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No matter what your fitness jam is, there is likely clothing designed to help you perform at your optimum level. Activewear has come a long way from its beginnings. Do you love to run? Look for an outfit that keeps you cool and dry and doesn't slow you down. Is yoga more your cup of tea?
You'll want to find comfortable and extremely stretchy attire that stays in place but is thick enough no one will see things they shouldn't be seeing when you bend over. Aerobics your preference? Make sure you've got a combination of stretch and great sweat-wicking abilities. Above all else, you want to feel confident that you look good while you work out - otherwise you're not likely to actually make the move to get, or stay, healthy.
Thursday, December 8th
Nike began in 1964 under the name Blue Ribbon Sports and was founded by Bill Bowerman, a track and field coach at the University of Oregon, and a previous student of his, Phil Knight. Eight years later, the first Nike brand shoe hit the market. By the early 2000s the company had grown to having retail locations in over 170 countries and the "swoosh" was recognized worldwide. Athletes such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have endorsed Nike, aiding in its success.
Great membership program
When you first visit Nike's site you will find a pop up asking for your email, birthdate, and if you prefer shopping for men or women. Signing up for their emails will get you not only "inspiring content" but also news and exclusive offers. That might be worth it to save some cash on your purchase. Another option to consider is that Nike has a membership program. If you decide to sign up - which is free - you'll get perks like exclusive shopping, first access to products, and member rewards and offers. Not only that but you get free shipping on standard orders and other cool benefits like being able to customize your shoes. Check it out for all the benefits.
Navigating the website is easy
If you have the time, it might be fun to look around a little before you shop. There are a lot of really neat articles and rabbit holes that you could go down. When you're ready to shop though, we recommend using the bar at the top. You can hover over the area you are interested in and get a long list of ways to further narrow your search. Once you get there, you can refine your search even farther using the options on the left side. Included in the options are fun features like if you are looking for something breathable, with pockets, water resistant, or made with sustainable material.
Huge selection for 0-120 year olds
Nike has a plethora of fitness clothing in men's, women's, and kids. You can get shoes geared toward almost any sport, pants, shorts, jackets, sweats, swimwear, yoga, and even matching sets. Specific for the women are bras, dresses, skirts, and maternity. They have a very wide selection of sizes ranging from XXS to plus sizes for women and a big and tall section for the men. Kids' sizes range from baby and toddler all the way through big kids. There are bags and backpacks, hats, visors, and headbands, and even Apple watches and bands.
Compare across retailers: black leggings
We used a standard pair of black workout leggings to compare apples to apples across all retailers. Nike has a pair called the Nike Epic Luxe, which run $95. You have the option of four interest-free payments if that is something you're looking for. They are made of Nike's high-quality material and are lightweight and breathable. They come with a side pocket and a back zipper to carry essentials along with you. The site had a lot of information about the leggings available. There were care instructions, plenty of pictures of a model, and even the model's height and the size she is wearing. There is a size chart to help you get an accurate fit, and over five dozen reviews from customers to give you a good idea of what people think. There are even pictures toward the bottom to help you "complete the look" with a variety of tops, headwear, shoes, and so on.
Decent shipping options
There are a number of shipping options from no-rush for $7 all the way up to express for $30. You can pick something up in-store for free anytime. Of course, since it's free to become a member we recommend doing that. It gets you free no-rush or standard shipping and discounted rates on expedited and express.
Try it out and return if you don't like it
Nike has an absolutely amazing return policy. You have a full 60 days to return almost any item. The exclusions are things like clearance, Apple watches, and items with a specific guarantee and/or warranty. Make sure you check the item label for any information specific to your fitness clothing to make sure you don't void a warranty. Other than that though, you can wear, wash, and repeat on your new items to make sure you are happy with them. This even includes the Nike-by-You shoes that you custom design. Past the 60 days, you can still return an item, but only if it is new and unwashed. Returns are also always free for members.
Works to resolve complaints
We are never excited to hear that a company has a "D" rating from the Better Business Bureau. However, as we investigated it appeared that Nike is now responding to the complaints and working to resolve them. Considering that there were only 425 complaints in the last year for such a huge company, we don't feel this, in and of itself, is any cause for concern.
