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Saysky Apparel Review: Scandinavian Styling Meets Running
A Doctors of Running Team Editorial

Saysky is an apparel company out of the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. The name comes from the phrase "Look up at the sky and be a star," meaning to be brave and take risks to achieve your dreams. The brand aims to bring performance with Scandinavian urban styling. Combining classic minimalism attributed to this part of the world with light materials, this is some seriously good-looking apparel for anyone wanting a streamlined style. In this review, we take a look at several pieces of Saysky's signature line-up to discuss how well they perform and how well they've held up after two months of heavy testing from our team.


Saysky Items Tested in this Review
Combat T-shirt
Classic Pace Long Sleeve
5" Pace Shorts
Track Combat Singlet

Skull White Combat T-Shirt with Pace Shorts


Combat T-Shirt
Price: $60
Material: 100% Polyester

Andrea Myers, Contributor: I received a size small of the Combat T-shirt, which fit true to size. The shirt hits at my hips and is semi-fitted. It tapers at the waist, but is loose enough around the ribcage to easily accommodate a heart rate strap without being constrictive. The waffle material has enough stretch that it does not restrict arm swing. Often, running short sleeve shirts are either too tight and restrict breathing and arm motion, or too loose and feel like you are wearing a bag. This shirt strikes the right balance between freedom of movement and a tailored fit. The fabric is extremely lightweight, breathable, and dries quickly. I tested it on several runs in the upper 40s and low-mid 50s and found it ideal for those temperatures. I tend to wear sleeveless tops once the temperature gets in the upper 50s. This shirt could also function as a lightweight base layer under a jacket in cooler temperatures. The white material is partially see-through and becomes very transparent when wet. I like the look of wearing a bright colored sports bra under a partially transparent shirt like the Combat T-shirt, but others may prefer a top that provides more coverage. I did not have any issues with chafing in this shirt. The neck opening is larger than many running tees, which I liked for the enhanced breathability. The shirt has remained bright white after several washes, but I have been careful to only wash it with other light colored clothing. Overall, this is a well made technical short sleeve t-shirt that fits well, has excellent breathability, and allows for freedom of movement.

Fit: A
(Fit is true to size, has a tailored fit without restricting movement)
Performance: A (Excellent breathability, wicking, and allows freedom of movement)
Comfort: A (No chafing and wicking material keeps sweat away from skin)
Overall: A (Great fit, breathability, and style makes this one of my new favorite short sleeve running tops)

Bach Pham, Content Manager: The Universe Combat T-Shirt is one of my all-time favorite running shirts I’ve worn so far. It has a unique waffle pattern on the interior side which allows it to never cling to my body. This helped greatly with keeping me feeling cool despite having sleeves, but the fit was also excellent and doesn’t feel baggy. The shirt is 100% polyester and runs very light on the body. I didn’t have any issues with chafing of any kind with the Combat tee, and after a month of heavy use it has held up well to washing. From a performance standpoint, I felt the shirt was excellent for easy days, but for workouts perhaps a little too loose. I do prefer something more clinging or a singlet for hard workouts to give my arms more mobility. The shirt feels just a touch more on the relaxed side for those harder efforts.  

The gray colorway I received for review has a very edgy look that goes well with dark shorts. I felt more than comfortable going from run to coffee or beer afterwards because of how great the design looks. I would absolutely casually wear this shirt as the material just doesn’t look technical at all despite how well it performs.  

Fit: A (Excellent combination of quality fit on body, but room for breathing)
Performance: A- (Great easy day shirt. I prefer a fitted shirt for workouts and this feels relatively relaxed)
Comfort: A (It doesn’t look comfortable, but gets the job done and does a great job at what it promises)
Overall: A (I love the look of the universe combat tee and its versatility in that regard. This will be in my regular rotation for a long time to come)

 

Pace Long Sleeve


Classic Pace Long Sleeve
Price: $75
Material: 46% recycled polyester / 46% polyester / 8% spandex.

Nathan Brown, Senior Contributor: I was sent a size small of the Classic Pace Long Sleeve, whereas I typically wear a medium. That said, I have overall enjoyed the fit and comfort despite being a size down. There is enough stretch where I did not feel much restriction in the shoulders or under the arms at any point, and it was not overly compressive around the chest. I appreciate having good mobility while running and there was just enough extra material to be able to use this for both easy runs and a few workouts without feeling overly restricted. That said, I would prefer this shirt in my typical size M and would not recommend sizing down unless you like a snug fit. Despite being down a half size, I had no issues with rubbing or irritation. Typically I used this when the temperatures were in the 30s and 40s degrees F. Anything below that, the Classic Pace Long Sleeve could function as a nice base layer, particularly since I’m a size down and it fits a bit more snug. Anything above 40 deg there is be just a bit too much material to stay cool, particularly since this is more snug and air flow cannot help keep me cool as well. Personally I appreciate a shirt that can be just thrown in with the normal laundry, and this allows you to throw it in with like colors and simply avoid using the dryer, so that’s a big plus. I also find that some performance-oriented clothing can smell bad quite easily, but that isn’t the case here. I’m a bit gross in that I’ll wear the same shirt for 3-4 runs before washing it, and this is one of those that I can do it without my running friends or wife noticing…too much.

