The best gym essentials

Your path to fitness success starts with these must-have gym essentials.

A selection of the best gym essentials, including Nike trainers, Nike leggings and Hydracy water bottle.

by Gemma Lavers |
Updated on

The journey to a heathier, stronger you begins with having the best gym essentials that cater to your unique workout needs. Whether you're a seasoned gym-goer or just starting out, having the right gear can make a world of difference in your workouts.

The best gym essentials at a glance:

• Best gym trainers: Nike Pegasus 40 - View now on Nike.com
• Best gym leggings: Nike Sportwear Classics Women's High-Waisted Graphic Leggings - View now on Nike.com
• Best gym bag: Under Armour Undeniable Duffel 4.0 - View now on Amazon.co.uk
• Best gym socks: Alaplus Socks - View now on Amazon.co.uk

What are the benefits?

Gym accessories can help you out in a whole host of ways, providing support, motivation and the means to break through plateaus - that's why you're certain to find them in any fitness enthusiasts gym bag. Take a read of our top nine gym essentials, and how they can benefit both you and your workouts.

Athletic footwear: The right footwear will provide comfort and functionality to a wide range of workouts, from CrossFit to weightlifting, allowing you to perform at your best. Proper shoes will also minimise the risk of injury by providing stability and support to vulnerable and high-impact areas, like your feet.

High-quality workout apparel: Athleisurewear often features stretchy materials that provide excellent flexibility and freedom of movement. This is key for a wide range of exercises, from yoga to HIIT.

Gym bag: Bags with multiple compartments keep all your gear organised and easily accessible, streamlining your gym routine and potentially saving you time rummaging through your stuff.

Gym socks: The right pair of socks will help keep your feet dry and prevent blisters by efficiently managing sweat during intense workouts. They also may provide cushioning and arch support, which helps to minimise foot fatigue.

Pilates bands: The best Pilates bands will assist in activating and strengthening muscles that may not be fully engaged during traditional exercises. This can lead to improved posture, balance and overall body awareness.

Ankle and wrist weights: Both ankle and wrist weights add extra resistance to your exercises, making them more challenging. This added resistance helps to build strength and endurance in the muscles targeted by your workout, enhancing the effectiveness of your training.

Water bottle: A reusable water bottle ensures you stay adequately hydrated during workouts, which is vital for performance and overall well-being.

Boxing gloves: The best boxing gloves provide essential protection for your hands and wrists. They offer cushioning and packing that absorbs and distributes the impact force, reducing the risk of injuries like fractures, sprains and contusions.

From supportive footwear to Pilates bands to gym bags, we've scoured the web looking for the best gym essentials to take your training to the next level. These carefully chosen tools will help you stay motivated, comfortable and on track to crush your fitness goals.

The best gym essentials to buy right now

Best gym trainers

Nike Pegasus 40
Price: $119.95
Alternative retailers
Macy's$130.00View offer

It's very apparent that Nike upholds its reputation with the Pegasus 40. This latest iteration builds on the accomplishments of its predecessors, offering an impressive mix of comfort, responsiveness and versatility. With Zoom Air units in the heel and forefoot, it provides exceptional cushioning and a fluid feel, catering to both short sprints and long-distance runs. Also, the Pegasus 40's breathable mesh upper ensures ample ventilation, keeping your feet cool during gym sessions.

Pros

  • Zoom Air units in the heel and forefoot makes for a responsive ride
  • Real-life backing from Olympic gold medallist Athing Mu, who took the Pegasus trainers to the Olympic games
  • Heel area is made to improve landing space and durability

Cons

  • Some individuals found they were easily dirtied and hard to clean afterwards

Best gym leggings

Nike Sportswear Classics Women's High-Waisted Graphic Leggings
Price: $39.95
Alternative retailers
NIKE$39.97View offer
Macy's$52.00View offer

The Nike Classic Leggings blend fashion and function seamlessly. Its leggings are designed to not only enhance your style in the gym, but also act as a trusted companion during workouts and everyday activities. The high-waisted design offers a secure and flattering fit, while the soft, stretchy fabric that ensures comfort and flexibility. Featuring a chic and eye-catching graphic print on the leg, its leggings allow for a bold look while at the gym or running errands.

