This is one for the guys. I can’t be the only man who’s had a conversation that’s gone a little bit like this…
Non-runner: “oooooh… I like your leggings”.
Runner: (puffs out chest and adopts a gruff manly tone) “they’re not leggings, actually. They’re tights! So… umm…”
This little exchange is usually rounded off with waves of laughter, the like of which hasn’t been heard since that time I tripped over in Debenhams and got my head stuck in a bread bin.
Running tights are a fantastic thing; they fend off the biting wind-chill on a cold morning and bring all the added benefits of compression gear*. But it’s just the name of the things that I struggle with; I’m no expert, but if they don’t have feet doesn’t that technically make them leggings rather than tights?
I can hazard a guess as to what happened. Some bright spark at Running University wanted to spare male runners any potential embarrassment by doing away with the traditionally feminine “leggings” tag. This would have been a masterstroke if he’d opted for something a bit ninja rather than, for reasons known only to him, calling them tights. That’s right, tights. Those things that my wife wears. My wife who is a bit puzzled by my passion for running at the best of times, and who really doesn’t need the added worry that I’m about to start rifling through her underwear drawer and borrowing her fishnets. No, I’m sorry Professor, but “tights” just won’t do.
So, what are the alternatives? Well, I’ve had a think (which may explain all the noise) and I’ve come up with a few ideas…
“Skintight Knickerbockers” (Arguably worse than before)
“Tactical Windproof Athletic Trousers” (Hmm… we live in a world of acronyms…)
“Jeggings” (an amalgamation of “Jogging” and “Leggings”: already been done)
“Reggings” (an amalgamation of “Running” and “Leggings”: sounds a bit racist)
“Gentleman’s Elasticated Vitality Pantaloons” (Good, but a bit Victorian)
“Thingies” (Worryingly the best so far)
“Running tights” (Okay then, I know when I’m beaten)
So, lovely people, can you think of any better alternatives? Can we together shape the future of running couture, or am I doomed to get laughed at by so-called friends whenever I squeeze my tush into extremely manly skintight lycra that looks like the bottom half of a mime?