The best sportswear to fight chafing

Last Sunday (October 16) was the long-awaited Delhi Half Marathon, as the race returned after a two-year covid break. Until a few years ago, the popular 21km race was held from mid-to-late November, when Delhi was cold (and the air polluted). This year, it took place under the harsh October sun. Starting the race around 6:30 a.m. meant finishing it under scorching sun on a wet day. The result? Painful friction.

Chafing is a common skin condition in endurance sports like running and cycling, where your skin rubs against skin (for example, thighs rubbing against each other while running) or against a garment (e.g. sports bra straps, belts, t-shirt labels). It stings and distracts your attention from the activity you are pursuing. Not to mention that when you shower after your run or ride, you will definitely scream in pain.

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Some of the ways to prevent chafing is to cover the prone areas with petroleum jelly. Chafing usually occurs in warm, moist areas like the inner thighs, groin, buttocks, armpits, and under the breasts. Some athletes also use bandages and others invest in anti-chafing gels or even deodorant sticks to prevent this. But they only help to a limited extent. If you’ve ever rubbed your skin, trust aloe vera gel and petroleum jelly (or even baby oil) to keep that area from further irritating you. What I’ve found is that investing in good quality gym clothes really helps prevent chafing. Here are some of the products that I have tried myself and swear by.

Uniqlo AIRism.
(Courtesy of Uniqlo)

For quick drying comfort: Uniqlo’s AIRism clothing line adapts comfortably to all body types. The Mapping Crew Neck Tee has become a favorite for the races, thanks to its fast moisture wicking technology. This highly breathable t-shirt lets you run half marathons without drenching in sweat; using cupro fibers, which absorbs and releases sweat from the body. As a layman, even if the technology of the fabric is irrelevant, the feel is certainly one of cool comfort. The t-shirt dries much faster than a cotton t-shirt, making it a great choice for running.

The t-shirt was less coarse than even a dry-fit polyester top. With a touch close to silk, it uses almost 90% polyamide (which, by the way, has the highest abrasion resistance of all textile raw materials) and 10% elastane to give it a glove-like.

Uniqlo AIRism Mapping Short Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt; 1290; uniqlo.com

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Under Armor Iso-Chill 200 Laser Tee.

Under Armor Iso-Chill 200 Laser Tee.
(Courtesy of Under Armour)

For airy, sweat-wicking runs:Under Armour’s Iso-Chill technology works great in wet areas. The fabric uses flat yarn to disperse body heat and titanium dioxide to absorb UV energy. This means that when you wear it, the t-shirt feels cool to the touch and is super light and airy. It obviously wicks away sweat, which also helps prevent chafing.

The design of the t-shirt also deserves a mention. The back of the t-shirt has perforations so that during sweaty runs or training your body is always sufficiently ventilated and the sweat does not stick to your skin. My favorite piece is probably the cutouts near the shoulder blades. It’s not only great for feeling less sweaty, but it also increases ease of movement for runs (where your hands move back and forth repeatedly) and workouts such as burpees or slams. ball (which require you to move your hands up. -and-down mode). There is also a reflective patch just at the back of the neck, providing some visibility during early morning runs.

Under Armor Iso-Chill 200 Laser Tee; 4,499; available in store

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Silvertraq cycling shorts

Silvertraq cycling shorts
(Courtesy of Silvertraq)

For a pain-free ride:Alright, so bike shorts are for cycling sessions. But the Silvertraq shorts are also excellent for running. This is especially true as the fit ensures that it won’t ride up your thigh while running. If your shorts ride up your thighs are free to rub against each other and before you know it you have chafing and are walking like a duck for the next few days.

What I also like about these shorts is that they have side pockets deep enough to hold your phone, keys, and probably a pack of energy gel. Although not transparent, the seams are sewn so as not to be abrasive. This again results in less friction and less rubbing. It comes with the same quick-drying technology you want in your workout clothes, plus what the brand calls “anti-odor” technology. Made with a blend of polyester (88%) and spandex (12%), the shorts are pure comfort. Also, bike shorts are very trendy as casual wear, I’m told. So you can easily double them for mall hopping or brunch.

Silvertraq Women’s Biker Shorts; 1699; silvertraq.com

Sohini Sen is a Delhi-based writer.

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