Allbirds wool runners review

I have a Nike Free problem…?

So. I’m pretty addicted to Nike Free Runners. I wear them everyday at home and for walking and errand running. I also wear them to work sometimes. I’ve been wearing them since 2006 and I have no idea what number I’m on…my 14th pair? I don’t know. It’s possible.

I started with the black uppers with white soles.

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The OG Nike Free colorway

But I kind of need to mix it up.

I’ve had neon orange, teal with black soles and laces, crazy stripes and dots, and a few pairs of black on black. My current pair is on its way out, and I’m a little sad at the idea of buying the exact same pair of Frees for the third time in a row…that’s a rut, right? I’m really interested in the VaporMax, but I have a hard time with the 2hundo price tag. And I’m not sure how they’ll work with work clothes…so I’ve been stuck for a month.

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Grass shoes, training shoes, life shoes

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Nike Vapormax Flyknit 2

 

But what about those Allbirds, tho?

Then I remembered Allbirds. They’re basically Nike frees with wool uppers. So sneakers, but ones you could definitely pull off at work. Same price point. Expensive for a non-serious sneaker, but justifiable if you wear them every damned day like I do.

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Allbirds look like this

I’m feeling like I need to mix it up in pretty much every way lately, so instead of a black or grey (which to me look kind of nerdy in Allbirds) I went for a bright color. All teal. Woot!

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Teal Allbirds Wool Runners

Allbirds, are you my new friends?

They showed up in custom boxes that are pretty cute. But that’s neither here nor there…I wear a size 9 or 9.5 in sneakers, and their site recommended I order a 9. They were snug, which the Allbirds site also said was normal; wool stretches. But I didn’t like the feeling of my toes being right at the front of the shoe, so I ordered some 10s. The 10s felt a little too big, I couldn’t see myself wearing teal shoes with…well…anything. And I really hated how I could see my toes moving around in the shoe. The wool is kind of flat and low and tight across the tops of your toes, no toe box, more like a sock or something. And it just creeped me out. It felt like wearing a shirt with no bra and nipping out. I don’t know. I’m a weirdo, but I wasn’t feeling it. No toe nipple situation for me. 

Nope.

I sent them back. And I am currently still waffling between trying the pricey (but probably way more durable) VaporMax or ordering my third pair in a row of black on black Nike Free Runners…

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My ride or dies. Which are dying.

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Current version

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Nike Free Run Commuters

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Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit 2

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Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit MOC 2

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Same thing but with HOT PINK!!! SQUEE!

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New fitness fashion brand: JoyLab by Target review

Target has been sniping successful brands and making their own versions for a few years now, but this spring they’ve really stepped on the gas in the fashion brand style-biting department…

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I get that they have to follow trends, but it’s a little blatant. And as a card maker who’s had one of her designs low-key copied by Paper Source and who has a few other maker friends who this has happened to…I can only imagine how these big, established brands feel about Target copying their whole entire vibe. Eeeeeesh. Not very cool. Anyway. Tabling the issues of brand-swiping and business ethics and moving back into FITNESS FASHION REVIEW LAND…

Target now has a fitness fashion brand called JoyLab that’s kind of like Outdoor Voices + all the other cute fit fashion brands rolled into one trendy package.

JOYLAB REVIEW

The quality is pretty good. Better than Target’s terrible Champion/ C9 stuff (so thin, so clingy, makes me so angry), but not as thick as “real” fitness brands. Then again, what do you want for under $35 per piece? Basically, if you have cellulite, you might be able to get away with their pants, depending on the color and how few fucks you give. But I only found one pair of pants that I felt OK in, and they have a distracting pattern.

But the bra tops are all really cute. They cover a lot of different trends in color, pattern, and cut. Mostly I noticed a lot of “long line” bras/ bra tops which means they go further down towards your waist and *some* people can wear them as tops with high-waisted leggings. ICYMI, this is my formula to find out if you are one of those people. (From my post about jog bra trends from a while back.)

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And JoyLab has a lot of cute jackets and sweatshirts. A few different takes on bombers (mesh, scuba, sweatshirt, etc.) and a lot of cute sweatshirts. But the sweatshirts are mostly pretty cropped, so I only tried on the (totally predictable for me) big baggy long one. I’d put pictures of the jackets and sweatshirts here, but the pictures online don’t even come close to doing them justice. You have to see them in person.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT JOYLAB BY TARGET

  • Affordable. Pants $35. Bras $20.
  • You get more than what you pay for in the style dept.
  • You get about what you pay for in the quality department.
  • 900 times better than C9.
  • Check out their jackets.

