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Shima Seiki
Shima Seiki

28th October 2019, Sydney

Testing wool with Australian athletes

Jeff Riseley wearing Ashmei long-sleeve wool shirt, Smartwool wool vest and shorts, Bluey Merino wool leggings and XTM wool gloves. © The Woolmark Company

Jeff Riseley wearing Ashmei long-sleeve wool shirt, Smartwool wool vest and shorts, Bluey Merino wool leggings and XTM wool gloves. © The Woolmark Company

With its unrivalled breathability, moisture management properties and odour control, there’s no denying that wool is the ultimate performance fibre, The Woolmark Company reports.

To prove it, the global authority on Merino wool has put wool to the ultimate test, with three Australian athletes – three-time Olympic middle-distance runner Jeff Riseley, elite rock climber and Ninja Warrior contestant Andrea Hah, and former Houston Ballet dancer Rhys Kosakowski – wearing head-to-toe wool for their workouts. The company captured them as they sprinted and stretched, climbed and crunched during their daily routines wearing lightweight pieces from the likes of Devold, Black Diamond, APL and Nagnata.

“Wool minimises the need for multiple layers that need to be shed as a run goes on, making it really versatile,” said Jeff Riseley, Olympic middle-distance runner.

Rhys Kosakowski wearing M.J. Bale cable-knit wool sweater. © The Woolmark Company

Rhys Kosakowski wearing M.J. Bale cable-knit wool sweater. © The Woolmark Company

For Rhys Kosakowski, the lightness and stretch of the garments was what really gave them extra appeal. “The feeling of the clothes was what really surprised me, because everything was really soft and fine,” he said. “It almost felt as though I wasn’t wearing clothes, which as a dancer is excellent as it gives me the freedom to physically move.”

Jeff Riseley agrees, noting in particular wool’s ability to regulate body temperature and minimise moisture. “I typically find it difficult to find a product that can keep me warm early in a run when I’m still cold, and that can cope once I’ve warmed up so that I don’t overheat or sweat. Wool minimises the need for multiple layers that need to be shed as a run goes on, making it really versatile.”

Andrea Hah wearing XTM wool jacket and Nagnata wool bike shorts. © The Woolmark Company

Andrea Hah wearing XTM wool jacket and Nagnata wool bike shorts. © The Woolmark Company

“I love that I don’t have to do multiple outfit changes between running on the trails, climbing on the cliffs or training indoors,” added Andrea Hah, elite rock climber. She was already comfortable with the benefits of wool, given the prevalence of the fibre in rock climbing apparel, however technical developments meant that many of the newer garments performed even better than she imagined. “There’s a fine balance between being too hot while climbing, too cold while belaying, and not wanting to wear too many layers, which can feel restrictive and cumbersome while trying to move freely,” she explained.

“The wool I wore was amazing at regulating the temperature. Living in the Blue Mountains (New South Wales, Australia) exposes me to large variations in climate, so this is really important. I love that I don’t have to do multiple outfit changes between running on the trails, climbing on the cliffs or training indoors.”

www.woolmark.com

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