5 Must Have Sports Fabrics To Nail Your Workout


Choosing to exercise in a sweat drenched, chaffing cotton T-shirt, can negatively affect your workout performance. Wearing the right fitness clothing can make the difference between a great workout and an average one. You’ll be able to train harder, longer, and more likely to achieve your fitness goals. Here are the top sports fabrics to look out when buying your fitness clothing.



Nylon also called polyamide, is one of the strongest and most durable sportswear fabric. It is soft as silk, breathable and mildew resistant. It has great stretch properties and can stand the sweatiest workout allowing you to move freely without discomfort.

It is great for high impact cardiovascular activities such as HIIT training, Crossfit or running.

You will often find it mixed with polyester by most of high street sports retailers such as JD Sport or Sports Direct.


Polyester is the workout fabrics we see on labels most often. It is cheaper but not as strong and durable than nylon. However, thanks to modern technology, manufacturers can now make multiple varieties of it, making it as soft as nylon, non-absorbent, breathable and lightweight.

Polyester has great insulating and UV repelling properties, making it ideal for outdoors workout. You will find polyester in most of brands for warm-weather wear and cold-weather products.

Polyester doesn’t dry as quickly as nylon. It fosters bacteria growth making your gym wear smelly. To reduce the risk of bad smell, avoid 100% polyester clothing and choose workout clothes with a blend of nylon/polyester and lycra.



Spandex—also known as Lycra— offers a good range of motion thanks to its great stretching properties.  It’s breathable, dries quickly, wicks moisture, providing great comfort and freedom of movement.

You will often find Spandex combined with nylon to produce compression clothing.  These improve blood circulation , help allievate soreness and facilitate muscle recovery.

You can buy it in stores such as JD Sport, Nike or Adidas.


Tencel is made from wood pulp and eucalyptus trees . It has sweat-wicking properties, and is softer and stronger than most cotton.

Tencel is a luxury fiber and costs more to produce. Therefore it’s more expensive from a consumer’s perspective.

You will find tencel in brands such as Polyvore or Gap.



Bamboo is a high quality workout fabric, and a great alternative to cotton.  Softer, it is resilient, durable, and absorbs moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry even during the most intensive workout.

Thanks to its UV protection and hollow microfibre properties, it keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

You will find it in brands such as Noballs or Underamour.


Whether you fo go polyester, bamboo, tencel or spandex, always check the labels before buying your sports outfit. A trendy tank top may make you look go on the gym, but will probably make your workout more miserable if you choose the wrong material.




  1. You gave some great advice here, I’ve definitely made some mistakes before now so taking on board this advice

  2. You are so right about the wrong material ruining a workout! I tried wearing cotton tees while training for a marathon -ugh! I’ve never heard of tencel, but I’m going to check it out.

    1. Tencel is slightly more expensive than other fabrics, but the quality is really good, so it’s a good investment.

  3. Hi, I am not very sporty now, but I’ve been very sporty in my younger years. Maybe with time, they’ve come up with a different kind of polyester, but the one I know is not breathable, it creates rushes on the parts of your body that rub, it becomes impregnated with body odour and it cannot be washed higher than 30C or they shrink. I used to train outdoors with very high temperature and humidity, and a mix of elastane and cotton was the thing I preferred. I wished there were all these innovative fabrics back in the day!

    1. Hi Nati you are right. It’s only recently that brands have started to make an effort to provide more comfort in style. A mix of elastane and cotton is a good choice for outdoors training.

  4. Thank you for your review of the best fabrics for sports wear. I will share this with my sons. They are the ones who are physically active and involved in sports. I think they have these sports wear they call “Dri-fit” which I have no idea what it means. Haha. Feels like nylon though. Maybe that is what it is. I did not know you can make sports clothes out of bamboo fiber. That’s awesome.

    1. Thanks Eileen! It really depends on the brand. Usually`Di Fit’ refers to a blend of nylon, polyester and spandex 🙂

  5. You have some great advice here on how to choose a good fabrics nails to workout. I have no idea in Bamboo fabric and its new for me.

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