A local runner shared with us that she used to buy running apparel at a local department store because it was cheap and looked nice but after experiencing real high performance running tech wear, she quickly realized why the apparel at the department store was so cheap.
The saying “you get what you pay for” is very true, and just because something looks like a running shirt or jacket doesn’t mean it will offer the performance runners are looking for, like keeping you dry and comfortable, to help you perform your best.
Popular running brands like New Balance, Brooks, Mizuno, and Nike have years of experience in perfecting the science of running tech apparel, and they continue to innovate every year. Specialty running stores like Complete Runner only carry this quality running tech wear because of its high performance.
Here are a few ways to tell the difference between the high performance teach wear runners need and cheap copycat apparel that looks nice but doesn’t do the job.
If the brand is a well-known player in the running industry there is a good chance the apparel is the real deal. Beware of cheap unknown brands that may look the same but offer inferior performance.
If the price is too good to be true, you are probably getting the cheap imitation. Eight dollar tech shirts at the department store sound like a good deal, but when compared to what you are getting in a high performance tech shirt the quality speaks for itself.
Not all wicking is created equal, and you will be able to tell the difference between the feel and touch of the apparel as well as when you run in two different tech shirts. The higher quality shirt will keep you dry and comfortable, and the lower quality copycat will hinder your running experience – you may have found this out the hard way.
High quality running tech wear will have features the imitation apparel doesn’t have including things like reflectors, thumb holes, zipper garages, wind shield (behind zipper to keep the wind out), media pockets, and a high quality material.
Just because running tech wear may look the same doesn’t mean it performs the same. When making the investment in tech wear don’t only look at the fashion but the functionality, which should help you perform your best by keeping you dry and comfortable when running.