You know the January drill – new year, new you – but setting fitness goals and sticking to them is far easier said than done. Motivation comes in many forms, though, and treating yourself to stylish gym wear can not only make you look the part, but can even help support your exercise regime too, as long as you get the right kit.
But knowing what to buy can be a constant struggle. There are thousands of trainers, leggings and bras just vying for your attention, from high end to the high street. Luckily we’ve tested dozens of options so you don’t have to, and here we pick out 10 of the best pieces of fitness kit worth investing in.
Sweaty Betty Athena Super Soft Leggings
These leggings from Sweaty Betty can do no wrong in our eyes. As well as being heavenly to touch – as the name suggests – they’re incredibly stretchy, so you’ll stay comfy no matter the move, pose or exercise. The fabric is also sweat-wicking and breathable, while the high waistband comes with a drawcord, so they’ll stay up regardless of the activity you’re doing. Add to that some cunningly-placed seams that appear to elongate your legs and enhance your bum, and you’ll look great when you arrive at a class.
New Balance Half Zip Heat Grid Pullover
Although it’s made with running in mind, this sleek and stylish pullover-design long-sleeved top is ideal for all gym activities. The New Balance HEAT technology wicks away sweat while keeping you cosy and warm, plus the Polyknit heat grid material makes it impressively breathable. Our favourite part of this top is the sleeves, featuring a sneaky pocket for holding little essentials as well as reflective strips to keep you visible to drivers when training outside at night.
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New Balance Fresh Foam Roav v2
The Roav V2 are delightfully comfy. The ultra-bouncy midsole feels great whether you’re on the treadmill, running outside or moving through high-intensity workouts at the gym, and the breathable synthetic and mesh upper will keep your feet fresh even when you’re training at your max.
Buy from New Balance (opens in new tab) | £80 (currently reduced to £56)
M&S Racer Back Cropped Yoga Vest Top
Designed for lower-impact workouts, such as yoga, this four-way stretch cropped vest top is comfortable and breathable, without being tight or restrictive. It can be worn on its own or, for larger busts, with a sports bra underneath. At under £20, it’s a bargain.
Buy from Marks & Spencer (opens in new tab) | £15 (currently reduced to £11)
Ten Boutique Pointe Studio Combat Grip Sock
Don’t skimp on your socks: good ones can help to keep feet dry and help you avoid blisters. These grip socks can be worn on their own for activities such as barre and Pilates, but also feel great in trainers. Let’s not overlook the fact that they’re some of the best-looking socks out there as well.
Pour Moi Energy Empower Lightly Padded Convertible Sports Bra
Every workout requires a good sports bra to minimise breast movement, and this option from Pour Moi has been created for medium- to high-impact exercise such as running, HIIT and cycling. To ensure a closer fit, the straps can be adjusted to a racer-back style for extra support. The material is stretchy and breathable too so you’ll feel comfortable, however long the workout.
Buy from Pour Moi (opens in new tab) | £28 (currently reduced to £19.60)
Maaree Empower Medium-Impact Sports Bra
This brand is a new name to us and its sports bra offers incredible comfort and support. It’s also longer than most, offering flattering coverage should you choose to remove a layer when your workout becomes too hot. The hook-and-eye clasp at the back allows you to tweak the fit and ensure that your bra is offering maximum support, while the Overband Technology creates a curved structure across the top of your breasts for additional support and reduced upward movement.
Lorna Jane Prime Cropped Active Tank
Not everyone wants to strip down to their sports bra when they train but long-sleeved restrictive tops can be a little too warm in a gym environment. That’s why you need a crop in your arsenal. This scoop-neck stretch top is super-soft and light, while also helping to keep you dry. It’s also made with Lorna Jane’s Nothing 2 See Here fabric, which offers total coverage (no see-through bits) while also being shrink-resistant.
Buy from Lorna Jane (opens in new tab) | £39 (currently reduced to £29.25)
Domyos The Sport Tote
Whether you’re going from gym to desk or desk to gym, this attractive yet practical bag is ideal for shoving in kit, toiletries, trainers and other gym essentials. It also has enough inner pockets to cram in extra bits like headphones, resistance bands or a water bottle.
Considering the price, it’s an absolute bargain.
Buy from Domyos (opens in new tab) | £12.99
Gymshark Adapt Ombre Seamless Shorts
Wearing leggings in the gym can sometimes get a bit toasty. That’s why having a good pair of shorts is a great idea, especially ones such as these which come a little further down the leg, avoiding any butt-cheek exposure. We especially love the ombre colouring of these shorts, which helps disguise sweat patches. There’s also a high waistband, which helps to keep everything tucked in, and there are no irritating seams – you might forget you’re even wearing these.
Buy from Gymshark (opens in new tab) | £35 (currently reduced to £17.50-£25.50)
Lucy is a freelance journalist, and former health and fitness editor across various UK women’s magazines. She is also a level 3 personal trainer and is trained in pre- and post-natal fitness.
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