Could the Effektor Running Powershirt from X-Bionic be the best running top ever? Certainly no arguing that it’s amongst the most complex and highly engineered ones we have ever seen and at £85 far from the cheapest, but does it really live up to the impressive-sounding range of benefits? TriGear went for the super hero look and tried one for size.
The Effektor Running Powershirt is certainly aimed at those who like to crunch the numbers and wearing its credentials on its sleeve (well, box) it isn’t a top that’s backwards about coming forwards. Amongst the packaging claims are: 20% faster recovery, 50% reduction in heat build-up, 2.4% readuction in heart-rate, a decrease of 7% of lactate production, and an ‘overall’ 10% gain in performance. The stats were crunched at the State University of Verona Research Center for Sport, Mountaineering and health (no, us neither) and, as impressive as they are, there can be a difference between study results and real-world experience; something the manufacturers acknowledge with the coda ‘A science is only as good as its proof.’
In essence the Effektor Running Powershirt is a compression top – albeit a highly technical one with exceptional attention to zoned panel detail – and as such lactic build-up (and hence recovery time) is naturally reduced, whilst the top’s superb wicking and breathability properties – aided by the brilliantly-named ‘3D-BionicSphere System’, a mesh panelling on the chest and back – helps regulate temperature and therefore heart rate.
In terms of comfort the Effektor excels. The fabric is soft with an unusual semi-waffle texture that looks like it takes getting used to, but doesn’t; this is out-of-the-box confortable and the wicking and carefully constructed seams meant it stayed that way across many long runs. The compression felt like it was working hard but didn’t constrict range or ease of movement and the lime-green colour adds excellent visibility.
Worth the cost? Probably marginal gains that will be most appreciated (and noted) at a fairly top-flight level rather than with your ‘average’ runner or triathlete, but if you have the cash to spare then the Effektor Running Powershirt, with all it’s bells and whistles, is an excellent compression top. TriGear has to admit to having been a little sceptical about the claims, but the Effektor turned out to be like one of those people you meet who appear to be brash and boastful at first impression but turns out to be both reliable and as good as their word.
This review, in adapted form, is also published on our sister site RunningMonkey.co.uk