best running clothes for sweating

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Waking up and working out is an unbeatable way to start your day. Regular exercise can boost your energy, improve your mood, and even combat internal ailments. Combined with a healthy diet, you can basically become unstoppable.

But getting your sweat on isn’t all great, mostly because of the sweat itself. While perspiration proves that you’re doing things right, it’s uncomfortable, smells pretty gross, and can make you look disheveled. And showering and changing at the gym isn’t our favorite thing in the world.

A lot of the sweat comes from wearing the wrong attire. Here’s what to look for when choosing the right workout clothes to combat heavy sweating.


Sweating is a natural process that’s necessary to keep your body nice and cool. We have two types of sweat glands on our bodies: eccrine and apocrine glands. Eccrine glands are all over our bodies, and they help regulate our body temperature, aka thermoregulation. The apocrine glands release more concentrated secretions on our scalp and areas with more hair. This is where body odor typically comes from.

When you work out, your internal body temperature rises due to an increase in your heart rate. So, you sweat a lot during a heavy workout because your body needs to try a little bit harder to regulate your temperature than normal.

Sweating a ton during your jogs or core workouts is extremely common. In fact, sweating is a good thing during a workout because it means that you are properly hydrated. 

But for men, sweating is usually more profuse and has more of an odor when compared to women. This is due to differences in hormone levels, not the types of workouts themselves. 

Chronic sweating is known as a condition called hyperhidrosis. Nearly 5% of people experience this phenomenon, marked by oversensitive nerves that control sweating. This can cause excessive sweating both inside and outside the gym.

But regardless of why you’re sweating, it can make you want to end your workout early just to throw on some dry clothes. So what can you do to help?


Perhaps the best way to fight back against heavy perspiration is by wearing clothes that directly fix that issue. Workout clothes with moisture-wicking fabric are top choices for even the heaviest of sweaters.

If a piece of clothing is moisture-wicking, it means that the material will draw sweat from your skin and evenly disperse it on the clothing’s surface. This lets the sweat quickly evaporate, leaving you feeling dry and clean.

The benefits of moisture-wicking are two-fold because not only does it physically remove sweat from your skin, but its lightweight texture can give you more breathability, helping to prevent sweat from forming in the first place. 

Most moisture-wicking fabrics are made of a combination of polyester, cotton, and spandex. This combines the softness of cotton, the structure of polyester, and the breathability of spandex to make for a piece of clothing that is perfect for leg day, chest day, or any day.

Not to mention, this fabric combination is lightweight and will stay lightweight even during excessive workouts because the sweat will evaporate instead of just absorb into the material. A moisture-wicking shirt will help you win gold at your next marathon sprint.


Beautiful Malibu beaches or the coasts of Miami are some of the most scenic venues to build up a sweat. But that hot sun can be brutal, and that sweat can turn into a flood in a matter of minutes.

If you notice that you sweat an abnormal amount in those scorching rays, it might have something to do with the color of your attire. Dark-colored objects absorb all wavelengths of light and convert it into heat, making the object warm, whereas white objects reflect and keep it cool. This is why dark asphalt gets scalding hot, and bright beach chairs stay nice and cool.

With this in mind, dark workout clothes are going to absorb and lock in the heat a bit more than a lighter colored one. If you live in hotter climates and love putting in the work outside, you’ll definitely want to consider a workout tee in white, light gray, or another bright color. This will help keep you cool and lessen the perspiration.

On the other hand, if you love an early morning jog in below-freezing weather, you may want to wear a darker color to help lock in the smallest amounts of heat you might be feeling.


This might seem obvious, but the more clothes covering your skin, the more likely you are to get hot during your workout. This is why short sleeve tees are a great idea for the heavy sweater.

There are some people who love to sweat, and they’ll pile on the hoodies to really get the blood flowing. This is a great way to truly feel like you’re actively improving, but if you suffer from profuse perspiration, you’ll probably want a bit less coverage.

This is where the short sleeve can really make all the difference. These will allow for more airflow compared to a long sleeve, giving you even more protection against those sweaty high knees. And especially if you get yourself a moisture-wicking tee, sweat will become a thing of the past.


