Time for another gear review! Today we’ll take a look at running shorts by RaceReady. After a going through our first few races in regular athletic shorts, sometimes with spandex shorts underneath to prevent any unwanted chafing, I slowly adopted more traditional running shorts. Initially, I started with a pair of Adidas running shorts, something I’m pretty sure I found at an outlet store during a weekend trip to California. I still have those shorts, and use them for training runs around the neighborhood. They are comfortable, but only have one small zipper pocket on the back, enough for house keys and not much else. As time went on, I accumulated a few pairs of Pearl Izumi running shorts, probably from the Pearl Izumi Factory Store in either Anthem, Arizona or Del Mar, California. The shorts were definitely an upgrade from the Adidas shorts- the liner was more comfortable, the shell was lighter, and the shorts had a few extra pockets to stash goodies. The only downside, and this might be a “me” problem, and not problem for everyone, is the shorts tend to sit high, or ride up. Not something I want to be dealing with for anything more than a 5k (if at all)! Finally we get to the RaceReady shorts… my last stop for shorts- at least for a while! I saw them offered via the Hammer Nutrition website, and figured they were worth a shot.
Needless to say, I haven’t run a big race with anything else since buying a pair of these shorts. The main reason I was attracted to these shorts may be a reason some people are turned off- pockets. The RaceReady shorts come in two versions- one with all the pockets, and one without the rear mesh pockets. I opted for the short with all the pockets and I’m glad I did. As you can see, the mesh pockets run across the entire back side of the shorts, just below the waist line. There are five mesh pockets, in a 2-1-2 arrangement, two small pockets near the sides of the shorts, and one large pocket in the center of the rear. The small pockets are perfect for holding gel packets, gel flasks, pill dispensers, and even arm sleeves can get stuffed in a pocket or two. This works out well if the race you’re running isn’t providing the gel you prefer- just stash a bunch in your shorts, and you don’t have to worry about carrying them, or wearing a race belt. The larger rear pocket worked well at the Walt Disney World marathon, as I was able to stash my Headsweats beanie in the pocket as the weather warmed up. The mesh pockets don’t have a snap or velcro to hold them tightly shut, but the opening does have an elastic band to restrict items from bouncing out. I’ve not had a problem with gel packets, or anything else, bouncing out over the course of a marathon. There are also two non-mesh pockets, perfect for holding a drivers license, credit card, pack of gum, house keys, etc. These pockets have velcro closures, so smaller items won’t bounce out.
RaceReady short liner are made of CoolMax material, which is fantastic for moisture transfer. I have a few running shirts made of CoolMax and they’re fantastic. They pull the sweat off of you and really do seem to dry quicker. The liner works in the same manner, and the days of having a pair of super sweaty out shorts may be a thing of the past. The best advantage of the CoolMax- less chafing. A dry, soft liner equals a more comfortable run, and these shorts have been the most comfortable so far. Even Mindy agrees- after months of me raving about these shorts, she finally got a pair to try out, and she loves them. You’ll notice two happy runners after the Walt Disney World Marathon, both sporting their RaceReady Shorts! It should be noted for those a little anxious about wearing short shorts- RaceReady offers their shorts in several different lengths, so finding something a little longer isn’t a problem. All in all, I highly suggest those in the market for some running shorts give Race Ready a try! They are available from RaceReady directly, and from various online retailers like Hammer Nutrition.