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I strongly believe fun activewear will make you WANT to work out in 2024 - here are my go-to brands for sportswear

Looking for the best activewear brands for women? Combat the January blues and embrace bright colour...

fun activewear brands
Leanne Bayley
Leanne BayleyDirector of Lifestyle & Commerce
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It's the start of a brand new year, and you know what that means, don't you?! New gym kit. Well, that's what tends to happen anyway, no matter how much you try and resist. Whether you've given yourself new workout goals or you're attempting the viral 50 Days Strong social media challenge, I'm here to help you find some new activewear that will actually make you WANT to work out. But listen to me, just because it's grey outside doesn't mean you have to look dreary, too! Step away from the black, say goodbye to the grey. Let's bring some colour into our lives, and ditch the January blues. 

I'm a strong believer that colour will boost your mood, and it's easy to buy the black sports leggings with the matching black tank top and throw on a grey hoodie over the top, but life's for living - embrace colour. 

If you're looking for new sportswear for the gym or for your home workouts, or just for being a cool girl who likes functional streetwear sans exercise, we've searched for the top sportswear brands for activewear that will really help smash your goals. We're talking prints (hello leopard print!), neon, lots of colours and jazzy designs for your sportswear wardrobe. Don't be boring in 2024, take a walk on the wild side. 

Top activewear brands - at a glance

  • Top activewear brands for logo lovers: Nike, Adidas and Gymshark all feature their logos throughout their activewear.
  • Top brands for active streetwear: Red Run, Adanola and Lululemon are three of our favourite brands for looking stylish wherever and whenever.
  • Top activewear brands for affordability: Next is an affordable option, as is Marks & Spencer Good Move.
  • Top activewear brand for understated luxury: Sweaty Betty takes the crown for this one.

How we chose the best fun activewear brands

  • Quality materials: Colour aside, we have looked at the brands that take their sportswear seriously. You want your activewear to look good but you want it to last. 
  • Mix and match options: You might want to create a capsule activewear wardrobe.
  • Cool details: We wanted to feature brands that pay attention to the small details - cool pockets on leggings for your mobile phone or secret compartments for your keys. These things make a huge difference. 
  • Colour or prints: Confidence is key! We looked to the brands that balance functionality with style. 

Best activewear brands for women in 2024

  1. 1/11

    Marks & Spencer GoodMove

    M&S Cotton Rich Crew Neck Sweatshirt

    M&S GoodMove Cotton Rich Crew Neck Sweatshirt

    Editor's Note

    I love Marks & Spencer's GoodMove Collection. I wish they had more matching sets available in store, though a lot of the pieces you can mix and match with. I chose this bright strawberry coloured top because it instantly sparked joy and made me think of the sunshine. Team with the leggings the model is wearing, I love that there is a secure pocket on the side which means you can keep your phone with you.

    Why we love M&S GoodMove

    • Stylish 
    • Affordable 
    • Well made 
    • Excellent for the gym 
    • Matching items available

    M&S hero styles have been refreshed for 2024 with a bold new aesthetic, featuring graphic prints and complemented by vibrant bright accents. Within the popular GoodMove collection, you can now get reflective gym leggings made with recycled polyester, and a matching Flexifit sports bra with cross-back straps. 

  2. 2/11

    Sweaty Betty

    sweaty betty running top

    Sweaty Betty Running Top

    Editor's Note

    I would say Sweaty Betty is a trusted fitness brand - I'm a big fan. Yes, it's considered to be quite expensive but if you're really into your activewear, it's a great brand to shop with and I think the staff are next level in store. I really love this lightning blue running top. Forget having the January blues, wear them instead. 

    Why we love Sweaty Betty

    • Well made 
    • Stylish 
    • Use of Power Fabrics
    • Brilliant staff
    • Matching items available

    You can always count on Sweaty Betty for some fun activewear - no matter what exercise you favour the most. From yoga to pilates, running or even skiing. If you weren't already sold on the soft, sculpting fabric and vibrant colour, the leggings have a medium rise with a smooth ‘stay-put’ waistband.

