Like a second skin…
June 5, 2016
I was so excited when I was asked if I would like to try some of the latest SKINS products. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that I used to do every run in SKINS tights. When I was fatter, I was very self-conscious about my legs and so I always wore full-length tights. The huge advantage of SKINS tights over my other traditional running tights was the fact that they are compression wear – my legs didn’t wobble as much when I wore them and I felt less fatigued afterwards. So why did I stop wearing them? It wasn’t because I loved the product less, but as I grew more confident I started wearing shorts. I often overheat when I run, so wearing shorts helps to keep me cool.
Anyway, when I first bought SKINS, there were various full length compression tights available, a few tops and some knee-length compression shorts, but that was about it. As a chubby lady, I had no intention of wearing head-to-toe lycra – people would have run away screaming – so I confined myself to the tights.
This time around, I decided to try the DNAMIC superpose shorts.
They may look like traditional running shorts, but look again. They have a compression layer underneath, which provides all of the benefits of compression, with the additional benefit of helping those of us who will never have a thigh gap to avoid chafing!
I also decided to try the DNAmic women’s speed crop… but I went a bit wild and chose the ‘living lines’ design. For years, there wasn’t a lot of choice for sports bras/crop tops – black or white. Then companies started to add some slight trims in colour before branching out into tops that were wholly one colour or another. Finally, companies have realised that women want attractive and brightly coloured clothes to work out in, so there are now lots of really gorgeous designs appearing on the market.
I particularly liked the look of the wide straps on this top, which suggest comfort, but don’t look frumpy!
Skins latest products have ‘Dynamic Gradient Compression’, which is meant to improve oxygen delivery to muscles and reduce lactic acid build-up, so I had high hopes for the kit.
I tried out the kit for a track session this week. I had checked the size guides and fell firmly in medium, so this is what I ordered. As expected from compression-wear the shorts and crop top were tight-fitting – not uncomfortably so, but I think I would probably have been OK in a large.
I was wary about how the shorts would feel, but was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable they were. The outer-layer is cut generously, so they were not too tight on my thighs, unlike some brands. They were shorter than my usual shorts – revealing a couple of inches of white flesh above my crisp tan lines – but this wasn’t a problem. The cut of the shorts gave me good freedom of movement, but I did find that when sprinting the legs rolled up a little. Runners with slimmer legs probably wouldn’t have this issue!
I LOVED the crop top – it’s really attractive in real life. The straps don’t have white stripes on them; the edges are woven in such a way that they are see-through. A slimmer/more body-confident person could wear this crop top on its own in warm weather; I covered it with a t-shirt, but am hoping to find a strappy vest that I can wear with it in summer, so that I can show it off a bit. I’m quite a voluptuous runner at the moment (36DD/85E) and felt really comfortable wearing this crop-top. The straps and band lay smoothly and did not dig in or chafe. (This is possibly one of the worst photos of me that I’ve ever shared – I went open water swimming and the wee beasties decided to feast on my head!)
I’m already looking at buying another crop top like this. It held everything in place and was extremely comfortable with no chafing. I’ll also continue wearing the shorts in hot weather as I found that they were extremely cool to wear.
I decided to try the outfit again when doing parkrun this weekend. The weather was initially quite cool, but by 9am it was starting to feel warmer.
It was great to catch up with lots of friends before the event, and I was pleased to see my friend, Teri. Her children’s sports commitments mean that she can’t make parkrun very much any more and she’s also a lot faster than me, but as Teri had just got back from a holiday she said she was happy to run with me.
Southampton parkrun was on route B this week, which involves going up the big hill twice, but there is a long downhill towards the finish.
Teri and I had a brilliant time catching up with each other and I was pleasantly surprised to see that despite our chat I wasn’t too slow.
I also realised that I had fewer problems with the Skins shorts rolling up… probably because I wasn’t picking up my legs as much as when I sprint!
Have you tried SKINS? Which products did you try and what did you like?