T8's Story - Discover Our Mission and Where it all Began in Hong Kong
Some like it hot - well sort of...
We were two blokes with a running problem. Many big name sports brands hail from Europe or the United States and make decent running gear for cool, dry conditions. For us in tropical Hong Kong, however, not so great.
For six months a year, it averages 30C and 85% humidity here, so sweat just doesn't have that evaporative cooling effect. We need running gear that is crazy lightweight for minimal heat insulation, extra wicking and quick drying, plus super breathable for maximum air flow.
That's our goal here at T8: ultralight, supercool, chafe-free. Human ingenuity to help you beat the toughest conditions #mindovermountain. Here in Hong Kong, this means Category 8 Typhoons, but our T8 gear is also great for everyday casual wear.
* We call it #typhoonwear but obviously don't recommend that you go running in a T8. Keep it safe, team!
Mark and I like to run loo-oong. As ultra trail runners, we are fortunate to have raced all over the world - including UTMB, UTMF and even the 298km Hong Kong 4 Trails Ultra Challenge - and this gives us a great chance to chew over equipment ideas and put our gear through the wringer.
Most kit won't turn feral on you in the first 10 kilometres. It's only after an all-nighter or dripping in sweat for the past 15 hours that you really know. Every T8 product has been extensively tested by us and our awesome beta testing crew on ultra runs in the toughest conditions. If it works for us, we guarantee it'll work for you and help you #runhigherlonger.
We saw a big gap in the market for super lightweight, chafe-free running underwear that just rocks in tropical conditions - and we knew what worked for us - but product development ain't easy.
We've tested endless materials, sewing patterns, design tweaks, construction techniques and factories - and all the combinations thereof - in our quest for the perfect running underwear. Adjust, run long, test, repeat. Getting to a commercial product took us 18 months, but we think it was 18 months well spent.
Commandos was our first product and received almost universal 5 star reviews, and the current version is our second iteration as #betterneverstops.
But why separate running underwear - don't running shorts come with in-built liners? Indeed they do, but we've never been particularly impressed with the options on the market, which seem like an after thought, with hems that cut in, prickly seams and no inner thigh protection. They might get you through a 10K shuffle, but just aren't up to scratch for the long, sweaty stuff!
We hope you like our Commandos as much as we enjoy wearing them, both out on the trails and in daily life.
We love simplicity so why use two products when one will do? The Sherpa Shorts are a super lightweight running short with integrated running belt pockets to stash your phone, water, gels, rainjacket and more.
Road, trail or mountain, training session or race up to 50 kilometres, ditch the backpack and just #T8run!
By the way, what is a T8?
Typhoons are a fact of life in Hong Kong, with an average of six coming in from the western Pacific Ocean each year between June and October. The Hong Kong Observatory has been issuing tropical cyclone warnings since 1884, and was actually the world’s first marine meteorological service!
Visual signs for ship captains initially consisted of drums, balls and cones on a raised mast, plus a loud cannon for the local public. Over time, these signals have been simplified into T1 (standby), T3 (strong wind) and T8 for storms and typhoons with gusts exceeding 180kph.
For obvious safety reasons, when the T8 signal is hoisted, people are advised to return home and the city basically stops. Hong Kong’s deadliest typhoon was in 1937 with a sudden midnight storm surge killing an estimated 10,900 people, or 1% of the entire population.
Clearly, typhoons are no laughing matter, but we hope your T8 gear will keep you strong and comfortable in the toughest tropical conditions.