Women’s Activewear Guide

The right activewear is key to a good workout. This activewear buying guide outlines figure-flattering options for your exercise of choice.

Women’s Activewear 101

Lightweight, breathable, supportive and fashionable; activewear is designed to make you feel comfortable and confident while you exercise. Women’s sportswear options are vast and varied, with different styles and fabrics to suit different sports or activities throughout the year. The thermal qualities in seasonal activewear keep you warm on winter runs and cool in the summer. Activewear innovations like moisture-wicking fabric help prevent overheating and can help make exercise more enjoyable. Your activewear wardrobe is about style, too. Women’s sportswear that flatters your figure will make you feel good, look great and eager to go that extra mile to meet your fitness goals.

Types of Women’s Activewear


Women’s Active Shorts

Women’s activewear shorts are sleek, lightweight and ideal for working out in the summer heat or indoor clubs because their trim design will keep you cool. They come in different fits to suit different activities. Yoga shorts are fitted so they don’t slip or slide as you hit your yoga poses. Bike shorts are also form-fitting with additional padding in the rear to relieve pressure on long rides. Running shorts are also a good choice for many cardio activities because of their relaxed fit that allows freer movement. 

Women’s Active Pants

Like activewear shorts, women’s activewear pants come in different, sport-specific styles. Yoga pants are body-hugging to stay up as you move through your yoga session. Full-length workout pants provide more coverage and keep you warm in cold weather or during low-impact workouts. Cropped activewear bottoms like yoga capris have a hem that sits at the knee, and are perfect for fast-paced cardio sessions since their shorter length won’t trip you up. For active bottoms that are perfect for running, choose skinny pants because the streamlined and lightweight fit won’t get in your way as you move. 

Women’s Active Tops

Activewear t-shirts and tank tops may come in the same styles as regular tees and tanks, but with extra features like added chest support or wicking fabric to keep you cool, dry and comfortable as you exercise. Active tops also tend to be made from flexible fabrics that hug the body so your shirt fits snugly as you move. V-neck or crew neck, short or long-sleeved, with graphic prints and bold colours, active tops are varied enough that you can pick a design that reflects your style and personality. 

Sports Bras

Vigorous exercise calls for comfortable and supportive undergarments. Sports bras are made from polycotton fabrics with spandex for a body-hugging fit to provide the support you need during high-impact exercise. Sports bras have thicker straps for more restraint than everyday bras. Since they lack underwire or hooks, sports bras also fit more smoothly under activewear tops and provide more comfort than traditional bras.  

Women’s Athletic Shoes

Be sure to choose athletic shoes designed for your sport or activity to ensure a comfortable fit, maximum protection and durability. There are women’s athletic shoes designed for all types of exercise including running, cycling, and aerobics. Athletic court shoes and cross-trainers are versatile enough for light running and cardio workouts. Choose athletic shoes with vented uppers and rubber or composite soles for traction and safety. Women’s athletic shoes come in a variety of patterns and styles so you can add a bit of flair to your activewear outfit. 


Activewear coverups such as track jackets and running jackets come in vibrant colours and make a functional and stylish addition to your exercise wardrobe. Activewear coverups often feature pockets for storing essential items when you’re on your way to the gym or out for a run. Since they are designed to be light and loose, activewear coverups can also be worn as an extra workout layer because they won’t add bulk or resistance. Track jackets and running jackets can be fleece-lined for the fall and winter or unlined shells in milder weather.


If you’re often active outdoors or have sun-sensitive skin, consider getting a sunguard. Sunguards have a high neckline, long or short sleeves and are made of protective fabric that prevents sun and UV damage to your skin. Even a long-sleeved sunguard is light and comfortable enough to allow freedom of movement and vent body heat during your workout. 

Women’s Activewear Buying Tips:

• Choose activewear designed for the exercise for maximum comfort and safety
• Measure yourself and use a size guide to ensure proper fit
• Buy activewear tops and bottoms suitable for the season
• Be aware of fabric options to choose the most functional and comfortable clothing
• Consider buying multiple pairs of activewear tops and bottoms so you can rotate your fitness wardrobe

Women’s Activewear Features

Activewear Fit +

Women’s activewear can fit loosely or be snug against the body, and the fit you choose depends on the type of workout. More fitted women’s activewear is good for yoga, running, cardio or any other exercise where you don’t want excess material getting in your way. Looser-fitting clothes are good for warming up, cooling down or for low-impact exercise.

Seasonal Activewear +

It’s important to wear workout gear that’s appropriate to the season so you stay comfortable and regulate your temperature. Active tops, active bottoms and coverups come lined with fleece for the winter to keep your body warm without adding bulk. Women’s summer activewear features breathable mesh or moisture-wicking fabrics for quicker cool-downs after a hot weather workout.

Moisture Wicking Fabrics +

Most often used for active tops, moisture wicking fabrics draw moisture away from your body to keep you cool, comfortable and dry during exercise. The fabric works by pulling moisture to the fabric surface where it evaporates so your clothes don’t trap heat and sweat against your skin while you’re burning calories.

Activewear Accents +

Women’s activewear also features functional accents to keep you prepared and ready for a workout in any situation. Activewear coverups and active bottoms come with pockets to hold your keys, your gym pass, a music player or anything else you’d like to have on hand while you exercise. Women’s activewear tops and coverups can also feature hoods to protect against the elements if you exercise outside. Zippers can add stylish detail to your active tops and coverups. They fasten snugly when you’re chilled and allow heat to escape during cool-down.

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Activewear Care Tips:

• Hand wash delicates
• Wash in warm water to prevent bacteria build up
• Separate bright colours and patterns from whites
• Hang clothes to dry to avoid shrinking
• Do not dry clean unless label instructs otherwise
• Iron as needed
• Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for care and cleaning

Best Activewear for Your Body Type

Like everyday clothes, women’s activewear comes in different styles to complement every woman’s shape and body type. If you have a pear-shaped body, choose bright activewear tops to draw attention upwards, and flared active bottoms in solid colours to balance and lengthen your shape. Straight bodies can add curves to their figure with activewear tops that have gathered or ruched sides and active bottoms with contrasting colour side panels. Women’s activewear tops that sit below the natural waistline with ties that cinch paired with fitted yoga capris are a great choice if you have an apple-shaped body, since this combo hides your tummy and shows off your toned legs. If you have an hourglass figure, fitted v-neck or scoop neck activewear tees and tanks that have designs that cross at the midsection highlight your trim waist and curves. Avoid loose-fitting activewear in general as it adds bulk and can exaggerate your size. 
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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