Runners who live in cold winter climes have to get creative--and tough--when the temperatures plunge. My new favorite temperature-plunging creative endeavor is the really tough SkirtSports Tough Girl Skirt ($90).
The integrated running skirt gives these tights a little bit of sexiness as well as an extra layer to protect your butt from the frigid wind or blowing snow.
A hip pocket on each side are both are large enough to hold a phone and an iPod. A convenient music port on the right side keeps your iPod cord tidy.
Fit-wise, the Tough Girl is fantastic. Actually, all SkirtSports products rank high in the fit category. The pants fit like running tights but have a boot-cut at the bottom to make your legs look longer.
Warmth-factor is a biggie, especially this year.
Unless you’ve been sequestered in the steppes of central Mongolia without access to internet, you’ll know that Minnesota has been making national headlines in the cold department.
We each have our own tolerance thresholds when it comes to cold. I have been running in the Tough Girl all through November and December and found it to be comfortable down to about 12 degrees.
However, New Year’s Day was the day of reckoning for the Tough Girl. The temperature in the morning was -8 give or take. By the time I was ready to leave my house it had warmed up to a steamy, sweltering 0 degrees.
I did a “warm-up” run around my block to see if the Tough Girl would be warm enough on its own. It wasn’t. But keep in mind it was 0 degrees. I added a pair of Terramar TXO 4.0 baselayers and they did the trick.
A word about adding a baselayer under the Tough Girl. The Tough Girl was designed to hold in and stabilize the things you want held in and stabilized. But the design doesn’t leave much room to accommodate an extra layer on single-digit and below days.
It’s doable though with the right baselayer. The Terramar TXO 4.0 worked for me because they’re lightweight and form-fitting.
The downside to adding a baselayer is that the extra bulk combined with the form-fitting legs of the Tough Girl feels a little restrictive (but in no way impacted my running stride or time at the Polar Dash).
Another option, if you have your heart set on running in single-digit or below zero temperatures, is the SkirtSports Ice Queen Ultra Skirt ($135).
I wear a first-generation Ice Queen for cross-country skiing and winter mountain biking because the cut of the legs can easily accommodate a baselayer or a pair of bike chamois.
The only downside to having the Ice Queen as your sole winter running skirt is that if the temperatures are in the high-teens or twenties, your legs will sweat—that’s how warm they are.
I have several cycling skirts, running skirts and running dresses from SkirtSports and they are all highly functional as sportswear and with the added bonus of making the wearer look awesome. My pre-SkirtSports running days were laborious and forced. Running was something I had to do. Amazing what a simple skirt can do.
About the only nit-pick I can come up with on the Tough Girl skirt is the inseam length. I’m 5’6” so it’s perfect for me, but shorter runners may find the long inseam an annoyance.