Written by Jonathan Beyoghlow

“To brand or not to brand?” tis the question William Shakespeare asked himself some 500 years ago (well, not really).

That is the question I asked myself while holding a heather grey Athletes Collective shirt. The RunHaven team asked me to try out a high-performance running shirt from the company, which is based out of Toronto. The founders’ big pitch is that they want to sell a premium running shirt that doesn’t make you look like a NASCAR driver with 50 logos on your clothing. I picked up the shirt and was impressed by two aspects: the quality of the fabric and the weight of the shirt. I couldn’t wait to try it out.

Several hours later, I put it on and went for an intense run in suburbia. As I was working up a sweat climbing steep hills, running away from my neighbor’s dog and dodging the vast array of baby strollers (I live in a neighborhood with a lot of new families), I noticed how much the shirt was wicking away the sweat from my suburbia trials and tribulations.

I came home and noticed the shirt was barely wet from the usual five-mile run. I threw it in my hamper and thought I would love to learn more about the company. I checked them out online, read more about their philosophy and shared a recent article about the company to my running friends.

The biggest con is whether a consumer is willing to pay upwards of $25 for a shirt with no brand. For a little more, I can buy the latest running shirt with a Nike logo (awww, feel the reassurance of a big brand).

The no branding makes me pause. Don’t I need a brand to feel good? Don’t I demand a brand to feel a sense of community? At this point, I don’t care. I love the idea and quality, but other people may want to feel rest assured with a Nike logo or Under Armour symbol attached to their shirt.

Athletes Collective is offering RunHaven readers a discount! Use the promo code ACHAVEN to enjoy a one-time discount of 20% off all orders. Also, enjoy free shipping for any order of $50 or more. The company’s Kickstarter campaign ends on October 9. Click here to donate.

By Nichols