The Lowdown on Wicking Fabric and Its Impact on Your Workout

We’ve all heard how important wicking material is when it comes to exercise apparel. But what exactly is wicking? And why should we bother with it?

During periods of intense physical activity, our bodies produce heat. Sweating is our body’s natural way of cooling down and restoring normal body temperature but sometimes, it is not enough.  If left unaided, the body may overheat and cause serious health problems such as dehydration and heat stroke. Not cool.


Wicking refers to the property of a fabric to move moisture from the body to its outer surface where it can evaporate. Wicking fabrics literally pull sweat from your body so you can feel dry and cool during periods of physical activity.

Example of wicking fabric
Example of cotton fabric
Example of cotton fabric

But not all fabrics are created equal. Wicking is an ability usually found in synthetic or microfiber fabrics made from certain types of polyester and nylon. Wicking fabrics are coated with water repellants that enable them to fend off moisture instead of absorbing it like natural fibers such as cotton or silk would. Some are even engineered to absorb moisture as quickly as you produce it. They are typically lightweight and soft to the touch which makes them the perfect building material for sportswear.

Imagine two persons on the treadmill, the first dressed in jogging pants and a sweatshirt made from cotton and the other sporting running shorts and a top made from wicking fabric. Who do you think will go on faster and longer?

The sweat will get to you... even if you're Rocky.
The sweat will get to you… even if you’re Rocky.

During the first few meters, there will hardly be a difference in their performance. However, as time goes by, person number 1 will have a hard time keeping up because all the sweat he is producing will not evaporate. Instead, it will be absorbed by his clothes which will slowly become wet and heavy. A definite confidence killer! Wicking fabrics enable a person to remain cool, dry and comfortable even when they’ve been on the treadmill for 2 hours. They take care of the sweat, so you can concentrate on your performance. Plus, they lessen the chance of chafing as well.



Whether you’ve been exercising for years or just starting to get used to your routine, sportswear made from wicking fabrics should definitely be a priority. They may be more expensive than clothing made from natural fibers but they last longer and can help enhance your performance. In short, they’re a great investment! For your sweat wicking or sports accessory needs,  don’t forget to visit our friends at Suddora!

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