Athletic Running Tips

How To Choose Running Clothing (And 2 Surprising Products To Avoid)

After a glorious summer, it’s time to starting to thinking about the cooler weather when you’re out running.

And today, in the video below, I’m kicking off with how to choose running clothing. We’re going to talk about what to look out for when buying clothing and finally I’m going to talk about 2 fabrics you need to be really careful of.

Running clothes you typically need are; tops, bottoms, socks, hat, sports bra and running shoes. To be comfortable when you’re running, you need to get it right.

There are a few features you need to look out for when shopping for running clothes.

As a guide try to get clothes that are:

#1. Moisture wicking and

#2. Quick drying.

Wicking fabrics move moisture away from the skin. It works by absorbing and spreading moisture out across the fabric to enhance the evaporative drying rate..

That just means that moisture wicking and quick drying fabrics don’t hold moisture. You will be kept dry and won’t get cold.

Good examples of fabrics that are moisture wicking and quick drying:



#2. Nylon

#3. Wool

To test the moisture wicking,  I did a test by pouring some water over a running shirt. Notice how the water almost bounces off the polyester fabric.

Fabrics to Avoid When Choosing Running Gear

You need to avoid fabrics that absorb and hold in moisture. As you sweat, if the fabric absorbs the moisture and if the fabric is against your skin, it’ll quickly make you cold.

Here are 2 well known fabrics to avoid (One may surprise you!):

#1. Cotton and

#2. Bamboo

Cotton is not a good option because it holds moisture. As I mentioned above, the moisture is held against your skin and will quickly make you cold. To show you, I took a cotton t-shirt and poured over some water. Notice how, in the image below, the water is absorbed and held in the fabric.

Bamboo has been big in the outdoor and adventure scene. It’s often marketed as a green product with the same characteristics as wool. Be careful of bamboo though, many bamboo fabrics are just a type of rayon or viscose and share all of its pitfalls.

I did the test by pouring some water onto a piece of Bamboo fabric and was amazed at how much water the ‘Bamboo’ held. On closer inspection of this garment, the make up was 20% Bamboo and 80% Viscose, hence the absorption of the moisture.

How to test the moisture absorption of fabric?

Although there are more scientific water absorption tests, take a piece of fabric (or running shirts, as in the previous examples) and pour some water over it. The water will run right off fibres like polyester and wool. However the water will be absorbed and make a wet patch on fibres like cotton.

Of course there are other fibres to avoid they are: Modal, Rayon, Viscose, Tencel and Lyocell.

Running Tips

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