REVIEW: Ronhill marathon short

This is not a sponsored post, nor am I affiliated with Ronhill by any means. I don’t tend to write sportswear reviews because I’m becoming increasingly aware of its impact upon the planet. As I mentioned in a previous post, running kit can take 200+ years to breakdown so I prefer to buy just the essentials.

During an 18km run commute across London.

After signing up to my first marathon I realised that I needed to invest in harder-wearing apparel. All of the Lycra shorts I’d worn previously would ride up my thighs, leaving parts of my body I’d rather not share totally exposed. Fine for a casual parkrun where they could intermittently be yanked back down, but they would not fare well for 26.2 miles in the Swiss mountains.

I spent hours trawling through shops and eventually came upon Ronhill’s Marathon Shorts. Admittedly I was lured in by their marketing: are these actually built for marathons or is it a gimmick?

With a £49.99 RRP they’re not cheap but I figured I was purchasing high-end and ethical kit for once. Ronhill is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and is invested in improving the labour conditions in the garment industry, so if some of that price tag ensures that the workers get treated well and have a fair wage then I fully support that.

Over the course of the past few months I’ve ran approximately 100km in them. They’ve done trails, bike rides and have been chucked in the laundry on the roughest of cycles and still look new. But let’s dig into the details:

Clockwise from top left: Front view, back view, ventilated mesh pocket and gel placements on rear of shorts.

After 12km of training in Richmond Park.

First and foremost: they cover your arse. They’re comprised fn an inner thigh-skimming short and an outer polyester but not once have they ridden up my thighs, which is what usually happens with duo-shorts. The reflective trim looks good, the material is breathable and stretchy. But they are true to size: I wear size 10-12 bottoms and the size 10 shorts fitted me perfectly. The drawstring waistband is comfortable too.

What makes these shorts truly innovative is Ronhill’s cleverly placed pockets. In total there are six. The shorts negate the need for a running belt. Even when I stashed the pockets with gels, a phone and a bunch of keys they didn’t bounce around during a 5 mile around Regent’s Park.

The front two are discretely woven into the inner short by a tight ventilated mesh. Great for a local area map if you’re a technophobe like myself but ideal for a smartphone too, particularly as there’s a hole in the mesh where earphones can be threaded through.

The back pockets will make you feel like a modern day Lara Croft running the streets. There’s a huge zipped pocket below the waistband and inside that is an inner pocket which is ideal for keys. The zip pocket will hold much more than a phone though so if you need to carry additional kit these shorts are for you.

Either side of the zip are two mesh pockets are perfect for storing gels. I tried the shorts out with various brands but these were best suited to Science in Sport (SIS) gels. Other gels (60ml capacity) would also fit in but store them upright for ease of access.

Overall? These are the best pocketed shorts I’ve ran in. I was hesitant about spending so much on running kit but the cost-per-wear factor is definitely paying off already. I’m excited to wear them for the Swiss City Marathon and many more races after!

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