Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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Sustainability is the hallmark of the new Alpha Eco apparel line at Mizuno. In partnership with the National Forest Foundation, each piece of Alpha Eco sold a tree will be planted by Mizuno during the lifecycle of the product’s existence. As Mizuno continues work on the Alpha Eco line, they plan to make the products more and more sustainable year by year. Our team took a full dive into the apparel line to give you thoughts on each piece along with our favorite picks in the line that you should check out.



Ryan wearing the Alpha Eco tee and shorts

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: I love that Mizuno is working to bring more environmentally friendly options to their clothing and does a very good job with the Alpha Eco line. The clothing is extremely comfortable with the added benefit of quick drying properties. The material doesn't cling to your body when wet which adds to the comfort when performing a hard workout or when the weather gets hot. The fit is slightly more relaxed throughout the chest and trunk and I found the material worked well when running and performing a gym workout. The entire clothing line fits slightly long on me but that never affected its performance. The joggers stayed against my legs thanks to the elastic band around the ankle and the shirts just sat slightly lower on my body.

Alpha Eco Unisex Tee:A- (Comfortable shirt that I have worn multiple times when running. The sleeves have a slight elastic band that keeps it tight to my bicep, limiting motion of the material. The material wicks away moisture well and remains comfortable throughout the workout.)

Alpha Eco Long Sleeve: A- (Very similar to the Alpha Eco Tee but with the added sleeves for colder weather. Thumb holes are added into the sleeve that can be used when your hands get cold. I really like this feature and use it very frequently on my runs. Both the Long sleeve and the half zip have a small pocket on the back of the shirt that can hold a gel pack for on the go fuel.)

Alpha Eco Half Zip: A (My favorite piece of the Alpha Eco line. This half zip can be used alone against the skin or with a T-shirt underneath. I have worn it running outdoors when temperatures were above 30℉. I typically throw the Breath Thermo vest or jacket over it when temperatures dip down lower. Like the other pieces in the Alpha Eco series it fits slightly long, landing several inches below my waist line.)

Alpha Eco Joggers: A- (The material used in the Alpha Eco Joggers is soft and cozy. I have worn them for my runs as well as to the gym. The joggers are stretchy enough to do squats and box jumps yet still form fitting for a run. They have also become my go to pants for lounging in the house. They have a reflective band around the ankles which helps with visibility during low light running and zippered side pockets that are big enough to hold a phone. They do fit slightly long on me, most joggers do, as I am only 5’6”.)

Alpha Eco Shorts: B+ (The shorts are comfortable with a built in liner. The material breathes nicely and I have been using them during treadmill runs indoors as the Wisconsin weather does not allow the use of shorts at this time. I did not experience any chafing from the liner and it rests nicely against the skin.

FAVORITE PIECE: Alpha Eco Half zip. The flexibility of the Alpha Eco Half Zip makes it my favorite piece, especially in climates where the weather varies so much. I have worn it alone in 60℉ weather all the way down to 35℉ without feeling too warm or cold. When the temperature drops into the lower 30s℉ I typically pair it with the Alpha Eco Tee underneath. On days below 30℉ I wear the Half zip with the Thermo Blast Vest over for added warmth. There is a reflective band located around each wrist that adds some safety when running in low light. Overall a great piece that comes at a fair price.

Contributor Andrea Myers racing in the alpha eco tee

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: Overall, the Alpha Eco line is made of lightweight, breathable, and comfortable material. The combination of these qualities make the running tops a great option in 45-50 degree weather for both easy runs and harder uptempo workouts. Every piece that I tried in this line of clothing had a pocket for key/card storage which is of great importance to me when choosing what to wear on my runs. In general the width is true to size, however each piece ran significantly longer on me than expected and had to be tucked in to run comfortably.

Alpha Eco Women’s Tee: B (The material of the shirt is breathable and comfortable making this a good option for warmer runs and even indoor workouts. It’s also a great option as a bottom layer for colder days of <40deg. The cuff of the sleeves are a bit tighter around the arms. In terms of fit, the length of the shirt was longer than expected and it had to be tucked into my shorts/pants to run comfortably.)

