A Closer Look at Zippers, an Unsung Hero in Running Apparel


We take zippers for granted on a daily basis. Take a moment to count the number of zippers in your current outfit. Chances are, you are wearing at least one right now. And if not, your backpack, purse, or gym bag most likely features a zipper in some shape or form. Zippers are pretty amazing and they haven’t been around forever. I mean, we’re talking just over 100 years since the modern day zipper was invented in 1913.

It’s no wonder zippers have made it into almost every facet of our clothed lives. Even running clothes feature zippers in various forms, from ankle zippers to half zip long sleeves to zippered jackets. When it comes to running gear, however, there is a greater demand on zippers. Ankle zippers allow you to easily get those running tights (men’s | women’s) on and off. Half zip long sleeves (men’s | women’s) are perfect for giving you extra ventilation when you need it. And zippered jackets (men’s | women’s) provide you with a layer of protection. These zippers have an important job and they are often overlooked because they do their job so well. Let’s look at a few features that zippers on running apparel may have that you may not have realized – until now.

Zipper Garage – This little fabric housing for the zipper pull-tab holds it in place as you run, preventing the zipper from slowly opening up. The zipper garage also provides a buffer between your skin and the zipper car, which could cause an abrasion or chafing as you run.



zipper_wind_flapWind Flap – An extra flap of fabric that keeps the cold out, and acts as an extra barrier between you and the zipper for multiple reasons. Zippers don’t form a perfect seal, and also if you don’t have another layer underneath, the zipper could irritate your skin!



sauc_w_exo_jacket_waterproof_zipWaterproof Treatment – To ensure complete waterproof and windproof protection, zippers need an extra treatment on the outside so that they form a more complete seal.




Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 9.02.50 AMLock-Down Zipper – Also called a “semi-automatic slider”, these zipper pull tabs stay securely locked down to the zipper itself when they are in the down position. The pull tab isn’t literally “locked”, but this mechanism helps keep it from getting caught on anything or moving around while you run.

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