Salomon XA Raid Tights and Raid Series T
When it comes to running there is only one rule - your clothing can’t get in the way. That’s it. If you can feel it, if it tickles, if it gets wet, if it rubs, then it is wrong. I’m happy to say that the Salomon Raid tights and T shirt performed perfectly. In fact, I hardly noticed I was wearing them.
Starting from the top, the Salomon T shirt was simply perfectly comfortable and technical top, suitable for any activity where you expect to get sweaty. On our 10 mile test run, it wicked sweat away from the skin with no problems, there were no damp areas, which means it worked perfectly. The fit was great, with the sleeves begin slightly tighter and longer than on many T shirts, meaning more protection from undergrowth or the sun.
The other unique feature is the seams; they are bonded together using the new “ultrasound seamless technology”. In essence this means they are taped and flat - there is no traditional thread stitching. This might seem like a minor point, but when carrying a load on your back, that makes a difference to comfort.
Whilst the T shirt is polyester, the material features X-static, the latest technology which incorporates "The Silver Fiber". This stops the static that usually occurs in man-made materials, as well as having an antibacterial property, so it reduces the build up of odours. Salomon’s logo is across the tail of the T in funky silver reflective print, so will also help you show up in the dark when running at night.
Moving down to the tights. Again, they incorporate all the technical features you’d expect. Lycra makes them keep their shape and support the muscles, whilst the fabric again wicks moisture and doesn’t carry water when they get wet. Down at the foot end, a zip makes them easier to get in and out of, whilst a gripperstrip round the ankles keep the tights in place. There is also a small zipped pocket on the rear of the tights perfect for keys or coins.
There are two uniquely interesting features here that weren’t marked on any of the labels attached. Firstly, the knees. The knee front is thinner than the rest of the tights, whilst the back is replaced by a very light mesh. This means that when the leg is bent there is no bunching of material or sweat around the back of the knee. This is a step ahead of some rivals, and makes it attractive to multisport users who might be running one minute then riding the next.
The second unique feature is something in the groin area. There is no real way to describe it other than a small part of the tights that appear to be a different material. Whether this was put there to support a gentleman’s delicate parts or not I don’t know, but that was the effect that it had - and supremely comfortable it was too.
Salomon have also released three-quarter length tight which have the advantage of leaving the lower leg exposed, whilst covering the knees. This is ideal for runs where you might get wet or muddy, or both. Covering the knees means that the cold won’t affect your joints so much, and offers a good compromise over regular shorts.