Finding a pair of compression shorts with good pockets isn’t easy. Just take a look at my running clothes drawer (and my wallet) if you need proof. While I do love the fuel and hydration belt I have, I’ve really grown to love running without any type of belt on my waist. I feel lighter and I never have to worry about readjusting every few miles.
Going out for 3-5 mile runs without fuel was working just fine, but as my marathon training miles increased, I needed to start having fuel accessible. I started out my search to find compression-style shorts with pockets, but it wasn’t easy. Most of the shorts with pockets weren’t compression and the compression shorts I found didn’t have pockets (except for the small key pocket hidden in a waistband).
Finally, thanks to Google, I stumbled upon RaceReady shorts and I saw my version of the Holy Grail…compression shorts with pockets! And not just one or two pockets, but lots of pockets! I immediately reached out to see if I could review a pair and they were more than happy to send a pair of RaceReady Women’s LD Compression Running shorts my way. I had actually debated getting the tights instead of shorts (because winter), but I figured I should try out a pair I’d actually use during my race next month and I could layer tights under the shorts if I wanted to wear them outside of the race and gym.
According to the sizing chart, I was on the border of an XS and S. After speaking with RaceReady, I went with the S (the XS would have fit, but they would have been more of a true compression short, rather than just supportive). As promised, the shorts fit snugly and provided support, but they weren’t full-on compression. The drawstring ensures a secure fit at the waist and eliminates the worry of droopy shorts. There is one thing to note, however…the waist on these shorts is much higher than any pair I’ve worn before. We’re talking belly button high. If I were the type of runner to run in just a sports bra, the waist height might be bothersome, but I’m all about wearing a shirt when running, so no worries there.
Yes, that’s my pale stomach and even paler legs. You’re welcome. Listen, I had to show you how high the shorts are. They’re covering up 3/4 of my belly button. And you can see the length here as well. They’re the perfect length for me…not too short, but not too long.
And what about having large pockets on your butt? Well, if we’re being honest, I was a bit worried about adding all of that junk to my trunk. Thankfully, the majority of my running shirts covered the pockets and I didn’t feel like there was an awkward bulge on my backside. (and I almost always wear Sparkle Athletic skirts during my races, so they’ll definitely be covered) I’d also rather have a little bulk on my backside than around my waist.
So what did I fit in those shorts? For my four hour, seventeen mile romp, I brought along eight Starburst, two Snickers Marathon Energy Bars, an iPod nano, iPhone 5, Chapstick, and my iFitness 6oz hydration bottle. Y’all. I was a walking vending machine. And you know what? I didn’t notice a single thing. There was no bounce, no worry about things flying out of the pockets, and, most importantly, the shorts didn’t feel like they were weighed down or falling off.
Also? Can I just tell you how difficult it is to take a photo of your own backside? I mean, I’m glad the backwards selfie isn’t a thing because I’d fail miserably at it.
Final verdict: these shorts are comfortable and functional. They’re my official long distance short and I’ll be sporting them at the Walt Disney World Marathon next week. I’m considering purchasing the capris and tights for fall/winter running in 2014. The RaceReady Women’s LD Compression shorts sell for $37.95 on RaceReady.com. RaceReady also sells non-compression long distance shorts (read: pockets galore) if that’s more your style.
QOTD: Have you tried RaceReady products before? Do you have a feature your running bottoms must have (pockets, compression, drawstring, ect)?