written by Nick Cunkelman


With summertime now officially upon us—thus meaning you’ll likely be logging miles in increasingly hotter weather—it isn’t surprising to see many runners adopting any and all strategies to stay cool. And perhaps the best place to start is with the clothes on your back. Thankfully, we here at Marathon Sports are happy to announce the addition of 2XU’s ½ Compression X Run Short and Comp Run S/S Top—as well as a few other summertime apparel options from this Melbourne, Australia based outfitter—to our locations. Indeed, beyond making some of the best compression gear around (we already carry 2XU’s performance and recovery sock as well as its calf sleeve and tights), 2XU is starting to hold its own in apparel. Considering that, we’ll begin this write-up by explaining the features of each piece, and conclude by taking a look at how they work in practice.

The 2XU Comp Run S/S Top ($54.99), made with four different types of fabric (what 2XU calls SMD COOL, SMD SILVER, SMD MESH, and SMD 3D MESH), is designed to breathe and ventilate, thus keeping the wearer as dry as possible. 2XU achieves this cooling effect in two ways: with the types of fabric it uses as well as the placement of each—what it calls “zoned paneling.” For instance, with the types of fabric, SMD SILVER features nano particles embedded into the yarn for permanent anti-bacterial, temperature-regulating properties; SMD COOL features high UV resistance and a jersey finish for comfort; SMD MESH features an advanced lightweight knit construction for increased airflow; and SMD 3D MESH features a 3D mesh structure in the weave for improved ventilation and zero body cling. With “zoned paneling,” these four different fabrics are then strategically placed onto the top for optimal ventilation and performance. In addition to its fabrics, the Comp Run S/S Top also features flatlock stitching with streamlined seams for stretching and smoothness against the skin.

Unlike the Comp Run S/S Top, the ½ Compression X Run Short ($69.95) features what 2XU calls its VAPOR fabric, made of finer yarn on the outside and thicker yarn on the inside to wick moisture away from the skin and keep you dry from June to September. The feel of this fabric is noticeably different from that of the Comp Run S/S Top (the yarn is a micro-filament polyester with hydrophobic properties), yet the inner lining in the Compression X Run is what truly makes this short unique. Indeed, as you may have guessed from its name, the Compression X Run features what 2XU calls a PWX FLEX compression inner lining to stabilize muscles and enhance circulation during activity as well as contain muscles to reduce fatigue after. In addition to the VAPOR fabric and PWX FLEX lining, the Compression X Run also features an adjustable drawstring waistband, reflective trims to enhance visibility, and a side zip pocket.

Having gone over the specs for both the top and short from 2XU, let’s conclude by seeing how this new apparel works on the run.

Fortunately, this writer was able to take two runs in suburban Boston during mid-June, the first at around dusk after a day of rain with the temperature hovering just above 60, and the second during a hotter and more humid afternoon—with the temperature hitting 78 on the kitchen thermometer.  The initial impressions on both pieces of apparel were good, and stayed it that way throughout the second run. Indeed, the Comp Run S/S Top vents very well, noticeably so in the back, and I never felt like it got soaked or “heavy,” as some, less-ventilated synthetic tops tend to do. The ½ Compression X Run Short, meanwhile, doesn’t get in the way of your stride (although the shorts might be too short for some gentleman out there) and the built-in compression is very comfortable. And although it’s hard to say that the compression enhances circulation after two runs and not much to compare it to, the design fits better than, say, just wearing a pair of shorts with a mesh inner liner. 

As always, we’re more than happy to answer any and all apparel questions at any of our locations, so do come in soon. In the meantime, have a great start to the summer!