Once upon a time in my high school track days, I had a teammate who showed up to practice in a miniskirt. "You're going to run in that?" I thought, baffled by the feminine look. While there are definitely performance skirts out there—in tennis and golf, for instance—I always thought that skirts looked out of place on a track or trail. I didn't want to look too "girly" while I was trying to be tough and strong. Silly teenage me didn't realize that, of course, all of the above could coexist.
Now, I don't think twice about running in a skirt—a pink one, at that!—because I've discovered an activewear brand called SkirtSports that changed the way I think about the "girly" piece. The idea for this women-focused sports brand came to founder and triathlete Nicole DeBoomher during a run in 2003. While jogging in Lyons, Colorado, she caught site of her reflection and felt a change. "I look like a boy. I'm uninspired. I just want to feel pretty," were thoughts she mulled over on that run. While racing professionally throughout 2004, she aimed to create a high-performance running skirt made to fit women's bodies perfectly. She wore the first SkirtSports prototype as she won Ironman Wisconsin.
There's a lot of talk about women "having it all"—for DeBoom, that means offering effective running apparel that also has design elements that make women proud to be women. A style I really love is the The Lioness Skirt ($65), a pleated style with three hidden pockets to comfortably carry all the running essentials like an ID, transportation card, some cash and house keys. Beneath the skirt are shorts with grip strips so they don't ride up. As a proud advocate of stylish workout clothes, I couldn't ask for better gear to motivate me to get out there and show it off.
Shop more of the SkirtSports collection here.