Design is an often-misinterpreted term. Most people confuse design with color, patterns or prints when it comes to clothing. What is often overlooked is functionality. Design should aim at solving, or alleviating existing issues in functionality.
When it was time to update the apace Tempo Running shorts, we thought of what is the biggest issue that runners face these days. We all agreed on the fact that storage solutions for running have always been stand-out issues. With a plethora of belts, pouches, backpacks and more, attempts have been made to solve this issue. However, we wanted to come up with a built-in solution for this problem.
Side pockets on shorts are most convenient to use, but they come with “contents may shift during the run” caveat. This makes for an uncomfortable compromise. Most running shorts have zip pockets, however, these are not very easy to open and close when running. Also, the bigger the phones get, bigger the pockets need to be.
So the design brief was:
  • Should not shake during activity
  • Ease of access
  • Big enough to hold large phones
To solve the first design issue, the pockets would have to be placed such that there is no relative motion between the moving parts, and the stationary parts. This meant the pockets would have to sit snug on the legs so that there is no movement. Hence, the pockets went on to the inner shorts. Since the shorts fit snug around the thigh, the pockets stretch, so contents stay tightly held. No-shaking-of-the-contents part of the brief got achieved here.
But with the pockets on the inner shorts, how does one access them? Some other products have similar designs with access to the inner pockets with lifting up of the outer shell. This is not only difficult to do while running, but also looks awkward. So this meant that the inner pocket would need access from the outer shell:
  • without looking awkward
  • without making the person stop the activity
With the placement of a quasi pocket opening on the outer shell, which leads up to the pocket on the inner shorts, we achieved the easy-to-access part of the brief.
Thirdly, we made the pockets large enough to hold a 6-inch phone, or keys, or 4 gels, or 2/3 energy bars. By putting pockets on both sides, quite possibly the gel requirements of a full marathoner have been taken care of.
After many iterations, and changes to come up with a solution that not only looked good, but was also easy to manufacture, we finally came up with the #shakeproofpockets. The solution is purpose-made for running, for storage during runs, and being able to access items during the run.

Leave a comment