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May 28, 2024

26 Workout Gear Essentials Our Editors Are Using to Crush Their Fitness Goals

Adidas | Amazon / Target / Walmart
Photo Illustration: Aly Lim
Adidas | Amazon / Target / Walmart
Photo Illustration: Aly Lim

Every editorial product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn commission.

For the most part, fitness gear is personal. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to what makes the best leggings or the best running sneaker, or what home gym equipment is an essential and what’s a nice-to-have. That said, figuring out your fitness gear preferences can be tough, due to the vast array of fitness products on the market. That’s why we’ve done the legwork for you and curated our top fitness must-haves.

From matching workout sets to at-home gym accessories, you can rest assured that the products selected here have been vetted by our expert editors. These items will help you get the most out of your workoutsfit your space, and evolve with you as you progress, no matter your fitness level.

Our complete fitness guide includes everything you might need to keep up with your favorite types of movement, including items like recovery tools, supplements, noise-canceling headphones, fitness trackers, top-rated sports brasand everything in between. Plus, with recommendations spread across price points and brands, you can find the perfect gear to fit your budget and style.

So if you’re looking to up your fitness game in 2024, be sure to check out our must-have list of fitness gear. With these editor-approved products at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle your workout goals, no matter where you are in your journey.

To help you shop from our guide with convenience, you can browse by each category below:

— Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes, Angelica Wilson, Kyley Warren, and Mirel Zaman


Best Comfortable Sports Bra

Girlfriend Collective Tommy Cropped Bra ($52)

Tired of a too-tight band and straps digging in? This pick is just for you. Our editors deem this product one of the most comfortable sports bras out there. It’s perfect for low-to-medium-impact workouts, like Pilates, weight training, and biking. It features a built-in support band that sits right under the bust for a supportive lift, and it’s double lined for plenty of coverage — even in the lighter colors. You can read more about the style in our review of the Girlfriend Collective Tommy Cropped Bra here.

Editor Quote: “The bra has a square neck and back, which I generally find to be more supportive than a racerback. It manages to strike the right balance of supportive and comfortable; I feel held in but not bound down.” — India Yaffe, former associate editor, Commerce


Best High-Impact Sports Bra

Knix Catalyst Front Zip Sports Bra ($78)

One editor says she trusts the Knix Catalyst Front Zip Sports Bra to get her through workouts where she knows she’ll need to jump. The bra has adjustable shoulder straps with a hook-and-eye closure in the back, so you’ll be secure and ready for burpees and jumping jacks. For more shopping inspiration, read our guide to the best no-bounce sports bras for high-intensity workouts.

Editor Quote: “This is the most supportive high-impact wireless sports bra I’ve ever tried. Designed to drastically reduce breast movement, the Catalyst fit like second skin.” — Dana Avidan Cohn, former executive editor, Fashion


Best Workout Tank

Athleta Ultimate Muscle Tank ($35-$39)

Made for medium to high impact workouts, this muscle tank is supportive for those intense workouts and adds more coverage for your comfort. It’s made from a quick-drying breathable nylon spandex fabric blend that also provides UPF 50+ protection and won’t retain sweat as much as other materials.

Editor Quote: “This tank is the perfect crop length, unbelievably lightweight, and packs down to nothing — making it perfect for taking on active trips. It feels like you’re wearing nothing, which is ideal for super hot days or if you like working out in just a sports bra, but want a little extra coverage. ” — Lauren Mazzo, former senior editor, Fitness


Best Training Leggings

Lululemon Swift Speed High-Rise Tight 28″ ($69-$99)

These Lululemon leggings are made for running, but they hold up during even the toughest workouts, including biking and lifting. The athletic bottoms are made out of Lululemon’s Luxtreme fabric, which has a slickness to reduce friction and chafe, while still being sweat-wicking, breathable, and durable. The fabric even has a cooling feel to keep you comfortable during intense workouts. Read our full review of the leggings here.

Editor Quote: “What I love most about them is they feature a contoured waistband that firmly hugs your waist so that they stay put during your workout. My biggest pet peeve with leggings is when they slide down at the waist while I run; so that detail is what attracted me to this pair in the first place.” — Marisa Petrarca, contributing editor, Commerce


Best Performance Fleece Sweatshirt

Halfdays Pieper Fleece ($195)

Stay warm during the chilly months with this stylish Halfdays fleece that’s perfect for both outdoor hikes and lounging at home. The sherpa fleece quarter-zip is designed with durability in mind — in fact, the brand promises no pilling. It has two front pockets as well as a larger back pocket for all your on-the-go storage needs, especially extra snacks. It comes in tons of fun colors, too.

