“Somewhere Between Freedom and Chaos”
Roark’s tagline for their newest Run Amok Series is poetic and beautiful – and seems to be speaking to where we are in the world right about now. It’s honestly even a descriptor of where I – a working father of 3 young kids, balancing work and home responsibilities along with a running blog AND finding time to work out – feel I am at most days. It just speaks to me. So I am thrilled to discuss a few items from this collection – the Second Wind Anorak Jacket and Alta Shorts.
First, a little bit more info about this collection:
There’s no better way to see the world around you than by running through it. Introducing a new path in performance apparel that values expression as much as it does function. Roark’s journey provides a unique perspective on trail running and active wear born from adventurism – somewhere between freedom and chaos.
Roark seems to operate from a lens that running doesn’t have to be bland – and it also doesn’t have to be annoyingly bright. Their designs are unique enough and often combined with cool artwork that allow for expression on the trails. A lot of the items in their Fall Collection (which includes everything from running apparel to more casual items like joggers and hoodies) seem to be comfortable enough to blur the line between performance and athleisure. More on that below…
Second Wind Anorak Jacket
I have been having a rough go of running jackets over the past few seasons. A lot of it is my fault (due to my weight-gain that inevitably rolls around each winter), but I just haven’t found one recently that has screamed out to me from the get-go – until now. The Second Wind Anorak Jacket holds up to the elements that is required for a top:
- Reflective qualities
The fit, even with my slight gain in girth, is top notch – a perfect middle ground of not-too-tight and not-too-loose. I just love wearing it around. The sleeves are also long enough for my long arms, something that is always a struggle for me. It is also surprisingly light despite it’s qualities and can even pack into the chest pocket for those days (most days?) in Oregon where the weather is all over the place.
Where this jacket shines even more is in its visuals. You can see the cool designs on the arm and back which is actually inspired by Morocco. I really love the small flair but still in a neutral color scheme. This makes it absolutely ideal for a crossover item that can work on the run and when I am just out and about. I think I have been living in this almost daily over the past few weeks.
The Alta Shorts are a straightforward running short with a little bit of understated flare. Like many running shorts on the market, they provide a lot of nice, non-compressive stretch with it’s nylon construction and a water-resistant finish. There are slits on the side for more room and a three pockets on the back – a zipped middle and two smaller ones on either side – for small storage. We found that the middle pocket held up well to light items and thought it was a nice touch to have it constructed with a waterproof fabric to limit the amount of stretch that inevitably builds up in other pairs (I can’t tell you how many times I have pulled out a gross $20 bill to pay for something and then immediately paying with card because I felt bad. Gross).
Personally, I have yet to find a pair of lightweight shorts where a zipped pocket can adequately handle the bounce of a phone – and these are no different. I am not knocking Roark (or any other company) as, in reality, putting a heavy item in a lightweight shorts options is really sort of defeating the purpose. The other two pockets were perfect for easy access item needs like gel/fuel. The inside has a brief liner with moisture-wicking qualities and hasn’t led to any chafing quite yet. I felt like the elastic could have provided a tiny bit more compression, but the waist tie is able to keep it held in place quite well.
We also love the colors within these shorts. There are 6 options, each with artwork and design from the Run Amok collection, but we feel our pair with the unique image on the left leg and “Somewhere Between Freedom and Chaos” running vertical on the side was awesome.
Final Verdict: These two items from Roark and their Run Amok Collection were our first connection with this company. We had been ancillarily aware of them, but this was our first review of their items. I am a huge fan of items that can cross over between running wear and more leisure items, and I truly think Roark may be one of those companies that I become obsessed with. Their short work quite well in the running sphere and the jacket is absolutely going to be a statement piece both on the trails and, potentially even more so, as an everyday jacket here in the PNW. Can’t wait to try out more and you should too.
Products & Price:
More about Roark:
The chase for Roark began out of a desire to tell stories born of adventure and discovery in the form of a man – he’s the shadowy adventurer that disappears into Mexico for six months camping, only to surface in Paris drinking Bordeaux with a diplomat. Each season we find Roark in a different part of the world, telling stories of exploration within our product, on social platforms and in our bi-annual “Artifacts” magazine. Inspired by the culture and climate of Roark’s destination, we produce two collections per year of clothing, luggage and trinkets – the artifacts of adventure. The product and stories we create empower people to discover self through authentic, youthful, modern and purposeful adventure on the road less traveled.
Thank you to Roark for providing us with samples. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.