Favorite Things Fridays – SparkleTech Running Skirts

Of all my favorite running things, SparkleTech running skirts by Sparkle Skirts rank at the very top.  I discovered them on social media (either the Facebook Princess group or the DISboards, or probably both!) about 15 months ago and couldn’t believe the claims at first.  A cute, comfortable, practical running skirt with built in compression shorts that wouldn’t ride up.  Impossible, I thought.

Every pair of running shorts I’d tried in my entire post-adolescent life that were shorter than capri length would ride up during a run and I’d spend half my time hiking the legs down and getting more and more annoyed.  And I live in Florida, so for about half the year, running in capri-length running pants was hot and miserable but I thought that due to my generously shaped hips and thighs that I was just not going to be able to enjoy a run in anything shorter.

After reading several glowing reviews by other “non-skinny” runners (who I thought might really understand the chub rub issue I face) I decided to take the plunge and give them a try.  I’ll admit that I had a little sticker shock.  $65 for one running skirt is a serious investment.  My first skirt was Surf City.  It arrived about 48 hours after I ordered it.  I hate waiting, so getting it so quickly was a huge plus to me.  I loved it when I tried it on, but still didn’t completely believe that the legs would stay put during the run.

#1: Surf City

photo credit: Sparkleskirts.com

Cute, right?  And somewhere around mile two of my first run in it, I fell in love.  The waist was comfortable and didn’t pinch or itch.  The pockets held tons of stuff so I didn’t have to tie my key to my shoe.  And the legs did not creep up.  At all.  They stayed completely put.  I could not believe it, but I was so happy that I had finally found the perfect running skirt.

Fast forward 15 months and I’m the proud owner of six of these babies.  Let’s see if I can get photos of all of them:

Here is #2 my Ariel skirt.  It has a foiled scale pattern to look like fish scales.  It was part of my Ariel costume for the Princess Half.  

 #3 was Swirly Purple (from my darling husband for Christmas):

Which I wore to the runDisney meetup for the Princess half (above) and the Gate River Run (below):

#4 I got at the Princess Half Expo – Royal Guard, and wore it during the Expedition Everest Challenge:

#5 was the Rapunzel skirt that I got once I found out I could have the design put on the back.  I don’t like the waistline zipper pocket being in the front and most of the skirts are reversible, so I can wear the zipper to the back.  Rapunzel isn’t reversible, but they were happy to put the design on the back for me for no extra charge, so I can wear it the way I like, with the zipper in the back and the design will still be on the “front”.  I haven’t raced in it yet, so here’s the stock photo:

photo credit: Sparkleskirts.com

And #6 is the Cinderella skirt – I snapped up the last medium when they were on sale:

photo credit: Sparkleskirts.com

I do all my training runs (and some of my cross training) in Surf City and Swirly Purple, so they get a lot of wear.  I put them both in the washer inside out, inside a lingerie bag and wash on the regular cycle and cold water and hang them up to dry and they still seem almost new. 

Here are my top ten reasons to invest in your first (or seventh) sparkletech running skirt:

