Fastinistas, Stunners, Whatever You Want to Call Them – Just Call Them Athletes Too

25 Jul

I almost think it is ridiculous that I feel SO compelled to respond to this, but I just cannot let this one pass me by.

In the newest issue of Runner’s World, there is a very interesting article that explores the more fashionable side of women’s running. In short, the article is about how the look of women’s running attire is migrating from side split shorts and singlets to running skirts and brightly-colored arm warmers.

No big deal, right? Ha. Surprisingly, this issue is creating a lot of debate, and some of the comments are getting just down-right nasty.

For reference, I will give you my personal opinion. As long as you are appropriately covered, I do not care at all what you wear. All I ask is that you keep your lady-bits and man-stuff covered so that I don’t have to see them when running next to you. However, the color or pattern of the fabric you choose to do so is of no concern whatsoever to me. Whether you decide to color-coordinate or not is completely inconsequential to me and my personal performance. Will rocking a cute running skirt cause me to cringe and take you less seriously? Heck no. Odds are, you are still moving faster than me anyway. (And if you are dude in one, I might just give you a high five!)

Photo courtesy of Skirt Sports (Race Belt Skirt)

In general, my issue is not with the article. My concern was really over the comments left regarding this article. I was shocked at how negative some of these people (mostly women) were. And if you were one of those women and you have now somehow made your way to my little blog and are reading this, I have three words for you…SHAME ON YOU.

Here are some excerpts from just a few of the comments left on

“NO NO NO. As a woman I am sick and tired of being told to embrace my feminine side. Running is not about fashion, it’s about just running, or gutting out the 32k training run, or busting your butt at the track doing speed work, finding some inner peace on the trails, or just enjoying a run.” ~ himantura

“…and why would you feel bad about the way you look if your running? Let me guess, your casually jogging 3 times a week? and yes, I AM going there.” ~ CassC9

“Woo hoo look at MEEEE. I’m a middle child and didn’t get enough attention growing up.” ~ aponi

“i found this article to be extremely frustrating…it’s not enough to be out there logging the miles and setting new PR’s, now we have to be “stunners” too?” ~ themausischasingme

“This is what I get out of this article: women have a low self-image so they need to look “pretty” to get attention because they can’t do it on merit and are dumb enough to spend oodles of money to do so.” ~ sportbikeless

What is with these women?
What in the world has their runner panties in such a bunch that they have to be so unsupportive? Why be so negative? I just do not understand. Look, I get it if running skirts, arm warmers, and colored compression socks are not your thing…that’s totally fine. Just don’t buy them. But to rag on someone else because that is what makes them feel good? That is just immature and petty. We aren’t in high school anymore, ladies, and the elitist attitudes need to go…now.

Photo courtesy of Brooks Running (Infiniti Track Jacket)

I am a girl…a very girly-girl, in fact. I have a job that does not require me to dress up at all. However, I do so because I like it. I wear make-up, fix my hair, and wear cute tops…to a chemical plant…because I like it and that is what makes me feel good. The same is applied to my running clothes. I wear the “cute” clothes because I like them…not because I feel like I have some uber-girly sexpot image I have to live up to. When I get new running clothes that I like and make me feel good, I am more likely to wear them…usually meaning more/longer workouts, resulting in a higher weekly mileage. I don’t have a stank attitude when I see a woman running in cotton yoga pants and a t-shirt because that is her prerogative. Personally, I would die from heat in head-to-toe cotton, but whatever, as long as she is outside and exercising, more power to her. Oh, and the BEST part about these “cute” running clothes is that, not only are they attractive, but they are functional too! Best of both worlds! Why hate on that??

I think the comment that got to me the most was by CassC9. I mean, really, who the heck do you think you are? YOU are everything that is wrong here. You talk about the clothing being demeaning and demoralizing to women, but how about your attitude and the way you are look down on others? It is people like YOU that discourage others from taking up this sport or from even trying. If a cute outfit is the ticket to motivating a woman to get off the couch and start taking strides to improve her health and find her inner champion, than so be it. Shame on you for being so discouraging.

Photo courtesy of CEP Compression. I want every color!

I will have you know that while training for my marathon, I rocked cute outfits on every training run and race. And yes, now that I am pregnant and I am “only” a 3 to 4 time per week runner, I am STILL rocking my cute running clothes. And next year, after the baby arrives, when I start training for my first ultramarathon, I will be running proudly in my running skirts and arm warmers. Sorry, CassC9, it is time to step down from the high-horse and get over yourself.

And, last but not least, do I even need to mention Flo Jo? The woman ran with brightly painted talons and in one-legged track kits. And you know what else? She was also a world champion athlete. How about Venus Williams? While she is not a runner, she is a famous tennis player who is also known for her eclectic sense of style. Does the fact that she wears lacey or ruffled (sometimes both at the same time) outfits make her any less of a badass on the court? No, ma’am, it does not.

I think these female nay-sayers should be more concerned about their own training and performance and less concerned with the woman wearing a running skirt or tu-tu. Who knows, before too long, that tu-tu could be passing them by.

Call them fastinistas, stunners, or whatever else you want…but make sure you call those women “athletes” too.
What are YOUR thoughts on this?

96 Responses to “Fastinistas, Stunners, Whatever You Want to Call Them – Just Call Them Athletes Too”

  1. rn4atsm at 12:30 PM #

    Awesome Write up – I thought this when I saw the Mag this month – why is there not a section for the guys? Dammit I love my Compression Socks and I like wearing the green. Its also a form of expression – who cares – Wear what you want – when you want…Well again, like you said – Except the lady with the g String Spandex – that can stay home…

    • katieRUNSthis at 12:34 PM #

      I know, right? My husband is the same way! He likes “cool” running clothes too. I know that when we go to the running store and he picks out something new, he gets all motivated and jazzed to give it a try!

