It's no secret - I am a big girl. Yes, I have lost 125 pounds, but I am still not built like the stereotypical runner. In addition to the loose skin that I have from weight loss, I am tall and have a large bone structure. I have curves and no matter how much weight I lose, I always will! My body shape has made finding running apparel very challenging. Winter isn't too difficult, I can buy running pants and pull a cover-up type skirt over them and call it a day. However, when the summer rolls around things are much more complicated.
I started out by looking at running shorts but I couldn't stand how badly the rode up between my thighs when I ran. Next, I discovered running skirts. I liked the idea of a skirt because it wouldn't ride up between my thighs and offered a bit more coverage. I bought a nike skirt and its what I wore for my first half marathon - complete with LOTS of body glide. Because I am nearly 6 foot tall, it just didn't work out for me - I felt exposed and the shorts underneath just weren't long enough to prevent riding up.
Being a blogger, I found many people swore by runningskirts.com so I ordered a couple of skirts from there to try. Unfortunately, the shorts under rode up terribly and the waistband didn't fit correctly. I would have spent every mile pulling down the shorts and pulling up the back of the skirt. After this failure I just about gave up. There were other sites but I didn't want to keep ordering and returning because shipping costs can really add up.
I had been contemplating one more company for a while but couldn't bring myself to spend more money to be disappointed. I received an email about a sale form said company, and I decided on a whim to give my skirt search one last try. Enter Sparkle Skirts, my running life will never be the same again!
I worked with Leah, the queen mum of Sparkle, and from the very beginning she provided excellent customer service. I contacted her months ago about sizing concerns and she answered all my questions thoroughly and quickly. At the time I decided not to order for budget reasons. The sale was a VERY busy time for Leah but she still managed to respond to emails in a timely and friendly manner. I would argue that she provided the best customer service I have ever received.
What do I love about my Sparkle Tech skirt?
- the shorts DO NOT ride up
- the skirt is long enough to provide coverage but not long enough to interfere
- the cut of the skirt camouflages any flaws you might want to hide
- the pockets on each leg allow me to carry my camera and cell phone with no bouncing
- the huge zipper pocket at the waist holds money, ID, and fuel with room to spare
- the waistband comes up high enough that it doesn't create a muffin top
- the waistband stays in place even during long runs
- its fun and there are tons of cute options available
- you get noticed on the course and it can be a great motivator during a race
- no more cringing at race photos, I know my thighs/rear will be covered, no questions asked
- the skirt is light weight and much more breathable than any of my other skirts
- all skirts are made in the US
- skirt fit true to size
- super fast delivery (I got my skirt within 3 days during the busy sale)
Here are a few photos of my skirt (Peacock in Bordeaux) in action..
I have worn my sparkle skirt exclusively for every long run since I received it as well as a couple races and I honestly haven't found anything wrong with it. The only problem? I need another one (or 2, or 4!)
I've been drooling at the other skirts on the website since I received my first one... they are all so awesome and I can't wait to build my collection! Check them out, Leah is super and these skirts are amazing!