That Was Then
When running-specific apparel first came on the scene in the 1970s, there wasn’t much to it. First of all, recreational running was in its infancy, so bulky cotton sweats and thin nylon windbreakers were basics. Fancy fabrics and materials offering moisture-wicking qualities, four-way stretch elasticity or reflective properties hadn’t yet been invented. Back then when you ran, the sweat absorbed into your clothes and often chafed your skin or made you cold. If you ran in the rain, the water would eventually soak through your jacket. If you ran in the dark, it was almost impossible for motorists to see you.
This is Runnovation.
Nowadays running gear is both high-tech and big business. Last year, runners spent more than $1 billion on running apparel. What are we getting for our money? Comfort, performance and safety features that runners couldn’t have dreamed about back in the 1970s.
Modern running apparel not only wicks sweat off your skin, but silver fibers imbedded in the fabric work to reduce odor. Body-mapping designs allow apparel to work extra hard to vent and cool the hottest and sweatiest parts of your body. When it comes to inclement weather, waterproof and breathable fabrics can keep you warm, dry and comfortable in a rainstorm or sub-zero temperatures. And running at night has become much safer with the advent of reflective and glow-in-the-dark apparel like the Hi-Viz Beacon Jacket from New Balance, a superlight wind jacket that offers three different types of illumination.