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Sport Kilt Review

Posted by on Jul 18, 2010 | 21 Comments
My wife Shelly has been running in a running skirt for a few months.  She originally heard of the idea from out friends Kate Kift and Angie Bishop.  Since trying it out, she has fallen in love with the skirt.  After hearing her touting the benefits for months, I began looking for an alternative to the running shorts I normally wear.
I considered the running skirt, but couldn’t bring myself to try it.  James Webber, a phenomenal barefoot runner from Kalamazoo, has been running in a combination of compression shorts and a loincloth for some time.  This idea fascinated me, but I haven’t had an opportunity to make one.  Then I stumbled upon the Sport Kilt.
Sport Kilt is a US-based company that sells kilts for casual wear.  I contacted them about a week ago to inquire about the “hiking kilt” model, which is designed for hikers and runners.  They graciously sent me a model to test.  This is the model I am testing.
I received the kilt on Friday.  It did not arrive in time for my run Friday morning, so I would have to wait until today (Sunday) to test it while running.  In the interim, I wore it extensively around the house.  After wearing it for only a few minutes, I found it difficult to remove… it was that comfortable.  The tricky part… preventing the accidental flash.  I quickly developed a new-found respect for women wearing skirts and dresses.
The kilt itself is made from a fairly lightweight microfiber material.  It is a single piece of fabric that is wrapped around your waist and closed with a Velcro strip along the top edge.  The front of the kilt overlaps itself about 12-14″ in the front.  The kilt has a relatively large pocket in the front.

Testing Conditions
The kilt would be tested in some extreme conditions.  Today’s run was about 8 miles of trails.  The purpose of the run was to hone trailcraft skills and do some heat acclimation training.  The temperature was about 80° with 75% humidity.  I was wearing a winter compression shirt under a bright orange hooded sweatshirt.  Aesthetically, the combo of the oversized sweatshirt and red kilt was quite a sight.  This run would test the kilt in an extremely sweaty environment.  Prior to the run, I weighed 180 pounds.  After eight miles and consuming 5.7 pounds of water, I weighed 175.5 pounds.  Needless to say, I sweat A LOT.
Since most will ask- I was wearing the kilt in traditional fashion… commando.  More on that later.
The first mile felt good.  The airy feeling of the kilt was great!  I was surprised that running was as comfortable as it was.  Bouncing, my biggest fear, was a non-issue.  I think form has a lot to do with this as my gait has very little vertical movement. 
Immediately after the first mile, Shelly and I ran some stairs for a little hill work.  Again, the kilt felt great.  The freedom of movement was noticeable.  The absence of fabric rubbing between my thighs was much better than I expected. 
At this point in the run, I was feeling pretty spent due to the heat.  The kilt was completely soaked mostly due to the drenched sweatshirt and wicking action.  Even though it was very wet, the kilt still performed as it had at the beginning of the run.
The rest of the run was uneventful.  I eventually pulled out of the early funk.  I continued to sweat like a geyser, so the kilt stayed drenched for the duration of the run. 
We finished the run and I changed into shorts to test how long it would take for the kilt to dry.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was mostly dry after our 30 minute ride home.  Under normal conditions (i.e. non-heat acclimation training), the kilt would remain fairly dry.
The Good
The design is superb, the fit is excellent, and the material has pretty good moisture-wicking capabilities.  The quality is excellent.  Aesthetically, it looks very good.  
The elimination of the material between my thighs felt better than expected.  Inner-thigh chafing is a chronic problem using my normal combination of compression and running shorts.  I did not experience any upper thigh chafing with the kilt.
This is the type of garment that will likely revolutionize my running.  It will be difficult to go back to any of the running shorts I have used in the past simply because the kilt feels so much better.  

The Bad

The kilt is a bit on the heavy side (12 ounces).  I would have preferred something a little lighter.  While it did not feel “heavy”, the weight was more noticeable when soaked with sweat.
My particular model does not have the optional pockets sewn in; this would be a wise investment if you purchase your own.  They would be perfect for stashing an extra Gu or similar running gear.
My biggest complaint is chafing.  The combination of sweat-soaked material and lack of compression shorts resulted in some… well… chafing on the tool.  Yeah, penis chafe.  It wasn’t severe, but I did notice it when showering after the run.  Had I run a longer distance, this could be a major issue.  Compression shorts would eliminate the problem, but I think the kilt works better sans shorts.  Next time, I will try SportSlick… it is my go-to anti-chafing product.  
Conclusion
I would highly recommend the Sport Kilt Hiking Kilt to runners.  It lived up to and exceeded my expectations.  The Hiking Kilt is a superior product that will change your running experience.  I will definitely be wearing this for future training runs and races, including Burning River in two weeks.  I will continue to post comments about the kilt as I do more experimentation.

