29 May 2014

running in skirts

Last weekend I ran 13.1 miles... in a skirt! Chris and I had a beautiful, if very quick, trip to Burlington where we fueled up on sunshine, local beer and running. As a two-person team in the Vermont City Marathon (yep, we've done this before), we each tackled 13.1 miles and then scurried home quickly to attend a beautiful, relaxed wedding with a big red barn and lawn games and champagne.

I have harbored such mixed feelings about the running skirt, including, but not limited to:
  • "I don't get it."
  • "How cute! I'll buy three."
  • "So just because I'm a chick I need to run in a SKIRT now and I mean whatever happened to equality and being able to be female and tough and not princess-ify everything."
  • "I am a divine feminine goddess and I am going to crush it in this running skirt."
  • "Isn't it really more of a skort?"
  • "Hating on running skirts is so anti-woman... so you have to dress like a man to be taken seriously?"
  • "Oh come, on... a running skirt?! Really, Christine?"
  • "I look really cute in this."
  • "I feel like an idiot in this."

I see women wearing them and I love them. So chic! So hip. I've always been squarely in the camp that appreciates cute workout clothes. If I wear schleppy clothes, I feel schleppy. If I wear cute clothes, I feel cute. I make no apologies. If you are going to work yourself into a sweaty, red-faced mess you might as well have great sneakers on and a snappy outfit, yes?

This is my still-sleeping-and-about-to-run-a-race face.

The running skirt always seemed like a step too far though. I worried about looking silly, about attracting too much attention and about looking like I didn't belong with the "serious" runners. But then I would try a skirt on and think, "This looks good!" So what was my problem?

I think there is a bit more in here about patriarchy and gender roles and embracing the feminine and something else important, but what it should come down to is this:  Do you want to wear a running skirt? Do you feel good in it? Is it comfortable and practical? If yes, do it. Rock it. Get it. It's kind of like the short hair thing- not everyone will understand it or like it, but if you wear it with rockstar confidence then you will be unstoppable.

Last weekend I was high on life and about to crush half marathon #6. Chris told me I looked cute in the skirt, so I wore it to the race. I'm glad I did. A lot of other women wore running skirts too. We all looked awesome and we all ran good races. You can be fierce in a running skirt, you really can.

What do you think? Do you think running skirts are ridiculous? Would you ever wear one? I know I'll still have to talk myself into wearing them out on training runs. Races are more comfortable, because you are surrounded by supportive runners, but the solo run is where you really need to summon your courage and throw your shoulders back. I'm on a mission to convince others to give the running skirt a try, because it might help me have the confidence to wear one more often.

PS- Does anyone care about the technical specifics of running skirts and apparel? Like, which ones I like and why and all of that? If so, let me know and I'm happy to share.

Related posts
That first marathon
Running for fun
Get outside and run
It's just a half marathon
His marathon


  1. Naturally, I think you look awesome in the running skirt....and truth be told, didn't you shave time off your marathan rocking the skirt this past weekend? Was it the skirt or the great team? Probably some of both, but who knows? :)

  2. First off, half marathon #6?! Rockstar. You inspire me, whether you run in shorts or a skirt! As for the skirt, I am personally not partial to them, but I honestly don't have a good reason, especially since I've never tried one. I think in general, I'm not really into any fancy workout clothes (fitted tanks, dri-fit t-shirts, etc.) though; the baggy tee and shorts tends to be what I'm most comfortable in. I do love that the skirt has made more women confident about running which means more are getting out there and hitting the road though I do wonder why that is (i.e., do women need to feel cute to feel like they can run?). Fundamentally, it doesn't matter since the skirts do get ladies out running, but I think it would be an interesting thing to look at. I also definitely disagree that the skirt makes you less serious of a runner. Plenty of serious runners, including elites, wear skirts so the fact that that thought is still out there is ridiculous.

    1. <3 Chels! I love a cute running outfit, but you are so on point with your question about why women need to always feel cute or pretty in addition to whatever else they are doing. Cute and professional, pretty while running, sexy while parenting, etc. Isn't it enough to just be professional, run or parent without always being a bombshell!?

      However... when I look good, I feel good and I'm a sucker for cute clothes :) So maybe I'm not the best person to moderate that conversation!

    2. Haha oh me too for sure; I definitely feel more confident when I'm rockin' a cute outfit and took the time to put on some make-up! But the tiny feminist inside me wonders why that is. I'm certainly not thinking about conforming to society's standards when I'm putting on eyeliner but maybe subconsciously I am? Sonofa.... But honestly, I'm sure men feel the same on some level too; they feel more confident if they look good. So maybe it's more primitive; maybe we're all just peacocking for the perfect mate ;-).

    3. Also I do like the skirt you're wearing in the picture; it's very sporty but also cute. What brand is it? I think if it was going to try one, it would be similar in style to that one.

    4. Ugh, I love you. I wish this blog just had "like" feature for comments. I'm wearing the Hatha Yoga Skirt from Athleta... so it's not even a running skirt, but it's super low-profile and has little no-slip grips on the legs of the shorts, which is nice.


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