Like many female runners that transitioned from high school to college running when I did, I was absolutely baffled by the first pair of spandex I was ever told to wear. They were a tiny pair of bun huggers in navy blue with a small eagle head on the back. I had no idea how I was not going to get wedgie racing in them. So needless to say, I was relieved to find out that we were getting spandex shorts the next year. Sadly, these shorts had a worse fit than the bun huggers. When I ran steeple for a season, there was plenty of untagging of pictures on Facebook where a cheek or two was hanging out. Needless to say, if I did not have to run in spandex I didn’t. I’ve had problems with traditional shorts too especially in the humidity of Austin, Texas.
Jacalyn Gross, an apparel and textile design graduate and varsity athlete from Michigan State University, started UR Sportswear to solve sportswear problems. For the first product line she surveyed more than 300 women athletes. By directly asking those who actually are going to use the clothing, she was able to find out what they’re really looking for and develop a product that fits. Jacalyn tested the fit of the product endlessly until it was how she wanted. The product that came from this is the “Just Rock” short. I was overjoyed to be sent a free pair to test out.
So what makes this pair of spandex shorts so different? First, the short has a five inch inseam with gripping material sewn to the hem so the shorts stay where they need to. The shorts fit somewhere between half tights and short shorts. There is also a pocket in the back to store whatever you need. The fabric doesn’t feel quite like the spandex uniform shorts I was used to and is super light. The colors and patterns are a modern twist on the colors of the 80s (think “Let’s Get Physical” music video from Olivia Newton John).
I decided to wear test this pair of shorts out on my long run. If you live in Austin, you will know that the place to be for a long run is Town lake loop also known Lady Bird Johnson trail. At the crack of dawn, I started my 70 minute runner. Not once during my run did I have to stop to adjust. I did stop once when I had a slight panic because I could not feel the car key in the back pocket. The key was there, the shorts are just that good. The shorts were great. I had no chaffing and no marks in the skin that showed the fit was too tight. I really had no complaints. I even got a compliment (though it was from the boyfriend so that might not count).
The short was everything UR Sportswear promised and I’m glad to support a small business started by woman founder. You can find out more on their website and you can follow them on Twitter @URsportswear.