Pearl Izumi Fly Ultra Short: Trail Running Gear Review | 525.82 Miles

I’m a jeans and t-shirt, boot wearing kind of guy. It’s just how I’ve always been wired. So when it came to shorty, short, short runny shorts I always sort of took a “to each there own” approach. My own approach being “no thanks”. Well, then came summer trail running in West Virginia…

It’s hot and humid around here. Hot like I’m drenched in sweat within the first couple miles of a run and that won’t change for months. Couple the summer weather challenges with the fact that I was simply clean running shorts well before laundry day each week and the result was mandatory running wear purchases. This led to ordering up a pair of Pearl Izumi Fly Ultra Shorts via The Clymb last week. To my surprise when I opened up the bag I found myself the owner of a pair of shorty, short, short runny shorts.


After trying them I confirmed they felt every bit as tiny as they looked. In fact, my first thought was that a cute female running partner in these shorts could finally motivate me to marathon. Foolish pride aside, these things were surprisingly comfortable. And surprisingly breezy which was attractive given the oppressive heat lately. What the hell? I’m 35 years old and that means I’ve earned the right to look as silly as I want to.

As Walter Sobchak would say, “F#$% it, let’s go running dude.”

Within the first mile I realized there’s a reason why so many professional runners chose to wear short split shorts. Especially with the breathable, flexible synthetic that Pearl Izumi uses in the Fly Ultra Short the sensation provided is absolute freedom of movement and a comfortably cool experience.

Here are my trail running gear review pros and cons:


  • Zipper pocket in the lumbar. This is a must for my running shorts and tights, no flap pockets please it’s way to easy to lose my keys.
  • Flexible, soft material basically makes you feel like you’re running naked while avoiding that whole indecent exposure headache.
  • The moisture wicking and venting of these shorts is amazing. They’re so cool I kept looking behind me to see if I was dragging an extension cord for the integrated AC.
  • Supportive. Nuff said.
  • All the critical elements are present – reflective elements, drawstring (nicely stretchy), a hole for each leg + one for my waist.
  • Available in “True Red” so you can get your Forest Gump on.


  • No MP3 port in the zipper pocket. Definitely not a deal breaker.
  • Holy freaking expensive. $65 full retail for a pair of shorts. Keep in mind that I’m a cheapskate who also runs in $5 shorts from the Target clearance rack. In reality if you run these shorts once a week for a year you’re only paying $1.30 per run for a very comfortable, refined and well made technical piece.
  • Available in “True Red” so you can get your Forest Gump on.

After one run I’m sold and will snag another pair of these when I get the chance. I’ll share with you how well they stand up to the 100 mile test in a few months.

674.18 miles to go.