I’ve been a runner since I was 14 years old. Back then, a concerned neighbor girl asked me why I ran alone down our country road. I told her it was okay; that I carried a big knife. I was a teenager, so carrying a pistol was not an option. But you can imagine how difficult it was finding pants that would hold my knife so it wouldn’t fall off when I ran.
Over the years, I’ve taken breaks from running. I had to stop running the year I had knee surgery; that was depressing. About the only thing worse than not being able to go for a run is running in something uncomfortable.
I’ve generally had to make due with tucking my phone and weapon into my sports bra, a zippered pocket and/or into my waistband. Do you know just how sweat-covered a phone or gun can get tucked against your skin—especially under your jacket?
So, needless to say, when I find running pants I like, I’m going to wear the heck out of them. They’re going to get abused. I’ve run in Wisconsin in -15 degrees (F), in Arizona in 90 degrees and in Virginia in 100 degrees … and 100 percent humidity. From 5k runs, summer biathlons to sprint-distance triathlons, I have experience putting running gear through its paces.
How exactly does one find a nice pair of running pants? At the SHOT show this year, my Gun World editor, Robb Manning, happened to bump into Amy Robbins, the woman behind Alexo Athletica. He introduced us (the funny thing? Neither of them knew about my love of running and constant quest for the perfect running pants). Amy has hosted NRATV’s NOIR and Pursuit Channel’s GUNTV and currently also hosts a podcast, “Not Your Average Gun Girls.” She is the CEO and founder of the Alexo Athletica concealed-carry line. We had a nice, long chat about Alexo Athletica, Amy herself and her running pants.
THE PANTS—REAL-DEAL COMFORTABLE
Fast-forward to the pants … .
I got them, I ran in them, I carried a gun in them during a 36-hour road trip, and I slept in them with my gun on. The model I tried was The Signature Pant, and they were realdeal comfortable. I was a little concerned, seeing the way the gun just tucks into the waist, that it would fall out. I shouldn’t have been.
Taking a break from the drive, I stopped at a gorgeous overlook in Utah to climb rocks, jump and run around, all while wearing my pistol. The pants performed perfectly, keeping my pistol right where it was supposed to be. My teenage sons rolled their eyes as I leapt from rock to rock, but I wanted to see how these held up to aggressive movement. They did.
On that long road trip, sometimes wandering into gas stations at all hours of the night, my gun was with me all the time. One concern with waistband carry is where to put your gun when using public restrooms. No worries here: These pants have two pockets; one held my pistol, the other my phone. As a result, I could safely use the restroom without having to haul in my coat or set my phone or firearm down. That was a big deal to me.
Other features I appreciated: reflective material for running at night; material that is stretchy yet does a good job supporting muscle groups; and making me feel that perhaps I didn’t look all that “gypsy” (read as: bedraggled van-dweller) after having been in them for 36 hours.
Another detail I liked is the length. I’m 5 feet, 6 inches tall. I don’t consider that “tall,” but most running tights fall short of my ankle, leaving me cold during winter months (in the north, “winter” runs from November through March). These are a great length (I wear the medium size). These pants are not too long, do not get in the way of my running shoes and are comfortable under tall leather boots. They are just right. If Goldilocks had a pair of running pants, it would be these.
A PLETHORA OF POCKETS
I see very few running tights with two pockets. It’s as if the marketing departments of the clothing manufacturers are rationing out pockets: “Let them buy one pocket first; then, we will sell a two-pocket version.”
I’m against pocket-rationing. If I have my phone in one pocket, my knife, a snack or maybe a spare magazine can go in the other. I can fit more than just a gun in these pants, because there are two pockets, as well as a pouch-style pocket across the waist that can hold a credit card or some cash, maybe a thin wallet or even a small phone.
Aside from the pockets, functionality and comfort, these pants have several places to stash your gun, knife or pepper spray. And whether you are left or right handed, you can tuck items into the front or back. I carried my Ruger LCP in them when I did the aforementioned rock-leaping and climbing like a monkey. (Note: I did this with an empty chamber, because I wanted to really jump and climb).
THE HEAVENS ALIGN
As I ran up rocks or climbed down from them, The Signature Pant was comfortable and held my Ruger LCP in place.
My takeaway here: The universe miraculously produced a fortuitous meeting of people who didn’t know I have a passion for running, manifesting for me a pair of running pants with enough pockets and holster space to meet the demands of a shooting gypsy who runs guns and cameras on an empty gas tank and a head full of dreams.
The Signature Pant, as well as the rest of the Alexo Athletica line, is perfectly suited for the active/sporty/fitness woman who wants to carry but not look as if she’s carrying. This pant is thoughtfully designed and well made. It can be found online. Yet another thing I like about this brand is its military, first responder and teacher discount.
One last little piece I like: Amy Robbins is an active voice for the Second Amendment.
So, if you’re looking to support your legs and your gun (and your constitutional rights), check out this fitness apparel option that has a lot of function behind the fashion.
Author Becky Yackley competes in action shooting (3 Gun, USPSA, Bianchi and IPSC) with her husband and three sons. When she isn’t shooting matches or writing, she is busy with her camera. Becky is the founder of the 2A Heritage Junior shooting camps and works in social media for several firearms industry companies.