Whether it's a damp workout shirt or stains showing through a dress shirt, sweat can be unsightly and odorous. The solution: Moisture-wicking clothing, which moves moisture away from the body and keeps wearers comfortable with better air circulation during strenuous activity. Synthetic fabrics used in these lightweight garments, such as nylon and polyester, absorb but don't retain fluids (sweat ends up on the outer surface) so they feel less damp and clingy. Cheapism.com found seven budget-friendly options, all for $25 or less. We also note factors to consider when shopping for moisture-wicking apparel.
Cheap Moisture-Wicking Gear for Sweaty Summer Workouts
Everyone has their favorite gym tee that fits right and feels good. C9 By Champion Men's Performance Cotton T-Shirt could be yours -- and at the sale price of $8, no less. Made of cotton, polyester, and spandex, the fabric stretches comfortably and features sweat-wicking technology to keep moisture at bay. The women's version sells for $15.
Shoot some hoops or score a goal in the $6 Racerback Tank from Danskin, available in black, grey, or white. The shirt features a supportive build-in bra and stylish V-neck, as well as Danskin's Dri-More technology that wicks away sweat. This bargain-priced tank scores an average 4.5 rating from more than 460 reviewers. Many appreciate the support and say it holds up well after numerous washings.
For a fraction of the cost of most sweat-proof shirts, consider the Sweat Controls T-Shirt from Sport-Tek. The price ranges between $5 and $24, depending on size and color, but is still relatively cheap. It's made of heavyweight pre-shrunk cotton and polyester and earns an average of 4 stars from more than 60 reviewers. Satisfied buyers applaud the light weight, durability, and effectiveness at stopping sweat from dripping during workouts.
The proprietary Dri-Fit high-performance clothing from Nike is 100 percent polyester and designed to wick perspiration right to the surface for quick evaporation. Consumers who reviewed the Nike Legend Crew Top, which costs $22, like the light, breathable material that keeps the shirt flowing rather than clinging. It garners an impressive 5 stars from dozens of reviewers.
You can work up a sweat all over practicing yoga or running on the trail, so wearing the right pair of pants is probably a good idea. The C9 Champion capri-style pants, now on sale for about $14, end right below the knee and feature a relaxed fit for comfort. The material is 90 percent cotton and 10 percent spandex, and engineered for moisture wicking capabilities.
A blend of cotton, polyester, and rayon combines with a slim athletic cut and anti-microbial technology that eliminates odors. This $19 t-shirt is available in five sizes and comes in 13 colors, from "pinkadelic" to aqueduct to black. The company's patented moisture-transport technology pushes sweat to the surface for faster drying.
The Thompson Tee perches right on the cheap-price ceiling of $25, but is a smart buy for men who sweat profusely. It's a very soft, light, 100 percent combed cotton shirt with a proprietary sweat-proof barrier at the armpits that lets out body heat and vaporizes perspiration.
Choose the moisture-wicking material that best suits your workout. Are you doing cardiovascular exercise (e.g., jogging, biking) that leaves you sweating throughout or high-intensity interval training where fast burpees are mixed in with stationary positions? If you're looking for performance-wear that rapidly absorbs sweat and is shed immediately post-workout, 100 percent cotton clothing might do the job. But if you need something lightweight that keeps you comfortable while exercising and dries quickly (e.g., in the event you're facing a cold, air-conditioned ride home), opt for moisture-wicking clothing made with synthetic fibers.
Moisture-wicking clothing demands proper care. Synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester, and latex can trap bacteria and hold odors even after washing. Most manufacturers' instructions call for a low-wash cycle in cold water with no fabric softener, but read the tags carefully to be sure. If odors persist, you can buy special detergent made for synthetic active-wear or soak the clothes in water mixed with white vinegar or baking soda. Of course, as with any article of clothing, especially one that's full of sweat, soak it in cold water first and then wash it ASAP.
Moisture-wicking shirts don't have to cost a lot. Retailers such as Burlington Coat Factory, Marshall's, and T.J. Maxx always stock discounted name-brand active-wear separates. Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club, Target, Walmart, Kmart, and Kohl's carry cheaper variations with the same wicking benefits; C9 by Champion, for example. If you're looking for mid-range products, check out Old Navy's large selection of active-wear. And, as usual, online sellers abound.
Tip: When shopping, bring along a bottle of water. Place a drop on items you're considering to see how quickly it's absorbed and then dries. You'll get an idea about how effectively sweat will be wicked off your body.