La Sportiva Running Top Review

502D5021-5BC3-4EF5-961C-B28DF5AACBDAThe winter is well and truly entrenched now; skies are grey, everything feels damp and mud permeates my trainers, leggings, kitchen and car. But this year doesn’t seem as bad as last year, I don’t seem to be feeling it all quite as much.
I’ve always been a bit tight on kit. My money goes on race entry fees, gloves and decent trainers. It had never really occurred to me just how important a running top is. I’ve got a few, they seem to be ok, if I get cold I just layer up a bit.
That was until I finally got a La Sportiva Neptune 2.0 Base Layer from the Centurion Running Store. When it arrived, if felt like it was going to be comfortable but also felt thick so I was worried that, on some days it would be too warm. You know those days, not quite cold enough for winter kit but too cold for summer stuff.
It was one of those days when I first went out in it and I immediately thought ‘this is brilliant’. I didn’t get too hot at all, as soon as I felt myself warming a bit too much I just pushed the sleeves up and they stayed there. This sounds like a daft thing to be excited about but, I find with running tops, the sleeves are either so tight that it’s impossible to push the sleeves up or so loose that I am constantly pushing them up to cool down.
Then there are the thumb holes. Look like a bit of a gimmick but they aren’t at all. The reason that I spend proper money on gloves is that my hands get debilitatingly cold in no time at all; once they are cold, I just can’t warm them up and which is painful and annoying when I can’t do the basics like turn my phone on or do up a zip. The thumb holes mean that, on those in between days I just hook my thumbs into the thumb holes and there is no need for gloves at all. I have been told that the key to warm hands is warm wrists but this has been revolutionary for me. So much easier to move my thumbs in and out rather than put gloves off and on. I wouldn’t have thought that a top could replace gloves, on a really cold day, it doesn’t but often it’s enough. On those really cold days, gloves and the thumb bits work a treat.
Most importantly, it’s warm. Last year, heading out for a cold 20 miler meant 20 miles of struggling to get warm or over heating because I had too many layers on. This top just keeps me at the right temperature. Occasionally I have put a buff on (another great bit of kit), but that’s largely been it. I get cold ridiculously easily and am often seen at the school gate wearing two puffer jackets, yet I can confidently head out in just this top and know that I will be fine.
With all things long distance running, it’s the small things which make a massive difference and this top has made this winter and, presumably the spring a little bit easier to cope with.

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