If you’re a runner and haven’t tried out Tracksmith you’re missing out! In this article, I share my unsponsored, unbiased review covering much of their wide selection of men’s running gear.

I’ve been running for almost as long as I’ve known how to read. 

When I was about 7 years old I went on a one-mile run with my older brother. Both of my brothers ran every day, and I wanted to be just like them. 

The problem was, distance running wasn’t as easy as it looked — especially for a kid in the 2nd grade. 

After a quarter mile or less, I started walking. My brother promptly punched me in the arm, “Keep running!” “No!!!”, I yelled back. 

I needed to get revenge. But he ran away. So to try to catch him, I started running. For the entire run, he kept a safe distance away from my puny fists. 

Do you want to know what’s odd? I don’t know what about this “death march” flipped a switch in my brain, but I’ve been a runner ever since. 

In middle school, I started going on daily runs. I’ve kept that up, for the most part, for well over a decade. 

I’ve run in frigid negative 25-degree weather and in temperatures soaring above 100. My runs have taken me up treacherous mountains, through desolate deserts, and across dangerous city streets.

Although I run many hundreds of miles a year, I’ve never put much thought into what I wear when I hit the trails. 

To be honest, I still wear some running shorts that I’ve had since middle school. (And yes, they somehow still fit.) 

However, that changed I was in Boston recently and stumbled upon Tracksmith’s HQ.

I’d heard of this brand that focused on creating quality running clothing, but it wasn’t until I tried on some of their gear that day that I realized that I’d been missing out.

I contacted Tracksmith over email and they agreed to send samples in exchange for my honest, unbiased review. 

Tracksmith Review

Mass from Tracksmith generously sent over 20 items for review. 

Here’s my take on Tracksmith after testing their products for over four months:

Van Cortlandt Singlet (XS, White/Black )

The Van Cortlandt Singlet is light and comfortable. It’s constructed from a breathable mesh material. 

It has a large diagonal stripe across the chest. I got the white/black version, which I really like.

Tracksmith Van Cortlandt Singlet

It has two small vents in the back which are reinforced by small t-shaped embroidery. 

The bottom righthand hem has a small “Tracksmith” patch with four gold-colored safety pins attached. The pins are an interesting touch. They convey to the wearer that this is meant to be worn on race day (the pins are intended to be used to attach the runner’s bib to their singlet). 

I wore the VC Singlet a few times with the pins still fastened to the patch. However, they tended to come undone and threaten to give me a belly button piercing, so I’ve stored the pins at home. 

Overall, this is a great singlet. 

Van Cortlandt Tee (XS, Navy/Ivory)

Like the Van Cortlandt Singlet, the Van Cortlandt Tee is made from lightweight mesh and has a diagonal stripe. 

I opted for the navy/ivory colorway. This tee is nice enough to wear even when you’re not exercising. However, know that if you wear it with an undershirt the undershirt will be slightly visible through the mesh.

Tracksmith Van Cortlandt Tee

Great fit and a great all-around tee. 

I remember one particularly memorable trail run wearing this shirt.  

NDO Tights (XS, black)

Tracksmith’s NDO Tights are their warmest tights option for winter running. These tights are designed to keep out the elements and keep in warmth.

Tracksmith NDO Tights

They have a zippered pocket on the right hip and two pockets hidden on the back under the waistband.

These tights fit a bit more snugly than the other Tracksmith tights I tested. 

Van Cortlandt Shorts (XS, Navy)

Love ‘em or hate ‘em — if you’re a serious runner you have an opinion on short shorts. Heck, even if you’ve never run a mile in your life you probably have an opinion on short shorts. (You should’ve seen the comments under our article on this polarizing topic before moderation 😂).

These 4” shorts definitely fit squarely within the “short shorts” category.

Tracksmith Van Cortlandt Shorts

These lined mesh shorts are super light. Leaving your legs free to move, they don’t impede your stride at all. 

They have two small inside pockets on the back just underneath the waistband for holding keys and gel packs. 

These are shorts for the track, trail, or road, but, in my opinion, are too revealing to wear out to run errands. 