Best choice for fitness clothing
Nike is a good brand with a great reputation that has been around for a long time. The fact that you can try out your products for two full months and return them if they aren't working for you is huge. No matter who you're shopping for, Nike should be the first online store you visit when shopping for fitness clothing. We give this retailer our highest ranking.
Lululemon started in 1998 in Vancouver, Canada. They are yoga-inspired and very high-quality. After branching away from just yoga, they have designers that now create products specific to running, cycling, training, and other sports. They have been all about creating a community from the beginning.
Plenty of styles, colors and sizes
Lululemon has a wide variety of choices for both men and women with thousands of products to choose from, in tons of colors and styles. They have an extensive variety of sizes ranging from 0-20 for some items, or XS to XL for others, in everything from leggings to sports bras to men's golfing clothes. Within the group you want to see there are filters on the left-hand side to help you sift through the myriad of choices. All the normal ones you would expect to be available are there.
Trade in gently used product for store credit
Something fun that they have is their trade-in program. In an effort to help the environment they let you bring in your gently-worn gear to a brick-and-mortar store to trade it in for new fitness clothing. They will inspect your items for eligibility (anything they feel they can resell in their "Like New" store) and give you store credit - anything from $5 to $25 depending on the item.
Video shopping and sizing help
Looking for the perfect size? Lululemon has one of the very best ways that we've seen to get the right fit the first time. You can schedule a video call with a personal shopper to help you out - for free. You can ask them to guide you in picking out sizing (even bra fitting) or to give you more info about a product or any number of other things. There is the option of texting if that's more your thing too. With so many ways available, you're likely to get the perfect fit right from the start.
Compare across retailers: black leggings
We took a look at a pair of basic black leggings to give you an idea of how Lululemon compares to other brands. We picked the Wunder Train High Rise Tight with an inseam of 28" which comes in at $98. All the sizes were available from 0-28. There is a traditional size guide if you don't want to do the one-on-one video call. The fabric is very breathable and wicks away sweat to help you feel dry during and after your workout. There is a hidden pocket in the waistband designed to hold a card or keys. You can look at any of the drop-down menus to get more information including care instructions. We really love that customers can leave a review and in this case there were almost 750 for this product alone. That will give you a really good idea of what others think of any Lululemon fitness wear before you make the purchase.
Most unique workout product out there
Once you've got your fitness clothing and you're ready to go - then what? Lululemon has the most unique workout solution we've ever seen. It's called "Mirror." You're going to have to see it to believe it. It's a mirror, cardio class, yoga studio, boxing ring, and more. In addition to buying the "mirror" you have to sign up for a membership which gets you live and on-demand workout classes for up to six people in your household. The cost is $39/month and requires a year commitment. There is a camera on it where you can even get live feedback from your instructor. Watch out for pop-up savings when you shop. On our most recent shopping trip they were offering a seasonal deal of $300 off plus free delivery and installation. You could save a nice wad of cash by shopping at the right time. You can always try it out for 30 days and get a full refund if you decide it's not for you.
Free shipping and returns unless fast is what you want
If you are fine with receiving your order in 2-6 business days, then shipping is on them. If you'd like express shipping - 2-4 business days - you can pay $20. Wanting 2-3 business days instead? Then you'll be looking to add $30 to your order. Returns are typical of other retailers. You have 30 days to return your unworn, tags-still-on items for free with your receipt. Face masks and gear from their "We Made Too Much" section are final and cannot be returned. If you've tried a pair of shoes out and they aren't working for you, they can be sent back in their original box with proof of purchase. Want to exchange instead? You'll have to find a local store to do that. If you happen to want to return something from their "Like New" store, you'll be responsible for the shipping cost.
Great choice overall
While Lululemon is definitely on the spendier side, they have some really great value and perks for the cost. We recommend you check them out.
Evolve is a fully woman-owned and run business based out of Portland, Oregon. Their goal is to give five-star service on their products - and they deliver. They are all about helping people feel good in the body they have and they boast that they never Photoshop their photos. We like a company that shows what fitness clothing looks like in "real life" .
