Gear Closet: Top-Notch Trail Running Shorts

Lightweight, versatile and comfortable: These shorts receive a rave review

Now that spring is here and the weather is finally starting to turn warm, I'm sure more than a few of you are anxious to get back to trail running. As with most outdoor activities, having the right gear can make all the difference and other than a great pair of trail shoes, the most important piece of gear for me are my running shorts. Why you ask? Because it gets so warm here in Texas that I don't tend to wear much of anything else. Fortunately for me, Outdoor Research has just introduced a new pair of running shorts that are comfortable, lightweight and perfect for trail running in a variety of conditions.

As part of their spring trail running collection, OR has just released the Throttle running shorts. Made of lightweight stretch nylon, these shorts are designed to move with your body while not restricting movement in any way. As with most performance apparel, these shorts breathe well, and are quick drying and versatile enough to be used in numerous outdoor activities. That means they should be comfortable to wear while on the trail for a prolonged period.

The Throttle shorts clearly demonstrate that Outdoor Research understands the needs of their customers and applies that knowledge very well to the gear they produce. In this case, that includes integrating a zippered hip pocket that is large enough to hold a set of keys, an ID and even an energy gel or two. On some of my other running shorts, the pockets are tiny if they exist at all. OR has also integrated reflective trim that makes it easier to spot the wearer in low-light conditions, and the elastic waistband and mesh-lined brief help to prevent chafing and keep these shorts comfortable on longer runs.

What I like best about these shorts is that they don't restrict movement in the slightest, even when you start to perspire. It is never good when your running apparel starts to stick to your body as you run.You don't have to worry about that with the Throttle shorts, which also keep you nicely cool as you run. Beyond that, they simply feel good when you put them on. This sounds like a no-brainer, until you've put on a pair of running shorts that just don't feel right, no matter how you adjust them.

I always appreciate when something is versatile enough to be used when doing a variety of activities. That is certainly the case with the Throttle shorts, which are not only excellent for trail running but also hiking and backpacking too. Their quick-drying properties would also come in handy for paddling sports, as their thin fabrics and lightweight design are perfect for warm weather kayaking. They'll even come in handy when traveling because they are not only versatile, but they will take up almost no room in your bag.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Outdoor Research products. In fact, they're one of my favorite gear manufacturers. The Throttle running shorts demonstrate the company's commitment to creating high quality products that are perfect for the outdoor community. With a price tag of $59 they are more expensive than the running shorts you'll pick-up at your local big box sporting good stores. But the performance and comfort that they deliver makes them well worth the price. They just might be the best pair of warm weather running shorts you've ever owned.

This review first appeared on The Adventure Blog.


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