Here are some JoyLab things I bought:

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Here are some other JoyLab things I tried on:

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Here are some other cute JoyLab things:

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And Imma just put this here…

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Outside Lands is nigh! Get festival fashion ready with a free HIIT workout from Beach Body

Lalapalooza was last weekend. Outside Lands is this week. It’s a busy time for music festival-goers. And Beach Body and Stub Hub put together a HIIT bodyweight work out you can do anywhere with no equipment to get in “butt cheeks hanging out of your cut-offs” shape. Because apparently, that’s the only thing you’re allowed to wear to festivals this year. No I’m not kidding. About either of those things.

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Yes, ass cheeks out is a thing. And so is a pre-festival workout. I know because I participated in one last week with Beach Body Master Trainers Joel and Jericho. If you’re a Beach Body fan, they’re the ones who did Core de Force, and they’re friggin’ adorable IRL. And totally diesel. And friendly and nice.

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The workout is called Ready Set Live, and it was created by Beach Body and Stubhub. It had a not-too-serious festival prep-theme: each move was picked to help you get better at something that would be useful at a show like: pop up to your feet quickly if you trip, jump up to see your friends in a crowd, hover squat in a port-o-let…you get it. Cute.  Fun.

But it was a good workout, too. Simple, nine exercises, three rounds, 25 minutes, and I had quivering jelly legs by the end. Ass totally kicked. Also, it was on a rooftop. In the city. At sunset. Which is kind of the best.

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Also the best? The workout is available for free, for you and all the world, here.

And if you want to go to the live event in SF TONIGHT, go to the StubHub and Beachbody socials, you might still be able to get in. Woo hoo!

So if you’re going to Outside Lands, tell the bay I miss it, and give the Ready Set Live workout a shot. I love HIIT body weight workouts, and this one is great.

Post-workout Pretty-Sweaty

Red-Faced Super Sweaty Proof

Those fucking festival shorts, though…not a fan.

Pretty-Sweaty.com Lolla Shorts

 

Stink like a girl / Vapor Fresh sports laundry detergent review.

 

#FitGirlProblem: The stinky jacket.

The stinky jacket is the jacket you wear to and from the gym, or put on after your workout before you take a shower. The stinky jacket could also be the layer you start your run in, but eventually peel off, about three minutes after you’ve sweat into it. I have 1.5 stinky jackets. I wear them because they’re my coolest, longest, best jackets. They make me feel like a superhero badass person. They’re the ones that made me say “really? over $100 for a hoodie?” when I bought them, but I reach for them every single day and they make me realize how absolutely unflattering and shitty the cheap ones are.

But I also hate wearing them as stinky jackets because they’re the kind of jacket/hoodie things that I like to wear in athleisure situations, too. (This is where the .5 comes in. One of my stinky jackets I very rarely use as a stinky jacket, mostly as a running around jacket, but all it takes is one time and…yeah. I think it’s probably a stinky jacket.) It would be nice if stinky jackets didn’t have to be stinky jackets only, and I didn’t feel like I had to buy yet ANOTHER expensive fancy hoodie jacket thingie for everyday use because the other one and a half fucking reek. And they do. They fucking reek. I don’t think other people can necessarily smell them, but I sure can. Because they get jammed up in the armpits after workouts when I’m wearing sleeveless tops, grinding stinky deodorant wax and weight training funk all up in that fabric…not their fault. They’re armpit thongs, basically. How could I expect them to not fucking reek?

And yes, of course I wash them. I wash them all the time. And yes I use my special detergents. But that’s not cutting it. Them shits still stink.

MEANWHILE, as I was pouting about my 1.5 stinky jackets and trying not to buy another expensive workout jacket…Vapor Fresh sent me a new sample of their detergent! So I thought I’d tackle two birds with one post.
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What’s this Vapor Fresh you speak of?

Vapor Fresh by Raw Athletics (rawathletics.com, vaporfresh.com) is a sports laundry detergent that says it has stain and odor lifting technology and is designed to clean sports apparel and everyday laundry. Perfect, because that’s how I roll. I wash everything together and just use my fancy delicate detergent for the whole lot. Which I shouldn’t. See my earlier post about washing your workout wear here.

FYI: liquid detergent = usually bad for stinky and/or sweat-wicking things. Why? Fragrances, dyes, softeners and brighteners can clog fabric, trap the stink, and jam the wicking fibers so they can’t wick anymore. (Read more about it in the drop-downs here.)

What’s good about Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent:

  • not liquid
  • fragrance and dye-free, hypoallergenic
  • eco-friendly, biodegradable
  • no harsh chemicals
  • uses cold water compatible surfactants (soapy sudsy things that break down oils)
  • a lot smaller than a box of Tide or a jug of Cheer or whatever
  • can be used with regular and HE washing machines
  • made in Illinois!

Did it make your stinky jackets not stink anymore?

No, and then yes.