Editor Quote: “This fleece is super-warm and cozy without being heavy. Seriously, when the package arrived at my house, the box was so light I couldn’t believe there was a sweatshirt inside. The material (recycled polyester) is water-repellent and pill-proof, so it holds up whether you’re hitting the trails or snuggling up on the couch.” — Abbey Stone, former interim wellness director


Best Running Belt

SPIbelt Dual Pocket Pro Running Belt ($39)

This running belt is perfect for keeping your essentials with you while you run. You can fit your phone, cards, keys, headphones, and even a snack or two. The belt is adjustable as well so you can keep it secure on your body with the help of a soft-lined design that prevents chafing.

Editor Quote: “Finding a comfortable belt to wear while running with multiple pockets can be a challenge. There’s something about this dual pocket design that seems to “balance” out my strides. I keep my keys and energy gels in one pocket and my phone in the other — and it doesn’t ride up at all! I can’t recommend this belt enough, especially given all the slippery models on the market.” — Sarah Wasilak, associate content director, Commerce


Best Hiking Shoes

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 Gore-Tex Hiking Shoe ($161, originally $230)

If you’re constantly seeking outdoor adventure, the Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 Gore-Tex Hiking Shoe will lead you in the right direction. The shoe’s made with partially recycled materials and has a breathable and supportive design to endure outdoor activities. Read our full review of the Adidas TERREX Free Hiker 2 GORE-TEX Hiking Shoe to see why they’re a worthwhile investment.

Editor Quote: “It’s a smart investment if you’re often seeking new adventures and to prioritize comfort. You’ll get the best bang for your buck with this product, and you’ll be able to use it beyond hiking and camping.” — Indira Diaz, former social strategy coordinator


Best Training Sneaker

Under Armour Unisex UA SlipSpeed Training Shoes ($120)

These training shoes from Under Armour have a flexible heel that moves with you on the go. The SlipSpeed Training Shoes are ideal for gym workouts, walking, biking, and any other kind of training on your calendar. The sneakers have cool-to-the-touch foam padding that’s also supportive, so your feet will never feel too hot. If you want more options, also check out our expert-recommended guide to the best cross-training shoes.

Editor Quote: “No more dreaded ankle burns from your running sneakers. The SlipSpeed is the first shoe with a flexible, contoured heel that instantly (cozily) converts a high-performance speedy pair of kicks into luxury spa slippers.” — Molly Stout, former executive editor, Lifestyle


Best Comfortable Running Shoes

On Running Cloud X 3 ($150)

These On Running Cloud X 3 sneakers are breathable, lightweight, and made for comfort. These sneakers feature less cushioning, so you’ll have a more responsive running experience. Although these are made for running, it’s a versatile sneaker that you can wear for high-impact and low-impact workouts alike, even if it’s just running errands.

Editor Quote: “I’m usually prone to shin splints, but I haven’t had any issues since I got these On running shoes. They’re super lightweight and breathable, making them perfect for HIIT workouts and everyday wear alike. As a bonus, they’re much cuter than other comfy running shoes on the market.” — Yerin Kim, editor, Features


Best Lightweight Running Shoe

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4 ($250)

Looking for a lightweight shoe that adds a spring to each step you take? Meet the New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4. The breathable shoe is built for racing and marathons, delivering a propulsive feel that helps drive you forward. Plus, they’re undeniably stylish too.

Editor Quote: “The New Balance SuperComp Elite sneaker is award-winning. It is hands down the lightest running shoe that provides you with enough spring in your step to propel you forward. I would recommend it for runners who have been running in a standard Brooks or Hoka sneaker for a long time and have hit a wall in their training. If you’re looking for a shoe to boost your energy while running, this is the style.” — Sarah Wasilak, associate content director, Commerce


Best At-Home Rower

Hydrow Rower ($2,195, originally $2,495)

If you’re searching for a low-impact cardio workoutlook no further than the Hydrow Rower. It uses patented electromagnetic technology to simulate drag, so you feel like you’re actually on the water. We love its huge touch screen for on-demand workouts and live classes; you can get a membership for $38 per month. And with a look this sleek, it’ll blend in with your home seamlessly. See our editor’s review of the Hydrow Rower for the full product details.