Ways to save
Watch for pop-ups when you visit Evolve's site. We were offered 15% off and fast and free shipping by signing up for their email list. By signing up you will also get information on any promotions, giveaways, and new arrivals.
Unique choices so you aren't "twinning"
There are a few categories located at the top of the page when you visit Evolve's site. New Arrivals is a fun one to browse for sure. Since this retailer compiles different brands you can shop by just the brand, if you already know you love one. They do have a few items in the men's section, but they definitely cater to women. There are quite a few really unique styles, fabrics, and patterns to choose from which means you are very unlikely to be "twinning" with anyone at the gym. Some items are very shiny. Some have that 70s vibe with the bell bottoms. They have a great accessories category and we were really impressed with their variety of yoga mats in particular. In addition to all kinds of yoga specific items - we loved the yoga socks - there are a variety of bags, jewelry, water bottles, and even facemasks.
Great at providing suggestions
The overall selection of workout clothes at Evolve is very nice. We really appreciate the sections at the bottom that give examples of things to look for. If you are in the market for, say, hot yoga attire, they suggest thin strap sports bras and yoga shorts - or, if you like more coverage, a top with a built in bra to lessen the layers and some thin fabric yoga pants. They have a nice section dedicated to products made from organic fibers as well. Sizes range from your typical XS to 2X+, depending on the item. In addition to size, you can also filter what you see by price, vendor, color, and category.
Compare across retailers: black leggings
For our comparison across retailers, the pair of plain black workout leggings we choose is by Beyond Yoga and is called Space Dye Out of Pocket High Waisted Midi Legging. These run for $98 and you can get sizes from XS to XL. There was a decent amount of information given about them including what they are made of, care instructions, features - pocket, high waist, soft fabric, made in the USA, four-way stretch - and shipping and return information. There is a size chart provided and Evolve highly recommends you utilize that on any product you will be buying since each brand has its own sizing information. There is a place to leave an individual item review, though we didn't see a large number of actual reviews. Payment included a number of options, including Apple Pay and PayPal.
Free shipping on all clothing
All clothing ships for free within the US. It seems that all accessories, with the exception of yoga mats (which have an $8 charge) also ship for free. There are options to pay to get your things faster and those range from $7-$13, depending on if you want it shipped USPS or FedEx. Their return policy is not too bad either. You can return items within 30 days as long as they are unused, resellable, and in the original packaging with all the tags still attached. If, however, the product was damaged, you have seven days to reach out to them to get the problem solved. Exchanges are generally possible, but check with them to make sure it works for your particular situation. If you exchange or ask for store credit then your return shipping label is free. If you just want your money back, they will deduct $5.95 from your return for the shipping cost.
Great small business
Evolve has thousands of very happy customers and is doing very well for a small company up against some stiff competition. As long as you aren't looking to outfit your entire family, we highly recommend you check them out.
Sweaty Betty was founded in 1998 in London, England where they started out as a small boutique. As a matter of fact, founder Tamara Hill-Norton's first employee quit the night before they opened so she was left to man the store herself at Christmas. Since then the business has grown to having a presence in the UK, US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. They have great values and seek to empower women everywhere.
Watch for ways to save
On our recent shopping trip to Sweaty Betty we were offered 20% off by signing up for their email list. That is a great savings that could come in handy when shopping for fitness clothing. In addition to that, they have an "offers" section up on the top of the page where you can check out other ways to save.
Great website and huge range of sizes
Sweaty Betty has a very easy-to-use website and offers a wide range of colors, styles, and options to choose from. At the top of the site you'll find that you can hover over the main categories - new arrivals, shop, leggings, and offers - and then narrow your search from there. They have everything from bottoms and tops, to underwear and swimwear. Even more, you can get your outerwear, shoes, and accessories too. Once you've picked your main area of interest you can sort it down further by selecting the product, size, color, activity, or feature. You can "heart" items you're looking at that you might want to go back to later. Sizes range from XXS to XXL to fit nearly every body.
Compare across retailers: black leggings
In order to compare with other retailers we picked the black All Day Workout Leggings to review specifically. These sell for $78. There are nearly 1000 individual reviews for this product, with a 4.5-star average rating because people love them. They are comfortable enough to wear all day long, sweat wicking, and quick drying. They give you the inseam length to make sure it works for your height. The model's height and size are also given. Fabric and care instructions are provided to help you keep your leggings like new. A sizing chart is available to help make sure you pick the right fit. As with many other retailers, you can finance your fitness clothing if you'd like.
