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January 13 2013 / Emily

Gear Review: RaceReady Capris

I have worn RaceReady shorts (Women’s LD V-Notch) for all my marathons since I got them in the summer of 2011.  Before that, I had a pair of Brooks shorts that I tried to cram some gels into the pockets, but that wasn’t the most comfortable.  And don’t get me started on how uncomfortable a belt with pockets is… how do people wear these?  I realize everyone has a different body type, but any belt I tried just bounced all over the place, so I had to cinch it tight around my narrowest point, and I just don’t want something strapped around my torso that way.

Anyway, I’m a big fan of the RaceReady shorts.  Great pockets along the back.  But sometimes it’s too cold for shorts!  I finally decided to spring for a pair of the compression capri pants with pockets (LD Running Capris).  I’ve mentioned this in passing in a few posts, but wanted to do a more comprehensive review.  Partially I wanted these for the pockets, but also for the drawstring – my other pairs of running capris are a bit loose in the waist and have no drawstring, so they need to be hoisted up a bit while I’m running.  Annoying.

First, I want to state that I bought these on my own, and this review is purely informational.  I’m getting no compensation from RaceReady for this review (though I wouldn’t mind reviewing any gear!  I would of course inform my readers if I received anything free.).

I have been wearing a medium in the shorts, so I opted for size medium in the pants as well.  For reference, I generally wear a size 6 in dress pants and jeans.  When I first got the pants in the mail, they looked really, really small in the waist!  I mean, yes they are elastic, but still.  As I was trying them on, I realized this was because the waist is absurdly high.  Like at least inches above my belly button.  Most of my running gear sits 2 inches below my belly button.  I looked absurd.  Even did something I am sure I am going to regret… taking a photo of me wearing them with only a sports bra on top, so you can see how high they are.

we're approaching bodysuit here

we’re approaching bodysuit here

Bad Idea Runner #2: post a picture on the internet wearing spandex pants with a bare torso and also mention your pants size.  No secrets.

I’m sorry I don’t have a toned, tanned body to display these pants on.  This is the best you’re getting, and trust me, I know it’s not pretty.

Anyway.  Super high and rather uncomfortable to sit around in.  But they are actually great for running!

shirt down - nobody knows

with a shirt pulled down, you can’t see how high the pants go

These first two photos were taken at the same time.  The bottom of the pants were tight on my calves so I bunched them around my knees.  I’ve never before thought I had fat calves until these pants.  However, wearing them in the knees is just too much fabric bunched up there, and it made for uncomfortable and sweaty knees after a run.

The next time I wore them, I just dealt with the tightness on my calves.  I mean, they are called compression for a reason.  The height of the waist did leave the draw string dangling directly into my navel, and I had chafing there after an 18 mile run in these pants.  Easily prevented with Body Glide – lesson learned.  I wore these for the Frosty 50k, and with plenty of Body Glide applied, I had no chafing issues, and no discomfort with the legs worn down around the calves.  To be careful, I put the Glide around my whole waist, extra in the navel, and also around my calves where the pants hit.

legs worn lower, using pockets

legs worn lower, using pockets

Above is a photo of the pant legs worn around my calves.  Fry also wanted to show you his backside.  You can see I have a Clif Shot in one of the pockets.  For Frosty 50k, I comfortably carried my gels in the 4 smaller pockets, and also used the larger center pocket to carry my gloves when I was through wearing them.  There is also a mesh key pocket in the inside front.  I think the high waist of the pants really helps the pocket situation.  There is no bounce whatsoever.  The items are held comfortably close and they are secure, as there is a thin band of elastic across the top.  I cannot imagine trying to use a pocket/pouch belt again, after these great RaceReady pockets.

In conclusion, if you are looking for running gear with great pocket space, I highly recommend RaceReady.  You might find better looking clothing from another company, but I don’t know that you’ll find anything more functional.  Plus, they are made in America!



Leave a Comment
  1. Cindy Barbour / Jan 14 2013 11:26 AM

    Hi Emily- You should try….they have cute skirts that have 2 side pockets that hold plenty of Gu’s. They also have good sales. There are a few Lululemon skirts that have ample storage, but they are pricey. 🙂

    • Emily / Jan 14 2013 7:57 PM

      thanks Cindy! I am not completely sold on the running skirt yet – I like shorts – but I’ve heard so many good things that I may need to give them a try for a change of pace. Thanks! And yes… lululemon makes some adorable stuff, but there’s quite the price tag.

  2. spelkowski / Jan 14 2013 1:05 PM

    These look totally normal and cute on you, but when I go to the website to look at them, they look ridiculous! The pockets are what frighten me. So my question is this: do they not look like some kind of weird half-skirt when you have them on? Since you say there is no bounce, I would imagine they must somehow not fly around–but they sure do look like they would (again, just from that photo on the Race Ready site). Could you reassure me?

    Thanks, from a fellow runner in Greensboro.

    • Emily / Jan 14 2013 8:09 PM

      Hi there – thanks for reading! I can understand your skepticism. they are a bit odd looking. The dividers in the pockets are stitched to the seat of the pants (and shorts), and at the side waist seam, to keep the pockets close to your bottom. I have never gotten any sort of half-skirt feeling from these. I never run without wearing a top, so there is usually some shirt overlap to hide the pockets a little. If someone had a particularly round behind, I could imagine a greater potential for some bounce. The most I’ve put in the pockets is gels and gloves, so if you are one to carry a phone or something heavier like that in your pocket, it is possible that could contribute to some bounce, but I’ve been very happy with how these fit.

      I’ve worn them for 5 marathons and one 50k (along with plenty of longer training runs), and do not hesitate to recommend them for their great functionality. I usually forget about the pockets and their contents until I need another Clif Shot!

      • spelkowski / Jan 15 2013 8:59 AM

        Thanks for the extra info, Emily! I was not blessed with a particularly round derriere, so I suspect these pockets will work just fine. 🙂

  3. jmlindy422 / Mar 25 2014 8:50 AM

    It’s great to get an in depth review. Based on this, I probably won’t be buying. But, girl! You look awesome. I am roughly the same size, so when you say “it’s not pretty,” you’re talking about me, too! Yes, I’m a little fuller around the belly button than I’d like and I’m certainly pasty (I can’t bring myself to run in a sports bra and shorts) but we look great. I felt the same way about running skirts until I ran in a pair of shorts that showed all the sweat between my legs. Skirts cover everything embarrassing.


  1. Race Report: Umstead Trail Marathon 2013 | run. eat. nap. drink.
  2. Race Report: JFK 50 Mile | run. eat. nap. drink.

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