I’ve been kilted! Don’t worry, that’s a good thing. It’s just going to take some getting used to.
I’ve been interested in getting a running kilt for some time, and have looked at all the available options. On my first visit to the RunningKilts site, I knew this was the one for me. It just makes so much sense. It’s a purpose-specific item. It’s not a kilt for wearing to weddings, or to the football game, or to the pub. It’s for running. It’s short (14″ from waistband to hem, in the medium model I have), so it doesn’t flap at the knees. It’s made of lightweight Dupont nylon supplex. There’s no tartan involved (I’m not a fan of tartans). The RunningKilt comes only in navy blue. All good.
As you can see, it’s pretty basic. It’s got a small internal key pocket, a narrow (1/2″) waistband, and a 3″ dart on either side. The left front edge features the RunningKilts logo. No bells, no whistles.
The RunningKilt’s price is a very reasonable US$31.00. (With shipping and handling from the US to Canada, I paid CDN$41.40.) If you don’t want to lay down the cash, the RunningKilt site features free pattern and sewing instructions, so you can make your own.
There’s more material to the RunningKilt than the RaceReady shorts I usually wear for races. But the kilt is a looser fit than any pair of shorts I’ve ever worn, and the fact that there’s nothing between my legs means that wearing the kilt feels like wearing nothing at all. That’s good, but it’s a very strange feeling.
I’ve tested the Running Kilt on some treadmill runs, at distances ranging from 5K to 13K, and a few gravel bucket sessions, each lasting 30 minutes. The RunningKilt is fantastic! The kilt’s material is light enough to move well when I do, it’s soft enough that it feels very comfortable where and when it touches my skin, and it wicks well enough that it never gets close and clammy. I get very warm and I sweat a lot. The kilt, unlike running shorts, which often feel clingy and oppressive, keeps me cool and comfy.
The only hitch in this whole deal comes from the RunningKilt’s very strengths. It’s short. It’s made of nylon. It doesn’t have pleats, as does a kilt. It’s a solid colour, not a tartan. In other words, it’s a skirt.
As gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thomson once wrote, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” I’m OK with that. I think it’s time to get seriously weird, and run in a skirt.
Real men run in skirts!