  3. 3/11

    Red Run Activewear

    Red Run crew sweatshirt

    Red Run Crew Sweatshirt

    Editor's Note

    Red Run is more than just a go-to for a gym outfit, this is the active streetwear you need in your wardrobe. You know the score - the kind of outfit that you can wear daily and feel stylish and comfortable in, and if you suddenly want to do a quick pilates class, you're already kitted out. I think the crew sweatshirts are perfect - they're not too hot and not too cold. I'll be opting for this 'blue horizon' shade. 

    Why we love Red Run

    • Stylish 
    • Comfortable 
    • Well made 
    • Flattering
    • Affordable 
    • Matching items available

    UK based brand Red Run design their sportswear to be so stylish and flattering you could wear it out to brunch after your workout. The collection is designed to show power and strength, be comfortable and fit well, to enhance those body parts you’ve worked hard on or help pull you in on those days that you need that extra bit of confidence. The luxurious, thick, breathable fabrics ensure your body stays cool whilst you train retaining your energy.  

  4. 4/11

    Lululemon Activewear

    Lululemon charge 2

    Lululemon Chargefeel 2 Women's Workout Shoe

    Editor's Note

    My new obsession with Lululemon is next level - the Aligne leggings (yes, the one Meghan Markle loves) are my number one buy. You just can't beat them! But if you're looking for a bit of fun for your workout wardrobe, the Chargefeel 2 workout shoes are brilliant and I haven't stopped wearing mine. I wrote a review about them as Princess Kate loves her's too. I am extremely tempted by the green colourway. 

    Why we love Lululemon

    • Stylish 
    • Comfortable 
    • Well made 
    • Responsibly sourced.

    Lululemon is a popular choice with women all over the world. Whether you're after a pair of leggings or a sports bra, the popular Wunderpuff puffer coat or sports shoes. 

  5. 5/11

    Nike Women Activewear

    nike pink outfit

    Nike Universa

    Editor's Note

    Nike is a firm favourite when I'm shopping for new activewear. The website is easy to use and there are plenty of options and new products drop daily. I'm drawn to this pink outfit for my New Year fitness goals. 

    Why we love Nike

    • Comfortable 
    • Well made 
    • Stylish 
    • Brand power

    There's no denying that Nike is the power player for fun activewear. If you're looking for bright colours, Nike's definitely up there. Within the womenswear collections this year, we're seeing even more brights - and we're obsessed with the pink pieces within the range. 

  6. 6/11

    Adidas Activewear

    Adidas sports bra

    Adidas Training Bra

    Editor's Note

    Adidas stocks lots of mix and match items on the website, and I love that. There are also lots of trendy colours to choose from and cool accessories to match with. I am obsessed with this green techfit sports bra

    Why we love Adidas

    • Style 
    • Comfort
    • Well made
    • Brand power
    • Matching pieces

    Adidas has everything you need for quality activewear. Whether you're after performance technology for high energy workouts, or whether you're after comfort for those relaxed recovery days.

  7. 7/11

    Ayda Activewear

    Ayda Activewear

    Ayda Mr Showbiz Tank Top

    Editor's Pick

    The cut of the wine coloured Mr. Showbiz tank top is designed for all shapes and sizes, keeping your girls in tight, whatever the activity. There's a real LA vibe to the brand which is probably why I love it so much. 

    Why we love Ayda Activewear

    • Stylish 
    • Comfortable 
    • Well made 
    • Flattering
    • Affordable 
    • Matching items available

    Ayda Williams (the wife of Robbie Williams for those of you who don't know) is the brains behind Ayda and if you follow her on Instagram you'll know that fitness is her passion. Her brand is described as "luxury activewear" and caters for those who like looking cool while working out. 

  8. 8/11

    NEXT Active

    Next leopard print leggings

    Next Active Longline Overhead Hoodie

    Editor's Note

    Animal print is a great way to add a little style to your workwear wardrobe. These fleece-lined leggings will look great worn with your favourite tank top. 

    Why we love Next Active

    • Affordable 
    • Well made 
    • Stylish
    • Speedy delivery

    Next has always been a high street power player when it comes to activewear. Designed for all types of fitness, the Denise Lewis collection features extra stretch and don't worry about breaking a sweat – the moisture-wicking fabric in a lot of their products will keep you cool and comfortable. 

  9. 9/11

    Gymshark Activewear

    gymshark socks

    Gymshark Crew Socks

    Editor's Note

    How much am I loving this these colourful socks for training in?! If you're too afraid to step outside of your comfort zone with black, try adding in small accessories instead. You could go for socks or a cap or even a bright coloured AppleWatch strap. 

