Moisture wicking menswear isn't only for elite athletes or those in extremely hot climates. Learn how it works and what it can do for your workout, office or hobby comfort.
Why Moisture Wicking?
According to a recent Cotton Incorporated survey, cotton blends with moisture wicking properties are on the rise pretty much across the board with major brands like Russell, Everlast, Champion and others leading the way.
It doesn't really matter if you're a hardcore gym enthusiast, weekend warrior on the golf course, or outdoors enthusiast in Arizona to see why people are prepared to pay a few bucks more. If you have experienced the unpleasant feeling of a sloppy old T-shirt soaked to the point where it clings to you all over, you know why moisture wicking clothes is a nice idea.
The use isn't restricted to sports contexts either, as many moisture wicking technologies has made their way into the professional and business casual categories as well. Premium shirts now come with the option of invisible, extra protection against unsightly wet armpits -- one monkey off your back next time you're called on to make a big presentation at work.
There's even moisture wicking underwear for further comfort. Firefighters, military personnel, utility workers in warm climates, just to mention a few examples, all benefit from drier and cooler clothes. Wet sports like kayaking, fishing, skiing and others are also prime candidates for moisture-controlled underwear.
How It Works
These clothes are designed to rapidly pull the moisture away from your skin using methods ranging from special weaving techniques to advanced nanotechnology. Either way, the result is cooler, drier and "breathing" clothes.
Microfiber, the leading moisture wicking technology, is a polyester/polyamideams mix made from a warp knitted thread. As the name implies, the thread is extremely small, which also makes the fabric very soft to the touch and tends to hold its shape over time.
Where to Buy Moisture Wicking Menswear
With the recent boom in moisture wicking menswear, practically any clothing store is bound to have at least a few items in stock. For best selection, check the upper-end stores, sports specialist or gym shops. You can also find good deals online. Here are a few suggestions to get you started; a Yahoo shopping or Google search will bring up dozens more.
- Advantage wear offers an extensive line of Dri-Shield clothes from various brands, ranging from underwear to dress shirts.
- REI.com is for the more adventurous men who enjoy the great outdoors. REI has moisture wicking menswear in many different categories, from T-shirts to jackets.
- The Nike store features a selection of shorts and even shoes using moisture wicking microfiber.
- Dick's Sporting Goods offers a wide variety of clothes with moisture wicking qualities.
A Word of Caution
Microfiber clothing is an artificial, petroleum-based product. That means they may emit hazardous fumes when burned, just like any other type of plastic blend.
This also means microfiber products are not biodegradable, nor are they "earth friendly" in terms of renewable resources. However, some argue that this aspect is partially offset by the resources spent, renewable and otherwise, to produce cotton and other more traditional fabrics.