Since fitness has more recently taken off as everyone’s favorite hobby, the sales of fitness clothing have naturally soared, too.
However, the market is bombarded with clothes claiming to use the latest textile tech to help aid your workout, make you sweat less and give you the most comfortable experience while exercising. While these claims might just be a load of old marketing spiel, one way of finding out for sure is by putting the tech to the test.
I have been trying out a bunch of different brands’ fitness clothing, all of which claims to be developed with some sort of technological innovation, to find out if they work as well as they promise.
Here are a bunch of what I deem the best…
Best for sprinting: On-Running CloudSwift running shoes
Available here: On
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Founded by former triathlete Olivier Bernhard and his friends David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti, On is the result of years of hard work and a combined love of running but also the aspiration to create the perfect running shoe. As a result, and through countless experiments (some of them involving pieces of cut-up garden hose), the team created a unique-looking shoe that would one day delight runners the world-over.
On launched its latest pair of running shoes, the new CloudSwift, around a month ago – but this time with a completely new tech which makes them their most innovative yet. I tried them during a trial run in the mountains and they proved to give me that extra cushioning, support and push that I needed when I needed it the most. This is because the shoes feature an update to On’s already-established “CloudTec” technology; a new cushioning innovation called Helion foam, or “superfoam”. This is a material that’s not only lighter, softer, more agile and durable but has also been designed so it maintains comfort for the wearer at all times.
Best for cycling: Le Col Hors Categorie Jersey
Available here: Le Col
Founded by Welsh former professional racing cyclist, Yanto Barker, Le Col is one of the top names in innovative cycling gear. Over the past decade, Barker has dedicated his time to building kit – obsessing and poring over every detail – so the finished product is something he’s proud to stand behind. “I meticulously specify every technical feature, running through how the cut should feel and what materials will be optimal,” he tells Cyclist magazine. And you can really tell.
I tried out the latest collection while cycling around northern Mallorca earlier this month. Named the Hors Categorie Jersey, the fresh kit has been engineered to offer a snug fit and a luxury feel, but with comfort at the forefront. Using a high-tech four-way stretch fabrics that offer high breathability, this jersey really outperforms all others I’ve tried, especially when it comes to long-distance, high tempo rides. The final jersey design features flat-locked seams, laser cut shoulder grippers, lock down zip puller for ease of use at high speeds with a chin guard, a small 4th waterproof pocket and a silicone hem around the waist.
And it’s super strong, too. I took a little fall during a rain shower, and while my knee and elbow were cut up, the jersey survived completely unscathed. Now if that’s not innovative fabric, I don’t know what is!
Best for under everything: Runderwear
Available here: Runderwear
Promising a chafe-free experience no matter what you are doing, it’s no wonder that Runderwear was voted by the UK as the best underwear and socks brand in the 2018 Running Awards. The undergarment material is made via a flatlock edging and 360-degree construction which results in a seamless pair of undies that offer comfort for even the longest of runs.
The high-tech fabric is constructed with micro-perforations, which manage airflow to improve the wearer’s core temperature control to maximise your comfort during any activity. This also wicks moisture and sweat away fast to keep you dry while you’re bossing it. These are the most high-tech yet functional undies you’ll ever pull over your ass.
Best for mud runs: UnderArmour RUSH
Available here: UA
Some of the best gear to arm your body with before you step out onto an obstacle course is Under Armour’s new RUSH athletic wear, which has been scientifically designed to enhance performance.
Designed in collaboration with technology provider Celliant, RUSH is made of a mineral infused-fabric which has been designed to give athletes an extra edge by recycling the body’s energy during moments of performance. It’s also said to provide the same benefits to the body as an infrared sauna. During use, I found it didn’t chafe and it stretched without absorbing sweat.
Best for yoga: Ohmme Dharma pants
Available here: OHMME
One of my favorite pants I’ve ever worn for yoga is the OHMME Apparel Dharma pants. With a relaxed fit through the thigh and a slimmer cut in the calf and ankle, the men’s yoga pants are so stretchy and comfortable because they are so damn good at moving with you through every vinyasa. Oh, and they’re also eco-friendly and completely vegan.
Perhaps the best thing I found, though – especially for me as a male yogi – is that they’ll wick your sweat right away thanks to their quick dry and low-level absorption tech, meaning moisture will just evaporate as you move through your favorite yoga sequence, making your practice as sweat-free as possible. Well, unless it’s Bikram yoga you’re doing; they’re not miracle workers!
Best for chill: SculptMode joggers
Available here: SculptMode
This brand’s not one of the big players in the fitness world…yet. I’ve been using the firm’s “athleisurewear” for a good few weeks now and found it to be one of my favorites for comfort, no matter how I’m exercising.
The team behind the brand said they worked with yoga instructors and athletes to assist with the design of SculptMode, incorporating a whole caliber of tech fabrics, and you can tell. I’ve probably worn the SculptMode joggers more than any of the other pieces of fitness clothing I own due to not only how good they look for any occasion but how they are structured enough to look smart with the right top, but also super comfortable.