Alpha Eco Long Sleeve: B+
(The material of the long sleeve shirt is breathable, well-ventilated, and lightweight. It is a great option for runs in the 45-50degree temperature range. The thumb holes are comfortable and improve the fit of the sleeve length. The pocket in the back of the shirt is perfect for key/card storage. Due to the length of the shirt, I had to tuck it in to comfortably run in.)

Alpha Eco Half Zip: A- (The Alpha Eco’s lightweight and well-ventilated material shines in the half zip. The half zip quality in this piece adds to the comfort provided in the Alpha Eco long sleeve. The thumb holes are comfortable and the added pocket in the back is perfect for storage of a key and/or a gel if necessary. I’ve been grabbing for this shirt on a lot of my colder tempo runs due to it’s breathability and comfortable fit. As with the other tops in the Alpha Eco line, this shirt sits longer on me than my other running tops and has to be tucked in for comfort.)

Alpha Eco Joggers: A- (The comfort of the Alpha Eco line continues in the joggers. The flexibility of the fabric adds to the comfort throughout. Despite being a bit longer than expected, they are a comfortable option as warm-up pants for a race or a workout. The ankle zippers make it easier to pull on/off over shoes which is convenient when trying to stay warm right up until the start of a race or workout!)

Alpha Eco Shorts: B- (These ended up being too long and big around the waist for me to run in. However, walking around in them, the material feels light and comfortable. An important quality in running shorts is having a pocket for storage and the back pocket in the Alpha Eco shorts is big enough to hold my phone, key, and a credit card.)

FAVORITE PIECE: Alpha Eco Half Zip. The combination of the lightweight and breathable qualities of the Alpha Eco material make it a great option for harder/uptempo runs as well as easier runs. It fits well on its own but allows the option to add a shirt underneath on the colder days. The thumb holes and back pocket are additional benefits for comfort and storage, respectively.


Andrea wearing the Alpha Eco tee during her Turkey Trot
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: I really enjoyed testing the Alpha Eco line. The material is lightweight, mildly stretchy, has excellent wicking, and does not chafe. The reflective details on all of the clothing is a nice touch and greatly appreciated for enhanced visibility. The small back pockets on the tops are an uncommon feature and one that I really appreciate, as not all women’s running bottoms have key pockets. The material is versatile and performs well in 20-50 degree weather depending on layering choices. I would recommend that Mizuno fine tune the length of the tops for improved performance. Overall, Alpha Eco is a solid clothing line that I would recommend.

Alpha Eco Singlet: B+ (I really like the Alpha Eco material for its low weight, breathability, and mild stretch. It wicks sweat extremely well and never has the wet trash bag feel of other singlets when wet. I also appreciate the reflective trim around the arms and the reflective logos on the front and back. The small back pocket is a great detail and fits a key nicely. The singlet is longer than I would prefer for training or racing.)

Alpha Eco Women’s Tee: B+ (This is a great short sleeve running top that fits and performs very similar to the singlet and long sleeve. The lightweight Alpha Eco material wicks well and does not get weighed down as you sweat. The reflective details around the arms and the reflective logos on the front and back improve visibility. I love the small back pocket, which is something you do not see very often in a short sleeve running top. I used this top for a Turkey Trot and was very pleased with its overall performance - no chafing or excessive movement. The top is longer than I would prefer for racing or training.)

Alpha Eco Long Sleeve: B+ (This is a nice stand alone or layering piece for cool or cold weather. I have worn it on long runs in low 40 degree weather and under a jacket in high 20 degree weather. The excellent wicking properties and the low weight of the Alpha Eco material make this top a great choice across a range of temperatures. I like the reflective details around the wrists and the reflective logos on the front and back of the top. The small back pocket is really nice for a key, especially when wearing tights or shorts that do not have a key pocket. My main recommendation for improvement would be to shorten the length of the top.)

