Today we welcome Valerie Lagarde to the pages of Ultra168 for a review of the T8 Women’s Commandos.Valerie is the Founder and Race Director of The Trail Hub, who organise some of Hong Kong’s best trail races, including the Lantau 70, the Vertical Series, the Stairmaster Series and The FAST Ultra (Jim Walmsley won it last year). She’s also a very accomplished runner, including 1st King of the Hills Lantau and podiums at Lantau 70 and TransLantau 50, as well as being a big advocate for gender equality in trail running.
DNF by chafing is probably the worst possible outcome for a runner. Legs were good, stomach was good, but you couldn’t cope with the burn. That’s how my last attempt at the STY, the 80km sister race of the UTMF, ended, 50km in. At that moment, I swore to myself that I would never let this happen again.
Fortunately my return to running after 2 back-to-back pregnancies coincided with the birth of the T8 brand, specialising in anti-chafe underwear AND with a “no chafing or your money back” guarantee. Hallelujah!
The male version already had a fair share of supporters, so I was highly anticipating the release of the female version. And I haven’t been disappointed!
First of all, the Women’s Commandos running underwear comes in a neat little paper packaging, a nice sustainable measure, but to be honest, the previous pouch that the men’s underwear were coming in was reusable and a good tool to keep your phone and money dry during a run. Both are very commendable solutions.
To the touch, the Commandos are super light (35 grams!) and super soft. They have a wide 1-inch elastic waistband that doesn’t dig into the tummy. I particularly like that they kept the blue color of other T8 products and did not go for something different (dare I say tacky like pink or purple) for the women’s line. At first sight, you will notice 2 parallel seams at the front and one seam going across the perineal area instead of a single vertical one in the middle which could create friction between the buttocks. And that’s the key.
Once you put them on, you will love the length (5-inch inseam), long enough to cover all the chunky bits between the legs (most women, like me, don’t have a thigh gap, right?) but not too long that they would stick out too much from under your shorts or running skirt. And that’s the thing, they’re so light, so thin that you can wear anything on top. Furthermore, the seams at the bottom around your thighs are the right balance of tightness so they don’t ride up, and lightness so they don’t leave a disgraceful mark on your legs.
The Women’s Commandos dry really fast and are perfect if you often do back-to-back runs, and even 2 runs on the same day. Overall you can definitely tell that a lot of thought has been put into the design of this product and feedback from real female runners has been taken into account.
I have now worn my T8 Commandos underwear dozens of times on runs in very humid Hong Kong weather and my bum thanked me every time!