The cold, steely rains of spring may seem like an acceptable excuse to stay indoors and hit the treadmill, but avid runners know that enduring adverse weather conditions to train benefits both body and mind. The people at Gore Running Wear understand this, too, and so they’ve designed their Flash Cold, Wet Outfit System to eliminate any distractions—elemental or man-made, no matter how nasty the rainstorm—that would keep you from performing at your peak.
Comprising five extremely comfortable pieces that cover the legs, arm and torso, the Flash Cold, Wet outfit is worn in layers—called first, mid and outer—one atop another. Layering ensures that the technical fabrics that the pieces are constructed from function properly; that is, they wick away sweat and prevent chafing, keep you warm and protect you from rain, snow and wind. All of which means your mind is free to focus on your run. And if the sun does happen to break through the clouds, it’s easy to shed a layer.
The Flash Cold, Wet outfit starts with the first layer, an Essential Base Layer shirt ($50) and boxer shorts ($40) combination. Worn essentially like a second skin, the mostly polypropylene Base Layer shirt and boxer shorts work to keep you dry and comfortable by maintaining the temperature on your skin at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the optimal level for the body to perform its best. In addition, the boxer shorts use Gore’s proprietary Windstopper fabric, an ultralight membrane that stops incoming air, while allowing the skin to breathe.
Gore’s Flash thermo shirt ($90) and tights ($90), which is constructed mostly of nylon, make up the mid layer of the Flash, Cold Wet outfit and work to trap the air under it and keep you warm. The thermo shirt features a reflective hem, back key pocket and a close-fit collar that can be loosened via a half-zipper on the front. The tights sport an adjustable elastic waist and a zip pocket on the back.
The final layer of the Flash Cold, Wet Outfit is the Flash Gore-Tex jacket ($250), a versatile piece that has been engineered with Gore’s groundbreaking Gore-Tex membrane technology. Licensed by outdoor clothing companies around the world, Gore-Tex is a material that is made of pores so small that neither water droplets nor wind can pass through the outside, but your body’s perspiration is able to escape.
Since 1997, Gore Running Wear has been designing and creating technical apparel to enhance runner performance, but until fall 2010, the company’s main market was Europe. Now you can find Gore apparel in most specialty running stores across the United States.