Your local running gear retailer.........

I thought that this may amuse you all.

I have been looking for a pair of performance trainers (not because I'm fast - lardy by name, lardy by nature - but because I am trying the Gordon Pirie method of running and need something without a 6inch heel) and have been lamenting the lack of running shops in the North Oxford area.

So whilst out doing the Saturday morning shopping duty with my lovely lady wife yesterday she noticed that I was getting rather agitated looking at bath mats in Debenhams, and suggested that I go and have a look in the sports section!!!!???? - THE SPORTS SECTION OF DEBENHAMS...........

Running is for hard (wo)men - not wimps who shop at Debenhams - even a high street sports shop would be better than that. I was outraged and incensed, and I am embarrassed to say, rather sarcastic and rude. Once I had managed to get my ego back in check I did return to the 'soft furnishing' dept and apologise for my over-reaction - she was, after all, just trying to be supportive and helpful.


  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    If you look in your local Marks & Sparks you might get a surprise - racks and racks of View From stuff. On the one hand I fear a sellout by VF to the fashion and posing brigade, but on the other I'm pleased to see serious (so far) sports kit in a general department store. Not just running, either.
  • I had better not let my wife see me looking for running kit in M&S, especially after my tirade yesterday.
  • Why would anyone want to run in View From gear? or is it just me who doesn't think much of it?
  • I must admit that most of my winter gear is Ronhill. But the VF range does look similar.
  • There is no doubt that running gear has falling seriously behind the times when it comes to technical fabrics and 'build quality' I get most of mine nowadays from outdoor shops rather than running shops. Firms like Lowe Alpine, Peak Performance (Swedish I think) Berghaus and one or two others are light years ahead of most of the running brands and very often not much more expensive
  • This thread caught my eye when I saw "Debenhams". Whilst I'm not sure I would buy trainers from there, their XPG clothing is the best I've found for the gym. Anyone used any of it for running?
  • I've been wearing a pair of Viewfrom Vortex running trousers in wet/cold weather for some years now. I've worn them out and can't find a replacement in XS size - maybe i;ll have to go to the nearest city and have a look in M&S.
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    I've always been happy enough with View From gear. It may not be top notch but it's fairly cheap. Rather like me, in fact. Their Vortex jacket (which I was looking for at M&S) got a reasonable write-up in this month's RW.
  • Have to agree with Helen A - I love the XPG stuff at Debenhams and they do have a decent range of Nike/Adidas etc clothing. Shoe section obviously useless....
    I also have a Viewfrom fleece from the preM&S days that I wear to run in and I love it to bits.
  • I went to the M&S at the Lowry Designer Outlet Village in Manchester and got a couple pair of Viewfrom double layered socks for a pound a pair. They also had vests for £5.
  • The Editor makes a good point.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a good base layer for wearing beneath a fleecy top on a cold morning? Up until now I have been wearing old T-shirts, but they get so sweaty it's unreal.
  • Lardy
    I would recommend a Helly Hansen for a base layer. Yesterday the Mrs and me did a twenty miler. Mrs Bobo did it in her trusty Helly long sleeve and I in my flouro Ron hill. By the end I was cold and wet through with sweat and Mrs Bobo was fine. You could tell the weight difference as well between the helly and the ronhill. The helly had wicked away superbly and was considerably lighter.
  • Hey, leave VF alone! I'm sure I run faster and longer since I've had their gear. Or maybe I just feel 'cooler' so can keep going longer with less embarrasment factor!
  • No question Hellys are pretty good but £25 is not exactly cheap. Asics do some decent long-sleeved tops for about £15 – not as good as Hellys but not bad. Oh, one other thing Hellys used to stink but they've changed the fabric now and it's much better
  • Well just to throw fuel on the fire, I was incensed on Saturday to find that my local M&S in Salisbury sells only View From 'Golf' clothing - I mean FFS!

    How the hell am I supposed to run in that crap?

    To add insult to injury, the Women's Dept sold loads of girls VF running kit, but bugger all for the guys.

    You'd best believe I had a right old whinge at the management.

    It's bad enough living somewhere without a decent running shop for 50 miles in any direction without having your hopes built up then cruelly dashed :(
  • M&S liked View From so much that they bought the company. No really, its been added to the St Michael stable.

    I bought a VF vortex jacket and trousers a couple of weeks ago and did a ten miler in the rain yesterday and I'm dead happy with it. Very comfortable and very dry.

  • JR - if it makes you feel any better, no self respecting golfer woulf wear VF clothing.
  • I think I'm right in saying M&S have bought out View From. Whether that means distribution will be limited to their stores I don't know. I agree the gear isn't the most trendy but it's functional and well made. I've also just bought some VF vests (3.00, sorry Adrian) and a jacket from the M&S outlet in Ashford, Kent (McCarther Glen).

    Re. Helly Hansen, their long and short sleeved tops are on offer at the same McCarthur Glen centre for just 15.00 and before you ask, they're not seconds.
  • I know Lardy, but I have always liked View From running kit, and it irked me a little because I got a bit excited at the prospect of buying some new tops etc.

    Perhaps this is a little sad, but I've always wanted to get one of their tops with 'View From' eblazoned clearly on the front, then have 'Behind' added to the back :)
  • John, if you can tell me what you want, I'll try to find it in the stores down here.
  • Hey there, have been thinking of moving on from old cotton t-shirts to something a bit more suited for winter running & this thread's been triffik! Cyberboy, don't know Ashford at all but my cousin lives around that area, do you have the address for the M&S outlet there so that I can pay a visit next time I see m'cous. Cheers
  • Thanks Sassie, but I've been rooting through the latest RW, and I'll just order it by phone.

    I would have liked to have tried it on, that's all.
  • Okay Wannaberunner, here you go...

    McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford, Kimberley Way, Ashford, Kent, TN24 0SD
    Tel:01233 895900

    If your cousin lives anywhere near Ashford she/he must know it. If you do get down there make sure you also go to the Nike Outlet (lots of ladies running gear, sorry I think I've rumbled that facial hair!), Adidas who have a limited amount of climalite running stock and the Helly Hansen shop - their long sleeved running tops (mentioned earlier by Bobolink) are very highly rated.

  • DOH! been rumbled!! Cyberboy - You're the man, thanks a mil for the top info. Looking forward to rummaging around in Ashford for ladies running gear ;o) Bye
  • Pop along to the Marks and Sparks website as you can order a few VF items there.
  • I know some of you guys don't live near to a running specialist store,but those of you who do; what happened to supporting the local running shop rather than following the View From 'sell out' to M & S?
    It's funny that over the last few years they have had a reputation for producing gear worse than Ron Hill and now becasue it's in m & s it's great ?!
  • JB - like the 'View From....behind' idea! Why don't you e-mail it to them and see?
  • Think yourselves lucky. The Marks and Sparks in Scarborough doesn't even warrant the golfing VF gear let alone the running kit.
  • Lardy - you and I live fairly close - were you in the Debenhams in Oxford city centre? They must be having a laugh indeed.

    As for the VF gear, they only seem to have the black colour in my local M&S, and it's just so *shiny*, I could never wear it! My current running tights (which are nearly knackered) are nice and fleecy, and most importantly, matte!
  • I bought a long-sleeve zip neck View From base layer from M&S a couple of weeks back and it is excellent. Not as good as my Helly though ;-) . My ideal would be a zip neck Helly - do such things exist?
Sign In or Register to comment.