A new level of comfort.
The new 7mesh Industries Women's WK1 Shorts are inspired by the much-loved men's MK and feature a profile designed to better fit a woman's build and anatomy. As with the MK1, the WK1's peculiarities of material and construction make them a more advanced pair of shorts than the type of road-specific kit we're used to seeing from even the venerable Italian manufacturers — all with an understated aesthetic that sits firmly on the clean and classic side of the styling spectrum.
While the shorts' warp knit nylon/elastane blend may seem familiar, the waffle patterning on the inside is a wholly unexpected feature. It increases surface area to mechanically boost the material's inherent wicking ability, keeping you drier and more comfortable. The material is arranged in panels that are darted and shaped, so they fit your body rather than deforming to stretch across it. The number of panels used — and the seams needed to join them — are kept to a minimum, and the combined effect is a bunch-free ride that doesn't abrade or slip around on your skin.
The fit is excellent, but the ingenious method of incorporating the chamois may be our favorite element of the shorts' construction. Instead of attaching the chamois directly to the shorts, it's stitched to what 7mesh refers to as a hammock, but which might be more helpfully described as a free-floating panel of mesh. This mesh insert is then stitched to the shorts. The result is that the chamois moves with your body, independently of the body of the shorts, relocating the point of friction from the body/chamois interface to the chamois/shorts interface and all but eliminating chafing.
The chamois itself is a non-bulky affair, providing just the right amount of targeted, high-density foam padding for comfort while avoiding the pillowy diaper feel, with soft face material breathes to keep you dry. The WK1s have a relatively high waist, a feature that may not appeal to all tastes but offers extended support that we certainly enjoy. This eliminates unfortunate exposures in the peloton and mysterious strips of sunburn by maintaining coverage. Silicone grip at the wide, non-pinching leg bands keeps the shorts in place and reflective detailing helps keep you visible in low-light conditions.