I think I should establish two points before we go much further with this review. I am not currently running long distances, so my running gear has only had to stand up to runs of a few miles maximum. And secondly, I don’t really own any expensive kit (with the exception of my trainers). I usually wear cheap supermarket exercise wear or t-shirts from race goodie bags. They seem to do the job so it has never really bothered me too much, and I’m always in the market for a bargain!
I have dabbled in running for several years now, so already own a couple of pairs of trousers, shorts and running tops. The longest distance they have had to endure previously was 10 miles, and I have never really been a regular runner so they have stood the test of time. However, having had a baby eight months ago, my body shape has changed and I’m bigger all over. To cut a long story short, I was uncomfortable wearing ill-fitting exercise clothes at a time when I am trying to run to better my health & wellbeing. It was doing absolutely nothing for my confidence or my comfort levels whilst running in public. Just as I was making the decision to invest in some new running threads, The Husband noticed an advert on TV for Lidl’s running gear on special offer, so it was meant to be. I hot-footed it to my local Lidl and am now writing about the spoils for your purchasing pleasure. If you’re looking for info on budget running gear then you’ve come to the right place.
There are several items in the range, all coming under the Crivit brand name. As I already have good running trainers, and tend to be of the opinion that it’s worth going to get properly fitted for these if you are going to be pounding the pavements a lot, I gave the trainers in the range a miss. You can pick up a pair for £14.99 if you’re interested though. I also didn’t bother with the sports socks as I have plenty, however I would be willing to try these in the future. They would set you back £1.99.
I was however in the market for some trousers and tops, so I bought one pair of full length leggings, a pair of capri leggings, two vests, and (on a gamble) a sports bra. Let me start with the positives. The leggings have been brilliant. They fit very well, although I would recommend you go for a size larger than you think (or hope). The claims of moisture wicking technology in both the leggings and the tops hold out, and I felt comfortable even at the end of a particularly sweat-inducing workout. I also loved the bright colours on offer, though I know they won’t be to everyone’s taste. I wear black with brown or navy though, so what do I know? At £4.99 a pair for the leggings and capris, they are a stone cold bargain and I heartily recommend them.
The vest tops were a mixed bag on the other hand. The yellow top with thicker straps was more comfortable and a better fit out of the two. Again, I would recommend going a size larger than expected for comfort. I loved the grey top initially but found that when I was wearing a properly fitting sports bra (more on that in a minute), it felt flimsy and looked as though it wasn’t sitting properly – I felt a bit exposed. At £2.99 each they represent really good value, but being honest I would only buy the thicker strap style again as I don’t think I’ll get much wear out of the grey vest. There were also t-shirts available at £3.99 each which is great value, and I’ll definitely be picking some up on my next visit.
As I mentioned earlier, I took a chance on trying one of their running bras for £4.99. They only come in general sizes (S/M/L) so I really should have known better, but I was feeling really uncomfortable in my pre-pregnancy sports bras so decided to take a gamble. It did not pay off. I felt as though it offered no support whatsoever and was very self-conscious for the whole run. I’ve previously used running bras from Sainsbury’s, which have done a satisfactory job but, having been through pregnancy and still breastfeeding, I am now definitely of the opinion that being properly fitted for a sports bra is essential. Not only did I feel self-conscious wearing the cheaper bras, but I also felt uncomfortable and sore after a run, and as a breastfeeding mum that is not something I want to happen again. So whilst I guess you could see the £4.99 as a waste, in a way it has been a blessing in disguise because it prompted me to go get properly fitted and I feel soooo much better for it.
All the items I tried washed very well, which is a big plus where cheaper clothes are concerned. There are definitely things I would buy again (the leggings are ace) and things which I would recommend you add to your workout wardrobe without compromising on style or comfort. However, don’t go to Lidl and expect to get totally kitted out for your next ultra-marathon – spend the extra and invest in a well fitted, high quality sports bra and pair of trainers so you don’t do yourself any damage.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on post-baby running wear so let me know if you have any gems to share! Does anyone else rate Lidl’s running gear? What brands do you wear and recommend? Are there any I should avoid at all costs? Let me know in the comments below!