Although, in my mind, Mizuno is one of those sports-apparel brands that the “real” runners wear (sort of how I feel about only Ironmen being cool enough to rock designer sport sunglasses—yet this could be just my inner-sports-fashion hangups projecting onto others), it turns out that they pretty much have apparel for any and all, no matter the fitness background (and 5K PR). We had the opportunity to try a few pieces from the company’s Inspired Collection, which includes the same super-technology driven design and features that you’d see in Mizuno’s elite line, only with more coverage for us everyday workouters!
Meridian Running Capri
I love running capris enough that I’d consider myself a connoisseur. They’re just the perfect length when you need to go from running to sit-ups (no flashing of anything, thank you!) or from running to the grocery store (short-shorts in the frozen section is chilly!). And if you’re someone who wants her capris with a little less tightness and a little more give, these are your capris. Hitting just below the knee, they aren’t baggy enough to get in your way, but they also aren’t tight enough to show every nook and cranny of your lower half. With a price tag of more than $50, you’re really paying for quality and design. Although, they do have a super-cute hem detail on them that’s bright pink and bright blue. So. Darling.
Nirvana Sleeveless Running
When it comes to running shirts, I ask two questions: Does it chafe and will it weigh me down? Basically I want something that wicks sweat, doesn’t rub me the wrong way (quite literally) and feels good. The best shirts make me feel like I’m wearing nothing at all—except the fact that I know I am, which takes away that whole naked-in-public panicked feeling you get in dreams. And this sleeveless running tee? It happily passes my two-question test. Smooth and comfortable, it takes care of sweat. Because I have broader shoulders than most girls, I’m always cautious with the sleeveless tees as the armholes have a tendency to irritate my underarms, but this one was generous enough to forgo that problem—without putting my sports bra on display from the side. I call that a victory worth the $35.99 price tag.
Ascend 2-IN-1 Running Shorts
This Mizuno short had me at “2-IN-1,” (I just love things that do double-duty!)—but unfortunately after a run I wasn’t nearly as jazzed about its fit as I was its concept. With a longer inseam, this short definitely gives you more coverage, which is great for those who aren’t ready to take a jaunt around the neighborhood in those itty-bitty running shorts. These shorts also feature an inner liner for additional coverage and sweat-wicking abilities. Although I get why the liner is there (see my comment about sit-ups above), wearing shorts with too long-ish layers just felt heavy to me. Granted, I tried these on a 90-degree day in the Midwest, so it’s obviously a bit of user error on my part, but these just weren’t my bag, baby. Again, though, the shorts are quality, and you’ll pay for it. A pair goes for just less than $50.
Want to try some of this gear yourself and conveniently wear a size medium? We have a full Mizuno running outfit (shorts and tee) just burning a hole in our proverbial pocket. To be entered to win, leave a comment telling us why your running wardrobe needs an upgrade, and we’ll select one random U.S. commenter in a week to win! The winner will be notified directly by email. Good luck, runners! —Jenn