They’re a good basic shape and length. They don’t expose much of your thigh when riding, and hang just low enough to keep your kneecaps cosy when you’re stood waiting at the bottom of a hill. The Cordura nylon is usefully tough and shrugs off puddle splashes when new.
The broad elasticated waist gets a wicking lining and a short anchored belt section at the front, and there’s a long stretch panel across the top of your backside to stop builder’s bum. Details such as the Reﬂec exterior panels and inside wicking mesh sections on the back of the legs are neat, too.
There are the two basic hand pockets and a small key/coin stash, but they could use a zip for proper security. The zipped cheek pocket isn’t quite big enough to take an Ordnance Survey map, either, which is a shame. Ditto the bottom-of-leg ‘vents’, which aren’t long enough or high enough on the leg to provide cooling where it counts.
The basic square panels don’t offer anything like the sculpted mobile ﬁt of something like a top-line Gore Bike Wear or Sugoi short, either. That meant we had to rely a lot on heaving the belt extra tight to stop them working their way down, and put up with a lot of excess fabric rustling around in our lap. It’s not that they’re uncomfortable, but there are certainly better ﬁtting shorts about.
What’s more, £85 is enough to buy pretty much whichever pair of top-line shorts you want, complete with inner liner short. But that’s not so with Howies, where the matching Merino wool liner will ﬂeece you for an extra £45.