Smartwool PhD Run Short Review
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As a leader in the sock industry for many years, Smartwool has been known for making super comfortable and durable socks for hiking, skiing, running, and casual use. In recent years, Smartwool has started to venture out into other categories such as sweaters, hats, gloves, shirt, and more. New for Spring 2013, Smartwool has decided it was time to enter the running market with a few quality pieces. And while they haven’t come out with hundreds of products, it is apparent that they focused on quality, performance, and fit. After all, runners are very picky when it comes to what they put on their feet, on this hips, and up top.
I had the opportunity to get a pair of the Smartwool PhD Run Shorts as an early sample so I’v been testing these shorts out for the past 6+ months. While making running shorts might seem easy, I find that a lot of companies still don’t really get it, but not Smartwool. One of the important designs in a running short I look at is how tight or baggy a short fits. If it’s too tight around the legs and thighs, it can restrict movement and chaff. If it’s too baggy, you feel like you’re running in a pair of basketball shorts and baggy shorts can also cause chaffage. The designers of the Smartwool PhD Run Shorts got it just right in that these shorts provide plenty of room for your thighs and legs while not making them too baggy.
On the inside of the Smartwool PhD Run Shorts, there is a merino/polyester blend liner that does a nice job at wicking away the sweat and keeping you comfortable. In general, your sweat is often wicked away to the outside of the liner which is then transferred to the outer layer of fabric of the running shorts. In high moisture regions of the U.S., I found this outer fabric to not dry super fast, but this only occurred a few times.
For storage, there is a zippered pocket on the back of the PhD run Short that is big enough to store a few gels or an iPhone 5 without a case on it. If you end up running with your phone in the pocket, I suggest putting it in a plastic bag as this area is often one of the first places sweat can collect. For length, these shorts come in a 5″ inseam length which I find to be a perfect length for a men’s running short, but this highly depends on your personal preference. The Smartwool PhD Run Short comes in two colors, Artic Blue and Black. I tested out the Artic Blue and found it nice to stray away from the typical black running short.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Smartwool PhD Run Short and give it two thumbs up! For more information on the PhD Run Short and other SmartWool products, please visit www.smartwool.com or www.amazon.com/smartwool.