Chafing isn’t fun. Every step can be agony. So imagine running 10,000 of those steps, which equates to about 5 miles. A half marathon is over 26,000 steps. If something is rubbing in the wrong place, that’s hideous torture, not a mood-boosting run.
The founder of Utah-based Path Projects, Scott Bailey, was challenged to run a half marathon in 2002 and got addicted. Hundreds of miles later, there was still a problem: He didn’t have a good pair of shorts that breathed well, moved well, worked with other clothes, and didn’t chafe.
Path Projects was created to find the perfect system of running apparel so you finish feeling alive and rejuvenated, not limping in pain. The brand aims to make running gear without cutting any corners, picking the perfect materials and obsessing over details so you can focus on running. Bailey and his running partners spent thousands of miles testing the perfect short and liner combo; they would love a certain liner in the summer only to see that winter completely changed that view. The team eventually realized there wasn’t one perfect combination of fabric, length, and features. A system was needed.
Here is a breakdown of our favorite shorts and liners in the Path Projects lineup, all with different properties.
Path Projects Liners
With separate layers and shorts, you can combine what you need. The waistbands are built to sit on top of one another, sliding against each other but not against your skin. Seams are reduced to the absolute essentials to eliminate any friction in the wrong places. Even the drawstrings are intentionally placed on the outside of the shorts.
Each of the liners is a unique blend of materials for specific conditions. They all include the anti-microbial, durable, and quick-to-dry Tripure waistband. Most importantly, the absence of a fly up front removes bulk and the front pouch keeps things in place.
Tahoe CL Base Liner
With a light compression and birds-eye performance mesh fabric, the Tahoe CL base liners are ready for running in any conditions. Tiny holes in the birds-eye mesh and jacquard style knit promotes breathability. It’s available in a 3-, 5- and 8-inch inseam.
Torch FX Base Liner
Optimized for scorching hot conditions, the Torch FX base liner uses highly breathable Flowthru FX fabric. The punch hole knit literally has holes you can see through for easy airflow. Combined with the Tripure waistband, you get a cool, stretchy, wicking liner for the heat of the summer. It’s available in 3-and 5-inch inseams.
Shasta HX Base Liner
Switching gears to cooler climates, the Shasta HX base liner uses the warmer polyester-spandex blend, Pathex. A custom Path Projects material, the fabric stretches open at the edges of each tiny hexagon increasing the breathability during movement. It’s available in an 8-inch inseam.
Path Projects Shorts
Sykes PX Short
The Sykes PX Short is the go anywhere, do anything running short. A large center back pocket holds a phone while two smaller pockets on the back balance out the weight. A small internal pocket on the front can hold keys or a fob. It’s made from Toray PrimeFlex, a soft, light, strong, and stretchy material from Japan that doesn’t absorb water like spandex. The Sykes PX Short is available in a 5-inch inseam in black and green, and a 7-inch inseam in gray, black, and green.
Graves PX Short
The Graves PX Short is very similar to the Sykes PX but with a different pocket configuration. One large zip pocket on the back can hold a phone. Two large hand pockets on the sides keep essentials zipped in so you can still buy a pint at the end of your run. It also uses the stretchy Toray PrimeFlex, which is partially corn-based and uses less water to make. The Graves PX Short is available in a 7-inch inseam in black and green.
Prospect PX2 Short
Using slightly heavier and more durable PrimeFlex 2 fabric, the Prospect PX2 Short is the beefier brother to the Graves and Sykes shorts. Medium in this short fits like a large in the others so you’ll want to size down. Two side zip pockets, a wallet pocket on the back, and an iPhone XR-sized phone pocket on the left hold all the things. The Prospect PX2 is available in an 8-inch inseam in black and blue.
Graves DA Short
The Graves DA Short is the coolest short of the group, literally. Thousands of micro holes in the Toray Dot Air fabric mean tons of airflow; pair it with the Torch liners for the best flow. Even with its tiny pores, the durable water-repellent (DWR) coating still repels water. The Graves DA short comes in a 7-inch inseam in gray.
Brim FT Short
The Brim FT short is the dressiest of the group. The Toray Flex Twill fabric looks great and lets you go to brunch, then a run, and then visit the pub without missing a step. Four zip pockets — two on the side, two on the back — keep your gear organized in town and the mountains. Finished belt loops give the option of your favorite leather to really dress things up. The Brim FT short is available in a 9-inch inseam in light gray and dark gray.
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