2016 Running Gear Guide: Men’s Bottoms
The Danes deal with the cold constantly, so it’s no surprise that Newline produces some of the best tights around. They’re smooth. They’re impossibly soft. There’s ample storage. And unlike nearly every other men’s tight, they’re blue, not black. In other words, they’re different in all the right ways.
The Flight Series line aims to keep apparel as light as possible, and these shorts are a great example. The material is thin yet still substantial, with a comfortable waist. Nine gel pockets line the waistband, and there’s a large zippered one in the back for keys, a phone, etc. Combined with a 3.5- inch inseam, these shorts mean serious business.
Nike always turns out a reliable split short. The split here is modest—only halfway up the outseam. And nearly every seam is taped totally flat. The waistband is ultra-thin, with a flat drawstring. There’s a surprising amount of storage with two small liner pockets on each hip and a sweat-resistant one in front. They’re comfortable and feel stripped-down fast.
Tracksmith constantly seems to further define what running apparel can be. This is the company’s effort at an everyday short for before, during and after training: Its shape resembles swim trunks, but the four-way stretch material flexes easily and doesn’t stick. There’s a pocket in the back large enough for an iPhone, along with a comfortable liner and stylish exterior drawstring.
The jersey-knit-like fabric on these shorts feels substantial but wears much lighter. The spandex liner extends down the thighs to provide comfort and chafe resistance, and pockets all around the waist hold your essentials. With all that plus a water-repellent finish, these shorts can handle long hours and plenty of miles out on the trails.
Started by an ex-University of Portland runner, BLK RBN is part of a new wave of small companies aiming for high fashion in sportswear. With luxuriously thick, stretchy polyester, a low crotch and rose gold zippers snaking up the Achilles, this pant (made in Los Angeles) turns heads and looks cool almost anywhere. Perfect for post-run chillin’.
Adding storage to split shorts might sound like a fool’s errand, but Brooks did an admirable job without Frankensteining a sleek racing short. There’s a key pocket in the liner along the hip, and a larger outside zip pocket along the back. It’s not quite large enough for a current iPhone—but why would you take that along on a fast run, anyway?