In “Never Wipe Your Ass with a Squirrel“, I discuss a wide variety of topics related to running. One of the more controversial themes was my rant against technical shirts in hot weather. The idea follows rather simple physical properties- wearing tech shirts increases body temperature, which hinders performance in hot weather. It also feasibly increases the probability of hyperthermia, heat stroke, and death.
Dramatic, I know.
anyway, over the last three weeks, I’ve had five runner friends report a dramatic improvement in hot weather performance by making the switch from moisture-wicking tech shirts to either cotton or just going shirtless. These reports match the reports I’ve received in the months since the book’s release.
Could this idea reach the scale of something like barefoot running?
The central premise of barefoot running is that shoes were a) unnecessary in many cases, and b) poorly designed. The shoe industry was focused on style and frivolous “technologies.” The result was a fairly dramatic shift in the way shoe manufacturers designed shoes, which is reflected in the product offerings of almost all major manufacturers.
Is the technical fabric industry on the cusp of a similar “revolution.” Tech clothing has a very useful purpose… but it’s not hot weather exercise. As more and more athletes figure out they can improve performance and increase safety by ditching tech fabrics, will manufacturers respond by offering different hot weather gear?
Share your thoughts in the comments section!