Africa's premier trail running stage race, the African X, is upon us. The cape trails are renowned for technical rocky and rooty, sometimes wet and slippery trails - almost always lined by heavy fynbos scrub. Gear selection is thus key to fight conditions that could end your race on any of the 3 stages.
Tech apparel partners First Ascent have created a range of trail gear to match the heat and scrub with their X Trail range which we got to wear-test, saving you the time.
First Ascent ladies X-Trail tights | R999
Designed to literally tackle any trail, the ladies running tights feature moisture-wicking fabric to avoid chafe on longer runs which can cause serious discomfort on day 2 or 3. A zip-secured back pocket plus energy gel stash pockets upfront provide practical easy to reach, secure storage for essentials you'd rather not have bouncing around in a pack. Reflective trims add visible safety in dark or misty conditions.
Here's what our former elite and lifetime runner who tested them had to say: "My test runs in the First Ascent run tights were comfortable and practical - they are very pleasant to run in.
With 82% nylon 18% spandex they are flexible, comfortable and easy to dry. The zips on the ankles make it easier to slip them over your feet while the rubber grippers around the ankles prevents them from moving up or down when you run.
I appreciated the pocket with a zip for my car key and cash plus stash pouches for my Buttanutt sachets I live on. The reflective detail for visibility in dark conditions suits my very early pre-dawn starts from town.
Running on mountainous trails, I needed long tights that were warm for the cool early starts, yet felt cool when the sun came out and things heated up.
The tights prevented my legs from getting scratched by thick bushes and the resilient fabric didn’t hook on thorns. Looking at the beautiful views, as I'm prone to do, I tripped and fell and for once got away without bleeding knees or torn tights.
After a good hard, sweaty run the tights dried fast and were comfortable enough to hang out in after. With my car keys in the back pocket of the tights, I could hop in and drive home in dry tights. One aspect which I wasn't convinced of was some extra stitching that seemed for visual purposes only but otherwise they look really cool design wise, with mixed fabrics for breathability and support in the right places.
They washed well and dried quickly with no creases. I would definitely recommend these tights to trail and road runners, even the young students I train with felt that they represent good value for money."
Find out more or get yourself a pair at https://www.firstascent.co.za/ladies-x-trail-long-tights