Session Pants (XS, Navy)

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like Tracksmith’s Session Pants. They are probably the first pants I’ve owned that I’ll happily wear running and out and about casually. 

While not as warm as Tracksmith’s tights, these pants are ideal to wear running when the temperature is in the high 30s to low 40s. They are not in any way restricting and feel very lightweight. 

They’re also great for wearing over shorts as you warm up on chilly race day mornings. The zippered ankles make it easy to change in and out of these pants, even without taking off your sneakers.

Tracksmith Session Pants

There are three zipper pockets for secure storage — two on the front and one on the backside. 

These are perhaps the most comfortable pair of pants that I currently own. In fact, I once wore them on a long flight. While I normally dress up a bit when I fly, on that occasion I wanted to be as comfortable as possible.

One potential downside is that the legs of Session Pants can tend to twist while I’m wearing them. What I mean is that the side seam sometimes twists to be closer to my kneecap. It doesn’t really bother me, but I can see how that could be annoying. 

Also, as I’m a shorter guy, I have to fold up the waistband once or twice to get the inseam to be the right length for me (I typically wear pants with a size 30 inseam). 

Overall, though, these are awesome pants. 

Session Jacket (XS, Navy) 

My Session Jacket is the same size and color as my Session Pants. It has two large side zipper pockets that, when you go inside the jacket, also function as patch pockets. 

It has a standing collar and vertical mesh vents running from the sleeves, down the armpits, and all the way to the hem.

Tracksmith Session Jacket

It fits trim with sleeves that won’t get in the way as you run. 

I wear this jacket when it’s too warm for the Nor’Easter Jacket. I wear it with a tee underneath until temperatures reach about 50 degrees or so.  

Session Tee (XS, Crimson)

Continuing with the Session collection, the Session Tee is made with super lightweight mesh. 

I ordered mine in crimson. I’ve noticed that Tracksmith’s reds tend to be more subdued than the shocking electric shades offered by the big sportswear brands. I like that — vibrant red doesn’t really work with my skin tone.

Tracksmith Session Tee

I don’t have that much to say about this tee. It’s very comfortable, fits well, and performs like a champ. 

Grayboy Long Sleeve (XXS, wine)

The Grayboy Long Sleeve Tee is the only item I ordered from Tracksmith that doesn’t feel “techy”. Tracksmith says that this made-in-Massachusetts cotton tee is best first light training. 

I’ve layered it with the Nor’Easter Jacket for extra warmth on frigid days.

As you’d imagine, the size XXS fits very slim — I probably should’ve stuck with the XS, but the XXS is still wearable.

Tracksmith Grayboy Long Sleeve

The one thing I don’t like about it is that it has a large full-color Tracksmith bunny logo on the top of the sleeve near the wrist. I think they’ve gone a little overboard with the rabbit branding. 

This is definitely a shirt you can wear casually off the track (but it would be even more versatile without the bunny). 

Turnover Tights (XS, Unlined Black)

The Turnover Tights are great for days when it’s chilly, but not freezing. 

I’ve worn these frequently this winter. They are very comfortable and have what I’d call a “shiny” finish that I’m not wild about (I prefer my running tights to draw the least amount of attention to themselves as possible). 

Then again, Tracksmith says that these 80% nylon/20% elastane tights shed moisture. So, it seems like there’s a functional reason for the glossy-looking finish.

Tracksmith Turnover Tights

These tights have just one zippered pocket in the back near the waistband. I personally find storing my keys in this pocket uncomfortable — I like hip zipper pockets on my running tights. However, that’s just a personal preference.

Session Shorts (S, Black, 5″)

These 5” shorts have an inseam only an inch longer than the Van Cortlandt shorts, but they feel much less revealing. I feel comfortable wearing my Session Shorts to the gym, but I can’t say the same for my VC’s. 

My session shorts have a grey lining, an internal drawstring, and two back pockets — one on the outside with a zipper and one on the inside lining without. 

I wear these the most frequently out of the four pairs of TS shorts I tested.