      The only problem I have with the lady running in the g-string is that its illegal. I mean, if public nudity and flashing your business were not a crime, I suppose I would just have to get over it. 🙂 Happy running!

  2. Jennjustruns at 12:30 PM #

    AMEN!!! Other women are a woman’s worst enemy! I HATE that women can be so critical of each other. You’re totally right…who cares what someone’s wearing as long as they are out there. And someone who is just “casually jogging 3 – 4 times a week” is certainly doing a hell of a lot more than someone who’s ass is just sitting on the couch! Well put, Katie!

    • katieRUNSthis at 12:35 PM #

      ABSOLUTELY! Hello! A lot of marathon runners only train 4 days per week! That’s how you keep from overtraining. I was just so offended by these comments and I had to vent. Thanks for reading!

  3. Katherine at 12:31 PM #

    I have yet to read that Runner’s World article, but I completely agree with you on all these points.

    Personally, I don’t think ANY woman or man has the right to demean others who are enjoying the sport of running. Those commenters are likely not elite runners by any stretch. Get over yourselves.

    • katieRUNSthis at 12:36 PM #

      Agreed! That is what I think got to me the most…here is this woman, being all high and mighty, talking down to other women. I mean, who is she? Is she an elite runner? I don’t recall her mug ever gracing the cover of Runner’s World. Whatever. It is the bad attitudes (not the outfits) that are bringing women down.

  4. Tracy at 12:33 PM #

    Oh, I have LOADS of thoughts on this. I wrote something about running skirts just before this article came out:

    There are links in that post to where I addressed this article directly and reconsidered my stance on women who wear make up running, even (do it if you want).

    I totally agree with you.

    • katieRUNSthis at 12:39 PM #

      Shoot, I wear make-up when running. Well, I mean, I don’t put it ON to go running (mostly because I don’t want to clog my pores) but I certainly don’t give a rip if other women want to. The only reason I have make-up on when I run is because it is usually then end of the work day and it is still on from work. However, if that is what it takes for a woman to feel good and confident and perform her best, then whatever! It is fine with me!

      • Tracy at 1:16 PM #

        EXACTLY! And that’s why it’s so similar to the whole skirt issue. I wear skirts because they’re comfortable, but if someone is going to be uncomfortable without make-up? Then wear it!

      • Run DMT at 1:27 PM #

        I always make-up to races because I want to look good in photos. But I don’t wear a full face when I’m just running around the ‘hood.

  5. Jen at 12:33 PM #

    Amen! I’m not a girly girl and I choose my clothes based on comfort and price. I fund running skirts super cute, but not for me. I can’t believe people care what others wear! You said it best, as long as you’re covered, I could not care less what you wear.

    • katieRUNSthis at 12:41 PM #

      The fact that you are NOT into running skirts is totally cool too. Just because these options are out there doesn’t me we are “pressured” to wear them. If you are more comfortable and feel like you perform better in running shorts and a tank, then cool by me. After all, the point is to get out there and do your personal best. Whether that personal best is achieved in an old cotton t-shirt you got from donating blood or the newest sassy ensemble from Brooks, it really doesn’t matter. 🙂

  6. Lauren at 12:36 PM #

    Couldn’t agree more. While I can see the feminist point of view that there shouldn’t be PRESSURE for women to look “cute” when they’re running, I see no problem if that’s what a woman wants to do.

    • katieRUNSthis at 12:44 PM #

      Agreed. But the thing is, the article wasn’t saying anything about women feeling pressured to dress this way. The article was merely presenting these items as options or alternatives for female runners wanting something different. The article wasn’t saying, “You aren’t cool or pretty if you don’t dress this way.” It was just making the point that there are now options for women who might be interested in them. Whether a woman decides to or not to wear a “cute” running outfit is her own business and it doesn’t bother me either way.

  7. Karen Janos at 12:45 PM #

    Totally agree! I read the article and don’t see what’s wrong with wearing running skirts, tutus or whatever the heck makes you happy.

    The people that mock the bright colors or running skirts probably have their own “cool” running clothes. I wonder what makes them feel so intimidated by what other people wear. I don’t see how it matters.

    The last time I looked at the end of the race it is your time that is recorded, not your outfit.

    • katieRUNSthis at 12:48 PM #

      Agreed! On all accounts! My opinion is that whatever makes a woman feel comfortable and confident is what she should wear. And we should all be supportive of each others choices. After all, at the end of the day, we are out there getting exercise and staying fit.

  8. Liz Glomb at 12:47 PM #

    I have no problem whatsoever with women who choose to wear cute/colorful or whatever clothes when they run. I only have a few bright or cute items myself, but its not because I don’t want them, its more that I don’t have enough guts to try wearing some of those clothes. Oh and I also can’t afford an entirely new wardrobe of athletic gear, but thats a different story 🙂 I also have a friend (a male friend) who recently bought outfits and a helmet to match his bike. How is that any different? I think its cool. If he wants to do it, good for him.

    I agree that these women were getting angry over nothing. I guess they have nothing better to do with their time than complain about what others choose to wear when working out.

    So more power to the women who have the guts to wear the cute brightly colored outfits! good for you!

    • katieRUNSthis at 12:57 PM #

      Yes, guys totally get in on the action too! When it comes to competition, if a particular outfit helps you feel “on your game” and it isn’t illegal for whatever reason (partial nudity) then wear it with pride!! My husband likes nice gear too. His favorite color is green and he loves running in his grass-green Nike Running shirt. He feels like it fits him well and breathes and I know he feels confident in it. I am the same way in my running clothes. Whether I splurged and got something special from Brooks or hit up the C9 section of Target, as long as I like it and feel “cute”, how is that hurting anyone else? I also hated the way these women made it sounds like cute running clothes are going to be the downfall of the feminist movement. I mean, c’mon…really? Like if I wear a running skirt, they might was well just take away my right to vote too! *eyeroll* 🙂

      • Liz Glomb at 1:21 PM #

        I mean, I totally just bought some really obnoxiously bright running shoes. I call them my “fast shoes”. Now, I know that its not the color of the shoes that make me go fast, but just putting them on makes me feel awesome and like I could take on the world.

