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If you live in a colder climate, the winter months are often a considerable inconvenience for staying healthy and fit. For those who prefer to exercise outdoors, the inclement weather can cut your routine short before you’ve even begun. However, you can get your daily movement in without suffering from winter-related injuries or illnesses with the right gear. Here’s a list of the best clothing fabrics for staying active during winter.


This synthetic material derives from woven plastics, and it’s the preferred fabric for many winter runners. For starters, polyester repels moisture, including rain and snow, while also breaking the wind. Its soft, flexible nature allows for a better range of motion during physical activity.

Plus, it keeps body heat trapped in, allowing for more extended exercises outside. Polyester is used for making highly durable fleece, which is excellent for less intense activity.


Unlike polyester, nylon is not the best at keeping you warm. However, it’s one of the most moisture-repellent fabrics available, so it is perfect for layering with a polyester clothing item.

It’s silky soft because it was designed to mimic silk, so it’s incredibly comfortable when moving. Throw a nylon layer over another winter clothing piece to ensure you stay totally dry while outside.


Like the other synthetic materials, polypropylene is hydrophobic. However, like nylon, it’s not warm enough on its own.

The main appeal of polypropylene is its ability to wick moisture from the body, so if you’re a heavy sweater, this is the fabric for you. Consider a base layer of polypropylene for the best results when doing outdoor activities during the winter.


This fabric is most commonly found on the outer layers of coats or snow pants. It’s a strong material that keeps the body warm and offers a great range of motion. It’s a tad bit stiffer than other synthetic materials, but it’s perfect for icy environments.

Use this guide on the best clothing fabrics for staying active during winter to ensure your outdoor exercises won’t get cut short because of the weather. Remember that layering is key to effectively combating inclement conditions.

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