Koral's Netz Face Mask is the only mask that I—and, apparently, my boyfriend—will wear for muggy outdoor workouts.

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Credit: Koral

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I’ll level with you: The first time I went for a run in a face mask, it sucked. Plain and simple. I’d grabbed one of only two face masks I owned at the time, expecting the worst but hoping for the best. I assumed any old face mask would do—smothering my face while sweating my ass off was bound to be unpleasant no matter what—and my expectations aligned with reality. I felt winded, lightheaded, and just downright uncomfortable after only five minutes of running. Normally I can easily power through at least 15 minutes of nonstop running, even on a bad day. (Related: Why You Might Want to Cool It On High-Intensity Workouts During the COVID Crisis)

In the weeks that followed, I searched high and low for face masks that claimed to remain breathable and comfortable during outdoor runs and workouts. At the time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had just started recommending that everyone (not just healthcare workers) wear face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Masks were sold out practically everywhere.

Given that it wasn’t exactly easy to find any masks in stock at that time, it felt downright impossible to find one with just the right design for my outdoor workouts. Truthfully, when I ordered my Koral Netz Face Mask (Buy It, $20, koral.com), it was a shot in the dark in my attempt to find a mask that didn’t feel suffocating during my outdoor workouts. But this time, my low expectations were actually exceeded.

In case you’re not familiar with the brand, Koral is known for stylish, yet durable luxury activewear. It boasts a laundry list of celebrity fans (including Jennifer Lopez, Hailey Bieber, Taylor Swift, Shay Mitchell, and Vanessa Hudgens, just to name a few), but trust, Koral lives up to the hype. Celebs love the brand not just for its flattering, fashion-forward designs, but also for its moisture-wicking, compression fabrics that can stand up to squats, sweat, and practically everything in between. (Related: The Best Workout Material for Activewear Performance)

Now that I’ve put a Koral face mask to the test myself, I can see exactly why the brand has developed such a huge cult following. The first time I went for a run with my Koral Netz Face Mask, I didn’t just manage to maintain my stamina; I actually enjoyed my run, for the first time in months.

Thanks to the mask’s antimicrobial performance fabric—a combo of protective polyamide and soft, stretchy, breathable Lycra—my thoughts weren’t hyper-focused on the beads of sweat accumulating across my upper lip. In fact, the mask’s UV protection and sweat-wicking, quick-drying technology helped me avoid the usual overheating I’ve come to associate with exercising in a face mask.

Fast-forward nearly two months later, and my Koral face mask is still my go-to for all outdoor workouts, whether I’m running, roller skating, or crushing a HIIT workout in the park.

The only problem? I’ve been raving about the mask so much that my boyfriend has now taken it upon himself to grab my Koral face mask off my desk whenever he’s heading out for a run (read: every morning). Guess that just means I’ll have to stock up on more for both of us.

Perhaps my next purchase will be Koral’s Limitless Face Mask (Buy It, $27, koral.com) or the brand’s Infinity Face Mask (Buy It, $20, koral.com), both of which offer the same breathable design as the Netz style, plus the added benefit of being chlorine-resistant. Granted, I don’t have a pool to swim in, but I can’t deny those designs are still super cute.

Koral Netz Face Mask
Credit: Koral

Buy It: Koral Netz Face Mask, $20, koral.com