You’ll see the Runner's World Expert Tested logo on some of the products we recommend both online and in our magazine.
This logo represents hours of rigorous testing by our Runner's World Lab team, who put products to the test in both real-world and lab conditions. They provide unbiased, in-depth product reviews you can trust, recommending the best products on the market so you can buy with confidence.
Below, we explain everything you need to know about the Runner's World Lab team, including how we test.
What is the Runner's World Lab?
The Runner's World Lab – located in Soho, Central London and Feltham, West London – is where our team of experts dedicate their days to testing a variety of products and services.
They work across three categories – health and fitness, beauty and grooming and food and drink – and test thousands of products every year to find the very best you can buy.
The team use a mixture of their own scientific knowledge and industry experience to put brands’ claims to the test. They use specialised equipment in our lab to check everything from a running jacket's waterproofing credentials in a downpour to a massage gun's ability to fight DOMS.
Every product is assessed against a strict set of protocols devised by the RW Lab team and split into three main areas: ease of use, performance and design (instructions are also considered if supplied). Following a thorough test by one of our experts, each product is awarded a final score.
Where relevant – for example with sports apparel – we will also send products to a panel of consumers to try at home, taking care to ensure that it reflects Runner's World's diverse readership. The panel will then complete a detailed feedback survey, which also counts towards a product’s final score.
If products do not meet or exceed our pre-set pass score, then they have failed our testing and we will not recommend them to you.
Our Runner's World Expert Tested logo will only appear on products that have been tested in this way, so you know it can be trusted.
How does Runner's World Expert Tested differ from other product recommendations?
The Runner's World Expert Tested logo is a simple way to let you know where more rigorous testing has taken place, often focusing on products that make measurable (rather than subjective) claims.
This sets us apart from the overwhelming number of product reviews available today, as we go the extra mile – working with thousands of consumers and experts when testing products – to gain the best, most detailed feedback.
You won’t see this endorsement against all of the products that we feature, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth buying. Our Runner's World editors also recommend their favourite products and services online and in print, based on years of industry experience and insider know-how on the latest consumer trends.
How the Runner's World Lab team test
Health and fitness
Buying gym equipment or sports gear can be expensive, so you’ll want to know you’re getting good value for money. Our team of health and fitness experts test everything from electric bikes to adjustable dumbbells using our in-house gym and state-of-the-art lab equipment.
For certain products, we also ask our consumer panel of fitness fanatics for their opinion, sending them wetsuits, running underwear, exercise mats and more to try in real-world conditions. After fully analysing their feedback, products are awarded a final score, with only the best earning the Runner's World Expert Tested logo.
Beauty and grooming
Our experts test the latest beauty and grooming products using a combination of lab tests and consumer feedback. The team, who are all cosmetic scientists, use a variety of equipment in the Runner's World Lab to find out if a product delivers on its claims in real life. In the Lab we use:
The Diastron – this machine analyses hair swatches to test how effective grooming products are, such as how well a beard oil or conditioner smoothes hair.
The Multi Skin Test Centre – this machine assesses hydration, skin barrier function and the oil/sebum control of skin and hair care products. This helps us discover how hydrating a moisturiser is or how effectively a shampoo lifts dirt and oil.
Noise Meter – this machine measures the sound levels of electricals such as electric toothbrushes, hair dryers, beard trimmers and body grooming tools, so we know which are the quietest (read: least likely to wake up your family in the morning!).
To see how products fare in real life, we’ll also ask our trusty panel of consumers to try products at home over a set period of time. Every product is blinded to avoid brand bias, before being sent to our testers for their feedback on everything from design to performance.
We analyse the results of both our lab and consumer testing to work out which products to recommend to you.
Food and drink
Our tasting panel, consisting of consumers and our experts, taste test a variety of food and drink every year, from nut butters and plant-based milks to protein bars and shakes. They assess them on aroma, taste and texture before giving them an overall score. Any food or drink product that scores above our pre-set pass rate will be featured with the Runner's World Expert Tested logo.
How to join our consumer panel
If you’d like to join one of our consumer panels and test the latest products for Runner's World Lab, please click on the relevant links below and fill out our survey.
Does Runner's World receive a commission if you buy through a link on a Runner's World Expert Tested product?
In our online articles, we provide links to buy from Runner's World Expert Tested products so that you can easily find where to purchase them, or read more information. We try to keep these links as up to date as possible so that products are always in stock when you need them.
We may earn a commission if you buy through one of these links, but this does not influence our experts’ opinions.
Our team of experts test products separately from any of our commercial or editorial teams, and will only recommend products that pass our strict testing protocols. Any products that fail are not eligible for our endorsement and are therefore not recommended to you by the Runner's World Lab team.
Can brands purchase the Runner's World Expert Tested endorsement?
Yes, we do allow brands to purchase the Runner's World Expert Tested logo, but only after their product has passed our rigorous tests. Brands have no say in how we test products, as all testing is completed independently from commercial or editorial teams. Any brands whose products fail are not allowed to purchase our endorsement.
Is your brand interested in our endorsement? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Who do I contact if I have a question about Runner's World Expert Tested?
If you’d like to know more about our endorsement, or would like to recommend a product to test, please email HIrequests@hearst.co.uk.
Note: Runner's World Lab is a subsidiary of the Hearst Institute.
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