It’s impossible to purchase clothes for working out, training, or playing sports today without coming across all kinds of “technical fabrics”.
Using construction materials that are as close to space-age as anything that we’ve ever had access to before, technical clothes are supposed to help you squeeze extra levels of power in performance out of your athletic abilities just by wearing them.
But can the clothes you wear actually help you run faster, jump higher, hit harder, or workout longer?
You had better believe they can!
Compression clothing really ushered in this wave of technical clothing
If there is a single moment where technical clothing really started to take off, the crack in the dam (if you will) started when compression clothing really started to become more popular with athletes.
Tight fitting clothing usually manufactured out of a high-strength, but lightweight material like nylon or polyester (spandex is also used frequently), compression clothing is designed and developed from the ground up to help improve your circulation, avoid cramps and dehydration, and (later in the game) with wick away moisture and sweat so that you stay cool and dry.
There have been compression clothing options on the market for more than 30 or 40 years, but it wasn’t really until Under Armour exploded onto the scene in the mid-2000s to the late 2000s that everything started to change.
Originally manufacturing lightweight clothing that “hugged” the human body while at the same time keeping you warm in cold weather, keeping you cool in warm weather, and making sure that you stayed dry all the time by wicking moisture and sweat away from your body faster than you ever would have thought possible – all while at the same time “compressing” your muscles to maximize performance – Under Armour has become a sports clothing juggernaut on par with Nike and other major industry titans.
The future of technical clothing
It seems like every single day manufacturers are finding new ways to blend older fabrics with modern technology (or synthesize brand-new materials seemingly out of thin air) to create stunning results and incredible performance enhancement capabilities that they then integrate into their clothing.
Technical clothing is getting lighter and lighter but stronger and more durable, and scientists are even finding ways to impregnate these incredibly lightweight but breathable fabrics with waterproofing compounds, heat transferring capabilities, and all kinds of other advantages and advancements that give our modern day athletes and incredible edge and advantage that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
It’s impossible to say what technical clothing will look like in the future for athletes, but it’s not difficult to imagine that these kinds of clothing are only going to get more and more effective as time goes on.
Pretty soon we should be able to see “second skin” solutions hit the market, lightweight technical clothing options that feel lighter than air while at the same time providing incredible performance bonuses and boosts we won’t be able to get anywhere else.
It’s coming sooner rather than later.