10.  They are made in America, specifically they are made by Suncoast Trends in St. Pete, Florida and you’ll be supporting a small business owner, located in Lakeland, FL.
9.  They support charities including the Wounded Warrior Project and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
8.   They are great for more than just running, you can use them for any other exercise and for running errands and they are perfect for wearing on vacation.  I wear mine at Disney because they dry quickly in case of a rain shower, Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids soaking. 
7.   They are very well made, from high quality materials.  The owner is very picky about what materials she’ll make these skirts out of.  I’ve worn the heck out of my Surf City and am not very gentle with it and it still looks and feels new.
6.  They come in a wide range of sizes, from XS to 3XL.  Other popular running gear only comes in smaller sizes.  I think it is wonderful that Sparkle Skirts recognizes that people of all sizes can be athletic and need quality, comfortable, cute athletic gear.
5.  They are very comfortable.  No itching, binding or pinching.  The waistband stays put and doesn’t shift around or creep up or down. 
4.  The customer service is amazing.  Every time I’ve e-mailed them I’ve gotten a prompt and personal response.  They’ve even given sizing advice when I was uncertain whether to size up or down on a particular skirt.  The shipping is very fast and my skirts have always come packaged lovingly with a nice personal note. 
3.  You could probably pack for a trip to Botswana just in the pockets of these skirts.  There is a huge (12″) pocket in the waistband with a zipper that can hold a camera, iPhone, iPod, phone, ID, key… They are reversible, so you can wear the zipper to the back if you prefer (I do).  Then, in addition, there are two more pockets (one on each leg 4″x4″) to hold anything else you might need.  I put my iPhone, car key and iPod nano in the zipper pocket (I thread the headphone wires up my back under my shirt) and my ID and Honey Stinger Chews in the leg pockets.  On a 15k, my arm sleeves got too hot and I pulled them off and stuck one in each pocket.
2.  The skirts are cute, come in a wide variety (new skirts added regularly) of prints, and are cut in a flattering way to hide any thigh issues, camel toe (sorry but it’s true!), or dampness in the crotch area (sorry again, but still true).  You will really appreciate this in a gym full of mirrors and in race photos.
1.  The legs do not ride up, even with chub rub, thunder thighs, junk in the trunk, whatever you want to call it.  The legs stay put and protect your thighs from rubbing and chafing. 

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a SparkleTech fan.  I think it might be bordering on an addiction, but it’s a healthy addiction so I guess that’s ok.  If you’re active or just trying to get more active, I highly recommend investing in at least one of these skirts.  For your first one, I’d recommend getting a non-foiled version (any of the solids, prints or sparkles would be awesome) because I think those are the most comfortable and will be more versatile for training (and other non-workout wearing).

For any friends and family who are just dying to figure out what to buy me for any major (or minor) holiday celebration, here are a few hints.  Size medium (I’ve just recently sized down from the larges):

photo credit: www.sparkleskirts.com
photo credit: www.sparkleskirts.com

Do you run in SparkleTechs?  What is your favorite?  What’s on your wishlist?

Comments

Favorite Things Fridays – SparkleTech Running Skirts — 10 Comments

  1. I LOVE my sparkletech! I only have a black one, but I run in it nearly every run, except when it’s in the wash. I just ran in it this morning, in fact. I am going to get more, but like you, I am just transitioning into Mediums in some things and I don’t want to buy a new one until I am ready to wear a medium because my large is getting a little big. I’m so torn on what color to get next, I want something with LOTS of colors so I can match it with all my colored tops. They just released one that I think is “clown” or something, with different colored polka-dots, I think I may get that one.

    • The black one is next on my list to get mainly because it will go with most everything else I own and I’ll be able to wear it for casual around the house and around town (in addition to running).

      Congrats on shifting down to a medium too. It is exciting after living in XL for so long. 🙂

    • Yes it is! It’s also completely unbelievable. I keep grabbing large (and still trying to adjust to that after my whole life in XL and even 2XL at times) and sometimes when I need a medium I freak out and think there must be something WRONG with the sizing. I could not possibly be a medium! LOL

    • I know, I know! When the clothes are on me, I still feel as big as I ever was, but when I hold up a pair of mediums and look at them I can’t believe how small they are! I guess my brain will catch up with my body at some point. And hopefully I’ll have to adjust to being a size small someday in the near future. 🙂

  2. I only run in SparkleTechs though I do have one Commando Skirt (Where’s Mickey). My husband knows how great they are too and he has even bought me three of them! I have Swirly Purple, Destiny, Royal Diamond (discontinued), Pink Picasso (discontinued), the Girlfriend Skirt and Where’s Mickey! I love them so much.

    • Have you seen the photos of their storefront? I think it would be very dangerous for me to go in there, all those rows of skirts make me drool!

  3. I have 2, Wonder Woman which my daughter and I purchased at Disney when we were doing the Wine & Dine 5K so that we could match, and Disco (my recent purchase). I LOVE them! I’ll be wearing my Wonder Woman skirt again next week at the Peachtree Road Race.