Pros

  • The fabric feels like cotton but wicks moisture like a performance material so you remain dry
  • Thick and not see-through material - nobody wants a VPL!
  • Elastic waistband for a secure fit

Cons

  • Only available in black

Best gym bag

For individuals prioritising durability and generous storage capacity, the Under Amour Undeniable Duffel 4.0 stands as the ultimate pick. Crafted from a combination of polyester and nylon, this bag is engineered to endure the demanding environment of the gym. Featuring multiple compartments and pockets, it excels in providing meticulous organisation for all your workout accessories. What's more, the added UA Storm Technology ensures your gear stays dry, no matter the weather conditions.

Pros

  • Weather-resistant outer due to UA Storm Technology
  • Abrasion-resistant bottom and side panels to stop the bag from getting easily damaged
  • Vented pocket for dirty shoes or gear

Cons

  • One reviewer found the shoe compartment was too small for any shoes that are size nine or above

Best gym socks

The Alaplus socks are made for exceptional durability, and are reinforced in high-stress and impact-prone regions. The arch compression feature delivers robust support whether you're walking, running or hitting the gym, ensuring a secure fit. With these socks on, they're not coming off easily, that's thanks to the high heel tab and an extra deep heel pocket that prevents any unwelcome sliding. Plus, the added elastane guarantees even more slip-proof security for your peace of mind.

Pros

  • Suitable for everyday wear, as well as to the gym
  • Made from high-quality cotton infused with anti-odour properties to stop your feet from smelling
  • Reinforced heel and toe to ensure you get wear after wear

Cons

  • Some individuals reported them as a little thin

Best Pilates band

Coresteady bands offer a gentle and controlled return to their original shape, thanks to their innovative anti-snap technology. For those prone to skin irritation when using certain fitness equipment, Coresteady's Pilates band is thoughtfully designed to be skin-friendly, ensuring your comfort during every Pilates session. While Coresteady sells its bands individually, it also provides a diverse range of five resistance levels: from the lightest to light, medium, strong and the strongest.

Pros

  • Ultra-elastic and anti-slip materials to assist your Pilates session without stress
  • Very affordable
  • Complimentary exercise guide included with purchase to help with integrating the band into your Pilates workouts

Cons

  • Some users found the material can slip a little, particularly during leg work

Best ankle weights

Bala Bangles' Ankle Weights are a game-changer in resistance training. Its chic and versatile ankle weights will elevate your exercise regimen without being too much of a burden. Crafted for those in pursuit of a subtle yet potent fitness accessory, Bala Bangles are ideal for activities such as yoga, barre or even just enhancing your daily strolls. Featuring a gentle silicone coating that won't irritate your skin, these ankle weights offer effortless adjustability to accomodate various ankle sizes.

Pros

  • Available in three gorgeous colours
  • Purchase includes a mesh carrying case for easy travel
  • Easy put on and take off

Cons

  • At 0.45kg these weights aren't adjustable, which isn't ideal if you're looking to build strength by adjusting resistance levels

Best wrist weights

Proiron offer an exceptionally budget-friendly pair of wrist weights, making it an ideal choice for those new to wrist weight training and eager to give it a go. Its wrist weights are crafted from a breathable, soft and moisture-absorbing material, designed to prevent rubbing and chafing against your skin and ensure maximum comfort during use. Proiron's versatility shines through as they offer a range of different weight options, ranging from 0.5kg to 2kg. If you're seeking a more challenging workout, opting for a heavier weight is certainly worth considering.

