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

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.

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
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.]

Allison Pattillo: a contributing author to iRunFar.com.

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  • 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.

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  • My wife loves running skirts. That's all she wears.

    David Ely, Okemos, MI.

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  • I need to give my wife a belated mother's day present.

    Ankeny, IA

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • I have always wanted to try out a running skirt but it hasn't been in the budget so far. I think they are sexy!

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  • Hoping to win one for the wife!

    Jimmy, Richmond,VA

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • Krissy could run in a sumo suit and still probably kick my ass! lol

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  • 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!

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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    • 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!

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      • 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!

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        • Evan, the thing is... most people wouldn't see you for very long. ;-)

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          • Me? No way. I will always be known as the crappy Alaskan runner.

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • I love running skirts. I do all my crosstraining in running shorts and all of my running in skirts. They are cute and functional!

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  • Hone is right. The time is right for a coolmax dude skirt. It works for the Tarahumara!

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    • 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.

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