A Runner In Sheep’s Clothing

Icebreaker Sonic Running Shirt

Lightweight merino wool is the textile of choice for Spring 2013 performance wear from companies such as Ortovox, SmartWool, Ibex, and Icebreaker. Even though you may be dressed as a sheep, these new active wear pieces will help you run as fast and agile as a wolf through the summer heat. 

For next season, Icebreaker has updated their performance oriented GT line by adding a new eyelet-mesh weave on the chest and back for improved ventilation, while using Free Seam stitching technology exclusively throughout the collection. Inspired by endurance runners who turn their shirts inside out to prevent seam chafing, Free Seam uses reverse overlock stitching to expose the seam on the outside of the garment rather than against the skin. 

GT tops are made of merino wool with a touch of Lycra, giving them a bit of extra stretch and shape retention. All styles, including the Flash and Zest for women with the Zone, Victory, and Sonic styles for men, feature reflective elements for added safety and visibility at dusk and dawn.

Smartwool PhD Seamless Racerback Bra

Adding to the PhD Run Apparel collection introduced earlier this year, SmartWool debuts a line of sport bras. Using Merino wool next to skin, the 4 Degree Elite fit system gives you support by using strategically placed materials and knit types in key support zones. An elastic band around your ribcage provides a secure anchor point for the rest of the fit system. Both the new PhD Run Apparel and Sport Underwear collection will be available starting January 2013. 

For next spring, wool apparel company Ibex has reformulated their Synergy fabric into a lighter weight collection targeting the active, outdoor enthusiast. The new Synergy fabric is made from an exclusive blend of Merino wool and organic cotton, which is 20 grams lighter than Ibex's current blend. 

Offered in styles for men and women, Synergy fabric uses Merino wool next to skin for moisture management, temperature regulation, breathability, and natural odor resistance. Organic cotton adds supreme support and comfort, while a hint of Lycra provides some stretch and durability.

Ortovox Merino Cool

Finally, Ortovox introduces Merino Cool into its new spring and summer range. Combining Merino wool with synthetic Tencel fibers, the company claims the shirts can be naturally cooling without the need for any chemical additive. Derived from eucalyptus wood, Tencel fiber absorbs 50% more moisture than cotton but dries twice as fast as polyester, creating an evaporative cooling process against your skin. As moisture is transferred straight in and out of the core, the fiber surface does not feel wet against your skin and does not contribute to the growth of bacteria, cutting down on the stink factor normally associated with a synthetic material. 

Ortovox Merino Cool will be used in a small collection of men's and women's shirts for Spring 2013. 

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