Summer is without a doubt the hardest running season of the year. Unless you live in Montana, it’s hot all day long, with temperatures soaring and humidity rising. Summer running is sweaty, sticky, disgusting, parching, painful, and sometimes dangerous. (Are those enough adjectives?) If you’re new to the sport, we hope we’re selling you on what you just signed up for.
Tracksmith has mastered the art of lightweight running apparel to keep you cool and have you looking even cooler. This is a list of our favorite pieces from the Hare for those gritty summer miles. If you’ve followed Believe in the Run for a while, you know we review a lot of their gear, so we’re pretty well-versed in the brand. We still have about 60 days left of straight-up barbeque-ing on the open roads, so get geared up to ride this thing out.
This is basically what we’ve been running in all summer. It’s so lightweight and breathable (and uh, looks freakin’ sick), that it makes its way to the laundry more than anything else these days.
The Strata kit is designed with high-performance training and racing in mind. The tank has an ultra-breathable knit structure that feels featherweight on the body. It features a coat of coldblack© tech to regulate heat and provide UV protection of 30+ UPF. The stripe across the chest is a timeless look in any color, and it matches well with the accompanying shorts. Speaking of which, the Strata shorts follow suit by being breathable and give a barely-there feeling. The swim-trunk-inspired liner is pleasantly comfortable and doesn’t bunch up. Both pieces are anti-microbial, so you can bust out this kit for two-a-days without washing if you’re into that sort of thing (Robbe’s into that sort of thing).
To be honest, we weren’t that into the Strata tee because we feel it’s cut a little weird, but the tank and shorts are 100% on-point.
PRICE: $85 for tank, $88 for shortsShop Strata – Men Shop Strata – Women
This singlet is part of a larger collection paying homage to Bill Rodgers’ record-breaking 2:09.27 at the 1979 Boston Marathon. The design takes cues from the kit he wore, with an airy mesh construction that breathes like a windy canyon and wicks moisture with the best of em. The racerback design is comfortable and conforming for a singlet that wants to get picked for fast days. Similar to the men’s Strata tank, the horizontal stripe on the chest delivers an old-school vibe that feels like it needs striped over-calf socks and a cassette player. Finishing it off is a “BR” insignia on the back.
Available for men and women.
PRICE: $70Shop 79 Singlet – Men Shop 79 Singlet – Women
Most of Tracksmith’s shorts are, well, short. So short that most of us with average amounts of confidence would feel a little too exposed in line at Starbucks or wandering around the grocery store in them. Enter the Van Cortlandt Grand, a more modest take on the Hare’s most beloved short (at least by the BITR crew). This is Robbe’s favorite short of all time, and there’s a reason we put it in like every “best of” list and Tracksmith roundup. Simply put, this short is worth twice its price. Thomas has a pair of Van Cortlandt that is going on 5+ years.
The Grands utilize that same top-tier 2:09 Mesh as the original and feature an anti-microbial liner. The difference in the “Grand” comes in the cut of the shorts, as the Grands have a straighter hem and less extreme rise. Despite an unchanged 4” inseam, these shorts manage to give just a little more coverage in a sleek and sharp design. Like the OG Van Cortlandt’s, they also feature rear internal pockets for keys, gels, etc. This year also features some new colorways with more classic striping designs (see above).
Pick up a pair. You won’t regret it.
PRICE: $65Shop VC Grand Shorts – Men
Ever get back from a July long run, sweating salt tablets from your face, and think “I could use a dip in the pool, but I don’t want to get my $70 shorts all chlorined up”? Well, that’s exactly what the Run Cannonball Run collection is made for. Tracksmith created pieces that are primed for a jump in the pool or dive off a cliff (please look before you leap) while keeping their running DNA intact. Thomas has been rocking the short all summer, and we can confirm it works for everything stated above.
So what makes it a swim/run short? For starters, the men’s RCR Shorts feature a quick-drying liner and outer shell that will not chafe on the run. They sport two side pockets and an internal zipper pocket for keys and such.
To accompany the water-friendly, the RCR Tee is a super lightweight cotton t-shirt that delivers on performance and style. Classic solid colors and a chest pocket add a tough of sophistication to this top.
The Run Cannonball Run collection also features the RCR Bra, a “swim-friendly” version of Tracksmith’s Run Bra. The quick-drying design provides plenty of support for running and swimming alike. A nice bonus: this bra is reversible, as the inside is a complete secondary color to change it up whenever you’d like.
PRICE: $88 for men’s short, $78 for men’s tee, $72 for braShop Run Cannonball – Men Shop Run Cannonball – Women
Nothing really new here as the Grayboy tee is a pretty classic staple in the Tracksmith stable, but we rock this tee all summer long when we’re lounging, so we thought we should include it. If you actually run in it, the Grayboy is the perfect top for the runner who wants to visibly show just how much they sweat. Personally, we like to just hang in it.
On the surface, there’s nothing terribly special or complicated about this shirt. It’s 88% cotton and inspired by the shirts cross country teams would receive to train in. The quality of the shirt is what really stands out. The construction is top-notch, as the cotton strikes the rare balance of soft, breathable (kind of), and durable. The Grayboys are a fan favorite, especially the “Amateur” design, so snag one of these retro-inspired tees while you can. Also available in women’s tank and long sleeve versions.
PRICE: $55 men’s tee/ $52 women’s tankShop Grayboy – Men Shop Grayboy – Women
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