Fitness fashion is a growing trend and the days when people used to wear an old t-shirt and ill fitting leggings or shorts to the gym are most definitely a thing of the past! Now when we work out we want to look good and why not after all when we look good, we feel good and a little extra swag will no doubt help us push that little harder in the gym. With fitness fashion being relatively new I thought it was good to look at whether it was worth investing in the specialists like Nike, Reebok and Adidas or whether high street shops like H&M, Topshop and TK Maxx all do just as good a job.

Sports gear by H&M

From someone that has bought and worn a lot of fitness gear over the years I would say it comes down to what you need. If you are beginning your fitness journey I would recommend spending less and buying from the high street. Lets say for arguments sake that any brand, high street or specialist, will leave you looking and feeling good so we do not need to discuss this aspect and we can simply focus on the practical side of things. A beginner will likely need to buy everything for their new fitness journey, not simply a new top, therefore, you want to be able to buy several items without breaking the bank. Secondly, if starting out as a gym goer, runner or even taking up a sport you might find that in fact you do not enjoy your new pass time and your need for this type of gear is only fleeting. I have trained many clients over the years that have decided to take up running, spent £100 on specialist running shoes, complete with gait and running analysis before they have even ran 1km. 2 weeks into their new running career they then decided that it was not for them and their shiny new pair of shoes have remained as such! These shoes are worth every penny if you run regularly and clock up some serious miles, but are not necessary for people trying out running to see if they like it. Any shoes will do for that! Finally, the high street is definitely the better option if you enjoy mixing up your sporting style regularly. The price point allows you to mix and match a huge variety of leggings, tops and shoes and to update them whenever you like.

Beyoncé’s fashionable range for Topshop. Looks great but perhaps not particularly specialised.

Conversely, specialist brands are a much bigger investment! The price of a pair of Nike or Adidas trainers can be eye watering, so why pay more? The answer is simple, because they are specialist. Any sports brand, and there are plenty more than just the big 2, justifies its price by knowing that their product delivers in quality, duration and performance. Does that matter to the average January beginner, not really, but does it matter to a runner, golfer or tennis player that, whilst not professional, spends a lot of their free time enjoying their sport to a high standard, you bet it does! I can tell you that after trying lots of different brands, I will only buy Nike leggings despite their comparative high price tag and the reason is not because I am a brand snob, but simply because I wear leggings at work daily and any Nike leggings I have ever bought have far out lived any other brand! Others have come away at the seems, lost elasticity and faded far quicker. For me, quality and durability are the most important thing, therefore I will pay for that value as will plenty of others that are serious about what they do.

Just one of the many sports that Nike do specialist clothing for to make sure participants perform to the best of their ability no matter the weather conditions.

That is not to say that you might not be able to find good brands that are slightly cheaper than some of the biggest, of course you can, but above all before buying asses your needs, figure out what is most important to you and purchase accordingly. That is the only way to figure out whether it is worth paying more or whether it is just a waste.

Fit Bird

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Diary of a Fit Bird is written by the founder of The 4321 Method®. To find out more about our products go to:

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