Fashionably Fit: Trail Shoes Edition

When I first started exercising “properly”, it was in 2009, in order to lose weight for my wedding in summer of 2010. I exercised at home with games like EA Sports Active and DVDs like Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. At home, my only concern when it came to kit was a good sports bra – any old T-shirt and jogging bottoms would do. But this year, as I’ve started jogging OUTSIDE, under the watchful gaze of OTHER PEOPLE, I started to consider my exercise clothes in the same way as I did my everyday outfits: a chance to express myself, enjoy what I wear, and feel better about myself too.

When SportsShoes.com got in touch with me to ask me to select some items from their site in order to post about fashion and fitness, I leapt at the chance – not least because that exact same day I was planning a trip to pick up some trail shoes from the Nike Factory Store at Gunwharf Quays. The event I am training for this spring is really one that requires trail shoes, as it’s basically one long mud bath punctuated with a variety of opportunities for me to fail hilariously at being sporty. But hey, at least no one will be able to accuse me of not having the right kit!

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The shoes I selected from the site’s extensive range were Nike Zoom Terra Kiger running shoes (pictured above, £69.99) which are designed to cushion the foot and provide extra grip in muddy conditions! Perfect! I also selected a pair of Nike Legend 2.0 Women’s Dri-Fit workout pants – my first pair of ‘proper’ running bottoms. Previously I’ve made do with offerings from Primark, F&F and Next’s own sport range, which are all fine, but not made of technical material like Nike’s Dri-Fit products. These help to wick moisture away from the skin to keep you comfortable while you sweat like a maniac.

As I’ve never knowingly undershopped, I took the opportunity to pick up a beautiful silver reflective jacket from the Nike store on my trip (which I went on anyway, because shops). I already had a great red cycling jacket, but the Nike Flash range jackets are reflective ALL OVER, and plus, are pretty space age. Sports Shoes has a selection of similar jackets here.

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Styling workout outfits is infinitely easier if everything you have can be mixed and matched, and is generally along the same colour scheme. As your trainers are your most important piece of kit (in my opinion!), I think that you should pick these first, according to your needs and budget, and then build your collection from there. These Nike Trail shoes came with a purple and grey colour scheme, so I ran with that and picked up a variety of black, pink and purple items. Pictured above with my Nike shoes and joggers are a pink Nike Jam Jam top (£20 here), my silver running jacket, a pink and grey Adidas gym bag, and NOT pictured is a pink and black sports bra from Shock Absorber (£35 here).

On my spree, I also bought a black Heidi Klum for New Balance cropped tee from Next (£30 here), and a pink Nike boyfriend tank (similar here). Combine the two, and you have an outfit which brings back good memories of netball practice at school…

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I also have to mention my phone, which is one of my most essential pieces of kit. I’ve mentioned before that I’m using the Zombies 5k training app, and it’s really keeping me on track and motivated to get out there several times a week – both to keep up my progress, and to find out what’s going to happen to Abel Township next! Luckily, my Kate Spade iPhone cover matches my new trainers or I would have had to throw it away in disgust…

Finally, as it is nippy outside, I decided to pick up a reversible purple Nike headband (£9.99 here) to keep my ears warm and my hair out of my face. In all honesty, for me, this is a frivilous and unessential purchase as I always get very hot on my runs anyway, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to look as sporty as possible. And let’s face it, what’s more sporty looking than headbands, sweatbands and leg warmers?

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I’m sure you’ll agree from the photographic evidence that just with the simple addition of a headband, I suddenly look 85% more sporty, and 50% more likely to be able to complete a marathon at the drop of a hat.

Fitness FashionNike Zoom Terra Kiger running shoes, c/o SportsShoes.com / Reflective running jacket, Nike (similar here) / Cropped T-shirt, Heidi Klum for New Balance / Reversible Headband, Nike / Nike Legend 2.0 Women’s Dri-Fit workout pants, c/o SportsShoes.com / Jam Jam Top, Nike / Ultimate Gym Bra, Shock Absorber

What do you wear when you exercise? What’s your favourite work out outfit? And, what do you think about fitness fashion in general? Let me know!

My Nike Zoom Terra Kiger running shoes and Nike Legend 2.0 Women’s Dri-Fit workout pants were sent to me by SportsShoes.com for the purposes of review on this blog.

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Lady of the Night: Miss Cyclist 2011!

I love Bobbin Bicycles’ site – if I was an affluent girl about London-town, I’d pop in a pick up a Pashley Princess in black (or maybe a Pashley Sonnet Bliss Claret), a cycling mac and some leather gloves, and then cycle around Piccadilly Circus, dodging buses. Alas, I need something a bit cheaper and a bit more practical, when it comes to my bike, but I still love to browse. One of my favourite products is the Miss Bobbin Sash:

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Priced at a rather reasonable £20, this is a reflective sash that you can wear over your coat or clothes, and personally, I think it looks awesome! I wish I’d had something like this last year when I was jogging at night – it’s a useful item that really doesn’t need to be limited to cycling use.

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It shows up quite well in the dark, and because it’s so prominent, you don’t need to be wearing light coloured or reflective clothing underneath to be seen. Also, I would imagine you could store it in your bike bag so you never get caught out on a dark night (or morning!).

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I love the colour schemes of these as well – and check out those cute little buttons!

Find the Miss Bobbin Sash at www.bobbinbicycles.co.uk.

Pimp My Ride: Fun Reflectors for your bike

Even though it’s not something that gets given much thought in the summer months, making sure you’re visible at night is one of your most important jobs as a cyclist. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been in the car and I’ve only just managed to see a pedestrian or a cyclist on a dark street – but when it’s you, it’s easy to forget how invisible the darkness makes you.

There are loads of great products you can buy, but the one that’s struck my fancy the most at the moment are Fun Reflectors, which are small stickers in various shapes which you can add to your bicycle to help you show up in the dark. Obviously these are only novelty items, not actual safety equipment, but I think they make a pretty neat addition to your night-time arsenal! Mine arrived today (do I need to remind everyone, embarrassingly, that I still don’t have a BIKE yet?) and they look fab – the packaging is nicer than I expected, and the stickers look really sweet. I ordered flower shapes in silver, because I didn’t want them to show up a lot on my bike (I’m going to place them on the rims) and also because silver seems to show up the brightest in the light.

Fun Reflectors

Check out www.funreflector.com for the shop (free worldwide delivery) and a whole range of different stickers. Don’t forget you’ll also need to have lights and reflective clothing as well! Meanwhile, I’m working on the latter and just got in some grosgrain ribbon with a reflective stripe down the middle – no idea what I’m doing with it yet! Any suggestions?!