These are excellent running shorts, with a super-supportive and comfortable waistband and inner short overlaid by a lovely loose outer with just the right amount of storage – but you would seriously expect nothing less consider the hefty price tag.
Supportive, tight-style inner
Three pockets, one zipped
Lightweight and comfortable
Gel pouches are a bit shallow
No recycled material
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Gore R7 2in1 Shorts: first impressions
Gore R7 2in1 Shorts are a good–looking and well-designed, highly-thought-through pair of trail running shorts that look and feel like they’re raring to get into action on the trails as soon as you take them out of their wrapping.
• List price: $120 (US) / £100 (UK)
• Inseam length: 25cm / 9.8in
• Sizes available: S-XXL
• Weight (large): 117g / 4.1oz
• Colors: Orbit Blue & Fireball / Scuba & Sphere Blue / Utility Green & Black / Black
The material mix is intelligent, with enough elastane to provide all the stretch and dynamic range you need on even the most technical trails, while keeping the overall weight low. And the performance levels are high – with good breathability, moisture-wicking properties and rapid-drying capability.
The inseam length is long, but there’s a large split on the leg, which allows you to raise your knees high to overcome obstacles on the trails. Plus, the seams are all flat, which increases comfort levels.
The elasticated waistband is wide and comfortable, and it’s backed up by a draw cord with rubber tips to avoid it getting lost. However, the cord is ridiculously short, and somewhat redundant, because the fit is already tight. (Not too tight – it’s just about right if you get the sizing correct – but bear this in mind when selecting, and if you’re on the cusp of two sizes, I’d recommend erring on the larger size.)
Storage is reasonable, with a centrally located zipped pocket on the rear of the waistband – for the really must-not-lose stuff – flanked by a brace of mesh pouches for running gels and jellies. The pouches are a bit shallow, however, and gels could potentially fall out when you’re on the move. The zipped pocket can take most smartphones (just about).
The colorways are a bit more exciting than some of the other running shorts I’ve been testing, and there are reflective elements for safety on lanes and roads once the sun sets (it’s worth noting, though, that both the official UK and US sites are currently only offering a choice of two of the more dour colorways, but you can still buy the brighter variations through other retailers online). I couldn’t wait to take these out on the trails to test whether they’re as good to run in as they are to look at, and to see if they deserved a place in our best trail running shorts buying guide.
Gore R7 2in1 Shorts: on the trails
I’ve been running around coastal and country trails in these Gore R7 2in1 Shorts for over a year now, since I first reviewed them. I have worn them during runs across all sorts of distances and terrain types, in all four seasons, and I am still as enamored with them as I was when they were fresh out of the packet.
The slim-fit cut and design of these shorts means they’re very snug, with the tight inner and wide waist lining supplying excellent support, while the loose outer short still allows plenty of freedom of movement and ventilation, without leaving loads of annoying excess fabric flapping around.
I wouldn’t wear them for an ultra-length run – purely because I have other shorts in my gear drawers that offer slightly better pocket storage for really long outings with big gaps between food stations, such as the Evadict Men’s Trail Running Baggy Shorts – but for all other distances, on both trails and road, these are one of first pairs I reach for. They’re perfect for 10km, 20km and 30km runs, although I do wish the pouches were a bit deeper so I could feel more confident my gels won’t fall out.
I’ve been caught out in many a rainstorm while wearing these shorts, and taken on the odd water crossing, and they dry out very quickly. And, despite feeling quite tight when you first pull them on, the Gore R7 2in1s are super comfortable once you’re out running.
The only thing stopping me giving these shorts a full five stars is the disappointing lack of any recycled content in the material mix, and the shallowness of the gel pouches.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.