Feeling your best during a workout has a lot to do with your gear. Sure, you may be tempted to reach for that ratty old T-shirt from college, but is that really the best piece of clothing to get you through an awesome sweat session? Probably not. While you may have a hard time justifying spending extra cash for new gear, we’re here to tell you that it’s totally worth it if it means you can avoid some of the most common culprits of gear dissatisfaction:
1. Embarrassing sweat stains.
Without wicking abilities, we’re faced with awkward splotches and heavy, sweat-soaked clothing. Opt for a technical fabric that will quickly draw moisture away from the skin–like a polyester, nylon, or Merino wool blend.
UA Picks: UA Tech™ tees feature a signature Moisture Transport System, which draws moisture away from your body to promote rapid evaporation.
2. It stretches out after one wear.
Your gear should provide support and allow for a full range of motion, even after numerous washes. Four-way stretch encourages freedom of movement with a supportive fit that empowers you to reach for that backhand or finish even your longest runs with confidence that things won’t slip out of place.
UA Picks: The Four-Way Stretch construction of Fly-By Leggings ensures a second-skin fit that stretches both laterally and vertically — and snaps back to form with every move you make.
3. You’re hot — way too hot.
It’s cool outside, so you choose leggings and a long-sleeve top. A few minutes into your workout, you’re drenched in sweat and uncomfortably hot. Switch to high-performance fabrics like a rayon blend that can do double duty: wick moisture and maintain air circulation. Bonus points for cool mesh panels and cut-outs — they’re eye-catching and functional.
UA Picks: UA CoolSwitch capris feature an interior coating that pulls heat away from the skin, making you feel cooler and enabling longer performance. Armour Breathe® sports bras have power mesh panels for increased airflow.
4. It just doesn’t fit.
You bought your usual size, but the actual garment is either too snug or not snug enough. Rather than go through the motions of returning the item, you battle a subpar range of motion from a too-small sports bra or struggle with leggings that fall down mid-burpee. The best fix: make use of a brand’s customer services. Experts are there to help, and can consult on sizing and proper fit for the activity of your choice.
UA Picks: Choose from new and improved fits for bottoms, spanning Dialed-In (a muscle-wrapping compression fit), Always Ready (a tailored, supportive fit), and Feel Free (a loose fit for enhanced mobility).
5. Painful chafing.
Particularly during longer workouts, less technical fabrics may begin to rub and chafe against the skin. If chafing commonly happens below the waistline, try a pair of tighter-fitting or longer shorts to diminish friction. If it’s most common around your sports bra or armpits, look for a garment with a seamless or welded-seam construction and avoid cotton (a prime culprit for trouble spots).
UA Picks: The UA Streaker Tank boasts ergonomic, flatlock seams and UA Microthread technology, ensuring the fabric won’t cling, chafe, or get weighed down with sweat.
6. It’s sheer or see-through.
When you’re focused on a workout, the last thing you should worry about is whether you’re exposed. The best gear has a sturdy construction with a thicker knit and opaque fabric you can feel confident in, regardless of the activity. Still skeptical? Do a few lunges and tree poses in the dressing room before purchasing.
UA Picks: UA Mirror Studio Leggings are made with UA StudioLux® fabric, a high-performance knot that delivers relentless support and ultimate coverage.
7. The waistband slips down or rides up.
If you’ve lost weight — good for you! — and are still wearing your old gear, keep in mind that the elastic in your waistband could be stretched out. Banish the falling waistband by choosing a pair of leggings with a smooth, wide waistband that’s stretchy but sturdy. Supplemental features like interior drawcord ties may be helpful, too.
UA Picks: Improved, confidence-enhancing waistbands have been added to all new UA leggings. Try the UA Fly-By Engineered Leggings, which feature a wide, yoga-inspired waistband that stays put with every move.
8. It’s missing something important.
We’ve all fallen in love with the look and feel of an item, only to discover it doesn’t have one or more key features. Hidden pockets for a credit card and keys, zippered ankles for easy pull-on, reflective details for night walks or runs- every athlete has his or her own “non-negotiables.” Be sure to evaluate whether an item meets your every need before purchasing.
UA Picks: UA ClutchFit™ Capris feature a zippered back pocket, reflective trims throughout for visibility, and antimicrobial technology to stay fresher, longer.