How Do I Choose the Best Moisture Wicking Clothing?

Dan Cavallari

Moisture wicking clothing has become a common sight at almost all athletic events, gyms, and outdoor activities, and for good reason. This type of clothing keeps moisture away from the body, keeping the user dry, comfortable, and safe from chafing or other discomfort. When choosing this clothing, it is important to consider the type of activity in which one is participating. This will largely determine which types of clothing are vital and which types can take a backseat.

A sports bra made out of moisture wicking clothing.
A sports bra made out of moisture wicking clothing.

For outdoor activities in which weather conditions must be taken into account, a full outfit of moisture wicking clothing may be necessary. In snowy conditions, a waterproof but breathable jacket will keep the user both warm and dry from the elements because sweat and moisture will not be trapped against the skin. GORE-TEX® moisture wicking clothing is a common choice for such applications; GORE-TEX® is a teflon-based material that wicks moisture away from the body and allows it to escape through the fabric while still keeping the elements from passing through the material toward the body. Similar materials are used for breathable pants, socks, hats, gloves, and more.

Moisture wicking socks may help prevent blisters from developing on feet.
Moisture wicking socks may help prevent blisters from developing on feet.

Working out at the gym might call for a different set of moisture wicking clothing. A simple shirt, sports bra, and shorts combination might do the trick. In such a setting, keeping moisture away from the body is far more important than keeping outside moisture away, and many gyms can be hot and stuffy. Therefore, something lightweight would be a good choice. Silk-weight clothing, or clothing made from very lightweight wicking materials, that keep moisture away from the skin will prevent discomfort from chafing, sweating, rubbing, or other issues while still allowing the user to keep cool.

Moisture wicking tights and tops help keep a power walker cool during workouts.
Moisture wicking tights and tops help keep a power walker cool during workouts.

One of the most important pieces of moisture wicking clothing to consider is moisture wicking socks. Because the feet sweat when engaged in physical activity, and since shoes may or may not be effectively breathable, moisture can build up on the skin. Such build-up can cause blisters, hot spots, and other irritations that can affect how the foot moves, which can, in turn, cause other injuries. Moisture wicking socks can help keep moisture away from the skin, preventing blisters and other discomfort. When choosing a moisture wicking sock, one should make certain to choose one that fits close to the skin so the sock does not bunch up. Some socks come with neoprene fibers that help the sock cling close to the skin, preventing movement that could otherwise cause irritation.

Tank tops that wick moisture away help the body to stay cool.
Tank tops that wick moisture away help the body to stay cool.

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Discussion Comments


Can anyone recommend a good brand that they trust for women? I am going to be doing a 5 day hike on Vancouver island and it will be warm and damp. I need something that keeps both sweat away from my body and rain away. Any information would be great.


I am a middle-aged woman who sweats more than most, especially around my torso. I now have some wicking bras and am hoping to find some wicking shirts that are not too expensive. Any suggestions of stores and or specific fabrics?


One of the best investments I ever made was in buying moisture wick clothes. They are great to have in multiples if you sweat a lot no matter what you are doing, like me.

I first bought moisture wick clothing just when I worked out. But over the years it seems like I sweat more and more easily than in the past.

When I go out in my moisture wick clothing I feel secure, even if I am sweating because when I go to the bathroom to make sure there are no sweat stains on my clothes, or that I am not chaffing, I am fine.

I would highly recommend moisture wicking socks to everyone too. I used to get some gnarly blisters on my feet, but now that I use the moisture wick socks, no blisters!

Moisture wick can not prevent you from sweating, but it does help prevent other physical issues brought on by too much sweat;like blisters, chaffing, and extra moist/wrinkly skin.

On a mental note, moisture wick clothing can help you gain back your confidence, which will in turn help your overall mood improve.

Really any and all moisture wick clothing I would recommend. The prices are cheap to me when I consider all the added benefits and bonuses to moisture wick clothes over cotton clothes.


When I am buying work out clothes, I always try to make sure they are moisture wicking. I know that I am going to sweat, but it really does make a difference when the moisture isn't absorbed so quickly into my skin.

I have been able to find moisture wicking shirts everywhere they sell athletic clothing. They don't seem to be much more expensive than the regular shirts, so I don't even have to spend much more money to feel a whole lot more comfortable.


We have a lot of hot summer days with very high humidity. Even though you get used to the humidity, I get tired of feeling wet every time I go outside.

Because of this I have several wicking t shirts that I wear all summer long. I feel so much more comfortable when the moisture is kept away from my skin.

I was especially glad I was wearing one of them when we spent the day at our state fair this year. The temperature got close to 100 degrees with high humidity. Even though it was hard to find any place that was cool, wearing a wicking t shirt did help.


You wouldn't think when it is close to zero outside that your feet would sweat, but every time we went skiing my feet and toes would be wet.

Even though it is so cold outside, when your feet are inside the ski boots and you are doing all that moving around, your feet still sweat.

Once I began wearing moisture wicking cotton socks I didn't have nearly as much of a problem with this. It was so nice to take my ski boots off and not have wet socks all the time.


I like to go sledding when I get the chance, but I hate to get wet with snow. It seeps through my clothing into my underwear, and it’s icy cold.

Last year, I decided to get a waterproof suit to wear in the snow. I bought a jacket that feels nice and thick on the inside like a regular coat, but the outside is covered in waterproof material. The pants are also warm yet waterproof.

I was elated to find some gloves and a hat made of the same stuff. I could make snowballs without worrying about my hands getting wet and cold, and if I fell down while sledding, my hat would protect my scalp from moisture.

This moisture wicking apparel also lets my body heat circulate outward so that I don’t sweat. Sometimes, I get pretty warm climbing back up those hills that I have just sledded down.


My brother works in construction, and during the cold winters, he still sweats. He needed something to keep the moisture off his skin, but it had to be something he could wear under his sweatshirt. Even though he worked up a sweat, it was still too cold outside to strip down to one layer.

Our dad told him about some moisture wicking underwear that he wears. It is lightweight and fits under his clothing. It has long sleeves and a short turtleneck. Matching leggings are also available.

He bought both the shirt and the leggings. They feel so smooth, and they fit really snugly. They help keep him warm while transporting the sweat away from his skin.


I needed some clothes to keep the sweat off of my body while I worked in the garden. On a hot day, my entire body would be slick with sweat after weeding. I wore loose fitting cotton, and though it may have kept me cooler than some outfits would have, it did nothing to wick the sweat away.

I went to an athletic apparel store, and they had a large selection of moisture wicking clothing for women. I got a purple sleeveless shirt that feels silky and some matching shorts with side slits.

Next time I worked outdoors, I wore this outfit. I stayed a lot drier than before. I have designated these my official yard work clothes.


My husband was having issues with sweaty feet at his job. He works in a refrigerated warehouse for about twelve hours a day, and he is constantly moving around, picking up heavy boxes, and stacking them. He has to wear boots to protect his feet from anything he might accidentally drop on them, and they sweat a lot.

He bought some socks that are designed to wick moisture away from his feet. He still sweats, but he doesn’t have to deal with soggy toes and soles all day now. His toes used to look like prunes when he would come home, but they don’t anymore.

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