UK-based Sweaty Betty’s fall collection caught my eye. I’ve heard great things about them and have been wanting to try them out. So my gift to myself for completing my hardest training cycle yet and having a successful half marathon was the Lateral Run Legging.
Sweaty Betty’s prices are pretty high. Their highest priced all-weather workout pants are $245, one of their half-zips is $200, and their jackets go up to $660. And you thought Lululemon was expensive! Sweaty Betty regularly has sales, so that would get the price down a little. The Lateral Run Legging is priced at $125. I paid $112.50 with the 10% discount I got for joining their email list, but they are still the most expensive leggings I’ve bought.
Because I already have so much workout gear, I look for pieces that are unique to my wardrobe, and these leggings fit the bill. I loved the spacedye fabric, and I don’t have a pair of run tights like them.
The package came in about a week and a half because it was shipped from overseas, which I felt guilty about because that’s so not eco-friendly. My first impression was great. The leggings, return label, catalog with code for 20% off and free shipping and returns, and a reusable shopper were packed inside a reusable drawstring bag.
When I took the tights out, I was happy with the fabric. They are a knit similar to what you find in most yoga leggings and are matte. I really like matte running bottoms because most tops don’t ride up on them. I also really liked all the colors in the fabric. Because there are so many colors, you can pair a lot of tops with them. I also found the fabric completely opaque, even when I shined a bright light on it and used the flash of my camera.
Suzanne at Agent Athletica recently posted a review of Sweaty Betty’s Thermal Run Legging and Glisten LS. She noted that the fabric in her leggings was extremely soft and cozy, as soft as Lulu’s rulu fabric that so many of us love. I looked up the description of the fabric in her leggings and the ones I got, and it appears to be the same, but mine was not super soft and definitely did not come close to rulu-feeling. So even though the site says they’re the same fabric, they must be different. I found the site’s description and pricing of the leggings pretty confusing in general. Some are labeled a “thermal” legging, one is “thermodynamic,” and the pair I got wasn’t either but the description on the website says it’s made of “thermal polyester.” So, it seems like a bit of a gamble to know what the feel of the fabric is before you buy it.
I wasn’t sure what size to order, but some of the reviews mentioned that they run big, so I ordered a small (I wear 6 in Lulu and usually small but sometimes medium in Athleta run bottoms). The fit was great. They fit just like a Lulu size 6 and were very comfortable. The length came down to my ankles, but there was less than an inch of extra fabric. So if you’re really tall, these might be a bit short (I’m 5′ 7″). The waistband is wide and comfortable, and there is a continuous drawstring. There is one zippered back pocket and one pocket at the left side that is secured with a flap of fabric over top, but it lies flat so you really can’t tell it’s a pocket. There are reflective strips on the back calves.
|With a teal top|
|With a red top|
|Side pocket–my hand is as far in as it will go.|
|Back view, with zippered back pocket in the waistband though it’s hard to see.|
These photos show a bit of shininess, but that’s just from the flash. They look completely matte with no shine in regular light.
I wanted to love these so much. But I had two main problems with them. First, there is very little compression. I thought the very light compression felt similar to the Lulu Turn Around Tights that I just reviewed. Just like the Turn Around Tights didn’t do much for me, neither do these leggings.
The second problem is that I SWEAR the fabric is identical to my Fabletics crops! As I kept looking at the fabric, I thought it seemed really familiar. So I pulled out my Fabletics crops in a black/white spacedye print and a Fabletics headband in a spacedye print. They looked very, very similar, if not identical.
|Left to right: Fabletics headband, Sweaty Betty leggings, Fabletics crops|
Okay, I know that everyone is doing spacedye now, but these just seem too similar. And it’s not just that they look the same–the fabric feels exactly the same. Both fabrics are a midweight knit and feel exactly the same on both the outside and inside. My Fabletics crops cost about $30. I just can’t justify an $82 price increase when the fabrics feel so similar. The only difference is that the Fabletics crops have more compression and are more flattering!
So, unfortunately, I’ll be returning these. I might try a top at some point–there was actually one I wanted to order but it was out of stock–but would be reluctant to try another legging given the lack of compression and ho-hum fabric.
If you want to try Sweaty Betty for yourself, I was able to activate a feature where you can get $25 off your purchase (and I would also get a $25 credit) if you enter my name (Jennifer Kent) at checkout. There was a note that said if someone already has that name in the system to use my email address instead (jenniferkentpgh at gmail). If you do try Sweaty Betty, I’d love to know your thoughts. Maybe it’s just me, because Suzanne really liked what she got.