Thursday, April 5, 2012

Product Review: Workplay's Fleetfoot II

I am a recreational runner, meaning I only run when I have to (lack of available equipment, amazing weather, about to miss a bus, etc). Running was used as punishment at sport practices in the States, which didn't reinforce the action much. If I am going to incorporate running into my weekly workout plan, I need to be registered for a race of some sort to find motivation.

When I am about to go for a run, the pressure to get dressed appropriately feels like choosing an outfit for a job interview. I need to figure out where to put keys, I-pod, tissues, ID, and Oyster card. If I am wearing gloves, do I have a pocket to stash them in? Will I be too hot or too cold? Do I need to bring water with me or will I be able to survive 30 minutes of activity without a sip? Will my shorts be long enough to avoid chaffing and will my top cover my tummy as I bound along? Are my clothes bright enough so cars will see me?

Since Christmas, I have keeping an eye out for a low profile bum bag (aka fanny pack in the USA). Pictured in my head was a neoprene contraption that didn't bump up and down on my bum as I sped along the Thames shore. I wasn't having much luck though. Runner's World UK tweeted a giveaway for a bum bag a few weeks ago and I was thrilled to discover Workplay's Fleetfoot II. It almost looked too good to be true as it seemed to be everything I was looking for.



I entered the contest, but unfortunately didn't win. Instead, I found myself on the phone with Guy Mathiot, the founder and lead designer of Workplay. We have many similar goals for our brands, including finding fun, functional ways to assist others to partake in sport. We arranged a meeting at the Vitality Show at Earl's Court London where he would show me his amazing his line of bags and I would pick up a Fleetfoot II to test out.

Guy gave me the entire 'it splices and dices' spiel on the Fleetfoot II.* He even had me try it on and take a short jog along the row of vendors. I found out then it is designed to fit a woman's hips and rests quite nicely.

I decided to break the #1 rule of running (never try anything new on race day) and sported the Fleetfoot II on a 5K that weekend. Being unaccustomed to running with a bum bag on, I didn't have high hopes for my time or how comfortable the bag would be. The only things I carried in the bag were tissues and business cards, making it rather light. I hardly noticed it during the run! It sat just above my hips. There isn't much excess fabric so it wasn't very floppy either. I almost beat my PR too, but I am still figuring out if the bag had anything to do with that.


At the Stroke Association 5K in Regent's Park

The next test drive was on a Tuesday night, when I lead Boutique Sports' Beginner Run Club session. It was a bit chilly and I was in charge of six ladies of varying ability. I packed my Fleetfoot II with my phone, Oyster card, directions for our route, and business cards. I also added in my base layer in case I became chilly. The base layer hung between the elastic and pouch, which I was told is also a great places for gloves or a water bottle. The run was 4km long, and I walked most of the way with one of the newbie runners. Once again, I was surprised not to notice the bag at all while out on the route. It was handy to carry all my stuff and reflective to ward off traffic too.

Overall I am extremely pleased with the Fleetfoot II and would recommend it to all runners, even though it is designed for women (it also comes in black). My husband just tried it on in the living room and did a 5 step jog. He said it felt comfortable. You can purchase the bags online in Workplay's online shop. Based in Swindon, you are supporting a UK small business with your purchase.

When you go out on a run, it is important to be mindful and safe. Always carry an ID, money to catch public transport home in case you become injured, your keys, and if you can, your phone. The Fleetfoot II can help you do this without affecting your training.

*Note it does not really splice nor dice. 



Workplay Bags did not pay me for this review. They graciously sent me this product and all opinions are honest and my own. If you have a product you would like me to review, please contact me mollie@ptmollie.com

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