Product Reviews: Oiselle Distance and Flyte shorts

You guys are so lucky. You get two reviews in one. But they’re both going to be pretty short because I don’t particularly have good stories to tell. Just cut and dry product reviews. Boring, right? Okay fine, it won’t be short because I can’t write anything short.

First up is the Oiselle Flyte short.

You all knew this was coming and you’ve seen pictures of me wearing it. In fact, before @RunFastandFab and I made our blog baby, the astute readers among us could have figured out I was trying these out:

Quite surprisingly, I haven’t really found too many reviews of these shorts around. I have two hypotheses (can you tell I’m a nerd?): (1) FastAndFab’s comparison to Stride shorts actually covered everything you have to know [which is true], or (2) there actually isn’t much to review for the intended audience (women): they work, they’re comfortable, and they’re short.

For me, my dear readers, this is the story of man’s rising hemline in the 21st century. [Is the bottom of spandex a hemline? I’m a guy, I don’t know these things.] I started with CW-X compression shorts and a 10″ inseam. When paired with compression socks, you got that super-awkward “only the knee exposed” look. Then I moved to Oiselle Stride shorts and a 4″ inseam. These end up on the mid-thigh and, while guys may not be comfortable with that at first, it doesn’t really require all that much confidence to rock ’em.

Faris rocks the 0″ inseam (AND mankini). Why can’t I (or any dude) wear 2″ shorts?

Now we’re at half that. The Flyte short has a 2″ inseam. Whew baby, this is booty short territory**. Not a typical look you find on male runners. But you know what, I run in a speedo after swimming. That’s a 0″ inseam. Why should a 2″ inseam bother me?

It shouldn’t. And doesn’t. But just like for women, booty shorts aren’t for everyone and do require a certain amount of confidence. As FastAndFab discusses in her comparison, there’s a distinct chance while wearing Flyte shorts to expose your Lower Butt Area (LBA) [which, by the way, is apparently a hip trend]. I compulsively checked my LBA on my maiden run in them to see if it was exposed (it wasn’t). In fact, during my photo shoot for the Flyte short giveaway, I accidentally caught myself checking if there was any LBA while stretching:


LBA? You there? No? Damn.

How was the Flyte short experience otherwise? Let’s see:

photo (10)

Left: how they started. Right: how they ended after 6 miles.

  • Just like with the Stride shorts, I had a “bunching up” issue. It’s entirely possible this is because I have, er, equipment for which these shorts aren’t designed. In the end, the 2″ inseam turned into more of a 1″ inseam (see picture). If you’ve decided that you’re okay running in 2″ shorts, I’m not sure why 1″ shorts would make a difference.
  • [ear muffs ladies] Speaking of the equipment, for some reason it seems a bit more prominent in Flyte shorts than in Stride shorts (not in the confidence-boosting way, just in the more apparent way). If you’re a dedicated spandex wearer, you’ve probably stopped caring about thing type of thing (lord knows I have). Just including this for full disclosure.
  • We're gonna need a [stretching] montage

    We’re gonna need a [stretching] montage. Thanks FastAndFab for creating this masterpiece.

    One thing I always test with new shorts is whether you will flash everyone at the track when you’re stretching. Flyte shorts passed. Protip for the old men at the track last night: old, worn out running shorts do not.
  • I described Stride shorts as supremely comfortable. Flyte shorts are indescribably comfortable. As I tweeted during Ragnar Vegas, it’s like running without pants in the best way. Seriously. It’s impossible to put this into words. I’d be lying if I haven’t thought about wearing these as underwear. The only issue there is the lack of fly.
  • The waist band goes way high up. I folded it down in half. The waist band no longer goes way high up and the experience is exactly the same. Don’t let a high waistband deter you from the most comfortable shorts on the planet.
  • No pockets. Ergo these will be for track workouts/short races (5K, 10K) only.

Final thoughts: I’d recommend that any guy should buy a pair of Stride shorts. I don’t know if I would go that far with Flyte shorts. They’re booty shorts. But when you throw them on and step outside, you get that I’m ready to run fast confidence, much like I’d imagine bun huggers provide for the ladies. In fact, let’s leave it there: Flyte shorts for guys are the equivalent of bun huggers for women. [Guys, just read this article from Becki Spellman and replace “bun huggers” with “Flyte shorts”.]


