I used to hate the gym. It seemed stupid to pay money to exercise on a static machine when I could just head outside for a run. But then El Niño hit New Mexico, and we’ve had one of our wettest and coldest winters on record. We’re no Minnesota, but going outside started to suck. So as to not go crazy, or gain ten unnecessary pounds, I joined the local gym and became a surprisingly quick believer. Thanks to an iPhone, AirPods, Netflix, and the following clothing, it’s become an absolute joy to spend my lunch breaks in a place I used to loathe.
Myles Apparel Momentum Tee ($ 39)
A cheap cotton T-shirt is just fine at the gym. But if you’re trying to stay motivated, a nicer shirt goes a long way. The Momentum is made from Polartec Power Dry, which is honestly unmatched in its ability to move sweat off your body. The Momentum also uses Polygiene odor control, so you can wear it a couple times in a row and not piss off the people exercising next to you.
Lululemon Pace Breaker 7-Inch Shorts ($ 68)
Same thing here. You can buy a pair of cheap gym shorts, but if you’re serious about putting in longer miles on a stationary bike, an elliptical, or a treadmill, these shorts are a nice investment. The high-quality synthetic materials (polyester and elastane) that Lulu is known for cut down on chafing, don’t start to cling to your thighs, deal with sweat more effectively, and feel lovely on your skin. Thanks to smart tailoring, the shorts also look great.
Vuori Men’s Base Legging ($ 84)
Yes, gyms are heated, but on really cold days I still wear tights like these from Vuori under my shorts. They keep my legs that much warmer on the way to the gym and shorten my warm-up once I’m there. Vuori, like Lululemon, is also known for its silky synthetic materials, so even though the tights have a compressive fit, they’re lovely on your skin. Flat seams eliminate chafing, and the material moves sweat off your legs fast and efficiently.
Tracksmith NDO Jacket and Pants ($ 198 and $ 148)
Some days I’m up for a twofer: I run to the gym for my cardio and then train once I’m there. On the run, I’ve become a huge fan of the NDO (No Days Off) jacket and pants from Tracksmith, which combine a stretchy synthetic outer with a plush merino-wool lining. They’re definitely built for colder days—near freezing or below—but aren’t so bulky that they become a burden. As always, I love my gear to have multiple uses, so the NDO jacket has also become a favorite everyday piece, thanks to the water-repellant outer and that classic and clean Tracksmith styling.
Flint and Tinder Reversible French Terry Sweatshirt ($ 78)
I call this my “gym-to-work” sweatshirt. On its face, it’s just a soft cotton sweatshirt that’s perfect for my car commute to the gym and maybe a quick warm-up before I really get going. But flip the sweatshirt inside out—it’s made to be reversible—and you reveal a stylish, French-terry texture that gives the piece a little more personality and goes great over a collared shirt at the office.
Arvin Goods Gym Sock ($ 12)
People used to hate on white gym socks, but I’m here to say they’re making a comeback. Set against the rest of your gym kit, which is probably black or blue, they create a nice pop and add some character to your getup. That, and they’re white for a reason; by not dying the socks, Arvin cuts down on lots of dye and chemical waste. Bonus: the socks are made from 52 percent upcycled cotton and 40 percent recycled polyester.
Native AP Mercury Liteknit Shoes ($ 45)
There’s no perfect all-around gym shoe, but these come pretty damn close. Thanks to a fully knit upper, they conform perfectly to your foot for support, no matter what you’re doing. Sticky rubber inserts on the toe and heel help with floor grip, and a moderately stiff sole prevents foot fatigue if you’re on the bike or elliptical. The knit structure creates lots of ventilation, so your feet never stink, and the shoes go as well with pants as they do with gym shorts.