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Kit review: X-Bionic shorts, top and socks

Written by Fiona

November 20 2013

Sportswear brand X-Bionic appear to have thought of everything. They have technology in their products for trapping sweat, controlling blood circulation and even keeping inner thighs at the perfect temperature. Their running tops also claim to turn “sweat into energy”.

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To be honest, I would normally read all this blurb with a pinch of salt. The photos of super athletic people wearing the products is also intimidating. But the background to X-Bionic technology is persuasive.

In 12 years of existence, X-Bionic have picked up numerous awards for their forward-thinking sports products. I read that X-Bionic products, including mainly base layers, are Swiss engineered. And that the “X-BIONIC® Think Tank brings together qualified experts including biologists, medical practitioners, engineers, bionics scientists and experienced professional athletes… to revolutionise the world of sport.”

I have seen people wearing X-Bionic shorts and tops for running. I have spotted other products, including jackets, in cycling stores. I have always thought of X-Bionic as fairly pricey compression wear and while I have admired the look and fit of them I have never bought any.

Testing X-Bionic pants, shirt and socks

This job allows me to test some products I might never have normally tried. And on this occasion I have been really impressed. I have been wearing the X-Bionic Marathon Pants, X-Bionic short sleeved Speed shirt and X-Bionic Run Speed Two socks for running.

X-Bionic Marathon Pants

imgres-42The box that the Marathon Pants arrived in tells me there is a panel at the front that will wick away sweat before I even know it’s there. There is an Innerlap AirConditioning Zone to prevent the inner thighs area from becoming cold (apparently this area is prone to being a bit slow to react to the cold). And there’s X-Bionic Partial Kompression (sic) that supports blood circulation to keep the body at the right temperature. (At least I think this is what it means).

I was sceptical about all this blurb but the test is in the running. When the shorts arrived they looked teenie tiny. I had ordered a women’s size small and I was worried I wouldn’t get them on. But the fabric magically stretches to fit and I immediately found the shorts to be ultra comfortable. I like good support of my bum when running and these are brilliant. The shorts are fairly long (they stretch down to a couple of inches about my thighs) but for autumn and winter running this has been ideal. On colder days I have worn them beneath my usual running tights. The waist isn’t too high. I like a low-rise waist on shorts but others might not. Brilliantly the shorts stay up and do not do that annoying slipping down thing while running.

I can’t tell you if all the technology does what it says it will but I do know that I have felt comfy and supported in the X-Bionic shorts. A niggling hamstring injury has niggled less and it could be to do with the support of the shorts. (It could also be to do with exercises I have been doing to re-engage my glute muscle after running gait analysis!). In any case, these shorts have become my number one choice for a longer run.

I have seen X-Bionic marathon shorts for sale for around £65 on websites such as Wiggle. They are on the pricey side, as I said, for base-layer shorts but I would spend the money for comfort and support.

X-Bionic Speed Shirt

o20009-x29_running-speed-shirt-sh_sl_women_vsThe X-Bionic short-sleeved claims to turn “sweat into energy”. The theory is that “marathon runners consume up to 97% of their energy to cool themselves… and so the cooling characteristics of the X-BIONIC® Running Shirt Speed turn sweat into energy”. The info also states: “The special construction of the Running Shirt, with its system of spacers, channels and depositories, means our sweat – our natural cooling system – can, during physical exertion, stay on the skin and evaporate. The 3D-BionicSphere® System on the chest and back optimises the cooling process, which is vital for retaining performance ability during running. And better cooling mean better performance!”

imgres-43These are big claims for a running top but again I have loved wearing the top. It fits like a glove and keeps my body at a steady temperature even when the going gets tough and hot. I have also found that this top stays amazingly dry despite sweating while running. Again, at around £42, the short-sleeved shirt is not cheap but you pay for the technology, I guess. If you like great fit, comfort and less sweat in the fabric I imagine you will enjoy wearing the X-Bionic kit.

X-Bionic Speed socks

images-19I have written about the amazing claims for running socks before. For such a simple item there appears to have been a great deal of thought put into the 21st century sports sock. X-Bionic socks are no different. The claims: “The patented Lambertz-Nicholson Achilles Tendon Protector™ envelops the sensitive tendons in a recessed area which functions as a support to protect against the risk of chafing and abrasions from the top of the shoe. The integrated ventilation channels of the Traverse AirFlow Channel Systems™ on the soles and the AirCool Stripes™ on the instep continue to let fresh air circulate freely in the shoe.”

The socks feel good to wear and they did not cause any adverse reaction to my feet when running. I like them but I can’t tell you if all the technology made any difference to my performance. I have seen these sold on-line for around £12. Socks for sport are pricier these days and I might pay this price for a good pair.

If you are asking for sports presents this Christmas, X-Bionic might be a good shout.

See X-Bionic for more details and stockists.

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