just like I prefer while still allowing for ample expansion and contraction particularly through my midsection. They are absolutely perfect for burly trail runs, post-run pilates, and anything I choose to do at the gym or with functional fitness outdoors including the post-workout coffee and pastry. The more modest coverage is a welcome addition to a market where two-inch inseams are common but maybe not preferred by everyone. It’s good to have options!

Of note, the color way that I tested and that’s pictured in this review, Kaleidoscope, is being phased out, but the Distance Short is available in Black and other colors are coming soon, according to the company website.

Blyss Running Distance Short back waist pocket

The back waist pocket on the Blyss Running Distance Short.

Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop

The Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop ($88) is another well-thought-out piece from the company featuring a skirt and cropped tight combined. The crop extends to just below the knee, leaving the calves completely free, which is my favorite length of tights. The opening at the knee is snug enough to keep the crops in place but still allows for full circulation and uncompressed patellas even at high intensities. The waist band is the very comfortable four-inch width with the fabulous zip pocket lying flat along the back that, again, fits a large phone and more.

Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop front view

The Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop.

Just like the short, two drop-in pockets lie flat on the outer, upper thigh for plenty of snacks, a key, and tissues. The eye-catching skirt over top hides the contents of the pockets well with the swingy, flowy cut, and with a length of 13 inches in the front and 14 inches in the back, every-sized runner is ensured great coverage and unrestricted movement for all the activities we take on.

Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop back view

The Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop back view.

The skirt material feels exactly the same as the Distance Short—smooth, soft, and lightweight—but on a chilly day, it serves as a perfect buns warmer over the cropped tights. Strangely, the crop has a bit of a rougher hand—not significantly (still 87% polyester/13% spandex), but enough that I really wish it was just a longer version of the Distance Short instead. I wonder if this has more recycled content? The fit is slightly different through the upper aspect of the crop as well, and I found that it pulled slightly across the front of the upper quads with running as if the waist-to-inseam length was just a bit too long for me. If I was suggesting any small improvements to make these absolutely stellar, these would be it.

Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop outside thigh pocket

One of the two outside thigh pockets on the Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop.

Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop back waist pocket

The back waist pocket on the Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop.

Blyss Running Distance Short and Skirting Around Crop Overall Impressions

Blyss Running has thoughtfully designed colorful women’s running shorts, tights, crops, skirts, and skorts that make chasing after your running goals a very comfortable process—at least on the clothing side of things. I get compliments every time I wear the Blyss Running Distance Short and Blyss Running Skirting Around Crop, which is a testament to the design and fun patterns. With the pockets, I’m able to leave the hydration pack behind on runs up to a few hours, a nice treat. I love supporting companies who are connected to their communities, and I especially love it when I get to cheer women on who are making that commitment and difference not only locally but wherever their gear is sold through the online market.

Call for Comments

  • Do you run and hike in any of the Blyss Running products?
  • If so, what clothes are you using and what do you like about them?
  • And, what feedback do you have on how the products can be improved in the future?

[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]

Kristin Zosel

is a mom, wife, ultrarunner, physical therapist (on sabbatical), and transcriptionist for iRunFar.com. Her love of steep uphills, high mountain environments, and Swiss “lovely cows” keep alpine visions dancing in her head and strong cappuccinos in her mug.

There are 14 comments

  1. olga

    Hi, Kristin! I get that these are well done and functional, but how do they compare, or why are they better than so many other running skirts that have been around in the market for over a decade? What sets these apart? What begs the question: why couldn’t Blyss founder find something that fit? I believe it all started with runningskirts.com, and this review quickly found on Google shows so many other companies making female running stuff: https://trailsisters.net/2019/07/25/running-skirt-review/. Just curious, not that there’s anything bad about more options. Thanks for the review!

    1. KristinZ

      Great questions, Olga. Perhaps Ms. Neel will write in and expand on what I found on her website as to why she wanted something more and different than what she found in her local community or online. If I was handy with a sewing machine (sorry, mom), I think it would make a ton of sense just to make things when I don’t find exactly what I want–cheaper also. Fit is so personal, as is style and pocket preferences, so I love that Blyss is doing what Blyss is doing just as I love that the other companies are doing what they’re doing. I hope women keep creating! There’s plenty of room in the running market for a variety of companies, products, shapes, etc, and there’s definitely a LOT of room for truly inclusive sizing, models that look like ALL the women purchasing the products, longer inseams, wider waist bands, more coverage, and also for highly technical gear for women… another topic for another day. Thanks for commenting.

