Note: this item was provided by Foehn at no cost.
Foehn has been making a name for itself with performance focused (primarily) outdoors clothing. The Harper Adventure Shorts ($90) are my first go with the brand, and they are a very solid offering with a slightly different take than a lot of other ‘training’ style shorts. Whether they work for you is mostly going to come down to how you normally dress, and whether they fit your body.
These are what you expect: nylon and spandex. They are specifically: 86% recycled nylon, 14% spandex fabric shell; 87% nylon, 13% spandex liner. They are not paper thin like many other offerings as they clock in at 219 grams listed as the ‘garment weight’ but they are certainly all around a thicker material (shell and lining) than most of the other training shorts I own.
Overall the material avoids any annoying sounds, wears well, and feels pretty substantial to the hand while retaining robust stretch.
Fit & Style
These are not designed to be pure athletic/workout/training shorts where you might only be wearing them in a gym or workout setting. They are stated to be: “…the only pair of shorts you’ll need the entire summer.” The style lends very outdoorsy/gym to me, but I will say that they look substantially better than any other workout shorts I have when worn. The heavier material gives a much better drape, so if you are wearing an untucked shirt over the elastic waistband, I could see you potentially getting away with these for other outings, but it’s not a shoe-in.
The inseam is 7” on these, and I think it sits just right for a workout short, they feel great at this length. So as far as workout shorts go I think they look sharp, but when compared to most shorts they look very casual/workout. You could get away with them as long as you can get away with a t-shirt and shorts.
From a fit perspective I found that the waistband was loose for me with a size Large, but I would worry the Medium would be too snug. The drawstring helps tremendously. The string itself is an elastic webbing cord, and so even when tightened the shorts move really well in the waist — you can sit comfortably without them feeling tight. If you are someone who wants a very secure feeling waist, you might look elsewhere.
Foehn lists these as moving well, breathable, and moisture wicking. I will tackle each:
- Movement: they stretch like crazy. No complaints, they never bind or bunch — even when the drawstring is tied up. They excel here.
- Breathability: They are breathable, but they don’t stack up as well as many others I have tried. The lining is simply too thick of a material to fair well against many of the other lined shorts I have tested. For the shell, they are shorts, so the shell isn’t getting in the way of the lining at all.
- Moisture Wicking: This is perhaps my biggest complaint. They get wet and stay wet. The lining doesn’t wick moisture as well as I would expect. If you leave them on after a sweaty workout, you’ll be feeling wet for quite some time afterwards — easily twice as long as any of my other lined shorts. They really don’t fair well here for me.
On some of the other traits:
- The pockets are solid, nothing amazing but they don’t drop stuff out of them readily.
- The lining is comfortable, and I didn’t find that the fit was poor in anyway.
- The drawstring has silicon logos on it, these aid in keeping them tied securely which is a really nice touch.
- They can and do look wrinkly at times. This is a part of the reason why they don’t strictly look like gym shorts.
Overall I found the performance to be comfortable for less strenuous workouts, the sweatier the workout the less performant the shorts felt.
For $90, these don’t make the cut for me as a pure workout short. You can get more performant offerings for less money, but none of those offerings look like anything but workout shorts. These fall in a niche area for me: a pair of shorts which you mostly use for active things, but you want to be able to fill in a very casual role on a whim if needed.
I look at these as a good pair of workout shorts for when you are traveling and only want to pack one extra pair of shorts. For that purpose these would fill a few roles quite nicely with just one item.
For me, these don’t fill a need I have.
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