INKnBURN Women’s Running Apparel Review
Over the last year, I have been noticing a new apparel personality on the trail scene. Much like Serena Williams shook up the conservative tennis apparel realm, INKnBURN is showing us that running apparel need not be limited to a logoed solid. And every time I have seen a hip set of duds in front of me, I speed up to investigate, and realize that, yep, it’s another great INKnBURN design. The artwork vibe ranges from heavy metal to zen, with a bit of whimsy in between.
INKnBURN’s mission is to merge form with function – to bring artistic flair and performance fabrics together – in an effort to empower personal strength. When they say “Distance Yourself”, they mean “set yourself apart from the crowd”.
I’m sure you’ve noticed in your own wardrobe, that apparel (sports or otherwise) with a design on it tends to fade over time (or flake off entirely). One of the elements I find most interesting about INKnBURN’s process, is that they have a proprietary sublimation technique for printing those designs directly into the fabric. That means that the designs neither come off, nor affect the performance of the fabric or the feel next to your skin. It is as if the design isn’t there. Likewise, the tag is burned into the fabric, so you won’t feel any neckline or waistband friction.
When I received the INKnBURN shipment in the mail, I opened the box to find the contents beautifully, and neatly wrapped in tissue paper, as if someone had sent me a birthday gift. I don’t know about you, but I am much more accustomed to receiving my orders in a box with the items carelessly tossed inside. This was my first impression of INKnBURN, and this personal attention to detail carried through my product testing experience.
I tested the Tech Shirt ($49.95), the Running Shorts ($64.95), the Sports Bra ($64.95), and the 4Arms Arm Warmers ($32.95) in the Cherry Blossom design (shown below).
I’m just going to say it. The shorts are the best-butt shorts I’ve ever had on. The rear-view design is brilliant – thank you, INKnBURN, for the head-turns. The other very noteworthy feature is the waistband. It is a wide elastic that you can wear either up, or folded down for a lower rise (pictured). I like my shorts as low as possible, and when I folded down the waistband, I was able to achieve my most-comfortable hipster position. A great design that allows you to put the shorts exactly where you like them best.
Just like the Tech Shirt, the Running Shorts are a whisper of a fabric, and stayed dry throughout the effort. The interior brief stayed in place (no creeping) and was very breathable. As a point of practicality, INKnBURN integrated two small pockets in the front waist hem. I put a gel and my housekey in there. Because of the thoughtful pocket placement, the contents didn’t move, and my folded-over waistband provided additional (albeit unnecessary) security against loss of items.
And just to make it the perfect short, INKnBURN has sized them like pants. So instead of ordering S,M,L, or XL, they have sizes from 2 to 12. I wear a size 4 in pants, and the size 4 I ordered in the short fit perfectly.
While the Sports Bra may look like a simple item, this little piece of fabric is packed with features. The fabric is different in the front than in the back, but the printed design goes from front to back uninterrupted. In the front, it is a strong, wicking material with a soft-to-the-touch interior. In the back, it is a light, stretchy mesh, that breathes wonderfully. The front interior has a slit on each side of the liner, in case you would like to insert ‘modesty pads’. The interior center has a secret stash pocket (pictured). I already had my gel and key on board in my shorts, so I put my iPod in a ziploc, and tucked it, unnoticed, into this clever storage space.
I am small-chested, so I am unable to comment on the amount of support this sports bra would provide to those more amply endowed. For someone with a small or medium bust, this is a superb bra – comfortable and firm, with feminine-looking spaghetti straps. Since we have had unseasonably warm weather here in Southern California, I have run several times in this bra sans shirt, and it does a great job standing alone.
I normally wear a size XS in sports bras, and ordered the same in the INKnBURN Sports Bra. It runs true to size.
I have to give INKnBURN a double-thumbs up. This is high-quality, domestically-manufactured gear with a whole lot of groove.
To purchase INKnBURN gear, visit their website at www.inknburn.com.