The temperature of your body, and therefore the amount you’re going to sweat, isn’t limited to your shirt. Since your legs make up half of your body, it’s important to find the right pair of workout pants that will keep you feeling calm, cool, and collected.

The good thing is that the same rules apply to pants as they would for shirts. This means that a pair with moisture-wicking fabrics will help remove perspiration from your legs during the most intense 2k marathons. This can help to avoid chafing, sticking, and overall discomfort when you make a quick run to the coffee joint.

And if it’s especially hot on the California boardwalks, pack away the sweats for a pair of workout shorts. Just like a short sleeve shirt, shorts will increase airflow and keep you cooler for longer when compared to a pair of joggers or pants.


If you’ve tried it all, but you still feel like you’re constantly dripping — no sweat! Although it might seem a bit counterintuitive, your best option could be to wear something underneath your workout attire.

Though layering up seems like it would only enhance the sweat, the right undershirt will help absorb some of that unsightly sweat before it reaches your outer garments. These are tight-fitting garments that will not only protect the sweat from reaching the surface but can also help maintain your body temperature to lessen the total amount.

And as embarrassing as it might be to think about, your upper body isn’t the only place that you might start to sweat. Getting yourself the right pair of boxer briefs can keep you feeling great all over. Boxer briefs can give you the freedom of a boxer with the support of briefs, making for a perfect addition to your workout fit.


Even with the best workout clothes imaginable, you’re going to sweat. And although this is normal and a great sign that you’re making gains, sometimes it can be a bit too much. 

In addition to moisture-wicking, breathable attire, bring a clean towel with you the next time you hit the treadmill. This will let you soak up some sweat in the areas that clothes just can’t reach, like your neck and your hands. 

Furthermore, apply your favorite scented deodorant or antiperspirant to keep your underarms from soaking your favorite tees. Throwing some on before and after an intense workout is a great way to fight against profuse sweat.


There’s nothing better than a killer workout and nothing worse than showing up to work dripping wet. Fortunately, your attire can easily address the sweaty elephant in the room.

First things first, look for moisture-wicking shirts and pants that will help physically evaporate sweat, regulating your body temperature, and keeping you cool from start to finish. Better yet, wear a light colored shirt to reflect some of the hot sun before it inundates your minute planks.

For the excessive sweaters, consider undershirts and underwear to soak up some sweat before it can ever get to the surface. Shorts and short sleeve shirts are also a profuse perspirer’s best friend.

Don’t let a normal bodily function keep you from being your very best. Fighting heavy sweat is as simple as throwing on a shirt.

The 7 Things I Wear (From Head to Toe) to Keep Dry During My Sweatiest Workouts

The short-sleeved shirt

Columbia Men's Titan Ultra II Short Sleeve Shirt

Columbia Men’s Titan Ultra II Short Sleeve ShirtFrom $55BUY AT AMAZONFROM $55 AT COLUMBIA

Columbia Women's Titan Ultra II Short Sleeve Shirt

Columbia Women’s Titan Ultra II Short Sleeve ShirtFrom $49$55 now 11% offBUY AT AMAZONFROM $55 AT COLUMBIA

This is the shirt I wore as I slogged through a 40 kilometer trail run across the border from Switzerland into France, and it’s also the one I wore to the regular HIIT Orange Theory Fitness classes (perhaps the sweatiest classes I’ve ever done) before I had to give them up due to social distancing. Yes, I have written about it before, and no doubt I’ll write about it again after this. It’s my proverbial “desert island” workout shirt, and not just because that proverbial desert island would, almost certainly, get a lot of sun.

The Titan Ultra II is so lightweight you almost forget you’re wearing it at first. But once the sweating begins, you’ll definitely remember that it’s there. The interior of the shirt features Columbia’s proprietary “omni-freeze zero” cooling system, which is basically a matrix of dark dots that, once dampened by your sweat, help enhance your body’s natural evaporative-cooling process, releasing excess heat and helping you stay cooler even as the shirt helps you stay drier. Mesh venting releases that excess heat, while the shirt’s polyester fabric wicks away sweat better than any other shirt I’ve ever used — while others will be soaked through by the time I finish a workout, this one will only have that inevitable wet-neck patch, which I see as sort of a badge of honor that reminds me my workout is working.

