Quality doesn't happen overnight. Perfect fit doesn't happen overnight. This shit takes time. Making clothes is equal parts art and science. Yes, I know art and science are almost polar opposites, but we need them to work in perfect harmony to get a perfected product. That means we need artists, scientists and athletes to come together to make the perfect pair of compression tights to help make people feel invincible in everything from a 10K trail run to a long distance OCR like a Spartan Beast or Tough Mudder Full. If you've read our earlier posts, you know we're developing men's and women's compression tights as well as a sports bra that will be released in early Spring of 2018. We're going to break this post down into two parts; fit and function.
When we set out with the idea of making these compression tights, we knew fit would be everything. There isn't room to hide any mistakes when it's a piece of clothing that hugs your skin like that. Add body mapping (where the seams follow the natural contours of your muscles) to that and you increase 8 points on the difficulty scale. Our first round of prototypes showed that we had a long way to go to get the fit right. The good news is that we expected that and created a plan to improve it. Our second round of prototypes was dramatically improved, but still had a couple of adjustments needed. For example, our men's compression tights still had excess material that was bunching up in the back of the knees. We (the athletes) tried them on with our design team (those are the artists), who pinned them so the manufacturer (those are the scientists) could adjust the pattern to eliminate the problem.
Our designer is working through a fit adjustment on our CEO, Brent.
This is the fun part where we (the athletes) get to go out for trail runs, get into OCR's and figure out what's working well in our prototypes and what needs to be improved. Then we have to articulate precise feedback to the artists and scientists that are working so hard to get us gear that will help us feel invinvible in any outdoor athletic environment. Laura Messner (IG: @wickedlmessner) has put our women's compression tights and sports bras through long trail runs in the mountains of New Hampshire and a Spartan Race Beast in West Virgina. Her feedback helped us make adjustments to the calf measurement on the tights and to reduce 1/8" of fabric from the top of the back of the sports bra. Yes, 1/8" inch matters to us.
Laura works her way down the A Frame and hams it up for the course photographer while putting our prototypes through hell.
Our CEO, Brent Kocal (IG: @humanoctane) has been testing the men's version on long trail runs in the Sierra Nevada Mountains while training for the Spartan Race World Championship, which will take place at Squaw Valley CA. His feedback helped us adjust the seat in our men's tights and helped the scientists adjust the formula they use for the abrasion resistant print on the knees.
Yes, there is still snow near the top of Squaw Peak in September and yes, Brent is impressed with his "semi" human flag (we don't have the heart to tell him you're supposed to extend your arms)