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Roark gear does a lot of little things well

By Henry Howard

I had the opportunity to try out a new running outfit from Roark, which specializes in lifestyle clothing that offers attractive designs.

Founded in 2009, Roark’s philosophy matches that of many outdoor adventurers. Its website says, “The product and stories we create empower people to discover self through authentic, youthful, modern, and purposeful adventure on the road less traveled.”

(If interested in trying out Roark clothing, use this link to visit their website. Note: By using this link for a purchase, I may receive a commission as an affiliate of Roark.)

I received the Bommer 7” shorts and the Mathis Short Sleeve Tee. They are both creatively designed, comfortable and allow for normal running movement. The designs really stand out, and are what drew me in to Roark to begin with. Here’s more on each item:

The Bommers 7”

The shorts are lightweight, made with a full compression liner and offer a lower thigh cell pocket and multiple exterior pockets.

Unlike other shorts, the pockets close easily with magnetic closures. Besides the fun designs, I really like the way the pockets close. They make it so much easier to close pockets while literally on the run. Another feature that separates Roark from other brands is the drawstring, which is larger than most, allowing the runner to easily secure the proper fit.

The moisture-wicking shorts performed well during my runs. I did feel that they were a bit big on me for running. Additionally, I didn’t feel comfortable in running with my phone in the pocket as the deep pockets seemed to allow the phone to bounce around. For me, I see these shorts as great as active wear — hiking, wearing after a run or just hanging out.

They will have a presence in my running shorts rotation. But when I do wear them on a run, I’ll have my phone in a pack or waist belt. Still, the pockets offer plenty of room for nutrition, keys and other items.

Mathis Short Sleeve Tee

Designed by trail runner and artist Travis Weller, the Mathis short sleeve combines performance and a sweet appearance.

Roark uses a lightweight DriRelease® jersey knit in this shirt. This helps regulate skin temperature with a moisture-wicking yarn construction while also drying quickly.

Unlike the shorts, the shirts are designed with a slim premium fit.

The Mathis shirt is very comfortable and has performed well during my runs. Perhaps the best thing I can say about a shirt is that I don’t notice it while cranking out the miles. The Mathis is comfortable, wicks away sweat and keeps me chafe-free.

I look forward to wearing the shirt throughout my trail runs during warmer times of the year when I can show off the cool design – while staying cool myself.


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