There's no getting around it. If you're a St. Louis runner, your fall and winter training will require you to run in darkness and cold. Have no fear, though. Fleet Feet Sports offers a wide selection of Vern's Five-Star Apparel; apparel designed to make that training not just survivable, but enjoyable!
Vern's isn't a brand, it's the manner in which Fleet Feet's local buyers evaluate apparel features when deciding which pieces to stock in our stores. Each letter in the VERNS acronym corresponds to the following important features:
- "V" represents Venting. Venting is very important in cold weather. It helps regulate temperature, resulting in a more comfortable run. Strategically-placed vents, mesh insets, zippers, and adjustable waists in tops are all examples of venting.
- "E" represents Extra Storage. Most runners already carry multiple items when they run (nutritionals, keys, phones, MP3 players, etc.). And when winter arrives, more items join the list (lip balm, Kleenex, hand warmers, etc.). Additional storage is an important feature of most winter apparel. Examples include zippered pockets, origami (fold-over) pockets, side-seam hand pockets, interior key pockets, etc.)
- "R" represents Reflectivity. Let's face it, St. Louis is a dark city from late October through mid-March. Reflectivity is a must-have safety feature. Examples include reflective piping, taping, and graphics.
- "R" also represents Resistance Level, the amount of wind and water protection offered by a garment. The range of resistance varies from wind-resistant to water-proof, with a few levels in between. Since increased "resistancy" comes with descreased breathability, it's very important to match your needs with the garment's capabilities. And if you need a "proof"-level piece, make sure it has good a good amount of "V".
- "N" represents the Neck when considering tops and Waistband when discussing bottoms. A winter apparel item's neck must be both comfortable and functional neck. Zipper "garages" keep the zipper pull from constantly flipping into your neck. A neck with a brushed fabric interior will prevent chafing. Cord management loops and holes will make it possible to keep your phone safe in your pocket. Hoods can be used - or not used - as weather conditions change. Waistbands need to be comfy, too, and adjustable so they can accommodate the tucking of different numbers of layers.
- "S" represents Sleeves for tops and Legs for bottoms. There are more to sleeves than often meet the eye. Integrated thumb loops can hold them in place and offer additional warmth. Integrated fold-over mittens can make carrying extra gear unnecessary. Adjustable wrist closure can protect against cold wind and water. Some sleeves even zip-on/off to accommodate changing weather conditions. Leg features include components such as zippers that make (un)dressing easier, articulated knees for unrestricted motion, and gripper tape that keeps the cuff from riding up and exposing ankles to the cold.
When it's time to upgrade your fall/winter apparel collection, please stop by Fleet Feet Sports and let one of our Fit Professionals help you find pieces that match your needs. If the stars are properly aligned, three- or four-star apparel may be just fine for you, but if you're not going to let winter or darkness slow you down, you'll surely benefit from Vern's Five-Star Apparel!