Running Tall: Gear for Tall Women

MeaganGeneral5 Comments

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Being a 6’1″ tall woman has its advantages. For example, I can reach pretty much every top shelf I encounter, I’ve been tall enough to ride every roller coaster at Cedar Point (bonus points if you know where that is!) since I was about 8 years old, and being long-limbed was definitely an advantage in the pool when I swam competitively. That said, tallness also has its disadvantages, and one of the more annoying ones is how difficult it can be to find clothes that fit properly. Luckily, in terms of casual clothes, the options are starting to expand, with more companies offering Tall or Long versions of their clothes in recent years. Unfortunately, though, workout clothing is more of niche market, so the options remain much more limited. Because I’ve been running for a couple of years now, I’ve had the opportunity to try on (and purchase) running clothes from quite a few brands, and wanted to share my recommendations of those that are the best for tall women. The list below represents the best of what I’ve found so far, and is focused on brands that offer longer inseams on pants, longer torso and sleeve lengths, and longer inseams on shorts (because 3-inch inseams look more like underwear when you’re 6’1″ with a 36″ inseam). I will be sure to update it as I discover more brands!

Update: Want even more suggestions after you read this post? Check out my new post, Running Tall: More Gear for Tall Women!

1. Athleta: Athleta carries tall sizes in many of their running tops and bottoms, and often has great sales. Of note here are their running leggings, which are often particularly hard to find in tall-specific sizes. Check out their selection of running clothes here and look for the Tall size option.

Relay Tight (available in Tall sizes) from Athleta.

Relay Tight (available in Tall sizes) from Athleta.

2. Under Armour: Under Armour doesn’t offer tall sizes in their clothing, but I’ve found that their leggings and long-sleeve tops are actually long enough for tall women, so they are a good option if you’re looking for cold weather running gear. I used the ColdGear Fitted Leggings as a base layer or on their own all winter.

3. Skins Compression Clothing: While I love the idea of compression wear, it seems like most quality compression-wear companies have size charts for women that do not extend up to, and definitely not beyond, 6’0″ tall (or above 175 lbs, which can also be very limiting). The Skins size chart actually goes up to 6’1″ tall and goes above 200 lbs. They also offer shorts with >5 inch inseams, which, unlike the 3-inch inseam on many compression shorts, feels much more comfortable (and appropriate) for someone like me who gets most of her height from her legs.

Run Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve shirt from Lululemon.

Run Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve shirt from Lululemon.

4. Lululemon: Although Lululemon charges an arm and a leg for their clothes, they do have some really great options for tall ladies (and often have great sales). They offer tall sizes in many of their pants, but also have many “regular” options that work just as well for tall women. Their regular length leggings are actually long enough for me. My favorite item from Lululemon, though, is the Run Swiftly Tech shirt, which is available in long-sleeve, short-sleeve, and tank top versions. The torso is cut extra long on these tops, and the sleeves also run long on the long-sleeve version. In addition, they are made with Lululemon’s Silverescent fabric, which is darn near magical with its ability to stay non-stinky even after multiple runs.

5. Skirt Sports: If you are uncomfortable with the idea of wearing just compression shorts, you should check out the running skirts at Skirt Sports. They offer skirts with built-in semi-compression shorties that are 1-3 inches longer than their competitors, so you get more coverage (or, a regular amount of coverage if you are extra tall). The Gym Girl Ultra skirt comes down to almost mid-thigh for me (the shorties have a 5-inch inseam), and is also super cute! Other skirts have shorties with up to a 7-inch inseam.

Eureka Pants (available in Long sizes) from Title 9.

Eureka Pants (available in Long sizes) from Title 9.

6. Title 9: While Title 9 offers clothes from many different brands, I actually want to give a shout-out to the Title 9 brand Eureka Pant, which is a good loose-fitting pant for chilly fall weather. It is offered in long sizes, and although it is not the most attractive running pant out there, it is very comfortable and functional. Note that you may want to buy a size down from what you normally wear since they run quite large.

 

Update: Want even more suggestions after you read this post? Check out my new post, Running Tall: More Gear for Tall Women!

Meagan is a geology professor and prides herself on being an avid volcano and pie enthusiast. Her free time is spent running, blogging, playing with her two pet bunnies, and watching too much TV. Meagan started running in May 2011 and ran her first half marathon in October 2012 and her first marathon in October 2013. She is currently making a long-overdue return to running and is preparing for her first ever trail race in September 2017.