These gym clothes will help you build the best badminton outfit

Make sure you serve on and off the court.

A man with his back towards the camera playing badminton, wearing the best badminton outfit

by Gemma Lavers |
Updated on

You might think you're prepared for a game of badminton, you've got your racquet, shuttlecock, but what do you wear? Let's be honest, strutting onto the court with mismatched socks and an oversized t-shirt doesn't exactly scream 'I'm here to win.' Instead, you want to be wearing the best badminton outfit on (and off) the court.

Must-have pieces for the best badminton outfit at a glance

• Best men's badminton shorts: Adidas Train Essentials Woven Training Shorts - View on Adidas
• Best women's badminton shorts: Sweaty Betty Relay Shell Shorts - View on Sweaty Betty
• Best men's badminton jacket: Under Armour Challenger III Jacket - View on Amazon
• Best women's badminton jacket: Gymshark Sweat Seamless Zip Up Jacket - View on Gymshark

Wearing the best gym clothes for a game of badminton isn't just about looking the part. It's about optimising your performance and actually enjoying the experience on the court. Trying to execute a lightning-fast smash in restrictive clothing or battling against the heat in garments that trap sweat like a sauna isn't going to cut it.

Instead, opt for moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you cool and specifically designed sportswear to give you better freedom of movement.

Beyond pure functionality, wearing the appropriate badminton attire shows respect for the sport, along with your fellow players (as well as signalling to them they're about to lose). So, your badminton outfit is more than just a fashion statement, it's actually a strategic asset...

SHOP: The best badminton outfit essentials

Please note: All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Badminton shorts

Often made from lightweight and breathable materials, gym shorts are made to provide unrestricted movement. And, with features like moisture-wicking technology and strategic ventilation, badminton shorts keep players cool and comfortable even in the heat of intense rallies.

Best men's badminton shorts

Made from a lightweight woven fabric, these Training shorts are your trusty companion for conquering the court. Whether you're in the middle of an intense rally or just gliding gracefully for a drop-shot, these shorts move with you. The best part? The shorts have two front zippered pockets for all your essentials (or shuttlecocks).

Pros

  • Front zip pockets
  • Elastic waist with inner drawcord
  • Made from a lightweight woven fabric

Cons

  • These shorts come up big

Best women's badminton shorts

Sweaty Betty Relay Shell ShortsSweaty Betty

The Sweaty Betty Shell shorts make them a great choice for badminton because they're made from a lightweight and sweat-wicking fabric. This means you can dart across the court with ease. Other great features include an elasticated waistband, multitude of pockets and a reflective Sweaty Betty logo on the leg. But beware, these shorts are unlined, which is a style that's not for everyone.

Pros

  • Made from a lightweight and sweat-wicking fabric
  • Zip pocket at the back and two side pockets
  • Reflective logo detailing

Cons

  • Occasionally ride up

Badminton jackets

Wearing a jacket or hoodie to your badminton match will give you that pre and post-game warmth you might be looking for. They're also great to have with you as a versatile layering option, so you can adjust your clothing according to the changing temperatures throughout the match. As we all know, once you get past your warm-up session, you'll probably have to put your badminton jacket to the side.

Best men's badminton jacket

For those moments when you need a little extra warmth, the Under Armour jacket is here. Crafted from a durable knit with a smooth face and soft inner, the jacket will wick away any sweat and dry quickly. It's also super on-trend with the bomber jacket design and raglan sleeves. The best part? The secure zip hand pockets to store your keys, phone and small wallet.

Pros

  • High-tech material that wicks sweat away from the body
  • Bomber jacket style
  • Secure zip-hand pockets

Cons

  • Only available in black or dark colours

Best women's badminton jacket

Gymshark Sweat Seamless Zip Up JacketGymshark

A great dupe of the Lululemon viral jacket is Gymshark's Sweat Seamless jacket. As part of their SWEAT collection, they've created a zip up jacket made out of DYNMC fabric, made to improve breathability and keep you cool at all times. This chic jacket also boasts a flattering high neck, full zip, and of course, the Gymshark logo.

Pros

  • Full zip
  • High neck design
  • Made from a cool DYNMC fabric that's powered by Sensil Nylon 66

Cons

  • For a slimmer fit, it's a good idea to size down

Badminton tops

The right sports top for badminton will help you to keep cool, and most importantly, dry. Even during the most sweat-inducing matches, a gym top will wick away moisture and provide essential ventilation. A heavy, cotton t-shirt will be doing you no favours...

Best men's badminton top

Adidas Adizero Running T-ShirtAdidas
Price: £49.50 (was £55)

www.adidas.co.uk

If you're looking for a go-to t-shirt to wear to your badminton classes, practice or tournament, this Adidas one is a great choice. With its featherlight fabric you won't have to worry about being weighed down by your top, and its HEAT.RDY material maximises airflow. Also, say goodbye to underarm odours, as this t-shirt has strategically placed panels that help to increase ventilation, reduce chafing and stop friction.

