Whether you keep it up-to-date with the latest version of Asics running shoes or if you are still donning the same geometric print spandex leotard from the 80’s, we all have found certain athletic gear to be useful and practical to our own athletic routines. I have developed a list of important workout gear options that have been seen boost performance and prevent injury during time spent training.

Shoes. I’m not talking about those red peep-toes you saw online the other day either. The right athletic shoes determine many things for athletes and those with active lifestyles. Specific running shoes can change the way your foot strikes during long and short distance runs which could ultimately lengthen or shorten your time during a run. If you are an avid runner or cardio queen, find your nearest athletic shoe store to get a proper fitting and step analysis to find the right running shoe for you. Also, training in a gym or studio calls for a different type of shoe; one with a flatter, smoother sole will allow you to lift heavier weight more comfortably with a solid, box-like support. Take care of what holds you up all day. Making a bigger investment in the right shoe can transform your entire workout routine.

Sports bras. Some women hate burpees for quite another reason than most! No matter what size bra you’re sporting, the “ladies up top” need the right support for those with an athletic routine. It can definitely be challenging to find the right bra for you especially if you are used to wearing two or even three just to tame them during some mountain climbers. So, first you have to determine how intense your training is currently. If you are used to having high impact exercises in your workouts then you will need to find a sports bra with full support such as compression sports bra that secures your breasts to your chest allowing minimal to no bouncing. If you aren’t sporting a larger breast size but would like to find one that doesn’t accumulate sweat like a dish rag then looking on the tags for moisture-wicking materials such as Dri-Fit from Nike products or CoolMax which pull sweat away from the skin preventing chaffing and skin irritants. Keep the “girls” in check with the right support!

Tops and bottoms. You’ve probably seen many wear the sear-sucking, super tight tank tops and yoga pants. There’s actually a logical and functional reason for such tops and bottoms other than the typical, “she had to of borrowed her daughter’s clothes”, response. As a matter of fact, loose fitting, cotton tees may be quite comfortable, but investing in some compression tops to wear underneath your comfy cotton can benefit you more than you know. Just like I mentioned with the sports bras, choosing the right material such as Dri-Fit and CoolMax, moisture-wicking fabrics can help you to last longer during a workout. We tend to be a bit self-conscious when those armpit sweat spots make their grand entrance as well as feeling heavy due to the fact that your clothes are drenched in sweat. Not only is the fabric choice important while shopping for the right athletic wear, but so is the function and tautness. Yes, tautness! You may have heard of compression wear for professional athletes and Olympic lifters, but why can’t we utilize the same gear for similar reasons? Studies on compression gear such as socks show that the constriction of blood vessels deter blood and fluid from building up in the lower leg allowing blood to flow back to the heart more quickly making your training more efficient and your delayed onset soreness after a long run or workout minimal and tolerable. Plus finding cute workout gear is motivation enough for some to just get to the gym!

Obviously, we all have different goals in our journey to being happy, healthy, and fit. However, making wise decisions when shopping for athletic wear can emphasize the happy during your journey. Looks like I’ve given us all a reason to go at least window shopping! Happy shopping!