Overall the Classic Pace Long Sleeve provides a crossover of comfort and performance in cooler temperatures with a fit that allows runners to select a typical size for comfort and a size down to transition towards a more base layer fit. 

Fit: A- (Very comfortable material, no irritation, but just a tad snug a size down)
Performance: A (Spans a good amount of temperatures and moves well with appropriate fit for both easy and harder runs, seems odor resistant)
Comfort: B+ (In the size I had, just a tad bit snug, but material is soft and the right amount of stretch)
Overall:  A-

Ryan Flugaur, Contributor: 
The Saysky Classic Pace Long Sleeve has become a staple shirt during my low temperature morning runs. It performs best in temperatures ranging from 30-45 degrees F but have also worn it as a base layer when the temperature dips lower. My men’s size small fits true to size for me in both length and width. The material feels soft against the skin and stretches nicely to accommodate motion for the arms and trunk. After several washes, the shirt continues to look and feel just the same as the day I received it (I wash my workout laundry on a gentle cycle and never place it in the dryer). The overall feel of the shirt feels well-made and high end, similar to brands Lululemon, Vuori, and Rabbit. One small recommendation I have is to include thumb holes to help keep hands warm. Typically, when I am wearing a shirt of this thickness, the temperature is around 40 degrees and I choose not to wear gloves. I will use the thumb holes to keep my hands warm at the beginning of a run and remove them after a few miles once my hands have warmed up. Overall, the Saysky Classic Pace Long Sleeve is a well-fitting and comfortable shirt true to size best used for cooler temperatures.

Fit: A ( Fits true to size and allows space for movement of arms and trunk without feeling restrictive)
Performance: A- (Great running shirt but can also function as a nice base layer for everyday activities. Would love a thumbhole for colder weather, but maybe that's just me)
Comfort: A (No issues with rubbing or chafing. Material feels soft against the skin)
Overall: A (Overall a great fitting and comfortable long sleeve that continues to look new even after many washes)


Grey Universe Combat Shirt and Pace Shorts


Saysky 5" Pace Shorts 
Price: $75
Material: 88% Polyester / 12% Spandex

Megan Flynn, Contributor: The Saysky Women’s Pace 2-in-1 Shorts are a versatile pair of shorts that can be used for running or strength training. The shorts are designed with two layers – the bottom layer being a tighter spandex-type feel, while the top layer being a loose fitting design. The inside layer is made of a polyamide material while the outside is made of 88% polyester and 12% spandex. The shorts feature two gel pockets which were actually able to hold four gels in total (I used Maurten gels, for reference). The pockets are on the inside of the shorts which means the gels don’t move at all while running; however, it could be a little uncomfortable pressing directly against the skin. A potential option for the future design could be to have the pockets between the layers with an external access. This would decrease the discomfort of gels being pressed into contact with the skin and also make the pockets more easily accessible. The multiple pockets give these shorts potential for longer runs/workouts and are also a great place to store a key/card/ID if needed. The internal compression short improved the comfort by reducing any rubbing from the external fabric, without adding too much to the weight of the shorts. The fit was a little bigger for me in terms of length and width, but the adjustable drawstring accounted for the loose-fit of the waist. The length was a bit longer than my normal running shorts but is not a deal-breaker for me. This is the first pair of multi-layer shorts I’ve run in and was surprised at how comfortable I found them. They wouldn’t be my first choice for faster runs/workouts, but are a great option for easy short/long runs.

Fit: B+ (The fit was decent, but slightly longer than my typical running shorts and wider at the waist)
Performance: B+ (The gel pockets are an excellent feature, however caused some irritation with the gels being pressed directly to the skin. Making the pockets between the two layers is a good option for future designs)
Comfort: A- (To my surprise, I really liked the spandex-like feel of the internal layer. It increased the comfort and avoided any rubbing/friction from the external loose-fitting material)
Overall: B+ (The material is comfortable and lightweight. They’re a great option for easier runs with pockets for storage of gels, keys, cards, etc.)

