There’s More than Meets the Eye in these Performance Pieces.
There’s More than Meets the Eye in these Performance Pieces.
The recovery specialists are branching out beyond footwear with a new apparel collection. Garments in the cOOl down line feature moisture wicking and temperature regulating fabrics, and are designed to be worn “beyond the finish line.” Pictured here is the poly/spandex cOOl down t-shirt. The $42 top is a lightweight, 4-way stretch, wrinkle free tee with an athletic cut. Another option is the cOOl down ¼ zip (not pictured) — a midweight top built for the cool down. The form fitting fleece lined top has a bomber-style collar and is a transitional piece that is a good choice for either a chilly spring morning or a cold fall day. The poly/cotton/spandex top is double knitted with a fleece lining.
Made with a recycled polyamide material, the women’s Pro Trail Fuseknit Tee from Craft puts a unique spin on comfort and performance. Ultra soft, ultra lightweight, and ultra durable, the Fuseknit tee ($59.99) is engineered to handle long days on the trail and ultra distances. Made with a special woven, knitted material, this piece has enhanced breathability and doesn’t stiffen with sweat, dirt, or whatever else you throw at it. It’s all in the details: Lightweight, knitted fabric. 62% recycled polyamide + 38% polyester; Special raglan sleeve design for full movement; and Jacquard panels for enhanced breathability and moisture wicking.
This UK-based brand with a focus on sustainable performance is working to expand at run specialty in the U.S. this year. The company was founded and introduced to the European markets in 2021 by Jamie Hunt, a textile engineer and fabric innovator with over 20 years of experience as a co-founder at 2XU. The brand says its garments have been crafted with the most sustainable materials and technologies available, but not at the expense of real-world athletic performance. Anatomic fit, next-to-skin comfort, moisture management, compression, ventilation and end-of-life solutions are top priorities. The brand’s RENEW Insulation Jacket, speciﬁcally designed for the active consumer, uses EcoLoft insulation which combines 100% recycled fabrics with UniFi’s certiﬁed REPREVE insulation Loft with breathable and water-resistant properties. Perfect for an early morning workout or to keep warm between activities.
Coming in Fall 2023 from Nathan is the Navigator Jacket, a performance layering option with dual-fabric construction. A water- and wind-resistant front panel will keep the core warm, while the back and sides feature VersaFlex light 4-way stretch woven fabric to prevent overheating. Other notable features include: Men’s sizing offered in S-XXL; Women’s sizing offered in XS-L; Two zippered hand warmer pockets; Internal zippered right chest pocket for valuables; Locking zipper with chin guard to prevent chafing. Shown here is the Navigator Vest, available now.
“Over the last few years, we have seen a lot of traditional road runners take up trail running,” says Emily Stubler, director brand marketing at Nathan parent company UNITED SPORTS BRANDS. “These runners’ experiences are led by what they know about the road — consistent conditions, easy access to hydration, bathrooms along the way, etc. Heck, in cities you can cut your run at any time and take the subway or an Uber home. As these runners explore trails, they are realizing that’s not always the case here. For example, many trails take you through several microclimates, in which case, from an apparel perspective, good layering pieces are key. No one wants to be weighed down by a bunch of layers so we need to be thoughtful about them. Base layers to wick sweat close to the body, layered with easy on/off items that keep you warm without being bulky.”
The Merino wool specialists at Icebreaker see plenty of opportunity for growth in running, and the brand’s ZoneKnit collection is its broadest run-focused line. Garments in the line utilize body-mapping for warmth and ventilation where it’s needed most. ZoneKnit tees, leggings and shorts feature the brand’s CooLite fabric, combining Merino’s natural thermoregulating, moisture wicking and odor-resistant properties with Tencel. “We’re noticing more and more consumers searching for natural alternatives to synthetic performance apparel,” says Noah Bryan, Icebreaker’s GM, North America. “Our ZoneKnit run assortment leverages nature’s performance fiber, merino alongside our innovative body-mapping technology. Merino is lightweight, thermoregulating, moisture wicking, and odor resistant. At Icebreaker we believe nature has the answers. Our ZoneKnit collection is designed for high performance activities, keeping runners naturally cool and comfortable.”
The Big Bang Lite headband is designed to stay put during even the most intense workouts. It’s super light and breathable, easily washable, and sweat-wicking thanks to JUNK’s Technical T-shirt fabric. Matt Garrett, who handles B2B sales, endurance sports for JUNK Brands, says runners gravitate to the brand’s headbands for their performance qualities as well as the thousands of quality designs available — “so our customers can easily express their individual style.” Specialty retail is crucial for the brand, he says: “Working with retailers is essential to the way we do business. Run specialty stores often serve as the hub for local running communities and they are often the first point of contact for athletes looking for the latest trends in athletic gear. Working with specialty retailers provides us with valuable insights into the requirements and preferences of customers, enabling us to stay ahead of emerging market trends.”
A popular apparel brand among leading run specialty retailers, Vuori makes apparel that looks good, feels good and performs. The recently introduced Evolve Set is a line of sculpting activewear created with the exclusive new fabric V1 Uplift. This offering is Vuori’s smoothest, sleekest legging and sports bra yet, thanks to prime performance stretch fabric V1 Uplift. The material shapes and holds for a secure, flattering fit, all while feeling buttery soft on the body and cool to the touch. The Evolve High Rise Legging ($118) and Square Neck Bra ($64) sport four fresh colorways, Fig, Smoke, Pool Blue & Black, that have a hint of shine for understated appeal.