17 Jan High Street or High End?
Its January and unless you’ve been living under a rock you may of seen the shops go from glitter New Years Eve dresses to bight work out leggings. It thats time of year for everyone to jump on the healthy band wagon, and there’s nothing wrong with leaping on board. It may seem cliche to have a health kick in January, but it seems like a really good time to start something. Nothing happens in January, no meals with friends, no drinks after work nothing. So seize the opportunity of the quiet when all temptation is gone and you have no excuses because you literally have nothing else to do to get healthy, get fit and maybe a bit of a body detox.
So you’ve decided to jump on this band wagon, you’ve grabbed yourself a front seat but where do you buy your gym stuff? The price ranges are so different does that mean the quality is different? When I first started running no high street shops did gym clothing, the only place to get reasonably priced gym stuff was TK-Maxx. This was fine I got the basics and at the end of the day I wasn’t clocking up enough miles for it really to matter. I used to wear H&M basics cotton t-shirts in a size up so they would be baggy and a Holister hoodie that I just happened to have. I had no idea about breathable fabrics or compression leggings and I seemed to run just fine. As I got more serious and realised for me running wasn’t a passing fad, I started to update my running wardrobe. My new obsession became Sweaty Betty, the brochures are beautiful and I fell
hook line and sinker for their advertising. Although a pair of basic leggings can set you back £60 and up to £95 for special 10K running leggings (I have no idea what makes them that special). So slowly over time and mostly in the sale I bought more and more high end items. I felt I was buying pieces that would last, they fitted well and the fabrics are always so soft. Over time I found some pieces just didn’t last, my husband bought me a top for £80 and it lasted about a month before it literally started falling apart, actually coming apart. The pocket at the back had just been glued on an it was coming off leaving a hole in the top and it didn’t keep its shape well. Other tops I bought have gone bobberly and stretched badly, this is not what I ex
pected with the amount I spent. So I started to look else So where for my running stuff, and I found H&M had started an “active” range. The tops started at £7.99 and they came in so many amazing colours and prints, I instantly feel in love and bought a couple, this was about 2 years ago and these tops are still going strong. They wash so well, keep their bright colours and stay in shape you cant get better for the money.
So although I converted when it came to tops, I still spent money on sports bras and leggings. I heard horror stories about leggings going see through and just thought I was safer with the more expensive brands. Marks and spencer have bought out a brilliant range of sports bras, they must do about 10 different ones, covering all impact levels and shapes and sizes and all under £25 brilliant value. I always bought shock absorber bras but recently found for the money I wasn’t getting the standard I wanted to I switched to M&S and haven’t been disappointed yet.
Yesterday I was walking past New Look and saw a lovely range of gym wear so intrigued I went inside. The range was much larger then I expected and the materials seemed so soft. All the leggings seemed to be
£17.99 and they had some great prints, I couldn’t resist a pair of black leggings printed with purple and silver.
I went for a 10 mile run last night and thought this was the ultimate test for a cheaper pair of leggings. It was cold and a long run, if these leggings had faults this run would find them. They seemed to fit very well with a large waist band that stayed put and seemed to sit in the right place. They have a little inside pouch on the inside at the front, which seemed to turn inside out very easily so I didn’t use it, who knows where your key would end up! It was one of the coldest runs ever…. but
the leggings seemed to do well, they didn’t fall down and didn’t bunch in inappropriate places and as far as I could tell they weren’t see through. So I am well and truly converted when it comes to high street, I don’t see what £95 leggings can offer me that £17.99 didn’t on my long run. The nice thing about high street is the choice, its vast and they seem more daring in the prints they use. Also as I paid less I don’t really think it matters if they don’t last forever, I do love buying new workout stuff and this means I don’t have to keep one pair of leggings for 3 years.
I should note that one thing I would never cheap out on is trainers, your feet are going to take a pounding and need all the support you can give them, so buy the best you can afford. A good pair of trainers can help prevent injury, and will last a long time, its worth it.