Let me take you back about three years to what's come to be known as the "Tights Revolution" of 2009. That's when I first slipped on my first pair of fleece-lined, pearl izumi black tights. It was a revelation. No more swishy wind pants. No more M.C. Hammer. Just a sleek, compressed, running machine.
Only thing was, "[You could] see everything."
But the running world left little room for debate last week in RunDanRun's poll when he asked whether or not men should be in tights whilst running when not playing the role of Robin Hood.
While we're still bundled up for the cold and gray of mid-February winter, Mother Nature teased the D.C. area with a glimpse of spring: 68 today, 71 tomorrow. I darted out of the house for a trail run tonight with little more than the dog's leash and a headlamp. No hat, no gloves, no vest, no jackets.
And this got me thinking about fun things like new spring/summer gear. In fact, I've been in the market for a new pair of royal blue shorts to go with my dad's running singlet that I'll pull on for the Boston Marathon. What I found surprised me: the Nike 2" split tempo shorts.
One of my favorite parts about big races (and perhaps one of the most important) is the selection of the racing outfit. A month or so out, I'll select the singlet, the shorts, and the pair of shoes. They will be elevated to varsity, first string status and revered by all other clothes that didn't make the cut. I'll wear it during all my speed workouts and long runs to not only get used to running in it but running fast and confidently in it. It starts to take on an aura of invincibility, similar to the magic shoes.
But short-shorts? I know the elites wear them. I know my dad used to wear them (I made fun of him for it). Could I be one of those guys? Keep in mind that I'm 6'3", so racing shorts on me are going to, well, show a lot of leg.
I took my question to my running partner. We met up for a seven miler last weekend, and after stretching, we started to strip down to our running wares, and it's as if he had read my mind: he had on a pair of Brooks racing shorts.
"Look at your shorts!" I interrupted.
"What about them?" He asked, looking himself over.
I told him about my internal debate. As we trotted off to start our run, he cinched it for me...almost.
"I told my wife I'm bringing this look back. Track shorts are going to be everywhere," he declared.
"Everywhere! Why stop at running? I'm going to be wearing this to the grocery store. I've got nice legs. I want people to know it."
Seventy percent in, I did some more prowling online. Roadrunner Sports, Nike, Asics, Amazon, I checked them all out. Not for the design this time, but for the reader reviews. Ninety-nine percent were positive, often saying things like, "These are the most comfortable pair of shorts I've ever worn." And "It felt like I was wearing nothing."
I delivered this news to Mrs. Onthebusrunning. She was less than thrilled. "Oh, no! You're going to be able to see everything!"
I'm 98 percent there now. What I want to know is how the running community feels about the short-shorts?
What say you? How short is too short?