The long-sleeved shirt

Under Armour Men's ColdGear Armour Compression Mock

Under Armour Men’s ColdGear Armour Compression MockFrom $50BUY AT AMAZON

Under Armour Women's ColdGear Authentic Mock

Under Armour Women’s ColdGear Authentic MockFrom $50BUY AT AMAZON$50 AT UNDER ARMOUR

While heavy sweating is more commonly associated with warm-weather exercise, minimizing sweat is in fact much more important in the cold than in the heat. When I’m running in cold weather, for instance, I rely on base layers to keep me warm and dry, because any sweat left touching my skin is going to create a serious chill as soon as I stop moving. This snug-fitting shirt wicks well and dries quickly; although the way it sort of adheres to my arms and torso makes it kind of like a second skin, the shirt’s highly elastic four-way stretch fabric doesn’t limit my motion at all and never chafes the way a slightly looser garment might. The close fit, crucially, also ensures that all droplets of sweat are quickly pulled away from my body.

To be clear, this is a cold-weather running (or hiking, cycling, or other medium-to-high intensity) workout shirt. It’s for warmth and dryness, not wicking sweat in warm weather (for that, I point you to the shirt that leads this list).

The shorts

Janji M's 3

Janji M’s 3” AFO Split Short$58BUY AT JANJI

Janji W's 3

Janji W’s 3” AFO Middle Short$60BUY AT JANJI

I have, by quick estimation, eight pairs of lightweight running shorts. But any time the temperature is above 70 degrees or so, I wear one of my two pairs of these shorts from Janji. Technically five-inch, the 3” in their name nods to their design: Once your stride opens up, a split on the sides of the shorts separates to ensure a range of motion, so they perform more like a three-inch short. Quite simply, these are the best lightweight running shorts I have yet to find, and that’s saying something, because the other pairs still in my closet are already survivors after many more have worn out or been replaced.

These also wick sweat as well as any running shorts I’ve ever worn. They are made from a blend of recycled polyester and elastane, and are so light that air seems to pass through and all around you. While I genuinely sweat less from waist to upper thigh, this circulation helps ensure that’s the case, and on days that I’m dripping from my brow and neck, they always seem to be bone dry. The secure-but-soft liner means no need for underwear, which helps keep things cooler as well, and the liner, also a poly blend, wicks like a champ. Thoughtful details like a little zipper pocket just add to their appeal.

The underwear

Saxx Sport Mesh Boxer Brief

Saxx Sport Mesh Boxer Brief$25

Any guy who exercises or does physical work regularly has experienced the discomfort of heat and moisture built up between legs and … reproductive organs. I (and other fans) have already noted how the proprietary design of Saxx’s boxer briefs includes thin strips of fabric between these body parts, with those strips meant to reduce friction, warmth, and sweat accumulation.

While adding more fabric might seem counterintuitive to the acts of cooling and drying, from experience, I can say that, when I do wear underwear to work out, I put on my one of my four Saxx pairs for those exact reasons. The twin fabric strips create more surface area for wicking sweat, while also drawing heat away from my body rather than letting it build up down there. I’ve worn these boxer briefs on plenty of warmer days, but they are at their best when used in cooler weather under a few layers, helping make sure you are relatively dry, cool, and fresh, let’s say, even when your body temperature is up.$25 AT AMAZON$25 AT ZAPPOS

The socks

Feetures Unisex Elite Max Cushion No-Show Tab Sock, 3-Pack

Feetures Unisex Elite Max Cushion No-Show Tab Sock, 3-Pack$48

Feetures socks are another staple in my workout wardrobe. While I’ve previously praised the fact that each pair comes with socks specifically made for a left foot and a right foot (more on that to come), here, I first want to say I love them just as much for their sweat-wicking ability. The Elite Max socks are made with polyester fibers that draw away heat and moisture, and have mesh panels on the top of each foot that allow for more heat release and breathability. This results in a drier, cooler foot that’s also less pungent post-workout.

