Tracksmith: Putting the Elite Back Into Running
There’s some new running gear on the market and the co-founders of Tracksmith say they’re dedicated to producing highly technical gear that’s stylish while also boosting running’s perception in the public eye.
“Running has gone in two directions,” says Matt Taylor. “The first way is that it’s become watered down. There’s an “everyone get’s a medal” mentality with people running races in costumes. “We want to have more respect for the oldest sport in the world. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find those who believe it’s important to win at all costs.”
Taylor and his co-founder Luke Scheybeler believe their running gear helps reinforce the positive image of running and provides customers with clothing they can count on to last for years.
Their partnership began when Taylor cold called Scheybeler asking if he could pick his brain about his work with UK cycling brand Rapha.
“Luke was very generous with his time,” says Taylor. “As our relationship grew we decided to officially partner and bring it to market. We bring very complementary skill sets to the table.”
They currently have five items sold exclusively on their website. Four of the products are made in Massachusetts, while the Longfellow short is made in New York City.
The Longfellow is made from highly technical Swiss fabric that offers four-way stretch, moisture wicking on the inside, water repellent on the outside and a rear welt pocket to hold a cell phone.
“The Longfellow shorts are very versatile, more forgiving and more flattering,” says Scheybeler. “The Van Courtlet shorts are more racey.”
The Grayboy t-shirt brings back memories of your favorite tees from the 70s and 80s. “It’s not highly technical, but it’s extremely functional,” says Taylor. “It’s a cotton rayon blend, every day running shirt that you will have for 10 or 20 years. It doesn’t retain odor. It doesn’t wick moisture, but it’s fine for a morning or evening run.”
The only non-clothing product they have is a spike bag. It’s constructed from rescued remnant cotton from the New England Shirt Company. When Matt and Luke visited the factory one day, they noticed boxes filled with scraps of oxford stripes, chambrays, gingham and flannels. The company had been discarding the scraps, but they decided to put them to use in crafting the bags. No two are alike.
Sales have been brisk across their product lines and new offerings are in the works. “Our mantra is reinvent running one product at a time. We have a big list of candidates. We’ll see which ones make sense,” says Scheybeler.