Let’s get price out of the way first – Iffley Road apparel is not cheap, but if L’Oréal hadn’t already used the strap-line ‘Because you’re worth it’, Iffley Road could easily apply it. More importantly it’s not a case of all style and no substance, but rather one of both impeccable design and perfectly judged function.
The Iffley Road Half-Zip Tee, available at £70 in a range of nine colours, includes beautiful attention to detail: a little tri-stripe hanging loop at the back, elegant embossed logo and an in-seam valuables pocket for key or cash. The bespoke Dri-release fabric – 85% polyester 15% cotton – looks more like the kind of 100% cotton top that would chafe you raw, but it’s silky-soft to the skin and wicks and breaths absolutely perfectly.
At £50 and made from the same hard-working Dri-release fabric the Classic Running Vest is self-explanatory. This represents a minimalist approach to apparel for those who take a minimalist approach to running but still with wonderful cut and attention to detail and, thankfully, well judged armholes that don’t sag and flap.
The new Long Sleeved Half-Zip top is just as elegant and every bit as practical. Although made from 100% merino wool – perfect for winter runs – there’s no itch on the skin and the more generous cut than the Half-Zip Tee means it can be worn over a base layer. Again there’s a discreet valuables pocket and subtle logo to the chest, plus thumb-slits on the generous and comfortable cuffs to stop the sleeves riding up. At £110 though this could well be the most expensive running top you ever buy – but remember: ‘you’re worth it…’
Moving, as it were, downwards the Classic Shorts (£60), available in black, white or dark blue, are elegant and functional with the sort of timeless quality that really does recall Sir Roger’s mile achievement at the eponymous Oxford track. With a basic drawstring fastening, wide comfortable waistband and tiny key/cash pocket these shorts combine no-nonsense practicality with great tailoring. A longer version is also available in blue, black, white or green at £65. Finally the new Iffley Road Leggings at £75. These actually proved so comfortable that for some time our tester refused to budge outside and run, preferring to merely lounge around. But run in them you should. Both seams and panels are minimal, which adds to the comfort level, the ankles are zipped and the rear pocket actually generous enough to take a phone. Currently only available in slate grey, but truly stylish and an excellent autumn/winter option.
As we said up-front there’s no getting away from the fact that the Iffley Road apparel doesn’t come cheap. But the price paid reflects the sheer quality on offer and if you’re concerned that it’s all too nice (and pricey) to run in, don’t be – it’s proven to be immensely durable and hardwearing.
Full details of all Iffley Road apparel and online purchase at iffleyroad.com