Nike workout clothes—the athleisure pieces we recommend investing in

Nike workout clothes are a super popular choice for exercise, but are they worth the hype? We tested some of the best buys

Collage of Nike sports bra and leggings
(Image credit: Nike)
My Imperfect Life Verdict

After testing various activewear brands, Nike workout clothes came out on top as the most consistent across the board for quality, fit and technical design features.

Reasons to buy
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    Very comfortable

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    Performance-enhancing features

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    High quality

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    More expensive than some on the market

Both high-performing and stylish, Nike workout clothes are a must to check out when shopping for new exercise gear. Whether you’re a yoga bunny, HIIT hero or a running fanatic—or you love all of the above—it’s important to have quality kit that will accommodate your workout needs.

The best workout clothes offer something for everyone, regardless of intensity or skill level. Gym clothes are designed to make working out a more comfortable and pleasant experience, whatever your athletic status. 

Over the year, we've tested dozens of activewear brands and put their kit through its paces, from training tanks to joggers and various types of leggings. And while each one has unique and high-quality offerings, Nike is a household name that exercise-doers all over the world rely on for workouts or sports games.

If you’re an avid gym-goer, you likely already have some Nike apparel in your wardrobe, be it a trusty sports bra, some classic black gym leggings, or even a pair of the brand’s many running trainers. Nike is a brand trusted by actual athletes, as the garments not only make working out feel nice, they also make it easier thanks to functional elements—so much so that it's endorsed by sporting legends like Serena Williams, Simone Biles and Mo Farah.

The best Nike workout clothes, reviewed by an expert

Nike One Women's Mid-Rise Leggings

(Image credit: Nike)

1. Nike One Leggings

Nike One leggings are a great purchase choice, both for general workouts and everyday wear. They are super-stretchy so they truly deliver that "second skin" feeling that's aimed for by most pairs of leggings. Their flexible and "barely there" nature makes them perfect for a whole range of different sports and activities, whether that’s getting into different positions during yoga, pushing yourself during HIIT class, or trying to pedal to the medal on a spin bike.

Like other designs that the brand offers, these leggings also have zero transparency, which means they pass the “squat test” (testing if your underwear is visible through the garment when the fabric stretches during a squat).

Perhaps the best feature of these leggings, in our opinion (and actually Nike leggings on the whole)? How cooling they are. They’re made up of a fast-drying material that helps to get rid of sweat, and they also feature mesh panels at the back of the legs to ensure an airy workout.

2. Nike high-support sports bra

Nike Swoosh Women's High-Support Non-Padded Adjustable Sports Bra

(Image credit: Nike)

A key part of a women’s workout collection is a sports bra, but there’s no point in wearing one if it doesn't withstand impact sufficiently. Thankfully, we found that the Nike Swooshhigh-support sports bra does exactly as the name suggests—extra support during those intense exercise sessions, be they on the treadmill, during an intensive hit session, or in a dance class. But this sports bra really does.

Design-wise, the straps are adjustable, so you can tailor just how much support you want and the bra molds to your body shape beautifully—making it super comfortable to wear. And it’s not the only Nike sports bra that delivers this maximum support. The Nike Alpha high-support bra is another great choice, particularly if you have a bigger bust—which can make working out difficult at times. 

Perhaps one of the reasons for this is the fact that Nike sells sports bras in actual bra sizes, rather than just small/medium/large, which is far more ambiguous, especially as these sizes tend to vary by brand. We approve!

Nike workout clothes pricing: how much do they cost?

There’s no denying that there are cheaper options out there when it comes to activewear. However, the quality of Nike’s products—across the board—justifies spending a little more.

It’s worth pointing out that Nike prices are mid-range compared with other retailers, though they are a more affordable alternative to premium brands, such as Sweaty Betty and Lululemon. Nike gym leggings, for example, usually start from $40/£35, whereas Girlfriend Collective leggings retail around $68/£65, and Sweaty Betty and Lululemon options typically start at around $85/£70. If you want to invest a little in quality options but don't have unlimited funds, Nike is well-positioned.

Nike is more expensive than H&M, ASOS and Boux Avenue’s offerings, but the technical elements—like breathability, fast-drying fabrics, and a general lightness to the garments—make their workout gear a cut above the rest. Essentially, you’re splashing out a little more for features that aid your workout, such as compression leggings and sports bras that are actually supportive.

Quality of Nike workout clothes

Nike has been designing clothes since the 1960s, meaning they have more than 60 years of experience under their belt in the sportswear department. This really shows in terms of the products, which stand out for three key reasons: exceptional high quality, advanced technical features, and impeccable design.

Technical features of Nike workout clothes

Nike pays a lot of attention to the technical features of its clothes in order to help an individual’s performance. Several pieces in the collection employ the brand's Dri-FIT technology, a microfiber polyester fabric that moves sweat away from the body and to the fabric surface, where it evaporates. The result? Athletes are kept dry and comfortable. So whether you prefer to work out in tight or loose-fitting clothes, Nike has you covered. 

Some pieces are also made with mesh panels, either on the bottom of leggings or in the middle of sports bras, to offer additional ventilation—which is always welcome during a workout. Others, like the Victory Women’s Training leggings, are made with graduated compression that targets key muscle groups. Some leggings also offer seamless sides, which means you won't feel any fabric digging into you during a workout session. It’s little details like these that make all the difference when working out.

Fit of Nike workout clothes

This quality and dedication to detail can also be seen in the fit of the garments, too. Leggings are soft and stretchy, but are durable and thick enough so they are not transparent. 

The sports bras are supportive but mold to the shape of your body and actually stay in place during a high-impact session. Likewise, Nike tops are designed to flatter, with the option for either loose or tight-fitting clothing—whichever the individual prefers. 

Comfort of Nike workout clothes

Working out should be a pleasant experience and, as well as performing well technically, the purpose of activewear is to make an athlete feel as comfortable as possible. It’s clear that a lot of attention goes into the design of Nike’s clothes, as they are generally as comfortable as it gets—from slimline fast-drying running tights, to lightweight, airy tops and purpose-built sports bras.

In fact, Nike’s workout clothes are so comfy they aren’t just limited to the gym. With the rise of athleisure, people wear them for everyday activities and love how good they feel, even when they’re not exercising.

Are Nike workout clothes worth it?

Yes, from fashion to function, after putting them to the test, we can confidently say Nike workout clothes are worth the spends—and they're very easy to get hold of, available directly on the brand’s official website or via retailers such as ASOS, Nordstrom and Macy's.

Lizzie Thomson

Lizzie is a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist who writes for titles such as, Evening Standard, Refinery29, Woman & Home, Ideal Home and Spectator Life. You'll find her looking up new restaurants and bars on Instagram or scrolling through cute dog videos. She also loves travelling, running, cooking and cross-stitching.