Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers must be having a tough time of it of late. Here we are, late March and I’m wearing gloves on my hands, woollen T-shirts and long leggings and long socks on my winter legs. Yes it’s still cold-weather running.
Spring has been on hold while the Gulf Stream does a U-ey round the south coast of England drawing cold air from the Grim North we are reliably told. Weather forecasters are hiring personal body guards and Swallows are opting to stay in debt-laden Cyprus and war-torn North Africa rather than risk shaking a tail feather anywhere north of Dover.
But here in my heavily insulated bunker in Hertfordshire I’m the proud and now equally well insulated owner of three new items of running-wear from ashmei: Gloves, long Compression Socks and a short-sleeved Merino-Carbon Jersey. I never thought I’d need these in March but boy, am I glad to have them.
I’ve said before, the ashmei “brand experience” is, like the products, second to none. It’s a Tiffany blue-box moment for runners. All items embrace the values and qualities of Merino wool: warm in the cold; cool in the heat. Merino is uncompromisingly soft, has bacteria-munching odour resistance and a sensuality all it’s own.
The gloves bear the hallmarks of ashmei attention to detail: little fingerpads so I can use my touchscreen smartphone out on the trails and rubber strips inside the length of each finger to stop me dropping it while I launch my endomondo. The socks have graduated compression to ensure the calf gets the right level of squeeze along its whole length. Panelled, ergonomic design and barely a seam in sight ensures max comfort too. The Jersey (well, it’s a T-shirt) is made of a very light material bears a small neck-zip with rubberized tab, an open pocket mid lower back and a larger, zipped pocket on your hip.
I took these out today and enjoyed them a lot. I know they’re too pricey for some but they are unquestionably the best a runner can get. A good review should endorse strengths and reveal weaknesses but I do find ashmei kit hard to fault. I returned only a firmer advocate of this brand which just goes on delivering.