10 Best Workout Clothes For Women Reviewed and Tested

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As an active woman, style might not be your number one concern when it comes to hitting the gym, or going for a run. Many of us simply don’t have the time to be both stylish and comfortable when we go workout. We often reach for the nearest shirt and pair shorts of before we take off on our runs—as long as they are clean we are good to go!However, while style doesn’t have to be our number one concern, this method is also not the best.

Workout clothes are specifically designed for athletic movement and excessive sweating. If you are running or exercising in inappropriate attire, such as sweatpants or thin leggings intended for casual wear, then you may be restricting your movement and hindering your overall performance.The best workout clothes for women will improve your performance, be trendy, and may even increase your confidence which will motivate you to show off at the gym.

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By Giselle Killebrew:

We have added more to our FAQs to help you make an informed purchase. A new shirt product from Under Armor was also added. Check out the HeatGear Racer Tank!

Nike Power Essential
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  • 5 out of 5
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  • Comfortable and flattering fit
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Under Armour Tech Tank
  • Under Armour Tech Tank
  • 4.5 out of 5
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  • Lightweight and quick dry
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Nike Pro Compression Shorts
  • Nike Pro Compression Shorts
  • 4 out of 5
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  • Versatile
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10 Best Workout Clothes for Women

 

 

1.Nike Women's Power Essential Running Tight

The Nike women's power essential running tights are a comfortable and breathable pair of DriFit running pants that will keep you cool and dry during your runs and help you push yourself to the limit.
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Fit:
These pants fit at the waist, are fitted, and come with a drawcord so you can adjust how they fit at the waist. They also come cropped and pant options.

Breathability:
These pants are highly breathable and their DryFit material will keep you cool and dry during your runs.

Flexibility:
These pants are 92% Polyester and 8% Spandex. This allows them to provide you with full range of motion and their flat seam construction ensures they cause no irritation or chafing.

Versatility:
This option is marketed specifically for running but you can use them for any athletic activity--yoga, CrossFit, Pilates, etc. You could even wear them as casual wear if you really wanted to.

Style:
These leggings have a classic, sleek design. They are available in black, which goes well with everything and their over all style go well with any season.

Fabric:
92% Polyester and 8% Spandex

Additional Features:
These leggings also come with and adjustable drawstring for custom fit. They also provide a small zippered back storage pocket that is waterproof and can hold your key, etc.

Value:
These pants are moderately priced.
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • DriFit material to keep you cool and dry
  • Simple and sleek design
  • Flat seam construction
  • Small waterproof storage pocked on the back
  • Versatile
  • Drawstring to adjust waistband
Cons
  • Sizing is specific so be sure to take measurements 

2. Under Armour Tech Twist Tank

This simple lightweight racerback tank is an effortless addition to any workout closet. The fit finds a perfect balance of staying close to the body without being tight or constricting. Many women find this options easy and functional. Perfect for a variety of workouts.
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Fit
Good quality lightweight fabric fits loose but not too loose. The simple racerback tank stays close to the body but leaves some room to the imagination.The slightly longer length of this top is an additional bonus; it can easily be worn with shorts or leggings with no worries about constantly pulling your shirt down.

Breathability
Fabric is very lightweight and breathable with quick-dry technology that won’t weigh you down.

Flexibility
Lightweight stretch fabric provides excellent flexibility while racerback design allows full range of motion for arms.

Versatility
This soft and lightweight top works great for running, yoga or hitting the gym. The slim fit is perfect for layering under a number of warm-ups or jackets.

Style
This racerback tank top is classic appearing and comes in 12 solid or heathered color options. The flattering design will give you confidence in the gym without getting in your way and is easy to wear with a variety of bottoms.

Fabric
100% other fibers which varies based on style.

Additional Features
Signature Moisture Transport System keeps you dry by wicking sweat while construction of the lightweight fabric stretch to allow for natural motion and full mobility.