Editor Quote: “I love that there are so many ways to filter through the huge library of workouts, too. It was so inspiring in the first month of using the Hydrow Rower because I could try a new workout every time based on my time, energy level, or type of workout I wanted to do.” — Jenny Sugar, former editor, Fitness

walmart. com

Best Folding Treadmill

Goplus 2.25HP 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill ($290)

If you live in a small apartment that’s tight on space but still want to exercise, this Goplus folding treadmill is a great addition. The treadmill is small, foldable, and can be moved around to fit anywhere you’d like it (including underneath a standing desk). It’s great for both running and walking, especially throughout the winter. For more information, read our editor’s review of the Goplus 2.25HP 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill.

Editor Quote: “As someone who loves to walk, this treadmill has really been a wintertime lifesaver. My daily step count has been dramatically higher since adding this little piece of fitness equipment to my home, and as a result, I feel so much happier and healthier.” — Emilee Janitz, contributing editor


Best Fitness Hope

POPSUGAR Weighted & Adjustable Fitness Hoop ($30)

Looking for a way to incorporate a little more fun into your next workout? Look no further than this ergonomic fitness hoop, which is designed to help improve balance, all while helping you to strengthen your core. The fitness tool is just one of many essentials worth shopping from POPSUGAR’s exclusive line with Walmart.

Editor Quote: “Let’s face it: home workouts can become routine and predictable, but adding a new piece of equipment is a mood booster. This ergonomic fitness hoop — with a one-pound weighted ball — works your balance and your core strength and (let’s face it) makes working out way more fun. I love giving gifts like this, because no one knows they want one, but they are surprised and delighted to receive it.” — Nancy Einhart, head of content


Best Resistance Bands

POPSUGAR Fabric Hip Bands ($15)

Hands down, one of the most annoying things about resistance bands is when they roll up in the middle of an exercise, and you have to pause to try to straighten them out or struggle through with the rolled-up band digging into your skin. Enter, these POPSUGAR fabric bands. The material is soft and grippy, meaning they won’t roll up mid-workout.

Editor Quote: “I’d gotten so fed up with my latex resistance bands that I’d started skipping moves that called for them in my lower-body workouts — I just knew they’d end up rolling up and it would be a waste of time. These POPSUGAR bands solve for that issue so simply and perfectly, and now I can add resistance back into my squats and clamshells without the frustration.” — Mirel Zaman, director, Health & Fitness


Best Resistance Tubes

POPSUGAR 3-in-1 Resistance Tube Kit with Interchangeable Tubes ($20)

While bands are great for lower-body workouts, resistance tubes are a must for upper-body exercises, and this kit has three different weights, providing everything you need for any movement or fitness level.

Editor Quote: “A small but thoughtful detail I love about these tubes is the foam handles, that can be swapped between the different weights of tubes. When I’m already struggling through a bicep curl, I don’t want my palms to be aching as well.” — MZ


Best Yoga Food

Manduka Pro Yoga Mat ($138-$160)

This Manduka mat is a durable option that is used at top-tier studios. It’s thick and extremely dense, so it protects your bones and joints from pressing into the floor and stays grounded where you roll it out. You can use this for tougher workouts as well. You can get the mat in an extra-long or extra-wide size as well.

Editor Quote: “This Manduka PRO yoga mat is very thin but still somehow feels cushioned. The grippy texture prevents my palms from slipping during shake-y crow pose attempts, but the surface is still smooth enough to move fluidly throughout class without legging snags.” — Lisa Robinson, director, Marketing & Distribution


Best Step Deck

POPSUGAR Aerobic Step Deck ($30)

This compact step deck features grippy floor pads and a textured surface, so you can step up to your heart’s content without having to worry about slippage. And that’s a huge plus, since step workouts can get pretty intense.

Editor Quote: “Yes, I want to buy-in on the aerobic step workout comeback. No, I don’t want a massive step deck cluttering up my apartment. Enter, this compact POPSUGAR deck. I love the coral color, and the fact that I can switch between two heights depending on how challenging I want my workout to feel.” — MZ


Best Home Gym

Tempo Move Lite Trainer ($597, originally $963)

Tempo Move brings the personal training experience into your own home with technology that scans your body (and equipment you’re using) to check for proper alignment throughout your workout. Metrics are displayed on the screen along with encouraging words from the trainer. Tempo Move comes with two adjustable hand weights, four clamps, four 1.25-pound plates, and four 2.5-pound plates, but has a much smaller footprint than a lot of at-home equipment, including the original Study time. A $39/month membership fee gives you access to an assortment of live and prerecorded classes ranging from HIIT to strength training to yoga. Read our editor’s review of the Tempo Move Home Gym here.

