Krissy 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.
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
This 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
The 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
The 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
This 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
While 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!
In 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.]