How to Choose Your Gym Wear to Match Your Exercise Style

There’s nothing worse than slowing down and losing your momentum simply because your gym wear needs readjusting or it’s digging in. Choosing the right gym wear to match your exercise style makes all the difference. If you’re comfortable, you’ll be able to push yourself that bit further on your workout. 

If you currently choose your gym wear based on fast fashion, it’s probably time to think about prioritising your comfort and the environment instead. This can include considering what material your gym wear is made from and how you exercise. You want to be wearing gym wear which is appropriate, durable and sustainable. 

Choose the right fabric 

Start by shopping for gym wear made from a fabric with qualities such as:


You want to choose gym wear that is durable so that it doesn’t split or tear when working out. Whatever your exercise style, your gym wear needs to be designed for repetitive movement. It also needs to be suitable for going in the washing machine after each use (on a low temperature cycle so that the garment lasts longer).


Wearing clothes to the gym made out of plastic-based or rubber-based  materials can cause you to become overheated, which can be dangerous. Avoid these materials, especially during aerobic exercise or weight lifting, when you’re likely to sweat more.


gym wear

If you’re doing gym classes like yoga or pilates, you’ll want to ensure that you can stretch in your gym wear and the material will be close-fitted and will stretch with you. Look out for gym wear with large percentages of lycra, nylon, polyester or bamboo.


If your exercise style means that you sweat a lot, particularly with aerobic exercise, then you need to consider ‘wicking’. Some synthetic, breathable fabrics ‘wick’, which means that they take the sweat away from your skin, helping the sweat to evaporate quickly to keep you cool. Look out for gym wear made out of fabrics containing polypropylene. On the other hand, cotton gym clothes absorb your sweat, which means that your clothes will become heavy and the sweat won’t evaporate quickly, leaving you feeling uncomfortable.

Check that it’s the right fit

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When working out in the gym, you need to focus on your exercise – you shouldn’t have to think about your clothes. Don’t choose clothes that are too tight, but you also need to feel supported. 

If you’re running or biking, avoid wide-leg or loose tracksuit bottoms that could trip you up or get caught in the bike pedals.

If your exercise of choice means that you’ll be bending down or stretching up, you don’t want to be pulling down your t-shirt or vest as it rides up your body. When you try on your new gym wear, make sure you do some stretches to test it out.

Make sure you feel good 

Whatever your exercise style, you want to feel confident in your gym wear. There is no reason why comfortable clothes shouldn’t look good too. Choose the colour carefully — whether you go for neon brights or classic black — go with what makes you feel good.

Feeling good when working out can boost your confidence and help you to go further in your workouts. If you have a home gym, it’s not just your clothing that matters; your surroundings matter, too. You need to make sure you have the right equipment, including high quality gym flooring underfoot for the most efficient workouts.

Choose sustainable trainers 

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Runners are most likely to get through the largest number of trainers by pounding the treadmill in the gym. So look out for materials sustainably sourced from regenerated waste materials, organic sources or natural fibres. 

Why? Well the average production of one shoe produces 30 pounds of carbon dioxide. That’s a huge amount of damage to the planet, especially when you think that environmental charity Global Action Plan (GAP) found 1 in 10 teenagers has at least 10 pairs of trainers (!) and 1 in 50 has 20 pairs or more (!!). 

GAP highlighted that the CO2 emissions produced to create 58 million trainers are equivalent to 409 million kgs of CO2 — the equivalent of circumnavigating the globe in a medium-sized car almost 50,000 times. According to GAP, if the number of trainers owned in Britain was halved, it would be the equivalent to taking 73,000 cars off the road for a whole year.

Thankfully, more sustainably-minded sportswear brands are offering you a large choice of eco-friendly trainers. And you can even check out how sustainable men’s trainers are before you buy them. 

gym wear

Next time you shop for gym wear, you need to consider the type of exercise you’ll be doing before you make that purchase. A moment’s consideration will make sure you can work out safely and comfortably – and fashion shopping apps put all the information you need at your fingertips.

Making the right purchase will also mean that you don’t need to buy gym wear regularly. Make it a habit to read about what materials go into a garment or a pair of trainers before you buy – and consider how the material will best support your gym workout and body movements. Smart shopping will save you money — and the planet — in the long run.

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