Massachusetts brand Janji marries vintage good looks with a commitment to donate five per cent of sales to clean-water projects. “We visit countries, meet with local artists and fabric-makers, then design a collection inspired by that country and donate to local projects,” says co-founder David Spandorfer. The Las Caras de Carrera (Faces of the Race) range, based on Bolivia, is a 1980s riot of Chihuahuas and folk images; La Paz artist Claudia Gorena decorated the singlet ($48) and shorts ($52) with illustrations to reflect “the joy, suffering and ritual of racing”. runjanji.com.
“My father-in-law’s 1960s North Attleboro High School athletics singlet was one of the first inspirations for Tracksmith,” says Matt Taylor, CEO and founder of the Boston running brand. After the initial Van Cortlandt collection, with its signature ivory sash across the chest, came the three-button Henley top (£50) with its Chariots of Fire vibe, both in a high-performance, breathable fabric. These styles were aimed at “core runners, whom we call the running class,” continues Taylor. “Competitive but not professional, striving for personal records and pushing themselves to improve simply for their personal growth.” tracksmith.com.
The Elite Race vest (£62) is, says designer Tim Soar, “crazy-light at 47g, and as close to running topless as you can get!” The running line features regular updates from the cutting edge of technology. The long-sleeve Elite Tempo top (£138) is wrought in a stretch fabric with a crepe-like quality and elastane to hold its shape. Dual-fabric tights (£115) have a compression fabric on the lower leg, while another gives the upper leg and body a bit more thermal insulation. And the fabric of the All Weather jacket (£239) is dyed at a very high temperature to shrink it, resulting in an extremely dense weave and making it water- and windproof without a cumbersome membrane. soarrunning.com.
YMR Track Club
The Swedish brand, launched in 2017, takes the retro aesthetic and adds eco credentials. “We’re proud of our look, but sustainability is also high on our agenda,” says founder and Olympian Peter Häggström Lindecrantz. “Our polyester is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles.” This breathable material is used for the signature Track Attack burgundy and navy singlet (about £45), as well as the 1950s-inspired Norr Mälarstrand collection, named after Stockholm’s shoreside running route and including a long-sleeve training top (about £65), T-shirt (about £50) and cropped shorts with contrast piping (about £55). ymrtrackclub.com.
Claire Kent and Bill Byrne named their brand after the Oxfordshire athletics track where Roger Bannister became the first man to run a sub-four-minute mile in 1954. “The 1980s rivalry between middle-distance runners Coe, Ovett and Cram also fired our imaginations,” says Kent. Take the Lancaster slim-cut singlet (from £50), Hove long-sleeved training top (£80) and Cambrian T-shirt (from £65), each in muted colour schemes (olive, burgundy, grey, navy), often with a pair of simple stripes that evoke a bygone era, but made from Drirelease piqué – a highly wicking, lightweight fabric that dries four times faster than cotton. Similarly, there are three styles of retro loose-cut shorts (alongside a compression version), including the Brighton (£75) with discreet zipped pockets, soft inner mesh and side vents. iffleyroad.com.
This British brand’s two-in-one shorts (£98) combine a loose-fitting microfibre outer with a merino, thermo-regulating inner compression layer, while the Running Man jersey (£84) adds carbon to the merino blend to speed wicking. ashmei.com
“We make running apparel that we want to wear and do it in a way we can feel good about,” says Monica DeVreese, co-founder of Californian label Rabbit. “We believe in ethical, sustainable manufacturing, so all our kit is made just 100 miles south of our home in Santa Barbara. And more importantly, we know that all our apparel is made in conditions we approve of, by workers who are treated fairly.” Standouts are the Holiday Welcome to The Gun Show singlet ($42), classic crewneck Ez Tee Ringer ($50) in an assortment of colours, and orange or black FKT shorts ($65). runinrabbit.com.
The Run West collection is a celebration of the counterculture movement of the ’60s and ’70s and featuring tees with ventilation via “moth holes” engineered into the fabric to give them an old-school, flea-market feel. One such screen-printed singlet (£107) bears an image of counterculture icon Willie Nelson in the 1977 Run For Your Life race in Austin, Texas. “We’re bringing running back to its roots,” says Satisfy’s head of brand, Gabriella Kelly, “creating a voice for today’s creatives, visionaries and artists – a group we call ‘The Running Cult’.” satisfyrunning.com.