Wool For Working Out? Icebreaker’s On It


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What It Is: Fitness, running and yoga clothes from New Zealand-based brand Icebreaker, known for their merino wool clothing for men and women. 

What You Might Not Know: Wool is odor-resistant, so, to put it bluntly, your clothes won’t stink of B.O. even when you work out in them multiple times before washing.

Feelin’ the Love: When Icebreaker asked me to test out their new merino wool training line, I was all in.

I usually think of Icebreaker for the outdoors and travel, so I was excited to browse their attractive, colorful workout wear. However, I wasn’t so sure about the wool…

I’m not exactly one of those people who can’t wear wool because of the itch-factor, but I do need a layer—like a thin, long-sleeve cotton shirt—between my skin and any wool sweater.

Could I comfortably work out and sweat in wool? I was about to find out.

new Balance pants 1

The first thing I discovered is that Icebreaker’s activewear layers are not anything like my winter sweaters (duh). Many of the pieces in their training collection are made from a delightful fabric called Cool-Lite™, designed to wick away moisture and keep you cool (seems counterintuitive with wool, but it’s true).

I test-drove a pair of capri pants and Cool-Lite™ workout tank, both of which had a touch of Lycra in them to create the kind of stretch you want in exercise attire.

Looking online, I was attracted to the capris (pictured here) because of their slightly looser fit and cuffs that hit just below the knees. The overall design looks cute and casual, setting these fitness pants apart from ones you normally see around the gym.

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new balance shirt

I took the feather-weight top to task multiple times with high-intensity cardio. It didn’t ever itch or, um, stink. Both the top and bottoms wash well in cold water (just no dryer, please!). Another note on garment care—I noticed the shirt wrinkled even when stored neatly in a drawer. It might need a hanger.

New Balance pants 2If I Could Change One Thing: Unlike with the shirt, I was aware of the 97% wool in my Spirit Capris. There was a hint of itch. Plus, when I exercised in them, they got toasty. Compared to the tank top, the pants are a thicker fabric and they aren’t made with the same Cool-Lite™ construction.

Should You Buy Them? Yes, but if you’re not sure about the wool, try them on in store first, if possible. And look for items made with their new Cool-Lite™ fabric. Top fit true to size, but I had to size up in the pants.

Available in Icebreaker stores and at Icebreaker.com.



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