Pros

  • Tape over abrasion points
  • Friction-reducing underarm panel
  • Super-lightweight fabric for maximum breathability

Cons

  • Better for summer or particularly sweaty workouts

Best women's badminton top

This Nike Park VII t-shirt is a great option for badminton because of its mesh back panel and Dri-FIT technology - there for breathability and to keep you cool. Even if you're in the middle of the most intense rally, you'll find yourself still feel cool, calm (and hopefully collected). This top also features a slim fit to hug you in all the right places and is available in 10 vibrant colours, from white to blue to red.

Pros

  • Mesh panels on the back for breathability
  • Slim fit for a tailored feel
  • Dri-FIT technology helps keep you dry and comfortable

Cons

  • Some reviewers say the white shirt is a little see-through

Badminton leggings

If you don't want to wear a pair of shorts to play badminton, leggings are a great alternative. With their form-fitting design and stretchy fabric, leggings offer a snug fit that allows you to move with ease. Plus, wearing a pair of skin-tight leggings removes any risk of fabric getting caught on equipment or your movement being hindered - giving you the agility you need to deliver those winning shots.

Best women's badminton leggings on Amazon

ColorfulKoala Women's Dreamlux High Waisted Workout LeggingsAmazon
Price: $34.00

Prepare to be amazed if you haven't discovered ColorfulKoala yet. Their leggings are a game-changer, competing with industry giants like Lululemon and Nike. Made from the luxurious Dreamlux fabric, these leggings offer unparalleled softness coupled with just the right amount of stretch, courtesy of Lycra infusion. Plus, with a seamless high-rise waistband and thick material, you won't have to worry about unsightly knicker lines mid-match.

Pros

  • Dreamlux fabric promises to be 'so soft like butter'
  • High-rise seamless waistband
  • Made of a sweat-wicking fabric (and Lycra) that dries quickly

Cons

  • Better for light exercise

Best women's badminton leggings with pockets

Nike Go Women's Firm-Support Mid-Rise Full-Length Leggings With PocketsNike
Price: £89.99 (was £99.99)

www.nike.com

Look no further for premium badminton leggings than these from Nike. With an exceptional six-pocket design, the Nike Go leggings boast two angled pockets on each side, three convenient drop-in pockets, and a secure zip pocket. In addition, Nike doesn't compromise on style or functionality, incorporating flattering features like an extra-wide waistband and InfinaLock compressive fabric, guaranteeing both a sleek appearance and unmatched comfort during your games.

Pros

  • Features a whopping six pockets; two angled, two side pockets, three drop-in pockets and a zip pocket
  • Dri-FIT technology moves sweat away from your skin for quicker evaporation
  • Extra wide waistband to reduce rolling, pinching and sliding

Cons

  • The firm-support and compression might be too much for some

Badminton shoes

Just like choosing the right shoes for any type of workout - whether that be for HIIT or running, having the right pair of badminton shoes in your arsenal is essential. The best pairs of badminton shoes will offer you agility like no other, from lightweight designs to advanced cushioning technologies. Most importantly, they'll protect your feet during training and matches.

Best men's badminton shoes

ASICS Upcourt 5 Men's Indoor Sport ShoesASICS

Step onto the court with confidence in the ASICS Upcourt 5, a pair of badminton shoes engineered not just for play, but for triumph. ASICS, renowned for its commitment to athletic prowess, presents the Upcourt 5, blending style, performance, and comfort seamlessly. These badminton marvels feature a non-marking rubber gum outsole, durable toe and heel counter, and supportive midfoot panels. This guarantees the grip needed for lightning-fast manoeuvres.

Pros

  • Breathable mesh underlays with supportive midfoot panels
  • Durable toe and heel counter
  • Simplistic but aesthetic design

Cons

  • Not the best grip

Best unisex badminton shoes

The Adidas Ligra indoor shoes are engineered with a breathable mesh upper to ensure optimal airflow to keep your feet dry. The EVA midsole delivers cushioned support, enabling swift cuts and agile moves with confidence and speed. But, what sets the Adidas Ligra 7 apart is its commitment to sustainability, incorporating recycled materials throughout, with the upper composed of at least 50% recycled content.

Pros

  • Non-marking Adiwear outsole with 360-degree grip pattern
  • Upper contains a minimum of 50% recycled content
  • Abrasion-resistant synthetic leather toe

Cons

  • May come up a little small

Badminton dress

Unlike most athleisurewear, a badminton dress offers the ultimate flexibility. We're not saying you should immediately don a dress and try to do the splits. But, the snug silhouette of a dress will help to minimise any distractions and might even streamline you. That's why it's the go-to for similar racquet sports, like tennis.

