What Is the Best Material for Workout Clothes? We Investigate.

Woman doing crunches

When you’re working out, the last thing you want to worry about is wet clothes sticking to your skin, trapping body heat, and impacting your range of motion. First of all, it’s uncomfortable. Second, it slows you down and undermines performance. Finally, when it comes to essential gear like performance socks and shoes, the wrong fabric or improper fit can mean injury. In this article, we discuss the best material for workout clothes so that during your next gym session, you can focus on staying in the zone. 

Keep Your Cool with Polyester

There’s a good reason polyester crops up on most activewear labels. It’s nonabsorbent and durable, which means it wicks away workout sweat and can stand up to repeated washings. Plus, it’s pretty much incapable of getting wrinkled, so your gym shark outfit will always be on point. Keep in mind, however, that not all polyester is the same. 

For example, fibers like Hydrotec polyester really shine when it comes to staying dry during exercise, while Sorbtek polyester is all about keeping you cool by moving moisture away your skin and releasing it for quick evaporation. 

Breathe Easy with Merino wool

If you’re surprised at the idea of wearing wool to a workout, stay with us. Merino wool is nothing like those thick, itchy wool sweaters you were forced to wear as a kid during Christmas. Coming from the merino sheep, merino wool is a natural fiber that’s been worn for thousands of years in the hottest climates to keep people comfortable and cool. Here are the top benefits of merino wool for everything from performance tanks to socks:

  • Controls odor. If you tend to get a little, um, smelly during your routine, merino wool will be your new best friend. Since it’s naturally odor-resistant, it helps keep stink at bay.
  • Moisture wicking. Merino wool draws moisture away from your body, so your clothes stay dry.
  • Biodegradable. As a natural fiber, wool breaks down quickly in the soil, meaning it’s better for the environment. 
  • Breathable. Since it’s one of the most breathable fabrics on the planet, it makes sense that wool would rank high on any list of the best material for workout clothes. 
  • Super soft. The fibers of merino wool are finer than human hair, which makes for soft, light fabric—perfect for working out!

Stay Dry with Polypropylene

If you love to run, hike, or exercise in rain or snow, then polypropylene is a smart fabric to add to your closet. Why? Because, like polyester, it’s durable and wrinkle resistant. Best of all, though, polypropylene is almost totally waterproof. A great addition to performance socks as well and base and outer layers, polypropylene will do double duty by keeping rain, sleet, and all other forms of humidity out, while simultaneously pulling moisture away from your body for swift evaporation so that you stay totally dry. Magic!

Flex with Nylon

Think of nylon as polyester but leveled up. A synthetic material, you’ll find nylon in plenty of different sports clothing because it wicks away moisture with the best of them while also being soft-as-silk, resistant to mold and mildew, and even more durable than polyester. 

What makes nylon the best material for workout clothes—or one of the best materials—is that it’s really stretchy, which means your workout gear will move with you as you flex, run, jump, or climb. If you notice that your socks or leggings get saggy after tons of wears and washes, give nylon a shot. It conforms to your body shape and has excellent recovery, returning to its original, pre-stretched shape and size immediately after gym time, which means no more loose socks or baggy knees. 

Performance Fabrics to Energize Your Routine

High-quality activewear is indispensable to athletic performance. The best material for workout clothes will help you stay cool, dry, fresh, and comfortable, even if you spring for post-gym drinks. Here at Fitsok, we’re dedicated runners who care about feeling awesome during exercise, which is why we dreamed up a high-performing sock that helps you stay on track with your fitness goals. Wherever your wellness plans take you, we’ll help you get there.