HomeGearBest Moisture-Wicking Apparel for Trail Running and Hiking

Best Moisture-Wicking Apparel for Trail Running and Hiking

Moisture-wicking materials are the unsung heroes of trail running attire. They excel at pulling sweat away from your skin to the outer surface of the fabric, where it can evaporate quickly. This is crucial for several reasons:

  • Temperature Regulation: By keeping you drier, moisture-wicking fabrics help regulate your body temperature, preventing overheating or chilling.
  • Reduced Chafing: Damp clothing can lead to uncomfortable chafing. Moisture-wicking materials minimize this risk, enhancing overall comfort.
  • Preventing Blisters: Especially important for socks, moisture management helps keep feet dry, reducing the likelihood of blisters.

Recommendations for Moisture-Wicking Apparel:

  • Shorts: Opt for shorts with moisture-wicking liners or built-in briefs. Brands like Salomon, The North Face, and Arc’teryx produce excellent trail running shorts.
  • Socks: Invest in moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Brands like Smartwool, Balega, and Darn Tough are known for their high-quality options.
  • Sports Bras: Women should seek sports bras made of moisture-wicking materials to provide support and comfort during runs. Brands like Brooks, Moving Comfort, and Lululemon offer excellent choices.

Choosing moisture-wicking apparel ensures you stay comfortable and dry throughout your trail run, allowing you to focus on the path ahead.

Moisture Wicking Apparel Top Picks

Best Overall Trail Running Shorts for Men – Pudolla Men’s 2 in 1 Running Shorts 5″

Pudolla Men’s 2 in 1 Running Shorts 5' Quick Dry Gym Athletic Workout Shorts for Men with Phone Pockets(Dark Green Small)

$24.99 at Amazon.com

I bought these for my partner, and he loves them. The thing he likes the most is the mobile phone pocket which does not interfere with his running or hiking. They also dry quickly and are very comfortable. The long inner liner prevents chafing when you are running.

Best Overall Trail Running Shorts for Women – Haimont Womens Trail Running Shorts with Liner

Haimont Womens 2 in 1 Trail Running Shorts with Liner,Dry Fit Athletic Gym Workout Shorts with Pockets, Moisture Wicking & Breathable,Navy,XL

Price not available at Amazon.com

My preference for trail running shorts is similar with an inner lining and the all-important phone pocket. The pocket is at the back of the shorts so if you are a sweaty runner, I would recommend putting your phone in a ziploc bag.

Best Overall Trail Running Socks – Merrell Unisex Men’s and Women’s Trail Running Cushioned Socks

Merrell Trail Running Cushioned Socks-1 Pair Pack-Unisex Anti-Slip Heel & Arch Compression, Low Cut Tab-Coral, S/M (Men's 5-8.5 / Women's 5-9.5)

$10.85 at Amazon.com

Unlike running in a triathlon where you may not to wear socks for a quick transition when trail running you will probably want to wear socks. Trail running shoes tend to be a good fit to stop them moving too much on downhills and uphills so I would recommend thin socks and I like a bit of compression in them too. These ones from Merrell are ideal.

Best Sports Bra for Trail Running – Anita Women’s Dynamix Star Maximum Support Sport Bra

Anita Dynamix Star Control Sports Bra Womens Black/Anthracite, 36D

$80.04 at Amazon.com

When running on trails you may need a little more support but with good comfort. The bra’s from Anita are excellent.

Moisture-Wicking Apparel FAQ

What are the benefits of wearing moisture-wicking apparel for trail running?

Moisture-wicking materials pull sweat away from your skin, helping regulate body temperature, reduce chafing, and keep you comfortable during your run.

How often should I wash moisture-wicking trail running apparel?

It’s advisable to wash them after each run to remove sweat, dirt, and bacteria. Following care instructions on the label will help maintain their performance.

Can I use regular cotton clothing for trail running?

While cotton is comfortable, it retains moisture and can lead to chafing and discomfort. It’s best to opt for moisture-wicking fabrics designed for athletic activities.

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Karen Parnell
Karen Parnellhttps://chilitri.com/one-to-one-coaching
Karen Parnell is a Level 3 British Triathlon and IRONMAN Certified Coach, WOWSA Level 3 open water swimming coach,  80/20 Endurance certified coach and NASM Personal Trainer and Sports Technology Writer. Need a training plan? I have plans on TrainingPeaks, FinalSurge and TrainingTilt: TrainingPeaks FinalSurge TrainingTilt I also coach a very small number of athletes one to one for all triathlon distances, open water swimming events and running races, email me for details and availability. Karen.parnell@chilitri.com

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