FOREWORD: Sharp-eyed readers will recognise this as an old post. It was originally saved to wordpress as a page and I had a clear-out and wanted it as a regular post, so I had to save it as one. It’s the neat-freak in me. Anyway…
(Originally posted July 2012)
Review time again folks, and this time I’ve been trying out some of the latest running gear from Asics. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not at all technically minded about these things, so please don’t expect an in-depth analysis of the latest developments in zip technology or an accurate measurement of how resistant the sleeves are to earthquakes. My level of testing went no further than trying the clothes on to see how they looked and then taking them out for a few runs of varying distance and intensity. There was a moment where I made attempts to do some more comprehensive tests, but I quickly found out that it’s nigh on impossible to persuade someone to let you use their wind tunnel or lend you a flamethrower at three o’clock in the morning when you’ve clearly been drinking. So, yeah… reviews then…
Asics 2-in-1 woven 7” shorts Now, this may single me out as a naïve, bumbling plodder, but I’d never actually heard of 2-in-1 shorts until I got my hands on these. Well, that’s not strictly true – I’d seen the words written down in catalogues and magazines but just assumed that they were shorts that transformed into something else, like a 30ft tall battle robot, or a toaster*. It turns out that 2-in-1 actually means that inside the baggier outer layer there’s a stretchy cycling-short-style inner. The obvious advantage of this is that it prevents your thighs rubbing together during a run. For fans of chafing (and I know there are a few of you) this is very bad news, but for the rest of us who prefer it when our inner thighs don’t look and feel as if they’ve been peeled, roasted and attacked with a cheese grater then it’s a very welcome development. They certainly passed the mirror test, looking to the untrained eye (i.e. mine) like any other pair of shorts – inoffensive but stylish with stretchy blue side panels and a nice sturdy construction to them. The inside of the waistband is orange. Not sure why, but I suppose that if you found yourself in peril you could always fold it over and it’d make it a bit easier for a lifeboat to find you.
Moving round to the back of the shorts, there’s the obligatory rear zipped pocket. I really liked this feature, purely because it falls within my ability as a product tester. So, after three minutes of painstaking research, I can reveal that the pocket will comfortably hold an iPhone, a house key, a small packet of crayons, one Soreen snack-sized malt loaf and five teaspoons. I should really point out that although this stuff all fits, there’s a very good chance that if you actually ran with that much bouncing around in there, you’d very quickly find yourself with your lovely new shorts round your ankles.
Decades of television tells me that this would be accompanied by a trombone noise.
Anyway, in terms of performance they were pretty much faultless. For a quick 5 or 10k on a warm day I’d probably stick with something a little more lightweight and, well, whatever the more manly version of “skimpy” is. But it’s on longer runs that these shorts really come into their own, as snug and comfortable as a second skin. If I had to pick fault with them, it’d be with the fact that they can feel a bit too natural. There have been a few instances where I’ve had to check mid-run to make sure I was actually wearing shorts. Thankfully I was, seven times out of ten, and the magistrate was very understanding, all things considered. More details can be found here here
Value for money: 7/10
Teaspoon capacity: 9/10
Asics Hermes SS teeThere’s not a lot I can say about this shirt because it’s constantly either being worn or in the laundry basket, so I don’t have the luxury of sitting down and poring over its various features. This has quickly become my favourite and most well-worn running top for a number of reasons. It’s a snug fit, and although it’s not a compression top it does seem to hold some of the more wobbly areas firmly in check. The end result is that it’s a lovely looking shirt, with the added bonus of being just tight enough to prevent unwanted nipple rub (oh god, there he goes again, always banging on about chafing). And that’s about it; no frills, no gimmicks, no claims of special fabrics infused with badger-repellent – just a really nice running tee.
The only mystery surrounding the Asics Hermes SS tee is what the “SS” actually stands for. Super Soft? Sprinty Sprinterson? Sufficiently Stretchy? I could go on.
So I will… Shifty Squirrels? Superior to Saucony? Sexy Santa? Okay, I’ll stop now. You can find out more about it here.
Physical Strength: 98
Fear Factor: 88
Killing Power: 95
Horror rating: 77
Asics Speed SS seamless top
This is an amazing running shirt. Sadly, it’s an amazing running shirt that I can’t actually wear without looking as if I’m smuggling several kilos of finest marshmallow. I’m told that it boasts the very latest in bodymapping technology and breathability-enhancing midichlorians (or something), but all I know for sure is that it’s made of the stretchiest material I’ve ever seen. When I took the shirt out of the bag I thought they’d accidentally sent me it in “baby monkey” size***, but I quickly realised that it could actually be stretched out to comfortably fit a modest aircraft carrier. The upshot of this was that once I’d wriggled into the thing, it clung to every contour of my body with such painted-on body-huggingness (real word) that I felt ever-so-slightly violated. I’ve already described how the Hermes tee hid some of my (ahem) imperfections, and it turns out that the place it hid them was in this shirt. It’s a shame, because this is a lovely looking top with a very luxuriant feel to it, and the futuristic iridescent two-tone fabric appeals to my inner nerd. The bottom line, folks, is that this shirt is wasted on a still-slightly-doughy plodder like me, but if I were a lithe speed-snake I’d be buying these by the bucketload.
Speed snake! That’s what the “SS” stands for. Cracked it!
More sensible stuff about this shirt can be found here.
Looks like something a superhero would wear: 9.8/10
Makes me look like a superhero: 1/10****
*Which begs the question “why the hell didn’t I get some sooner?”
** If I’m honest, these scores are completely arbitrary and don’t really mean anything, so I’ve instead opted for the rating system from the Top Trumps horror edition.
*** Do Asics still do animal sizes?
**** Unless Daffyd from Little Britain ever becomes a superhero.