Since I live in Illinois, it would’ve been insane of me to try this gear outside since it’s still pretty much winter. So instead, I opened my sliding door and froze myself in my condo. I was able to justify being cold inside to test out the arm warmers, rather than running around the block looking like a crazy person. I did a Crossfit type workout in the Smartwool Run Collection which consisted of a seamless merino short sleeve, Arctic Blue Run Short with a built in liner, Berry Knit Arm Warmers, and thin PHD Run Socks. I have something to say about each of them so I’m going to review them individually.
Merino Short Sleeve
As soon as I put this shirt on, I felt like I was wearing pajamas. It’s incredibly soft, lightweight, and non restricting. There are no seams along the torso, the only seams that exist are around the collar and the shoulder area, which uses a flatlock construction so it doesn’t chafe at all. With being an adventure racer and having to wear a backpack for crazy amounts of hours, wearing something that doesn’t rub your skin raw is a huge deal. The shirt is built with knit-in ventilation zones on both sides which I could definitely feel the cool brisk air throughout my workout. Also, if you don’t know much about Merino wool, it’s known to help with odors, the bad odors. I actually forgot to put on deodorant this morning so I expected a nasty raging odor wafting from the armpit section of my shirt after my workout, but it didn’t stink at all! I’m definitely working out in this shirt again; it’s even cute enough to wear as casual wear.
PHD Run Short
I was hesitant to try these since I don’t ever wear baggy shorts just because I’m used to spandex and I think baggy shorts give me chicken legs. I figured I might as well give gear a chance, I’ll never know unless I try. With an elastic waist and a drawstring, they were pretty snug and didn’t risk falling off my butt. The built in panty liner also fit which I was worried would sag like a dirty diaper on me. Of course when I looked in the mirror, I immediately checked out my legs, and they actually didn’t look as bad as I thought they would, it almost looked like I was wearing skirt. Working out in baggy shorts was a nice change. I felt free and cool, like I had my own air conditioning system. With all the jumping around during my workout, I expected the shorts to creep up my torso by the time I was done, but thanks to the drawstring, they stayed put. I am now officially not anti baggy like I was before. My only suggestion is don’t do any handstands unless you want to show off that panty liner!
Berry Knit Arm Warmers
These arm warmers are very cozy, like a knit blanket around my arms, and the funky stripes made me feel like a super hero. I had the sliding door open in my condo so I could test out the warmth, and since I was wearing a short sleeve shirt and shorts, everything was cold except for my arms. I think my arms were sweating while the rest of my body was freezing, so these things did their job. I’ve never tried this material for arm warmers before so I was afraid these might itch since my arms are sensitive to certain clothing. They didn’t itch at all, I even wanted to wear them to bed. I was also impressed with how they didn’t fall down my arms. I’m very petite so I usually have issues with arm warmers ending up to be wrist warmers. I had a size S/M, the wrist was a little loose (my wrist is 5.75 inches) but that’s not the part that matters, it’s the bicep that counts. Where the arm warmer ends just above the bulk of my bicep, I measure 10.5 inches, and with all the jumping around I did, I expected them to fall down. Amazingly, I didn’t have to adjust them at all. I’ll definitely be wearing these during my chilly trail runs.
PHD Run Socks
The socks are a lot thinner than what I’m used to running in. I was nervous they would cause blisters or that my feet would hurt without the cushioning. Well to my surprise, my feet survived without any damage. These socks kept my feet cool and it almost felt like I wasn’t wearing any socks at all. The only thing to consider is if you’re used to running in thick socks, your shoes might not fit as well with thin socks. I noticed my shoes did feel just a tad bit loose since my shoes are fitted for when I’m wearing thicker Smartwool socks, but if you’re into thin, these are a win.