Showing posts with label brands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brands. Show all posts

Monday, May 21, 2012

Quest for pockets

Is this too much to ask?
Yesterday afternoon we stopped by Sports Authority to pick up some needed items and I was hoping to find a good pair of running shorts with side pockets. It's always puzzled me why men's running pants and running shorts often lack pockets. Most have a small pouch, but that's useless for anything bigger than a key or a credit card. I'd really like another pair with side pockets, so I can get quick access to my gel flask on longer runs.

The cynic in me thinks that pockets are excluded on running shorts to save manufacturing costs. I'm probably wrong about that. It's more likely that these shorts are designed to be lightweight, and provide maximum freedom of movement. This is true of my two pair of Adidas shorts that I love, despite their lack of storage.

Sports Authority disappointed me because most of their athletic gear is either Nike or Under Armor and I have an irrational dislike for those brands. To their credit, both offered running shorts with pockets. Adidas had no running shorts with pockets, period. The only other brand was New Balance. They had pairs of shorts with pockets, but I've found that NB's liners irritate me on longer runs.

I'm obviously too particular, as I could have bought what I wanted yesterday. Instead, I went online and looked at shorts from RaceReady, GoLight, Brooks, Mizuno, and others. There are also plenty of trail running shorts with side pockets out there, although most are pricey. I may take a trip downtown to REI or Paragon this week to see what they have. Or I can just give in and buy the Nikes.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Good performance from a "market" brand

Lay it on
Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

After a week that started fairly mild, the temperatures have now gotten much colder. I was excited to get back outside for a run. Anticipating the chill, I wore my Layer 8 half zip that does a nice job wicking sweat and keeping me warm.

According to the manufacturer's website, Layer 8 is a market brand. This (I think) means it fits between  or below premium and private label brands. I only see it at clearance stores like Marshalls and TJ Max, never in sporting goods or running stores. When I see it, Layer 8 gear is typically priced 50% lower than "name" brands, for what appears to be equivalent clothing. I've had good luck with the compression shorts and the half zip I own. Except for a few obvious high performers, like my Craft running top and (though I hate to admit it) some Nike shirts and pants I own, I see little difference in performance between most lower and medium priced technical gear.

This morning's run was surprisingly good considering I'd woken up with a sore throat and felt tired as I prepared to run outside. My new Black Diamond headlamp pulled the same "won't light" trick that my Petzl did, which ultimately prompted its replacement. Re-seating the batteries solved it, as usual.

It was in the high 20's when I stepped out and it took me a few minutes to warm up. Once past that point, I picked up the pace and ran the last mile much faster than the first. I'm not feeling great right now, but I plan to get some needed rest overnight. Hopefully that will set me up for a good weekend of cold weather running.

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