Shipping and returns are easy
Standard shipping using DHL is free for orders over $75 - not too hard to do with active wear. It's a flat fee of $10 if you don't make that cut-off. They ask that you allow up to five days, more during peak times, for your order to be processed and shipped. We didn't see an option for faster shipping so make sure you plan ahead. If you decide you need to return your items you are welcome to do so within 45 days. As with most fitness clothing retailers, Sweaty Betty requires that returned products be in new condition and with proof of purchase, but returns are free. If you got them as a gift you can exchange them or get a gift card.
Don't worry about the BBB
We are never excited when we see a Better Business Bureau rating of "F." However, there were only 3 complaints filed in the last three years. Since the rating letter only means that the company hasn't always responded to the complaints, we don't feel this is any cause for concern - especially when there are thousands of very happy customers that rave about what amazing customer service they've received.
Awesome retailer to check out
Sweaty Betty is a great company with high-quality products and amazing customer service. Check them out and see if you can't find the perfect fitness clothing for your next workout.
The Sports Edit is a London based store, but they ship to more than 200 countries. As their name suggests, they curate fitness clothing to help you narrow down the thousands of options out there. That definitely cuts down on the overwhelm you might find yourself experiencing as you look for fitness clothing.
Our recent trip to The Sports Edit rewarded us with a pop-up offering 10% off for signing up for their email list. If you sign up you'll also be the first to know about new products, events, and seasonal offers. You can choose from updates on women's or men's clothing - or both. They also have a rewards system where you can earn points by shopping, leaving reviews, and following them on social media. The more points you earn, the more you save on future shopping trips. Love them and want to share your joy? You and a friend can both get $15 off. Your friend gets it on their first order of $75 or more and you get yours in points to redeem the next time you buy.
Lot of info on thumbnails
As with other retailers you start your search out by using the bar at the top of the page. Categories include new arrivals, men's, women's, brands, accessories, outlet, sustainability, and even their blog if you want to keep up on what they're doing as a company. They have a great selection of men's and women's products in a wide range of styles and colors. Once you pick your category - tees, for example - you can filter down further by color, category, brand, size, and price. Hovering over a picture will show you the available sizes in any given item. If the item is sustainably-made, there will be a label on the picture indicating that. It will also show if it's on sale and what percentage off. Of course, fitness isn't complete without all the accessories and there are a bunch to choose from. You can even get your underwear here, if you're in the market for some. There are yoga mats and yoga specific accessories too.
Compare across retailers: black leggings
In order to fairly compare companies on their fitness clothing, we picked a pair of basic black workout leggings. For The Sports Edit, we chose the High Waisted Pocket Legging from the brand Girlfriend Collective for $78. These come in a number of colors if you like the leggings but black isn't your thing. Sizes range from XXS all the way to 6XL. There was a ton of very helpful information on these leggings. There is a sizing guide specific to the brand, with recommendations on what to do if you're in between the sizes listed.
Most accurate fit
We loved that not only did they give the model's height and the size she was wearing, but they gave all her measurements to help you compare to your own body. Our experience has been that this is the best way to get the most accurate fit without trying it on first. This pair of leggings earned three labels: eco-production, recycled materials, and labor welfare -which insures that the methods to produce them didn't use forced or child labor and each process used safe working conditions. Other things you might like are toward the bottom, including suggestions to complete your look. Individual reviews round out the page.
Shipping is via FedEx
Standard shipping is free on orders of $150 or more and comes via FedEx. If your order is less, you get the same 7-10 day shipping for $10. Want it faster? Express delivery - 1-3 working days - is $20. As long as your order is under $800 there shouldn't be any customs fees for shipping from abroad.
Normal return policy
Returns are what you would expect. Items must be new and resellable. You have 30 days from when you received them to return them. Some items aren't eligible for returns for hygiene reasons, such as underwear, socks, and water bottles. They do suggest that when you try your items on you make sure you aren't wearing any makeup or deodorant as these can leave marks and you forfeit the chance to return them. Outside of the UK you can't exchange an item so they recommend returning and processing a new order if you'd like a replacement. If you have any questions you are encouraged to email and talk to their customer service.