And if you have never worn a pair of socks that specifically designates one for your left foot and another for your right, you owe yourself a pair to try. The added support and compression from tailoring each sock for each foot is subtle but noticeable, especially during an intense gym workout, trail run, or other strenuous activity.$48 AT ZAPPOS

The headband

Headsweats Repreve Topless Headband

Headsweats Repreve Topless Headband$15

Before I started wearing this headband on warm-weather runs, I would need to bring at least two bandanas to ensure I had enough dry fabric to mop off my brow after every few strides. But with this headband on, my head sweat bothers me a lot less — it’s as simple as that. The polyester fabric releases heat and moisture, dries fast, and will still catch drips and drops even as it becomes soaked through, to a point. (Everything has its limits, which is why, in certain conditions, I will carry a fresh headband to swap in.) What’s more, I’ve found these have kept their elasticity even after dozens of washes, making their modest price a bit more understandable. I’m not the only fan of Headsweats gear, either — other experts have recommended the brand as one for beginner triathletes to wear.$15 AT HEADSWEATS

The hat

TrailHeads Men's Race Day Performance Running Hat

TrailHeads Men’s Race Day Performance Running Hat$20BUY AT AMAZON

TrailHeads Women's Race Day Performance Running Hat

TrailHeads Women’s Race Day Performance Running Hat$20BUY AT AMAZON

You’ll never catch me wearing a hat in the gym or on a shorter run. But for long runs in sunny weather, I often put one on because I don’t really like running in sunglasses, nor do I like sunburns on my forehead. This one from Trailheads is so lightweight and well-ventilated and thin that I can actually feel a breeze blowing through it. In fact, because of the natural effects of evaporative cooling, I would say it probably keeps my noggin a bit cooler than it would be with nothing covering it. And, even if saturated, the hat dries quickly, so I can wear it in the rain or sun and still count on those moisture-wicking and cooling abilities. It comes in several high-visibility colors, too.

10 Best Moisture-Wicking clothes

best moisture wicking shirts

Sweat changes everything—your mood, your energy, your fitness level. But all the endorphins in the world can’t make sitting in a soggy tank or tee feel any less uncomfortable (#facts). So, a moisture-wicking shirt that’ll dry asap is always a good investment.

Moisture-wicking shirts to this by pulling sweat into their top layer so that is doesn’t sit directly on your body and cause your clothing to stick to you…ew! Plus, as a result of less perspiration resting on your skin, less body odor-causing bacteria can form due to the damp environment.

Because of their oh-so helpful ability to keep you dry, smell free, and cool, moisture-wicking shirts are the perfect option for any outdoor exercise from hiking and biking to running. Not only are the ideal for warmer weather workouts, but they are also a great go-to for super sweaty, high intensity training no matter what time of year.

To help you find your new sweat-sesh staple, check out some of the best moisture wicking shirts according to Women’s Health staffers and online reviews.1MOST DURABLEArc’teryx Kapta Shirt$47.20SHOP NOW

Made using an ultra-lightweight mesh material and an overlock seaming for extra durability, this shirt will help to manage moisture, while being so breezy that you’ll forget it’s even there. 

Average Rating: 4.5/5

Rave Review: “This shirt is so soft and comfortable. It feels amazing. I wore it during several runs and noticed right away how it moves with my body so I didn’t even notice I was wearing it at all. I wore this during the winter under a running rain jacket and I never felt too hot or too sweaty.”2BEST SLIM FIT TEELululemon Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve 2.0$68.00SHOP NOW

Designed with added ventilation to keep you cool, this sweat-wicking, quick-drying shirt from Lululemon meets the summer workout gear trifecta and then some.

Average Rating: 4/5

Rave Review: “This top is amazing. I love wearing it and have several in black. It is my go-to T-shirt. It is loose and lightweight and cute, perfect for traveling, workout, or as a first layer.”ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW3BEST SUSTAINABLE OPTIONPatagonia Capilene Cool Daily Shirt$35.00SHOP NOW

This classic white tee, made from a plant-based, fast-drying fabric, will transition seamlessly from your sweat life to your real life. 

