First Impressions: Menswear Brand Bonobos’ New Line of Athletic Apparel

Bonobos Core Short

I spend what can only be described as an inordinate amount of time on the Bonobos website. I’m not proud of it, exactly, but whatever: I like a lot of their stuff, and I’m always checking in to see what’s been added to the generally robust sale section. 

But anyway, because I spend so much time at the Bonobos website, basically every ad I ever see on any other website I happen to visit is for Bonobos. And so for a few weeks now, I have been very much aware of and curious about GoodSport, their brand new line of athletic apparel, which has been repeatedly jammed down my throat by a very handsome dude with a well-manicured beard who appears to have just completed a grueling workout. 

I was able to test out one of the key pieces of the small collection, their Core Short ($78–$88), which comes in 7″ or 9″ inseam lengths, three solid colors (gray, blue, and black), and one nifty pattern. Most importantly, though, they also come in proper waist sizes, measured by the inch, from 28–40 (including odd sizes), rather than S–XL, to guarantee a more exact fit. And they seem to run pretty true, too, as my regular waist size fit perfectly. 

Even aside from the fit — which, it should be noted, is also nicely slim throughout the leg; no weird ballooning here — there’s a lot to like about these shorts. The zippered phone pocket functions properly and could of course just as easily hold gels or other fuel, and the internal key pocket is a nice addition. But the most welcome feature is the presence external side pockets, particularly useful if you’re one of those people who hangs out in their workout clothes. Or one of those people who uses the word athleisure, which I will go ahead and assume you are not. You’ve also got a mesh panel on the back for added breathability, and an external locker loop, which I really like, but for no apparent reason? There’s also a liner that’s substantial but not… crushing. And a nicely placed, pleasantly bold logo. 

As for how they performed? I wore them twice this past weekend, and I have no complaint. I basically didn’t know they were there during my runs, which is exactly what you should be looking for. And, not to be gross, but they seriously don’t smell at all, even after being pretty well put through their paces — another important factor for the truly lazy among us. 

I was also fortunate enough to get my hands on the Core Hoodie ($148), which I expect to get a lot of wear out of come winter. I wore it briefly while running some pre-run errands on a brisk morning, and I didn’t want to take it off. The jacquard fabric is super soft, and the high neck is especially cozy. The hood fits really well, too.

The other items in the collection are a half-zip pullover presumably perfect for those transitional seasons, and a basic tee that comes in long and short sleeves. I’d confidently recommend picking up any or all of it. 

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