Bandit Running Apparel Review: Our Brooklyn Baby
BRANDON: For years, I’ve been fascinated by New York City’s electric underground running scene. The run crews bring an urban culture that calls for diversity, speed, and insane amounts of partying. Beyond that, unsanctioned racing, midnight miles, chugging beers, and booking it through the streets of New York without a care for safety have become the norm for the runners of NYC. The f*ck you mentality is what drives it all. The city breeds talent from amateur athletes all the way up to OTQ qualifiers.
Amidst all of the 25-35-year-old young professional hipsters running the scene, there’s a new form of rebel running that has come into the fold. Banditing. Participating in races without paying. A way of sticking it to the man. Bandit Running embodies the culture and sport of NYC running through the representation of its high-end run culture and performance apparel. I’ve had the opportunity to test out some of their products, and just to cut to the chase real quick, I’m blown away. This gear is next level. Tracksmith, watch out, there’s a new kid on the block.
LINDSAY: As the warmer days are coming to a close, many of us are starting to dust off our tights and long sleeves. Being a Florida native, though, I’ll wear my shorts until my legs turn purple, so you could guess that I was excited to try out what Bandit had to offer. If you haven’t been introduced to the brand yet, you’re not alone. Bandit Running was started just a couple of years ago, in October 2020.
I was shocked to learn that this was a piece from their debut training line because the quality of the shorts and design just screams experience. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Bandit is solely a community-based brand and builds off the input from various clubs and crews of runners. Ok, that’s enough for today’s history lesson, let’s talk all things Bandit.
BRANDON: Let’s start from the top down. The classic beanie comes in all of the earth-tone colors you could ask for. I was given the “Oaty Boi Latte,” which is really just beige. The rib-stitched beanie works for a multitude of uses. Whether it be going on a run, getting back to the lodge after a long ski day, or the occasional coffee shop date, the beanie is a good look and can be rocked in most social occasions.
I find it to be a nice lifestyle piece in my collection and is easy to mix and match with pieces in my catalog. So far, I’ve struggled to leave home without it this winter. The Bandit Running Classic Beanie fits just right and keeps me nice and warm without feeling like I’m sweating up a storm. For $40, this beanie is a nice pickup. Yes, the clothing I will be talking about is expensive, and you are paying a premium for high-quality gear, name brand, and culture statements, but that’s just how it is.
PRICE: $40Shop The Classic Beanie
BRANDON: It’s hard to say Bandit Running without mentioning NYC and run culture. This tee screams both. The NYC Community Tee is a sweet lifestyle top for all of your urban on-the-go needs. I wore this tee running once, but I feel that it’s a better fit as a lifestyle piece when going to parties or out to bars on the weekend. It works nicely as an undershirt with a button-down over it as well. I love the clean white look, subtle stitching details, and modern feel.
It’s clear that Bandit Running was looking to embody that Soho or West Village style with a more boxy and oversized fit. The tee pairs well with some light-washed jeans and a clean pair of white shoes. The shirt is 100% combed cotton but doesn’t feel heavy. For $58, you can pick up a classic lifestyle Bandit tee of your own.
PRICE: $58Shop Bandit Tee – Men Shop Bandit Tee – Women
BRANDON: This is by far my favorite piece of clothing in the collection. Not only is it cozy, but it’s also super warm and looks great. Bandit Running’s premium hoodie provides a slick and clean fashion-forward look in a cream off-white color. The hoodie does have a traditional kangaroo pocket. However, it doesn’t bulge out with an ugly boxy stitching cut that most normal hoodies have. The small Bandit logo and signature patch stitching on the bottom left wrist provide the piece with some character.
This heavyweight and boxy oversized hoodie is perfect on colder days or to throw on after long runs. I mean it when I say this is my favorite piece in the collection, and for $120, it’s worth every penny and more.
PRICE: $120Shop Embroidered Hoodie – Unisex
BRANDON: There are a few pieces I place a lot of value in my running collection, and a pair of tights is at the top of the list. A good pair of tights can change the game and your experience on the run. The tights fit snugly and are versatile enough to justify wearing in any weather condition under 40 degrees. I received a black pair, so it was easy to match with any other top or jacket in my collection.
When it comes to bottoms, pockets are a really big deal for me. The tights have a pocket on each side as well as a back pocket, all big enough to fit any size iPhone. They provide enough pocket room for your house key, gels, gu’s, you name it. I had no issues with fit in my normal size and found that they taper nicely at the bottom of the ankle. At the bottom of each leg, there’s a zipper system for easy on-and-off access to the tights.
These tights only cost $120, which I believe is within industry standards. Whether it’s a long run day or a workout day, these tights will do the trick.
PRICE: $120Shop Soft Speed Tight – Men Shop Soft Speed Tight – Women
BRANDON: I race in half tights, whether it’s the 800m or the marathon, so I wanted to see whether these new half tights were going to be my racing go-to. I got my normal size small and found them to be pretty tight. I believe that if I had sized up to a medium, my experience in these tights would have been much more enjoyable.
Unfortunately, due to the sizing, I experienced some chafing and mobility issues. I like the aesthetic of the clean black half tights, however, when I ran in the olive colorway, I discovered some pretty revealing sweat marks. Needless to say, I won’t be wearing the olive colorway again. The side pockets are big enough for a phone or to store gels or gu’s during a race. For $118, they’re a safe bet, just make sure to size up when purchasing.
LINDSAY: These shorts check all the boxes for me. I’m a big fan of the Nike Women’s 3-inch Pro Shorts, but my only beef with them is the lack of storage options. Insert: Bandit Running Superbeam 5-inch Compression Shorts. As I’m writing this, I realize I didn’t even notice the 2-inch length difference, so take with that what you will.
I consider the Bandit shorts to have the fit and feel of Nike Pro but with multiple storage compartments. The thigh pockets, one on each leg, fit an iPhone X with a case nice and snug, so there is absolutely zero bouncing around during a run. There’s a back zippered pocket for keys or a single gel, as well, and you don’t have those bouncing around either.
The material of the shorts is sweat-wicking in a slick, reflective black nylon material that is 78% recycled. Also, I’m a high-rise gal myself, so I do like that these sit right below the belly button.
PRICE: $118 for men, $78 for womenShop Superbeam Half Tights – Men Shop Superbeam Half Tights – Women
BRANDON: Bandit Running actually started with socks. Specifically, a clean white tube sock for all of the runner’s anti-blister needs. “For Runners” and “By Runners” are stitched in black along each sock along with their long-form Bandit logo. Honestly, they’re cool socks but not an essential piece of gear. I’ve run tons of miles and walked in them and have had no issues.
Really, the only notable thing about them is the bragging rights of showing off your sweet Bandit running socks. However, the quality and materials are just as good as Feetures. This isn’t a bad thing. With Bandit, you’re paying the premium at $36 for a two-pack. I wear mine around all the time, but it’s simply for the flex of the name brand.
PRICE: $36 for a two-packShop Race Weight Middy Socks
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What shoes are Brandon wearing? I can’t figure it out.
Veja Condor 2!
Bandit is helping Tracksmith look affordable.