In Full Gear: Where to Buy Affordable Workout Clothes

Last updated: March 22, 2023, at 4:56 a.m. PT

Originally published: January 9, 2017, at 11:57 a.m. PT

Whether you’re new to exercise or looking for ways to refresh your workout wardrobe, what we wear when we exercise is an important part of the process, but not one that should cause stress or feel inaccessible.

Having the appropriate activewear is about feeling comfortable and aiding your performance. And if they happen to also make you feel cute and confident, great!

If you don’t feel like spending on brands like lululemon or Nike, here are a few places to check out for effective, yet affordable activewear:

Forever 21

For those that believe Forever 21 can be a huge hit or a big miss, you’re not wrong. Their activewear range however, is pretty much a hit across the board. They carry a wide selection of sports bras, tops and bottoms that are cute and trendy, but will also hold up to physical activity. These would be great for running and group exercise classes. Unfortunately, they haven’t expanded into their men’s range yet.


H&M’s relatively new sportswear range caters to both men and women and continue to be successful in offering good quality pieces that walk the line between on-trend and classic. They’ve got great gear for outdoor activities, running and studio exercises. Their women’s sports tights specifically are perfectly high-waisted, stay in place through the duration of your workout and petite women will appreciate that they hit right at the ankle.


This sportswear brand that gained mainstream popularity in the ‘80s and ‘90s for producing uniforms for NBA and some NFL teams, is enjoying a fashion resurgence. Although it’s being carried at Urban Outfitters for a markup, their active apparel can be purchased off their website or Amazon storefront at an affordable price.

Russell Athletic

Like Champion, Russell Athletic is well-known for supplying uniforms for a wide range of sports. With their reputation for sportswear and reasonable pricing, Russel Athletic allows you to look and feel like an athlete without breaking the bank or fancy endorsements.


Not only is Walmart the place where you can pick up your groceries, cleaning products and linens all in one trip, it’s also a great place to get activewear! Walmart carries reliable brands such as Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, Danskin, Starter and Impact by Jillian Michaels, a lot of which can be found for under $10.

Old Navy

Old Navy is under the same ownership as activewear brand Athleta, so it’s probably safe to assume that their workout clothing will feel great and perform well. And they also have all their activewear in tall and petite ranges!


Thrift stores like Goodwill and Value Village as well as consignment shops like Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Co. have a lot of great, gently used activewear including running and training shoes. Often times you can find items from sportswear giants like Nike, adidas and Under Armour for a fraction of the original retail price.

We hope you found this article helpful. But remember, the activity outweighs the aesthetics!