When you think about your workouts, you probably consider things like hydration, nutrition, stretching, form and technique. But there’s another facet of fitness that may not get the focus it deserves...what you wear.

There are many factors to keep in mind when it comes to choosing activewear – shoe characteristics, clothing fabric, and what’s appropriate for your movements and workout intensity level.

Choosing a shoe

Your footwear should suit the type of exercise you're doing. Each workout has a specific focus, and each shoe offers different benefits as you wear and move in them.

Here are four different types of workouts, and things to consider when choosing the proper footwear for each.

Group Fitness

If you're attending a group fitness dance class like ZUMBA or BODYJAM, opt for shoes with less grip on the toe. This will allow you to rotate without injuring your knees. If you're doing a class like BODYCOMBAT or BODYATTACK, where you move side-to-side, look for more support on the sides and ankles of your footwear. 


Whether indoor or outdoor, a solid pair of shoes is key if you’re a runner. Make sure they fit properly and are well broken-in. If you’re an avid runner, you may want to consult with a pedorthist to better understand the natural fall of your step.

Turf training or weightlifting classes

A cross-trainer is your best sneaker choice for the weight room, turf, or weightlifting group classes like BODYPUMP. They offer the ankle and foot support you need to carry extra weight.

Olympic lifting

You can enhance your performance with a good pair of weightlifting shoes. They offer good support and have a higher heel, which can help improve your squats and other compound movements.

The best complement to the right shoe (and the left one!) is a good sock. It’s important to be aware of the material that comes between your shoe and foot. It should be lightweight and breathable, so opt for nylon, 100% cotton, or a stretchy cotton-poly blend. This will ensure moisture doesn’t get trapped inside.

Grabbing the right garb

Once your feet are comfortable, turn your attention to your clothing. Sweat-wicking fabric helps pull moisture away from the body, which is ideal when you’re training.

Workout apparel has many characteristics that can affect your overall comfort while exercising. Here are some workout gear features to consider:


Brighter colours can help motivate you because they are stimulating, and reflect the sun away from your body. Consider light colours for high-intensity activities. Soft pinks, pastels, and neutrals signal to the brain that it's time to unwind, which is great if you’re doing yoga or mindful meditation.


It’s important that your exercise clothing is breathable and wicks away perspiration. This is especially important if you’re exercising outdoors in spring and summer in hot and humid weather conditions. Look for airy, moisture-wicking materials that won't cling or chafe (particularly for runners), and avoid fabrics that retain moisture or weigh you down like polyester or wool.


Whether it's a run in the park or an uphill trek, give yourself extra incentive by wearing stylish fitness attire that will help you feel good about how you look. It may also give you more confidence as you head into the gym or a group fitness class. There are many affordable options for all body types if you’re looking for quality workout gear that also looks great.


Your training gear should be compatible with the kind of workout you intend to do. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Wear something comfortable that will help you relax when you’re engaging in mobility or dynamic stretching.
  • Pants or shorts that you feel comfortable swaying and moving in are great if you’re attending a group fitness dance class.
  • Choose attire that accentuates your alignment and posture if you’re doing yoga.
  • For strength training or cardio, moisture-wicking shorts, leggings, and t-shirts will help you appear and feel athletic while keeping you dry.

Next time you’re prepping for a workout, try to choose the right clothing to make the most of it. The right gear can keep you looking and feeling fresh and cool as the weather heats up. And remember, if you're taking your workout outside, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are always necessary to protect your skin.