Pros

  • Sure to be comfortable and breathable due to moisture-absorbing material inside
  • Reflective trim to keep you safe outdoors and on late-night workouts
  • Non-slip grip to ensure the weights stay in place

Cons

  • Can be hard to get hold of in specific colours

Best reusable water bottle

Hydracy Fruit Infuser Water Bottle
Price: $19.97

Have you ever wishes to add a touch of excitement to your water? Look no further than the Hydracy Water Bottle, designed to elevate your drinking experience with its ingenious infuser basket. Infuse your beverages with your favourite fruits for a delightful burst of natural flavour. Its water bottle makes for a reliable companion in your journey to staying hydrated, thanks to its convenient timeline feature. With a generous one-litre capacity, it's an excellent choice for those gradually increasing their water intake and seeking a refreshing way to do so.

Pros

  • Infuses water with fruit for a delicious taste
  • Sweatproof insulative cover, which makes it perfect for the gym
  • Timeline feature to track your water intake throughout the day

Cons

  • At only one-litre in volume, its water bottle isn't suitable for individuals who prefer to drink larger quantities

Best boxing gloves

Venum Unisex Adult Elite Boxing Gloves
Price: $99.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$99.99View offer
DICK'S Sporting Goods$99.99View offer

The Venum Elite Boxing Gloves deliver exceptional quality without breaking the bank. Its gloves boast an elegant design crafted from robust Skintex leather and triple-density foam padding, to provide the perfect balance of protection and power. What sets Venum's boxing gloves apart is the innovative thermal-regulating mesh, ensuring your hands remain cool even as you push your limits. Venum's well-established reputation in the world of combat sports is undeniably upheld by their Elite Boxing Gloves, living up to the high expectations they've set.

Pros

  • Ensured durability with its strengthened seams
  • Made from 100% premium Skintex leather
  • Features triple-density foam for shock absorption and added protection

Cons

  • A reviewer found the gloves seemed to slip a little due to the fact they're Skintex leather rather than real leather

FAQs

What can I buy for gym motivation?

Motivation is extremely personal, so it's essential to identify what works best for you. Experiment with different tools and techniques to find the ones that genuinely ignite your passion for fitness and keep you committed to your goals. Health & Fitness Writer, Gemma Lavers suggests "invest in some stylish and comfortable workout clothes, whether that be in a pop of colour or not. The right activewear will not only make you feel confident, but also more motivated to hit the gym. I find that by laying my gym clothes out the night before I'm heading to a workout or a yoga class makes me look forward to exercising a little bit more."

Alternatively, a good pair of wireless headphones, your favourite workout playlist and a smart watch may also do the trick in getting you feeling more motivated about heading to the gym.

What essentials do I need in my gym bag?

A well-packed gym bag will ensure your workout routine goes smoothly. We've put together a list of items you can consider packing your gym bag with:

• Workout clothing: including leggings, t-shirts, shorts, underwear and gym socks
• Trainers
 Accessories like a foam roller, resistance bands or ankle weights
 Water bottle
• Protein shake and shaker
 Towel
 Toiletries including shampoo and conditioner for that post-workout cool down
 Plastic bag for sweaty workout clothes or dirty shoes
 Gym pass
 Wallet
 Keys
 Padlock for a locker
 Headphones
 Swimwear
• Yoga or exercise mat

What's the best gym essential to invest in?

The best gym essentials to invest in will naturally differ from person to person. Saying that, one of the most universally valuable investments is high-quality gym trainers. Whether you're into running, weightlifting or fitness classes, the best pair of shoes provides much-needed support, comfort and injury prevention. Well-fitted trainers can not only enhance your performance, reduce the risk of foot-related problems, but also offer the stability needed for various exercises. When looking to buy the best gym essential, begin with choosing reliable footwear that suits your specific workout routine, as it forms the foundation for a safe and effective fitness journey.

Gemma Lavers is a fitness writer for What's The Best. When she’s not travelling or writing, Gemma loves spending her weekend completing home workouts, or attending yoga, Pilates or Zumba classes.

Subscribe to the What’s The Best Newsletter to keep up to date with more of the latest reviews and recommendations from the rest of the What’s The Best team.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us