Ryan Flugaur, Contributor: The Saysky Mens 5” pace shorts are a comfortable pair of running shorts with a built-in liner. I have worn the shorts for easy runs, tempo runs, workouts, and strength training. The material is comfortable with a slight amount of stretch. The fit is slightly tighter than similar shorts, especially around the quadriceps, as the material hugs my legs similar to that of a compression short. For those individuals with larger quads or that dislike tight-fitting shorts, you may want to look elsewhere or size up. As these shorts do fit tight, workouts and faster runs felt a bit restrictive as the material pulls against the skin but at slower paces, I had no issues and appreciated the tighter fit. I found the internal liner comfortable and without chafing on my longer runs. There is a small zippered back pocket large enough for gels, cash, keys, or a card. It is not large enough to fit my cell phone. After multiple washes the material looks new without pilling or blemishes, but I wash my workout laundry on a gentle cycle and never place it in the dryer.

Overall, the Saysky 5” pace shorts are a comfortable pair of workout shorts best reserved for long or slower paced runs.

Fit: B+ (Tighter fit making it a bit more restrictive at faster paces)
Performance: B+ ( Lightweight and breathable material. Small external back pocket is nice for carrying keys, gels, or a card)
Comfort: A (Liner prevents chafing and is comfortable against the skin.)
Overall: B+ (These shorts will remain in my rotation for my easier run days where the tighter fit doesn't bother me)

Bach Pham, Content Manager: The Pace Shorts are tremendously comfortable. At the sacrifice of front pockets, the shorts come in a thin material that keeps it flexible in the front while providing a key and gel pocket in the back. There are two inner gel pockets that don't look like they should be able to hold a gel, but surprisingly slide any brand I've tried right in. You do feel the gel a little though, so I often opted to use my belt instead which I take on long runs, but these can absolutely handle it in a pinch. The gels are very easy to pull out mid-run and the secure waist helps kept the gels feel locked in and not holding you down with the added weight.

The fit, for me, was perfect at the waist and for 5' felt just slightly shorter which I did not mind at all. The shorts fit above my knee and feels a bit closer to 3-4'. An inner liner helps keep the shorts feeling locked in while the outer layer moves fairly freely. These have been my go-to long run shorts for many weeks now and do a great job of breathing even on the most humid of days.  The shorts are fast to dry out in the South Carolina sun and for me took a few solid runs before needing to be washed (this is very individual dependent, but for me I had no problems getting three to four runs before a wash was needed as long as I air-dried them after runs). They've held up to washes well and did not shrink at all after first wash. If you are a speedster looking for the absolute mobility for racing or workouts, you may want to look into split shorts or tights, but for most people these shorts will get the majority of your work done. My only complaint was that the yellow pair was maybe a bit aggressive of a color for me when pairing with clothing. I definitely preferred the Black Pace Shorts which were easier to dress. If you love yellow though, look no further.

Fit: A (Fits securely around waist. Liner does a good job of keeping shorts dialed in while material is light and breathable. Runs a tiny bit shorter than 5')
Performance: A (The lightness of the material is excellent. The shorts do a good job of clinging to the body and helping you feel very natural on the move while protected)
Comfort: A (I've come back from runs and just relaxed in them for awhile due to their comfort. The liner doesn't bunch or feel intrusive at all and there's no chaffing issues)
Overall: A (Exceptional shorts I will be using as a standard bearer moving forward)


Culture Corner: A Brief on Scandinavian Design

As a movement, Scandinavian design started in the early 20th century and became the signature of several countries in the area. The Danish Selskabet for Dekorativ Kunst (Company for Decorating Arts) launched a magazine in 1914 called Graceful Work which helped begin the fuel for a lot of the minimal design aesthetics that would shape what we know as Scandinavian design. The art puts an emphasis on the combination of harmony, which often brings in much of the minimalism it is known for, along with a strong belief in function and qualities to help make the item or structure long-lasting. 
We often think of Swiss culture in particular with this form of art. Emerging out of the 1950s, Swiss graphic design schools emphasized a form following function, rather than over function mentality to their work. Their design is no surprise when it came to the Eastern European block of influence that was present in the country (Netherland’s De Stiji block geometry design, the squareness of Bauhaus architecture being two major influences). Over the years, “Swiss Engineering” and design only became more and more reformed in the nation, focusing on tight-knit, stripped back construction, solid colors and geometric patterns, and strong block writing that’s clear and efficient in delivering its messaging. Today Scandinavian design has become a global favorite. Businesses like Ikea have helped make the style permeate into everything from furniture to clothing, art, and even building design abroad. Design teams have embraced a lot of the simplicity in it and how it also helps make art and words standout prominently. 


