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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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.

Reebok embraces its funky funky truth.

Reebok.

When I say that, what comes to mind?

For me, a child of the 80s and a teen of the 90s, I think of these:

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Like, totally bubble gum pink!

and these:

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Pump-pump it up!

Reebok was Nike before Nike was Nike. (Step Reebok, anybody? PURPLE PINK TEAL BLACK!) There was a little bit of celebrity endorsement, but bold, bright funky products were the star, because, after all, Reebok let U.B.U.

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Cow spots and southwestern? These were EVERYTHING!!!

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Did Reebok invent cross training? I don’t remember. Probably not, but here’s an article. CLICK.

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PSYCH! These are from 2014! (blacktop tribal)

And since then…um…crickets? Not really. They never stopped existing. But you tell me what Reebok has been known for since then. (Oh yeah, Easy Tone. I got a check from the class action suit. Whoopsie!)

Cut to: twenty years later…CROSSFIT. Such a funky, fringe, down and dirty sport-hobby thing. Reebok embraced it, branded it, and made it A THING. (Their CrossFit logo has even taken over and become their brand logo.) When I think about CrossFit (grunting out basic exercises in an extreme way and probably twisting an ankle?) I think “no thanks, weirdo. I care not about your WOD.” But when I watch it on TV, I am RIVETED!!! It’s like track and field. It’s basic in the best, “pared down to simple feats of physical strength, technique and endurance” way possible. Totally kooky, but totally owning it. And the ‘bok is all about it.

Reebok has a history of embracing specific sports and fitness trends (aerobics, Step Reebok) so this is a move that’s true to the brand’s DNA. It’s authentic. It feels right. They’re also the official footwear brand of the UFC, they have a line called “combat” (Fuck yeah!), and they have a partnership with Les Mills developing apparel and workouts. (Les Mills = Body Pump.)

Reebok is getting back to what they’ve been best at. Not trying to out-Nike nike or out-pro UnderArmour, but instead being a little funky dunky fringe, and celebrating specific, not-mainstream sports. They’re reissuing a lot of classics, and their current collection of fitness apparel reminds me of the late 80s/early 90s era when they were last kicking ass. (Check out their “Rally” summer lookbook here.)  It’s all coming back together. Good on you, Reebok. U.B.U.

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Pretty-Sweaty on the Socials

Hello! Quick little update on the digital world of Pretty-Sweaty:

  1. The Instagram account for this blog is now officially @prettysweaty 
  2. Below are some posts from the last few months.
  3. There is a twitter account for this blog @prettysweaty1 so you can now get fitness and fitstyle-themed bitchings, rantings, and ravings in bitesize form.
  4. I still hate tech-fabric shirts, so don’t worry, there’s stability in the world.

 

Today’s WorkOutfit

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Admittedly, “work” today means worky work, like sitting on my ass at the computer work. Dressed like a dude in joggers, kicks, and a jacket. And 30 second hair. They have it so easy they don’t even know.

Joggers: Gapfit, Jacket: Mountain Hardware, Shoes: Toms, Tracker: Up2 by Jawbone

Running low on haterade…?!

I’ve got a serious problem. The world has caught up and most brands are making cute workout clothes and most people are wearing them. There’s even a Stitch Fix/ Trunk Club type service for fitness clothes now (sweat style). Hell, even Beyonce is coming out with a fitness line. (Ivy Park. Beyonce x Top Shop.) Which, for the record, is not fucking authentic because anyone who can pay someone to cook for them and train them is kind of cheating. Carrie Underwood. Kate Hudson. Gweneth. Britney. Jessica. Not like, lipo- cheating (although, maybe they have, I don’t know), but still. Just because you’re a star and keep in shape, and/or already have a clothing line you’re looking to extend, doesn’t mean you’re a fitness person.

Anyway. The only problem left for me to bitch about (other than that) in fitness fashion is clingy tech shirts. That’s it. They still suck, they still make everyone look lumpy and terrible, and they hold on to B.O. like a stink bank. And maybe the’ll never go away until I’m somehow made head of design at Nike or Under Armor (insert dream sequence here). But just one terrible crime against fitness fashion isn’t much to feed this beast.

What’s a girl to do??? Be positive?!? Just focus on putting cute WorkOutfits together? Like another vapid fashion blogger who for some reason can never look at the camera? Blech. I dunno, man.

I guess I’ll just keep on reporting on what’s coming out and how to find stuff that makes you feel powerful. Just because shit’s pretty good now, doesn’t mean we all can’t keep upping our badassery. (see: proenza schouler, balmain) Onward! Excelsior!

