Back in 2018, lululemon did a silly thing and retired the beloved Speed Short for a newer, slightly tweaked design, the Speed Up Short. When my workout routine consisted of far more CrossFit WODs and far less long distance mileage, I amassed a decent sized pile of shorts over a few years.
Seeing that I had plenty, I didn’t race to buy a pair of Speed Ups as they dropped, so my first encounter was with the 2018 Seawheeze Special Edition Runner Shorts. Unimpressed by 2016 & 2017’s designs, last year was the first of my 3 wheezin’ years that I’d actually detagged the shorts and put them into the rotation.
Doing a spiderman stretch at CrossFit on the first day I wore them, I couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed for the person behind me as I felt my rear end less covered than it (kind of) was in an older pair of Speeds. The leg holes felt far more… OPEN in the Speed Up Shorts than they had in the older version.
Despite the ‘freedom’, and that I needed new shorts like I needed a hole in the head, I really wanted to get my hands on a classic red. So, I ordered the Speed Ups when flamenco red uploaded last summer.
Spoiler Alert: the Speed Up Short did NOT work for me as much as I’d hoped. My lululemon running shorts purchasing came to a screeching halt.
With the release of the Speed Up Short Long 4″ Updated Fit last week, I felt like I had to give the longer length a try… and figure out how in the world they were different enough from all the other shorts to justify keeping them. So, without further ado, it’s time for a side by side by side by side by side of some of lululemon’s most popular running shorts:
- Speed Up Short *Long Updated Fit – Flamenco Red
- Speed Up Short – Electric Beach Multi/Running Waves Multi (Seawheeze 2018, double-layer fabric)
- Speed Short *Hi-Rise – Jet Stream Blue
- Speed Short – Blacked Out/Black (Seawheeze 2016)
- Run Times Short II – Lazurite
NOTE: I’m 5’9″ and wearing a TTS 10 in every pair of shorts pictured in this post.
The Updated Speed Ups look a bit more old school speedy from the front. Some people didn’t like how the Speed Short seemed to flare out to the side, so that was tweaked for the new design.
Otherwise, it’s pretty status quo from the front. A very clean look that remains seam-free in the Speed variety, yet shows a little in the Run Times.
The Updated Fit features a ‘higher’ rise, but does not qualify as an officially high rise like the jet stream pair (below, middle).
Laid one on top of the other with the hip seams all at the same level, the Updated Speed Ups split the difference between regular and high rise almost exactly down the middle.
FROM THE SIDE
Given the weather and no real patience for trying something new while training for my next half marathon, I have done little more than a jog across the living room in the Run Times and Updated Fit to see if they will ride up. I’ll give them both a mailbox jog as soon as the weather dries out and warms up for more than 12 minutes. At this rate, it will be August. Currently 39 degrees and rainy on May 13th.
SPEED UP LONG/UPDATED VS RUN TIMES II
If you’re looking for a more conservative short with more length, the most noticeable difference between the Updated and the Run Times when wearing them is the rise. The Run Times Short II only rises up as far as the traditional Speed Up & Speed Short fit.
SPEED UP SHORT – DOUBLE VS SINGLE LAYER
I feel the need to include these photos, because I really didn’t dislike the Speed Ups when I received the Seawheeze pair last spring. It was only when I got the flamenco red ones last summer that I realized the new cut worked well with a heavier fabric, but fluffed up and looked silly when a lighter fabric was in play.
The fabric puffs out from the waistband, making the hips look boxier than the old school Speed Shorts did, which I simply couldn’t get over. I’ve not worn the flamenco red Speed Ups since August, and TBH now that I have the Updated version, they are about to find a home in my Poshmark closet until it finds its new home.
SPEED UP vs SPEED UP LONG/UPDATED
You’re getting more shorts in all aspects of the design, except for the hip width. Stay with your usual Speed (Up) size if you’re going to give the longer updated version a go. They come down a little farther, rise a little higher, but they’re still going to fit the same throughout the hip.
LONG STORY SHORT ON THE SHORTS
So after spending Sunday morning prancing around the house in SIX different pairs of shorts…
- I picked up the Run Times II for the longer inseam, but I still would have loved a slightly higher rise due to my height. The Speed Up Short *Long/Updated fixes this problem.
- I still like how the Hi-Rise Speed Short feels the best, but if I wear them to CrossFit the waistband risks interfering with my weight belt, so the Updated Fit wins a point for being a happy medium once again.
- The Speed Ups as they are right now provide a bit too much freedom for my tastes, and will likely only be worn around the house or very hot CrossFit days when I won’t be running or bending over a ton.
- I miss the Speed Shorts in their OG incarnation.
- HOWEVER, I can see myself adding another pair of Speed Up *Long/Updated to my collection real f*cking quick. They will make amazing hiking shorts. 😁
This post is meant to be a fine piece of educational, hard-hitting journalism (ha!) so if there are any questions you may have that I didn’t cover in this post, drop them in the comments below!
11:16p and I’m still wide awake. DAMN YOU, 3:46PM STARBUCKS AMERICANO.
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