Off the Feet and Onto the Body

While On may be primarily known as a footwear option, they also have clothing options as well. We recently tried out some On apparel in the form of shirts and shorts for this summer.

Read all our posts about On here!

Explorer Shorts

Matt: It is outdoors season here in the Pacific Northwest, which means we need to be prepared for a variety of activities. While most of us are probably planning to spend the majority of our time running, I personally enjoy supplementing my running miles with non-running outdoor activities. On Explorer Shorts are a relaxed option for use in this non-specific realm.


The look on the shorts is definitely more of an “urban cargo short” styling to the outdoor scene. They function similar to the bulky-leg-pocketed variety, but definitely provide a more streamlined and updated look to the largely outdated style. It may be an aquired taste to some, but personally I think it’s pretty cool


Speaking of cargo short similarities these shorts provide all the storage you could want when hiking, traveling or just exploring. The right leg offers a large buttoned pocket, while the left leg showcases a zipped option. Whether you are carrying just a phone and some cash or snacks and energy gel, you are covered with some seriously deep pockets on the leg at your disposal.


The Explorer Shorts are clearly designed with the outdoors in mind. The Hydrophobic fibers absorb sweat, and it’s DWR treated to keep you dry. So whether the moisture is due to a waterfall excursion or if you happen to be caught in a freak seasonal rain, you should be kept comfortable.

And while they tend to look a little constrictive (as many hiking shorts can be), there is a lot of stretch in these – making movement in many settings a cinch.


If you are down with the unique visuals on these shorts, the last remaining sticking point may be the price. You are clearly paying for quality, but that $140 price tag is going to be an investment. However, if you are always outside and need an item that’s gonna be ready to tackle all that the PNW outdoors can throw at you, it will be worth your while.

Active Shorts

Nikki: On is making activewear now? I’m here for it!! I was especially stoked to see the Women’s Active Shorts in the On lineup, because I am on a quest for the perfect shorts for the triple digit days of summer. That’s no easy task when you are built with thunderous thighs like I am.


What really attracted me to the Active shorts were that they were a “2 in 1” style. Many of us women with larger thighs have issues with chafing, and the best solution for this if we want to wear shorts is to wear bicycle-style shorts. However, I for one get sick of this style, especially when I see so many other “regular” shorts in cute cuts and colors. These shorts meet both needs for girls like me.. cute shorts in a few color options, (in this case Denim/Black, Meadow/Black, Mulberry/Black, and the classic all Black, which is what I picked) with the bike shorts underneath to help with the chafe issue.

on shortsFunction

As mentioned above, these shorts definitely meet a need for women with larger legs. I’ve accepted that I have thick legs, as they help power me up literal mountains, but there are many activewear shorts that don’t seem to address women like me with the styles they offer. These shorts give us the best of both worlds. Not only do they have a cute outer layer but they have pockets on the thighs of the inner layer and they do NOT budge when you run in therm. There’s also a small pocket at the back of the inside waistband that could perfectly fit a key or a gel. It could probably even stretch to fit a phone, though maybe not my enormous one in it’s Ottercase.

The best part of these shorts, which I didn’t notice until I inspected them closely, is that the bike shorts can actually detach from the outer shorts. There is a little “button in” area on the inner hips that is barely noticeable, and what this gives you is even more options. Wear the bike shorts. Wear the outer shorts. Or wear both. Whatever you need!!


The shorts are very nice and stretchy which turned out to be great for me, because I really should have gotten a size large rather than a medium. I feel these do run “true to size” as advertised, but maybe I need to admit that my “true” size since the holidays has been a large. They still fit and they are still comfortable, but the outer shorts could hug my thighs a little less. I do find the construction of these shorts to be of quality materials and not flimsy in the least.

The length on these is perfect, with a long inseam. The size small inseam on the inner shorts is over 9.” I don’t know what it is on the other sizes, but they are plenty long.

on outfit3Overall

On got it right with the Active Shorts. You’ll get everything you need for running shorts with these. The length is great, nice and long inner shorts and comfy outer shorts, and they don’t ride up or roll. They are flattering and comfortable and they have pockets!! Always a win for me.

Active T-Shirt

Nikki: The Women’s Active-T Breathe is so comfy and perfect for the weather we are having in Oregon this week, (stay tuned to the weather because it will change again in 5 minutes.) Let me tell you why you need this shirt ladies!!

on outfit


From the front, this shirt looks like a lot of standard shirts you’d find in most closets. It comes in three colors, lilac, navy, and the olive you see pictured here in a size medium.

What I love most about this shirt is that though it’s “business in the front,” it’s also “party in the back” with a nice sized opening at the top of the back. This creates some stylish venting which is so refreshing on a muggy day.

on shirt2Function

As just mentioned above, there is a large keyhole vent in the back of this shirt that has an actual function as well as being a cute design. When you run hot like I do, it’s nice to still have the ability to let the skin breathe while wearing a modest shirt. This shirt would look cute as a summer top as well, out with friends or on a walk, but has the wicking powers of any other running shirt in your arsenal. This is made with technical fabrics that will wear as well on the trails as it will at dinner out.


The cut of the shirt is flattering when you put it on, with a slight taper that skims your body without clinging to it. For a girl with hips like me, it’s not constrictive but also not boxy like so many other loose fitting shirts that hug my hips. The drape on the waistline tapers in a little at the hips for a slimming look.


This is the shirt I plan to reach for on those overcast muggy days that we’ve been having so much of this spring. If you’re not quite ready for a tank top but you need less than a long-sleeved tee, this is the shirt for you.


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Thank you to On for providing us with test items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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