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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nike Tempo Vs. Target C-9

Today I am going to compare Nike tempo running shorts to Target's C-9 version of them. You are welcome for taking 7,000 mirror photos in an attempt to demonstrate fit.
First off, a price comparison. Tempos are usually $28 -$32 but often go on sale for less. I paid $14.99 for the Target shorts, which I still think is a lot.
Next, fit.
Target C-9 running shorts

Nike tempos (at this point I found my flash)
 Here's the deal with this: Tempos have a unique tapered leg design. I think this is to prevent upper-thigh-flashing incidents, but honestly it's kind of weird. Note the bizarre ballooning going on here in the tempos...
The front and back seem to be cut exactly the same. Weird.
...Whereas the C-9's have a more traditional straight leg. It seems that the Nike's have too much fabric and it bunches and billows, and the C-9's have a flatter fit.
It would make sense to solve the problem by going down a size in the tempos, but it doesn't work that way. These are smalls, and the lining and waistband fit me. There is just extra outer fabric. If I got XS shorts the waistband would cut me in half.
Crappy useless pocket

Decent pocket
Speaking of waistbands, let's discuss quality of design. Waistband features here...the Nike's have elastic in the waist and a kind of faux drawstring. The C-9's however, have a functional front drawstring. I personally prefer elastic over drawstring for the way it feels and the movement it allows. Another little quality concern is the key pocket design. The C-9's have this rinky-dink little front pocket that can barely hold a key, instead of the lining pocket the tempos have. And while I'm on the subject of quality, notice anything about the side strip on the Target shorts? Yeah, that gray used to be white. The color bled when I washed these.

Lastly I want to touch on the moisture wicking properties. This is the big claim to fame for tempos, which are made with Nike dri-FIT technology. And I've got to say, it works pretty well. I get soaked with sweat during summer long runs, and my tempos definitely get sweaty, but when I wear my C-9 shorts saturated fabric slaps my legs (spraying sweat droplets) for the last half of the run. It is extremely uncomfortable to run in soaked fabric - it rides up your legs, sweat dribbles down the backs of your legs, fabric bunches wetly.

So the verdict? Although I like the cut of the C-9 shorts better than the tempos, I rely so much on the moisture wicking fabric that the tempos win on that strength alone. 

What's the most important thing to you when you buy workout clothes?


  1. If I am buying a running shirt the three keys are color (bright since I often run in the dark), fit, and wicking - probably in that order. For shorts, if they do not have at least one zippered pocket, I will not go any further. After that it's fit and then wicking.

  2. I have several pairs of the Nike tempos and I'm pretty sold on them, with the exception of all that extra fabric, like you pointed out. That said, I'm also a C9 wearer on occasion, just haven't tried the running shorts yet. Thanks for a great comparison!

  3. I have both of these shorts and prefer the Nike tempos. Actually, they are my favorite running shorts EVER! I have found them at the Nike Outlets and Marshall's for around $15. Everytime I find a pair that cheap, I buy them. My collection is getting pretty big!

  4. Can I have your abs?

    1. HAHA. Oh gosh I need to work on mine as well :X Can I have it too? LOL

  5. I only have one pair of nike tempo's but I do wear them a lot and really like them for running. I totally agree the fit is a bit weird and balloon-y though.

    LOVE my lululemon groove shorts for running too but they're pricy. About $50-$60!

  6. most important? comfort. period.

    oh. and that i have your long legs if i wear them.


  7. tempos have won out for me most times, but damn, i hate the balloon effect they have! my fave shorts are the tighter compression or biker fit style, but bought in a larger size so they are loose.

  8. I agree that tempos have awkward shape/fit, but I have several pair bc they're so colorful. I recently bought another Nike style that's a tad more expensive, but more straight on the sides and all around. I think fit, function and fashion are important when I'm buying clothing (running wise or not).