A little while ago I was delighted to have won an Icebreaker superfine GT t-shirt, from Freestak. Have you come across Freestak yet? If not, you really should take a look at them and sign up via Facebook.
Freestak is a place where we collate tips, inspiration, offers and competitions for runners to help them get the most out of their sport
There really are many great competitions fairly frequently, so do have a look at them.
I was going through my mail and pulled out this wonderful t-shirt, even better as it was completely unexpected. It was actually posted out from Ten-Point, the amazing Helen’s place. When I saw it was Merino wool I was delighted. If you are a stranger to merino you really need to buy some kit made from this stuff. I absolutely love it and I buy most of my technical stuff as merino, although I have yet to find a pair of running tights that meet my requirements (e.g. are not see through on the bum).
So, why do I love merino?
Well it is made from natural materials (you know, from a sheep), it is biodegradable and just does not have to go through any where near the same amount of processing as normal technical fabrics. For me, this is important, as I want my life to be low impact, and this is an easy way to start. And of course the sheep grow another batch each year – automatically renewable!
There is no saying this delicately – it doesn’t stink! You can wear it and wear it and it still doesn’t smell. I say this as someone who sweats an awful lot while exercising. Not only is this great from a lazy point of view, but again from an environmental one you don’t need to keep washing it as often, cutting down on detergents and water use. I have a bit of a dream to kit myself out in head to toe merino and a tiny backpack containing water, moisturiser, spare pair of pants and socks, snacks and heading out for two days on the trails and coming back not at all stinky!
It feels lovely! Honestly, forget about itchy wool, all of the merino I have tried has been super soft. To the extent that I have started buying merino pants to wear. It is like a lovely hug. Oh and socks, for day to day wear. I am a little bit obsessed.
It keeps you warm in the cold and cool in the warm. I know, freaky! I guess the sheep don’t want to boil to death in summer or freeze in winter.
It lasts well, merino lasts and lasts, you just have to watch out for those pesky moths. I never see any and yet, there are tiny holes in some of my stuff where they have been munching away. The bastards.
So, onto the Icebreaker superfine GT.
It is well made, with flat lock seams (so no chafing), as you can guess from the name it is quite a light weight one and seen as I received it sometime in October, it is not the weather to be heading out in thin clothes, however paired with a long sleeve top this works really well. At this time of year I can get by with layering up long sleeve and short sleeve top and long tights and not really wear anything else as I get really hot when I am exercising (aside from my trusty Buff and a serious sports bra). To be honest I look like I am going to die of heat exhaustion at any given moment, about 3 minutes after I start working out.
It is really soft, even by merino standards, wonderful to wear and I am looking forward to summer when I can run with it next to my skin!
So, do I recommend it? Yes, I do and I am now looking into other icebreaker clothes for when I need some new running kit.