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This could be the most breathable workout fabric ever

MIT breathable workout clothes Pin It
Photo: Hannah Cohen

It’s finally warm enough to move workouts outdoors, but with more sunshine comes more sweat. You know that sticky feeling when even wearing your sports bra feels like too much clothing? The research team at MIT knows just how real the struggle is, and they are working toward making the most breathable activewear ever.

Here’s how it works: The clothes have little flaps that are lined with actual living microbial cells. The cells can sense when the person wearing it is getting sweaty (the dampness tips ’em off) and then they activate the flaps to open up and let air in. Then, they close back down once they sweating has subsided a bit. Crazy advanced, right?

The fabric looks like reptile scales, which makes sense considering it really seems to work as a second, breathable skin.

The flaps make the clothes look kind of like a superhero-esque outfit made out of reptile scales, which makes sense considering it really seems to work as a second, breathable skin. (Check out this video from Mashable for more details about how it works.) There are only prototypes right now, but considering New Balance helped sponsor the research, this living athleisure could become a shopping reality in the near future—giving you some new (blessedly cooler) options for hot yoga class.

While you’re waiting for this futuristic activewear to come out, here are some of the coolest pieces in stores right now. Not to mention the Nike VaporMax you’re seeing everywhere—we tested them out to see if they’re really worth the money.