Value:
Price is mid-range for an athletic top. However, customers note good quality fabric that holds up well to machine washing.
Pros
  • Flattering racerback design
  • Lightweight and quick dry fabric
  • Easy to wash
  • Longer length and classic style work with a variety of bottoms
Cons
  • Plain style options

3. Nike Pro 3” Compression shorts

Nike has another spot here on out list with the Nike Pro compression shorts. These are a favorite among runners and athletes--especially during these hot summer months. They come in lots of color and pattern options so you can be comfortable and stylish at the same time!
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Fit
These shorts have a compressed and tight fit. They will not fly around everywhere and will stay securely attached to you. Their 3 inch inseam offers adequate coverage. If you are worried they will ride up then you can size up--but that may take away from the benefits of the compression fit they provide.

Breathability
These lightweight compression shorts are breathable and use Nike Pro Cool Fabric to keep you cool and dry during those hot summer workouts.

Flexibility
These compression shorts are very flexible and allow for all movements. They are excellent to PR your squats and to do those handstand pushups--these shorts allow maximum movement and range of motion while staying securely in place.

Versatility
These shorts are great for running, CrossFit, and lifting. You can use them for workouts such as yoga and pilates but most people prefer longer pants for those.

Style
These shorts offer a 3 inch inseam and a compressed fit. If you want to show off the body you have been working so hard for, while remaining comfortable, then these shorts are perfect for you. They also come in lots of color and pattern options, so you can show of your style during your workouts and runs.

Fabric
80% polyester and 20% Spandex

Additional Features
These shorts can be used as a base layer on cooler days or underneath those shorts that fly all over the place as well. Their seamless waistband lays flat so it won't show under your shirt.

Value
These shorts come at a great price and move up to moderate pricing depending on the color or design pattern you choose.
Pros
  • 3 inch inseam
  • Lots of color and design options
  • Stylish
  • Compressed fit
  • Comfortable
  • Flexible
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Great price point
Cons
  • Not a great option if you don’t like a tight fit

5. Nike Victory Compression Sports Bra

5. Nike Victory Compression Sports Bra
Here comes another Nike product--what can I say, they always deliver! This specific sports bra is an excellent compression sports bra for runners and athletes alike. It has classic design and comes in lots of color options so you can mix and match your outfits with it.
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Fit
This is a medium impact compression sports bra--meaning it can keep you secure and comfortable during exercises like running. It fits like a classic sports bra and has a racerback.

Breathability
This sports bra is highly breathable and features DriFit technology to keep you cool, comfortable, and dry during all of your runs and workouts. This fabric also maximizes the breathability of the bra.

Flexibility
This item features a racerback design for maximum flexibility and range of motion during your workouts.

Versatility
This sports bra is designed for light and medium impact activities. It will keep you comfortable and secure. Some users may be able to use it for higher impact workouts but it is not assured that all users will be able to do so.

Style
This sports bra features a racerback design and has lots of color options available.

Fabric
88% Polyester 12% Spandex

Additional Features
This bra features low profile bonded seams so it does no irritate you or dig into your skin during your runs and workouts.

Value
Great price point.

Under Armour HeatGear Racer Tank

Under Armour HeatGear Racer Tank
This lightweight, mesh shirt provides breathability, and wicking material to keep you drier for longer. It also features anti-odor technology, to fight odor causing microbes. If you are into high-intensity training, or tend to sweat a lot, this shirt will keep you comfortable during your workouts.
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Breathability:
Moisture wicking material, and pinhole mesh fabric allow for optimum ventilation to keep you cool.

Versatility:
The features for this item are mostly targeted to high-intensity workouts that will produce a lot of sweat.

Style:
The style opts for a classic, sleeveless racerback look. It fits closer to the body to reduce chafing during exercise.