        If wearing a bright pink plaid running skirt does the same for you, GOOD!

  9. Twisted Runner at 12:51 PM #

    Well said Kate! I’m tired of the boring black shorts or pants. Love seeing the brightly colored runners clothes, the young women who wear just a sport bra, etc. I’m only jealous when she’s young and in shape as I’m old and not in shape lol

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:17 PM #

      Oh girl, don’t think you are the only one jealous of the hard-body runners in their cute shorts and sports bras. I was *almost* to that point before Baby Key came along and I will be darned if I don’t get back there post-baby! 🙂 You just keep on keepin’ on! You are beautiful!

  10. eattoruntoeat at 1:00 PM #

    I read the article and I was personally frustrated with the whole thing. It made it seem that all women were out there to look cute and fashion forward while running but we are not. Some of us are just out to run. As a tomboy and a person who could care less about fashion, I disliked the article a lot. It’s not shame on me, it’s just that the generalization that was made in the article made some women angry. If it was better written then maybe the comments wouldn’t be so harsh.

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:05 PM #

      I totally get your point. As a self-professed tomboy, I totally support your desire to wear whatever it is you feel most comfortable in. If that isn’t running skirts and frilly tank tops, that’s cool. I totally get that. Some days, its not for me either. The impression I got was that these women were saying that it shouldn’t be an option or that the women who do wear “cute” outfits shouldn’t be taken seriously as athletes. I don’t knock fellow runners for NOT wearing running skirts and I don’t feel like I should be knocked because I DO wear running skirts. I think we should all be supportive of each others performances (whether that performance falls in to the “weekend warrior” or “elite” runner category), and not care so much about how that performance was packaged. I appreciate your comments!! 🙂

  11. Eric at 1:06 PM #

    WTF, just run! Wear pink snow boots and a camouflage tank top. Whatever floats your own boat.

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:09 PM #

      Agreed! I once saw a guy run a 6-mile race in SHRIMP BOOTS!! Granted, I did think it was strange and I DID make a comment to my husband about it, but my comment was more geared at, “Gosh, those things must be HEAVY to run in!” but not, “Man, that guy looks dumb.” Then again, he was also wearing a zebra print man-thong (I swear!) which was a little questionable, but hey, whatever. Also, I’m not sure how he didn’t get chafed…from the boots OR the man-thong. 🙂

  12. Hydie at 1:13 PM #

    Great post Katie! My first thought was of the little girls standing in front of the ‘this is what a runner looks like’ mirror that you made for our Girls on the Run 5k. There were many different reflections in the mirror that day – different ages, skin color, backgrounds, personalities & abilities and of course – different outfits! Would any one of us ever tell a little girl that she couldn’t complete a run decked out in her pink skirt, purple painted polka-dot hair, green ribbons, knee socks and neon yellow bandanna that says DIVA! I DON’T THINK SO! What a beautiful image – a little girl running in all of her frills and colors. This screams, “I AM A RUNNER & I’M FREE TO BE ME!” I realize that your post was not about little girls but hey – there’s a little girl in all of us….right? To the RW readers with the negative comments – Why steal someone’s joy? I’m pretty positive – there’s a beautiful story behind every runner…the gym shorts runners AND the skirt runners…can’t we all be friends?

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:27 PM #

      Thanks, Hydie! Exactly! Who is to say what does and does not make a runner? Can’t we all just get along?? 🙂 Seriously! And when it comes to coaching the little girls, if one wants to wear shorts and a t-shirt and one wants to wear leggings and a tank top, what’s the big deal? I mean, its like if one wants black running shoes and one like red? So what! Whatever a person’s (or kiddo’s) personal preference is should not dictate whether we take him/her seriously or not. 🙂

  13. Katie A. at 1:18 PM #

    I think it’s ridiculous to judge each other based on what someone is wearing! We’re all out there to accomplish the same thing (get our miles in for the day), so who cares what we’re wearing when we do it! Like you said, as long as something isn’t hanging out, then I really don’t care what anyone is wearing…I’m just proud of them for making the decision to get up off the couch and get out there and run. While I have not ventured into wearing running skirts (yet), I have no problem with anyone who loves to rock them! Wear whatever you find comfortable and whatever makes you feel good about yourself, because again, like you said, that is more likely to keep you out there putting in the miles! The running community should be one of support, not one where we tear each other down!

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:42 PM #

      Thanks for the comment! Running skirts are SO comfortable and I highly recommend them. I am a curvy girl (with Baby Key helping me get curvier by the day) and I have thicker, muscular legs. I am not blessed with long and lean “runner’s legs”. The skirts work out better for me and if I feel like I look good, then I perform better!

  14. Julie Guarducci at 1:18 PM #

    Just a few weeks ago at the Too Hot To Handle race I saw a guy running in flip flop. Did I think he would be sorry after the 3.1 miles, heck yes. But if he’s comfy running in them, more power to him.

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:45 PM #

      My only concern for a guy running in flip-flops would be safety. I mean, what if, while running, one came off or he tripped over them? Some runs have rules against stuff like that. But hey, if it works for him, it works for him! Each to his own! 🙂

  15. Jackie at 1:22 PM #

    Great article — and exactly on target. I’m a fan of “cute running outfits” — even if they don’t look as cute on me as they might on a woman who is younger and more fit. To be a girly-girl woman does NOT mean you are not also strong and intelligent at the same time. To think that it does is one of the worst kinds of discrimination.

