It’s always fun to stumble into a new company that is looking at entering the running game. Our latest review are a couple of new pieces from the running line of Foehn – a Canadian brand that has its roots in the mountain biking and rock climbing sphere. The running line seems destined to provide both performance and street-fashion stylings to the roads and trails. We have been trying out a few items from that collection – the Cortes Polartec T Shirt and Relais Short.
More about Foehn:
The name, originating in the Alps, is a mountain airflow that brings sudden warming. Foehn creates its own wind of change in performance sportswear, merging meticulous design and materials engineering with of-the-moment citified style. “We started Foehn, because we were always sacrificing either performance or aesthetics with the options available,” says co-Founder Ingrid Sirois. “We decided that we could fill that void ourselves with the skills that we possess and share our creations with the world.”
The saying “less is more”, while not always true in the running world, its still a phrase that has meaning. While there are a ton of fun and colorful running apparel items out there (and we are absolutely here for it), Foehn’s running line are about as straightforward and simple as it comes. Of the handful of pieces they have (men’s and women’s), many items only come in black, and a smaller amount add on a secondary colorway – gray.
It’s definitely a classic visualization – marrying the basic colors with an almost streetwear-fashion look. There is extremely minimal branding across the line, and in a world full of fancy designs, extreme colorways, and eye-popping extras, it’s really nice to have just something simple and reliable.
I usually wear a size Large in all my running wear, so when I was mistakenly sent a medium Cortes Polartec T Shirt, I figured I was going to have to return it. That was not the case, as this typically smaller size fit bigger than anticipated. It stands to reason that if you are looking for something a little baggier or roomier – size up. Otherwise, go down. Note that, in wearing the smaller top, I found my short sleeves to sit high on the shoulders. It was not an issue at all – just a note that the “guns” may be out more (or less) depending on your size modifications.
The top was absolutely comfortable and it is evident that it is going to be perfect for warm weather running. The feel is soft and light (thanks to recycled and organic raw material), and you can actually vaguely see through the entire shirt when holding it up to your face.
The Relais Short had no such sizing need as the Large fit as expected. In both the male (5″ inseam) and female (3″) versions of the Relais Shorts, the inner liner sits lower on the leg than the outer shorts. I did not find the compression of the inner liner to be super tight. It has been seemingly snug enough (i.e. hasn’t caused chafing) through a month of wear so we expect it to continue to hold in place throughout the summer. The outer short is super light and sits away from the leg – allowing for a freedom of motion that isn’t hampered by weight or construction. Honestly the out feels like it’s not even there half the time.
It is evident that the T-shirt is designed for summer wear. While there has been limited time to run in warm temperatures thus far, the handful of times I have it held up to the challenge. My inaugural wear of this shirt was during an hour long cycle class in my garage. With limited air flow in the garage, it always provides a much warmer and sweatier experience. I noted how I felt surprisingly cool in this shirt during that long time in the saddle.
While I have been able to put it to use in some cooler temps, the first real test was on a recent trip to Hawaii. It is clear that the engineering of the T is rooted in moving moisture, allowing runners to stay cool and dry. All of the qualities of a great running shirt – moisture wicking, odor control, and a comfort to it – handled a few runs in the muggy afternoons and did not have me screaming and yearning to remove. There are a few “eyelets” in the armpit area that I think allow for some additional venting qualities. It’s a subtle and hardly visible addition, but I actually think I noticed the difference. Finally, having it be protected at UPF 50 makes it even more perfect for the summer.
The Relais Short offers more than just a cool style and clean look. There are multiple storage options – both within the embedded liner and on the outer as well. The pocket on the inner is designed to hold a phone, or perhaps keys and cash. It fits snugly against the leg and though I never really like running with my phone in situations like these (in any shorts), it does the job admirably well.
There are also two back pockets on the waistband that are great for your fueling necessities. A larger zipped pocket sits on the back middle for more important items. The storage options, coupled with a comfortable and light fit, has made this an amazing option for all runs, but especially those medium+ distance ones.
For a relative newcomer in the packed running-apparel space, we are very pleasantly surprised with the quality of our items from Foehn. They did everything that a shirt and shorts need to do – while delivering on a promise of holding up to warmer temperatures. These have found a solid spot in our running rotation and we expect it to continue for the long haul. The prices sit a little higher than some out there, but not astronomically so. Overall, we definitely recommend trying these out for yourself.
Products & Price:
- Cortes Polartec T Shirt | $59.95
- 73% recycled polyester, 27% tencel
- Relais Short | $89.95
- 86% recycled nylon, 14% spandex fabric shell
- 87% nylon, 13% spandex liner
Thank you to Foehn for providing us with test items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.