    2. Alyson

      Hi Olga! When I started my company in 2015, I could not find shorts or skirts that were long enough for my thick thighs. There were a few small companies making running skirts but the undershorts always rode up on me. A few of the bigger more well known companies were making skirts but the longest inseam I could find was 3″-4″ which didn’t cut it for my thighs! No one was making a compression type short in a long inseam with pockets. All I wanted was a longer length and a pocket for my phone which surprisingly was hard to come by. Now there are more options as these running apparel brands finally listened to what their customers were asking for. I think that is great! What sets me apart? I appreciate this question as it’s one I think about often. The easy answers would be quality, made in the US, woman owned, comfortable. But the deeper answer goes back to being a runner. I didn’t start running until I was 41. Up until that point I never ran a mile because I didn’t think I could. I was overweight and not athletic at all growing up. When I started to run (thanks to some amazing women role models and friends) there was nothing more defeating than putting a pair of 3″ inseam shorts on only to be in agony from chafing after a few miles. It re-enforced, in my mind, that maybe I wasn’t cut out for running since no one made clothes that worked for me. That thought in my head that “I’m not really a runner,” that’s what drives me to do what I do (and hopefully sets me apart) – making sure women don’t feel this way. Designing clothes thoughtfully. When someone puts on a Blyss Skirt or Shorts, they feel comfortable and confident, like it was made for them. I want women to achieve goals they never thought they could. If they feel good in what they are wearing, they will.
      My best,
      Alyson

      1. olga

        Thank you, ladies! I agree, made in US from US material is a huge deal, and I am also all for entrepreneurial options for each and every person who wants it and can make it. Was just curious. As far as “I don’t look like a runner”, so many of us don’t, and unfortunately, we settle on “I don’t give a hoot” much later in life. It comes with wisdom, that feeling that we do what we like, and not what others see in us. Way to go, Alyson.

  2. Nanette Asbury

    I have so many Blyss skirts that I sure for road and trail running, some with the crop for the cooler weather. I like them so much I picked a couple pieces I use more for casual wear then for my workouts. I love my skirting around crop, I have it on now! They are well made and comfortable, and I love that they are made in the USA!

  3. Gina Romine

    I have worn Blyss running skirts and shorts for the last 3 years. They have gotten me thru everything from 5K’s to 100 mile races. I’ve never had any issues with chafing or the shorts riding up. The multiple and deep pockets are my favorite feature. There’s enough pockets to carry your keys, your phone and a snack, plus they’re deep enough so things don’t bounce out as you run. Plus they’re super cute. Who could ask for more!

  4. Jill Frayne

    Blyss skirts are shorts are the absolute best. I’ve worn and washed mine for a few thousand miles by now and the never ride up or chafe and I never feel self-conscious or for lack of storage. So grateful for the well thought out design and super high quality.

  5. Liz Hackett

    Blyss running skirts are the absolute best and all that I wear on the trail or road! They are superior to any other skirt on the market because they prevent any leg chafing, the shorts stay put and never ride up your leg and the skirt hits high enough on your waist to make you comfortable and keep everything sucked in! The packets are placed perfectly and hold everything I need even on my longest run. An added bonus is that they are super cute and you go straight over to the grocery store when you’re done your run and look stylish! Blyss is classic, comfortable and flattering on everyone!

  6. Monica V. B.

    I own several Blyss Running pieces and they are absolutely the best! They are well made, functional, super comfortable and very stylish. Blyss feels like a second skin when I’m training and since I work for a youth sport club, you can find me wearing them at work as well.

  7. Rachel Baldwin

    I absolutely LOVE my Blyss running items! I’m super excited to see a new Skirting Around Crop! I love the quality of the items and that I am supporting a small business with items made in the USA. I loved meeting Alyson at the Flying Pig Expo. I wore the 2 skirts I bought without trying them out before my race and had no problems at all!!

  8. Stephanie Renegar

    I have run countless marathons, and a few ultras and Ironman distance triathlons. I used some of the more popular brands of running skirts/shorts and always had issues with chafing, not enough pockets, shorts riding up…all around not comfortable for the long miles. I am so thankful that I discovered Blyss a few years ago and I’ve never looked back! I live in FL and the Trail Skirts are my fave. The ease of access to the pockets and the lighter skirt fabric fits my life perfectly. I use the distance shorts as well, for other activities like yoga and rock climbing because the shorts never ride up and I still have pockets if I need them. They feel like a second skin to me. Just perfect!

  9. Mona E

    Love your review! Have to say, until I found Blyss bottoms, I struggled to find bottoms that fit well, didn’t ride up and had pockets. I’m super appreciative of the larger sizes and longer inseams that are so comfortable that I never give them a second thought. I use mine for running, hiking, walking, rowing – whatever. And I’m still running in skorts that I bought 5 years ago.

Post Your Thoughts