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Pressio’s lightweight fabric disappears on the run
Only offered in Men’s cuts for now
$50-55 is a bargain these days
KALEB: If you’ve read more than, say, three of our reviews in the past year, first of all, keep reading them. We think we’re very entertaining, and imagining that there are folks reading our nerdy, pun-infested paragraphs is a nice ego boost.
But second of all (and more to the point of this review), you’ve probably noticed that more and more companies are hopping on the sustainability train. Whether it’s Asics’ FlyteFoam Blast+ Eco midsole, Mizuno’s Wave Neo collection, Nike’s Next Nature line, or that little green leaf thingy in the upper left-hand corner of certain shoes on the New Balance website, just about everyone is making an effort to show that they care about the environment… and about profits, because they know people will buy eco-friendly designs.
Regardless of whether it’s a marketing scheme or true, pure-hearted responsibility (yeah, right), eco-friendly products allow companies to slow some of the environmental impacts of their production methods and raise awareness among consumers. It doesn’t replace doing our own part to “go green,” but it helps us not work against ourselves when buying everyday products. Unfortunately, the benefits of sustainability often come with a boosted price tag and reduced product quality.
Enter Pressio, a UK-based company dead-set on leading the cutting edge of sustainable, ethical fabric product engineering. Pressio has partnered with the leading producers of recycled yarns, researched innovative and sustainable production methods, and upheld a high standard of ethical treatment for every person involved with product creation — all to deliver running apparel that not only has positive effects on the environment but also has positive effects on your performance.
So does Pressio live up to its sky-high mission statement? I received two pieces from Pressio’s Elite collection — the Elite Singlet and a pair of Elite 3-inch Shorts — to find out.
KALEB: When it comes to comfort and breathability, the Elite Singlet is second to none. On first touch, the fabric is soft and light, and the weave pattern of the fabric is engineered for minimal surface area contacting the skin to avoid friction and rubbing while running. That may sound a little bogus, but it works like a charm because the singlet truly disappears on the run. Unlike many shirts and tank tops that stick to your torso when damp and practically suffocate you when you try to take them back off, the Elite Singlet never suctioned onto me.
Odor-causing bacteria are eliminated thanks to the mint-infused anti-bacterial fabric, but it’s not as if sweat is going to have much of a chance to build up in the singlet’s fibers: breathability is superb. On sunny days, it felt like I wasn’t wearing a shirt at all while still saving the public from having to look at my scrawny ribcage as I hit interval work in the heat.
One of my runs in the Elite Singlet was interrupted by rain, and the first thing I noticed was that I could hardly tell the difference between a raindrop hitting my bare shoulders and a raindrop hitting the shoulder of the singlet. This breathability is due to a lattice mesh pattern that Pressio calls EcoTech Vent. While water getting past your clothing may at first seem like a bad thing, it’s actually a great thing because the singlet also isn’t going to keep any sweat or body heat trapped in. In fact, after the raindrops went right through the singlet’s breathable mesh, Pressio’s Four Phase Moisture Management technology went right to work, quickly wicking the water back off my skin and keeping me comfortable and the singlet lightweight. No, I’m not sure what the four phases of Four Phase Moisture Management are exactly, but from what I understand, they involve a hydrophobic inner layer combined with carefully selected filament types throughout the fabric to take advantage of capillary action and wick moisture away from the skin.
To translate into my own simple four-phase process for those that don’t speak fluent marketing lingo: 1) water/sweat get on skin, 2) singlet get water off skin, 3) fabric get water out of singlet, 4) airflow go zoom and dry off everything.
And, of course, responsibility is front and center: the singlet is made of 100% recycled yarns and dyed in a facility that doesn’t dump its dye waste into rivers or other natural bodies of water. It’s also produced in 100% traceable, open-to-inspection facilities that ensure ethical treatment of all involved in the production of the clothing. As a bonus, these facilities are run by 70% solar power.
At $55, Pressio’s Elite Singlet delivers a high-quality, highly sustainable piece of gear at a comparable or even better price point than leading brands.
PRICE: $55Shop Pressio Elite Singlet - Men
KALEB: I’ll be real folks; I’m more of an “if it fits, I can run in it” kinda guy. I’m not too picky about the clothes I run in, so long as they’re comfortable.
Okay. What I’m actually trying to admit here is that I’ve never actually had dedicated running shorts, so these came with a bit of a learning curve.
First of all, you already know that the shorts are made with the same high standard of quality and sustainability as the singlet. Recycled yarns (a percentage isn’t listed on the website for the shorts, though), eco-friendly dying practices, and humane, solar-powered factory environments mean these shorts are something you can run in and feel good about.
Second of all, having just three inches between myself and indecent exposure is rather terrifying.
With that out of the way, the shorts — thanks in part to their short inseam — are just as breathable as the singlet. The fabric itself is also very quick-drying and moisture-wicking. Two elastic loops on the back waistband provide storage for gels on the go, and there’s a little bit of extra storage space to be found back there in a small zippered pocket. It’s not large enough for a phone (unless you’re old enough to run with an iPod Shuffle), but maybe good storage for car keys and extra gels.
The anti-chafe liner is my only gripe with the Pressio Elite Shorts. Full disclosure: I learned only recently that liners are truly supposed to rid you of the need to wear anything else under the shorts. If that’s how you wear these, they work just fine, and the liner stays minimally intrusive. But try to wear running tights or — perish the thought — regular underwear under the shorts, and your runs will all be to catch the Pain Train to Chafe City (it’s like a really cursed Polar Express for when it’s hot outside). Since Pressio is a Euro-based company, it’s possible that the sizing just runs a little small, but I figured I’d mention it.
Overall, if you wear them “as intended,” the Elite 3” Shorts are a great option for hot-weather racing and training and reinforce Pressio’s mission to prove that performance and sustainable, ethical practices are not and should not be mutually exclusive.
PRICE: $50Shop Pressio Elite Shorts - Men
Kaleb is one of the younger, “both of my knees still work” reviewers on the BITR team. As a high school cross country, track and field, and road racing athlete in Pennsylvania, Kaleb loves hearing about the latest endurance-athletics studies and seeing how everything out there can fit into a well-rounded training program. If you don’t see him drinking a weird health concoction or doing some strange warmup technique, he’s probably already started the race.
All-time favorite shoes: Saucony Ride 14, Nike ZoomX DragonflyMore from Kaleb