Why shorts first?
When I tell people my company sells athletic apparel for men 5’8” and under, the first question is always, “Why shorts?”
The answer is simple: I love shorts. As soon as the temperature hits above fifty degrees, I pull them out. Pants often feel constricting, but nothing compares to the ease of movement I have while wearing shorts. Simply putting on shorts makes me want to do something athletic.
When I was younger, my friends and I wore Umbro shorts—the ones with the checkerboard pattern. They were great: comfortable, all-purpose. Then we switched to Champion shorts, simple mesh shorts with the iconic “C” logo just above the left knee. As I grew older, my Champion shorts crept lower and lower down my legs until they were far below my knees. All I wanted were shorts that fit me properly—shorts that hit me just slightly above the knee.
As someone who is 5’7”, this simple desire seemed impossible to fulfill. In the early 2000s, all athletic shorts felt like they were designed to hit above the knees of men 6 feet and up. I tried broadening my shorts horizons, but running shorts were too short and made me look like a 1970s NBA player. Some companies started marketing athletic apparel shorts with shorter inseams, but the fit was off. The rise of the shorts was still tailored for someone 6-foot and over while the inseam was artificially cut short. Yes, the shorts hit slightly above my knee, but they were baggy and ill-fitting.
When I talked to other men 5’8” and under, they expressed the same frustrations with their shorts. After many years of exasperation, the solution finally came to me: if I wanted shorts that fit, I needed to make them myself. I set out to make a pair of all-purpose shorts that could be worn for any sport on any occasion. I believe I have succeeded.
ATK Apparel now has shorts in two different styles. The performance shorts are multipurpose shorts with an eye-catching 3-D cube design. My favorite feature of these shorts is the durable zipper pockets—you can run around all day without having to worry about losing your keys or wallet. Additionally, these deep and easy to access pockets were designed to perfectly hold a smartphone so you don’t have to worry about leaving yours behind.
Virtually weightless, the flow shorts are made with an incredibly smooth material. While the performance shorts have six panels, these shorts have four—so lightweight they’ll feel like they aren’t even there. We called them “flow” because that’s what you’ll feel like when you’re wearing them. To minimize bulk, these shorts do not have zippers, but you can be sure to rely on their incredibly strong and deep pockets.
If you’re 5’8” and under, ATK Apparel removes the guesswork to buying proper fitting shorts. We focus on fit so you don’t have to.
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- Tags: above the knee, activewear, athletic shorts, design, inseam, men 5'8" and under, product development, rise, shorts