Whatever fitness-related goals you’ve set for yourself this year, you’re going to need the right kind of workout gear if you’re ever going to stick to them. Things like shorts and leggings, tank tops and tee shirts, shoes and gym socks — there’s a lot to stock up on. For those who plan on exercising outside, you’ll also want some sort of jacket or insulating layer to keep you warm while you get in shape.
Fortunately, there is an abundance of top-of-the-line, high-tech workout gear available to help get you started. Be it smart fitness clothes built to monitor your progress and keep you on track, ultimately making it easier to reach your goals or more traditional workout digs, the market is flush with possibility. To help sift through the sea of available options, we’ve compiled a list of the best workout clothes so you can feel confident you’ll crush those New Year’s resolutions.
You know those rubber resistance bands people wrap around their ankles for squats and leg extensions, creating the sensation of added weight? These innovative compression tights feature built-in resistance bands embedded in the fabric which target your quads, hamstrings, abs, and glutes, making activities like running, cycling, climbing stairs, sprinting, or other core movements tougher and more effective.
Its patent-pending technology increases muscle activation by roughly 23 percent — according to the company — and causes a 14 percent increase in calories burned. The pants, which are available in men’s and women’s versions, are moisture-wicking and breathable with a handy zippered pocket in the back.
Forget wristbands or smartwatches, this high-tech sports bra acts as a giant spandex FitBit which sits right next to your heart to monitor your workout movements. With biosensors built into the material, this cutting-edge bra tracks heart rate and breathing while its OMbox clip-on tracks steps while streaming the data to a smartphone via Bluetooth. Sync it with its special app to receive visual and audio feedback as you work up a sweat.
Made in both men’s and women’s versions, these versatile workout shorts showcase TecLayr, a quick-drying poly-spandex blend that’s lightweight and built with a comfortable, four-way stretch material. This unique fabric feels silky next to the skin and moves with your body, offering flexibility and motion.
The inside liner is constructed of nylon and spandex, delivering cooling technology alongside moisture management and odor control. Perhaps its most unique trait is the face these shorts feature a moisture-wicking gusset liner with bacteriostatic carbon mesh which allows you to skip underwear and get your heart rate pumping freely.
The future is here with these digitally enhanced shoes which boast an embedded chip that syncs with MapMyRun, a popular fitness app acquired by Under Armour in 2013. With an optimized built-in battery designed to outlast the entire duration of the shoe’s life, these shoes never need to be recharged. Instead, after logging 400 miles in them, the shoes send an alert letting you know it’s time to replace them.
The logged data operates independently so you can go jogging without your phone and it still logs your miles and other metrics. Better yet, the shoe is incredibly comfortable, featuring a Charged Cushioning foam midsole that offers excellent responsiveness.
Designed to bolster your posture (and thus, your training efficacy), CEP’s Wingtech workout shirt offers sensorimotor stimulation stripes that target specific points on your back which gently remind you to improve your stance. This encourages you to breathe more efficiently and strengthens your back muscles. Over time, the activation points train the muscles to permanently support an improved posture, reducing injuries and making you an all-around more efficient athlete. The soft poly-spandex shirt is offered in men’s and women’s versions and comes in four colors including black, white, electric blue, and viper green.
If you plan to exercise outside — especially during the winter months or early morning hours — you’ll want a jacket or insulating layer to help fend off the brisk air. With The North Face’s Ventrix dynamic-venting, this jacket provides some of the best synthetic insulation on the market. The water-resistant piece is specifically engineered for high-intensity aerobic activity performed in bad weather, allowing you to sweat hard without getting hot or sticky. The fabric is lightweight and breathable with laser-perforated underarm panels and extra fabric on the forearms for strengthened durability.
Using tiny textile sensors underneath your feet to determine foot pressure, the smart fabric in Sensoria’s socks transmit data to a small anklet attached just above them. The anklet then syncs with its companion app, providing feedback on your workout and helping you decide if you’re meeting your goals. The socks feature magnetic contact points below each top cuff which makes it simple to connect each anklet in order to activate the sensors. Once data is flowing, you can detect injury-prone running styles while also tracking cadence and foot landing techniques.
Weightlifting is a fantastic way to get in shape and if you’re going to be pumping iron, these gloves make it easier and more effective. With a leading edge, 3-D wrap-around pad that provides an extra secure grip, these fingerless workout gloves boast patented technology which stabilizes your hands and reduces any shaking, allowing you to better isolate the muscle groups you’re targeting.
Bionic Cross offers these in men’s and women’s versions, which also feature a pre-rotated finger design with anatomically mapped relief pads to ensure you don’t get blisters or chafing while doing reps. The gloves are tough and durable while still remaining breathable. Best of all, you can throw them in the washing machine for easy care.
This lightweight women’s rain jacket is constructed with Pertex, a wind and waterproof material which remains breathable while still blocking out the elements. It features a reflective mesh, allowing you to jog confidently at night knowing passing cars will always know exactly where you are. Oiselle also included locking zippers which refrain from bouncing while on the go.
Other features include an adjustable hem, self-storage front pocket, and an easy-carry elastic band so you can take it off when you get warm. The compact jacket packs into its own zippered pocket so you’ll never feel burdened by a clunky top layer.
With smart shoes, socks, leggings, workout tops, and other wearables in fitness apparel, it was only a matter of time before someone made a full body suit. This unisex shirt-pant combo by Enflux works its magic via IMU motion sensors and a Bluetooth LE transmitter and microprocessor which efficiently integrate with the suit’s conductive e-fabric for motion tracking. The suit syncs with an app on your phone, providing real-time audio feedback on the status of your workout.
Afterwards, you can generate a 3D avatar of yourself moving through the workout you just completed, allowing you to see where you can make improvements to form or other aspects of your routine you’re trying to improve. The one-size-fits-most set comes with adjustable straps to secure the sensors around the arms and legs for better readings.