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Running Apparel • November 8, 2021

Nathan Sports Fall 2021 Gear Review

FEATURED stef shirt back

STEF: Nathan Sports is new to the apparel scene, but not new to making quality run accessories that take the guesswork out of things like long training runs and carrying fuel. Like Aaron, I am someone that will use a tried and true product until it wears out (up until recently, I had been using the same handheld I’d had since 2013) — so this was a real treat to test out these products. Let’s check out what Nathan is most recently bringing to the table.

Nathan Rise Tee, SS (Men and Women)

An image of the Nathan Sports Rise tee

STEF:  I often struggle with a good fit when it comes to running tops — striking that balance between not too tight and not too baggy can be hard to come by. Nathan did a great job of making their female version streamlined and a fit that strikes that balance, for most runners. I didn’t feel constricted in the armpits and the polyester, Tencel, and elastane composition felt soft on the skin. There are reflective elements located on the back and the sleeve for the early morning/early evening runners out there. My favorite aspect of the shirt is the wicking “chimney” feature on the back panel, allowing more breathability and a less soggy t-shirt by the time the run is over.

AUSTIN:  The Rise tee doesn’t convey that typical running shirt look. Of course, finisher shirts, emblazoned with bold logos on the front and sponsors on the back, serve as my reference point. Translation? My sense of running style pales next to Thomas and Robbe. The Rise tee, in contrast to my flimsy finisher shirts, exudes a stylish casual flair, meaning you can grab it for a run or a stroll around town. Athleisure, right? The ventilated panel (“chimney”) on the back of the shirt indicates the nod towards sport though. Polyester, Tencel (similar to rayon), and elastane make up the ingredient list that aid in the shirt’s elasticity and sweat-wicking ability. Finally, strategically placed reflective elements improve visibility for dawn and dusk runs.

PRICE: $45 for Women’s SS, $49 for Men’s SS

Shop Short Sleeve –  Women Shop Short Sleeve – Men

5-inch Front Runner Shorts (Men)

AUSTIN: One of my dealbreakers for running shorts is a zipper. One at a minimum to secure an item that I don’t trust to a non-zippered pocket. Speaking of which, the (zippered) pocket on the Front Runner Shorts is roomy. Roomy enough for a Google Pixel 5a, the fabulous phone I recently acquired after the Samsung collapsed in a sluggish software heap. On a related note, the zippered pocket lining has a colored print. I can’t make out whether it’s a cityscape, landscape, or merely an abstract design, but it’s a nice touch. My other dealbreaker is length: 5-inches or less. Otherwise, I have trouble with knee drive. Check that box.

I figured the Front Runner Shorts came with a conventional liner I’m accustomed to, but they are in fact a 2in1 fit. The loose exterior is complemented by an interior compression short with a semi-deep pocket on each side ideal for nutrition (among other things). Up top, the shorts are finished with a flat waistband and flat patterned laces with a Nathan cap at the end of each.

See also: The best running shorts for men

 PRICE: $55

Shop Front Runner Shorts –  Men

Trail Mix Plus Hydration Belt

An image of the Nathan Sports Trail Mix hydration belt

STEF:  The belt features a plastic seat belt type closure that is easily adjustable, even on the run — so you can quickly lock in a tighter or looser fit without having to stop. There are built-in bungee cords adjacent to the bottles for looping in shirts or gels. The actual pack area features a velcro closure for easier access items and a second zippered pocket for things like keys, cards, or a phone. The bottles are each 10 oz/300 mL flasks with push-pull caps. They come out easily from their plastic holsters. The entire belt itself is made of a multi-directional stretch material that feels comfortable on the run.

PRICE: $49

Shop Trail Mix Plus Belt –  Women

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