Basic summary: A combination compression garment and traditional shell shorts from Second Skin, a new performance apparel line from Dick’s Sporting Goods. They feature supportive and dynamic compression that allows full range of motion, but these shorts don’t cool or ventilate as effectively as most ultrarunners will like for extended efforts.
- Body fabric: 88% polyester / 12% spandex
- Integrated fabric: 65.5% nylon / 34.5% lycra
- Weight (size large): 10.2 oz
- 4-way stretch woven outer short
- Elastic waistband with drawcord
- Micro flatlock stitching reduces chafing
- SILVADUR technology for odor resistance
- Dual full-zip side pockets
- 8″ inseam
Second Skin is a line of performance apparel developed by the Dick’s Sporting Goods company. The initial product lineup is entirely compression apparel in a variety of top and bottom styles for men and women, ranging in price from $40 to $70 -a very affordable price point in the world of compression gear.
Much of Second Skin’s website presence seems geared toward CrossFit-style athletes, although the company is actively targeting “high-intensity athletes ranging from long distance runners and triathletes, to functional fitness and high intensity interval training enthusiasts, to obstacle course racers and anyone who enjoys intense training or competitions.” Although they’re a new product line, they’ve already enlisted more than 200 brand ambassadors from various sporting backgrounds, plus three professional athletes: Spartan/OCR racer Hunter McIntyre, CrossFit athlete Christmas Abbott, and Olympic runner Ryan Hall.
Characteristics of the entire apparel line include a dense fabric construction with a somewhat rubberized or neoprene-style feel to them, with various degrees of compression in different zones to support the muscles’ natural directions of movement. They are all form fitting garments, but designed to provide full range of motion without resistance.
The 2-in-1 shorts represent the only item of loose-form apparel in the lineup, with a traditional 8” inseam shell fabric over a compression layer of equal length. We’re excited to see an 8” inseam short, as this is a “sweet spot” length among taller runners for whom 7” is too short and 9” is too baggy. Fit at the waist is comfortable with a stretch elastic waistband, and a nice long drawstring to customize the fit as desired.
The interior compression fabric is called QUATROFLX, and is a blend of Nylon, Lycra and Spandex that contours to the body and provides moderate compression while still allowing full range of motion. The exterior fabric utilizes Lycra Sport technology with four-way stretch to further improve freedom of movement. We didn’t experience any restriction of mobility even when running at full speed in the 2-in-1 shorts, and they rode very comfortably when cruising at casual training speeds in moderate conditions.
The primary downsides we found in testing are during extended duration activity or working in hot climates. Although the Second Skin 2-in-1 shorts have small mesh vent panels and thermoregulation technology for moisture management and cooling, our testers found them to run warmer than other compression shorts or combination shorts from the traditional apparel players. Additionally, the overall weight of these shorts is significantly heavier than similar products in this category, so they start to feel cumbersome after a few hours of activity.
All Second Skin apparel is currently available only online at SecondSkin.com and Dicks.com, and an expanded assortment of products will be available in store and online later this year.
Second Skin 2-in-1 shorts are a comfortable and affordable option for everyday training in moderate conditions, but probably too warm and heavy for long days on the trail. However, if you’re a fan of compression apparel, check out the rest of the product line for affordable alternatives to high-end competitors.