A handful of run brands that we think deserve to be noticed
Creating high quality men’s and women’s run apparel
All brands on here are small companies trying to get off the ground – support them!
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we love run culture. We remember the days of all-neon block colors, subpar performance fabrics, and zero style. But we’ve been lucky enough to see the full bloom of the sport and its personality as its taken off over the last half decade.
While brands like Tracksmith, Janji, and Path Projects spearheaded the trend of outside-the-box run apparel, many others have since taken up the torch in an attempt to put their own personal stamp on the run scene. We’ve seen some of our favorite pieces come from newer brands like Bandit, Roark Run Amok, Saysky, and Ciele.
In fact, there’s so many run brands making their debut that it’s often hard to highlight each of them. That’s why we wanted to gather up some stuff that we’ve been checking out and bring it to new eyes, so you can see what’s coming in the run world and whether or not that fits your own personal style.
Some of them are more established (AllWrld), while others are just a couple of people looking to create high-quality gear that’s fully made in America (Miler Running). Check them out and see what fits your style.
Before Cascada reached out to us, I’ll be honest– I never heard of them. Which is a shame because they make some really nice gear, which is designed and rigorously field tested in the lakes, woods, and mountains of Northern Italy (Trentino). The branding is very outdoorsy (in a good way) and has similar vibes as Roark Run Amok, another favorite of ours.
The apparel is pretty standard run apparel, offering everything from long sleeve shirts to shorts and windbreakers. For off the run, there are some really nice button downs and flannels that are perfect fall. My personal favorite piece is their made-in-Italy Wolf Running Short ($77), featuring 4-way stretch fabric and a 5” inseam that’s cut perfectly. It’s one of the more comfortable running shorts I’ve worn in recent memory, and I found myself wanting to wear it for a majority of my runs.
They’re also pretty deep in the cycling scene, so if you dabble in the two-wheel world, then you should definitely check out those kits as well, from jerseys to bib shorts.
Technically we’ve highlighted Miler Running before (and recently had the founder as a guest on the podcast). But they’ve recently debuted some new items in their lineup, so we thought we should re-up.
Designed and manufactured in New York City, Miler takes a designer approach to run apparel, which is apparent straight away. No bold logos, just a simple sublimated name plate on each piece of gear. Quiet luxury is so hot right now, and Miler is making sure the torch stays lit for the running world.
All of the brand’s apparel is made of high-quality fabrics sourced from European and Japanese mills, and uses the latest technology and construction techniques to provide comfortable and durable performance gear. Flat lock seams, four-way Italian stretch knit, and pockets in all the right places.
Apparently, all the cool kids are in Canada these days. Ciele, Norda, and now, Praise Endurance, create the holy trinity of run brands coming from our northern neighbor. Praise is all about community, recognizing that everyone in the production process plays a vital part. From the designers to the textile workers to the Praise ambassadors– everyone is a part of the Praise fam.
That’s all well and good, but how’s the gear? Pretty great. We’ve been wearing and testing the Praise Endurance men’s and women’s apparel over the past few weeks, and have really come to enjoy running in it.
One of our favorite pieces on the men’s side is the Portland 2-in-1 Short ($96), featuring a soft and light stretch outer shell layered over a soft inner tight. The Tucson Anorak ($154) is also pretty rad.
We also love the way that Praise organizes its offerings, split between city, trail, and track running, as well as different fabric types. Then there’s apres-sport, which is just a cool way to say lifestyle clothing. Are we cool? Probably not, but putting on some Praise definitely moves us forward in our journey.
Okay, you may think you’re seeing the same thing twice, but you’re not. Njord has a similar design aesthetic to the aforementioned Miler Running, but at a lower price point (the gear isn’t made in New York City).
Njörd (named after the Norse god of the sea) started as a Houston crew designed to bring runners together with a mission to aid underserved communities. The apparel is inspired by their Scandinavian and Taiwanese heritage and is engineered to last a lifetime of performance.
They’re advocates of doing good with their dollars and donate a portion of all proceeds to non-profit partners. They produce in limited quantities to avoid leftover waste. And while the product is produced overseas (it’s designed in Texas), Njörd partners with factories under the bluesign standard, which ensures the responsible use of resources and minimizes the impact on the environment while safeguarding human health.
Anyway, on to the gear. Right now, Njord only has four pieces of apparel (again, aligning with their commitment to creating less waste): a t-shirt, singlet, shorts, and hat. Our favorite piece is the Kaffe Singlet ($55) made of lightweight recycled polyester and is constructed with flatlock stitching and bias-bound seams. It has enough room through the chest and shoulders but tapers down, allowing for good range of motion.
And we like black on black on black, so this all ties together very nicely.
While not strictly run performance, ALWRD exists in the same space as Vuori or Lululemon. What sets them apart is their hardcore dedication to an environmentally sustainable business model. Their apparel is constructed with a variety of recycled materials or natural fibers and they assign a clean score to every piece of apparel they make. The overall clean score for the Fall 2023 collection is 87% (find out what that means here).
In terms of apparel, it’s pretty standard offerings: shirts, shorts, tees, jackets, and joggers. But the comfort and fit of ALWRLD is equal to its competitors.
Our favorite piece at the moment is the ALRN High Viz 7” short ($68) which is made from 100% recycled plastic derived from post-consumer plastic waste. A soft elastic waistband and vented side seams make it a good athletic short for any endeavor.
On the women’s side, Meg’s been enjoying the ALRN Crop Mesh Singlet ($65), featuring an ultralight Birdseye knit for excellent breathability. The ALRN Featherweight Short ($68) is superb as well and is made from recycled polyester, derived from post consumer plastic.
It also features a warp knit waistband construction, which provides great support without constriction.
Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.More from Robbe