Curated choices and great customer service
There is a lot to love about The Sports Edit and their fitness clothing. They have a great selection and have already done a lot of the work of finding the best quality items from brands you know. Their customer service is amazing and prices are competitive. You can't go wrong checking them out.
Under Armour started in 1996 with the first shirt that wicks sweat away faster than any other product available at the time. Since then, they have only gotten better and are extremely innovative in their performance technology. They also believe in giving back to the community and have a number of ways they do that, including mentoring and service.
Be on the lookout for savings opportunities
Take a look around when you first navigate to Under Armour's site. On our most recent shopping trip, we found a pop up to sign up for their email list and get 15% off our next order - no minimum. They also had a banner toward the top that said select seasonal styles were temporarily 25% off with no code needed. That could lead to a nice chunk of change off your order.
Lots of options to choose from
The shopping experience on UA's online store is similar to other retailers. There is the typical navigation bar at the top of the page that lets you see the various categories for the whole family and includes new and outlet items. When you hover over the choice you can narrow things down even further by choosing either featured, category, sport, collection, and accessories. Once you pick a particular type of clothing, on the left you'll find ways to filter by color, price, size, and more. We did enjoy seeing models of all body types featured on some of the pages. There were quite a few colors and styles so you are very likely to find what you're looking for. Accessories include water bottles, gloves, hats and visors, headphones, socks, and more.
Compare across retailers: black leggings
We picked a plain pair of black workout leggings to compare across retailers. For Under Armour we selected the Women's UA Rush No-Slip Waistband Full-length Leggings. These run $70 and have a pocket that will fit your phone. You do have the option of seeing if a store nearby has them in case you'd prefer to pick them up locally. There was helpful information found on the page such as the material they are made of and the care instructions. They had inseam information to help you decide if you need the short, regular, or tall version. The height and size the model was wearing was available as well. We found a helpful sizing guide and there were 11 reviews on the leggings to help you make your decision too. Payment plans are an option.
Free shipping over $99
Standard shipping is free on orders over $99 - which won't take you long to hit. If your order doesn't reach the limit, your charge will only be $4.99. For that particular shipping option there are a number of providers and you don't get to pick which is used. If you want to stick with FedEx exclusively, you can pay $9.99 for 3 business days, $19.99 for 2, and $24.99 for 1.
60 days for returns
Returns can be done up to 60 days, though items do need to be in new condition with all tags still attached and have original proof of purchase. Note that if you paid with ApplePay, PayPal, gift cards, or their payment plans, you are not able to exchange and must do a return. See their return policy for full details.
Great reputation and selection
This retailer gets an "A-" from the Better Business Bureau, and it's easy to find positive comments from shoppers. With a huge selection and options for the whole family, Under Armour might be a good fit as you search for your next set of fitness clothes.
Adidas has its roots in Germany and goes all the way back to the early 1900s. As a company that started out mainly offering athletic shoes, it has become one of the most well-known brands for athletic clothing as well. Part of their early success was because their founder, Adi Dassler, went the extra mile by asking the athletes wearing his products to tell him what worked for them and what features they thought would help them perform even better. He listened and adjusted his products accordingly.
Free shipping and returns for signing up for Adiclub
As with many of the other retailers we've visited, Adidas had a pop-up that invited us to join their Adiclub. It's free and only requires an email to sign up. In exchange for your email, you'll get 15% off your next purchase as well as exclusive offers, the latest product information, and news about upcoming events. Becoming a member also means you'll get free standard shipping, returns, and exchanges. What's not to love?
Shopping experience is hassle-free
Adidas's website is easy to navigate and you can readily find the items you are looking for. Start your search at the top of the page to see the different categories within each main one. Once you're in the general area you want, you can use the filter button on the right, toward the top. You can sort by price, size, color, pockets, sports, length, rise, collection, and technology. We found a wide variety of options, including a number of matching sets so you can look fancy while you sweat. There is everything you could want for your next gym class: from shoes and shorts, to tops and jackets, to leggings and sports bras.
