The Casual Runner

KEEPTIGHT IronVanguard Fitness Shirt

KEEPTIGHT IronVanguard Fitness Shirt: Actively looking for active wear for your active life.

This is the latest installment in the Casual Runner Team’s look at products that can help you in your own Casual Running journey. For a look at our other product reviews, just click here

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The front of the shirt.

What?

Check out my review of KEEPTIGHT’s capris for a full rundown on the company.

But, to recap, KEEPTIGHT is an American fitness company that designs workout gear for women.  The clothes are designed to perform well for any sport rather than for a single purpose.

Why?

Good quality workout clothes are pricey and I prefer items that can go from my yoga class to a long run without causing uncomfortable chafing or bunching or sagging.

Who?

KEEPTIGHT designs for women.  They have selections that can work for everyone from the girl who prefers to show as much skin as possible to those who need some extra protection to keep their thighs or arms from rubbing together.

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And now…the backside of water! No, but it is the backside of the shirt.

When?

I tested this shirt on a couple of long runs and a bike ride.  As with the case of the capris, I tried a couple of different hydration pack configurations.  On the first run, I used my hydration vest to see if the shirt would lay well underneath.  On the second run and my bike ride I used my hydration belt.

Where?

All of the activities I did while testing this shirt were outside, under a brutal July sun.  This allowed me to test the ventilation properties.

How?

I try to avoid black tops during the summer training season as I tend to get too hot too quickly.  KEEPTIGHT honored my request for colors other than black and sent the IronVanguard shirt.

The main body is a light gray with a really cute hot pink detail up the back made of a mesh fabric that contributes to the ventilation.  The shirt is cut to fit a woman’s body, meaning that it gently curves in at the waist and then flares back out to accommodate the hips.  The back is also slightly longer than the front, to prevent it from riding up and exposing the butt and low back during your exercise, allowing you to focus on the activity rather than messing around with your clothes (and, you know, exposing yourself!).

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Woo-hoo! Stayed in place, covering my belly the whole run.

Quick Recap?

If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t love this shirt the first time I put it on.  While the body of the shirt fit how I like from about the chest down, the shoulders were too big and the sleeves were too small.  Not all of this is the shirt’s fault: I asked for a large and that’s definitely the right size for the majority of the shirt since I’m carrying around some extra weight; the shirt was fitted but didn’t suck in to every single fat roll.

But (there’s always a “but”), since the shoulder seams are designed to lay at the edge of the shoulder it was obvious that I should be wearing a medium if I weren’t so…ahem…curvy.

Also, I often have trouble with cap sleeves regardless of my weight because I have massive upper arms that shirts don’t account for.  Unfortunately for this shirt, because I was testing it with my hydration vest, all of these little mis-fits were compounded as I tugged the fabric around to lay properly under the vest.

Having already determined that the shirt didn’t ride up during my first long run, I knew I wouldn’t need my hydration belt to keep it in place during my second long run.  But changing hydration systems gave me a chance to test how the top of the shirt laid when my vest wasn’t a factor.

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See the cute pink detail in the back reflected in the mirror? Unfortunately, you can also see the poor fit along the neck and shoulders in the foreground.

I was ultimately happier with the fit of the top of the shirt on this second run, so that’s a plus.  And while the sleeves still felt too small, they somehow seemed just a bit looser without the straps of the vest fighting against them.  In addition, the fabric laid flat under the belt, causing no weird irritation points from the folded-over fabric.  It also performed satisfactorily on the bike ride.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly?

After the run I tossed it in the wash—just with my regular laundry since I am incapable of following special wash instructions even when required—and it survived.  Nothing shrunk or faded or pilled.  The shirt gets an A+ for my laundry test.

Despite the poor fit of the upper part of the shirt, I really liked it from the chest down.  I loved that it was long enough to stay put rather than creep up and bare my stomach.  I like the pink mesh detail on the back of the shirt.  And despite my tummy rolls, I actually liked how the body of the shirt fit–it was snug but didn’t make me feel like an overstuffed sausage.

The smallness of the sleeves worried me each time I wore it due to the possibility of chafing on seams that felt too tight.  I didn’t wear any Body Glide just to see if they would chafe—and they did not.  So that’s also a plus.

If I could get this shirt with the shoulders of a medium, the body of a large, and the arms of extra large, this would be a better shirt for me.  In the absence of that, I might alter it to remove the sleeves and have a tank top.  For me that would be better.

Overall, while this will not likely be a go-to shirt for me (unlike the capris, which I continue to love), it performed well under varying conditions and would be a great option for someone who’s a little more proportionate than I am right now.

Editor’s Note: Jen’s review highlights the importance of finding the right gear and equipment for you, which includes what type of Casual Runner you are and what body type you have.  What works for one Casual Runner’s body type may not work for another, and vice versa.  The Casual Runner Team continues to look at a variety of products to help give you an idea on what may work best for you based on what works best for us. For a look at our other product reviews, just click here.

The Casual Runner Team wants to hear from you. If you have any questions about anything we cover here on Casual Runner, if you have any questions regarding running gear or training for your own Casual Running needs, or if there is anything that you would like us to cover on Casual Runner, please leave a comment or email us using the links below.  To ensure that you do not miss all of the great content from Casual Runner, please be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and add us to your circle on Google+.  See you out on the running trails!  

Neither Jennifer nor Casual Runner received any compensation for this review.  The product reviewed herein was provided by the manufacturer for purposes of this review and the opinions are solely those of the author.

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