Rain Shorts (S, Navy)

I think that some of the best reviews start from a place of skepticism. Before ordering samples to try out, I was pretty sure I’d like Tracksmith gear. I’d already visited the brand’s HQ, tried on several items, and spoken with TS staff. 

However, when I saw waterproof shorts listed on their site I have to say I couldn’t really imagine what utility they’d have over regular shorts.

Tracksmith Rain Shorts

Where I live when I run in the rain I’d just resigned myself to getting wet. If not soaked from the rain, I’d come home drenched in the sweat that many waterproof materials trap in. 

I told a runner friend about Tracksmith’s Rain Shorts just before trying them out for the first time in a deluge. We had a good laugh about what a ridiculous idea waterproof running shorts was.
He said, “They’re short shorts — your legs will still get wet! There’s no point!”. We both chuckled. 

45 minutes later I called him back. “Man, I was wrong… They’re amazing!” Sure my legs get wet below the shorts but it’s so much more comfortable running in the rain with these on over my regular shorts.

In other words, I was a quick convert. I’d recommend these shorts to anyone who works out outside in the rain.

As the description lays out, “Under the shell, we added a semi-compressive short tight liner that helps prevent chafing.” I’ve found the lining very comfortable. 

These shorts are available in navy and in mist (i.e. white). I don’t think I’d ever choose white running shorts. For one thing, dark colors are good at hiding sweat stains. Also, I’d be afraid that white shorts would be see-through when wet. 

On Reddit, multiple commenters have written that Tracksmith’s white Strava shorts are basically transparent when wet — with one poster saying, “Feel like they’re gonna have to recall these once someone gets arrested for indecent exposure.” 

I haven’t seen the same report on the Rain Shorts, but I for one wouldn’t risk it. 

The Rain Shorts have an internal drawstring and just one open internal pocket on the back lining by the waistband. I wish that the pocket had some better way to keep my keys secure. 

Nor’Easter Jacket (S, Wine)

When ordering samples, the Nor’Easter Jacket was one that I was the most excited to test out. 

After hundreds of wears and years of abuse, my New Balance running jacket finally wore out (the zipper failed first). I absolutely loved that jacket, so the Nor’Easter had a lot to live up to. 

The verdict? I’m impressed.

Tracksmith Nor’Easter Jacket

The Nor’Easter Jacket has a waterproof shell and a Merino wool lining. 

Describing the high-end fabrics employed to make for a remarkable jacket Tracksmith reports:

We scoured the earth for the most serious fabric we could find. We found it in Switzerland. This Schoeller fabric has a 4-way stretch water-wind-and-everything-else-repellent nylon shell bonded to a soft and washable merino wool on the inside. It moderates temperature and completely resists odor while protecting you from external meteorological assault. And the added stretch allows us to tailor the fit, eliminating billowing and blousing so the jacket moves with you instead of working against you.

I can personally attest to the jacket’s resilience. I’ve worn it with just a t-shirt underneath in below-freezing conditions. With a hovering around zero, I’ve stayed comfortable sporting just the NDO Wind-Block Mockneck underneath. 

For reference, with my New Balance jacket, I would’ve needed two or three layers underneath to stay equally warm.

Not only is the Nor’Easter warm, it is, as far as I can tell, completely waterproof. It sheds rain like a beast (a duck-like beast that repels water, that is). 

I ordered the XS in wine (a maroon-ish red). It fits well but is quite snug. The color nicely compliments my black-and-grey-heavy running gear. 

This jacket is practically a must-have if you run in the cold. 

NDO Wind-Block Mockneck (XS, Black)

Out of all of the many Tracksmith products I’ve tested, the NDO Wind-Block Mockneck may be my favorite. I’m actually wearing it right now as I type. 

This Merino wool shirt/sweater hybrid has a honeycomb-like waffle weave. It has a large wind-resistant panel on the front that helps keep you warm on gusty days.

Tracksmith NDO Wind-Block Mockneck

The body and sleeve length is perfect. Speaking of the sleeves, they fit close to the arm and, unlike most Tracksmith tops, feature thumb holes. 

This shirt is incredibly comfortable to wear running and casually. Wool keeps in heat, even when wet. The mockneck feature keeps your neck protected from the elements. 

