Sheep aren’t frequently celebrated for their endurance abilities, a notion which has sadly and inaccurately been projected onto their fleece. Let’s set the record straight on why Merino wool is the best performance fabric for all types of workouts.
- With the additions of new lightweight options and Merino blends over the past few years, your Ibex Merino-based wardrobe has transitioned from a three-season reserve to a year-round player. While airy in feel, these lighter pieces deliver heavyweight hits of comfort and performance for all of your fitness-focused, sweat-soaked fun.
Here’s why lightweight Ibex Merino wool is the tops for fitness any time of the year.
1) Most people are familiar with wool’s out of this world performance in cold weather. Did you also know that the crimp and structure of wool fibers have the ability to act as a personal air conditioner? As you work up a good sweat in the heat of summer, Merino wool gets busy wicking the moisture away from your skin. Whatever moisture doesn’t evaporate immediately is stored inside the fiber and away from your skin. As your body generates more heat, the evaporative process intensifies for the moisture stored in the wool fiber. The result is a cooling of the space between your skin and your Ibex gear.
2) Quick dry conundrum. In the quick dry horse race, Merino wool is just edged out by petroleum-based fabrics. But isn’t the real question how comfortable you are when you’re mid-run, rather than how quickly your gear dries afterward? Merino blows the doors off polypropylene when it comes to moving wetness away from your skin and eliminating the dreaded clammy sensation. Bonus: When it makes sense for maximized, specialized performance, Ibex marries wool and a touch of Nylon to create the ultimate power couple of Merino performance with an amped up dry time and stretch.
3) Won’t I smell like a wet dog if I wear wool to exercise in August? Simply put: nope. Merino wool has a naturally occurring anti-bacterial that works like a charm in the anti-stink department. Actually, on scent alone, Merino gear can go far longer without a wash than synthetic fabrics. We’re talking days upon days of hard, sweaty workouts without a visit to the wash-o-matic.
4) If wool suits are packed away come summertime, why wouldn’t we do the same with wool base layers and workout gear? Indeed, some of our heavier weight options have seasonal job descriptions. For summer and inside aerobic pursuits, check out the lightweight options, like tanks, running shorts, and a selection of short sleeve tops, bras and undies. A wool gauge of 19 micron or under indicates an appropriate summer weight. Fair warning: super lightweight Merino and Merino blends can be addicting.
5) Naturally the best. Natural fibers from the field versus synthetics from the laboratory? We may be biased, but we’re giving this win to wool.
When your focus is on your run, your yoga practice, your sensei, your boot camp, or your ride, your clothes need to be in the silent, supportive role. They need to keep you dry and comfortable so your brain and body aren’t distracted from the task at hand: having fun, building up cardio, and reaching that invigorating nirvana of sweat plus endorphins.