First pass: no. They still stunk. Then I read the directions on the package of Vapor Fresh, and it said “for heavily soiled laundry, allow laundry to soak with detergent for at least 10 minutes prior to washing.” And the website says to do it for “at least 30 minutes (!)” So technically, I didn’t give the stuff a chance to do its job on those deodorant-filled stinky jacket armpits.

So I dug out my washing machine manual, learned that I have, of course, been using it incorrectly for years, and figured out which settings have extra long soak times. Alternatively, you could just pre-soak the items in question Woolite-style in the sink like this.

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Pre-soaking is a bit of a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it to save an expensive jacket from stinky jacket doom, right? Now we know.

DID IT WORK, THEN?

YES. They came out…NOT-STINKY JACKETS!

Shit. Now I don’t get to go buy a new fancy workout jacket. 😦

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VAPOR FRESH: THE VERDICT

I know that Vapor Fresh won’t harm the performance (wicking, stretching, compression) of my workout clothes, and I am happy to report that does remove B.O. when you follow the directions. Which you think would be, like, the definition of any laundry detergent’s job, but you tell me. How many of your workout shirt and jacket armpits can you stick your nose into? Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Available on Amazon , $22 for a 5lb tub, which is good for 36 regular/ 72 HE loads of laundry.

 

 

 

Workout pants: Will they stay up????

Pear-shaped problem:

Any pants that fit your ass are usually too big in the waist, and slide down as you work out.

OR, if you buy pants that are stretchy enough to fit your ass and not be baggy on your waist, that material is too stretchy to stay put during any kind of real workout, and they slide down. (Athleta Chaturanga and LuluLemon Wonder Unders are two examples of such pants.)

I recently convinced myself it was OK to get a few fresh pairs of workout capris and was picky about the stay-up factor. I bought three pairs from Athleta (currently not feeling LuluLemon at all) and get this: I KEPT ALL THREE. Whattttt?

Here are the three winners of WILL THEY STAY UP?

Athleta Shine Stripe Sonar Tight:

WILL THEY STAY UP? YES!

Higher waist. They have that double decker waist band thing that Athleta does on their training pants which does add a little bulk to the midsection but not THAT MUCH and if that’s what it takes to have pants that stay up, that’s fine. It’s not like I’m wearing crop tops for fuck’s sake AMIRIGHT? haha. Crop tops. BWAHAHAHAHHAHA. Those are for young people. Stupid stupid young people. Anyway, I ran in them. Outside. And YES! THEY WILL STAY UP! They will also look stupid with any shoe that’s not plain grey or black, but oh well. THEY WILL STAY UP.

Next up…

Athleta Laser Mesh Sonar Capri

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WILL THEY STAY UP??? YES! THEY WILL STAY UP!

The seams near the hips are a little weird, and I almost took them back because I thought they look a little bit like someone drawing circles around and pointing to my saddle bags, (Notice how the model has her hand in front of hers? Not an accident.) but…meh! Nobody in boot camp is looking at my shit, so fuck it. I like the polka dot cut-outs and I’m too lazy to find another type of pant that won’t fall down but has a modern detail on it so IMMA KEEP EM.

AND YES THEY WILL STAY UP!

last but not least:

Athleta Circuit Capri

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OK. These are the weird one-offs I was curious about a while back. (See post here.) They are less expensive than any other pant from Athleta, and aren’t a line like the Sonar or Chaturanga, but they’re high-waisted and their description said they were for high intensity training, so…I had to check them out.

What’s different about them is the fabric: it’s a little thicker than the normal Athleta fabric (which is good, because Athleta’s fabric is a little on the thin side) but it’s really slippery. Like, slipperier than a bathing suit-slippery. Slipperier than 80’s shiny purple spandex-slippery. I don’t know why. And I thought that would make them fall down, but…they didn’t, so I’m keeping these guys too. Who knew?

The only bad news is they only have them in pink, and in XS or XL now…so I’m sorry that I brought you late news on that. Maybe they’ll bring them back for the spring catalog.

But what have we learned? If you’re a pear and/or have trouble finding workout or running pants that stay up, try the Athleta Sonar line. And no, they’re not paying me. But seriously, they should probably start, right? AHEM.

Good luck getting your workouts in over the holidays! I’ll be using Aaptiv / The App Formerly Known as Skyfit. I’ll let you know how it goes. MERRY ALMOST CHRISTMAS!

 

 

Athleta Pretend Shopping Spree

Hey there.  Sorry I’ve been MIA. It’s because:

1. I haven’t been shopping much because day care is really fucking expensive. Like, more than my post-grad education-expensive. Not kidding. #americawehaveaproblem

2. I’ve been busy working because, see 1.

3. I haven’t been working out because I HAVE HAD A STUPID SINUS INFECTION FOR OVER HALF THE YEAR. No joke. You know how you feel when you have half a cold, and aren’t really snotting all over anymore, but your head is full of pudding and you can’t think straight and you also feel like someone is sucking 70% of your life force out of you at all times? That’s me. Most of this year. It’s not cool.

