Brooks Sherpa 7-inch 2-in-1 Running Short ReviewOctober 24, 2017
- Soft & cool against skin
- Dialed features
- Breathable liner
- Butt seams
- Holds sweat on long runs
Brooks stopped numbering its popular Sherpa shorts to mark the incremental updates, but this latest iteration carries over much of the smart design features from years past. Some of the slick features include the gel pockets and hidden pocket on the outer leg of the liner. Brooks materials are usually soft to the touch, and both the shell and liner fabrics here lived up to that expectation.
The Sherpa shorts are mid-rise and the liner fits snug enough to prevent you from comfortably trying to wear them any higher. The semi-fitted shell drapes like a gym short and the elastic waistband stretches easily which made the drawstring seem even longer. Rear seam construction keeps seams from the inner leg and gives the seat a tighter feel.
Brooks performed admirably here, but the perforated mesh was overwhelmed by sweat earlier than other shorts we tested, and less able to dry out during the run. In other words, a high output effort like a mile ascent would work up plenty of sweat that didn’t evaporate afterward during a mile or two on flatter terrain. The inner thighs and waist were the most common sweat collectors.
These were the most feature-rich trail shorts tested, with more pocket options than should be used at one time. The most race-ready pockets were the elastic-rimmed gel pockets set behind the hips, which provided easy access without getting in the way or tugging on a shirt. The covert liner pocket was large enough to hold a smartphone, an option that remained untested on runs, but is a good spot to stash cash or a credit card. The horizontal zipper pocket in the back kept sweat out and is the choice for a secure phone stash.
Brooks’ DriLayer fabric, tested in other pieces as well, holds up well against real-world use and abrasion. Like other polyester shorts, odor is the most likely end to this garment, but we encountered no issues with carry-over smells during testing with regular washes. None of the seams showed signs of distress after testing. The sandpaper scuff test was barely noticeable after on the shell or liner after five swipes. It took 20 swipes to make a noticeable tear in the shell fabric.
Test runs varied from cool morning 15-milers at 9,000 feet to hot midday 5Ks at 5,000 feet. Late spring and early morning runs around Denver began in the mid-40s and crept into the 60s, with shade and exposure to sun and wind as extra variables common in trail running. Denver’s summer put temperatures into the 90s and even offered up moderate humidity to better test the breathability. A few runs in Central Texas weather, in particular the mornings with 80 percent humidity, guaranteed we sweat through even the most breathable pair of shorts. In all we ran over 600 miles in these shorts; between 75-150 miles in each pair.