The Canadian company STR/KE MVMNT is probably best known for its line of lightweight, minimalist athletic shoes. The Interval and Pace, for example, have a low stack height and low drop for great biomechanics and ground-feel, plus a wide forefoot and breathable mesh upper for comfort. The accompanying line of apparel, which includes both men’s and women’s gear, is expanding and the company recently added hoodies and sweats. All of STR/KE MVMNT’s apparel is produced in British Columbia. According to co-founder Marc Morisset, “Having been in the action sports industry for a while, we always felt there was a need for an athletics brand that was relevant to where our demographic was coming from.” The result, according to Marc, is “quality gear for the aesthetically minded athlete.” STR/KE MVMNT sent me a long-sleeve tee and some shorts to wear-test, and overall, I’m impressed at how well both pieces strike the balance between performance and aesthetics.
The Vent Raglan L/S Tee is cut on a sweatshirt design and runs slim and long through the body. My size medium measures 20.5” across the chest and 28.5” down the torso after multiple trips through the laundry (washed on cold, hung to dry). The sleeves are a bit proportionally short (only 32” from the center of the back), but slim enough through the forearm that they stay put when I push them up.
The fabric is a 50/38/12 mix of polyester/cotton/rayon (different than the website’s stated 50/50 poly/cotton blend), which is lightweight and comfortable. The pattern and construction details are thoughtful and include flatlock stitching, raglan shoulders, separate side panels, and a curved hem. The site describes the shirt as having “mesh fabric on sleeves for additional ventilation” but the version I received has sleeve and side panels that are made from the same material as the body of the shirt.
The Vent really shines as a dual-use shirt. It performs well in the gym, but it also looks good with jeans or chinos. I had no problem wearing it casually without looking like I was going out for sushi in workout gear.
The Metric Shorts are lightweight, unlined sweats that work best over compression shorts or tights (STR/KE MVMNT also makes the Factor Running Shorts, which are lighter with a shorter inseam and a built-in compression liner). The Metric shorts have flatlock seams, a crotch gusset, comfortable wide waistband, and two deep front pockets lined with quick-dry mesh. The material is 100% knit poly, and after multiple washes, they measure 14” across the waistband unstretched (16.5” with a light pull), 12” front rise, 8” inseam, and 11” across the leg opening.
I wore them primarily in the gym, which typically means 20-30 minutes on the bike or treadmill for warmup, then dynamic stretching and free weights. While I preferred the lightweight poly over the heavy cotton sweat shorts of fellow Canadian producers Reigning Champ, blending in some spandex would add a bit of needed stretch for lunges and squats. My other concerns are relatively minor quibbles and suggested additions. I would have preferred a longer drawstring that didn’t have to be tied in such a small bow, and I got a few loose threads around the leg opening. Not a serious unraveling, but I had to clip them off regularly. Also, a rear pocket would also be a nice place to hold my phone at the gym, since I tended to pinch it in my front pocket during squats and lunges.
Overall, STR/KE MVMNT has a consistent aesthetic and performance vision. The sweats, tees & hoodie market is getting increasingly saturated, and one way STR/KE MVMNT could distinguish itself further is by continuing to focus on performance fabrics and athletic, gym-ready details.
Jason Brozek is an ultramarathon runner, lapsed Ironman triathlete, and professor at a small liberal arts college, where he teaches courses on sustainability and international politics.