Meet Tracksmith, A New World-Class Running Brand From A Rapha Co-Founder
So many people who take up running are convinced, by marketing campaigns or otherwise, that they need to deck themselves out in the latest and greatest sweat-wicking, compression-equipped gear. But unless you’re trying to cut seconds off your two-hour marathon record, that stuff isn’t going to make much of a difference, and you’re going to be that guy at the bar having a celebratory cold one after the Labor Day 5K’er.
That’s where Tracksmith comes in. The just-launched, premium running brand is inspired by classic New England running culture and its Ivy League aesthetic. And it’s offering up a selection of high-quality, versatile, and remarkably wearable shorts, singlets, and tees cool enough to take up the sport for an excuse just to wear them.
That’s not too surprising, considering the pedigree of its co-founders, Luke Scheybeler and Matt Taylor. The former was also co-founder and creative director for one of cycling’s most lauded outfitters, Rapha, and the latter’s expertise in the field extends beyond his years, with credits as a competitive runner at Yale and marketing wiz for Puma, and co-creator of Usain Bolt’s signature video game.
In keeping with the New England theme, everything they make is manufactured in Massachusetts, including the above Van Cortlandt Singlet. It’s cut from lightweight, top-quality Swiss mesh and is styled in true track tradition with a sash-like stripe across the torso.
Similarly, the Van Cortlandt shorts are constructed from the same lightweight mesh, and feature a three-panel liner to ensure your wild stride action doesn’t become unexpectedly X-rated.
Their classic Grayboy training tee pays homage to the standard-issue collegiate running club version, and is designed to be broken-in and treated just as those beloved (or perhaps over-loved) garments.
Their Longfellow Shorts are perhaps the most technical piece. They’re constructed from a special liquid-repellant material to keep you from soaking through on a rainy day, and sport an integrated zip pocket along the rear waistline that's sized to fit keys, cards, or an iPhone—which because of its strategic positioning—won’t annoying flail around as you train.
Even their Factory Floor spike bag (so named for its purpose of carrying running spikes back and forth from the track) is proud of its New England heritage. Each one is cut from salvaged remnant fabric from The New England Shirt Company in Fall River, Massachusetts, and thus, no two are ever the same.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor. He ran a half marathon in college and his legs still hurt.