Best Sweat-Wicking Gear for Those Hot as Heck Summer Workouts

Baby, it’s absolutely roasting outside.

But, we still need to grind out those weekly workouts, and how can we resist taking advantage of the brief period of bright, sunshiney days? Even when it’s baking-cookies-on-the-sidewalk-level hot, you can still enjoy an outdoor workout – so long as you’ve got the right gear to get you through it.

First, let’s go over how sweat-wicking materials actually work. They won’t keep you from sweating, as only your glands are in control of that (and you shouldn’t be trying to stop your sweat, anyway). Instead, these mega-materials focus on one key reaction to keep you cool (or cooler, anyway): evaporation.

Sweat-wicking technology helps disperse the moisture on your skin’s surface across the fabric that’s touching it. The more that moisture spreads out, the more quickly it will evaporate into the air, allowing the material to dry more quickly than other fabrics like cotton, which absorbs liquids. That quick-evaporation action also keeps clothes lighter because they aren’t bogged down (literally) by sweat, making your workout much more pleasant, and probably less *stanky* too.

After applying some seriously strong sunscreen, slide into something a lot more comfortable and feel totally prepared to take on the day (and your sweat glands). We don’t recommend trying to fight the sun, but we’re happy to help you fight your sweat.

Men

Starting from the bottom, you’ll want to line your favorite pair of running shoes with some good old-fashioned wool, but wool that got an education. Smartwool socks are knit with specially-placed merino and reinforcement fibers where they’re most needed, allowing for tons of ventilation without sacrificing grip and fit.

For the middle of our sweat-proof sandwich, we’re giving wool another starting place in the lineup. Unbound Merino’s wool basics are made to last through your workout and even into the work day. These shirts are moisture wicking, odor resistant, antibacterial, and wrinkle resistant, so you can stay looking extra sharp while workin’ on your fitness. The classic three-striped look of these quick-drying Adidas shorts is the cherry on top of your exercise ‘fit.

Up at the top, help keep things cooler by quite literally bouncing the sun off your head with a Solar Chill cap, made with moisture-wicking fabric and UPF50 that is sure to keep your head from turning into a boiling blob. You can even see the little sun-deflecting dots that have been added to the fabric to let our favorite G2V star know that he can bounce off, bud.

Even with all that sweat-wicking gear, you’ll still be losing a lot of water, so it’s good to have a comfortable flask on hand, especially one with a special pocket for your favorite phone friend.

Women

Kick off your workout right with a vibrant pair of Smartwool nearly-seamless socks, then start off on the right foot by stepping into a super cushiony sneaker made of biodegradable materials that flexes to fit your foot.

Want the security of a supportive sports bra and freedom from tight-fitting shirts but not quite willing to bare it all just yet? Go for a backless option with a loose fit that allows for lots of extra ventilation without completely exposing you to all those elements.

Bike shorts might be nice for cycling, but we can’t stand running out in the heat wrapped up in that tight-fitting fabric. Opt for these breathable bottoms instead, with hidden side slits that make sure you can move wherever the road takes you, and non-clinging fabric to keep any super itchy spots from coming along for the ride.

A reflective hat is great for telling the sun to buzz off while also keeping you squarely in the view of oncoming traffic, and sweat-wicking fabric with lots of stretch keeps things from getting too swampy up top.