Choosing a base layer can be tedious at times, with so many brands available in the market and all at different price ranges it can be difficult to determine which base layer is right for you.
However understanding the purpose of base layers and knowing what to look out for when purchasing a base layer can help with the process.
Primarily there are three main properties that make a base layer suitable, muscle compression, moisture wicking and temperature control.
Muscle compression is important during and after the game, it is the lack of compression that leads to injuries and aching of the muscles.
Base layers are designed to be tight fitting and capable of following the contours of your body. This close fitness aids with the ability to hold your muscles in places to prevent muscle vibration. This can prevent to small strains and niggles you experience throughout out the season therefore it is important to choose the correct size to enable it to have maximum effect. This property will also aid with the moisture wicking which will be discussed later.
Muscle compression is also important for recovery after physical activity as the main causes for muscle soreness is build-up of lactic acid due to which can be alleviated when wearing compression wear.
The next important property for base layers is the ability to draw sweat away from the body. This is particularly important as sweat allows the body to gain extra weight which means athletes cannot perform at their maximum. So having a good quality base layer with the ability to remove the moisture is a highly important factor when choosing the right base layer.
In order to achieve this, base layers should be primarily made up of polyester or Nylon as these two materials are the most efficient in ‘wicking’.
The final thing to look out for is one that regulates body temperature. Again this is important to ensure the core muscles are kept at a regular temperature to prevent strains and other injuries.
So when choosing a base layer the key things to look out for is a high nylon or polyester content as this is what will determine the effectiveness of moisture wicking. The only material to avoid is cotton as this displays no wicking property and therefore will only absorb the moisture adding weight.