Iffley Road: Subtle Design, Luxurious Quality

The activewear industry today is a flooded market pre-occupied by offering (or seemingly offering) the most scientifically tested, body moulded, easy-breathing garments available. Of course, these are all buzz words that are used to make buyers think that what they’re buying is ‘cutting edge’. But what these generic-made yet over-priced clothing companies continue to fail in is quality. The kind of quality we can expect from high-end fashion simply doesn’t translate to the world of activewear.

And that’s why I struggle to – and shall refrain from – calling Iffley Road an activewear brand. The term is too overused, too easy, too generic. Iffley Road is sportswear that recalls the initial purpose of this portion of the fashion industry: hiking, sailing, adventuring. Iffley Road combines a conservative visual design with a luxurious make, to ensure their customers are running in only the best. What’s more, Iffley road guarantees all materials and production processes are sourced within the UK or in Europe – a very rare claim to make in the industry.

Tradition Meets Modernity

Vintage sportswear isn’t a common term. Indeed, the very concept of sportswear is barely a modern idea. 50 years ago, men and women would simply wear whatever clothing wouldn’t seriously impede their movement. The word ‘vintage’ implies tradition, resilience, and value. If this is the case, then Iffley Road is the most viable candidate for the title of vintage sportswear.

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This strength in tradition comes from their Oxford roots. Iffley Road was the track on which runner Roger Bannister completed the first sub-four-minute mile. Bannister and his competitors existed in a time before professional, obsessive sportsmanship. Running, to them, was part of the broader, healthier lifestyle – not the entire life.

Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile at Iffley Road.

This story inspires Bill and Claire, the husband and wife team that founded and maintain the Iffley Road legacy. The pair met through running, therefore the passion for an active and healthy lifestyle is at the core of their philosophy. Bill and Claire had worked with luxury goods and felt that the sportswear industry lacked a premium, intricately designed presence.

The Pure Marriage Of Running And Design

Enter Iffley Road. There is a beautiful simplicity in the act of running – unrivalled by any other modern sport. This sublime simplicity is translated directly into Iffley Road’s garments. You’ll find no blinding fluoro’s, in-your-face branding, or trashy slogans. Instead, Bill and Claire occupy their time and resources with perfecting the most premium productive measures via the best materials. And it’s all localised to the UK or the Continent. No cheap, mass-labour shortcuts for Iffley Road.

‘We wanted to make classic high-quality sportswear that was both minimalist and designed with performance in mind.’

As primarily a sportswear brand, Iffley Road rightly prioritises performance. However, it’s also comfortable and fashionable enough to enjoy a coffee after your morning run. Most importantly, you won’t be sitting in a pool of sweat.

The drirelease technology utilised in all Iffley Road sportswear.

All Iffley Road shirts are manufactured with drirelease technology, maximising breathability and sweat minimization. For the cooler climates, items such as the winter tops and beanies are made with 100% Italian merino fabric.

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Some Favourites

Iffley Roads produces a wide range of sportswear that appropriately blinds the line between sportswear and comfort wear. Here are some of our favourites:

Royston Fleece-Back Jersey Sweatpants

There comes a point in the year where it’s simply no longer shorts weather. The Royston Fleece-Back Jersey Sweatpants are a supreme alternative to the tights trend that’s currently sweeping the industry. Foot stirrups are a handy addition to ensure the pants won’t ride during activity.

Putney Piqué Running Cap

Finding a well-fitting, easy-breathing running cap is no easy task. Iffley Road makes it easy. With laser-cut perforations on the side and a pleasantly-soft internal sweatband, keeping the sun and the sweat out of your eyes will be a breeze.

Marlow Reflective-Trimmed Running Jacket

The Marlow Reflective-Trimmed Running Jacket is a perfect example of Iffley Road mixing sporting excellence and casual, luxurious design. Superb wind and rain resistance, as well as hi-tech stretch material, make this jacket a perfect companion through the winter days when running is the last thing on your mind.

Cambrian Drirelease T-Shirt

An exemplar of Iffley Road’s elegant and minimalistic design, The Cambrian utilises the drirelease-engineered technology to ensure comfort – no matter the activity.


Jay is a writer and content producer for The Versatile Gent.

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