Alpha Eco Shorts: B- (The fit of these shorts was off for me. I have a long torso, and the shorter length of the brief made it uncomfortable to wear these shorts above my hip bones (ASIS). These shorts may fit people who have a shorter torso better. The material is mildly stretchy and lightweight, and the back zipper pocket has plenty of room for keys, gels, and a phone. There is a nice reflective strip on the back of the shorts for visibility.)

FAVORITE PIECE: Alpha Eco Women’s Tee. High quality short sleeve running tops can be hard to come by - it seems companies focus more on singlets and long sleeves and forget about making a nice short sleeve option. The Alpha Eco Women’s Tee has many great features, including a high performance fabric, reflective details, and a key pocket that isn’t found on many running tops. I wore this top for a Turkey Trot in 38 degree temperatures and was very pleased with its performance as compared to other short sleeve tops that I own.

Social Media wizard wearing the tee and shorts
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS. For this early iteration of the Alpha Eco, what I noticed was how incredibly thin and lightweight they were able to get the whole line. Everything is very feathery thin and breathes tremendously well, which folks in humid environments will really love. There is one thing to consider though: everything runs a bit long. Consider sizing up down at least a half size in all products if you can. I would love for Mizuno to add a XS option for men in the future or work on dialing the fit in a little tighter.

Alpha Eco Unisex Tee: B (Love the thin material that runs throughout the Alpha Eco line. My biggest issue is sizing. It runs quite long, at least a half size, if not a full. The clothing provides nice mobility throughout and is super breathable.There uniquely are some gel pockets in the back which is truly next level. The one caveat to the tee is some slightly aggressive seams in the back that I do feel. It didn't really bother me, but I think anyone who prefers a seamless shirt will find this noticeable.)

Alpha Eco Long Sleeve: A- (Very lightweight material. A basic long sleeve that is thin and nice for 45-60 degree weather and good for layering underneath things like the half zip as it is so thin. Fits closer true to size)

Alpha Eco Half Zip: A- (The half zip is my favorite piece of the Alpha Eco line. Very thin and breathable which makes it nice for moderate temperatures. It does run a touch long though. I recommend sizing down if possible, but true to size is very doable. See below for more!)

Alpha Eco Joggers: A- (Very nice, soft, comfortable joggers for easy runs. These do run a half size large in length. The cuffs at the bottom do help mitigate that some for those in the smallest size though. The joggers feel fantastic at colder temperatures. I've enjoyed them for all days roughly 50 F and below. Anything warmer and it runs a touch hot)

Alpha Eco Shorts: B
(These do fit true to size. Super thin and lightweight. These do sacrifice pockets in the front for added lightness and mobility. I enjoyed movement in these and found them to be really breathability. There is a small zipper pocket in the back for keys. I personally do like to have some more pockets in my shorts, so it doesn't quite pass for me, but I think people who want a performance short will enjoy these)
FAVORITE PIECE: Alpha Eco Half Zip. Of the Alpha Eco line, I fond the half zip to be the most interesting. A very thin material, it makes the half zip well-suited to upper 30s to 50 degree weather (more if you decide to just wear the half zip, which is soft enough), which is absolutely perfect for Winters in the American South. Layered with their long sleeve on cold days or short sleeve on the warmer end, the half zip is a breathable, comfortable material that fits best out of the bunch (half sizing down is still recommended) and has nice features like thumb holes which helps get you through the first breezy mile while you are warming up. A lot of cool weather gear tends to be too warm in the later parts of runs when you are exerting heat. This one manages to do a better job of staying comfortable so you can just focus on your run and not worry about having to rip it off in the middle of your effort.

