Premium active wear was becoming increasingly overpriced and the affordable options were not holding up to our rigorous lifestyles. To top it all off, we found almost no options that were made in the USA. We decided to do something about it.
Product: I received one each of the Alpha Tech Crew shirt and the Alpha Short #2 for review. Both are 88% polyester and 12% Elastane (aka Spandex). Sizes for shorts and shirts range from XS to XXL. The model on the website demonstrating the men’s medium-sized clothing is listed as being 5’10” and 180 pounds. For reference, I’m also 5’10” but considerably lighter, and I found that the medium size fit me perfectly without looking baggy.
Review: I’ll start with the shirt: wow! I have more than my share of tech shirts, a lot of which have a waxy kind of feeling. I don’t mind it all that much, although it’s a little annoying when they slip and slide after being folded neatly. The Four Athletics tech shirt looks and feels like it’s made of soft cotton. It’s the kind of tech shirt you can wear not just for running, but at work (well, assuming you can wear T-shirts at work). It wicks sweat fairly effectively and continues to feel comfortable throughout runs.
Interestingly, the shorts are made of the same fabric but feel different, almost like nylon. They come with drawstrings to adjust the fit as necessary. I tested these for the first time at the Uberthons Spring 10K and ran my best 10K for 2016, so they met the primary criteria of being unobtrusive.
Four Athletics got started on Kickstarter, and now uses a similar kind of crowdfunding on its own website. That means there is a minimum number of orders that have to be pre-ordered for the batch to be made; otherwise, the backers’ monies are refunded. At $45 for the shorts and $40 for the tech shirt, this is a bit of an investment, but these are quality products and are made in the U.S.A. To put it in comparison, I would say that the only tech/performance shirt I have that is comparable in feel and quality to this one is a prAna one that lists for $50. To put it another way, this is a shirt that I will not wear for races, but that’s only because I don’t want to poke holes in it for the safety pins.
However, you can try your first item for $15 off by using the code RunOregon15.