Exercise Apparel Buying Guide

What do I look for when buying athletic gear?

Before you head to store to stock up on exercise clothing, you need to have a little background before purchasing your new gear. Here are ten tips to follow when you’re looking for exercise apparel:

1. Don’t forget your feet:

Make sure your socks are right for your activity, may it be running or basketball. Some sports, such as tennis or basketball, require thick, padded socks to reduce impact and blistering of the feet. Pick the right fabrics for your exercise conditions to prevent blisters, fungus or discomfort.

2. Find the right shoes:

Be sure to purchase shoes that are made for your intended use. Running shoes are great for strictly indoor or outdoor running, but if you plan on doing other activities at the gym, such as elliptical or weightlifting, you may want to look into cross-training shoes. Buy from a dedicated athletic shoe store and talk to the experts in the store.

3. Check the weather:

Choose your exercise clothes based on the conditions you will be facing. For example, for cold activities, you may want to check out Under Armour Cold Gear for a thick, weather-resistant shell. If you’re going to be in the sun, don’t forget sunglasses or a hat. In the winter, wear a hat and gloves to prevent heat loss.

4. Beat the sweat:

Whether you’re buying shirts, socks, or shorts, find something that offers sweat wicking technology. Be sure to look for socks that can clear away your sweat and help your feet breathe.

5. Choose the right material:

As with socks, you need to choose the material of your clothing based on the activity you will be doing. Many people prefer tight-fitting clothing for workouts because it helps move sweat from the skin and can prevent uncomfortable chaffing during workouts or runs. If you’re not a fan of fitted clothing, loose clothing is okay for low impact sports—be careful that your clothing doesn’t catch in your exercise equipment.

6. Accessorize with a purpose:

Purchase accessories based on your needs. Women and men with long hair may want to purchase a headband or bandana to keep hair out of your eyes and to absorb sweat before it runs into your eyes. Don’t forget sunglasses, hats and gloves!

7. Don’t get ahead of yourself:

When you are buying exercise apparel, do not buy based on the way you would like to look. Buy your clothes based on the body that you have now, and reward yourself with new clothes when you get the new body you’ve worked for.

8. Buy what you like:

Although there are several things you should look for in your workout apparel, in the end, you need to buy what you like. Make your purchase on something that fits your needs, but also fits your style, body, and budget.

9. Check reviews:

Checking the reviews for a product will provide insight into how they perform in the real world. If you’re on a team or club, ask your coach or teammates for tips.

10. Avoid paying full-price:

Good athletic gear is expensive! Check out Ebay for items before purchasing them from the store. Many times you can find just what you’re looking for on Ebay at extremely discounted prices. Keep your eyes open for sales at the beginning and end of seasons and don’t be afraid of “off-brands.”

For more information on what to look for in athletic gear, check out the Exercise Apparel Guide.