Nathan in the Alpha Eco Half Zip
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: The Alpha Eco is an overall lightweight, comfortable running apparel line that fits just slightly long, but is well cut for the other dimensions like in the sleeves and chest. In terms of price point, it sits slightly cheaper than some of the top end gear like rabbit, which I think accurately represents the comfort, performance, and quality of the line. This gives the gear good value at its set price. The material is lighter and more breathable than much of the other gear I’ve worn, which allows for full mobility and comfort with any kind of run. The push by Mizuno to improve the eco-friendliness is also very appreciable in this whole line

Alpha Eco Unisex Tee: A- (A very lightweight shirt with a well fitting sleeves in terms of length and tightness. The chest has a comfortable fit as well as it is neither restrictive nor too loose. The length is slightly long, but given how light it is the length does not get in the way.)

Alpha Eco Long Sleeve: A-
(This is made of the same material as the short sleeve and is very lightweight and thin. The cut works well, with the chest being secure but not tight. The sleeves rest about an inch past the wrist, and the reflective strip gives a bit of structure that holds the sleeve above your watch if you want the watch visible during a run. Similar to the Short Sleeve, it fits a bit long.)

Alpha Eco Half Zip: A (This piece carries the same material as the Tees into half zip form and the combination of this with a tee underneath was perfect for the 30s and upper 20s here in Wisconsin. It is very light and is a great second layer for both daily runs and workouts. There were no restrictions in the shoulders or chest, allowing for full mobility with bigger arm swings even with another layer underneath.)

Alpha Eco Shorts: A- (Not to be a broken record, but Alpha Eco material is super lightweight and these 5” shorts are great training shorts. There are no restrictions during hip motion and the waistband is very comfortable and non-abrasive. The back pocket can fit my iPhone SE, but it is not very secure and bounces around quite a bit and I would rather carry it in my hand than put it in the pocket. The zipper is also a little sticky and doesn’t easily open/close on the run.)

Alpha Eco 2-in1: A (The 7” 2-in-1 shorts are very different from what I usually use as they are a bit longer and have a half tight underneath the short. They work well in slightly cooler temps (upper thirties and 40s) due to the half tights liner. I also enjoy these for days where I’m working out in the gym as it gives a bit of compression around the hips and thighs. The half tights are on the thicker end and the top Alpha Eco shorts are very thin.)

FAVORITE PIECE: Alpha Eco Half Zip. The Alpha Eco Half Zip is so lightweight and has great dimensions that make it a very versatile top layer. It can easily fit either a long or short sleeve base layer underneath and even two if needed for slightly cooler weather. It is comfortable and does not restrict any motion when picking up the pace, and is breathable enough as your body warms up during harder efforts. I also appreciate the subtle design elements with the textured stripes and reflective elements throughout each side of the piece.


David in the Alpha Eco Half Zip and Joggers
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: One consistent thing I noticed with the Alpha Eco line of apparel is that the length of the apparel does seem to run a little on the long side past the beltline. The sleeves and collars all appear to have good dimensions and a balanced feel to them. The material itself is a really breathable and thin mesh while still feeling like it has enough coverage to wear for some light daily wear to keep you warm. The Breath Thermo pieces of apparel certainly do keep you warm in any temperatures especially when coupled with movement. All of the materials in the new apparel line from Mizuno are incredibly comfortable and of high quality.

Alpha Eco Singlet: B (The material itself is really nice and breathable and lies on the skin nicely. The singlet did have a tendency to slide across the shoulders when running however. The seam along the back also is noticeable and can be a little annoying at times, otherwise great singlet and a really promising material.)

Alpha Eco Unisex Tee: A- (This is the same material as the singlet but the cut works much better. The length does appear to be a little long vertically but the sleeves and collar fit well. Overall a breathable running tee I keep reaching for.)

Alpha Eco Half Zip: A (The half zip works really well for me. The material is thin enough and breathable enough to run fast workouts in it without over heating, however warm enough to keep on for both warm ups or runs when the weather is a little cooler. It really shines in that 40-50 degree weather range.)

Alpha Eco Joggers: A
(The joggers work really well for me. The fitting through the thigh region is fitted but still provides a lot of room to open up your stride and feel comfortable without being restricted. The taper distally also is placed nicely and keeps the sweats from swaying in that region. The zippers also seem to work pretty well and these have become a go to for warm ups.)

