New Balance Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short Review
Integrating a new pair of shorts into your long run routine means that the shorts have got to be quick-drying, breathable, and of course, comfortable. The folks over at New Balance understand this and thankfully they have updated the Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short this season, which completely fits the bill for your next run. I have been wearing the New Balance Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short on 3+ hour runs in a variety of conditions during my spring travels in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Here is a quick breakdown of the shorts and NB Dry fabric.
New Balance Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short Size and Fit
The New Balance Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short, as it names suggests, comes with a 3″ inseam. The short, contrary to the white contrast trim and appearance on the photos, is not a split short. Rather, New Balance has created generous leg openings (self measured 23″) with soft, stretchy fabric to allow complete freedom of leg movement. In my book, the length is perfect; no riding up and adequate coverage. Additional measurements, based on a size medium include: front rise of 9.5″, back rise of 14″, and outseam (measured along the hip) of 10″.
The Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short is available in size XS to XL and per New Balance, features a mid-rise. I found the rise of the shorts to be more of a low-rise with the wide-waistband anchoring the shorts on your hips, a full 2 inches below your belly button. Based on the size guide, I feel that these shorts run true to size, including the integrated mesh brief. If you are in between sizes or like a looser fit, I tend to recommend going the next size and would recommend the same with the Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short.
A short can have a great cut, color, and design, but the fabric is what makes it a winner or a loser. New Balance incorporated light-weight, breathable NB Dry into the Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short, which works to pull moisture away from your skin to the surface to keep you dry and cool. The outer or shell fabric of the shorts is a 84% polyester/16% elastane blend that doesn’t crinkle or stick to your skin. Rather the fabric is stretchy and soft to the touch, even after a few hours of activity. The New Balance Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short features a breathable mesh liner, as well. The liner does what it is suppose to do, nothing too fancy about it.
The fabric feature that really stands out in these shorts is the wide knit waistband. The waistband integrates the outer and liner fabric with ease and doesn’t create any rubbing or potential chaffing spots. Just below the waistband, in the rear, there is a small mesh panel to help with wicking and evaporation. Key seams, such as along the back and at the crouch, are flat-lock for added comfort.
I also found it pretty cool that New Balance is able to print a fun graphic on the technical fabric. The pattern adds a bit of fun, without getting too crazy! The New Balance Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short is available in two color combos: Black with White and Fiji liner or Bright Cherry with Fiji liner. As you can see, I tested out the Bright Cherry and absolutely loved it. A recent race photographer kept telling me how easy I was to spot and snap photos of, which made me smile during a race low-point. If you don’t love the graphics and prefer more tame color options, New Balance also offers the Impact 3 Inch in a non-graphic version, available here.
The New Balance Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short features a small zippered pocket over the right hip (visible in the photo above). I used this pocket primarily for a car/house key. The fabric of the short is very light-weight and placing a gel in the pocket is possible, but it does pull down the short and bounce quite a bit. New Balance has your visibility covered with 3 reflective accents: NB logo on the left front hip, New Balance log along the center back, and NB Dry logo at the right rear hip.
Overall, the NB Dry fabric excellent at wicking moisture away from the body, while also being flattering and performing for hours on end. The NB Dry fabric dries quickly in the dry mountain air and keeps the Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short from sticking to your butt or thighs. The New Balance Impact 3 Inch Graphic Short has become an instant favorite and I am looking to add another pair soon.