You can never have enough gym gear, right? That was certainly the feeling in the WH office as we browsed Black Friday deals from all our favourite activewear brands… most of us already wearing activewear. But unlike with, say, jeans, activewear can’t just look cute, it needs to hold its own in a workout, too. After two months of testing gym gear for the Men’s Health and Women’s Health Fitness Awards, here are five items I’d love to find under my tree.
1/ Reebok One Series Epic 2-in-1 Shorts
If, like me, you enjoy the freedom of wearing shorts to run and train in, but not the inner-thigh chafe, these shorts are just the right addition to your gym gear. Built-in tights prevent your thighs from rubbing together, as well as awkward flashing incidents.
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2/ Reebok Lux Tights 2.0
If you prefer your gym gear in leggings form rather than shorts, these are high-rise and will suck in any tummy rolls. The legs are long and have mesh panel insets that look great, but also keep you cool. They stay in place even in deep squats and are flexible enough so you can move with ease.
3/ adidas Ultraboost 19 Running Shoes
These are very comfy for running and even light training, although I wouldn’t do too much lateral movement in them. The soft, knitted upper allows your foot to flex freely and the Boost foam cushions your landing and helps you accelerate on every step. The sole is made of Continental rubber and is nice and grippy so you can run in slippery conditions. And even though they’re technically gym gear, you can totally wear them with jeans.
4/ adidas Z.N.E. Fast-Release Mesh Hoodie
It’s a great cover-up after a summer workout because there are panels with mesh-like cut-outs in the sleeves and the back that let you cool down. But, honestly, this hoodie is almost too beautiful to be gym gear. From the colour to the style, it’s a gorgeous addition to your casual-wear wardrobe and goes great with jeans or even a black maxi skirt. The fabric also feels soft and luxurious on your skin. The hood is deep and cowl like, there are extra length cuffs with thumb holes that come out of the sleeves and it has adidas’s fast-release zip system that lets you rip it open without having to unzip it fully.
5/ Salomon RA Pro 2
These are running shoes but you can also wear them as gym gear, thanks to their great stability. Initially I thought they might be too rigid and hard for my liking, but once they were on, they actually had good cushioning and were structured without being too rigid. Thanks to the mesh upper, your toes can still move freely. The cushioning helps propel you for speedier running and higher jumps.