  16. Thanks for writing this! Those women making those comments are most likely just really insecure. Isn’t that why most people judge others? Because they are afraid of being judged themselves? Sad really…

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:47 PM #

      You know, that is EXACTLY what I thought…especially about the comment by CassC9. I mean, really…how much do you have to put others down to make yourself look “cool”? So she might run 50+ miles a week…big deal. I used to do that too before Baby Key. Does that mean I won’t relish in an easy 5k with my friend who just started running? No way. Running is running…and we should support each other!

      When I read her comment, I secretly thought, “I bet that lady REALLY wants a cute running outfit but she is just too scared to go buy one because SHE is the one who is afraid of not being taken seriously.”

  17. Kristin at 1:24 PM #

    LIKE! I agree with you on all counts. If people want to wear skirts, do it! I am ALWAYS more motivated to run/work out when I have cute clothes to wear!

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:48 PM #

      Me too! If I feel like I look good, I feel on my game and ready to perform!

  18. Tracey Keller at 1:27 PM #

    I totally agree with you, Katie. Who cares what other people wear? How does it impact you? These comments sound so petty – women can be so hard on each other, for no apparent reason.

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:49 PM #

      The biggest shame here is that the negativity is coming from other women. Why can’t we all just play nice? Do we ever really get out of “high school?”

  19. Courtenay at 1:28 PM #

    Who in the ever-lovin heck gives a CRAP what someone else is wearing while running? I mean really? Those people have way too much time on their hands. The comments in RW are RIDICULOUS; especially the ones you posted. Are they jealous?

    We’ll see what sort of looks I get when I wear my new running skirt for the first time at my race this Saturday. I just bought it on Friday. Not to “look cute,” but because it’s SO comfy.

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:51 PM #

      Jealousy is EXACTLY what came to mind when I read some of those comments. I feel like maybe they secretly WANT cuter clothes but are afraid of people judging them for it. I feel that if you wear something with confidence, no one should be able to shake you!

      Running skirts ARE comfy! I am loving them more and more with my Baby Key thighs. My world consists of running skirts and Bodyglide. 🙂

  20. rivershughey at 1:44 PM #

    One thing that I’ve really tried to instill in my friends that are considering running is that the running community is so supportive. The responses to the article is so disheartening. Those people are exactly why my friends stay clear of running – they make it seem as if running three times a week makes you less of a “runner.” How sad.

    • katieRUNSthis at 2:17 PM #

      I know! I hate that. You know what, there are some weeks that I don’t even run at all…whether its illness, lack of desire/burnout, busy schedules, etc. That doesn’t make me NOT a runner. I don’t want one person’s sucky attitude to turn someone off of giving running a try.

  21. keyalus at 2:23 PM #

    It is kind of annoying that commenters would assume everyone wears this stuff to make some kind of fashion statement only, but to be fair the quotes presented in the article provoked that reaction.

    The article didn’t bother me though and I like cute running clothes myself. I don’t get into the bright colors, tutus and knee socks but I am a devotee of running skirts. If you have larger thighs like I do, running shorts begin the race at your knees and end the race much higher. I don’t wear skirts to be cute, I wear them not to embarrass myself and spend the whole race pulling my shorts down!

  22. foodsweatandbeers at 3:09 PM #

    Great post!! I’m not really very into the running side of fitness, but as a total gym-rat, I’ve found that working out is much more enjoyable when I feel like I look good (as in well-dressed, not a total shlub). I like jumping around in funky shoes, brightly colored headbands, and tops/shorts that match. It’s not because I’m trying to impress anyone, find a boyfriend or girlfriend, or jump into a fashion show. I just feel good.

    Hooray for fashion!

  23. Jenn at 3:30 PM #

    Came over here from the article comments…

    Thank you. What cassc9 can’t see with her head that far up her butt is that a “casual 3 day a week jogger” could very well be a “300+ lb person trying to get in shape”. My favorite part of running is the supportive community surrounding it. She (and the others with nasty comments) is just insecure and needs to put others down in order to feel validated. I feel sorry for her.

    • katieRUNSthis at 3:34 PM #

      Jenn, thank you for stopping by and thank you for the comments! I agree. I just don’t see how bringing others down for such silly reasons is something a mature, adult woman would do.

      Anyone who is starting running (whether 300lb or not) needs support, NOT negativity. I wish she would have been more careful with her words.

      • Jenn at 3:48 PM #

        ANY runner, novice or veteran, needs, desires, and enjoys support. I just volunteered at Western States (100 mile race) last month and man oh man, if it weren’t for mental AND physical support, there’s no way they would be able to do such an amazing thing.

  24. I ran a very muddy trail half in a skirt and was told by another woman that I was “too cute to run in the mud”. I give not one flying eff about what I look like to others. I buy what works for me, what I find comfortable, and at a price I like.

    Obviously, if you have time to be so concerned about what other people are wearing while they run then you just aren’t running hard enough.

    • katieRUNSthis at 3:37 PM #

      BAM! You just hit the nail on the head! How can a person be “too cute to run in the mud”? I agree completely. Some people need to be less concerned with the athletic fashion choices of others and more concerned with their own performance.

    • Jenn at 3:42 PM #

      “Obviously, if you have time to be so concerned about what other people are wearing while they run then you just aren’t running hard enough.”


    • Lani Yearicks at 8:10 PM #

      I ran the Warrior Dash while wearing a skirt. Too cute to run in the mud? I don’t think so. My hubby ran with me and thought I looked awesome after, covered in mud and in my skirt!

