Clothing, for a good bit of the population, is about covering the bits and pieces of the body that we don’t want exposed, showing a bit of personality via style, and keeping us warm or cool depending on the climate.
But exercise apparel has had some scientists, or at least some very smart designers, tinkering with fabric and construction to make even the most lackadaisical fitness buff more comfortable. The trick is figuring out what to wear when. With local January temperatures averaging anywhere from 47 degrees to a low of 28 degrees, how do you calculate what to wear for walking or running in the winter months?
‘Cotton is rotten’
“The No. 1 rule of thumb when it comes to choosing any kind of exercise apparel is that cotton is rotten,” proclaims Tammy Sanders, marketing director with Fleet Feet Sports.
Cotton fibers, though soft to the touch, are porous. Moisture clings to each fiber, creating heaviness and chafing, while synthetic or wool fibers will dry moisture off the body and keep you dry, according to Sanders.
“Even if the tag says ‘dri-fit’ or some other word that promotes a quick dry time, read the fabric content tag. If cotton is listed, skip it — especially for your base layer,” Sanders says.