The Track Singlet


Saysky Track Combat Singlet
Price: $50-$55
Material: 100% Polyester

Andrea Myers, Contributor: The Clean Combat Singlet has the same high-performance wicking material as the Combat T-shirt. I received a size small, which fit true to size. The singlet fits closer to the body, but does not restrict movement or breathing in any way. It is on the longer side, hitting just below my hips. I have a long torso relative to my height (5’7”), so normally tops are a little short on me. This top may be too long for those with a shorter torso. The singlet stays in place while running and I did not have any issues with chafing, even on a 14 mile run. I tested it in temperatures ranging from 60-80F and was very pleased with its wicking and breathability.  The racer back has a narrow strip of material that runs between the shoulder blades, allowing excellent ventilation of the upper back and freedom of upper extremity motion. The arm openings are cut a little loose, which also reduces the chance of chafing. I really like the yellow color of the top, which provides excellent visibility when running on the roads. Overall, this is an excellent running singlet that provides superior wicking, breathability, and fit. I will definitely get a lot of use out of this top during the warm weather months.

Fit: A- (fit is true to size, not loose or constrictive, but will be too long for those with a shorter torso)
Performance: A (superior wicking, breathability, and fit for long or hard efforts)
Comfort: A (soft waffle material is very comfortable on the skin, no chafing)
Overall: A (one of my new favorite sleeveless running tops)

Megan Flynn, Contributor: The Saysky Clean Combat Singlet is designed to be a racing singlet and is composed of 100% polyester which offers lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking qualities. Saysky’s combat material is designed specifically for warm-weather racing featuring a waffle-like interior that reduces the fabric’s ability to cling to your skin while also allowing for quick-drying features. I see a lot of companies claim that their material is “moisture-wicking” however, nine times out of ten I don’t notice that feature. The Saysky Combat material actually fills that role and is noticeable while running in warm temperatures, making it a great option for races and workouts in hotter temperatures. I generally choose to run in a sports bra over a tank top because a lot of running tanks tend to keep too much heat in and don’t allow for proper ventilation. The combat singlet is actually one of few running tanks that I would run in on a hot summer day because it actually does provide adequate ventilation and is light enough that it doesn’t feel as if it is weighing you down. The fit is true to size with mild elastic properties which increases the flexibility of the fabric and improves the fit. It is slightly long on me, but I am on the shorter side at 5’ 2” so most running clothes tend to run slightly long on me. It is slightly fitted so it does not move while running, however isn’t too snug in any area. I tend to prefer tank tops that offer some room for movement and aren’t too tight, and the Combat Singlet is perfect for me in terms of fit. The arm openings are larger/wider than typical women’s running tank tops which reduces the risk of chafing. On top of the fit and fabric being top-notch, I am a huge fan of the color I was sent to test – Empire Yellow – which is similar to a sunflower yellow.  There are two woven labels on the outside of the singlet – one in the front and one in the back. Saysky probably could’ve done just one woven label and that would’ve been enough, but isn’t a dealbreaker for me by any means. Overall, the design and material of the Clean Combat Singlet makes it a great option for warm-temperature running and it will definitely become a regular item in my summer training wardrobe.

Fit: A- (Fit is true to size while allowing room for movement. It is not snug in any area which is a big plus for me, but maybe a bit long.)
Performance: A- (The material follows through with its promise of being lightweight, moisture wicking, and well-ventilated which makes it a great option for workouts and races)
Comfort: A (The material is very comfortable and does not cling to sweaty skin. The polyester material and waffle-type weaving design improve the comfort and softness of the fabric)
Overall: A- (I enjoyed running in this singlet and will continue to train in it through the hot summer months)

David Salas, Senior Contributor: The Saysky Track Combat Singlet is a performance singlet that still blends a little bit of lifestyle flare. The material is a lightweight mesh with a little bit of texture that is light on skin and doesn’t weigh you down. The singlet certainly leans running but could double as a tank if you feel inclined. The fit throughout is true to size in my Men’s M but does lean a tad wide through the shoulders. Thanks to the textured feel of it there is not much sliding around at all. The light weight and moisture wicking properties have done great for me when running in situations that normally make me sweat much more. I have been really happy with the weight and ability to wick moisture. One thing that is a tiny bit annoying is there is a side stitch with the logo that occasionally I have some abrasion with when running as my shoulder moves into extension. It feels almost like brushing the side of your bib in a race, but a little more pleasant. It’s not all the time and I can live with it though.

Fit: B+ (Wide through the shoulders, stitched logo on side/back gets abrasion by my arm sometimes when running)
Performance: A- (the texture helps with making up for the slightly wide shoulders and flaring, great moisture wicking ability even in humidity, the stitch does seems to make me flare occasionally to avoid hitting it)
Comfort: B+/A- (I keep reaching for it so there’s that. One of my favorite singlets to workout and do long runs in, though I don’t race with it. The material is light and holds well, the graphics are fun to play with and accessorize with other pieces. Very light on the skin, though the material itself could be a tad less course to rest feel even softer on skin)
Overall: B+/A- (A really well done singlet with some minor fit issues on the shoulders and a little side stitch. Material could be a little softer on skin, but the weight and moisture wicking ability is very very well done and make up for that)

 

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