In our area of the Pacific Northwest, winter can be a temperamental season. Generally not particularly frigid most years, but there is always a chance of snow, freezing rain, and chilly winds. Many people run in tights, but I prefer not to, especially on the more taxing runs. Often wearing fitness underwear under running shorts makes the time more tolerable, but that is not always the case. Once I saw that the Ruff Rd shorts had a WINDSERT technology feature that claimed to help in lower temperatures, my interest was sparked.
Honestly, a good pair of running shorts should be unnoticeable. My first impression of the Ruff Rd. shorts was their light weight, which should be a factor in a true running short. The material felt thick and durable, but proved to be quite breathable. I like the elastic design, and it proved to be quite stable on the waist during the run, never needing to be adjusted. After a few weeks of wearing tights, board shorts, or briefs, it was a shock to wear shorts with a mere 3 inch inseam and the classic 70’s era cut up the outsides. This led to a true feeling of freedom and total lack of restriction, regardless of the pace.
The big draw for me was the WINDSERT technology, consisting of a piece of fabric that slides into a pocket at the front of the shorts. This was designed to help during chilly conditions that may make parts of the male body a bit uncomfortable. The day after I received these, I was due to run a tempo workout at 6:30 in the morning. It was dry, but a bit breezy and only a few degrees above freezing. I decided to put the shorts to the test and headed out the door with no extra protection. Other than a mild chill at the very beginning, the shorts performed as advertised. It was great to not be wearing extra layers or deal with the constrictive nature of tights.
I didn’t have a chance to utilize all the pockets, but did carry a key in one. Their locations were well placed and large enough to hold a key or gel for a longer workout. Depending upon your fueling needs, the capability to hold four gels without an additional belt would be great for marathon training runs.
Ruff Rd. did a great job with the design of this short, managing to mix protection and light weight. Those aspects along with their ability to keep the wearer relatively dry in spite of wet conditions make the 204’s a great winter running tool. They seem as they would be ideal for quicker runs in cool and average temperatures. The durability of the material also is a nice change from the lighter shorts that tend to be worn out within a thousand miles or so. The fit was ideal and if I could change one thing about this short (a minor, solely personal, preference) it would be to remove the slits up the outside of the leg. Freedom of movement is great and all, but some tan lines are not fit to be exposed, even on dark winter mornings.
These also come in a longer 7″ cut – the 192s.
Products & Price:
- Ruff Rd 204s ($69.99)
- Main body: (87% Nylon, 13% Spandex)
- Lining: (85% Polyester, 15% Spandex)
- Windsert: (92% Polyester, 8% Spandex)
Use code “runorrfrd for 20% off
Thank you to Ruff Rd. for providing us with test items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.
- Ruff Rd 204s running shorts