Just look at this photo of the mockneck from TS’ site:

Source: Tracksmith

Pretty cool, huh? 

The NDO Wind-Block Mockneck is one of the best tech-wear tops I’ve ever encountered. 

Fells Tights (XS, Navy)

Tracksmith’s Fells Tights are my favorite of the three I tested. They have a ribbed finish. This unique design “traps heat and creates a thicker fabric structure, which helps increase both warmth and modesty.”

They’re comfortable down to about 20-25 degrees. The navy color is dark enough not to draw attention but provides some variety (most running tights are black).

Tracksmith Fells Tights

These tights, with their internal lining, are very comfortable. 

They have a white external drawstring at the waist, allowing you to adjust the fit as needed. 

There are three pockets — one on the right hip that zips and two “sleeve” pockets on the back left. The seam between my two back pockets unraveled, so they’ve basically become one pocket with two openings.

Tracksmith Fells Tights

I’ve also been dealing with loose seams unraveling elsewhere on these tights, but it’s they’ve been manageable and the damage is very minimal (i.e. they haven’t affected performance or wearability). 

Despite these minor issues, I still really like these tights for cold-weather running. 

Arm Warmers (Black)

Like with the Rain Shorts, I was skeptical about the utility of wearing arm warmers while running.

I showed my brother, a runner, the arm warmers I received from TS. We both joked, “Why not just wear a jacket? What’s the point?”

Then I tried them out. Once again, I was pleasantly surprised. They’re super comfortable and provide warmth on those 50-degree days when it’s borderline jacket-weather.

Tracksmith Arm Warmers

Each arm warmer has a small pocket on the underside of the wrist area that is probably great for storing gel pouches (I can’t say because I don’t use them). 

Like the Rain Shorts, this is a case of “don’t knock until you try it”. 

No-show Speed Socks (M, Black)

To be honest, I don’t think much about what socks I wear for running. I may be an outlier, but my feet feel pretty much the same during and after runs whether I wear 100% cotton socks from Costco or overdesigned running-specific socks. 

The No-show Speed Socks look pretty cool. They’re all black with the brand’s “reverse-Peruvian-flag” branding near the heel.

Tracksmith No-show Speed Socks

Since I’m no running sock connoisseur, I’ll refer to TS for the details: 

These socks have “cool to the touch fabric to micro cushioning in the heel and achilles to prevent rubbing from your sneaker. The arch of the foot is contoured for a close fit with a seamless toe and zoned mesh stitch on the top of the foot for breathability.”

I can say, however, that Tracksmith’s No-Show Speed Socks perform well. I’ve worn them many times over the past few months and have no complaints.   

Brighton Boxer Briefs (S, Stone Gray)

The Brighton Boxer Briefs are crafted from finely woven Merino wool and are designed to fit under tightly fitting running gear. 

As with running socks, I don’t put much thought into running-specific underwear. I will say that the waistband feels a bit looser than my Reggie Tights in the same size.

Tracksmith Brighton Boxer Briefs

I don’t have much to say about these boxer briefs, but they are comfortable. I think this an instance in which one is meant to put them on and forget about them. If so, they’re perfect. 

I have noticed that they have gotten a small hole in the crotch area. 

Reggie Half Tights (S, Navy)

Constructed from the same material as the Turnover Tights, the Reggie Half Tights are well-made. Like most of the TS gear I tried out, they are quite comfy.

Tracksmith Reggie Half Tights

I opted for the lined version. They have a horizontal zipper pocket above the rear near the waistband. I would’ve preferred a small hip pocket with a zipper.

Also, I wish these shorts had a drawstring. You don’t want even the smallest risk of having your half-tights fall off during a run. I realize that it’s not at all likely, but I want to be extra sure to avoid any embarrassing moments. 

While I like these half tights, I prefer my 10″ Lululemon Surge Half Tight (discontinued). While they’re just one inch longer than the Reggies, they feel less like underwear and more like I think half tights should feel. They also have a drawstring, a zipper pocket on the hip, and a phone pocket. 

