I’ll be honest, I’m not the world’s greatest runner. I’ve been told I have the right build for running, but somehow we’ve never quite clicked. Although I quite enjoy the odd jog in lovely scenery, I definitely enjoy the downhill bits a lot more than the uphills, and I’ve never made it beyond the 10K mark. Because of this I’ve never been inclined to spend a fortune on running kit. Big name running shoes can set you back well over £100, which is a lot for a middle-of-the-road runner, and some of the leggings that I covet (and yes, I do covet a lot of leggings) can come close to that price bracket.
Which is why I was so delighted to try this Kalenji kit, which is really competitively priced, looks great (no surprise – it’s a French brand), and caters for those who don’t run every day (as well as for more serious runners).They helpfully categorise their shoes according to your weight and how much you train. The Eliorun pair I’ve been running around in are designed for women under 75kg (11 stone 11lbs) who run a maximum of 60 minutes, three times a week. More serious runners who run for 90 minutes, three times a week, might want to look at Elioprime shoes which, they say, are ideal for women between 60 and 90kg (9 stone 6 lbs to 14 stone 2 lbs).
The Kalenji running apparel is aimed at those who like to listen to music as they run. These leggings have a pocket designed for a smartphone or iPod and comfortably fitted my iPhone 5. They come in sizes 36-46. I’m normally a size 10 in leggings, and the Kalenji size 38 fits perfectly, though without much room for my waistline to expand.y
So how were they? Well, the shoes are fabulously comfortable. They have a nice bit of squashy “give” in the sole – these are certainly at the cushioned rather than the barefoot end of the spectrum. They’re breathable and very light – a size 39 weighs only 269g. I love the look, too. My husband was there when I unwrapped them, and his immediate reaction was, “Wow, those must be expensive”. But they aren’t. At £39.99 I think they offer excellent value.
The leggings are fast becoming a favourite. They have some nice detailing, such as the ruching at the knee and the smartphone pocket. Despite their impressively low price – they’re only £10.99 – they stay up well when you run (not a given amongst cheaper leggings – some of them sag terribly as soon as you start to move, which is never a good look). Although they’re not the thickest leggings, you can safely bend over in them without your knickers showing through (sorry to be graphic, but this does matter) and they look every bit as good as their more expensive rivals. They are most definitely going in the suitcase for the active travel adventure I’m off on this week.
Kalenji apparel is exclusively available from Decathlon.
Note: this kit was a gift from Decathlon, but my reviews are always independent and honest.