There are so many options for running clothes and gear on the market that the decision can be confusing, frustrating, and very costly. So how does one decide and how do you know what to look for? The season itself impacts your options and can even make your choice easier.
Let’s consider the running tank. With so many styles and fabrics, what do you choose for the optimal running experience?
When selecting a running tank, three key aspects should be taken into consideration:
- Fabric that is moisture-wicking
- You want to stay cool
- Chaffing should be avoided at all costs
If you are like me, my immediate inclination is to gravitate towards a running tank that is fun and eye-catching – something with a motivational running phrase, when in actuality I should be aiming for something that keeps me both cool and dry.
Choose Function over Fashion
The racerback running tank is a popular style for its functionality, its aesthetic appearance, and its comfort. The main goal when selecting apparel should be to keep your run as enjoyable as possible, and this tank will definitely do that.
Moisture-wicking material is important as it pulls the sweat away from your body to keep you cool and dry, rather than wet and cold.
The style of the racerback tank is perfect as it fits the female torso well and has the least restrictive fit. Further, it allows for free movement of the shoulder blades and the straps won’t slip off your shoulders. The cut keeps things breezy and the flexibility of movement allows for the most airflow.
Choose the Right Fit for your Activity
When deciding on the best fit (loose around the stomach like a singlet, or more fitted) and fabric, pick something that is both loose and light. On those hot and humid run days, you will thank yourself for the comfort the racerback style provides.
While your workout gear should never be skin tight to the point of discomfort, depending on the activity you are doing, you may want a different silhouette. If you are biking or running, a top that is looser around the stomach may be more comfortable. As you move, it will gather air to help cool you down.
Alternatively, if you are doing yoga, pilates or weight lifting, a more fitted style may be preferable. This will help keep your top in place while you do inversions and other bending movements. It is entirely personal preference, but consider the type of activity you are using your athletic apparel for to help maximize usage (after all – workout clothes are expensive!)
Synthetic yet Breathable Fabrics will keep you Comfortable!
Chafing is a skin irritation that can be painful and is the result of friction. The goal is to eliminate the potential for friction in the first place by choosing tank cuts and fibers that won’t cause that irritation.
Pro Tip: Stay away from cotton! Synthetic fabrics will dry quicker and designed to pull sweat away from the skin so it can dry on the surface. The same principal applies to athletic socks: cotton socks will hold onto sweat and take longer to dry making it easier for your feet to chafe and develop bacteria that can lead to odours and other unpleasant things.
Think Before you Buy…
Everyone has their own preference and what makes them feel comfortable for their workouts, but if you are just getting started, trying to find fashion inspiration to motivate you, or are completely confused by the endless styles and prices, hopefully this will help you a little bit! Remember, if you are shopping in a store geared toward proper fitness attire, ask a staff member to help! They can give you important insights into proper fit, function, and might even be able to suggest something specific to your needs.
Written by CleanWorkout.com contributing writer, Ashley Massey