I'm trying to create a society in which everyone has some form of superpowers and would like to know what sort of clothing would be needed to keep up with the new physical requirements and not fall apart from excess wear and tear because Barry Allen is moving too fast. My question is what sort of materials would be needed to create such clothes and do they currently exist or will they need to be developed.
The average person is able to increase his/her speed to a maximum of 50mph (about 80.5kmh)
Average strength (not sure if it's relevant) capable of lifting 1 ton (about 907 kg)
Endurance Capable of running at max output for 30 mins before crashing HARD
Clothing Requirements

  1. The world I envision has people with vastly greater mobility then ours, therefore most local travel that doesn't require carrying things will generally be done by foot so account for the fact that most people are going to be running to work.
  2. Clothes must last at least two years
  3. This should be obvious but I am not making armor now the clothing I want is for daily wear.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For reference purposes the world record for 100m is roughly equivalent to about 37 km/hr, so maybe the kind of clothing top sprinters currently wear would be fine (or some variation on it). $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2018 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenG I'm not sure that would work. First, because the sprinter is going at less than half my target speed and second your sprinters' shoes need to last him 9.5 seconds times one season of training mine need to last 20 minutes times a couple of years running. Maybe that would add up to be the same amount of stress, but I doubt it $\endgroup$
    – Josh Taub
    Jan 24, 2018 at 1:07
  • $\begingroup$ I've no expertise in the durability of these materials in this context, so I can't offer any more advice on that subject. However similar gear would surely be used for marathons and endurance races ? $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2018 at 1:12

1 Answer 1


At speeds as described, I don't really think any new age material is going to be required.

First off, if their top speed is 50mph, they are most likely to be travelling at an average closer to 30-40mph most of the time, instead of going at their top speeds all the time. I can't run at those speeds myself (citation needed), but I have spent a fair amount of time in the back of open-air moving vehicles moving at those speeds or more, and surprisingly the air resistance did not tear my clothes off or wear new holes in them.

If your concern is wear and tear from friction between the moving parts of the body and the fabric, consider that the limiting factor is going to be our skin. In this case, something comfortable will be nice, possibly dry-fit tees, but the issue isn't going to be the fabric's toughness and durability.

As for shoes, I also feel that your normal running shoes (perhaps with a reinforced sole, normal rubber should do fine) will be up to these standards. A good pair of shoes can easily withstand 2-3 years of abuse, and the wear on these has more to do with distance covered than speed of coverage. Your superhumans are going to cover more distance, but we don't need new materials to address that.

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    $\begingroup$ I wasn't aware one needed to cite oneself (citation needed). $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Jan 24, 2018 at 13:11

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