  25. Daria at 3:42 PM #

    I wear color coordinated outfits, running skirts, lip stains, and waterproof mascara when running and going to the gym. I rotate my running shoes according to color, not mileage. My hair is long, dreadlocks with bright crimson red streaks in it. My nails are always done, pedicures on point, I just got my membership as a Marathon Maniac, and am currently training for my 4th marathon this year (not to mention 3 half marathons). So, I’m not serious abut running? Been doing it 13 years and ran cross country in college, earning senior athlete of the year. HA! I dare someone to say it to my face. Lol. Not to mention I’m built like one of the Williams sisters cause I can bench over 100# and deadlift the body weight of a teenage boy. I’m fierce, beautiful, strong, and a mother of two boys that think I’m awesome. I am totally a girly girl, but these are probably the same type of women that stare and whisper behind my back when I pass as I am busy enjoying my life 🙂 Too bad these other women feel so insecure that they need to put down others. They should google Catra Corbett, the endurance runner and her funky style and dare call her not a “real” runner.

    • katieRUNSthis at 3:52 PM #

      Woot woot! I love it! All of it! I so *wish* your Gravatar had a pic so I could check out those awesome red-streaked dreadlocks!! That is so cool! THANK YOU for standing up and saying that you can be fashionable AND a force to be reckoned with on the track or the road! You truly are a Marathon Maniac…and a sassy-looking one to boot! Keep it up, girl!! KEEP.IT.UP.

  26. Amanda @FancyOatmeal at 3:44 PM #

    So here is my thing: I’m a relatively new runner. I have never been one who has been OVERLY, overly concerned about my appearance. I like looking nice and will spend the extra time and $ to make sure that I look nice; make up, clothing, shoes, and hair. I refuse to spend more than 30 minutes getting ready however. That being said, this whole article about fashion on the track is a little silly to me. Running is tough enough without having to worry about whatever is being worn by myself or others. I just want to be sure I’m comfortable, no chafing, and it’s weather appropriate.

    • katieRUNSthis at 3:49 PM #


      First, let me say WELCOME to a fantastic new hobby! Running is such a great sport and I hope that you will find as much joy in it as we all do! And you are right, running IS tough. What one chooses to wear should be the last thing a person decides to criticize. Some people however find that they are more comfortable and are able to run better in skirts. I’m one of those people. However, if shorts and t-shirts works for you, awesome! I think people should be able to wear whatever they want to wear without side glances or comments from strangers. 🙂

  27. Erin (Hooper) Bush at 4:01 PM #

    Yay! I was thinking the exact same thing when I scanned through the comments of that article. Part of what I love about the running community is how (mostly) welcoming they are. I’ve seen amazing feats of human kindness at races where a new runner is struggling to cross the finish and random strangers pull together to get her across the mats. It’s amazing. When people comment in such a negative way in such a public forum, it casts a shadow on the entire community and really doesn’t show it for what it is. I second the sentiment: Shame on them for being judgmental about so insignificant a thing as running wear. It’s like shunning the budding yogi next to you because she’s not wearing Lululemon (don’t even get me started!! ha)

  28. Dawn at 4:05 PM #

    Katie — Fabulous post. I think you speak for a lot of us.

    As for this comment (on this blog, not the Runner’s World piece): “If it was better written then maybe the comments wouldn’t be so harsh.”

    Seriously?? Are you kidding? Sarah Bowen Shea is a very prolific, talented freelancer who regular writes for a ton of top-tier magazines. She is also the author of Run Like A Mother. Her article (and her book, and all her other articles) are well written. The comments have nothing to do with the writing .. they have to do with insecure women who are intimidated by those who can sweat and look cute at the same time.

  29. Susan at 4:16 PM #

    DITTO, Katie!

    as someone who had large enough feet (they’re big, and I’ve accepted it) that my only option was to buy men’s footwear through childhood and teen years… I can honestly say I’m absolutely thrilled that a) women (and men!)’s clothing has taken such awesome strides in design and technology b) they are embracing and producing a wider range of sizes so more people can join in and c) while they’re at it, making them nice to look at with color and design and extra whatever. Ultimately I think comfort, fit, function is top of the list… but I’m a girl and I’m not ashamed to admit that if that comfort, fit, function *whatever it is* comes in some fun snazzy color, I’m even MORE all over it.

    On a sidenote, running skirts I love. They are comfy, they ride less, they give me more modesty, and allow me to feel like a girl (in a good way) which only leaves me feeling all the more empowered.

    Also, this is why I typically don’t read comment sections on the interwebs…. it’s way too easy for folks to get snarky and leave… letting their negativity float about the interwebs forever, or until someone with authority removes it. *just saying*

  30. Megan at 4:45 PM #

    People take themselves waaay too seriously! I totally agree with you about the 3 times a week jogger comment being VERY judgy.

  31. VReed at 7:51 PM #

    Serena and Venus Williams look FABULOUS when they’re on the tennis court. Are they not taken seriously because they have set fashion trends in their sport? I’m seriously not understanding the article. As long as you’re properly clothed, then who cares what you’re wearing when you’re participating in any sport.

    • katieRUNSthis at 8:17 PM #

      I know, right? I don’t think ANYONE would have the nerve to tell either of the Williams sisters that they shouldn’t be taken seriously because of the outfits they choose to wear. Shoot, I know I wouldn’t. That would just be dumb. 🙂

  32. Lauren Jewett at 7:51 PM #

    I spend so much time in my running clothes (perhaps more so than regular clothes), so why not have fun colors, accessories, and feel good about what you are wearing?