Wide variety of choices
They have a large selection of choices for men, women, and kids. The women's section even has quite a few nice options for maternity clothing. Who doesn't want to stay fit throughout their pregnancy? Sizes ranged from XS through 4X, depending on the item. The product details were very clear, letting you know how to care for the item as well as detailed specs. You can even "favorite" them if you want to look at a few before you decide and you don't want to forget the ones you were considering. We love that Adidas lets shoppers leave unfiltered reviews on everything they buy. That's a great way to get a feel for how something will fit when you get it home, or which items live up to the brand's reputation.
Compare across retailers: black leggings
In order to fairly compare across the companies we review, we have picked a basic pair of black workout leggings. For Adidas we choose the Boston Marathon 2022 Tuesday Morning Leggings which run - pun intended - for $45. This definitely puts Adidas's fitness clothing in the affordable range. A number of their higher-priced competitors charge around $100 for their basic leggings. There is a place you can click on the pictures to get the size the model is wearing as well as her height, chest, and weight measurements to be able to compare those with your own.
Find your size
One of the neat things we really liked about Adidas is that not only do they provide a sizing guide, but there is a link right above the size choices where you can "find your size." You get to put in your measurements and have them tell you which size you should buy. Sizes range from XS to XL, though at our most recent shopping trip the XS and S weren't available. You can click on the bell by the size to be notified when those sizes are back in stock though.
Standard shipping and refund policy
Adidas offers a standard 3-5 day shipping window with an additional 1-3 days to process your order. Express shipping is an option for an extra cost, allowing you to have your items in three days instead. Their refund policy is that you can get a full refund within 30 days of receipt. However, they do state that you need to allow 21 days from their receiving it for your refund to be processed. They are very specific that you must return the item with the FedEx label they give you. Exchanges are allowed with a different size/color of the same item. The return shipping fee is non-refundable unless you are part of their adiClub, which also provides free standard shipping if you join.
Adidas is a company that's stood the test of time. They may be lacking in a few things other retailers have going for them, like more in-stock inventory and a more generous return policy, but it is still a solid option for your next exercise outfit.
Reebok has its early history dating back to 1958 in England. In 1979 - the "official" start of the company - an American businessman took notice and got the license to distribute in the US. They primarily offered sports shoes at the time but eventually began selling fitness clothing as well. Adidas bought them in 2005, though both brands continued to sell under their own names. Now they are owned by Authentic Brands Group.
Lots of ways to save
When we first visited Reebok's site we were asked to sign up for their "Reebok Unlocked." By providing an email address we could get 15% off our next order, a $10 birthday gift, free shipping and returns, and early access to products. For a free membership, that's not bad. Do be on the lookout for potential codes you can use to save a little extra cash. When we were shopping we noticed some items had a note to put a code in for up to 50% off.
Not as big of a selection
Reebok doesn't have the selection that a lot of the other big name brands do. They have about 350 items for men and around 700 for women. They do offer a few choices for kids though, which a lot of other stores don't. You could potentially outfit your whole family by shopping here. There are a few filters that you can use if you know exactly what you're searching for. Gender, size, sport, product type, color, collection, sale/discount percentage, new arrival, and price are the options you'll have. Color selection leaves a little to be desired - especially when compared to other competitors - with a lot of basic alternatives with a few colors thrown in. The women get a few more colors to select from, but not a lot.
Compare across retailers: black leggings
In comparing black leggings across all of the retailers in our evaluation, we picked Reebok's Lux Leggings to review. They are a pair of basic black workout leggings, which come in petite sizes in addition to standard, and cost $60. This puts Reebok in the more affordable range of fitness clothing, as most of their competitors are pushing $100 for a similar pair. Sizes go from 2XS to XL and they provide a sizing chart to help you get the right fit.
Leggings with a pocket
These leggings come with a pocket that can fit your phone - which is always a nice feature. They are a soft fabric and wick away moisture to keep you feeling dry. The site provides plenty of care instructions as well as other good-to-know information. We loved that nearly 200 people have reviewed this pair of pants to give you a good idea of how they perform in real life. Reebok provides three different payment options if paying up front isn't what you'd like to do.