Infernos in action. They are also great for color coordination!

Next up, the Oiselle Distance short.

Every morning these days, I wake up and repeat to myself, I am not a Oiselle fan boy. I am not a Oiselle fan boy. I don’t care if the founder of Oiselle is a self-professed grumplesiggy fan girl. I am not a Oiselle fan boy. Some days, I can bamboozle myself, some days I can’t.

Anyway, I’m incredibly picky about my running shorts. In fact, until I started running in spandex, I ran almost exclusively in one model of shorts: Saucony Inferno 3″ splitters. I still love my Infernos and recommend them to guys (and gals) all the time. They are super comfortable (unlike most men’s short which feel more or less like plastic), are a perfect length, and hold up well. But here’s the problem: they’re expensive and typically difficult to find. In fact, the Saucony website I link above is out of stock in small and medium (you know, typical runner sizes). I even once yammered on to a Saucony rep at an expo about this issue (Chicago 2011 maybe?) to no avail. Still, the Infernos are, in my mind, the apex of the short world.

Then my friends started buying Oiselle distance shorts (also with a 3″ inseam, which is pretty much the perfect running short length). First it was Kevin (the OG brobird if you will). Then Jeff came on board. Then Jeff bought every color Oiselle offers. It was time to make the leap… One pair of Distance shorts in pink, Internet. And make it quick!

First reaction:

Jeff in poppy, me in rhody. Nighttime track date.

No, seriously. SO. MANY. POCKETS. Pocket on the butt (which is my favorite pocket of all time and gives me pocket tunnel vision causing me to embarrass myself so miserably during my Stride short review), pocket on the side (for all your toilet paper needs), and a credit card/key pocket up front (which is my least favorite pocket location of all time). Folks, this is a pocket revolution.

Second reaction: Hey, these fit as well as the Infernos? And are almost 10% cheaper than Infernos? And can actually be purchased?!

For me to even say a pair of shorts are in the same vicinity to the Saucony Infernos is a huge compliment. I’d go as far to call them comparable. Insanity. All you really need to know is that I’ve introduced a second model of running short into my life. That’s it.

Some notes on these shorts:

  • I’m a small in Oiselle Stride shorts, but a medium in Saucony Infernos. So I went with the safe play and ordered a medium Distance short. I probably should have ordered a small. In fact, this is a perfect excuse to order a second pair. I’ll report back.
  • When you wear Distance shorts, I think you are contractually obligated to call your legs “stems.” Just warning you.
  • There is absolutely nothing that makes these shorts “women’s” running shorts. Men, I give my seal of “Oiselle unisex” approval.
  • Literally every single time Jeff wears his pink Distance shorts, he gets an inordinate number of cat-calls from passing vehicles. This is not because he’s good looking.

Casually wearing my Distance shorts to cheer the team on at Ragnar Las Vegas

Since this concludes my two-part series on re-defining Oiselle’s running shorts as unisex items, I thought I’d tell you about the ultimate chafe-test I put them through. We already knew Stride shorts were solid in this department because I went on a 16 mile run without any lube. I did a similarly crazy test for the others: I ran each of the three legs of Ragnar Las Vegas (17.3 miles over 28 hours with no shower and a lot of sweating) in a different pair of Oiselle shorts, all sans lube. I was a little terrified of doing this after the post-relay chafing-inducing shower pain of my past. This time around, my shower was pain-free. No chafing at all. Who needs vaseline when you have Oiselle? [Feel free to make that your new tagline, ladies]

[As always, this is a 1500 word diatribe written totally on my own accord. I am not sponsored by Oiselle nor have I ever received any free Oiselle products (though FastAndFab did for our giveaway). Again, my gender disqualifies me from such a sponsorship though one day maybe someone will break through that barrier.]

**Don’t try to google booty short at work trying to get some sort of silly link for your blog. It doesn’t end well.


About siegfried

just a runner. kinda a triathlete. and a big couch sitter.
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