    • katieRUNSthis at 8:21 PM #

      This is so true! On a Saturday, I’ll often go out for my morning run…then swing by the grocery store…then the fruit stand…and maybe Target…all before heading home. It makes me feel good to know that even though I’m all sweaty, I still look *relatively* cute and sporty while running my errands. 🙂

  33. Lani Yearicks at 8:07 PM #

    AMEN Katie!!! I’m far from being a girly-girl, but I love my running skirt because it’s SOOOOOOOOOOO much more comfy than shorts to me. I don’t like shorts because they always visit places they’re not welcome. My skirts don’t do that. My running shirts are mostly my tech shirts from races I’ve done, but I wear them proudly – and especially now that I’m pregnant, I still wear the same shirts and proudly show off my baby bump through my shirt (or sometimes without and just my bright green sports bra).

    • katieRUNSthis at 8:24 PM #

      You are so awesome! You run with your baby bump and just a sports bra sometimes?? That is so cute! I could never…I mean, NEVER do that. I am just too self conscious! I bet you look ADORABLE though!! Keep rocking that bump! Here is to healthy, skirt-wearin’ runnin’ mamas-to-be! Woot!

  34. Lindsey at 9:42 PM #

    Agree! I started running in yoga pants and cotton tees because that was what I had. I’m now graduating to “proper” running/biking clothes and I definitely gravitate toward the hot pinks and bright purples.. Not only because they are cute, but also because they make me easier to see when I run/bike just after dawn, just before dusk or anytime of day. If cute increases my safety, sounds like a double win to me.

    Also, I definitely want to try a running skirt now. I hate when shorts ride up! Does the bodyglide really work for preventing chafe?

    • Jackie at 11:24 PM #

      Lindsey, yes BodyGlide really works. Some people say vaseline works just as well, but I prefer BodyGlide — it’s easier and less messy.

  35. Britni at 9:59 PM #

    Wow- Loved reading this! I am such a girly-girl at work and probably one of the most dressed up people in the office but when it comes to running I am all about COMFORT!! I really could care less what other people wear. I usually wear my same ol running shorts and an old shirt from high school, BUT I always keep my pearl earrings and makeup from work on…..haha. Now, sometimes I am jealous of those runners that can just get away with a exercise bra and shorts… that’s my dream fitness goal.

  36. at 7:55 AM #

    Run and Let Run! If a skirt makes you feel good – wear it. if a skirt makes you feel too girly – do not wear it. That’s it! Woman will ALWAYS judge! I say, as woman, we need to get over the judgement, and do what makes US feel good.

  37. Heather at 8:33 AM #

    as a running skirts sales rep, I of course am totally offended by these comments. The women who are judging other women for wanting to wear a skirt…I mean..isn’t that a little hypocritical? They say it doesnt matter what you wear…but then make fun of us…isnt that in turn saying it DOES matter what you wear? hhmmm Not only are skirts cute, but SO COMFY (I doubt most of those women have ever tried one on) and I feel great in my skirt outfits and more self confident and run FASTER! I think a lot (not all) women who are judgmental about cute running clothes may have insecurity issues that they need to face. If you only feel comfortable running in a frumpy t shirt and baggy shorts maybe its time to get a self esteem boost in a cute skirt outfit!

  38. Courtney Wimmert at 11:13 AM #

    The way I see it…running is a form of self improvement and also self fulfillment and I can say that my journey as a runner has led me to invest in considerably nicer gear over the years. Sure when I ran cross country in high school I used to run in an old t-shirt, cotton shorts and shoes that were definitely not as comfortable as what I now know as proper running shoes. BUT because I started logging in more miles and in turn, started to become more serious about running, I decided it was time to purchase not only quality items but items that worked for me while I was training for my half marathon. Now I feel confident and I look even better! It’s hard work training and it really does pay off in the way clothes feet AND feel!!! So why not reward ourselves with something nice? Any runner knows this- whether they are training for a 5k or a marathon. The same rings true in every day life. We need to celebrate our accomplishments and strive to push them even further and if that means purchasing a running skirt or fluorescent arm warmers then DO IT! So it sounds like to me that these ladies ridiculing others for getting out there and “jogging 3 times a week” need to think about why they are so bitter and instead celebrate the fact that women are pushing limits, whatever the limit may be.

  39. runnerfoot at 11:43 AM #

    LOL at all the comments here about how awful and judgemental it is for women to criticize other women , while calling those who disagree with them jealous, insecure, hypocritical, intimidated. Get over yourselves.

    • katieRUNSthis at 11:58 AM #

      Thank you for your comment. In hindsight, it is just as inappropriate for us to make assumption about this particular commenter’s intentions. We don’t know her anymore than she knows us. At the end of the day, the point I was trying to make is that I think we should all just be supportive of each other (men and women) for however we all choose to compete…whether that is in “fancy’ running clothes or not. I appreciate your point of view!

  40. Jordan Trump at 11:59 AM #

    What….. people got upset about this? That is crazy! Believe it or not, I actually read the article, I usually read my Runner’s World from cover to cover! I thought it was interesting hearing about the growth of women’s running fashions (I mean, it has basically exploded in the past few years). I also liked the bits they featured of women who had started their own business selling fashionable running clothes, entrepreneurship FTW!

    But really, there are people who criticize others for their choice of clothing while running??? To me, I think it’s more important that someone gets out there runs, regardless of what they’re wearing! And personally, I understand buying “expensive” running clothes. I’ll pay the high prices for Under Armour, or whatever else it is that makes me most comfortable when I’m running. I would DIE in cotton!

  41. Ironman By Thirty at 6:32 AM #

    I read the RW article as well and can’t believe that it got a negative response. To criticize someone for their clothing choices has to be about the stupid thing I have heard. It’s shocking to me because I normally think of the running/endurance crowds as being super friendly and accepting. Except for a few d-bags (which have been few and far between) my wife and I have had nothing but positive experiences over the years.

    And, to be honest, as a guy, when I see a chick racing a skirt or something bright and colorful, it is a bit intimidating. Like, watch out for that chick, she is taking this seriously and is going to kick my butt! 🙂

    Great response on your part, I couldn’t agree more.

