I’ve been waiting for it to rain in Scotland. That seems ironic, waiting for it to rain….in Scotland. Well it’s true, Edinburgh has had the driest April for some years. I don’t often welcome the rain, I mean, who does, but the garden certainly needed it, my lack of green digits evident by the browning of the plants and grass. However, I did welcome it this time as I wanted to give the 2 in 1 shorts a chance in the rain. I’ve been wearing them non-stop since getting on board as an ambassador with ashmei.
I always wear an inner compression garment when racing, usually some major branded compression short under whatever short I pick for the race. The reason, as most ultra runners will know, is to stop chaffing. However, I have picked up some chaffing from stitched seems on other compression gear. At last year’s Anglo Celtic Plate 100km, I had chaffing in bits of my body that I thought were impossible. It turned out that a seemed part of the under garment had moved to a creased area on my body (enough information?) and had caused all manner of chaos down there (definitely enough information). You could ask Mrs T how the shower went after that race, the screams could probably be heard in Aldbury (ashmei HQ).
As an ultra runner the inner merino compression short is fantastic, there are no seems. Well there are seems of course, but the way they have been stitched essentially hides them. The merino is light, soft and tight, it fits snuggly, just exactly what a compression garment should do. The inner isn’t 100% merino, there is some elastane in there to perform as the compression. It is a genius combination. As the major component is merino the heat control is fantastic, never overheating and not leaving you chilly either. I haven’t run 100km in these shorts, yet, but I am extremely confident of how great they will perform when I do.
The rear pocket is large enough for keys, cards and at a push I could get my iPhone 7 in there when the shorts are off. It’s little more difficult when they are on, but that isn’t the purpose of the pocket, so it was an unexpected bonus. Within the pocket there is a mini pocket, small enough to fit a couple of coins in and stop them rumbling around in the large outer pocket. Inside the pocket there is this statement:
“Your body is not the same all over. You have lumps and bumps and hot bits and cool bits. You’re not symmetrical like a ping pong ball. You have different sized limbs and muscles, each with their individual needs to be protected against the elements. This is why we have developed 360 degree MAPPING, to position the most suitable technical fabrics around the body to maximise comfort and performance”
This says it all about ashmei as a company, they are completely athlete centric. We, you, our comfort and performance come first to ashmei, it is one of the overriding reasons that I wanted to become part of their ambassador team.
Back to the shorts. The outer layer is a mid length nylon/elastane blend, very light, with ‘breather’ strips down each side which are excellent for keeping things cool around that area. The shorts fit excellently, they feel tight around the areas that they should, and they feel loose around the areas that need it. As I said at the top of this blog, I wanted to wait for the rain, I wanted to see how they would perform in the wet. I opted to stick on a waterproof jacket, an expensive waterproof jacket! I wanted to compare the shorts to one of the leading brands of waterproof sports wear out there. Of course I had the classic short sleeve t-shirt on underneath. I don’t wear anything else these days.
So I went out for an 8 mile run, along the coast. It was lovely to be just running again, the freedom it provides. Being out at 6:30 on a Saturday morning, there is nobody around, all I could hear were the waves crashing onto the beach, the rain hitting the ground and the gulls squealing at each other.
I had actually forgotten that the 2 in 1 shorts were waterproof. As I unlocked the door to the house I looked down and noticed the beads of water on the shorts as they rolled down and off the shorts. These particular shorts have been washed a number of times so it was reassuring to see that they were retaining their waterproofness. In stark contrast the top brand waterproof jacket was socked through!!
Water sitting in beads on top of outer layer of the shorts.
And water soaking through the waterproof jacket.
The part that ashmei don’t advertise is the multiple use of the shorts. The merino wool inner is wicking and anti-bacterial, so the sweat doesn’t stay in the garment, they can be used for a good few days before they need to be washed. I was sceptical of this unknown fact, but it is very true. I have two pairs of the shorts and once they have dried they go back into the drawer and washed once a week, saving a little on the washing machine electricity, not to mention the way overpriced washing liquid!
Typically of ashmei, the shorts look great too, a must for the vain types like me!!
Overall, stylish, will perform in all conditions, innovative design for both parts of the short and fantastic value for money.
Now, go out and buy some, you won’t regret it.