Slower shipping unless you pay extra but free returns for members
Expect 1-3 days of processing before your order is headed to your door. From there you can enjoy free standard shipping - 4-8 days - if your order exceeds $75 or you are an "unlocked" member. Otherwise it will cost $8. 2-4 day delivery will be $15 and if you're looking to have it get to you in 1-2 days, that will be $20. Returns are on the house for "unlocked" members, which is another great reason to go ahead and sign up.
A great, affordable option
While Reebok doesn't have the selection of clothing or colors that we've enjoyed seeing in some of their competitors, they really shine through on being on the more affordable end. If cost is a little more of an issue but you still want to look good and feel confident in your fitness clothing, go ahead and give them a look.
Gymshark started in 2012 in a garage in the UK by a 19 year old, his brother, and a group of friends. Ben Francis' grandmother taught him to use a sewing machine and he was off and running. His company - now worth over $1.3 billion -is the go-to for many fitness enthusiasts looking for their next outfit choice. The company's employees are known for their innovation and ability to think outside the box. For example, when other companies were in lock-down, Gymshark employed personal trainers who were out of work to present on their workout app. You've got to love a company that tries to give back and help out when they can.
Texting savings, in addition to email
Gymshark offers 10% off your order if you sign up for their text messaging service. Knowing you can always opt-out later if you decide you don't want the texts, it could be a great way to save a few dollars on your purchase. Signing up for their email list can also save you 10%.
Nice shopping experience and large selection
There are a lot of fitness clothing options to choose from in both the men's and women's categories at Gymshark. Picking a category will allow you to start looking at pictures of what you're looking for. There are the typical filters you would expect - size, color, pattern, fit, and price - as well as a fun one: discount percentage. The heart in the upper right-hand corner will let you "favorite" something if you want to remember an item you had looked at and liked. Hovering over a picture will let you see the sizes available and "quick add" it to your cart. Other helpful information - such as if it is oversized, has a slim fit, or what type of support if it's a bra - shows up as an overlay banner on the picture too. There are over 1,200 choices in women's fitness clothing and over 1000 in men's: plenty to keep you occupied as you search.
Compare across retailers: black leggings
Our comparison pair of basic black workout leggings for Gymshark is their Vital Seamless 2.0 Leggings. They also come in 10 other colors (one was out of stock at the time of this review) in case you need more color in your life. They run for $50, which is a great price. They don't have a side pocket for your phone like many of the other ones we've reviewed though, so if that is important to you, keep looking around. Sizes range from XS to XXL and there is a sizing guide to help you out. There are two different options for payment plans if that interests you at all. There are options to "complete the set" if you'd like to have more than the leggings. We don't know about you, but sometimes those suggestions are a lifesaver.
These leggings are made with sweat-wicking fabric to help keep you dry - and they use a different dyeing method that uses less water, which goes along with their commitment to lower their environmental impact. The page also mentions the model's height and size she is wearing. Reviews for the products are toward the bottom of the page and you will definitely want to check them out. There were only two, but both mentioned that the fabric was... less than opaque. If you're looking for something that isn't see-through, you might want to shop around a bit more.
Decent shipping and great with returns
Shipping standard is a flat fee of $5 or free if you're ordering $75 or more. Your package can be expected in 4-7 business days. At the time of this review, there was a note that said shipments were currently taking longer than expected, so plan ahead for that possibility. If you're looking for a little sooner, you can pay $15 for express delivery in 1-3 business days or free if your order is at least $150. Nearly all of the products Gymshark sells are returnable with very few exceptions. Even women's swimwear and underwear can be returned if the hygiene liner is still intact. Socks can be returned if they are unopened. Men's swimwear isn't eligible for returns for hygiene reasons, nor are face masks or anything marked "final sale." Beyond that, you're good to return within 30 days as long as the items are unworn, unused, and in their original packaging. They even cover the cost of returning to the UK.
Beware of items being see-through
Gymshark is a great company with a solid business model and great principles they operate by. Some reviews did mention issues with the clothing being either thin and see-through or even ripping in some cases so keep that in mind when you're looking around the site. As long as you aren't bothered by a trip to send them back if you need to, you can give them a try.
