Over the last few years, skirts are no longer just used on the field hockey and lacrosse fields, but are running loose on track, trails, and even the beach, as shown by the ladies above in skirts from Team Sparkle. Is this running revolution for you? In the below article excerpt from Runners World , Kristin Armstrong reflects on the rise of the running skirt and how skirt running can be both fashionable and fast. And be sure to check out the Team Sparkle full line of skirts and running accessories, too! I was a little girly girl who never wore pants. I have a distinct memory of wearing a hand-smocked Polly Flinders dress on my first day of kindergarten. For me, winter simply meant adding tights. As I gained more self-awareness, I slipped on a pair of short shorts under my dresses and skirts so I could flip on the playground bars with propriety. In my 20s, the best part of joining corporate life was collecting Ann Taylor business suits. And today, the only thing that redeems long, hot Texas summers is the extended sundress season. A few years ago, when I first saw ladies bebopping around Austin in short, athletic skirts, I thought there was a sudden rise in the popularity of tennis. But once I saw these women hauling down our local running trail, I realized, this ain't no country club. These women were fit and fast, blowing past me, leaving me to admire the swish created in their tailwind. Running skirts started getting noticed when my friend Nicole DeBoom, a Yale graduate, won the 2004 Ironman Wisconsin triathlon in a skirt she had designed. She then launched a company to offer like-minded gals an alternative to shorts. Her motivation has never been just to look pretty, but to look pretty while kicking butt. And she wants the women who wear her clothes to exude the same confidence and attitude. Still, some people aren't thrilled with the idea. They seem to think that women who run in skirts aren't serious athletes. Or that they'll turn our beloved sport into a beauty pageant. The same people probably insist that women need to be in pantsuits to be taken seriously in the workplace. But I believe that a woman is even more powerful when she feels pretty. Besides, from a practical standpoint, it's nice to have clothing that reflects our multitasking lives; it performs on the track and looks presentable when you roll directly into the supermarket or elementary school. Skirts and dresses make up a large portion of my regular wardrobe (though I could still use more, according to my 6-year-old disgruntled fashionista daughter, Bella). Normally, I wear knee-length straight skirts with boots and longer breezy, gauzy skirts with sandals. Running skirts have far shorter--and more intimidating--hemlines. But after years of running, I figured I had earned the right, at least by miles alone, to show some leg. I just hoped I had the confidence to pull it off. When my friends and I decided to run the 2005 Austin Half-Marathon in skirts, I experienced a whole new set of race-day anxieties. I practiced jogging in my closet, looking back over my shoulder into the full-length mirror. I wondered if the built-in shorts underneath were going to ride up my behind, or if the legs would roll up like window shades, or if a sudden gust of wind would blow my cover, Marilyn Monroe-style. I wondered if I would miss my old-school shorts, basic and boxy and worn soft from many miles and loads of laundry. Or my favorite half-tights, always perfect for uncertain weather and unshaved legs. I eventually made it out of my closet, but during the early miles of the race, I periodically asked my friends to check my rear view for anything unsightly, much like the way we do teeth-checks after a meal. We always have to have each other's back--literally, in this case. Over the next few years, major athletic manufacturers like New Balance, Nike, Brooks, and Moving Comfort decided to offer skirts, and women snapped them up. So it was no surprise that skirts soon earned an event all their own. In November 2007, Nicole DeBoom's company, SkirtSports, debuted a seven-city SkirtChaser racing series in Austin. And my skirt posse reunited for the occasion. Registration for the SkirtChaser events includes a skirt for the ladies and a "SkirtChaser" T-shirt for the guys. On race day, women get a three-minute head start over the men, who chase the "skirts" (just like the old days on the playground) to see who crosses the finish first. After the evening race, there's a happy-hour-style block party with free food, beer, live music, dating games, and bachelor auctions. The starting line of the Austin Skirt Chaser 5-K had an unmistakable smack of sass. I was surrounded by women of all ages, shapes, and sizes--all proudly wearing skirts. I had a flashback of my teenage years, remembering how cute the cheerleaders looked when they wore their uniforms to school. I was never coordinated enough to make the squad, but in my running skirt, I admit to feeling game-day special, even at 36. Being part of a skirted mass movement was empowering and deliciously feminine. At the race, it didn't take long for the faster dudes to blow past most of us (a few bold ones wearing skirts!). A "chaser" ended up taking over the top spot in Austin, but a "skirt" won at the following Tempe, Arizona, event. I have to admit that I still love my shorts and my half-tights. But one of the best things about being a woman today is that we have so many options. Whether we are in the boardroom, on the home front, or on the starting line, we can bring it on like a man, but it doesn't mean we have to look like one. To read the entire article, visit Runnersworld.com. To visit the Team Sparkle website, click here, and for fabulous running costume ideas from Team Sparkle, visit the Team Sparkle blog.