Most people like to jam out to music while they train, and the easiest way to listen to music is through your phone. This presents a unique problem for fitness-minded folks, as the feeling of a phone bouncing around with your every movement is cumbersome and annoying—not to mention the fact that a dropped smartphone could cost you serious coin. If you're also carrying other personal belongings such as a credit card or keys, those items can slow you down even more.
That's what makes the WOLACO North Moore and Fulton product lines so intriguing. WOLACO—short for Way Of Life Athletic Company—is a sports apparel firm that specializes in compression products with built-in pockets.The idea came to founder Terry White, a former Harvard lacrosse player, while he was on a run though the chaotic streets of New York City. He was constantly adjusting his keys and phone, preventing him from enjoying the stress-relieving aspects of physical activity. "I was trying to figure out where I was going to keep my keys. I've got this iPhone, I want to listen to music. What am I doing with all of this stuff?" White told InsideLacrosse.com
Having faced the same problem many times myself, I got my hands on some WOLACO compression gear and put it to the test at my local gym. The North Moore shorts are their signature product. The name comes from the fact that White often tested prototypes by jogging along North Moore Street in NYC. Retailing for $50, the North Moore shorts are, WOLACO claims, "the most liberating compression short you've ever owned." They feature two water-resistant pockets made from form-fitting material, which secures your stuff but allows you to move unencumbered.
The North Moore shorts
I wore the North Moore shorts to a recent workout and found them to be quite comfortable. The material felt a bit thicker than the compression shorts I typically wear, but that wasn't a bad thing. Getting my phone into the side pocket was fairly easy (though I recommend doing it before you put on your outer layer shorts), and my headphones reached my ears with room to spare. While running on the treadmill, I felt my phone was secure. I could certainly tell that I had it on me—it was snugly pressed against the outside of my upper thigh—but it didn't negatively affect my running mechanics, and there was no chafing. When I moved onto the free weight portion of my workout, I was able to perform Lunges and Weighted Jumps without having to worry about my phone flopping around. When I removed the phone from my pocket at the end of my workout, it was totally dry despite my moderate sweating.
A different color scheme of the North Moore shorts
The only downside I could see with this product is that it was somewhat difficult to pull my phone back out once it's inside the pocket. That's a testament to the fact that the pocket keeps your phone totally secure during training. But if you want to check your text messages or change songs frequently when you work out, it could be a bit bothersome.
The other product I tested was the Fulton .75s, which retail for $75. These are the leggings companion to the North Moore shorts. They felt like they were made from the same material. In addition to the phone pocket, I wanted to test the smaller second pocket (which is designed to hold keys, cash, cards, etc.), so I tossed my car keys in there. Both my phone and my keys felt secure throughout my workout and I experienced minimal jingling. The Fultons were slightly more comfortable than the North Moores, but that can probably be attributed to my preference for leggings over compression shorts.
Fulton .75s leggings
Besides keeping your stuff secure while you work out, WOLACO products can speed up your post-workout recovery. A 2013 study in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance found that when "compression clothing was applied for recovery purposes after exercise, small to moderate effect sizes were observed in recovery of maximal strength and power." The study found that wearing compression clothing for recovery significantly impacted vertical jump, blood lactate removal, muscle swelling and perceived muscle pain.
You can check out WOLACO's full line of products on their official website, and get a closer look at their gear by following them on Instagram @WOLACO.
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