People always point to running as the perfect budget exercise—as long as you’ve got a decent pair of shoes, you don’t really have to spend much money on anything else to get started. Which is true . . . except that you could easily spend a small fortune on your running wardrobe. $50 for a tank top? Yeah . . . not gonna happen.
I have the same general attitude toward running clothes as I do toward beauty products (and, I suppose, toward almost everything): as long as I don’t know what I’m missing out on, I’ll be content with my budget stuff. Maybe someday, if I’ve got money just burning a hole in my pocket, I’ll be more willing to dish out for higher quality, pricier stuff. I don’t doubt that it’s better.
But for now, my budget-friendly running clothes suit me just fine. Almost all of my running wardrobe is from Walmart and Ross, and I’ve been perfectly happy with it so far.
Here are 5 of my favorite affordable running items (I own and regularly use all but #3, which I tossed in because I’m hoping to buy it soon):
1. Avia Scrunch Back Tank – It is breaking my heart that I can’t find my #1 favorite running tank anywhere online(also made by Avia), but this one comes in at a very close second. I learned quickly that I hate running in snug-fitting tops (especially tanks with a built-in bra—the worst!), and I prefer my tops to be loose-fitting and very lightweight. This tank fits the bill perfectly, and comes in plenty of cute colors (I own it in lime green). The only reason it is my second favorite running top is because after months of runs and trips through the washing machine, the hem is just barely starting to bunch up a bit. Not a big deal at all and it has absolutely been worth the (very low!) price, but my other Avia tank hasn’t had that issue, so it’s my #1.
2. Danskin Now Running Shorts – These give me everything I want from a running short. At under $8, the price is absolutely right. They are super comfortable, I’ve never had any chafing issues while wearing them on runs, they’re lightweight and breathable, and come in a great variety of colors. I own two pairs.
3. Free Spirit Tie Dye Capri – This item is the only one I don’t currently own. I’d like to get a second pair of capris soon—I love the fun print on this one, and it could be paired with any color top so I know it would get a lot of use. I may need to swing by TJ Maxx this week to see if I can find this pair.
4. Danskin Now Textured Jacket – Jeff bought this jacket for me, and I’ll admit, it took a few runs for me to warm up to it. I already owned a different jacket which I liked, and I didn’t think I would use this one as much. But after a few runs in it, it easily won me over. I love that it’s a bit looser-fitting than my previous jacket, and the double layer of mesh material makes it warm but breathable. My only complaint is that the thumb holes (which I think are an awesome feature!) aren’t usable at all, since the sleeve hasn’t been lengthened to allow it to comfortably reach my thumbs.
5. Betsey Johnson Floral Leggings – I’m including these on this list with reservations. If you click that link to purchase them, you’ll see that they are $54, which I would not consider a budget-friendly price. But since I bought my pair at Ross for $20, I suppose they make the budget-friendly cut. I own another pair of running leggings that I thought were great until I bought this pair, which blow pair #1 out of the water. The fit is fantastic, the material is the perfect blend of firm/supportive without being constricting, and the print—my gosh. Polka dot AND floral?! Be still, my pattern-loving heart. If you have $54 to toss at a pair of leggings, by all means, go for it! But if you’re more in my budget range, maybe keep an eye out on ebay and at places like Ross or Marshalls or TJ Maxx for something similar.