I have, however, become a Ketonian, which I’d love to tell you about, and will, soon, but not now. More important? Fall fitness fashion.

Pretend shopping spree at Athleta:

You KNOW I love me some Athleta. I’m wearing Chaturanga Capris and the Daily Tank right now, with my murdered-out Nike Frees.

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So for this fall, Athleta is introducing some Shapey/Supporty stuff called Sculptek. But I don’t care. At least not right now.

What I do care about is:

The HIGH NECK STRIPE CHI TANK because it’s basically what I’m already wearing, but in a cute stripe. If I had to uniform it for the rest of my life, I would have to just admit that it’s tunics and leggings for me. Has been since I was 13.

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The SCOUT SLIP ON BY DR. SCHOLLSNEW WAVE BY OBTB, and SODA JOGGER BY ASH because when I commute to the city for an on-site gig, I have to walk a mile from the train station to the office, hauling a computer. And that’s when shit gets real. Gotta have #cuteworkshoes

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THE ANYTIME BRA because when I’m not working on-site, I’m usually athelisure-style because it’s still sweltering here and even walking the dog equals sweating. And sweating in a real bra is GROSS.

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THE LASER MESH SONAR CAPRI because I’m kind of low on pants that really stay up, and I’m trying to start running again. And they’re fucking cool. screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-00-30-am

THE CIRCUIT CAPRI because they seem even more serious about their “not fall down” nature with their elastic topped high-rise waistband.screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-01-52-am

 

THE LEA WEDGE BY SOREL because they were my clients, and I love them, and that boot is awesomely rugged/ rustic/ and futuristic at the same time. Oh, and waterproof. (See city walking needs above.)

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And of course, the GLEAM TIGHT 2.0 and SUEDE  because let’s be honest, unless I’m going to the city I’m probably not wearing pants. Half the time. At least. screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-08-27-am

HAPPY FALL FASHION SEASON!

Oh, and I went to Luluelmon yesterday and peeked around. They have what look like could be some powerful running tights, but they’ve jacked up their prices again, so I just said WELL FUCK YOOOOOU, THEN and walked out. $150 for running tights, guys. That’s like, five minutes of day care. Too expensive.

Pretend Shopping Spree: Reebok

Like I said in my previous article about Reebok, I have a lot of respect for this funky, gritty, true to itself brand. They’re doing great work right now. And they’re making some great looking workout wear. For to enjoy: Reebok.

1. Combat Bralette $60 2. CrossFit High Impact Bra $70 3. Reebok X Tristan Eaton Collage Tight $65  4. Dance Shattered Glam Tight $55  5. Cardio Woven Jacket $110  6. Reebok X Face Stockholm $50

VSX X JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS

Holy shit. This is truly outrageous.

Victoria’s Secret Sport has a line of sports bras based on Jem and the Holograms.

I mean, they might not KNOW that they did it. But they totally did it.

I introduce to you the “Incredible” by Victoria’s Secret sports bra.

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RIGHT??????

But wait. There’s more!!!

PIZAZZZ!

 

SYNERGY!

 

KIMBER!

 

Of course, my fitstyle is more

JETTA!

But whatever.

Thank you VSX for that surprising bit of joy I had trying on sports bras yesterday.

 

 

Current obsession: Short sleeved sweatshirts

Ever since I saw those two short sleeved men’s Nike sweatshirts in January, I’m all about it. I don’t own one, but I really want one. Even though I kind of suspect you have to be a string bean to really rock one the right way…We shall see. We shallllll seeeeee…

Oh, and I did try #2 from Everlane, but it didn’t fall right on me. It hit at the hip and folded instead of hanging/ swinging.

  1. L.L.Bean 2. Everlane 3. Kanye West for A.P.C. 4. J.Crew 5.Nike 6. Everlane 7. Nike      8. Nike 9. Adidas by Stella McCartney 10. Adidas

Striped Stretch Pant Fail

Striped Athleta Chaturangas

When they came out last year, I was like “Whaaaaa? Those are cyuuuute.” But I own at least 4 pairs of Chaturangas already, and sort of doubted horizontal stripes across my widest bits would be a good idea.

But I have seen them on different ladies with different body types, and they do kind of look cute on a lot of people, so I kept them in the back of my mind…

Then I was out negative-shopping last week (returning things) and saw a pair on the sale rack at Athleta, so I had to try them on.

If you were wondering if striped leggings are for you, (and you’ve got a booty) here’s your answer: 

NOPE.

Oh well. A few more notes on them:

FABRIC:  much less stretchy than the other chaturangas I have.

FIT: the cut and rise are the same.