Gear Army: Sugoi Verve Running Shorts

Nov 9, 2009
Outside Magazine

Ask any serious runner about their favorite piece of running gear and they will likely tell you about their super-technical shoes, lightweight polarized sunglasses, or distance/calorie/pace tracking-stopwatch system. And their running shorts? Shorts are probably the last piece of gear runners think about.

Sugoi Verve The funny thing is you spend just as much time in a pair of shorts as you do in your running shoes, so you want to have shorts that feel good, fit and perform well. And I have learned the hard way in the past that the right pair of shorts can make a world of difference (bad shorts = chaffing, the bane of any runner’s existence). I recently tested the Sugoi Verve running short; ($45), a low-rise, lightweight running short with mesh panels and a mesh liner for moisture wicking and breathability, and was quite happy with how well the shorts fit, felt and performed. 

Fit: These shorts fit true to size and are a bit longer than the traditional half-split running short. At first I thought the length would inhibit my stride, but I didn’t have any problems with that while running. The Verve shorts have a drawstring waist and a mesh liner that wasn’t too tight to feel restrictive and wasn’t too loose to make you want to cut the darn thing out of the shorts! 

Comfort: I found these shorts to be very comfortable on both short and long runs. The material is thin but strong, and even after a long, hot and sweaty training session the material stayed dry and didn’t stick to my skin or feel uncomfortable. The mesh liner was excellent at wicking away moisture and I honestly didn’t even think about the liner during the run, which makes it pretty much perfect in my book. Sometimes shorts can ride up during a run and I find myself constantly adjusting them and pulling them down. The Verve never rode up. 

Performance: There are several features of the Verve shorts that set it apart from other running shorts.  There is a small mesh key pocket in front, which is actually large and stretchy enough to fit a classic-sized iPod. On a long run, I was surprised to find that my iPod stayed put and didn’t bounce around at all.  There are also two Velcro “quick draw” pockets on the sides of the shorts that easily fit a gel or two in each, which is especially great for distance runners.  What I didn’t expect was that these pockets are large and stretchy enough to fit a headlamp. Who really wants to carry a headlamp when setting off at dusk or wear one in daylight before it gets dark? I was just able to close the pocket and thus my headlamp was snug as a bug, no annoying bouncing or jumping out of the pocket. Speaking of running in the dark, the Verve short has 3M Scotchlite reflective strips on the sides, which certainly came in handy when running in pre- or post-daylight.   

Overall, I highly recommend these running shorts. The only downside is they are a bit more expensive than other shorts on the market. As with many things, however, you get what you pay for and in the end I think these shorts will last (and obviously perform) a lot better than some of the cheaper running shorts I own.

Bethany Aquilina BethanyAquilina has been running since she was three years old. She's pacedherself across 21 countries and four continents. Her most memorablemoment? Being chased by overzealous monkeys on a trail in Hong Kong.

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