The Sport Kilts can be purchased here: http://www.sportkilt.com/


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21 Comments

  1. redroanpony
    July 28, 2010

    Great post. I've got a Stillwater kilt (bought it for a wedding) but for us ladies it's hard to find a kilt that has a good fit for wider hips, and the Sport Kilts are a bit too expensive for my blood. (I hate skirts, and running skirts are generally too short for me to be comfortable with.) You certainly look great in a kilt, though… glad you had a good experience running in it. Kilts really are great athletic garments, though it's a little hot where I live to be wearing the traditional wool. :D

  2. Amy
    July 28, 2010

    barefoot running is hard for me because i used to run on shoes… but i love the post it is great1!!!

    zbsports

  3. jareda34
    July 27, 2010

    I figured these would be good for helping with the penis chafing: http://www.bananapeelz.com/

  4. Claude Diamond J.D.
    July 21, 2010

    Oh No, Wearing my Vibrams with a Kilt- I tremble at the thought

  5. harry
    July 21, 2010

    Jason you have me convinced I have just one question – do you know where the optional pocket would be?
    If it is on the front, ie where a sporran would normaly be, I worry even more about special friend chaffing!!!

  6. New Ultra Runner
    July 21, 2010

    I've never had to take SportSlick to my stick. Penis Chafe does not sound like a good experience. How would short compression briefs work with the kilt?

  7. 黃威宇
    July 20, 2010

    很棒的分享~祝福你..................................................................

  8. Penumbra
    July 20, 2010

    Why wear compression shorts when all you need is a condom?

  9. Rob F.
    July 20, 2010

    Love your blog Jason. I've always wanted to try one of these but given that I'm already considered strange in Peoria Il this might put me over the top!

  10. 莊雅和莊雅和莊雅和
    July 20, 2010

    教育的目的,不在應該思考什麼,而是教吾人怎樣思考............................................................

  11. shel
    July 20, 2010

    aaaaand he's wearing a skirt. barefoot and wearing a skirt. what other things can you do to set yerself apart? how about a mohawk? or a ring through the nose? penis chafe sounds terrible.

  12. seangavor
    July 19, 2010

    Good review. Sorry to hear about the dork.

  13. Barefoot Tyler
    July 19, 2010

    yeah man… i like your blog, book, and personality, but there is no way you are convincing me to wear that. i get enough odd looks running barefoot as it is. :P

  14. stewartdesign
    July 19, 2010

    A few weeks ago I bought a cheap tennis skirt at Academy to run in, and I LOVE it. I don't know why more people don't run in skirts.

    I admire you men who have the confidence in your manhood to wear a kilt! Go dudes in kilts!!

  15. Founder of Jog for Joubert Syndrome
    July 19, 2010

    LOVE it!!! im a running skirt gal too. i MUST have a running kilt now!!!

  16. Michael Shane Helton
    July 18, 2010

    OK, I have to ask: You have to lube up your shaft before going on a run? Seriously?

  17. Susan
    July 18, 2010

    80 bucks BEFORE adding pockets or any other 'options'? OUCH.

  18. Janice
    July 18, 2010

    Like your wife, I tried a running skirt and fell in love. I just bought my second one and hate it when both are in the laundry and I have to run in shorts. I'd love to see more guys out running in kilts:)

  19. Deacon Patrick
    July 18, 2010

    Here's what I run in:
    http://www.stillwaterkilts.com/index.html

    Advantages: wind doesn't raise it up nearly as much as the Sport Kilt, woven pattern with worsted fabric. Plus, the Thrifty is under $30.

  20. Roberta
    July 18, 2010

    If I were reading this on April 1, instead of July 18, I'd like you were goofing on us. I think the kilt would look better if it were shorter, but then exposure would be an issue. Very interesting trial.

  21. Brian
    July 18, 2010

    People act like they want to string me up when I wear split shorts with a 1" or 3" inseam. A kilt would probably get me shot! lol