It would be hard to miss the explosion in colourful running gear coming from smaller, independent brands, like FLANCI, over the last couple of years. But it hasn’t always been this way. Once upon a not-so-distant time, your average running wardrobe was mostly black with the odd flash of high-vis.
For experienced long-distance runner Nicky Chrascina (who we recently profiled) this generally dull palette of kit motivated her to create her own colourful range of activewear. Introducing FLANCI.
Now, it might not be to everyone’s tastes, so if you quite like your dark colours and plainer designs, FLANCI may not be the kit brand for you. But if you’re looking for injection of fun and colour, you’ve come to the right place.
The kit range
We were sent three items to test for the purposes of this review.
Full-Length Leggings Nerja – £36.99
Capris Grazing Giraffe – £34.99
Skorts Logrono Purple – £35.99
All these items are from the women’s range, which is made up of leggings, capris, skorts and shorts in various designs. For men, there is a selection of double-layer shorts, where plainer black loose shorts sit on top of vibrant, patterned tight shorts. There are also bib clips and multi-use bandanas available.
Anyway, back to the products in hand. I generally wear a size 8-10 UK dress size, but more normally a 10 for running bottoms. I was sent everything in a size Small, which is equivalent to a UK 10. The sizing range goes from a UK 8 to a UK 18, and there is a handy size guide on the website. The company’s advice is not to size down if you are in-between sizes due to the way the hip seam has been manufactured to prevent slipping in use. It says that in trials, the general consensus has found that the sizing is true to UK dress sizes. No argument here – all three items slipped on easily (no tugging and jumping required), yet felt firmly in place when on.
My only concern on fit would be for the longer-legged ladies in the full-length leggings. This is something I have zero experience with, as I am (if I round up a bit) 5 foot 3 inches. The inside leg of the Medium size of the leggings is listed as 27 inches. They actually fit me pretty well – a tiny bit of ruching at the ankle as I usually get in full length, but not a lot, so generously limbed ladies might find them grazing above the ankle.
The material is a mix of polyester and spandex with clear care instructions printed on each item. Due to the sublimated nature of the fabric, snagging is possible, so be careful if you are wearing a running belt that could catch, for example, and take care when washing, as you should with all running kit.
The feel of all three items is soft and silky. They are all so lightweight you barely notice when they are on, which feels great. If you’re used to thicker materials on your legs, these might feel like they are offering no support. However, they do promote a really good range of movement and are perfect for running, as well as other sports, such as the gym or stretch classes. They claim to be fully squat-proof – yes, I did test this and no, I am not sharing those pictures.
On the run
I tried all three items on various runs, in gym classes and doing yoga to give them a thorough test.
The full-length leggings were great for running in. I don’t often wear long-length as I overheat really easily, but these are quite light and I didn’t feel too smothered. They kept me just warm enough. Out of the three designs I was sent, these are my favourites. I am not the one who has the brightest of running wardrobes, though I have been embracing colour more and more. The paintmark effects on these leggings is more subtle and the colours are attractive. Teamed with a dark, plain top, I didn’t feel too ‘out there’, but equally they have enough colour for the more extroverted runner. I really love them for my regular Body Balance class, as they give me so much freedom of movement.
The capris again were a great fit and really comfortable to run in. Just like the leggings, they have a lovely high waist and internal waist tie. They never once slipped down and the seams didn’t rub at all. The actual design wasn’t my favourite, but that’s very much a personal opinion and has no bearing on their actual high quality.
I love a good skort, but I do struggle to find ones I can wear. I have been ‘blessed’ with runner’s legs but small hips. To fit my waist and hips, I often find the legs far too tight. Or I buy to fit the legs and have a massive gapping waistband. These fit nicely, however. There is no rubber gripping around the base of the legs, so I did wonder if they would ride up when running. I very much expected them to, and I was pleasantly surprised. They may have travelled a tiny amount, but because they are a decent length to begin with, I never felt exposed or uncomfortable. And most importantly, not a touch of chaffing at all. The same high waistband and generous waist tie meant everything stayed where it should, and the swing of the skirt part was flattering to wear.
Best of all? All three have a pocket. I love a pocket and will pretty much refuse to buy any running kit that doesn’t offer me a pocket! I have an iPhone 7 for context, and it fits comfortably in the pocket of all three items. The waistband held firm even with my phone in place on runs.
I’m really impressed with the overall quality and material of the FLANCI clothing range. The products are a pleasure to wear you can tell that a lot of thought, and running experience, has been put into each item. Yes, they are very colourful and bright, but that is very much part of their USP. I might not naturally be drawn to something quite so vibrant, but I can’t knock the wearability or performance. Maybe this is the start of a more colourful running wardrobe?
**Run Deep was provided with clothing for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions in this article are entirely honest and our own**