Smartwool – Women’s PhD Run Short Sleeve Crew

I run. I run in all weathers, including when there’s snow on the ground. But I don’t like to run all bundled up, so I tend to suffer for at least part of my frenzied scurry through the elements. When this t-shirt landed on my doorstep, I was intrigued.

You see, it’s made of wool. Merino wool, to be precise, so I couldn’t imagine that it’d be great to run in (I sweat like a Sumo wrestler).smartwool-womens-phd-crew1

According to the blurb on the website, “the last thing you want to think about is chafing. That’s why we’ve built this garment to remove things like irritating underarm seams”. To be honest, I’ve never had an issue with underarm seams, irritating or otherwise. But I put my game face on, and off I went for a run. I was in Bruges, and it was bloody freezing.

Vital statistics

  • 79% Merino wool

  • 21% nylon

  • UPF 30 (like suncream, but in shirt format)

  • Seamless for comfort

  • Varied knit textures for ventilation

  • 360° reflectivity (this means there’s a little reflective motif front and back for being seen at night)

  • When bundled up, it weighs about the same as a mobile phone

The verdict

I was pleasantly surprised. The t-shirt is very lightweight, so it doesn’t feel like something you have to drag around. It keeps the chill off in really cold weather, and wicks sweat away so you don’t get too clammy. The neckline isn’t too high, which means I can run without feeling like I’m being strangled. It’s long enough to keep draughts out too.

In warmer weather, though, I found it to be much too warm. I hate being too hot, it makes me angry and panicky, and this t-shirt upset me a little when spring arrived.

Aesthetically, it’s quite pleasing. My t-shirt is black, so it’s pretty inoffensive, but it also comes in berry, spearmint and alloy (pink, mint green and grey). The fit is nice; it’s shaped slightly, so you don’t end up looking like a sack of spuds if you have a waist.smartwool-womens-phd-crew2

My shirt was ‘small’, which I suspect is a 10 to 12. It’s slightly too big for me, but not so big it’s uncomfortable. It has enough stretch so that if it was a little too small, that probably wouldn’t matter either.

Practically, it’s pretty good. I never take any notice of washing instructions, and so just throw this into the machine with whatever else is being washed. It’s still looking pretty good.

Would I buy one? No. I don’t tend to buy ‘proper’ sports clothing. I generally run in what could charitably be described as ‘rags and hand-me-downs’, as they serve me perfectly well. However, that’s not why I wouldn’t buy this t-shirt. It’s a good running shirt, but at $85 it’d have to be pretty spectacular, and that it ain’t.

3-hammers Price: $85US
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