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EXP Core Review (Fitness fashion from Express)

Hey, guess who else has a new fitness wear line.  Express. Yep, that Express. It’s called EXP Core Performance, and they sent me an outfit to review, so I happily shall. Someone wants to send me clothes? YAASSS!

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Hello, EXP Core Performance.

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What they have: Workout Clothes for Women. A whole line of workout leggings,  workout tops, sports bras, and jackets.They say they’re “sexy, stylish, and built for maximum performance.” Oh. You wanna go after VSX Victoria’s Secret Sport? Ok. I hear you. Go for it.

They let me pick out from a selection of a few different pants and tops, and I chose these leggings because 1. I have too many crops right now and 2. HOLY SHIT CRAZY BUTTERFLY PATTERN I LOVE IT. And I chose the black top, obviously, because that’s what I wear. Black tops. And the lovely folks at EXP Core Performance sent me a sports bra to wear under it, too. Sweet!Outfit math expFullSizeRender

The workout leggings kind of rule. Ombre Animal Print EXP Core Compression Legging $69.90. And I’m not just saying that because I didn’t have to pay for them. The pattern is really fun, and it’s the first big, all-over pattern like this that has been flattering on my shape. ( Pear / T-Rex / Thunder-thighs.) The white at the bottom definitely helps because white looks bigger, so the effect is almost the same as if I were wearing bootcut/flared yoga pants. They balance out the thunder thighs. And the pattern at the top (read: the pattern across my ass) is dark and keeps the eye moving, so we’re good there, too. The only drawback is that this fabric is white with a print on it, so the inside of the pants are white, which means when the fabric stretches, it gets lighter because you’re seeing a little bit of that white come through. The black becomes dark grey when it is stretched across my thighs. So. Shopping tip: pay attention to the color of the inside of your workout pants. It’s not a deal breaker in this case, though. I think they still look good.FullSizeRender_2

But more importantly, they make me feel good. I feel like an olympic skier in them. They are edgy and obnoxious and you can’t really wear them and sit on the couch, because look at them! They are ACTION PANTS MADE FOR ACTION! Right?

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The tech and specs:

Fabric: They’re a slippery, almost bathing suit-type material, like Onzie leggings. Which means they wick well, and you could probably use them for bikram yoga or even swimming if you wanted to. Surfing? Maybe. But only if you get them really tight. There’s no drawstring. The fabric is not thick, and  that’s usually a deal breaker for me,  because: cellulite. But the pattern does the camouflaging that I usually count on a thicker fabric to do, so NBD.

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Fit: They have a high rise with a wide waistband, so that’s perfect. Everybody seems to be catching on to that now. As they should be. There’s no reason for anybody to have to have a muffin top. Hooray progress! Also, there’s a waistband key pocket, which is mandatory. I’m between sizes right now, so I ordered the higher size. So they’re not “performance” tight on me. (Except for on the thighs because everything is.)  But despite that, they didn’t slide down during a long walk, and they stayed in place pretty well during burpees and bouncing in a HIIT workout.

I’m impressed, Express. These are thoughtfully designed. Respect.

The workout top is a soft, drapey cotton.  Black EXP Core Strappy Tank $34.90. It’s loose enough and long enough, with some showy interest in the back. What more could you want? You might think “eh, it’s fine” when you look at it online, but it’s the kind of easy-to-wear piece you (I) will probably reach for first again and again. No brainer.

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The sports bra looks basic at first sight, too. (Mesh Back EXP Core Sports Bra $49) But the material actually has an almost shiny, leather-look, so it’s different and edgy, without being slutty.  The scoop of the neck and the width of the straps are flattering. It’s not too low cut,  and it covers the upper boob/ armpit fat. They know what they’re doing over there. And you know I don’t say that shit lightly. Of course, this is a “for looks” bra, not a “for running” bra. There’s no padding, and no special support structure. But it’s pretty slick looking. Oh yeah, and the back has mesh panels, too.FullSizeRender_3

EVERYTHING I got was thoughtfully designed. I’m pleasantly surprised, and actually pretty stoked. This EXP stuff is really flattering. For real.

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Seriously, you guys. When I saw Express in my email, I thought “I have not even looked in the window of that store since college.” And I’m 38. I shouldn’t be in there. But workout wear is for everybody, and EXP Core is a nice find. And you can order online so you don’t have to go in there and stand next to a size 00 seventeen year-old who hasn’t even put on her beer weight yet.

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Thumbs up for EXP Core.

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