Still, the Reggie Half Tights are ok — they’re just not my favorite. 

Tracksmith Eliot Runner

The Tracksmith Eliot Runner are gender-neutral sneakers designed for running. 

They look great! They might just be the best-looking running shoes I’ve had.

Tracksmith Eliot Runner

That said, I’m conflicted as to whether or not to recommend them to serious runners. 

Out of the box, they took a week or two to get used to. I kept having to stop on the side of the road to adjust my laces. 

Even after breaking them in, I wasn’t in love with them. About a month and a half ago, while I was running I noticed foot pain. Though relatively minor, I knew immediately that it was the kind of thing that required taking time off from running to recover. 

It ended up that I had to stop training for about a month. I spoke with a physical therapist and he told me that my injury may have been caused by wearing shoes that were too narrow. 

While I can’t be sure that the Eliots contributed to my injury, now that I’m feeling better I don’t want to risk losing more time. I want to emphasize that I do not know what caused me to get hurt. However, out of an abundance of caution, I don’t think I’m going to be wearing the Eliots anymore.

Tracksmith Eliot Runners

I’ve been wearing an older pair of sneakers that still have some life in them and haven’t had any more problems. 

TS offers a 100-mile guarantee with these sneakers. If you don’t have a good experience with the Eliots within 100 miles or 30 days you can return them for free.

So, while the Eliots weren’t for me, everyone’s different. If you’re looking for new running shoes, why not give them a try? If you don’t like them you could always return them. 

Inverno Gloves (S/M, Black)

These gloves are made from the same material as the Turnover Tights and Reggie Half Tights. 
This fit my smallish hands well. They are just as warm as my other pair of running gloves, meaning that they’re good until about 20 degrees or so. That’s when I break out my mittens.

Tracksmith Inverno Gloves

These gloves have two cool features. First, they have touchscreen compatibility. That’s basically standard on gloves these days. The second feature is one I’ve never even heard of before. 

There’s soft fabric between the thumb and pointer finger specifically designed for wiping your nose on the go. I’ve tried this feature out (for the sake of science), and it works as advertised.  

Each glove places a large full-color bunny on the back of the hand. While I like rabbits (who doesn’t?), I’m not so keen on large logos in general. 

Just take a look at my arm wearing the No’reaster Jacker with these gloves. 

It seems overboard, doesn’t it?

After several wears the middle finger on the right glove got holes in two seams. I remember I was running with something somewhat rough in my hand, so I imagine that’s what caused the damage to the delicate fabric

Would I recommend these gloves? I don’t think so. While I think the holes were mostly my fault, even before that I still preferred wearing my Odlo running gloves (old, discontinued model).  

Tracksmith Pricing

Remember how I said that I was surprised to find running gear that used Merino — after testing out Tracksmith, I’m surprised more sports brands don’t use it. Sure, Merino wool is more expensive than some other materials, but it performs so well. 

Speaking of which, I think that Tracksmith’s offerings are competitively priced. Take my favorite Tracksmith product, NDO Wind-Block Mockneck, for instance. 

It’s listed for $170. Considering the materials, styling, and details, that’s about exactly what I’d expect to pay. 

Sure it’s a bit pricey, but it fits flawlessly, looks fantastic, and performs like a champ. I fully expect I’ll be wearing it for many years to come. 

Tracksmith Sizing

Tracksmith clothing is, for the most part, true to size. Some shirts, for instance, are the same size but fit more snuggly than others. That’s to be expected, though, for such a large product lineup. 

As a shorter guy with a short torso, I was surprised that the tops I tried were all just about the right length for me. 

Since Tracksmith is geared towards runners, their clothing naturally has a slim fit. If you’re a bigger man who doesn’t quite have that stereotypical runner’s build you might not be able to find the size/fit you prefer (depending on the item). However, I can’t verify that for sure. 

Interview with Tracksmith’s Co-founder and CEO, Matt Taylor

I met with Tracksmith’s CEO, Matt Taylor who kindly agreed to answer some questions I had about the brand.

Below isn’t a verbatim transcript of our conversation, but rather a summary of my notes. 