Editor Quote: “Trying it out for myself I was amazed at how much it felt like I had my own personal trainer. I felt supported during my strength workout in that I got feedback from the metrics on the screen and encouraging instruction from the trainer. ” — Angelica Wilson, former associate editor, Fitness


Best Fitness Smart Watch

Apple Watch Ultra ($780)

The Apple Watch Ultra is made to last through tough workouts and terrains alike with its raised edge around the screen and aerospace-grade titanium case. This specific Apple Watch has raised side button and digital crown as well, so that the controls are accessible even while wearing gloves. The watch has plenty of other cool features that are ideal for those who live an active lifestyle. Read more on why it’s worth the splurge in this detailed Apple Watch Ultra review

Editor Quote: “If you’re looking for a smartwatch that can do it all — like, Apple Watch-level do it all — plus go with you into the remote wilderness and track your favorite activities, I can confidently say the Apple Watch Ultra is worth it. The Ultra isn’t all that far off, price-wise, from other top-tier GPS watches — take the $700 Garmin Fenix 7, for example — but it can do a whole lot more and also comes with the incredible device integration that only Apple can offer.” — Lauren Mazzo, former editor, Fitness


Best Massage Device

Hyperice Hypervolt Go 2 Percussion Massage Device ($109, originally $130)

With three speeds and two attachments, you can kiss sore muscles and tension goodbye when you recover with the Hypervolt Go 2 Percussion Massage Device. The lightweight massage device helps you maintain range of motion and flexibility when your muscles feel extra tight, plus you’ll be able to recover faster. You can take this on the go as well, so you can give yourself some R&R right after a rough flight.

Editor Quote: “I recently started upping my workout schedule, and this massage gun has been a godsend for recovery and relieving sore muscles. It relieves achy muscles and comes with multiple speeds and attachments as promised, but I love that it’s more compact and lightweight than other massage devices out there.” — Yerin Kim, editor, Features


Best Protein Powder

Elements Truffles Plant Based Ayurvedic Protein Powder ($29)

There’s a lot to be said about a protein powder that’s healthy, tastes good, and does the job, and Elements Truffles’s Plant Based Ayurvedic Protein Powder is an editor-favorite. It’s chai spice-flavored and formulated with Ayurvedic spices to boost immunity. It’s also pea-based and easy to mix into foods without tasting chalky. Read our editor’s review of the Elements Truffles Plant Based Ayurvedic Protein Powder for more details.

Editor Quote: “One of my favorite ways to treat myself to this yummy blend is to mix it with a few scoops of Greek yogurt, add a drizzle of honey, and top it off with a crunchy granola mix for a fulfilling breakfast (or dessert). I love that I can get more protein into my diet in different ways and actually enjoy the experience. Who knew a chocolate company could make the most delicious protein blend with all-natural, health-boosting ingredients?” — Anvita Reddy, assistant editor, Commerce


Best Energy Gel

GU Energy Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel ($31, originally $39)

These energy gels will keep you feeling energized and fueled during your training. You can take one packet five minutes before training and every 45 minutes during activity. The essential electrolyte packet contains maltodextrin and fructose for efficient absorption and lasting energy.

Editor Quote: “If you’re looking for fuel on long runs or hard workouts, GU makes a product that is foolproof. Not only do these energy gels provide you with just enough fuel and caffeine to make it through your workout, they’re low in calories and taste delicious — seriously, I would compare the chocolate and vanilla flavors to pudding. When I need to reach for one on a long one or grueling workout, I actually look forward to taking these in and enjoying the taste — which is more than I can say for so many other chews, wafers, or gels that are meant to provide the same boost.” — Sarah Wasilak, associate content director, Commerce


Best Over-Ear Headphones

Apple AirPods Max Over-Ear Headphones ($519, originally $548=9)

Apple’s AirPods Max headphones are the original “hot girl walk” headphones that you’ve probably seen all over TikTok. These over-the-ear, noise-canceling headphones boast crystal-clear sound quality. You can switch between noise-canceling modes, so you can block out the world or be aware of your surroundings. The headphones are available in five colors: silver, black, blue, red, and green. Check out our review of the Apple AirPods Max Over-Ear Headphones.

