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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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!]