Gear Review: On Spring 2023 Apparel

A man and woman stretch after their run wearing new items from the On Spring 2023 Apparel line.

Spring time usually means chirping birds, blooming flowers and the promise of warmer days to come. For runners, it means stowing away our winter gear in preparation for a few weeks of perfect running weather before the dog days of summer.

On is helping runners gear up for the season with their new Spring 2023 apparel line. Fleet Feet reviewers tested the Women’s Performance Tight, Women’s Race Crop, Women’s Race Short, Men’s Focus T and Men’s Essential Short. Here’s what you need to know.

Women’s Performance Tight 7/8

A woman runs in the On performance tights.

The On Performance Tight is designed for early spring runs when the temperature hasn’t quite warmed up enough for bare legs. The tights are made with a polyester and elastane blend that’s perfect for holding heat in while wicking sweat away.

“As soon as I pulled them on, my immediate reaction was that these tights fit like a glove,” Melissa says. “I feel as though they fit very true to size and, as someone who is slightly shorter than average, I appreciate the quarter length. The materials are incredibly soft and a bit thicker than most, which creates a luxurious feel.”

A zippered back pocket makes it easy to stash your keys, gels or even a credit card in case you want to stop for a post-run treat, and a large side pocket is the perfect size for your cell phone.

“These leggings have all you need for a great run,” Caroline says. “Because of the high waistband and the snug fit, they really move with you as you run. They don’t ride down, which can be an irritating problem with leggings if they don’t fit properly.”

The best part? You can wear the Performance Tight for just about any activity, not just running.

“These tights are just as comfortable on the run as they are for lounging around my house and practicing yoga,” Melissa says. “The high waist offers a flattering fit and secure feel that stays in place when I move.”

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Women’s Race Crop and Tight

A woman stretches wearing the On Race Crop and Tight.

Whether you’re signed up for a spring race or you just want to feel speedy on your next run, the On Race Crop and Tight has got you covered.

The Race Crop is all you need up top for race day, thanks to a built-in bra with a supportive bottom band and mesh inserts. A racerback silhouette keeps you feeling and looking sleek, while perforations in the mesh keep you cool in the face of competition.

“The first thing I noticed when putting on the Race Crop was how smooth the materials felt,” Melissa says. “The nearly seamless design didn’t cause any chafing or skin irritation, which is a big win in my book. I wore it for a variety of training runs, including a 12-mile long run.”

While the Race Crop may not offer as snug of a fit as your traditional sports bra, reviewers felt it was comfortable without anything underneath.

“I was a little nervous about wearing this crop without a bra,” Caroline says. “While the bottom band feels supportive, the rest of the top didn’t feel as tight as I expected. But once I started running I didn’t notice any issues. I wore the top during a 7-mile progression run where I got down to a pretty quick pace, and I didn’t have any distractions with the fit or support.”

If you want some extra support underneath the Race Crop, check out the On Performance Bra.

The Race Tight follows suit in terms of materials and comfort, thanks to smooth, silky materials, a seamless design and a flattering, high-waist fit.

“The Race Tight feels like a second skin against my legs,” Caroline says. “The material is super light and thin, but it feels durable at the same time. After wearing them on a warm, humid run, I could tell that the shorts are as breathable as they look and, better yet, they don’t ride up. It’s pretty hard to find shorts in this biker-style that don’t ride up, so that’s a major plus.”

Reviewers noticed that the tights run on the larger size, particularly in the waist, which is something to keep in mind if you like a snug fit. The tights offer only a small, quarter-sized pocket in the front waistband, so if you like to race with gels or your phone consider adding a running belt to stash your gear.

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Men’s Focus T

The men’s Focus T is perfect for a quick 5K, a much-needed yoga session, lounging on the couch and everything in between.

A cotton-polyester blend material feels smooth and soft against your skin, while a contoured shape creates a flattering fit. You can wear this T-shirt during your next workout or dress it up with jeans, thanks to a sleek design and neutral colorways.

“I really like soft, comfy performance tees,” Nate says. “The Focus T hits the mark and feels really soft on my skin. I love the neutral colors that let me dress this shirt up or use it in a workout.”

Because of the cotton blend, reviewers felt that it may hold too much warmth for summer running, but it’s a great choice for easy days in mild weather as well as gym workouts.

“I’ve been wearing this top at the gym because the material feels more versatile,” Max says. “It’s something I can lift weights or do yoga in and still wear it afterwards without looking like I just came from the gym. I’ll wear this for 60- to 75-degree runs, but opt for something like the On Performance T in higher temperatures.”

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Men’s Essential Short

A man wears the On essential shorts after a run, posing with a woman in the On race outfit.

The On Men’s Essential Short lives up to its name. It’s got everything you’ll need on your run and nothing you don’t. A breathable polyester material wicks sweat away while a supportive inner brief holds everything in place as you move.

"While I can only dream of summer weather on this cold winter day in Oregon, I can tell how light and breathable these shorts will feel on a warm day,” Nate says.

The Essential Short also offers side splits that allow you to move freely through your workout, whether you’re lifting weights or sprinting down the home stretch. Plus, you can stash your essentials in the two front pockets for easy storage.

“The pockets in the Essential Short are some of the best hip pockets I’ve seen,” Max says. “On claims that any items in the pockets will stay secure, even when upside down and you better believe I tested that out for myself. My keys were very secure, even when holding the shorts upside down!”

The shorts offer a 5-inch inseam, which Max felt was a good length for running but not necessarily for lunges or squats.

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