Fabletics was launched in 2013 by Kate Hudson and her co-founders. They felt that there were plenty of luxury brands out there, but none of them combined high-quality, style, and affordable prices. Hence, the birth of Fabletics. They are based on the belief that everyone and "every body" deserves to look and feel their best.
Nice to see more color options
When you first visit Fabletics, you are prompted to pick if you're shopping for men or women. Don't worry too much, as once you're in the site both categories are available to browse. There are more choices for women than for men, but the men's section still has quite a bit to look through. We appreciated seeing lots of options as far as colors and patterns. Not only are there neutral and more muted colors, but there are quite a few bold and bright ones. You can filter what you're looking at by using the choices on the left. In addition to your typical size and color, you can also look at items based on how many stars previous customers have rated them, the rise, fabric, feature, and so on. Accessories include underwear, hats, socks, bags, and yoga mats.
Compare across retailers: black leggings
In an effort to compare across stores, we chose a pair of plain black workout leggings. The Define High-waisted Legging at Fabletics will cost you $69.95. This pair does not have a pocket, though there is a similar pair that does for $74.95. They come in a variety of other colors and patterns as well. There is a decent amount of information about the leggings, including what they are made of. In order to find how to care for them, scroll all the way to the bottom and look on the right-hand side under the category "knowledge." A feature we found helpful was that you can look at different sizes on different models. You can also browse photos customers have uploaded. Sizes range from XXS to 4XL, though at the time of this review the 4XL was out of stock. A sizing guide is provided to help you make the right choice.
VIP membership program...
Fabletics has a VIP membership available. You get charged $54.95 on the 6th of each month and that gets you a constant savings of 20-50% off of full priced items - in the form of being able to order a complete outfit that's typically priced anywhere from $80-$110 - as well as exclusive member benefits. If you don't order an outfit in any given month, that money is stored in your account as credits - but they expire after 12 months if you don't use them. Access to their app - which contains workouts and mindfulness routines - is free for members and $14.99/month without a membership. You have the option to skip a month if you let them know between the 1st and the 5th (but you're out of luck if you don't have internet access during those dates) and the membership can be ended anytime by calling customer service or clicking through your account to find the teeny-tiny link for cancellation.
...but somewhat shady
However, customers are complaining that it's a shady program. They recommend reading the fine print, because canceling appears to be much more of a hassle than the company makes it seem. However, most people do seem to get their money refunded - eventually. Also keep your eyes peeled for boxes that you may want to uncheck before you finish your order.
Slow standard shipping, but good return policy
Standard shipping - 6-14 business days - is free for orders over $49.95 and $4.95 for under that amount. If you're looking for rush shipping, that will be a flat $15.95 no matter the cost of your order. That will get your new Fabletics fitness clothing in your hands in 2-3 business days. Returns and exchanges are free for 90 days, though like most retailers, they require the items be sent back unworn, all tags attached, and with original packaging. Final sale items aren't eligible for returns.
Most expensive reward program out there
Fabletics might be a good fit for you if you really love their brand or how they fit. But, the VIP program seems like a hassle for what you get in return unless you will be a very frequent shopper and love their workout app, and their regular pricing without the VIP membership is pretty steep. We don't hate Fabletics, but other retailers offer a much easier shopping experience.
Fitness clothing is about as diverse you can get these days. There are so many choices that it can be extremely overwhelming. There are the tried and true brands that have been around for decades and that seem to get better and better. However, don't underestimate newer boutique brands either.
A lot of these companies were started because the founders saw a need that wasn't being filled - so they designed clothing to fill it. If you're worried about seeing your outfit twin show up at the gym, you're less likely to have that happen if you buy from a smaller company that changes their inventory up frequently.
Online shopping has really been on the rise. The convenience of shopping from home is a huge benefit. Not only that, but a lot of companies offer even more on their online store than they do in their brick-and-mortar locations. Love a particular shirt in the store but not the colors you see? Check online and they just might have the hue you're looking for.
So how do you choose the online fitness clothing retailer that will give you what you're looking for? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you shop:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best fitness clothing available today. We hope this information helps you find the right choice to keep you looking and feeling your best as you pursue your personal fitness goals!
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