    Why we love Gymshark

    • Well made 
    • Stylish 
    • Logo is instantly recognisable
    • Matching items available

    Gymshark really does cater to gym bunnies and the pieces are targeted towards young women who want to look cool in the gym but wear clothes made for training. 

  10. 10/11

    Peloton Apparel Activewear

    peloton apparel

    Peloton Cadent Strappy Elevate Thin Band Bra

    Editor's Note

    I love my Peloton so of course I'm a little bit obsessed with the Peloton Apparel line. I love how the instructors model the collection and although the collections are small, they're mighty. Choose from cool leggings, bra tops, tees, tank top and hoodies. You can also buy accessories online as well. This bright coloured high-neck strappy top gets my vote - and it's on sale. 

    Why we love Peloton Apparel

    • Style
    • Comfort
    • Brand power
    • Inclusive options

    When Peloton launched an apparel line, you just knew we were in for a great ride - no pun intended. The collection has everything you need for quality activewear. Whether you're after performance technology for high energy Peloton bike rides, or whether you're after comfort for those relaxed recovery rides. 

  11. 11/11

    ASOS Activewear

    nike trainers from asos

    Nike Running React Pegasus Trail 4 Trainers

    Editor's Note

    Whether you’re gaining, training or exploring the great outdoors, ASOS is a quick and easy way to shop a lot of different sportswear brands. I tend to find myself on the sports trainers page, and this time I've gravitated towards these Nike Running React Pegasus Trail 4 sneaks with hot pink laces.

    Why we love ASOS Activewear

    • Stylish 
    • Affordable 
    • Speedy delivery
    • Mix and match options

    ASOS is no doubt your home for activewear as it stocks up so many sportswear brands; from Nike to Adidas, Reebok and more. It even has its own brand called ASOS 4505 and it has excellent options for your performance wardrobe. Scroll leggings, shorts and joggers in a range of fits and performance fabrics to help you focus on leg day – or shop T-shirts, vests and sports bras to give your upper body a boost. Sporting a rest day? Check out comfy-cool sweatshirts and hoodies for streetwear-inspired activewear.

Scroll down for top tips on what to look for when shopping for activewear. We reached out to the ultimate expert - Megan Kimmance, Red Run Co-Founder & Creative Director, who gave us her top tips.

4 tips on what to look for when choosing activewear

1. Quality

Pay attention to materials: From sustainable fabrics to BCI cottons and recycled tensile fabrics and high-quality polymede, and sweat wicking fabric.

Megan Kimmance said: "For me personally, when designing Red Run collections - quality takes priority and is something I am not willing to compromise on. This is what I personally look for when buying activewear, as without quality, you can't expect a product to last - especially when putting the fabrics under pressure." 

2. Fit

Fit is incredibly important as everyone wants to not only feel good when working out but also look good. 

Megan agrees, saying: "Our Red Run compression leggings are engineered to provide the ultimate comfort and feature a thick, high-quality fabric that pulls you in which is lightweight enough to be comfortable." 

3. Interchangeability 

Activewear can be expensive - especially if you're wearing it every day - so an interchangeable wardrobe is key. 

"I design each Red Run collection with an interchangeable aesthetic, meaning you don't have to buy the entire collection in order to style it and create a multitude of looks," Megan said. 

4. Functionality 

Activewear should work with your lifestyle. Look out for clever functions that will make your life that little bit easier. 

Megan said: "Each collection is not just designed for working out - they have a fashion forward aesthetic and can be worn whenever - where ever. I always include clever functions within garments such as a convenient & discreet back pocket in the leggings for your phone/keys when running as well shoulder straps built into jackets that mean you don't have to take it off when you get too hot but can instead be hung as a backpack for accessibility."

Meet the expert: Megan Kimmace 

red run founder Megan Kimmace
Megan Kimmace - the founder of Red Run

Megan Kimmance is the founder of Red Run. She's a UCLAN fashion design graduate & Graduate Fashion Week finalist. After years of working in fashion design, commercial & wholesale distribution roles for brands such as Vivienne Westwood and KTZ, she set out to fill the gap in the emerging activewear market to blend performance wear with trend-led fashion.

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