I was recently given the opportunity to try out and review some pretty awesome new athletic clothing from INK N BURN.
INK N BURN (www.inknburn.com) is a California based company that makes fitness and workout apparel. They make all the clothes themselves, and create their own designs.
As the name might indicate, their design aesthetic looks to be influenced by tattoo/ street art, and is loud, in your face and completely bad ass.
If you are seeking some clothes that look exactly like everybody else out there, then this is not the company for you. Plain and simple, most of these are loud. I don’t say that in a negative connotation at all, in fact, these clothes are completely fearless. (and I am already starting a side fund to save up and place myself a big order for my own personal use)
Ok, so we have established that they design their own cool, badass designs and they make all their clothes themselves (right here in the USA, I might add; you have to respect that). The really cool part is that they have the balls to put out these designs AND the technology/ processes to put them on high quality tech (moisture wicking) clothes without compromising the core job of the apparel, which is to keep you dry and comfortable as you work out. These were first designed for Ultra Marathon Runners and other extreme endurance athletes. If someone who is racing 100 miles can wear this stuff comfortably and endorse it as good, I’m fairly sure that my 3, or 6, or 13 mile runs won’t be too big of an issue.
This gear succeeds wildly in both keeping you cool (both literally and figuratively), comfortable, and making you look completely awesome at the same time. I was sent my choice of a top and a pair of shorts to work out in and then come back and review for you. I’ll break down each for you separately.
I went with a tank top, primarily because I’ve always wanted one and have never had the balls to wear one before now. (I guess I could have gotten away with it when I was heavier, but if I’m going to do it, I’d rather do it right…and I honestly just was not comfortable with anything that showed any sort of shoulders. I could rip the sleeves off a t-shirt with no problem, but I have always had some sort of mental block about tank tops for some reason). First things first, I swear this thing just makes me look and feel more athletic. Not going to lie, I felt like kind of a badass as soon as I put it on. Since I’m so anal and matchy-matchy, I went with the tank that had a bunch of variations of blues in it: the Men’s “Rugged Terrain” Tank Top. I was surprised when I finally got my hands on it that even though the printing is cool and obviously multi-layered, the tank itself is the standard moisture wick mesh. (The more important take away from that last statement is what it’s not: it’s NOT mesh with multiple layers of ink on it to make it heavy and lose its wicking ability, which I was afraid might be the case with the print). So the tank itself is one thin layer of moisture wicking mesh that fits me perfect. Big enough to not be skin tight, but tight enough for me to still be able to say it has a fitted, athletic feel. Very well made and the “tag” is actually burned into the back of the neck, so nothing to rub and irritate. I broke mine out for a warm up 6 mile run and then I really broke it in during the Philly Rock and Roll Half on Sunday. You can be damn sure that in order for me to do that, that’s my confirmation that it wears ok, doesn’t rub or do anything funny on me when I’m into a long run. The last thing I need is a distraction when I’m pushing to hit my ultimate goals. I am happy to report after the run that I didn’t have any issues at all. Loved it actually. The trail I run on now is pretty popular, and I did get a few second looks as I went along on my practice run. I would think it was either from the tank or from my rugged good looks. If you have seen any of the pics of me on the site, then you know that it was from the tank. But again, I love it, it has instantly become my new favorite running shirt. It’s just my style. It’s original enough to be different and cool, but not so over the top/in your face that it seems like a cry for attention. Big, HUGE thumbs up. I am now a running tank top (and more specifically, an Ink N Burn tank top) convert.
