Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fit, Fashion, & Function: Are your pants f***ing up your movement?


One of the things that I've been paying increasing attention to in the past 8 years with all the traveling I've been doing is how improperly fitting clothing can contribute to decreased performance and/or health issues. I see it with footwear, with sports bras, with eyewear, and even jewelry.

For me, one of the most noticeable pieces of clothing that affect my movement and comfort are pants. When you're forced to sit for hours at a time aboard a flight, or hustling to get to your gate in time, pants that are too baggy or too restrictive have the potential to make life uncomfortable and even unsafe. I'm amazed at how many guys tolerate wearing pants that make them feel like their legs are falling asleep, probably because it's so hard to notice until they try to get up & actually walk.

The more I wear these 5.11 Tactical Traverse pants, the more I like them. In climates as varied as wintertime Canada & summertime Hawaii, the pants have still remained comfortable wears. I don't think I've ever had a pair that looks, fits, & feels as good as these do. Regardless of how much stuff I have to load the cargo pockets with, the elastic "magazine retention bands" inside help keep the phone, wallet, keys, EDC, or whatever else from bouncing all over the place, and the 4-way stretch fabric never makes my legs or hips feel like I'm wearing a tourniquet so that my circulation is never impeded.

Photos courtesy of Fitness Ranes of Honolulu, HI

As a guy who has a bit of a caboose, slacks that are cut without the extra room in the backside make me cringe. The Traverse, however, moves with the comfort of a well-broken-in pair of sweatpants with the look of something respectable enough for a boardroom or a patient consult. While wearing pants that look classy enough to go out to a business meeting dinner, I still feel comfortable throwing a kick vertically without the fabric pinching or tearing.

Since I often have to wear the same clothing to a dinner engagement directly from teaching an all-day workshop on rehabilitative movement (a la Prehab-Rehab 101), Hardstyle kettlebell training, or even martial arts, I was a bit concerned about whether or not the synthetic fabric would show signs of "pilling" with friction, but no signs of any such wear so far. Whether teaching kneeling and ground-based movement drills on Astroturf or dropping shin kicks into a muay Thai bag, the points of hard contact still look unblemished, even after several washes. Unlike some synthetics, this blend hasn't retained odors yet, regardless of how intensely I've sweated in them.

Working on "Sphinx" position during my Prehab-Rehab 101 workshop in Honolulu with participants who came from as far away as Los Angeles & Jakarta!

To have an "all situations ready" pair of pants is quite a feat for me considering all the stuff I spend my time doing - from treating patients, to sprinting after my kids, to training pro athletes, to researching traditional martial arts, to hauling ass from one flight after another, to the rare "quiet dinner & drinks" with the Mrs! The Traverse from 5.11 Tactical leads the pack of all the pants I've ever worn.

My final review: If you live a fast-paced, active lifestyle that requires you to be on point in a variety of situations, these are worth every penny & then some! CEO Tom Davin & crew hit the ball straight out of the park on this one.

UPDATE: 12/29/14 - After washing & wearing the hell out of these things & long wearing sessions during travel, the fabric is starting to pill around the seat area. I haven't yet gotten a hold of one of those electric things that shaves the pilled fabric off yet, but I'm curious to see how it responds.


Unknown said...

I have been wearing the 5-11 Tactival Traverse pants for the past 2 years and fully concur with Marks comments and assessments. They are my daily go to and I now own several pair. Can't say enough about them. They are truly the most multifunctional pair of pants I have ever owned.

Unknown said...

I concur with Marks assessments of the 5-11 Tactical Travers Pants. I have been wearing them for the past 2 years and they are the most versatile pants I have ever had, from working out to a business or social meeting. I have even been asked if I own any other pairs of pants. LOL I have several pair.