How do I Choose the Best Gym Gear?

Dan Cavallari

The best gym gear will depend largely on what you intend to do with your workout. A gym often offers a multitude of exercises, classes, and activities, and generally speaking, each one will require its own set of gym gear. Most exercises at a gym, however, will require a good pair of shoes, clothing that wicks moisture away from the body to control temperature, and a well-constructed gym bag to keep it all in. Remember, too, that your post-workout shower will require some shower shoes and a place to keep them after the shower, meaning the best gym gear includes more than just workout clothing.

Exercise pants.
Exercise pants.

Choose gym gear that will work for you, not for what works for others. If you spend a significant amount of time on the treadmill or stair climber, focus on choosing a good pair of shoes that will support your feet and promote good form. If you don't use the treadmill and instead work out in the weight room, think about choosing a comfortable pair of weight training gloves and clothing that will not interfere with the motions of the exercises. A swimmer will not need any of this equipment; instead, he or she should focus on a good swimsuit that is form-fitting, goggles that will resist fogging, and shower shoes for walking around the gym after your swim.

Shower shoes can keep locker room floor germs away.
Shower shoes can keep locker room floor germs away.

Moisture wicking materials are important for just about all gym activities. If possible, purchase gym gear that is made of materials that pull moisture away from the body to help regulate body temperature and improve comfort. Many shirts, sports bras, and other active tops will advertise whether or not they are moisture wicking, and while such clothing can cost a bit more than regular cotton shirts, the comfort factor is well worth the price.

Proper clothing helps keep the body cool and comfortable during an intense workout.
Proper clothing helps keep the body cool and comfortable during an intense workout.

Gym gear is not limited to workout gear. For your post-workout shower, choose a pair of shower shoes that are waterproof and quick drying. Shower shoes will protect you from any germs such as athlete's foot that may be lurking in locker rooms and showers, so choose a pair that you can clean easily every so often. Your gym bag should be large enough to carry all your gym gear but small enough to stow in a locker. Separate pockets will help you keep dirty clothes away from clean ones, and a separate pocket for your wet shower shoes is a handy way to make sure everything stays dry.

A good pair of shoes is important for those who spend a lot of time on the treadmill.
A good pair of shoes is important for those who spend a lot of time on the treadmill.
Moisture wicking sports bras make good gym gear.
Moisture wicking sports bras make good gym gear.

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Discussion Comments


I don't know much about fitness. When I'm working out, I just make sure that I'm comfortable. My gym clothes and shoes are the most important and they have to be comfortable to avoid discomfort and injuries.

As for other gym gear, I actually just follow the advice given by the instructor in the workout video I use. The exercises in the video require a yoga mat, dumbbells and a step platform, so that's what I bought.


@SarahGen-- I think that completely depends on your needs and your workout routine.

I don't believe that expensive gym fitness equipment is required for a good workout. I workout at home with just dumbbells, bench and squat rack.

Sometimes I also use a skipping rope and a punching bag depending on my mood. So first of all, determine the type of exercises that you want to do and go from there.


I don't have time to go to the gym, so I'm thinking of creating a basic gym room at home with few equipment. Does anyone have any suggestions for home gym equipment? What type of exercise/work out equipment should I get?


@pleonasm - It might be easy for me to say this, but you should just ignore anyone who stares at you. You have a right to be in the gym.

And I don't think anyone should need special gym workout clothes either. The only thing that ever worries me is if I'm using the bikes or something similar and I have long sweat pants on they might get caught in the machine, but I just fold up the legs and it's fine.

Usually I just wear a t-shirt and either shorts or sweatpants and try to zone out as much as possible. If people want to stare, that's their problem. They obviously don't have anything better to do.


@browncoat - I know this isn't an option for everyone, but that's why I try to just use the fitness equipment and then go home to shower. If I could, I'd just have a home gym but I can't really afford that at the moment and I don't have the space for everything I'd like to use.

I don't really like going to the gym though. No matter what I wear I always feel like people are staring at me because I'm not the skinniest person in the room.


You really don't want to skip the shower shoes if you're going to be using the gym or pool shower with any kind of regularity. Even just a good pair of flip-flops (with gripping soles so you aren't going to slip on wet floors) will help protect you.

It is so easy to pick up athletes foot fungus from the gym. My family were all gym bunnies when we were growing up and it seemed like my siblings never stopped having it, which was gross and uncomfortable all at once.

I think it should be mandatory gym wear for everyone, to be honest, as I think you're more likely to catch something with bare feet than you are from someone not wiping down the equipment.

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