I ordered up the Men’s “Wave” Shorts. Confession time, this is the first time I have ever had real deal “running shorts”. I have been working with your standard issue mesh shorts and a pair of compression shorts together up until this point. So I broke them out for my 3 miles on the treadmill the other night and then again for another 3 around the neighborhood so I could take them for an adequate test run before I reviewed and I am seriously digging them. First and foremost, these are the shorts that have the liner built right in, so just pop them on and you’re good to go. Second, these things are light, I mean LIGHT. Made of wicking material that is thin and flexible (stretchy); they moved with me and were not a distraction at all. Cut about an inch or so above my knee, they are good running length without being the old school running short shorts. On women those are still popular, but on men (especially me)…well there are some things you just don’t need to see. And even though I sweat like a pig, they worked great, kept me cool and dry and were comfortable through the entire run. Huge thumbs up. The look of these shorts is really damn awesome as well. You can see from the pictures, but these are primarily black shorts and the print that runs up the back of one leg, across the back waistband and down the back of the other leg is an awesomely bright yellow and blue print. The official description on the website reads: “Inspired by Katsushika Hokusai’s wood block print titled “Great Wave”, the design for these shorts is a more contemporary take on wearing the power of water by INB artist Tiny Bubbles. Be powerful, be “The Wave”. Sounds official. (By the way, INB artist stands for Ink N Burn Artist…it took me a second to figure that one out). The simpler explanation is that you have seen this print before; it’s the same “wave” picture that is commonly associated with Asian culture-influenced tattoos and art. Needless to say, it’s pretty awesome, and the colors really stand out and contrast against the black shorts. Same as the tank, no physical tag to rub against you or chafe, the “tag” is part of the garment itself. The only potential criticism I could even bring is that I have always been a compression shorts/ bikers shorts kind of guy, I started to wear them when I was much heavier to help alleviate rubbing/ chafing and it’s a habit I have stuck with ever since my second workout ever, so the “brief style” liner is still taking some getting used to. Not bad by any stretch but definitely a change.
So all in all, I am a big fan of Ink N Burn and would seriously encourage you to check them out/ pick up some gear. I know I plan on doing so. The products themselves are very high quality and very well constructed. I have only put mine through the wash a handful of times thus far, but no shrinkage or fading to the print to speak of. My only potential criticism is that some of the patterns are big and bold, you need to be a person of a certain disposition to be able to wear these and not have them wear you, if you know what I mean. (I cannot see my good friend Drew the accounting manager rocking the sugar skull tech tee, for instance) But for those of us out there who have the will and desire to not just blend into the crowd and be an individual, even when (especially when) we’re working out, check them out. You will not be disappointed. Again, their website is: www.inknburn.com
I have worked with my marketing rep for Ink N Burn to secure a 15% discount for one lucky reader, so let’s do it like this: you can either respond to me in the comments here on the blog, comment on this blog posts’s entry on the BigAndysRunning facebook page or send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me why you want it. No rules other than that, just do it before 12:00 noon EST on Wed, 10/10. That’s it. You can make it interesting and entertaining, you can be straightforward, go ahead and just do whatever makes you feel good. Just send me an email or throw me a comment and the best one gets it. That ‘s it.
I hope you liked this review and it turned you onto something new. Check em’ out. And I look forward to reading what you have to say.
Talk to you all soon, and until then, take it easy.
I am approaching this review from my standard viewpoint of what I believe the core interest of this blog really gets at: that is to say I am presenting my review by looking at this product from the perspective of a person who is relatively new to the running world, has some weight to lose and wants go about losing the weight by starting to incorporate a more active lifestyle and want to know how sift through the volumes of available gear/ equipment out there.
One of the great benefits to running a blog like this one is that it puts me in a position from time to time to receive various products to use and review for you. Oftentimes, these items are provided to me free of charge. This is the only type of compensation I have ever received, and my acceptance of these items in no way constitutes any obligation to provide an unwarranted positive review. My opinions on the products are unfiltered and 100% my own.
**This product was provided to me free of charge, but again, this does not influence my review or views on the product in any way**
Also please note that these are the personal opinions and experiences of one individual (me) on my personal blog, and intended to be taken as such. I personally, and The Running My Ass Off Blog do not accept any liability from the purchase or use of any products reviewed on this blog.
**Sorry, just have to cover my ass here. These are unbiased reviews, intended only to help. I’m not going to try and sell you anything, nor do I want you to take my opinions as the final word on any product. Let me help you figure out what you should check out, and then check the stuff out for yourself to see if you like it.**