Tracksmith apparel tested and reviewed - excellency from New England
Ivan, Tim and Alex tested some Tracksmith apparel these past weeks. What they all experienced is quality and a premium feel to all the pieces they tried.
ON Cloudflyer 4 – Specs
Stack height (forefoot/heel):
Durometer score (0 to 100, soft to hard):
Tops: Brighton base, Van Cortlandt t-shirts and Harrier LS
Brighton Base Layer (Myrtle Green – Size Medium)
Ivan: This is a soft feeling piece. The mesh is quite thin but this base layer of 52% merino wool is great at regulating temperature. Also, the seamless construction is very much appreciated and I have not experienced any kind of chafing so far. I am usually in between sizes (small and medium) when it comes to upper parts. Despite fitting a bit long, I don’t think that I would size down. Mostly due to a pretty tight fit around the neck. Here, I personally prefer a slightly looser fit. Especially when doing high intensity workouts.
Van Cortlandt T-Shirt and Long Sleeve (Ivory/Pomagranate & Ivory/Blue, Size Small)
Alex: I decided to go for some very traditional Tracksmith looks for this first experience with the brand. The Van Cortlandt styles are absolutely gorgeous in my opinion and trying one t-shirt and one long sleeve piece was the perfect approach for me. I discovered some very high quality materials out of the package and my first run in the t-shirt confirmed this impression. The feeling is not necessarily soft but somehow that slightly ticker yet perforated material feels nice against the skin. The thickness (probably not the right work here, and rather a quality if anything) does not compromise the sweat evacuation.
The fit is spot on and rather on the relaxed side of things. Overall it feels like a timeless piece that every runner should get at some point in their running life. The long sleeve version deserves the same positive comments with a highlight on the sleeve dimensions. They’re the perfect length and leave just enough air in between the arms and the material to have some air flow (which I’m looking to get in LS shirts for cooling). Manufactured in Malaysia which seems to be rare enough to be highlighted. Oh and I love how that simple colored band running across the t-shirt makes you feel like you are going to compete in some New England XC race while you’re just casually going for an easy run.
Harrier Long Sleeve (Berry, Small instead of my TTS XSmall)
Tim: I received this piece in a larger size than I ordered. The fit is too large for me which confirms that you should order Tracksmith apparel in your standard sizes. . This piece works really well as a lifestyle upper. The material is a nice blend without a too synthetic feel to it. It works well for running, nothing to complain about and nothing to brag about either. It keeps you warm enough and as long as you are using around the 5°C (42°F) ballpark. In slightly hotter weather conditions the breathability is limited and you risk over sweating.
Downeaster Crew (Dark Olive – Size Small)
Ivan: This relaxed fitted mid or outer layer piece is probably my favorite one. I absolutely love almost everything about it. The design is simple, yet elegant and timeless. I am happy that I went with a size small instead of medium as it is a bit wide around the hips. Otherwise the fit is great and the longer back for added coverage is a nice little feature. The 60% merino and 40% polypropylene blend seems to do wonders. Living in Scandinavia, I really appreciate warm but still breathable pieces for those cold winters and this is exactly that. I can’t help reaching for the Downeaster Crew for especially those easy runs where I need some serious insulation without overheating. I must admit that I also really like for every-day use as I find it both stylish and the overall comfort is just second to none.
Bottoms: Allston tights, Reggie half-tights and Woodlands Shorts
Allston Tights Unlined (Navy/Ivory – Size Medium)
Ivan: My first impression of the tights has been very good. A luxurious feel and fit. It is immediately obvious that the quality is high. An extremely light running tight and there are some neat features. Such as a side pocket at the hip, ankle zippers and a soft secure-fitting waist band. Personally, I also really like the looks of the Allston tight. The creamy white recognizable ‘Tracksmith’ band especially stands out. I would say that it is true-to-size and it fits pretty much perfect with just the right amount of stretch. I prefer using it for performance oriented runs as it is both light, breathable and not restrictive in any way.
Allston Half-Tights and Tights (Blue, Small)
Alex: Same idea goes for the tights. I wanted to try some classic Tracksmith pieces first before reviewing some more advanced gear next time we get to review something from them. The Allston tights and half-tights seemed to be those classic pieces. Do not get me wrong, other products were appealing but it’s also a matter of testing the baseline to being able to compare brands between themselves. In my mind Tracksmith was one of the top apparel brands out there and when you want to confirm something like this, trying the “standard” pieces can be the perfect confirmation. Long story short, when brands are great, even their “standard” lines are great. And that’s what I wanted to test here.
So the first thing I need to flag here is that I went with the lined version for the half tights and the unlined one for the tights. It confirmed me that I’m more of an unlined type of guy. But if you prefer your thighs lined, Tracksmith knows how to deliver there too. The lining is absolutely seamless and goes unnoticed when running. The preference comes more from a question of sensation.
The material of these two products is stretchy and allows for a very secure (but not compressed) fit. The zippers on the tights are useful to put them on and off if like me you have larger quads/calves. Zipped back pocket is nice and fits my keys well. I miss some side cargo pockets but that would kill the design of these two products. Overall I’m very satisfied and the tights are in my “apparel rotation” for the winter (which says a lot for someone receiving and reviewing quite some products).
Reggie Half Tights, Lined (Navy, XSmall)
Tim: This is for me the best product I tested from Tracksmith. I’d even say that this is among the best half tights I tried. The level of compression is spot on for me, not too much (this isn’t even compression as such, just a good solid feel against the skin and muscles).The elastic waistband is thick and “wide” which differs from other half tights and it works for me. The breathability is good but maybe not the best in the market from that standpoint.
Woodlands Shorts (XSmall)
Tim: I really like the look of these shorts but unfortunately they’re probably the weaker item out of the four I tested. The material is not ventilated enough for my liking and the shorts were soaking wet after some runs I did. There is some sort of double thickness around the waist and that does not work for me. The length is fine if you enjoy shorter shorts like me.
Speed Crew Socks (Gold, Small)
Tim: These socks would compete against other products in the “slightly above average” category. The thickness is medium and the comfort and design are very good in my opinion. I like wearing them both as running and lifestyle socks given the rather sober branding. I would not use them for racing but rather good assessment overall.
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