What’s the deal: body mapping

Sweat is inevitable if we’re active, but how our clothing reacts to it (sweaty pits much?) doesn’t have to be. Body mapping – also known as body zoning – isn’t a new technology, but some industry leaders such as Icebreaker, Kari Traa and Craft are now incorporating findings from their extensive research to enhance the way garments fit and function.

At its core, body mapping is a technical method of constructing a garment based upon the body’s response to activity – and the activity itself. Garments are thoughtfully-designed to retain heat in some areas, release it in others and use optimal fabrics and functional enhancements where necessary to serve you better.

Exploding European sports brand Kari Traa designs its technical gear with high-energy outdoor activities (the brand’s namesake is a retired Olympic freestyle skier) in mind. Incorporating sweat-wicking, quick-dry and breathable materials such as merino wool and flexible materials such as polyester, garments are comfortable and allow for a freedom of movement. Thoughtful enhancements include thick, adjustable waistbands, articulated knees, reflective details for visibility and silicone hems and grips to keep everything in place. Some leggings and tops are designed to be extra breathable in the lower back area, behind the knees and under the arms.

Icebreaker uses a proprietary BODYFITZONE technology in which fabrics of varying compositions are strategically placed to offer specific benefits. For example, merino wool is odor resistant and insulating, LYCRA adds flexibility and a closer, body-hugging fit and eucalyptus promotes a cooling effect.

Craft specializes in designing garments to meet the unique needs of runners, cyclists and skiers.  For example, running tights are designed with a windproof front and pre-shaped/articulated knees to help keep them in place as the runner moves. Skiers can enjoy warmth while strategically-placed fabric panels promote much-needed moisture wicking without restricting quick movement. Cyclists – who are naturally prone to facing windy conditions gain the assistance of wind- and water- repellent fabrics on the front while the back allows for superior breathability. Ample reflective tape allows for 360 degrees of visibility, an important feature for those riding in dark conditions. 

Regardless of your activity, body mapped garments enhance your experience. For products tailored to your sport, ask the team at Yellow Wood in Whitefish Bay for some guidance. We’ll be happy to help you find the right items!