Average Rating: 4.5/5

Rave Review: “I love these shirts! I now have them in every color. They are cool even in the Arizona heat. They wash nicely and dry in no time.”4BEST COTTON BLENDOutdoor Voices Sweatee Tank Top$35.00SHOP NOW

Made using a cotton blended fabric that remains super soft while wicking sweat, this tank it sure to become a summer workout staple thanks to its flattering, loose, cropped fit.

Average Rating: 5/5

Rave Review: “I got this tank in three colors because it is so great! It’s the only tank that I found to be truly comfortable when running long distances (it doesn’t cause chafing!), and it’s great for a sweaty workout or a lazy day in the house.”ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW5BEST MUSCLE TANKAthleta Oxygen Tank$59.00SHOP NOW

This top is made with a special odor-controlling technology that keeps the stink away no matter how sweaty you get. 

Average Rating: 4.8/5

Rave Review: “This tank is so flattering, soft, and comfortable I’m tempted to look for it in another color! The back is mesh, so it’s fun to pair with a strappy backed sports bra. I’ve worn it on two bike rides and it was breathable and cool. My husband complimented me the second he saw it without prompting, which is pretty good for athletic gear! Highly recommend!”6BEST RELAXED-FIT TEEZella Strength Performance Tee$29.00SHOP NOW

Sporting a more relaxed fit to enhance airflow and comfort, this top from Zella is the perfect sweat-wicking option for everyday use. 

Average Review: 4.3/5 

Rave Review: “Love this shirt. It’s nice to have a looser workout shirt that’s not sloppy. The material is a thin fabric with a technical, moisture-wicking feel. The fit is relaxed and slightly longer than other workout shirts.”ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW7BEST CROPPED WORKOUT TANKSweaty Betty Power Crop Workout Tank£55.00SHOP NOW

This tank top from Sweaty Betty is a great sweat-wicking, quick-drying option for anyone who prefers exercising in a cropped top or long-line sports bra. Better still? Splurge for the bottoms and turn it into a moisture-wicking matching set!

Average Rating: 4.5/5 

Rave Review: “Obsessed with these workout tops! Perfect fit for any workout, built in bra/padding, and dries fast after a sweaty workout! Please make more of these!” 8BEST FITTED TEEBrooks Stealth Short Sleeve$23.00SHOP NOW

Here’s a more fitted T-shirt option that’s designed to allow movement without any irritation or chafing. Its DriLayer fabric wicks away moisture and keeps you extra dry so you can finish off any high intensity workout without swimming in sweat. 

Average Review: 4.6/5 

Rave Review: “Love the Stealth short sleeve, tank, and long sleeve! The best moisture-wicking shirts of the current tops offered by Brooks.”ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW9BEST ANTI-ODOR OPTIONUnder Armour UA Locker$25.00SHOP NOW

Avoid being the stinky person in class with this simple shirt from Under Armour. Made with anti-order, sweat-wicking, ultra-soft material, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better work out tee. 

Average Rating: 4/5

Rave Review: “These shirts are perfect for my workouts. I like the crew neck and since I’m short, they are long enough to provide coverage when I wear leggings. They dry super fast and the colors are great.”10BEST CREW NECKIcebreaker Tech Lite Low Crewe T-Shirt$75.00$51.93 (31% off)SHOP NOW

 Whether you are biking, hiking, or running errands, this crew neck will keep you cool and dry. Using a merino wool- nylon fabric blend, this tee is soft and super durable. Although a bit on the pricier side, all reviews say it is well worth it! 

Average Review: 4.75/5

Rave Review: “This is the second tech-lite shirt I’ve purchased and I slowly plan on replacing all of my T-shirts with this one. I’m a sweaty person, and this shirt stays odor free and dries super fast. If you’re an athlete, hiker, or don’t like doing laundry twice a week, this is the shirt for you.”CARLY THEDERCarly Theder is the Fashion Assistant for the Hearst Fashion Group.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at

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