Here are 10 of the most questionable looks spotted at races—or just around our office. Don't expect to see them on the cover of Runner's World anytime soon—this is where real-life running takes a sharp detour from a flashy shoe commercial.
Photos by Robert Reese
Toe Shoes With Tall Socks1 of 11
Society as a whole has long since declared the "separated toe" look disconcerting, but what happens when you up the ante by adding socks? What started as a sensible approach to minimalism and warmth results in the worst combination of two fashion abominations—flip-flops with socks, and toe shoes in general. Sorry, world.
Tucking in a T-Shirt2 of 11
Tucking is generally for more formal occasions, so unless you're headed to a weird running gala in one of those iron-on tuxedo T-shirts, it's probably best to just wear a top that fits.
Tri Suit in a Single-Sport Race3 of 11
It's hard to know what Tri Suit Guy is trying to communicate with this oft-spotted 5K look. Is he proclaiming his love of multisport to the world? Was this the only clean techwear he had? Does he know something about the course the rest of us don't?
Running Shirtless in a Blizzard4 of 11
There's always that one guy who can't wait to strip down the second the heat index rises into the positive integer range. Does every running group have one of those? We have one of those.
Racing Shirtless in a Blizzard5 of 11
Note: This was taken at the 2012 Runner's World Half Marathon, but it could have just as easily been taken at the Siberia Ice Marathon in Omsk.
Wild Hair6 of 11
We've been seeing this at more and more long-distance races lately—long, lustrous hair bouncing freely, unshackled by the burdens of a rubber band. It certainly looks lovely ... but then there's that moment when a stranger's hair is clinging to your sweaty arm, and you kind of want to grab it and stuff it into a stray hat.
Shorts Over Tights7 of 11
For whatever reason, shorts over tights is a no-no. I don't understand it either. It looks cool.
"Matchy-Matchy"8 of 11
Head-to-toe color coordination: A little too much of a good thing, or the hottest 2013 trend in street style?
Too Much Makeup9 of 11
Look, we all want to look good in race photos, which is why most of us do the bare minimum of grimacing in the general direction of the cameras. And if heavy makeup is your race-day equivalent of warrior paint, then by all means, spackle it on. But just for the record—you'd look great with less, too.
Inapprorpiate Shorts Length10 of 11
Too short, or too long? Believe it or not, there's an entire middle ground your shorts can occupy.