The Dunning Boutique I visited sits about 15 minutes outside of downtown Toronto in an upscale part of town. As I approached the store I was greeted by the words on the store window “Handcrafted in Toronto”.
Ralph Dunning was at the boutique after hours waiting to show me around and tell me about what he has been doing for the last several years. One of the very 1st things he said to me was “I designed these clothes with the Endurance Athlete in mind. We work hard to maintain our bodies and there are not very many companies out there that have form fitting clothing for us. That is what Dunning has to offer the Endurance Athlete.”
One of the first things in the boutique that Ralph showed me was some Katin surf wear and on the rack next to it was the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot collection. I was taken back seeing these different brands in the store and then Ralph explained to me that these are things that are special to him and are a special shout out to those companies.
From short sleeve polos, cotton tees to long sleeve dress shirts Dunning has them all. The clothing that Ralph has to offer compliments who we are as athletes. Ralph Dunning’s clothing line doesn’t hold any punches. His cotton polos, wovens, t-shirts & hoodies are all 100% cotton. The Slim Fit Performance Polos are narrow in the shoulders and chest and offer a shorter body length and sleeves that hit mid bicep. Dunning’s Performance Wovens are designed to stay dry and remain comfortable in any environment from a long flight or a long day in the office. These shirts have a blend of Coolmax© and cotton to give little resistance, and maximum breathability and moisture wicking. While showing me his collection, Ralph mentioned that many companies make their batches of shirts in the 100-200’s, and Dunning makes their batches in 50 to ensure quality.
My favorite is the stretch thermal hoodie. Maybe you’ve seen Crowie sporting this one in Tri magazines. It is perfect for wearing over your workout clothes to the gym or to stay warmed up while setting up your transition before a race. The zipper goes all up to your chin to keep out any chill. Also be sure to check out the outwear- it is of course, form fitting and looks good! The fabric is a little on the lighter side, but I’ve been able to wear it in as low as 45-50 degrees and it did a fantastic job in keeping me just warm enough.
After showing me the store we got to talking about everything triathlon. From the group rides and runs he has done with Craig Alexander to his 3 time Ironman finishes (including Kona). At the back of the store I was also surprised to see an autographed picture of the band Rush along with one of their own personal Platinum records.
As triathletes we are very particular about everything from our goggles, our socks, our shoes and everything in between. Dunning Sportswear recognizes this and in my opinion that is why they make their clothes the way they do. We as athletes are demanding of ourselves, our time and our disciplines. Shouldn’t we be of the clothes we wear too?