  42. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I just recently wrote a post about this. Because I was in that article (the girl on the bed). Some of these comments are just so silly! I don’t look cute because I have low self image! I have dealt with eating disorders for most of my life and let me tell you…my self image was LOWWWW but I didn’t want to look pretty. I wanted to blend in. NOT NOW! Running has given me my self confidence back and that’s why i wear the outfits I do…because I want to STAND OUT! thank you again you put this quite eloquently!

    • katieRUNSthis at 10:38 AM #

      Exactly. Wanting to dress “cute” while running is not done to feed some ego…it is done to feel confident and put-together. It is just your way of putting your “game face” on! Congratulations on conquering your eating disorder and getting healthy! It is the best thing you could ever do for YOU!!

  43. rene' whitelely at 2:57 PM #

    I am loving this today. I read the article, 3 of the girls are my friends, and loved it. I do wear a skirt everyday and knee socks. I am one of those ladies that shorts just do not work, they ride up, they rub the wrong way etc…yuk! Not only that I like to look good when I run. I like that people in town and local races know me and my girls as the “skirt girls.” It is fun! On top of everything else I am training for my 2nd and 3rd marathon and take my running seriously! I would say these ladies are just a tad bit intense or maybe a little unsure of themselves.
    P.S. My mom is from Baton Rouge, I used to live there and worked at the Lake as a peds nurse. So excited that I found your blog:) Happy Wednesday!

    • katieRUNSthis at 3:01 PM #

      Hi there! Thanks for coming by and showing my blog some love! Obviously, if you are in training for marathons #2 and #3 you do take yourself seriously. Glad to hear you are PROUDLY rocking that skirt! 🙂 I love them too. My pregnant runner thighs aren’t getting any thinner these days and they just work better for me. I had totally planned on Fall 2012 being round 2 for the marathon for me, but alas, Baby Key decided he would like to come along. C’est la vie! There is always next year! 🙂 You used to work at the Lake as a pediatric nurse?? How long ago?? You might know my friend, Lori! She works as a pediatric nurse at the Lake currently (not sure how long she has been there). Be sure and come back and visit me here soon! Happy running!

  44. Liz Bell Jones at 3:48 PM #

    Well said. The whole point of the feminist movement was that women should be taken seriously no matter what their packaging. I shouldn’t been seen any differently as an athlete if I wear a leopard print running skirt and a tank top than I would be seen wearing a pair of shorts and a baggy shirt.
    If fact, I’m a little surprised by CassC9’s comment that people wearing running skirts and bright, fashionable clothing must not be serious runners. Did she not read the article? There are ultra-marathon, Olympic marathon, and sub 3 hr. marathon runners quoted in the article as wearing fashionable running gear. I don’t know much about what CassC9 is training for, but I can guarantee an ultra-marathoner, an Olympian, and a sub 3 hr. marathoner run more than 3 days a week… and they could probably kick CassC9’s finishing time in the rear (while wearing a skirt or dress, of course)!
    And as the friend of one of the women pictured, Katye, I can also guarantee she is a serious runner. But more importantly, she’s generous and kind and helps other runners become their best running self, no matter what they wear.

  45. GBA_GF at 8:51 AM #

    Hey ~ as the mom who runs around Richmond looking “slightly naughty” ~ I’d just like to say, “well done” on this post. Thanks Katie.

  46. Kim at 2:31 PM #

    I’m a ‘slow’ runner in the camp of “I don’t wear skirts”. That being said, though I don’t judge others who do (and in fact I compliment them!). The reason I don’t wear skirts is 3-fold:

    1. They’re too expensive. Skirt Sports, for example, charges $60-75 per skirt. REALLY? I think that’s kind of ridiculous, and I refuse to pay those kinds of dollars for something that won’t match a lot of the tops that I already have.

    2. I feel like running skirts are made to show off a body that I just don’t have. I like my shorts, and when I see these little ladies wearing these skirts and the matching tops with little teeny spaghetti straps, I just don’t think I can pull it off. I wear a lot of singlets that advertise mmy

    3. I do worry that the nay-sayers won’t take me seriously. I feel like I’m slow as it is. I’m a Galloway runner and I do only run 3x a week (I never get injured though!). I feel like I already have enough reasons for people to not take me seriously, why add one more?

    So, I realize that this comment adds little to your conversation. I don’t like the judgey-judgey either, because if they didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have problem #3 with the skirts. You know what though? I sometimes feel like others are judging ME for NOT wearing skirts. People in my running group are constantly nagging me to buy a skirt or TRY a skirt and just insist that if I just wear one I’ll love it. I don’t want to!! Why is that not ok?

  47. Gracely Sprocket at 3:19 PM #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting what you did about the whole Fastinista debate. I honestly don’t know who slipped a laxative in those catty women’s water bottles, and their comments only served to show how small minded some people can be about new trends.

    For myself, I am just starting wearing running skirts. I did not decide to wear them because I am an attention hog, drama queen, or want to pick up guys. I made that decision to wear them because they’re cute and they make me feel happy and energetic. And when I feel happy and energetic, I get psyched up to go for a run. My intent in wearing them is pure; whatever gets you up and out the door should be a-ok in my book.

    Methinks that those sourpusses need to take their running “more seriously,” as they like to toss around so casually to skirted runners. It appears as if they’re not getting enough endorphins! Besides, they seem to have forgotten about another excellent skirted runner. Sandra Farmer-Patrick ring any bells?

  48. Cynthia at 6:18 PM #

    My job means that I dress down. So, when I run, I like to dress up – running skirts, compression socks, bright shoes…. It makes me feel good and that’s all that matters in the end.
    The same society that tells women to wear make-up, nylons, and high heels is telling us that we can’t wear when we run. I don’t get it. Clothing is part of our personalities. It helps express who we are. Once we can’t do that on our own, it becomes a type of censorship.

