In this ASICS Runners Face Cover review we try to answer the question: is the ASICS Runners Face Cover the best face mask for running? Is it any good for workouts? Is it better in any way than the Under Armour UA SPORTSMASK? Can it be cleaned? And, most importantly: can you actually drink in the ASICS Runners Face Cover without taking it off?
We had quite a few requests to review the ASICS Runners Face Cover. Seemingly, people were most curious whether or not you could actually drink through this mask, and I'm happy to report you can. But the ASICS Runners Face Cover has so much more to offer than just this one feature. Once I've run in it a few more times, rest assured this will be updated but it's already clear this is a great running face mask.
As mentioned before, even the best face masks are not well-suited for exercising as they sit very close to the face, not giving you enough room to breathe when you are are working hard and need all the air you can get. Performance face masks, such as the ASICS Runners Face Cover, try to doctor this issue by creating a bit of extra room between the mask and your face.
The ASICS Runners Face Cover is a simple yet very effective face mask for running: it is comfortable, secure and adjustable, light and most importantly, it dries very quickly. It also feels sturdy and and item that will last long enough to justify its asking price.
Just to clarify: although the fabric of the ASICS Runners Face Cover is anti-bacterial, it won't filter viruses or bacteria, as you inhale through the mask; ASICS never claimed it would. What it will do, however, is making it less likely that your cough droplets will spread as you exhale.
Face masks for runners you can buy right now
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- Buy Nike Squad Football Snood for £16.95 (opens in new tab)
- Buy Reebok Face Covers at Reebok for £14.95 (3-pack) (opens in new tab)
- In the US? Check out these sports face masks from Shock Doctor (opens in new tab)
ASICS Runners Face Cover review: fit and ergonomics
The ASICS Runners Face Cover is comfortable to wear despite the fact that it only come in one size. This is at least partially due to the adjustable cord that can be used to tighten the mask as close to the face as you wish. And the same cord also helps keeping the mask around the neck when not in use, so you don't have to shove it in a pocket or the best gym bag either.
There is no wire above the nose bridge to adjust the fit and the ASICS Runners Face Cover also sits higher up on the nose than the the UA SPORTSMASK, which in my case meant that the bottom of the mask was above my chin. Nevertheless, the mask still covers the mouth and the nose and there is ample amount of space too in between the mask and your face. Well, considering you are wearing a mask, that is.
The harder plastic mesh at the front helps the mask keep its structure even when the ASICS Runners Face Cover is tightened behind the head. There is quick-drying soft fabric covering the front of the mask from the outside, and both sides around the cheeks.
As for drinking in the mask, it is possible, but I would recommend drinking from a bottle and water only. Better still, there is no need to suck the liquid out of the bottle as it pretty much flows through the mask. The only issue is the ridge of the mask at the front: you will have to pour the drink in from either side, making it a bit more fiddly to drink.
Personally, I don't see a reason why you can't pull the mask down for a couple of to drink a little but if you are really keen on keeping the mask on all the time, rest assured it is possible to drink through the ASICS Runners Face Cover. Don't try to chug down your morning cup of tea, though, wearing this mask.
I had experienced some fogging up wearing the ASICS Runners Face Cover when in glasses, so if you want to wear your shades and/or glasses with a performance mask, opt in for the Under Armour UA SPORTSMASK.
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ASICS Runners Face Cover review: how to clean the ASICS Runners Face Cover
Since the ASICS Runners Face Cover is in pre-production, the mask didn't come with any instructions how to clean it: nor were there any labels in the mask, neither did it come with a little instructional card like the UA SPORTSMASK. Presumably, much like the Under Armour mask, you will need to wash the ASICS Runners Face Cover under running tap water and avoid dry-cleaning and washing it in the washing machine.
ASICS Runners Face Cover review: durability
The ASICS Runners Face Cover feels sturdy and something that will keep its shape even after it had been used quite few times. It is probably the string that will give in first: the salt from your sweat will make the elastic band harden and break eventually. Thankfully, that is the easiest part to replace so even if it breaks, you can get a replacement from a craft shop or supermarket.
Much like in the case of the other performance mask I reviewed, the real question is, can you keep it clean enough so it could be reused over and over again? I would recommend rinsing the ASICS Runners Face Cover through with some water after it has been used and let it dry until it is needed again, that might mitigate the saturation of sweat and bacteria in the mask.
ASICS Runners Face Mask review: early verdict
If you must wear a mask for exercising, maybe because you have an indoor class in a gym or you feel safer wearing a mask when running, the ASICS Runners Face Cover will do a great job providing you with a little breathing space and making sure your nose and mouth are covered adequately.
The ASICS Runners Face Cover is light and breathable and surprisingly enough, you can actually drink through it, should you want to. Better still, it dries quickly so you don't have to worry about getting it wet with either your sweat or by drinking water through it. It is worth noting that if you will actually drink through the ASICS Runners Face Cover, you will sort of wash the mask with the water that goes through it which makes it even less appealing to drink through the face cover. It is possible, though.
All the great performance features come at a price, literally: the ASICS Runners Face Cover is around twice the price of good quality reusable masks, if not three times. That said, as discussed before, even the best fabric masks are not good enough for sports, unlike the ASICS Runners Face Cover, which is, to some degree.
Considering we are only at the beginning of what will possibly be a new era in performance face coverings, it is remarkable that companies like ASICS and Under Armour are already producing such great face masks for runners. I'm sure there will be even more innovation introduced further down the line but until then, the ASICS Runners Face Cover will do the job just fine. From mid-September, when it will become available to buy.