Whether practicing yoga, biking, running, taking a HIIT class, boxing, or more, we make it easy to find the best activewear for your greatest sweat-sesh yet. Here at the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab, we put all types of workout clothes to the test in Lab and with consumer testers. We evaluate sports bras, workout leggings, sneakers, and more to find the most comfortable workout gear for every activity.
In the Lab, our fiber scientists test shrinkage, moisture wicking capabilities, stretch recovery, and more, while our testers wear the gear while exercising to give real user feedback on fit and comfort. In the latest workout clothes tests, our experts evaluated over 10,000 data points and evaluated feedback from over 100 testers before making these recommendation for the top tested brands and best workout clothes:
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Best Overall Workout Clothes for Women
Popular for its wide range of workout clothes designed specifically for women, Athleta’s leggings, sports bras, and swimwear have aced our evaluations. In the top tested Elation tight, the Powervita fabric hugs your curves, ideal for yoga and barre. Reviewers rave that their leggings are durable and stay in place no matter the activity. We also love that the sports bras offer excellent support for cup sizes A-DD. For trendy workout clothes that can be worn from the gym to brunch, Athleta continues to impress.
Best Value Workout Clothes for Women
Amazon Essentials offers a ton of workout basics that won’t break the bank. This pack of racerback tank tops has over 3,000 Amazon reviews with users loving the loose fit and the “lightweight and very comfortable” polyester/spandex fabric. Available in 15 shades, the tank top is tag-less to prevent any irritation. Amazon Essentials also offers popular capri leggings and long sleeve tops.
Best Workout Leggings for Women
Lululemon has a cult-like following for their workout leggings in the brand’s signature fabrics. While most of its leggings cost around $100, these splurge-worthy leggings proved durable in our evaluations as well as comfy and flattering. The buttery soft Nulu fabric (as seen in the Align leggings) is perfect for lounging while the Everlux fabric is designed specifically for high-intensity training, wicking away sweat and minimizing friction. We love that the brand now offers extended sizing up to a size 20 in popular styles and shades. Pro tip – check out the brand’s We Made Too Much page to shop super on sale deals.
Best Sustainable Workout Clothes for Women
Because workout clothes are made with synthetic fabrics, not every brand focuses on sustainability the way Girlfriend Collective does. Each pair of leggings use 25 recycled water bottles diverted from landfills. The brand has an extensive size range from XXS to 6XL with three different inseam lengths. Reviewers love pairing the Paloma bra with these high rise legging to create a fashionable matching set.
Best Size Inclusive Workout Clothes for Women
Offering an impressive range of sizes from 00-40, Universal Standard focuses on making its brand as inclusive as possible. In addition to its work clothes and cute dresses, check out the brand’s athleisure section to shop leggings, bike shorts, and joggers. Note that Universal Standard doesn’t offer sports bras yet, but the Next-to-Naked bodysuit is one of the brand’s best-selling items with reviewers raving that it’s insanely comfortable and that “everyone should have one of these!”
Best High Impact Workout Clothes for Women
Nike is a classic workout brand famous for sneakers, but its apparel has aced our tests too. Testers rated the Nike Pro Swish sports bra as the most comfortable sports bra in our test. This medium impact style has a racerback design to allow an excellent range of motion. Nike offers comfy socks, training shorts, and breathable layers too for all types of workouts.
Best Running Clothes for Women
When heading out on a run, opt for lightweight performance fabrics that’ll help keep you dry and prevent irritation. Under Armour offers lots of activewear designed for running such as these best selling running shorts that are available in a whopping 40 shades. We also love the brand’s zip-up sports bra and fleece lined leggings for cold weather runs.
Best Hiking Clothes for Women
When hitting the trails, you’ll need workout gear that’ll keep you protected from branches or leaves that poke and scratch. L.L. Bean has every item for your hiking checklist: Long pants, fleece layers, supportive boots, and more. Many of the brand’s hiking clothes are available in regular, petite, and plus sizes. We love that these breathable nylon pants with mesh lining can easily be cuffed to be capris in hot weather.
Best Winter Workout Clothes for Women
Cold weather makes it tempting to skip your outdoor workout, but Columbia has the best gear for your winter and snow exercise. With puffer coats, thick socks, and waterproof shells, Columbia gear is designed to stand up to the elements and last season after season. This raincoat is perfect to throw in your bag in case of rain as it folds into its own pocket for easy storage. Plus, it’s available in 18 stylish shades in regular and plus sizing.
Best Compression Workout Clothes for Women
Compression leggings help increase blood flow, reduce muscle fatigue, and prevent strain in high-intensity training. CW-X leggings are designed to offer compression and stability, particularly to your knees. Many styles also have Coolmax fibers built in to help keep your body cool when building up a sweat. The brand offers compressive styles in full leggings, shorts, and even sleeves too.
Best Trendy Workout Clothes for Women
The famous Exercise Dress is exclusive to Outdoor Voices. Made with nylon/spandex fabric, this dress has built-in shorts to keep you covered while wicking away sweat. Testers love wearing this dress running, working out, or just out and about on a hot day as the ultimate athleisure look. Outdoor Voices is also popular for cozy loungewear and super soft leggings that are always on trend.
Best Workout Shoes for Women
Asics sneakers continue to impress GH fiber scientists and podiatrists alike for being supportive and cushioning. Testers rave that Asics sneakers are comfy whether walking, running, or in a fitness class. This trainer style has a breathable knit upper and high abrasion outsole ideal for CrossFit training. Available in six shades, this sleek sneaker is a fashionable addition to your wardrobe while packing a big punch in your workouts.
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