  49. Nicki at 9:52 AM #

    Wow! Love what you have to say as it is right on the dot. I wore running shorts for a long time but started out my running with just what I had on hand – cotton.

    I don’t tend to wear leggings or capri-length leggings because I don’t personally like them. Do I comment on those who wear them? Possibly as they are running past me with something like good job or nice stride – never about what they have on. Only once have I made a comment to someone about what they were wearing. I was running my first marathon. Ran a bit of a distance with a woman doing the half distance that had on the cutest running skirt. I told her it was fantastic!!

    Wear what feels good so you have no reason to not get out there.

  50. breakfasttobed at 10:14 AM #

    screw em. the point of feminism is that “feminine” is undefinable and that women get to make choices about what they are comfortable with and to ROCK IT. I don’t wear running skirts, mostly because I love shorts like Justin Bieber likes himself, but who gives a hoot what people wear.

  51. I’m so glad I’m a guy. We don’t care what the other guy is wearing (except may be the type of shoes and checking out the running form). As long as it’s ‘covered’ it’s cool. And as for women, I think it’s great to have all those choices. You run to feel good so why not wear what makes you feel good too?!?
    Anyone who is out there running, I have the greatest respect for. Anyone who is out the trying to keep in shape, I have the greatest respect for.

    And any woman who passes me (and there are a lot) that’s wearing nice clothing that fits nice (skirt, tights, shorts, jeans, tank top, halter, tshirt, etc) is also a nice distraction – especially when you’re out on a long run!

  52. Yeah, that casually jogging 3x a week comment is annoying. I run 3-4x a week right now…but not casually – seriously 😉 I’ve had several 3-run weeks that have totaled 26-30 miles. RW has endorsed programs like Run Less Run Faster which calls for 3 quality runs a week. I have one running skirt, it’s plain ol’ gray but with some ruching on the sides. I like it, however my husband says that me owning a running skirt means I am now middle-aged. Re: that last comment you featured which said women are “dumb enough” to spend oodles of money — plain neutral colored technical stuff from Brooks, Saucony, Asics is still pricey – it’s not just the running skirts and Lululemon. And guys buy that stuff too.

    I see running skirts, colored socks, etc. as just another option out there. Something different than the boring old selection of running clothing. Same as how some styles of running shoes come in 4 different colors for you to pick from.

    Can I add that the grammatical errors in the RW comments kill me, too? i.e. Your/You’re.

  53. Geez – people need to have children so they don’t have as much free time on their hands! I really kinda dig that running skirt too.

  54. elizabeth at 4:54 PM #

    love that you reposted this post on twitter again-i think i missed it the first time around. I PR’d and achieved a sub 4 marathon this weekend in a running skirt and arm warmers this weekend (and looked really cute). I got several compliments along the course but I KNOW there were people thinking the same thing as those nasty comments. Funny thing is, I left them in my dust :):) Proves that you can be cute and serious all at the same time. I don’t like to look bad when at work or out on the town, why should my running clothes be any different?

  55. Elisabeth at 5:55 PM #

    i think its crazy that cause you want to look good you wouldn’t be considered an athlete. there are actually a lot of people who think runners arent athletes at all. i wrote a blog post on it, really the only controversial post i ever wrote, a lot of people disagreed with me, cause i think runners are athletes, and consider myself an athlete (no, not the same level as an elite, but i still feel like an athlete), and they don’t. even some runners who i could only dream of being like one day, and admire, don’t think runners are athletes. i got a ton of comments about this on my facebook wall and a couple on the blog post. i think its crazy, runners, dressed cute or not, are athletes, embrace it, love it, be it! thanks for reposting this, i didnt catch it the first time around. and, i whole heartedly agree with you, however you are dressed, you are an athlete!

  56. Courtney at 6:39 PM #

    I saw the article when it was published and was excited about all the great apparel for women! Also, I have to wear a uniform of khakis and a polo every day to work, so if I want to look cute out on the trails, treadmill, or the road, who cares? If my clothing choices get your attention at first, be proud that I’m out there getting my run on!!

  57. Monicatriathlon at 2:32 AM #

    Women can be their own worst enemy – I see it in running and the workplace. It’s really sad, because when we work together and support each other, we are all stronger and we all get so much more out of it!

  58. Run DMT at 1:30 PM #

    Stumbled upon our blog when I was searching for running skirts admittedly because my girlfriends and I wanted to be “stunners” for the Rock ‘N Roll half marathon next month. Funny, I didn’t know it bothered some women. I always thought runners were more supportive of others than that. That makes me sad, but it’s nothing that a pretty running skirt can’t fix. 😉

    Love your blog! Nice to meet you!

  59. MaiNguyen at 10:22 AM #

    I read the same article and was amazed at how UPSET some WOMEN get when other women decide to look “cute” while running. I run 35 miles a week (am working my way up to 50 / week) and I do NOT run to compete or even PR with myself. I run just because I like it and it allows me to eat pie nearly every day! No joke.

    I run in designer brands that would make some of these fashion haters wanna throw up. I wear yoga shorties (the ones that barely cover my butt and that have the coordinating fold over waste band). The brand? Pink by VS. (And if you don’t know what VS is – then you can fume over that before you fume over my clothes – LOL). I own 18 of those in various colors of the rainbow.

    My tops, 25 at last count, are always Nike or Pink and ALWAYS color coordinate with the fold over waste band – less I look like what grandma would say, “You tried but didn’t quite make it.” My bra (if any of it is going to be exposed due to a “V” neck shirt line – color coordinates as well).

    As for the shoes – I don’t care if they match anything because I buy shoes based on performance for me (yeah – I really do RUN in them).

    After all – it’s the RUN that it’s all about – right?

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