Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Whatever Happened to Cotton Gym Shorts?

You know, the kind we were all forced to wear in junior high school gym class. The one taught by the nazi gym teacher wearing the tight coaches shorts, the polo shirt from the college football team he claims he was on 20 years ago, a whistle around his neck, a Redman chewing tobacco hat and carrying a clipboard for some unknown reason.

This was the guy that would snap the waistband of your shorts to make sure you had a jockstrap on. He would also stand by the showers watching everyone go in and out of the showers...only to make sure everyone was showering...right. This guy also doubled as the Health class teacher. Just the person you want teaching sex-ed to 12-14 year olds. Yes very fond memories of junior high.

Those cotton gym shorts went great with the knee-high white tube-socks with the 3 stripes on them and the may-pop tennis shoes that your mom bought for you at the 5&10 if your parents had money or the local grocery store if you were poor. Add in a red and yellow reversible t-shirt on top and it was a wonder any of us ever got to play spin the bottle.

But the point of this post (oh it has one Rob?) is that I just got 5 pair of new running shorts from the wonderful UPS guy. I used my portion of our tax refund to buy them. I know what you are thinking. Why isn’t the entire tax refund mine since I’m the only one that works around here? And why didn’t I buy running shoes instead? No way am I answering the first question. As for the second, I bought 2 pair of running shoes last week with the rest of my portion of the cash :p

Workout clothes today are all made out of these new an exotic materials – coolmax this and gortex that. I ordered 5 different (well they are all black) models of shorts so I could see how the various shorts felt. Here is a list of them and the description from the tags.

Adidas Clima365adidas has developed a family of innovative technologies that address athlete’s needs. Clima365 comprising Climalite. ClimaCool, ClimaWarm and ClimaProof provides optimal solution for improved performance and greater comfort; 365 days of the year!

Nike Fundamental short 4 inchThis garment features Dri-Fit fabric that wicks perspiration to keep you dry and comfortable.

Nike Fundamental short 5 inch (yeah 1 inch is the only difference between this one and the one above – well that and $5. Seems like a lot for an inch) – This garment features Dri-Fit fabric that wicks perspiration to keep you dry and comfortable.

Brooks Rev PacerMade with Equilibrium fabric. Brooks’ fabric technologies counteract the ill effects of excessive moisture. Equilibrium apparel moves moisture away from your skin and balances body temperature so you’ll run happy.

And my personal favorite.

New Balance NBx shortsEverything we know about running raised to the x power. Made with Cocona fabric. Cocona fabric uses a natural technology derived from coconut shells to keep you comfortable in any environment.

Well then all I need is a coconut sports bra to go with it and I’m set.

Do any of these descriptions really mean anything or tell us anything about the shorts? I looked at the care tag inside the shorts and they all have the fabric listed as 100% polyester. So what's the difference between these high tech shorts and my Uncle Leo's polyester leisure suit from the 70's? It all seems like some kinda big scam. Like social security, fat-free mayonnaise or the hair club for men.

This will give me a dozen pair of ‘good’ running shorts so I won’t have to wash my running clothes for over a week – our bathroom smells like the locker room at a professional wrestling match. I’m sure all these shorts will be very comfortable and great to run in. But at around $25 a pop, I’m guessing they won’t be all that much better than the $4 running shorts I got from Target.

Sure over a 20 mile run there might be some differences. Maybe a little less moisture and chaffing. And yeah these shorts look a little bit nicer and a few of the pairs have little pockets built in. But the $4 dollar Target shorts have held up well and gotten the job done over the last 5 years I’ve had them. They have been used a lot over the past 5 years and still look new. The same thing applies to the $7 running shirts I bought at Target.

I’m such a metrosexual running clothes geek


the Mom said...

Now all you need is a running skirt so that you can have all the options.
http://www.skirtsports.com/shop/running.cfm I love this company, I just wish they made tops for nursing moms. It would make my marathons easier to run.

momto5minnies said...

They also make jog bras in every color of the rainbow. I'm sure you've seen that table at TARGET ;)

Enjoy your new shorts!