by Brad Waterson
My name is Brad
and I’m a a runner. I’ll run anywhere. Trails, roads, 5ks, 10Ks, half marys, ultras. I’ve completed 2 half marathons (one of them barefoot) and just recently, a 50K Ultra marathon. I’m currently finishing up 120 consecutive days of running, as a challenge I highly recommend. I’ve been a minimal/barefoot/bareform runner for almost 2 years now. I’m 100% certain that my careful transition to bareform running has allowed me to accomplish all of my running goals without (knock on wood) any running-related injury.
Trisha’s blog is great at giving you the woman’s barefoot running perspective. She has recently posted an article
on women’s running fashion at Active.com and since she offered to let me guest post, I thought it was time to bring a dude’s perspective to running fashion. So without further ado, here is this dude’s take on guys’ running gear.
Brad finishing his first 50k, in his BI3 shorts and Buff doo-rag.
My Functional Gear Criteria
My running clothes need to be as minimal as legally and practically possible. That means warm and light or cool and light depending on the season. The one exception to this for me is pockets. I need a place to store a light snack or phone or TP. A big one for me is I need a secure bombproof pocket for my car keys. I am obsessed with losing my keys on the trail to the point of distraction sometimes.
My Fashion Criteria
I’m an extrovert. I need attention. Maybe this is the only-child coming out in me. I’m also a middle to back of the pack runner. I need to dress faster because I can’t run faster. I absolutely love loud colors and loud designs. They just look fast. Nothing is more annoying than black tech wear and that is pretty much what you get for men’s running gear.
My Current Go-To Gear (mostly functional, but i try to spice it up)
For the most part, I find myself in the as-minimal-as-legal gear these days. In the summer, that means any old tech race tee or bare on the top. I’m a guy who likes to be well-ventilated. On the bottom is typically a pair of BI3s. My Brook’s Infinity III shorts (or BI3s) are short split shorts. They are as close to naked as I am willing to get on a run, and they are great. They kept the kibbles and bit cool on my 50K, and with a little Body Glide, I had no chafing issues. They are brilliant in hot weather and they have pockets too. They even have one of those little swimsuit pockets on the waistband that does a decent job of holding the car keys. The definitely get me noticed because they show A LOT of leg. The amount of leg shown can be sometimes problematic around some runners and non-runners. My cousin has threatened to not run with me if I wear them around him. They definitely satisfy the function criteria and, in an exhibitionist way, the fashion criteria too. The last piece of kit I always have is my Buff
. This is my all time favorite and most versatile running accessory. You can use it as a sweatband, do rag, hat, and neck gaiter. I wore one on my head and one on my wrist or neck during my 50K. I would wet them down or put ice in them to cool me down.
Some Awesome Products on My Radar (Function, Fashion, and Flash)
Our favorite SportKilt model, Jason Robillard.
SportKilt is the original barefoot runner accessory (See Jason’s review at Barefoot Running University). They make a great line of kilts in all types of tartans. Their Hiking Kilt is the gold standard for runners who enjoy a more “free” experience while out on the trails. The Hiking Kilt is made from lightweight but durable microfiber so it is cool and quick-drying. The primary closure on the Hiking Kilt is velcro which is more than adequate but they offer the option of buckles as well. They will even add a hidden pocket too if you order it that way. My keys will be safe. Fashion, Function, and Freedom, made in the USA!
We at Barefoot Monologues do love our INKnBURN.
INKnBURN makes, without a doubt, the coolest running clothes out there. Their page says “Don’t disappear into the crowd… Distance yourself with INKnBURN and the Art of Running.” They are absolutely right. Their designs are bold and powerful and would definitely get you noticed on race day. My friend Trisha (the creator of this blog) wore their Peacock skirt to the Boston Marathon Expo and got tons of comments. Crazy ultrarunning celebrities, Shacky and Vanessa, can almost always be seen wearing INKnBURN. All of their designs are made in house in the good old USA. For men, they have 41 different designs of just tech shirts. All the designs are “printed” using their proprietary process that allows one to see but not feel the art on the clothing. I’m assuming that this is similar to the way bicycle jerseys are printed but I’m not sure. I’m particularly fond of the “Run or Die” shirts but I would really love to see them come out with a radical patriotic design. A stylized eagle over the stars and stripes would be awesome. A guy can dream, right? INKnBURN also has a line of running shorts for men that feature elements of their artistic designs. The shorts are made of super light moisture wicking fabric with an integral liner and pockets. How cool would it be to have “Run or Die” on your butt! Now that I’ve finished my 50K at Pineland, I’m seriously thinking about a pair of these badboys.
Thanks for reading my ramblings. If you like what you read, swing on my my blog
and check out what I’ve got to say about gear and running related topics.