Here at Amodrn, we’ll use any excuse to stock up on new activewear. That said, we also have our old faithfuls that we just don’t want to let go of — like that ill-fitting but cute sports bra you’ve had like, forever or those horribly see-through but super comfy workout tights that you refuse to say goodbye to.
But sadly, all activewear has an expiry date. Here’s how long they last, how to know when it’s time to toss and how to expand their lifespan.
The average lifespan of a sports bra is around 6 months to 1 year. According to Jenny Altman, style and fit expert at ILOVEAGOOD.com, you know it’s time to toss it if it no longer fits properly, rides up, has misshapen clasps or is faded or fraying. To help make yours last longer, always put it in a delicates bag when putting in the washing machine, avoid putting it in the dryer and never let it sit around unwashed, as the sweat and deodorant build-up can wear down the fibres. Cosmopolitan recommends bringing it in with you for your post-workout shower, lathering it up with body wash and letting it air dry.
Nobody likes a pair of leggings that are so faded and stretched that they go see-through when you squat. But how long do they actually take to get to that point? It really depends on the make and brand, but it can be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (although, if they’re really high quality and you take good care of them, they can last pretty much forever!) Shape.com notes that compression leggings tend to get worn out more quickly, as the elastic fibres are constantly stretched when worn.
To hold onto your leggings for longer, Jenny Altman recommends opting for ones that contain spandex and more nylon than cotton (as the latter stretches more than technical fabrics and sops up sweat and causes fabric to break down more quickly.) It’s also a good idea to wash your leggings in cold water, air-dry them instead of putting them in the dryer and let them breathe for a day between wash and wear.
According to Clara Kerley, ASICS America footwear product specialist, most running sneakers are designed to last between 500 to 800 km. So, how long they last would depend on the quality of the shoe and how often you’re pounding the pavement.
But whether you’re a runner or prefer a different workout style, there are a few telltale signs that it’s time to replace your training shoes: when the rubber tread on the bottom of the shoe is worn down to the foam, the foam on the side of the sole looks wrinkled, your shoes ‘lean’ to one side when sitting on a flat surface, there are holes in the upper part or toes, the part of the shoe that hugs the heel looks misshapen or you’re experience any foot pain.
To expand their lifespan, make sure you place them in a wash bag if you put them in the washing machine and never put them in the dryer.
Compared to the other items on this list, you can get away with a lot more when it comes to your training top. Unless it’s a sweat-wicking or compression top or has in-built support, all that matters really is that it fits and is comfortable (as your sport bra is doing most of the heavy lifting, so to speak).
However, if it’s starting to smell or get gross sweat stains, it’s probably time to toss it. To avoid this happening, Jenny Altman recommends going for darker tops and washing it quickly rather than letting it sit in your wardrobe dirty for days, as the residue can cause damage and discolouration. Ready to stock up up on new workout gear? These are the eco-friendly activewear brands we’re obsessed with at the moment.