An In-Depth Review: Women’s Gore Running Wear Mythos WindStopper Softshell Jacket
Made with a WindStopper membrane, the Gore Running Wear Mythos WindStopper Softshell Jacket is a slim-fitting piece of substantial outerwear for high-output aerobic activities in less than perfect weather. The jacket is soft to the touch without being flimsy and offers a rear vent to minimize overheating. I tested this jacket while running in a light-ish snow in downtown Salt Lake City when the winds were still and the temperature hovered around 20F. I also tested it on long runs in town and sprints at a high school track in both balmy and breezy 40F and 25F weather, and on days when the mercury said it was above freezing but the wind on my face told me otherwise.
Fabric Technology — WindStopper
Reported as Windproof — Yes
Venting — Rear yoke
Pocket Count & Location — 2 hand, 1 sleeve
Hood — None
Additional Features — Elastic sleeve cuffs with thumbloops, hem adjust in pocket, fleece-lined high collar, rear yoke ventilation
Fit — Slim
Size Tested — Medium
Bust — 34B
Torso Length from C7 to Hip — 20 Inches
Arm Length from Shoulder Joint to Wrist — 22.5 Inches
Arm Length from C7 to Wrist — 31 Inches
Fit & Feel
Gore Running Wear is one manufacturer you can believe when it says a jacket has a slim fit. And yet this jacket didn’t pinch, tug, or push any part of me. It was a snug but comfortable fit. The sleeves were perfect whether I hooked my thumbs into the loops on the inner wrist gaiters or let my hands swing free. In my experience, typical running jackets (for both serious training and casual running) aren’t shrouds, but they aren’t shapely either. This jacket went completely against that: it followed my curves without making me feel as though I was wrapped in see-through, skin-tight plastic.
While I doubt I could wear baggy shirts underneath without a lot of tugging and awkward scrunching of fabric in my pits, I wasn’t restricted to skin-fit shirts either. On the warmer runs, I wore a fairly thin and athletically cut technical tee. For colder runs, I alternated between a Patagonia Capilene 2 Zip-Neck, a Brooks technical long-sleeve T-shirt, and a Patagonia Capilene 1 Silkweight crewneck shirt. The Mythos slipped easily over all of the shirts.
The fabric feels soft. In fact, it is one of the more pliant cold-weather running jackets I’ve come across. With just the slightest shine and the figure-flattering cut, I’d wear this jacket on a spring day in downtown Chicago—not just for a run, but for shopping and sightseeing too.
Waterproof and Windproof
The jacket isn’t advertised as waterproof, but rather water resistant. While I haven’t worn it in a liquid drizzle, I did wear the jacket when it snowed. Not a flake of snow got through. I suspect that running in a deluge or blizzard-like conditions would be too much for the water resistance of the Mythos; I’m also not sure I’d be outside in such inclement weather. As such, when it’s lightly snowing or drizzling with apathy, the Mythos will do a decent job of protecting you from precipitation.
WindStopper guarantees windproof protection. I thought it was all marketing hype and fully expected some breeze to sneak inside. I was wrong. The WindStopper membrane did just that: stop the wind. On one of my runs, when branches were beating against the windows and skinny twigs were getting tossed about like rag dolls, my core didn’t feel a whisper, not once. While I’d rethink running in such winds again (do I really want to risk getting smacked in the head by a falling limb?), I would recommend the Mythos to anyone running in windy conditions.
Given that the Mythos is windproof, I had low expectations for the jacket in terms of breathability. When the winds were calm and the thermometer stayed near freezing, I found myself getting overheated quite quickly. I partially opened the center zipper and fully opened the pockets for a quick cool-down, and then I was fine.
When the wind turned the mercury into a liar, I found this jacket to be the answer to my running-jacket prayers. It stopped the wind so long runs weren’t miserable. Doing hills and speed work in temps well below 32F, I feared the freeze-out that often occurs when I stop moving long enough to start breathing quasi-normally again. Not so when wearing the Mythos. This jacket kept me perfectly positioned between shivering and sweating when I was running, and not once did I get clammy in between sets.
Durability & Construction
Thus far, I haven’t experienced any wear-related issues with the Mythos. All of the seams have stayed in place and no random threads have appeared. I try to avoid large, inanimate objects like cars and trees, so it’s hard to be overly critical about fabric durability.
When I closely examined seams and laminate around the zippers, I found the construction quality to be top-notch. The stitches are small and evenly spaced whether the seam is triple-stitched or single-stitched. Laminate is flat and smooth, no obvious puckers or warping. So long as I remain the size I am, I firmly believe the Mythos will endure several years of cold-weather running without showing its age.
The one area in which I found the Mythos lacking is in the hand pockets. The two hand pockets are laminated for a sleek silhouette, and they are massive. If your pockets are empty, you can unzip them and the mesh pocket body offers a bit of fresh air. As far as functionality goes, despite the cavernous nature of these pockets, they are not designed to hold too much of substance. I had no problem carrying a plastic bag with extra toilet paper or a small tube of lip balm/nipple gel, but that’s about the extent of it. When I put my Epi-Pen in one pocket and two energy gels in the other, I felt like I had swapped my jacket for a pair of full-pocket clown pants. Bulging doesn’t begin to describe it. My Epi-Pen swung around like a monkey on a vine. I like the general size of the pockets, but I’d like the pockets themselves to have a bit more structure so they could actually hold things without dramatically changing the shape and feel of the jacket.
A single pocket lurks along the seam on the left upper sleeve. I don’t wear an MP3 player when I run, but I imagine someone could put a small (not full-size iPod or smartphone, but something smaller) media player in that pocket. I personally could see using the pocket to store cash and credit cards if I went for a run where I’d need to call a cab for a ride home.
Gore Running Wear hit it out of the park with the cuffs. I adore the internal wrist gaiters and solid thumbloops. The internal material stretches without being pulled taut. I easily wore a pair of gloves underneath the gaiters and thumbloops and my hands never felt like sausages. When I didn’t need the extra warmth, the wrist cuffs fit perfectly with no obvious external signs of the gaiters, and my wrists didn’t feel unduly burdened by extra fabric.
The Mythos WindStopper is a versatile jacket for a wide range of people, with a single caveat: large-busted women may find this jacket to be substantially snug across the chest, and sizing up to accommodate your bust may adversely affect fit and therefore overall function.
Regardless of your activity level, if you live in a windy city (or town), you’ll appreciate the honest-to-goodness windproof aspect of this jacket. The truly feminine shaping makes this athletically inspired jacket sufficiently chic for big-city living. If you are an avid outdoor exerciser, running or walking or snowshoeing through all but the most bitter cold, you’ll appreciate the Mythos’ ability to regulate both your body temp and sweat. I find the Mythos an ideal jacket for running when the air temperature ranges from 15F to 30F—or when the mercury is a bit higher but the winds are less than gentle. Its price is towards the higher end of the spectrum for a running jacket. However, the durability, construction, and incredible function of the Mythos all but guarantee I’ll be able to use it for several years.