Fabric:
100% polyester

Additional Features:
Anti-odor technology, moisture wicking synethetic material, pinhole fabric for ventilation

Value:
Moderately priced, about $30 on Amazon.
Pros

Lightweight

Close fit without being too tight

Excellent moisture wicking

Reasonably priced

Many colours available

Cons

Only available in a racerback style

Some may not like the close fit

No spandex for those who like stretch

CompressionZ Leggings

CompressionZ  Leggings
Compression leggings have been gaining popularity as they’re very comfortable, they help to reduce the soreness, they’re flexible and great for many different activities.
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Fit
These provide a lot of compression to your legs especially to the lower half of your body. The compression provides a snug, comfortable fit but it also boosts the blood circulation in your legs. This makes your muscles less prone to injuries.

Breathability
Compression z leggings are made of material very similar to spandex so despite being compression leggings, they provide a lot of breathability.

Efficiency
These leggings help you to boost your performance as they restrict excessive motion of the muscles. You don’t lose so much energy and you can perform better and longer. The leggings also minimize the pain after long, demanding workouts.


Versatility
The compression leggings will be perfect for many different sports activities. You can exercise yoga in them but you can also use them for running, fitness or they’re also great for daily wear.

Style
These leggings provide a very stylish look to the rest of your outfit. There are many colorful options to choose from and we’re in love with the pinks version. However, if you prefer something more classic, you can choose simply black ones.
Fabric
The material is anti-itching so there’s no skin irritation. It also wicks the moisture very well to keep you dry during the exercise. The material is four-way stretchable.

Additional Features
These also help to prevent deep vein thrombosis and it’s very easy to clean.

Value
You can purchase them for less than 30 dollars. It’s a good investment in your comfort.
Pros

Great quality

They help to reduce the muscle pain

Stylish look They’re not see through

Cons

Runners said that they’re very long

9. Nike Dri-fit Cool Breeze Strappy Tank

9. Nike Dri-fit Cool Breeze Strappy Tank
This is an excellent tank for these hot summer months--it will keep you cool, dry, and stylish!
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Fit
This shirt is loosely fit and features a longer hemline, so you can ensure you will be well covered even when its windy.

Breathability
This tank has a scoop neckline and sheer panels for maximum ventilation and breathability.

Flexibility
This shirt allows for full range of motion. It's strappy but its placement is similar to a racerback design, so it provides you with full flexibility.

Versatility
You can wear this shirt anywhere--for your runs, CrossFit, Yoga, etc. You could even wear it as everyday attire if you'd like to.

Style
This is a stylish tank with a strappy design and lots of color options.

Fabric
100% polyester

Additional Features
This shirt also has reflective elements and is sheer.

Value
This shirt is moderately priced and comes in lots of color options.

Nike Tempo Shorts

Nike Tempo Shorts
Have you ever dreamed about comfortable short for multiple usages? Well, the dreams come true- here we go with Nike Tempo shorts.
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Fit
These shorts are very comfortable in wearing as there’s elastic waistband. Whenever you feel that shorts are too tight or they feel loose, you can easily adjust the tightness.

Breathability and moisture wicking
The one thing that we totally adore about Nike is Dry- FIT technology. When you run and sweat a lot, the fabric technology manages with the moisture very efficiently. It’s very useful if you run in the summer or in hot areas. There are special mesh panels to boost the breathability.

Flexibility
The shorts provide the full range of motion, they don’t restrict your movement.

Versatility
These can be used while playing different sports. Running is very comfortable with these shorts but they can be also a part of your gym outfit and they’re great for cycling, yoga and etc.
Style
These shorts have classic look and they come in many different colors and patterns. Runners appreciated that there are so many colors to choose from. The shorts are fashionable and make your silhouette looks better.

Fabric
These are 100% made of Polyester.

Additional Features
There are built-in briefs to provide more comfort while exercising. We also found out that there’s internal key pocket- great for keeping your keys safe.

