Field Tested: Women’s Running Apparel

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I'm a big believer in using gear for new purposes (i.e., something for which it wasn't originally intended). With that in mind, I took two pieces of cycling apparel and have been logging my running miles in them for the past few weeks. I must say, they've adapted well. Here's the lowdown:

SmartWool Women's Cottonwood Jersey–You're probably thinking: Why would someone run in wool when the temps are rising? The truth–at least as I found it to be while testing this shirt–is that in a desert climate like Santa Fe, the site of Outside's HQ, spring and early summer bring on a wide range of temps and some serious wind. I've worn the Cottonwood Jersey in cool and hot temps, and I never really felt uncomfortable. During my early morning runs, when the temps were in the 50s or 60s, the wool gave me warmth, and when I ran during the heat of the day, with temps in the 80s or so, the shirt proved to be highly breathable. It's a loose cut, which subtly skims your figure, and the raglan sleeves are good for broad shoulders. It also has a 1/4 zip, side seams, and mesh panels in the armpits, which are all great for temperature control. A zip pocket on the left side has just enough room to stash your keys or whatever little other odds and ends you need to take on your run. $95;

SmartWool Arm Warmer–I wore these with the Cottonwood Jersey, and they make a great combo for both style and performance. I donned the black arm warmers, which have a pattern of thin, colorful stripes, making for a nice contrast against the blue/gray of the jersey I wore. And, as with the jersey, the arm warmers kept me warm in cool temps. I also wore them when it was hot and windy outside, and they did a great job of protecting me from the burning rays of the sun–altitude is around 7,000 feet here–while keeping me cool by letting enough air through to take care of my sweat. The fabric is seamless, giving it a smooth look and feel, and doesn't budge, even when you're pumping your arms and moving against the wind. $25; 

–Aileen Torres

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