Friday, 29 July 2011

Rest Day Review: Craft Action Vented vs Nike Dri-Fit Embossed - which t-shirt is better for a petite runner?

There's been lots of blogging and twittering in recent days after Runner's World published an article called 'Fastinista'....a surprising debate on what's acceptable to wear when running. I'm amazed that there are some women who feel so strongly that wearing skirts is wrong! Personally, I wouldn't wear a skirt to run but I think people should wear whatever makes them feel good!

I feel good in technical running wear that ACTUALLY FITS. Maybe this has never crossed your mind because it's never been an issue, but it can be challenging for someone who is 5'1". Everything is frustratingly long! So today I'm going to review two running t-shirts to see which has the best fit for petites: the Craft Action Vented T-Shirt and the Nike Dri-Fit Embossed T-Shirt.

Craft Action Vented T-Shirt: I bought this t-shirt during the great sale at Sweatshop Online for only £9. That alone was enough for me to give it a try. I picked this shirt because the cut seemed fitted, and it had raglan sleeves (sleeves without the shoulder seam). I find that raglan sleeves accommodate my broad (yes, broad!) shoulders more comfortably. Like is says in the name, this t-shirt has strategically placed vents to help keep you dry--on the upper back, under the arms and at the bottom. It's a very close-fitting shirt--clingy but not compressive--and the neckline is high but not uncomfortable. While the length of the shirt is still longer than I would like, it's not too bad and I think the tight fit stops the shirt from hanging down two low.

Craft Action Vented T-Shirt

Nike Dri-Fit Embossed T-Shirt: I bought this from the Nike website, on sale for £15. I've purchased Nike Dri-Fit T-shirts before but the fit is variable depending on the style. I liked this one because of the raglan sleeves (again, good for broad shoulders) and I'm a fan of some Nike-specific features like the loop at the top  for "cable management". It's worth nothing that the design of the shirt that arrived is slightly different than what is advertised on the website; here the "RUN" motif is offset while on the website it's centered on the shirt. I don't know if that means this is a newer or older model, but it didn't bother me.

Overall the fit of the shirt is looser than the Craft one, but not so loose as to make it boxy. As with most Nike Dri-Fit shirts, the material is really soft and smooth, more so than the Craft shirt. The sleeves are slightly longer and the v-neck makes the top feel less restrictive at the neck.

Nike Dri-Fit Embossed T-Shirt

The big difference between the two shirts for me is the length. The Nike shirt is a good 2 inches longer than the Craft one, and as you can see from the pics it completely covers my bum. Seems the trend these days is for shirts to be a bit longer to provide more coverage and have less chance of flashing! While that's fine if you're 5"7', a long shirt just makes my short legs look even shorter, particularly when I'm wearing shorts.

Craft Action Vented (L) and Nike Dri-Fit Embossed (R)

THE VERDICT: Craft Action Vented T-Shirt WINS! While the general fit of the Nike shirt was fine, the extra long length (what happened to t-shirts hitting at the hip?) made it a no for me. I've done a few runs in the Craft t-shirt and it's been comfortable. Despite it's tighter fit I didn't have any issues with it riding up during the run. I'm not sure if the vents made a big difference but I usually feel more comfortable in technical fabrics compared to cotton, and this shirt was no exception. I liked this shirt so much that I quickly ordered a few more before the sale ended! You never know when you'll be able to find another shirt that fits!

If you are extra petite (I've realized after reading petite blogs that I am BIG in the petite world) the Craft shirt might be a good option given its tight fit. However, you may want to steer clear of this shirt if you prefer a looser, more open neckline.

If you are petite and DO want more coverage, then the Nike shirt still might be something for you to consider. Other than the length I thought the overall fit was fine.

As always, if you're a petite athlete I'm always interested in hearing about gear that works for you! And apologies for still being camera shy!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this report. I am the same height but after having two kids and the stretch marks to prove it I kind of like having the longer shirt just in case it rides up :)