1) I’m very impressed with Tracksmith’s marketing. I’ve checked out your YouTube videos, product photos, and branding on items. There is definitely a consistent image. I was wondering how you decided to go with an “elevated classic collegiate” vibe?

Seeing what other brands offer, we saw opportunity. Why look different while working out than the rest of your day?

2) I also like how it seems like Tracksmith is quite adept at solving problems that runners have with clothing from other brands. For example, I read this: “Because the Brighton Base Layer is intended to be worn against your skin, we wanted to eliminate any points of possible irritation or chafing. So we went to Europe and partnered with one of the most innovative seamless factories in the world.” 

How do you go about identifying these kinds of problems? What’s the process like after that? Do you field test multiple prototypes? 

Combined, our team has decades of running experience. A lot of times you don’t want to think about what you’re wearing. Other times you need features. 

Since we’re runners ourselves, we test like crazy within our team. This gives us an edge. 

I think that the Brighton Base Layer is the best baselayer on the market. I’ve worn mince hundreds of times, for running, skiing, etc. 

3) I was surprised at the absence of thumbholes in most of the long-sleeve tops I’m reviewing. How do you decide which tops have this feature? 

Thumbholes are a horrible look if you wear them casually. They also can make it difficult to check your watch. If you look at the few pieces we have that do include thumbholes, you’ll notice that they are very subtle.  

4)  I’ve noticed a few posts online in which customers report their TS clothing wearing out quicker than expected. I haven’t personally noticed this much. What is the expected “life expectancy” for TS items? I’m sure it’s different for each item, but is there a certain number of miles items are tested for, for instance? 

We see extremely low return rates for the industry. The general consensus is that our clothing is long-lasting. 

Our Bislett Pants, for instance, won an award for the best winter gear. One Outside reviewer has worn his pair from 2014 to today.

Pilling does happen with some of the delicate fabrics. However, we have made changes to make them more abrasion-resistant. 

5) What items would you recommend for new runners? What 2-4 items should they try out first? 

I’d recommend our Session Shorts, Brighton Base Layer, Trackhouse Sweatshirt, and the Fells Turtleneck.

Tracksmith Marketing/Branding

As I mentioned to Matt Taylor, I’m very impressed by Tracksmith’s marketing. Unlike some of the other big names within the running gear space, you can just tell that the models on TS’ site are actually serious runners. That’s because they are. 

Many of the product photos appear to be candid shots taken before, during, or after actual workouts. 

Check out Tracksmith’s YouTube channel. They don’t make loud, flashy marketing videos. Instead, they have an hour-and-a-half-long video “Church of the Long Run” that doesn’t have a single word.

It has almost 70,000 views! Read the comments to explore the wide range of emotions this “silent film” evokes in dedicated runners.

The typical Tracksmith video is around a minute long and explores situations, emotions, and thoughts that runners can relate to. 

Tracksmith’s products themselves are well-branded. I’ve noticed four main branding features on my TS gear — large diagonal stripes, small-ish white-red-white tags, small patches that say “Tracksmith”, and a bounding rabbit logo. 

From what I can tell, each Tracksmith item has at least two of these branding elements. 

On certain pieces, I feel like it’s too much. On some items, the large full-color bunny patches, for instance, look out of place.

Overall, though, kudos to Tracksmith for keeping their brand visible.

My Recommendation: Who Should Try Tracksmith?

Overall, Tracksmith’s product designs, features, and styling are top-notch. No, not everything was perfect, but that’s an unrealistic expectation when testing 20+ products. 

I didn’t personally love the Eliot Trainers or the Inverno Gloves (and I’m still somewhat undecided on the Reggie Half Tights), I was impressed by all the other TS products I’ve covered in this article. 

I’d recommend Tracksmith to men who are looking for top-quality running gear that doesn’t make you look like a neon traffic sign. If you want the best and are willing to pay up for it, Tracksmith is for you. 

After my in-depth experience with the brand, I’m convinced that Tracksmith is the best all-around retailer for men’s running clothes. 

Have you tried Tracksmith gear? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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