iffley road merino roll neck
ApparelGear ReviewsSite Feature

Iffley Road Apparel Performance Review

What You Need To Know

  • Premium apparel that’s made in England from high-quality materials
  • Vintage design with a modern touch
  • Excellent fit and construction, with great attention to detail

 

JARRETT: Iffley Road is the Oxford track where Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile. It’s also the name of a British apparel brand owned by a husband and wife team, both runners, both from England.

In 2012 the creators of Iffley Road left their jobs to start a premium apparel brand, with the goal of making high-quality goods that would last through multiple running seasons.

The design of the brand is beautiful, something that’s often missing in running gear. It’s a clean and classic look.  The apparel features minimal branding and gentle accents, like the tri-stripe sewn into the back. This is a no-frills brand and I’m all for it.

Check out some of the excellent items we reviewed over the last few weeks.

Marlow II Waterproof Reflective Jacket

iffley road marlow waterproof jacket

 

JARRETT: Waterproof/windproof running jackets are a dime a dozen. However, when done right it’s bliss.

After going back and forth regarding sizing, I went with a large jacket and I’m pretty glad I did because it fits perfect. Europeans like their slim, tailored fit.

The Marlow II is made up of a triple-layer Italian softshell. It’s extremely light and did a great job keeping me dry and warm during the recently disheartening Maryland weather.

I’ve run in light jackets where I’ve compared them to running in a trash bag. Sweat gets stuck in the arms and there is zero ventilation. Not the case with this jacket. There are some drainage eyelets under the armpits which let the perfect amount of airflow through.

I really love the black on black look with the black logo. It’s sleek and clean. My only real complaint is that there aren’t any pockets in the front. I’ve gotten used to this, but my brain has been trained to try to put my hands in pockets. To random strangers, it probably looks like I’m rubbing my belly a lot.

THOMAS: I went with the non-reflective cause I don’t need as much attention as Jarrett. The jacket is simple in the right way. It blocks wind, rain, and provides the right amount of heat retention for a lightweight running jacket. It all packs down nicely into the back zippered pocket, which I also used to hold my iPhone during a run. The center lower back turns out to be a good spot for stowing the phone. With Euro sizing, I went with a large over my usual medium. It fit nicely if ou like a little extra room. I probably would have been fine with a medium, but I like to keep it tight.

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Bodmin Merino Roll Neck

iffley road turtleneck 3

ROBBE: I’m a full believer that turtlenecks are back in. As a kid who for some reason wore a turtleneck for the entire winter of 1989, I’m here for it.

As our friend Patrick Fellows pointed out, only a Brit would make something as savage as a running turtleneck/roll neck. I’m glad they did.

Designed and made in England, this top is made of 100% Italian merino wool with seamless construction and underarm panels engineered for extra breathability. The material is very thin, almost see-through when stretched taught. You can actually see this in some of the photos.

I f**king love this thing. I’m gonna be honest, I actually wear this just in real life and around the house, and 100% will wear this to a mod-themed Christmas party in a couple weeks.

Comfortable and warm, yes, but there is just something about wearing a roll neck style running that just makes me feel badass. Maybe it’s just different.

In any case, merino wool naturally wicks away sweat, to the Bodmin performs well in anything below 45 degrees. I took it out on a run over Thanksgiving in windy, 40-degree weather and just at the moment when I was like “dammit, this is too much shirt,” it held steady and kept me warm without overheating. And guess what? You don’t need a neck warmer on those super cold days!

Now, I did take it out on a run in some quite British weather—44 degrees and drizzling pretty hard. It has no problem wicking moisture in a light mist, but I felt pretty cold just a few miles in during actual rain.

Last note: I have sensitive nips, so protect those guys or you’ll be hurting a few miles in. Luckily, blood bleeds well into black.

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Windsor II Running Tights

Iffley Road Windsor II Running Tights

THOMAS: These tights are DOPE, don’t get thrown off by the Born to Run shoes Iffley paired them within the picture above. The tights are extra not minimal. Details, details, details, Iffley nailed them. These tights fit in all the right spots. No saggy bottoms or awkward crotches. Rubber strips on the interior of the ankles keep the leg opening snug and the protected zipper won’t be a chaffing hazard. The back of the knees are vented to let out some sweat and the drawstring waist sits comfortably on the hips. I went with my normal size medium and they fit perfectly.

