Frankenshorts: The Bottom Problem

4.25 Miles
Speedy, Sweatastic Strides

If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you know I have a bottom problem:  I can’t find a short that I love, love, love.

Since I spent a significant amount of time in the 90’s sporting oversized men’s khaki cutoffs and American Eagle knee-length cargos, it seems that I am being punished for my shorts sins by spending my 30’s trying to find a pair of running shorts that work for me.

Check out these beauties...

These beauties + oversized t-shirts = angsty adolescent garb

This weekend I tried out a pair of new shorts (the North Face Better Than Naked shorts I snagged for $13 at the Boston Marathon Expo – SCORE!) and while they had some perks, I’ve decided I need to go all Frankenshorts and piece together what my absolutely perfect short would look like.

The Base:  LuluLemon Speed Short

LW7608S_6669_3Yes I know this is short, too short for some…but I apparently take the minimalist approach beyond my shoes to keep the tan lines as close to my swimsuit as possible.  I love the length of these shorts, but I don’t love a few things.  First of all, the pockets are hard to squeeze gels into and hard to grab during a long run/race.  Secondly, while I love picking flowers, chocolates from a box, and even my favorite dessert (who am I kidding…all of them!), I don’t like picking my built-in runderwear from my arse….so these get a big fatty epic fail in that department.

The Bottom:  Oiselle Rogas

graphite-rogaWhile Shakespeare may have wondered about being or not to being, runners often discuss to wear or not to wear…underwear.  I’m a big fan of less layers, so needless to say, I was grinning like the Cheshire cat at mile 17 or so when I saw this sign on the side of the road:

SMILE_IfYoureNotWearingAnyUnderwear_560I’m a big fan of letting my shorts do all of the work for me, and one of my favorite features of the Oiselle Roga is that I’ve met sports bras that move more than the runderwear inside these bad boys.   Those suckers are staying exactly put- holding firm around the tush and not going anywhere no matter how sweaty, long, slow or fast my run is.  I also dig the super comfy waistband to hold that little gift 2 of my 3 kids left me around my midsection – that is skin that I can pull up to my chin or drop down to my knees on command.  Yay motherhood!

My only complaint is the colored fabric (not the black) shows water VERY visibly, so if I’m going to do a super sweaty run and show up to school for pickup- I best be prepared to have some finger pointing, eye rolling and toddlers asking why I peed my pants…which may or may not be true.

The Storage:  New Balance Better Than Naked

10206524_alt1_lgAs a mom, I have to carry a lot of crap around (can you hold my Pokemon cards? How about this 3 week old kleenex? Oh, how about this snail I just found!?!).  And when I run, I don’t want to carry more than I have to.  These shorts have perfectly placed pockets that fall right above the bum and they are vented, so the sweat goes through.  You can easily carry 4-5 gels comfortably in these (better yet, you can access them easily as well with an elastic top to hold fuel in them).  During my dramatic run the other day, I was thrilled to be able to stash my key, a solid wad of TP and a gel, and still had a pocket to spare.  Nothing flipped, nothing flopped – I found my perfect pockets.  Honestly it’s like a built in fuel belt…love, love, love….

That said the fabric on the actual shorts is supposed to be super fast wicking, but it was so thin that when I started sweating it literally felt like I peed my pants.  I do that enough, I don’t need my running shorts to deceive me into a false alarm.

So there it is…my favorite features on my favorite shorts.  If I was talented enough I’d bust out the sewing machine and piece these bad boys together…but then I’d probably end up with no shorts at all, so until then I’ll just stick to sewing simple Halloween costumes, and hemming pants, and generally taking up closet space.

What feature do your shorts absolutely must have?

11 thoughts on “Frankenshorts: The Bottom Problem

  1. This is quite an amusing post. I think I feel this way more about my tops; I’m generally less fussy about my bottoms. However, I’ve done a 180 on my definition of “favorite” bottoms. Used to be ones that were feather light with comfy undies built in. Nowadays, though, no matter how “light and quick drying” shorts are marketed as, they cannot dry faster than I sweat (in tropical humidity). So anything “light and airy” basically ends up “soaked, sticking to me, and flinging sweat through the air”. So my preference is for tighty spandex shorts these days. At least they just channel the sweat down my legs and into my socks….

    Also, I cracked up over the snails. I’ll admit that, as a coach, I’ve been asked to hold some unusual items. But never, ever a snail.

    • PS – The other day walking into Old Navy, my oldest actually picked up a rolly pollie thingy bug and said, “Look ma this is huge! Hey, can you carry it in your pocket until we get out of the store?”

      • A budding entomologist! This warms the cockles of my sciency heart… Although, any real scientist wants to handle his own specimens. Tell him to travel with an appropriate container in the future. 😉

  2. Finding the perfect shorts is a pain, I agree. I have to say my faves, though, are my Oiselle distance shorts. I have three pairs and pull them out more often than any others. I used to wear the Nike shorts that everyone has, but now when I put them on I hate them! Still need to try the rogas…

  3. I had no idea that people don’t wear underwear when they run! I’m very particular about underwear lines, so I’d say that the main thing that most running shorts get wrong is the stupid liners. I am very careful to always make sure I have underwear that don’t leave a visible crease. This vanity is destroyed by every pair of running shorts I’ve ever owned and their stupid, stupid liners.

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