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An Introduction to Athletic Bounding


Thanks to the incredible online Disney community, I was introduced to #DisneyBounding pretty early on. Instead of wearing full-on costumes as cosplayers do, Disney bounders dress in subtle, everyday-fashion character inspired outfits. With the notable exception of Lily Pulitzer, when choosing my clothes I prefer more classic styles with less of a brand influence. So for me, bounding is the perfect way I can channel my love of Disney characters through my clothing. As a runner, I’ve experimented with athletic Disney bounding as a continuation of my love for everyday subtle Disney touches, and I really turn it up a notch for runDisney race weekends. Let me tell you how I do this:


The only rule is that there are no rules…except for the one I’m about to implement.

  • Rule #1 (and only): Safety Over Bounding (SOB)

You’ll be sobbing if you don’t listen to SOB. Let me explain: as amazing as bounding is, running is serious business. This is especially true once you get to the longer distances. No special color pants, or shoes, or anything else is worth risking injury. And by injury, I mean: rubbing/chaffing, fall hazards, sight blocking, etc. etc. Always keep safety in mind when choosing outfits regardless of how long you’ll be wearing it.


Now that we have the safety precautions out of the way, lets get bounding! I like to plan my bounds in 3 steps: 1) Athletic Base; 2) Character Add-ons; 3) Wow Factor.

  1. Athletic Base: Always start with a smart athletic clothing base. Remove the thought of bounding and consider what you would wear if you were running/exercising normally. Once you’ve decided on and narrowed down the athletic apparel you need to comfortably and safely complete your run, choose your bound character. Notice ‘choose your character’ is the second part of this step, not the first. Remember SOB from earlier? If you have a 10 mile run planned, want to bound as Cinderella, but only have a costume material dress – you’re gonna be Sobbing. Once you have your base & character, move on to step 2.

  2. Character Add-ons: Consider what accessories you have to add to your athletic clothing. Sparkle skirts, hair bows, and shoe schwings are some of my favorite add-ons that are both effective and safe.

  3. Wow Factor: I only include a “wow factor” during runDisney race weekends for shorter races (5k & sometimes 10k). I consider a wow factor to be an accessory that really accentuates the character and that I wouldn’t normally bring on a regular training run. An example would be the Tangled Lantern Popcorn Bucket I wore during a runDisney 10k when dressed as Rapunzel. It was easy to carry and I knew I’d be doing a lot of walking so I felt comfortable including it as my ‘wow factor’ for the race.


Stay tuned for more of my tips, tricks, and inspiration for athletic Disney bounding! There are so many ways to incorporate our favorite characters into exercise, so I’m excited to share more soon!

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