Editor Quote: “The sound on the AirPods Max is extremely clear — I’ve never had any issues with music sounding far away or ‘tinny.’ I can hear every single word of Death Cab For Cutie’s ‘Title and Registration’ as if Ben Gibbard himself were singing into my ears. The headphones also have a ‘Digital Crown’ button where you can control the volume, answer phone calls, skip music, and use Siri. I love that I don’t have to pick up my phone every time I want to turn up the volume.” — Renee Rodriguez, staff writer and social producer


Best Open Ear Headphones

Shokz OpenRun Headphones ($130)

Although we appreciate an immersive listening experience, there are times when we need to be more aware of our surroundings, and the Shokz OpenRun Headphones lets you do that without compromising on sound quality. These have angled transducers that sit comfortably on the top of cheekbones near your tragus for an optimal listening experience. It has eight hours of battery life, and it’s dust- and waterproof, but it’s not designed for swimming.

Editor Quote: “My Shokz OpenRun headphones have made an undeniable difference in my running experience. Not only do I feel safe with my ears open and ready to intercept noises from passing cars, but these are the most comfortable way to listen to music — especially on a long run. I never have to worry about a pod falling loose out of my ear or losing these headphones. They also come at a great price point and have lasted me for over 4 years now, so I would recommend them to anyone who needs a change in their system while running!” — Sarah Wasilak, associate content director, Commerce


Best In-Ear Headphones

Beats Fit Pro ($160, originally $200)

Offering up the six hours of listening time and up to 24 hours combined with a charging case, the Beats Fit Pro are great for anyone and everyone who loves to feel totally immersed in their audio content while working out. These stay securely in place with the flexible wingtips and are sweat- and water-resistant. With three distinct listening modes — active noise canceling, transparency mode, and adaptive EQ — you can completely customize the way you listen to music, podcasts, or follow-along classes while running or hitting the gym. Plus, they come in so many cute colors. Read our review of the Beats Fit Pro for more information.

Editor Quote: “The active noise cancellation blocks out the rest of the world, so you have a truly immersive sound experience. I can work out without hearing weights clanking on the floor, footsteps on treadmills, and unnecessarily obnoxious grunts.” — Anvita Reddy, assistant editor, Commerce


Best Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Headphones ($348, originally $400)

Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones are great for anything from traveling or commuting to, yep, working out. They have a 30-hour battery life and the ability to switch between devices, take calls hands-free, and automatically pause your audio when it detects you in conversation. What makes these unique is the product’s smart noise-canceling feature, which learns your routine and switches from active noise cancellation to ambient sound when appropriate. Check out our in-depth review of the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones here.

Editor Quote: “The noise cancellation on these headphones is also truly one of the best on the market — there are times when I don’t even need to play audio, and the headphones still block out the noise pollution of my environment.” — Anvita Reddy, assistant editor, Commerce

Anvita Reddy is an assistant editor for PS Shopping. She has a passion for products and is an avid reviewer of everything including home gadgets, cookware, tech, and more. Having dealt with acne as a teenager and into adulthood, her expertise lies in beauty. She has tried and tested plenty of skin-care, makeup, hair-care, and countless other beauty products.

Haley Lyndes was an assistant editor for PS Shopping where she found and tested the best home, beauty, and fashion products. She is a graduate of Northern Vermont University and has nearly five years of experience in both written and broadcast journalism.

Angelica Wilson is a former associate fitness editor for PS. She’s a tall, plus-size yoga instructor who’s a been a K-pop fan since ’09. It’s a unique combo, but it works. She enjoys sharing what brings her joy so that others can potentially find joy in her interests as well. In case you were wondering, Angelica is a Leo sun and Leo rising with an Aquarius moon.

Kyley Warren is an award-winning writer, editor, and affiliate strategist with more than four years of experience in the publishing space. She currently works as an assistant editor on PS Shopping and is an expert on all things related to shopping and fashion. She previously worked with Entertainment Tonight as a style commerce writer, and her byline has appeared in publications globally.

Mirel Zaman is the wellness director at PS. She has nearly 15 years of experience working in the health and wellness space, writing and editing articles about fitness, general health, mental health, relationships and sex, food and nutrition, astrology, spirituality, family and parenting, culture, and news.

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