Value
The shorts are high quality product and the Nike is a prestigious brand so the price is high but it’s still worth buying. Runners said that the shorts are very durable so why not test them out.
Pros

They don’t ride up or down

Breathable

High quality

Cons

They run small

Columbia Ombre Stripe Racerback Sports Bra

Columbia Ombre Stripe Racerback Sports Bra

The bra is a sports item that is very useful in many sports. If you want more support and comfort, check this one
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Fit
Runners said that the fit is very comfortable thanks to seamless construction. There isn’t any chaffing and it’s rather easy to find the appropriate size.
Breathability and moisture wicking
The bra is very breathable and it pulls the moisture away in very efficient way.
Flexibility
There’s a high level of flexibility, full range of motion will let you to perform your best.

Versatility
This bra is perfect for many different activities however it’s a medium support bra so it may not work for everyone when it comes to running. It will be excellent for hiking, biking and cross training.

Style
Many reviewers said that this is one of the best looking bras on the market. We also totally love the ombre effect on the bra and there are also different colors to choose from.

Fabric
This is a blend of nylon, polyester and spandex.

Additional Features
The caps are removable. If you prefer to get a coverage, you can put them inside. There’s also elastic binding for more support.

Value
The cost of the bra isn’t very high. The combination of the quality and the price makes this bra a great deal.
Pros

It doesn’t irritate your skin

Very comfortable

Soft in touch

Removable cups

Cons

Some runners said that it runs small

10. Champion Jersey Cotton Pocket Pants

10. Champion Jersey Cotton Pocket Pants
These cotton jogger pants are affordable and comfortable for any active lifestyle. The lightweight material works perfectly for a warm-up as well as a long run or full workout.
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Fit
These sweatpants feature a wide adjustable waistband and bands at both ankles for a tapered look. The pants are lightweight and the soft cotton bands are comfortable and do not dig in. The 29 inch inseam provides a bit of extra room and trendy look without getting in the way of your legs.

Breathability
Many reviewers are pleasantly surprised by the lightweight and breathable feel of these cotton sweatpants. They love wearing them as warm ups as well as through workouts.

Flexibility
These cotton pants have extra space in the legs, a bit of stretch and are not see-through with bending over. As they do not have any synthetic fabrics for added elasticity, they may not be the best option for flexibility.

Versatility
These lightweight sweatpants are great to wear as warm-ups, out for a jog or even through gym workouts. However, cotton will absorb moisture rather than wicking it away, so you may want to steer clear of hot yoga or other activities that make you sweat while wearing these pants.

Style
The jogger style sweatpant with tapered legs and dropped crotch are on trend at the moment. These cotton pants come in solid black or gray as well as heathered navy or dark gray making them a great staple for any workout wardrobe.

Fabric
100% Cotton. Cotton is not a typical go-to for workout clothes as it has a tendency to absorb water or sweat and weigh you down. However, it does give off less post-workout smell than synthetic fabrics making these pants a great option for running errands after the gym.

Additional Features
These pants feature a drawstring waistband and banded ankle cuffs for comfort as well as deep front pockets for convenience while running.

Value
Prices range based on size and style but this look is relatively inexpensive. Some people do note some holes and signs of wear and tear with repeated machine washing.
Pros
  • Drawstring waistband
  • Tapered leg
  • Lightweight cotton
  • Not see-through
  • Pockets
Cons
  • Not moisture wicking
  • May not hold up to machine washing
  • Not super flexible

 

Criteria for Choosing the Best Workout Clothes

Trying to find clothes can be a challenge in general. There are so many decisions to make based on color, size, fabric, price, etc. In seeking the best staples to add to add to any workout wardrobe, we broke it down into the following criteria to ensure these clothes work on all levels.

Comfort and Fit

Fit and comfort are extremely important for workout clothes. For example, if you buy workout shorts that are too constricting you may limit your range of motion and get less out of your workout. We push ourselves out of our comfort zone all the time during workouts, so we need to make sure our clothes are not making things any more difficult. Clothes that chafe or constrict will take away from your workout.