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Pembroke 5” Shorts – Dover White

iffley road pembroke shorts white

 

THOMAS: Light and airy is the best way to start describing these shorts, but the real reason I love them is the style. The cut is classic with some subtle details. Details like Italian tech microfibre material, flat-front design with elastic only in the back, internal drawstring, two discrete credit card-sized front pockets, and an extremely light soft mesh inner liner. When I wear these shorts I feel like an extra in the Chariots of Fire movie or a member of an exclusive club where I rub shoulders with society’s upper crust. Finger sandwiches anyone? Joking aside, the shorts perform well and stand out without being crazy. They have quickly become a favorite in my short rotation.

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Thorpe Merino Half Zip Top

Iffley Road Thorpe Merino Half Zip Top

 

JARRETT: This is my first time owning a shirt made of merino wool. Since I’m an all-or-nothing kind of guy, it’s fitting that this is 100% ITALIAN merino wool. *oohhhhhh aahhhh*

While the size isn’t as form-fitting as the slim European cut, it’s not like loose American gear. I went with a medium and it works so long as I don’t eat more than six donuts a week (a difficult task). I did notice that the shirt felt just a tad bit long.

The zip part is kind of essential– I had to have it zipped up more than halfway or it flapped around when running. If it was zipped ¾ way or more, it laid perfectly.

Thumbholes are becoming more normal in a long sleeve technical shirt, but I’m loving the secret inseam pocket. During my runs, I would put my house key in it and completely forget about it.

This shirt kept me warm and comfortable during cold runs. It’s also great just wearing as a warm long sleeve on non-running days.

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Onslow Loopback Sweatpants

Iffley Road Onslow Sweatpants Night Sky

JARRETT: Good sweatpants make the world go round. It’s true. Forget science!

Continuing Iffley Road’s top-notch product is their Onslow Loopback Sweatpants made with a blend of cotton and polyamide. This combination provides a premium feel for sweatpants.

While Iffley Road does make joggers, I can’t imagine how tight-fitting they are because the sweatpants have a great tapered fit and ankle cuffs. I feel like these are what American joggers are.

I went with my normal size medium and they are perfect. While the pockets are nothing groundbreaking, there is one internal smaller zippered pocket which is great for something like keys or a credit card and ID if you don’t feel like bringing your whole wallet.

I’ve worn my sweatpants a lot since getting them. Almost an embarrassing amount. Good thing I’m now married and wearing sweatpants too often isn’t a valid reason for my wife to leave me! Yet, anyway.

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Iffley Road Conclusion

ROBBE: Iffley Road is definitely in the “premium apparel” echelon. For those in the U.S., a quick ‘pounds to dollar’ calculation will make that apparent. However, they are a great alternative to companies like Tracksmith if you’re looking for something new that still has that simple, elegant vibe not often found in running. Put one of these items on your “race reward” list and you won’t regret it.

JARRETT: I really like the classy style Iffley Road brings to the apparel game. It’s simple, yet sophisticated (i.e. the opposite of me). Even better– it’s great quality.

Between just the jacket and sweatpants, you may see me wearing the same outfit day after day for most of the year. During the colder months, the merino half zip will keep me company.

Iffley Road’s philosophy is to invest in the best. If you buy a really nice running kit, you’ll need fewer items. This is so true. While I didn’t know too much about Iffley Road prior to getting this gear, they are now high on my radar.

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As the wide-shoe reviewer for BITR, Jarrett is on a never-ending search for the Cinderella shoe to fit his Yeti feet. He currently lives in Baltimore where he enjoys running roads and trails with November Project and Faster Bastards. He also loves craft beer, donuts, and pretending to be elite in his NormaTec boots.

Thomas is the founder of Big Run Media, Believe In The Run, and the Faster Bastards. His mission is to get everyone running. Life is better when you run and running is always better when you have the right gear.

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