Best women's badminton dress

Alo Yoga Charmed Tennis DressAlo Yoga

The Alo Yoga Charmed dress is perfect if you want to stand out on the court - it screams elegant athleticism. It has a preppy look with its polo collar, relaxed fit and button-up neck, which is super flattering and makes for a look that you can take on and off the court. The Airbrush fabric is also there to flatter - offering comfortably compressive performance support. If you want to hit the court in something a little more chic than shorts and a tank top, a dress like this one could be the way to go.

Pros

  • On-trend design
  • Button-up neck with collar
  • Made from medium-compression Airbrush performance fabric

Cons

  • Designed without built-in shorts

Best women's badminton dress on Amazon

The Polo dress has a streamlined design that accentuates your silhouette, all while flattering your figure in ultimate comfort. With its classic pique style and ribbed collar, this dress (much like the Alo Yoga one) screams elegance. It also has a convenient 1/4 zipper for adjustable ventilation and easy on and off. If you like the design of the Alo Yoga dress but don't want to pay the Alo Yoga price, this Polo dress on Amazon is a great budget choice.

Pros

  • Streamline design
  • Premium cotton blend fabric is soft, breathable and comfortable
  • Flattering above-the-knee length

Cons

  • No pockets

Badminton bag

A good badminton bag offers organisation and protection for all your essentials, including your racquets, shuttlecocks and shoes. With designated compartments and pockets, it helps you to make sure that your equipment stays safe and secure, and reduces the risk of damage or loss. Even if you're a casual badminton player, it's a good idea to invest in a quality bag to hold your belongings, as this will help you become more prepared for the match in general.

Best badminton bag

Raquex Bag For Tennis, Badminton and SquashAmazon
Price: $49.99

The Raquex bag boasts ample storage, featuring two primary compartments capable of accommodating up to six racquets alongside an additional front pocket designed for small accessories. It cleverly incorporates a separate trainer/shoe compartment beneath the main pocket, allowing you to stow away your shoes post-workout. Not only does this prevent your entire bag from taking on the scent of sweaty shoes, but it also safeguards your belongings from potential dirt and grime.

Pros

  • Features an additional trainer/shoe compartment underneath to keep them separate from your other gear
  • Removable padded shoulder strap
  • Space for up to six racquets (without shoe compartment in use)

Cons

  • Shoe compartment may not be suitable for shoes over size 11

Badminton outfit styling guide and FAQs

Do you have to wear gym clothes to play badminton?

Technically you don't have to wear specific gym clothes to play badminton. So long as you have your badminton racquet, you're all set. But, choosing athleisurewear designed for badminton does have advantages. Gym clothes are made from the type of material you'd want to play a game of badminton in; they're sweat-wicking, breathable and lightweight. Additionally, they'll offer you the freedom you need to smash hits and beat your opponent.

If you don't have any specialised gym clothes and you do want to play badminton it's not the end of the world, but gym clothes might just help you improve your performance more than you think.

An example badminton outfit for men, including shorts, top, jacket and trainers
Look the part with a men's badminton outfit just like this one. ©Adidas, ASICS, Under Armour, What's The Best/Gemma Lavers

What shoes are not allowed in badminton?

There isn't a set list of shoes that aren't allowed in badminton. Saying that, there are a few types of trainer that aren't suitable. High-heeled shoes, for instance, are an obvious no-go, as they lack in stability and grip. In addition, shoes with heavy treads that are designed for hiking or trail running again aren't the best as they can easily slip on indoor courts. Also, football trainers with metal spikes are of course not permitted. This is because the spikes damage the court and pose a safety hazard.

Instead, look for trainers that are labelled with 'indoor' or 'non-marking' to ensure you're investing in a pair of badminton shoes that will help you, not hinder you.

Is there a uniform for badminton?

No, badminton isn't a sport that requires a uniform. Yes, there are certain things you should and shouldn't wear when hitting the court, but there is no official rule. Some clubs might have a list of things to wear, but the emphasis should always be on wearing a pair of comfortable badminton trainers and breathable attire.

A example badminton outfit for women, including trainers, leggings, shorts, top and bag.
Use this as your example 'uniform' for a badminton outfit for women - something that's comfortable AND practical. ©Nike, Adidas, Sweaty Betty, Amazon, What's The Best/Gemma Lavers

Gemma Lavers is a Health & Fitness Writer for What's The Best. From understanding nutrition to practising yoga and Pilates to delving into the psychology of motivation. She enjoys demystifying the latest fitness trends and staying on top of the dynamic health landscape, whether that's the best gym leggings, fitness trackers or the benefits of yoga.

When Gemma’s not writing, she can be found attending Pilates, yoga and Zumba classes. She’s also a bit of a home workout aficionado, constantly trying out new ways to keep her moving at home. Between writing, exercising and shopping, there’s nothing she loves more than hopping on a plane and exploring new cultures.

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