Versatility

Having specialized gear is great for those who focus on specific activities. But if you are a more casual gym-goer, your clothes should be able to go with you through a range of exercises. We looked for great items that can stretch with you during yoga, sweat with you during high-intensity workouts, and stay out of your way while running. Additionally, we looked for classic, quality pieces that can be mixed and matched with a variety of other items and layers.

Style

Of course, the function is essential when choosing workout clothes however, we love to find pieces that add a bit of style and are aesthetically pleasing. We looked for items that have a bit of style, but will not be out of fashion before you have time to wear through them.

 

Other Factors to Considered

Fabric

Like all clothing, activewear is made in a variety of fabrics and fabric blends many of which are specially selected to work with you during exercise. The fabrics in these items include:

  • Polyester is a really common synthetic fabric used in activewear. It is essentially a plastic fabric that has the ability to wick away moisture to help keep you cool and dry. It is a fairly durable fabric and gets bonus points for being recyclable. The only downside is that it does have a tendency to foster microbial growth and may begin to give off odor sooner than some other fabrics.
  • Spandex is another synthetic fabric that gives a great amount of stretch and elasticity to workout gear. It  hugs your body and allows for unrestricted movement.The elasticity is very durable and helps the fabric snap effortlessly back into shape after use. It tends to be lightweight and is great for wicking away  moisture.
  • Nylon is great for adding softness and stretch to clothing. It is very breathable, and has some antimicrobial properties that make it an attractive fabric for exercise.
  • Cotton has a tendency to absorb moisture and can become heavy with sweat. However, cotton actually controls odor much better than many of the synthetic fabrics and is a pretty good option for lower intensity exercise where you may not be sweating as much.

Breathability

Workout clothes must be able to breathe to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable through your workout.

Flexibility

Stretch is essential to comfortable and effective workout clothes. We looked for options that have a good amount of elasticity and will move with you through a variety of exercises.

Additional Features

We looked for items that had some additional features that make these clothes especially suited to fit an active lifestyle. Features such as mesh cutaways to keep you cool or convenient pockets for stashing keys or even a smartphone make clothing even more suitable for exercise.

FAQs

Q: What fabric is best for exercise?

A: That really depends on your personal preference and what workout you will be performing. Most athletes will be looking for clothing with a bit of flexibility and stretch so some spandex or nylon is usually a good option. Then it comes down to how much you expect to sweat. Plastic-y synthetic fabrics such as polyester wick away moisture and keep you dry. Cotton absorbs moisture so it does

Q: How do I wash workout clothes?

A: To prolong the life of your activewear, some good general rules are to wash activewear with cold water and air dry. Most activewear is designed to dry quickly, so putting it through the damaging heat and drumming of the dryer is unnecessary. If you are very dedicated to keeping your clothes fresh and like-new, you may also consider using sport-specific detergents. These detergents are specially designed to remove sweat and bacteria while still protecting your activewear fabric.

Q: How do I choose the right size?

A: Manufacturer sizes will vary depending on their company policies. Make sure that you check the sizing guide, or try the clothes on before purchase. Proper size is largely dependent on personal preference for comfort, and the type of activity you are doing. Make sure that your clothes can accommodate a full range of motion, and do not get in the way of doing your exercises properly.

Q: How long will my activewear last?

A: This will depend on the item, and material type. Spandex, for example, tends to last a lot longer than lighter, loose fitting materials. Sports bras tend to absorb a lot of sweat and should be replaced every 6-12 months, and leggings can be replaced within two years (depending on thickness). Training tops tend to have a longer life span and should be replaced if they are: torn, worn, stained, or smelly. Caring for your products properly according to the washing label will also help to increase the lifespan of your products considerably.

Sources

  1. Astorino, Dominque, The Cheat Sheet To Washing Your Workout Clothes Properly, Web Page, Feb 22, 2017
  2. Bruning, Karla, 10 Fitness Fabrics Explained, Jul 08, 2017
  3. Feirereisen, Sharon, The Pros and Cons of Activewear Fabric, Nov 19, 2016
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