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Shola 230 Short Sleeve Crew by Kora
Materials: 100% Yak Wool
Best Features: Socially responsible, warm
Room for Improvement: Pricey, slightly scratchy
The Shola 230 SS Crew by Kora (men’s version here) is a premium Yak wool shirt made for mountain activities. Before getting into the specifics, a little background information on Kora is important: Kora is making a point to create socially responsible, high-performance products. The fabric, made 100 percent of Yak wool, is created in-house and sourced directly from nomadic communities in the Himalayas. Kora purchases the wool directly, providing the communities a decent, reliable income that they might not have otherwise. An added plus, the process is painless for the Yaks because the wool is harvested in the spring when the animals shed their under layers.
The Shola 230 SS Crew is perfect for a cold fall or spring day in the 20- to 40-degree range, or those long backcountry adventures in cool, high-altitude air. This crew would also work well as a base layer for any winter activity. The Shola is warmer than you might expect—after a five-mile pre-dawn run in 40 degrees, I came home about ready to tear the shirt off, I was so warm. The neck is higher than your average crew, providing a bit more coverage for cool days.
Be prepared to get used to the feel of this fabric if you have any skin sensitivities; it’s slightly scratchier than a typical merino wool running shirt. The fit is true to size with a close-to-body fit—exactly what you want in a base layer—and provides a decent amount of breathability. The look is sleek and minimal—perfect for après. Though the shirt is pricey on its own, Kora offers a trail bundle package that includes trail gear for 20% off.
—Katie Stookesberry, a road runner in winter and trail runner by summer, loves trashing her quads on downhills, and will never pass up a good Negroni.