Alpha Eco Shorts: B+ (Overall the shorts are really nice. The material is light and airy throughout. The length is nice as well however the lateral sides of the shorts could probably have a slight split in them distally to help with some leg movement. At easy paces I felt ok running in these shorts but I certainly could feel the material pulling a little bit when having my stride fully open and running faster.)

FAVORITE PIECE: Alpha Eco Half Zip.
The Alpha Eco Half Zip is the most versatile piece of clothing in the lineup (though the Tee is a very close second for me). The material is certainly thin enough and breathable enough to do higher performance activities in it without overheating. The material is also comfortable enough to do normal easy efforts in the piece with the utmost comfort without ever having to take it off. For someone like me that normally runs early in the morning this is a very nice piece of apparel to have in the lineup.


Alpha Eco Joggers
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: The Alpha Eco Line is made up of incredibly comfortable material that on the whole fits slightly long and large. This made most of the line best as casual wear, warm ups or easy day apparel, with the exception of the Alpha Eco Half Zip.

Alpha Eco Unisex Tee: B+
(A breathable Tee with a comfortable material that disappears on the run, the Alpha Eco Unisex Tee fits slightly large and long, making for a great easy day shirt when the weather warms up. Breathability is high in this material and works exceptionally well as a base layer for warmer jackets.

Alpha Eco Long Sleeve: A- (A long sleeve that fits true to size with incredibly comfortable material, the Alpha Eco Long Sleeve has been one of my go to apparel pieces over that last week. The material is so comfortable and feels great on a variety of efforts. Although not quite warm enough for my morning runs, this is the perfect LS for those in between temperature days and has been my go to during lunch runs)

Alpha Eco Half Zip: A
(The best piece of clothing I have tried in a while, the Alpha Eco Half Zip fits comfortably with a thin material that can handle a variety of weather and paces. This has been my go-to piece of apparel for easy runs, workouts and even casual days. The material is comfortable against the skin and works as both an overshirt or the main shirt. The lightness makes it especially good for workouts and even when I start sweating, I still feel like it is keeping my body at a stable temperature)

Alpha Eco Joggers: B+ (Extremely comfortable material with a wider waist that tapers at the legs. I found the waist to fit a bit wide, although I was able to tighten the belt loop lace to lock things down a little better. The zippered pockets are particularly solid, with tons of room for phone, keys or whatever else you need. A great warm pair of pants before a workout or race when you might need your phone or wallet to check in for a bib. Also great as a post run pant when you need to stay warm)

Alpha Eco Shorts: B+ (I normally hate any shorts that are longer than 3”, but the 5” Alpha Eco Shorts have managed to make their way into my easy run routine. With excellent flexibility and range of motion, these shorts feel light on the legs and provide comfort on days when I am not running fast. Even when the pace picks up, the lack of a split didn’t bother me too much. So as a more conservative short for those who don’t want split shorts, these will be perfect. The large rear zipper pocket is also great, with plenty of room for keys and nutrition on long easy runs.)

FAVORITE PIECE: Alpha Eco Half Zip
. As someone who still attempts hard workouts a few times a week, having a piece of apparel that is comfortable, stays secure and can handle faster efforts (relative to me..) is important. The Alpha Eco Half Zip does this well as a performance half zip that seems to perfectly regulate my upper body temperature no matter how hard or easy I am going. Although not the best for extremely cold days, it works perfectly for Southern California weather days. The versatility to be either a main shirt or overshirt is rare in this type of apparel, but only further solidifies why this is my favorite piece from this line.

Alpha Eco Line Items Reviewed
Singlet: $31.95
Long Sleeve: $40.95
Half Zip: $49.95

2-in-1 7" Short: $65.00
Short: $40.95

Find Mizuno's Alpha Eco men's line at Running Warehouse here.
(Affiliate link)

Find Mizuno's Alpha Eco women's line at Mizuno USA.
(Non-affiliate link)

Products were provided by Mizuno Running USA for the purpose of review.

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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