Volleyball Shorts Review - Why Does Mizuno and Adidas Use Spande

In my previous article I explained to you what spandex was and why it was so commonly used in volleyball compression shorts. In this article I explore my findings regarding the differences between the fabrics and materials that Mizuno and Adidas use to produce their spandex shorts and whether or not their trademarked technologies separate them from their competition.

Volleyball Shorts Made With A Polyester/Spandex Blend

These type of shorts usually have an 88% to 12% or 90% to 10% balance of polyester to spandex combination.

Mizuno specializes in this specific blend of materials in their volleyball spandex shorts and has their own trademarked microfiber polyester called MzO which comes in the form of a series of high performance technical fabrics designed with special yarn, fabric structure and dyeing process. MzO was designed to transport perspiration vapor away from the body and cool down the body temperature. This fabric is described as being "comfortable, breathable, easy to care for and durable."

Just for the record microfiber (I had to look it up) is an "extremely fine synthetic fiber that can be woven into textiles with the texture and drape of natural-fiber cloth but with enhanced stretch, washability, breathability, and water repellency." It's usually a soft, lightweight fabric with a silky feel and is resistant to shrinkage, durable and provides protection against the elements.

Mizuno has two different types of microfibers that they use in their line of volleyball shorts.

MzO is found in the Vortex, the Women's Low Rider and the Techno volleyball shorts. The other type of microfiber, called Drylite is found in the Vortex Six Panel shorts. This trademarked process is engineered to cool the body and keep an athlete dry during competition by transporting perspiration vapor away from the body and cooling down a player's body temperature. Mizuno claims that DryLite is "comfortable, breathable, easy to care for, and durable." (No you aren't reading the same thing twice. They used the same verbiage on the product description to describe the characteristics of both the Drylite and the MzO processes.)

The Adibody compression shorts have the same combination of polyester/spandex blended materials, but the exclusively Adidas-developed microfiber fabric used in these is called Climalite. Before you ask, let me give you the 411 on what this term means to this company. Clima is one of the trademarked adidas apparel systems which include the Cool, Lite, Warm and Proof technologies.

As far as volleyball is concerned the three technologies I mention below are the ones you most commonly see used in volleyball shorts.

ClimaCool is an integrated system of technologies that work together to regulate the athlete's body temperature and is also utilized as a cooling system in footwear. ClimaLite fabric pulls sweat away from the skin to the outer fabric face for quick evaporation, enhancing the body's natural temperature regulation and ClimaWarm is lightweight, breathable insulation that keeps the athlete dry and comfortable in cold weather conditions.

In other words, Climalite is an Adidas water-wicking technology designed with cotton threads on one side of the fabric and synthetic fibers on the inside that work to wick moisture from the skin to the fabrics surface for easy evaporation. Got it? Good. Because I didn't until just a few minute ago.