You wouldn’t think running shorts are all that different from each other. But you’re totally wrong.
Last year, I ran my first marathon. After I signed up for the race, to ease my stress, I treated myself to a brand new pair of running shorts. They were the first pair I had bought since high school, and my desire to keep up with the times brought me to up-and-coming brand darling, Oiselle. I purchased the Distance shorts and only hated myself a little bit for spending $46 on one, tiny pair of shorts. That was, of course, until I tried them.
Women's running shorts seem to come in two flavors. One type is so baggy that they look like they should only be worn on the basketball court and probably make insufferable rustling sounds the entire time you're running. And then there's the ubiquitous, somewhat U-shaped Nike Tempo-style short. It's a fine design that I wore all throughout high school gym classes. But faced with the prospect of 20-mile training runs, I questioned if I could deal with its strange billowy crotch and hems that oddly hug the thighs with every step.
Thankfully, the Distance shorts offer an elegant in-between. They're just baggy enough to not hinder my stride, and cut straight across, avoiding the detestable billow-crotch. In another technical miracle, the woven polyester shell never got too hot and had to be the most soothingly soft fabric that I've ever worn. After hundreds of miles and nearly as many washings, it never faded or lost elasticity.
The best part about these shorts. however, is a quality that tends to endear me to any piece of clothing: an abundance of pockets. The Distance has four, more than I've ever seen in any pair of running shorts, and three of them are zippered. (The unzippered pocket is a key pouch.) Up front, two big pockets each fit four Gu's. But the real lifesaver is the back pocket, which is the least annoying place to put your phone during a run. Every pair of running shorts should have one. No bustle effect, either. "The sleek silhouette will never give away how much loot you're packing," Oiselle's brags. They're not lying.
For me, these small details add up to a pair of shorts that pass the ultimate test: they're actually enjoyable to wear for more than 20 miles. I constantly reached for the Distance shorts during that whole summer of training, and still, do. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I traveled and didn't throw them in my backpack. As it turns out, all you need to find the perfect pair of shorts are more options. And more pockets.