I’ve just spent an enjoyable hour or so listening to Danny Easton’s most recent Big Run podcast with Kevin Cruz and it got me thinking about the brands I like to run in (footwear aside) and why.
I was obsessed with clothes as a child – probably why I ended up finding myself working in the fashion industry for 17 years post university. With those days well behind me now, and my general interest in fashion / clothing dampened, one area that remains alive is that in technical clothing – which running allows me to satisfy to no end.
I’ve settled on 4 main brands to run in – each has their own relationship with running. Each has it’s own strong ethos / look and each makes top of the range clothing – firstly in terms of quality for function & secondly in terms of look. 2 things that I have always found critical in my love of clothing. All are relatively new. 2 have great loyalty programs (Soar & Tracksmith)
So here are my 4 brands and what I use them for:
Satisfy Running (see above pic)
I think out of France originally – with a really strong fuck you, trail, hippy 70’s vibe comes Satisfy. Definitely at the top end of the scale when it comes to price – but every thing I have bought from Satisfy has been superb. My 2 particular favourites from them are:
The justice 9″ Cargo Half tight – perfect for longer hard training runs, leaving their silicone flasks in the pockets. Really comfortable and great to run in:
The space-O 2.5″ Distance Shorts – Perfect fort racing long in. The first marathon short that had room for carrying 6 gels easily (now something that Soar have done successively). My go to shortish short and accompanied me on at least 3 marathons to date
Out of Hackney – my home for many years – the best UK based running brand. Great materials, great colours, great fits. Light, soft and well fitted.
My particular favourites to run in:
Soar Run Cap 3.0 – My bright yellow run cap. Fits superbly, keeps the sun off my head & was the perfect replacement to the Arcteryx cap that I lost. Wonderful fabric that works a treat.
Race Vest – Paired with the Satisfy Running shorts my go to race kit. The pink edition last year a particular favourite colour way. The fabric stretches well – yet feels really breathable and strong. I’m currently about to road test the Serpentine vest that the Serpies had done
Socks – I love Soar socks. After an initial issue with the diamond socks (which they’ve now sorted) my favourite socks to wear. Alongside which the merino wool socks are perfect for winter running.
Based in Boston US, a great young brand that has taken ownership of the sash as it’s go to visual marker, alongside a hare. A different weight / feel of fabric to Tracksmith products – for me a strong day to day running brand, especially when it begins to get cooler and I’m looking for long sleeve tops.
Brighton Base Layer – Merino wool LS TS that is utterly brilliant for winter. Merino wool keeps you warm without holding onto the odour sweat can leave behind.
Van Cortlandt Shorts – Made with Tracksmith 209 mesh, perfect for most day to day running, winter, summer all year round.
I absolutely love Arcteryx and have done for many years. An outstanding Canadian outdoor brand – mainly with a focus on the mountains. I’ve found best use not for their trail running gear (where the specific Norvan Jacket is OK, but not great especially for the pricepoint) but more hard wearing terms for when the weather properly turns:
Cerium SL Jacket – Now I don’t know if this is discontinued, but I can only find the link to the hooded version (which I wouldn’t wear running). The non hooded version I have never fails to keep me warm on long runs. I would only look at using this on really quite extreme cold days, with a preference for a gilet (something that I’ll invest in for this winter, moving away from the far cheaper Muji versions I’ve been using)
Beta AR jacket – As soon as the wind / rain / snow get up rather than something lightweight (such as Goretex packlite) I go for my Beta AR jacket.. Breathable and totally waterproof it has come running in many different places. I find that the lightweight running jackets just can’t cope with extreme weather and you’re far better off going for something more robust to run in. If I was going to upgrade this I’d look at the Beta LT Jacket Hadron as it is 45g lighter and uses a new fabric.