Tuesday, March 07, 2023

2023 Brooks Women's High Point Trail Running Apparel Round Up Review

Article by Renee Krusemark

Brooks Women’s High Point Trail Collection 

I tested and reviewed four items from the new Brooks High Point Trail Collection:
High Point Waterproof Jacket, High Point 3” 2-in-1 Shorts, Sprint Free Short 2.0 Sleeve, and the High Point Crew Socks.

Women’s High Point Waterproof Jacket  ($198)

Renee: The High Point Waterproof jackets retails at a quite high $198. In the context of name-brand, quality gear, the pricing is reasonable. The jacket arrived during winter, but I was lucky enough to have rain/above freezing temperatures during two testing days.  The jacket works well as an outer layer without rain During freezing temps, it served as a wind/cold break over a warm base layer.

The waterproofing and water repellent qualities are evident as rain simply beads on the surface.

The material is high quality in terms of performance and feel. The jacket does not have a “plasticy” feel like some waterproof jackets. The ventilation is great. The are front openings high on the chest and the side openings start under the armpits (yay!) and continue throughout the back.

The two snaps on the jacket opening allows for unziping for air without the jacket sides flopping around. 

The hood fits tight around the neck and face line, which helps to prevent wind and rain from entering. The elastic in the back prevents the hood from flopping around after it’s pulled down. 

The jacket does not have pockets, which I missed at times. For trail running, I’d prefer zippered pockets for security, although the benefits of no pockets mean less weight and no extra zippers also making  the jacket slightly quicker/easier to take off, fold up, and shove into a vest pocket. 

I tested a women’s size small. The jacket is semi-fitted and is a fairly typical “women’s cut” with good volume and s slightly shorter length. The arm sleeves are long and have elastic at the wrists to hold tight. I have a perfect fit with a women’s size small. If I needed a jacket to wear over a packed vest (especially if holding water/gear in the back) I’d choose a size medium instead. For runners already between half sizes, I’d suggest the size up only if wearing the jacket over a full pack.

Shop for the High Point Waterproof Jacket


Moosejaw HERE

Roadrunner Sports HERE

Women’s High Point 3” 2-in-1 Shorts ($78)

Renee: Pockets! Even when running on the road, I like pockets. Storage is the key feature here, so I won’t bury the lead. The shorts feature 5 total pockets: one on the back and two on each side of the hip. The back pocket has a zipper and is large/stretchy enough to hold my iPhone 12 Pro (not the Max) in a plastic bag. The four side pockets are open and can each hold a gel. In short, the storage is great. 

The waist is mid for me; not too high and not too low. The waist is secure but not tight. I don’t need to tie the lace tie to keep the shorts in place, but if I overload the pockets (phone, gels), it helps. 

The shorts are quick and easy to pull up and down, which is great for performance because during long trail runs, “bathroom” stops are inevitable. 

Brooks calls the fit “semi-fitted” for reference. The outer material is water-resistant and offers UPF 30+ sun protection. Although testrf during winter months, I was able to get one rain run in and the outer material does have water resistance, for what it’s worth. The ripstop material is meant to prevent tears from branches, rocks, etc. while trail running. 

The liner is comfortable, and I appreciate the extra leg coverage. Like any lined shorts, there’s no brief. The stitching inside the liner has no seam across the crotch area, so for short runs, I didn’t need to wear underwear underneath. Each runner will be different in that regard. Underwear or no underwear?  I can’t answer the question for you ladies. I ran with and without running underwear. I found the liner comfortable, but for a trail run for several hours, I will wear underwear. Personal preference. Be yourself. Consider Squirrel’s Nut Butter. Mike P. wrote how the men’s blue-colored version avoided the “crotch-sweat” look. I agree with Mike P. about color choice: I typically elect for black shorts for that reason. The fabric does evaporate moisture quickly.

After a 10-mile tempo run on the treadmill, my shorts were wet, but it wasn’t embarrassingly noticeable. As far as hiding sweat goes, I’m not sure I’ll have the same luck during summer weather, but I’ll see when the time comes. 

Shop for the High Point 3" 2-1 Shorts 
Roadrunner Sports HERE

Women’s Sprint Free Short 2.0 Sleeve ($45) 

Renee: The Brooks Sprint Free 2.0 is made of 86% recycled materials. Brooks says the shirt is “ultralight” and I’ll agree with that. The material is thin, flexible, sweat-wicking and odor-resistant. I wore the shirt during cold temperatures as an underlayer and for treadmill runs. I found the shirt cool and comfortable for indoor running, and as compared to similar shirts, I’ll predict it will run cool in hot temperatures, and especially under a hydration vest. 

I received a women’s size small, which is my typical size (sometimes I need a medium for length). I have two Brooks Carbonite shirts, and I find the sizing similar. 

The fit is considered “relaxed” by Brooks’ index. The torso volume is roomy and the length is short. I wish the length was a bit longer, but I do have a longer torso and sometimes wear a women’s size medium instead of small. For hotter weather, I’ll probably appreciate the loose fit, especially when wearing a hydration vest. The shirt is comfortable along the neck, and the sleeves hit at my mid bicep, which is great to prevent chafing when running with a vest. 

Shop for the Sprint Free 2.0 Tee at Running Warehouse HERE

High Point Crew Socks (unisex sizing) $24 

Renee: I almost always wear Merino wool socks, and especially in the winter. The High Point Crew socks have a 19% Merino wool blend, which is enough to offer the moisture-wicking-temperature-regulating-breathability properties I look for in any running sock. The thickness of the sock is what I call light-medium. For comparison. at well-below 0 ℉ temperatures, I typically wear a mid-weight Darn Tough sock nThe High Point Crew was comfortable during runs in the high teens ℉ to 50 ℉  degrees. 

I’ll predict the socks will remain cool during warmer temperatures as well, although for review I’ve only had the chance to wear the socks outside during winter weather. On the treadmill, I had no issues with the socks feeling hot during 10-mile tempo runs. 

The socks dry out quickly, and like most Merino wool socks, they can be worn a few times before washing. 

In terms of durability, I washed the socks four times during testing and placed them in the dryer each time. I usually hang dry my Merino wool socks (as we all should!), but I wanted to test the durability. I have a small hole in one pair along the heel seam. I’m not yet questioning the durability, but noting that as wih all Merino wool products, the socks should be air-dried.

Shop for High Point Crew Socks

Roadrunner Sports HERE

Renee is a former U.S.Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Your purchases at the links in the article help support RoadTrailRun and are much appreciated. Thanks!

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