We try out a hell of a lot of fitness and active wear over at The Allrounder. Sometimes we test something out that we really love, sometimes things get put into a cupboard where they inevitably stay until the rare occasion when we have a big clear out. A lot of the stuff that really has an impact tends to be by pure chance: a t-shirt that fits perfectly, a pair of trainers that feel like they were made just for us or a jacket that feels like we’ve owned it for years.
There are a handful of brands that we really love though. Companies that make clothing that we consistently want to wear, not just a one-offs that fit the bill. If you’re a frequent reader, the chances are you’ll know which brands we’re talking about. Those brands tend to be smaller, more specific teams that really focus on an element of the active market that we care about. The kind of companies that care about the product and the reason that it was made in the first place.
About six months ago we were asked to be an ambassador for running brand Iffley Road, a husband and wife team based in Richmond focussing on clothing for runners. It was an important opportunity for us because Iffley Road are one of those handful of brands that we really care about. A brand set up by people who really understand and care about the sport they’re focussing on. They make some damn nice kit as well.
Unlike the majority of active wear available, the ethos behind Iffley Road is clothing that’s both functional and stylish, whether you’re out sweating or sat with a load of friends in a pub. Trust us, our Iffley road kit gets used just as much for running as it does for social occasions, and we’re not very big on wearing fitness clothing aside from for it’s intended purpose.
Designed in Britain and made in Europe, Iffley Road have chosen a selection of fabrics specifically suited to the needs of runners. Their bespoke drirelease is a blend of 85% performance polyester and 15% cotton made to wick away sweat quickly as well as drying four times faster than cotton. And unlike a lot of technical wear we’ve worn in the past, it doesn’t feel like it’s made only for fitness. Add to that their piqué construction style and a choice of Merino wool and soft shell items, and you’re pretty spoilt for options.
We’ve tested out a fair bit of the Iffley Road range over the past few months. But instead of going through the whole lot, we’ve picked our favourite five items from the collection.
Thorpe Long-Sleeved Running Top
Our perfect item for winter racing. Start an event with the zip done up, the sleeves down and your thumbs slipped into the convenient holes. Then, as you getter hotter, unzip it and role up the arms. A hell of a lot nicer than most of our normal clothing as well.
Marlborough Running Top
Pretty much just the perfect running top. A simple, stylish design that looks good during a race or in the pub. Which we find tend to go hand in hand.
Sidmouth Running T-Shirt
The next stage on from the Thorpe Long Sleeved top, for when it starts to get a bit warmer. One of the nicest looking running tops we’ve ever used, with a really useful little pocket in the side.
Running shorts are one of those items that have to be just right. Too tight and they awkwardly ride up as you run, too baggy and they flail around annoyingly. These fit the bill perfectly. The kind of shorts you don’t even notice you’re wearing.
Now this is the perfect item for winter runners who struggle with getting a bit sweaty. A nice thin soft shell fabric that protects from the wind and helps to keep the core warm when it’s needed. Even in the coldest weather we struggle to wear long-sleeved jackets for more than a few minutes.
To see the full range or to find out more about the Iffley Road story, head over to the website here.
Picture Credits: Iffley Road