Clothes Don’t Make the Runner, But They Sure Do Help!

Last week we talked about finding the right running shoes, this week we’re talking about the right running clothes. Sorry guys, but for this one I can only share my thoughts on women’s running apparel!

Quick run through on the basics, we’ll keep this simple. You want to wear clothes that are well-fitting, nothing baggy that’s going to get in the way (and get really annoying) during your run. You can spend an arm and a leg on gear – but by no means do you have to! In terms of materials, aim for fabrics that are light in weight and don’t absorb a lot of moisture – for when you get really super sweaty caught in a rainstorm. When all else fails, wear something that makes you feel good. Never underestimate the motivation a new workout wardrobe can provide.

Now on to the good stuff, brands. Let’s do some love/hate. Brands I love: lululemon, Old Navy Active, and Nike. Lululemon is a leader in the women’s athletic apparel market and sell clothes that not only work well, they’re super stylish too and have creative designs. Some favorites are the run: inspire crop II, the run: swiftly tech long sleeve, the energy bra, and of course the scuba hoodie. Also, their winter running gear is fantastic, bar none. The one downside to lululemon is their high-end prices. You’re getting top-notch quality, but you’re also going to have to pay a premium for it. Enter Old Navy’s Active line.

Old Navy Active has quickly become one of my favorite brands over the past year for running and workout clothing. Old Navy may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of quality athletic clothing, but they’ve stepped up their game with this one. My favorite items are their compression capris (which are the fun purple crops in the picture from my previous post!), this compression jacket (with thumb holes), and this 2-in-1 tank. Some of their items that I own I’ve had for over a year now and they’ve held up great with all of the running, hot yoga, laundry, and general wear I’ve put them through. The best thing? Their Active line is so reasonably priced! $22 for running capris?! Stop it. I’ll take one in each color, thanks.

As for Nike, it’s Nike. You can rely on their stuff, especially their dri-FIT materials. It’s closer to lululemon in terms of price points but more lower priced options available.

Brands I’m not so much a fan of? I can only think of one in my personal experience, Under Armour. And I know there are people that LOVE Under Armour, I’m sorry. My first two purchases ever from this brand were their short sleeve v-necks. Can’t get simpler and more reliable, right? This brand touts itself on its fabric’s ability to not hold onto odor. Well let me tell you, the first time I wore each of those shirts for a solid workout, they stunk… and never got unstunk, no matter how many times I repeatedly washed them. I finally had to just throw them out. That was years ago and they could be totally different now, but I’m forever scarred and won’t touch Under Armour.

There are also a ton of brands I’ve never tried before but totally want to! Those include: Athleta, Lorna Jane, and Oiselle.

What are some of your most/least favorite brands for running apparel?

2 thoughts on “Clothes Don’t Make the Runner, But They Sure Do Help!

  1. I love Lululemon, but I have also tried Under Armour and none of their stuff fits me properly. It’s all so boxy. I will say though, that their return policy is excellent, and I’ve had great customer service experiences. You should totally give Athleta a try. Great stuff!

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