There was a time when Tracksmith was a small, “boutique” running apparel company – with a small yet loyal following. They made New England-inspired items that seemed to bridge the gap between historical time periods of running with a modernized feel and performance-forward
In fact, their name itself even showcases this:
“TRACK” is a symbol of commitment to training and racing, while “SMITH” represents dedication to a specialized craft – an obsession with quality and function.
Over the years, Tracksmith remains committed to their unique style, but they aren’t so little anymore. Mary Cain and Nick Willis are now working with the brand and their gear is more sought after nationwide than it has been before. They have also started up an amateur support program which is aimed to take the runners of today and support them as they become the household names of tomorrow. Those Olympic Trials in Eugene 2021 should showcase some of these athletes. So, if you haven’t heard of Tracksmith, it’s time to get familiar.
We recently checked out a few new items from their cool Off Roads collection.
Going off-roads rewards a patchwork skillset: the muscular athleticism of a middle-distance runner; the self-reliance of an explorer; the endurance of a marathon runner; the robustness of a gymnast. Asphalt and rubber are tailored to times and easy comparison; but it’s the trails where athletes head when they’re looking for incomparably good times. The Off Roads Collection is designed for exploration, featuring pieces inspired by and crafted for the challenges of running outside the lines. These are the times to embrace running without agenda. Get lost in our Off Roads film.
The Off Roads Tee is a well-constructed top made from Merino wool and Tencel (42.5% Wool, 42.5% Tencel / 10% Nylon / 5% Elastane). It’s somehow both extremely soft AND feels solidly made, as well as having all the features that Merino gets credit for (thermo-regulating and quick-drying). It also features lanolin – which is actually called “wool yolk“ and helps resist bacteria-caused odors – and Tencel which is used in a variety of running garments due to moisture-wicking and durable features. Toss all those in a blender and it spits out a little something called an awesome Off Roads Tee.
This top feels ready for the trail. Some running shirts are great for the road, offering a thinner performance structure, but they don’t always transfer specifically to the trail. Being out on the trails can mean putting a shirt through the ringer for sometimes hours on end, in often unforgiving terrain. It may be layered with a hydration pack and potentially need to hold up to both warm temperatures and cooler ones – sometimes on the same run. To be honest, this tee is one of the best “trail-specific” tops I have encountered. I just love it.
I will say that, while its designed for the outdoors, I have actually worn this as a casual tee a few times. It looks that great! The price point, as with most Tracksmith items, heads more towards the higher end. That being said, I have yet to have a piece of their gear that hasn’t held up for YEARS. I went back into our archives and saw that my first review of Tracksmith was over 4 years ago and I STILL have both items in my regular rotation.
The Off Roads Shorts may look like a road short, but really have a lot of great qualities for the trail. It’s a 2-in-1 short with a shorter outer (5″) and a longer compression short, making it ripe for hours on the trail with minimal chafing. The outer is “an Italian-made stretch knit that’s lightweight, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking” and the compression inner is a warp knit.
I should clarify that the term “compression” isn’t a heavy-handed super-tight fit, but it is on the tighter side and about as comfortable as they come.
There is a small fabric folded on the back which is perfect for some running fuel, a few drop in pockets on the rear, and even pockets on either side of the inner. You aren’t gonna be hurting for storage, that’s for sure. It also comes with an adjustable waistband and seems a lot better than even a tie front. The back has a loop that allows for an easier carrying of a second shirt or potentially a light jacket for the changing weather.
I really think trail runners will really appreciate this pair of shorts – a great combination of comfort and function that is ready to tackles the off road for a long time to come.
Thank you to Tracksmith for providing us with samples. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.