Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. He is also a keen cyclist and a lover of the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District.
Sundried: An Ethical Brand Looking to Help Others
When you buy new running kit you're often interested in what it could do for your performance. Sundried sees things a little differently. Whilst offering cutting edge fabrics and design, it's also looking after the less fortunate in this world with its ethical activewear range.
Having recently been provided with a pair of its Roteck leggings to test for review, it's interesting to see a company that's focused on more than just its profits. However, if you're going to buy a £75 pair of running tights the likelihood is you're looking for a performance edge; otherwise, you'd be spending a little less money and potentially putting a few quid in a collection tin somewhere. Therefore, the quality of Sundried products has to be at a premium to justify the pricing.
When I personally look to buy something I look at whether the performance justifies the price tag, which tends to be my biggest need and want when making a purchase.
Covering Up for Winter
As much as it would be great to run through winter in shorts, the reality is for many of us it's just not a realistic option. A decent pair of running tights will add warmth, a degree of protection from the elements, and a degree of modesty whilst out training.
As cooler temperatures roll in it's also vital to protect your joints for the long term to help prevent potential problems in future.
Sundried Leggings: First Impressions
Upon opening the package that arrived at my door I was impressed at the professional manner in which the item came. The official-looking outer package contained a branded fabric bag, inside which were my tights in a branded zip-lock pocket. Someone has definitely thought about presentation and I was impressed. The branded fabric bag makes a great shoe or gym carry bag and I can never have too many zip lock envelopes for the various events I do, whether it's for protection within a race bag or for use as a drop bag.
Upon removing the leggings from the packaging the fabric felt great. Soft to touch without the cool feeling you often find with polyester fabrics. An alternate fabric to the inner thigh and crotch area adds additional stretch and wicking properties.
With the Sundried logo at the base of the left leg, these are relatively inconspicuous kit. Until someone takes a deeper look they're likely to be unassuming of what you're wearing. I'm not a big fan of being a giant billboard so the styling worked for me.
At the £75 price point, I would usually expect an emphasis on an ergonomic cut to a pair of running tights with multiple panels to create such an effect. The Sundried tights in comparison feature a simpler straight-legged cut which you would generally expect of much cheaper sportswear.
A zipped side pocket at the waist works well for an energy gel or two or a set of keys although I'd have liked to have seen multiple pockets to stash things in whilst on short runs. I don't mind carrying a soft flask however would expect a high end priced pair of running tights to offer a little more in the means of storage whilst out on the trail.
One of the features I particularly liked at first was the reflective stripe sewn in at the base of the legs alongside the relatively subtle lower leg logo as featured below.
Having been sent a size small pair of tights, I must admit I normally opt for an extra small to cater for my jealousy-inducing 26-28 inch waist which I'm constantly told isn't right for someone in his 30s. The waistband was relatively deep and actually fairly snug for a 30-32 inch size.
Leg length was also great for my 31-inch legs with plenty of scope for someone needing a couple of inches more. I would have liked to have seen a slightly more snug fit around the ankles but the fit was by no means excessively loose except for the extra fabric in the legs.
My main worry about the fit was that there was a lot of excess fabric around my groin. So much so there were a set of ripples. This isn't something I would usually expect as my quads and hamstrings felt pretty snug in the legs.
Out on the Trail
Living next to a nice big country park means I have a great testing playground whether I'm out trying new running stuff or on the bike, so I headed out onto the old pit tops for a few photos and to see how comfortable the running tights were.
Initially, the men's sport leggings felt fine. Nice and comfortable on a damp, single figure temperature day. However, the longer into the run we got the more the excess fabric under the groin became an issue of discomfort for me with a small degree of rub over a run of around 6 km, which I feel would get worse over the course of longer runs. I certainly wouldn't want to try running a half marathon or longer in these tights based on the fit. With a little more sculpting to the fabric, they could be a very nice running tight.
Sundried Roteck Running Tights Review
Great fabric feel with plenty of stretch
Reflective taping low down away from driver eyeline
Ideal for longer legs
Excess fabric to undercarriage
Front tie removes pressure point
Only one pocket: one for keys and one for gels is ideal
Non ergonomic fit
Simple, uncomplicated styling
Sundried Men's Running Tights Summary
Whilst I like the feel of the fabric and see some positives in an ethical company producing products that help to give to charity, I'm not quite sure these tights warrant their £75 price tag. There are a lot of options on the market that cost a fraction of the price with better fit for me. The Sundried men's Roteck tights simply didn't fit me right and that's a big personal priority when it comes to activewear. I liked the leg length and simple styling and I'm sure they could be great tights for others out there.
I'd have liked to see an extra pocket so you have somewhere to stash your keys as well as a gel, however, the secure zipped pocket is nice for peace of mind and it's very low key.
For a relatively young company, I'll be keeping an eye on how Sundried develops its range and designs. Maybe its products will be great for me in future.
A Little More About Sundried Ethical Activewear
In the current marketplace, it's easy to lose track of the fragile world we live in. Sundried aims to put together products that are anything but ordinary and is deeply passionate about charity. As a result for every purchase, you can choose for Sundried to make a donation to the charity Water for Kids.
The sportswear is produced responsibly in partnership with the Low Carbon Innovation Fund to ensure carbon footprint is kept to a minimum. If you're looking for ethical sportswear it could be a brand to invest in.
Even though I received a pair of the leggings to review in exchange for the product, the above review is my own feelings on the product as though I'd bought them with my own money. I value my integrity.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Liam Hallam