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Product Review: Women's Running Skirts
brought to you by Sarah Lieneke-Nickle and

Skirts Are Fun!

OK, I’ll admit it - when running skirts came on the market, I cringed.  I mean please, running in a skirt?  Why not just get out the high heels while you’re at it?  You see, I’m a “give me my split run shorts and tech tee” kind of runner – clearly when I run it isn’t about fashion.  But something this morning changed my mind a bit about this - I was introduced to the world of Skirt Sports.  We’ve been carrying Skirt Sports products for a while now; they’re certainly not a new brand for us.  But I never fully understood what their goal as a company was.  I just didn’t get how a cute little pink skirt could compete with all the high tech, “built for speed”, hard-core triathlon clothing out there.  Well guess what?  It doesn’t.  And that’s OK. 

The mindset of the Skirt Sports, created in 2004 by pro triathlete Nicole DeBoom, is having fun with fitness.  Imagine that – having fun!  Their products reach out to those who may otherwise be uninterested in getting out and running, cycling or swimming, by making them look and feel good in the hopes they will come back for more.  More exercise that is.  Health and fitness through style and fashion is the goal here.  And while many may scoff at the idea, thinking that the two don’t go together, they may not realize the power of making a woman feel good about her appearance. The power of a wearing a “cute outfit” can be as motivating to go workout as the promise of improved weight loss or fitness – even more so in some cases!

The foundation of their product line is the Skirt.  The initial Skirt was sewn by Nicole herself and worn in debut at the 2004 Ironman Wisconsin.  I must also admit that several of us from the store raced that year and her skirt certainly stood out!  Or maybe it was because she was running so fast…..  The basic Skirt has evolved into various styles:

The Marathon Girl Ultra with Spankies (briefs for you laymen):  This skirt has a single pocket in the back for a gel or other small item.

The Cruiser Bike Girl: This Skirt has mesh cycling shorts underneath with 2 pockets and a headphone port for your mp3 player.  It’s also cut a bit higher in the rear for modesty.

The Race Belt Skirt: This Skirt does not have an under layer as it is designed to be worn over your race outfit.  There is a special place for your race number to attach on this Skirt.  

Skirt Sports also has 3 pieces of triathlon specific clothing – a TRIK-ini Bra Top, TRIK-ini Tank and TRIK-ini Shorts.  Again, built for fun and fitness, these pieces are designed to mix and match with the Skirts to achieve your own fun and flattering look.  All of their products are made with moisture wicking performance fabrics.

If you’re still not convinced skirts are cool to run in, you obviously missed one of the most recent issues of Runner’s World, where the cover and feature was dedicated to running skirts.  How’s that for a skirt endorsement?  Nicole and her company appear to have lead the way in the skirt revolution as many of the large athletic companies now offer skirts in their apparel line ups.  As a company, Skirt Sports has grown its line to include all types of clothing including cycling skirts, running dresses, capri Skirts and more.  Check out their Skirt Chaser events and you may even score something special for the guys! 

In closing I will say that even if my skirt doesn’t make it into my normal running short rotation, it still looks absolutely adorable with a pair of flip flops when I head out to the market.  It screams “I’m sporty, yet stylin’” and gives me just a little extra spring in my step.  So if you have that sister you’ve been nagging to get out and train for a 5K with you or a friend who shudders at the thought of running around in spandex, tell her to step out of the box and give a Skirt a try!  Skirt Sports has some really cute apparel updates available for spring ’09, so stay tuned!


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