The Best Fabrics for a Comfortable Run


Using technical fabrics to keep dry and comfortable can make all the difference to your run whether you're running your first 5k or marathon.

So it’s important to invest in technical clothing that is both sweat-wicking and breathable. Instead of trapping the moisture next to your skin, these fabrics move it away, allowing it to sit on the outside of the fabric, to evaporate, minimising chaffing and maximising your comfort.

What Fabric Should I look For?

Synthetic fabrics have taken the lead in recent years for activewear for their superior ability to keep you dry and comfortable, whatever the weather, but there are some natural alternatives too. 


Nylon - Nylon is one of the most popular fabrics in running wear as it's sweat-wicking, breathable, and super stretchy so it’ll move with you for a comfortable ride. 


Polyester- Polyester is a plastic based fabric making it durable, lightweight, breathable, and non-absorbent. It also repels UV rays and keeps you warm when it's wet making it ideal for running jackets.

Unfortunately it doesn't hold the anti-bacterial qualities of natural fibres so can stink quite quickly after a run.


Polypropylene - Popular in running gear this fabric is water-resistant making it a great running base-layer. Regardless of how sweaty you get this fabric will stay dry to the skin's touch.


Spandex - Also known by the brand name Lycra, spandex is used to be the stretch in your running gear. This synthetic fabric can expand, offering you unrestricted movement, before snapping back and retaining its shape. 


Bamboo - Bamboo is a great eco-friendly alternative to synthetic fibres and is naturally sweat-wicking, anti-bacterial, and incredibly soft.


Wool - Merino wool in particular is ideal for both hot and cold weather running as it is temperature regulating, extremely breathable, sweat-wicking, and anti-bacterial. It’s often combined with synthetic fibres such as spandex to give it a more fitted shape. It’s also incredibly lightweight.


Cotton - Be aware of cotton; it is a terrible fabric for running. Not only does it absorb the moisture, it traps it against your skin, making you feel damp and hot as you sweat. 

5 Most Popular Fabrics for a Comfortable Run


Adidas have developed an ingenious lightweight fabric which uses SubZero yarns containing titanium and aluminium-silver microdot beads (pictured above) to efficiently cool you down by conducting heat away from the body. The beads are located where you sweat the most – on the back, neck and back of the arms.

adidas Climachill also has a mesh-like construction which allows cool air to flow through it for even greater comfort and breathability.


Nike Dri-FIT is a polyester fabric which transports sweat, heat and moisture away from the skin to the outside of the garment where it evaporates, keeping you dry and comfortable.


The fabric also has a Body-Mapping construction which uses mesh ventilation in the areas where you sweat the most. This allows heat to escape and cool air to penetrate.


Gore Microfiber is designed to keep the body at a constant temperature where it can perform at its best – which Gore claims is around 37°! Not only does it allow heat to escape to keep you fresher on long and humid training sessions, it’s also stretchy and fast-drying to minimise chaffing and maximise comfort so you can focus on your running goals.


ASICS Motion Dry technology allows sweat and heat to escape between the fibres in the fabric to keep you dry and cool and minimise chaffing on spring and summer runs.

Motion Dry technology is included in all of our ASICS tops.


Ronhill Vapourlite fabric is crafted with a lightweight knitted construction which pulls moisture away from the skin so it can evaporate on the outer surface. It’s also quick-drying to deal with excess sweat and heat in the warmer and muggier months and often incorporates ventilation zones for added breathability.

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