Since I didn’t do any races over the weekend and I’m totally dreading the Burgers & Beer 5K tonight (only because it’s freaking hot out and I’m afraid my head is going to explode during the race) I thought I’d do a little post on my absolute favorite piece of running apparel: the Oiselle Bum Wrap Skort. If you are a dude and are reading this (unless you have a wife, girlfriend, sister or mother who run and are in need of a gift) you might as well go elsewhere and remember to come back tomorrow to see what I have to say about the Burgers & Beer 5K.
Anyway – I have long had troubles with summer running bottoms. Shorts are often too short and require copious amount of Glide to keep the chafing (less pleasantly called Chub Rub) on my thighs to a minimum. And I’m not huge by any means – if they eat, most women have thighs that touch. I also hate that shorts often creep up between my thighs – a look that flatters no-one (this includes guys – I see a ton of guys who will probably need to have their shorts surgically removed when their run is finished). I also have a couple of pairs of compressions shorts – basically tights that only go down to about mid-thigh. These are OK, but if you’re having a fat-day or have any body-issues they aren’t great. Plus I only really feel like I can wear these kind of shorts with longer length tops that afford some ass coverage. Bully for you if you look like a fitness model from the Athleta catalog, but most of us do not and we prefer to camouflage our lumps and bumps.
Despite the hate from various bloggers (Angry Runner, I’m looking at you) running skirts/skorts seem to be the answer. Skorts have either a boy short (not so great for the chafing) or compressions shorts under the skirt. Over the years I have purchased examples from many, many of the running skirt purveyors:
Skirt Sports: Eh. They are OK. The undershort is long, but not the grippiest and it’s a little see-through for my taste – don’t try wearing this to an exercise class where you might have to lie on your back or expose your bum because you’ll wind up exposing more than you’d like. They do have cute patterns and a couple of lengths to choose from and because they are lighter weight they are good for hot weather.
Lululemon: Hands down the cutest skirts around. And, often the most expensive. But, Lulu seems to assume most of us don’t deal with chafing because their undershorts tend to be on the short side. You can get around this if they offer the skirt in tall sizes – the skirt and shorts will be a couple of inches longer. I love me some Lululemon but I can’t wear most of their skirts on really hot days unless I load up on the Glide.
Moving Comfort: I bought one of their Sprint Tech skorts earlier this year and it’s been a pretty good workhorse. The undershort is long enough and stays in place. However – it just doesn’t excite me and they tend to use colors that match well to their own line but don’t lend themselves to mix/match with other brands. The skort I bought is black but the undershorts are sort of zebra patterned – eh.
And now, on to my super-ultimate favorite, the Oiselle Bum Wrap Skort. This skort has it all – the undershorts are long and they don’t move, the fabric is sturdy (but doesn’t make me overheat) and mine have held up through multiple wear/wash cycles (note: I do not put my running gear in the dryer). The skirt isn’t tight and doesn’t hug so you get some cooling breezes and it’s long enough to cover your ass but because of the cut it looks fresh and flirty. It has a zip pocket that has enough room for $, a key, and a gel. It comes in three basic colors: black, graphite (shown in the picture) and an indigo blue. They go well with other Oiselle gear, but look equally great with tops & tanks from any other maker. Are they a little spendy? Yes – they are $56, but at least they back up the price with quality fabric and construction. My only request would be for an internal drawstring so I could tighten the waist if I wanted to clip on a pack and not have it jiggle. I’ve worn one of these skorts for just about every race I’ve done since the spring and all my longer runs too and it’s really nice to wear a piece of clothing that I don’t even think about while I’m running. I bought my first two from the Oiselle website, but in Chicago Fleet Feet carries Oiselle at both of their stores and that’s where I got my third skort – sizes run from x-small to x-large and tend to run just a little bit on the small side.
So, if you’re in the market for a running skort I highly recommend trying out the Oiselle Bum Wrap skort. They’re a smaller brand but they really make quality gear. I 'borrowed' the image below from the Oiselle website, but I don't think they'll mind since I'm gushing about their product.