The eviction moratorium is expected to end on July 31, after Congress failed to renew it before heading into recess until mid-September. Once the moratorium expires, about 7.4 million Americans will risk getting evicted in the next coming months, according to Census Pulse Survey Data.
Women, people of color, and low-income households are the most vulnerable groups of renters who will be exposed to the consequences brought on by the end of the eviction moratorium. These three groups are believed to have the likeliest chance of being forced to leave their homes within the next two months, Census household data projects.
About 1.4 million renters are very likely to be kicked out of their homes in the next two months, the data says. According to Insider calculations:
About 73 percent of the 1.4 million renters likely to be evicted are people of color.
About 56 percent of the 1.4 million are women.
And about 76 percent have an annual household income of less than $50,000 a year. More than half of the 1.4 million make less than $25,000 in total household income.
Additionally, about 20% of the 1.4 million have at least some difficulty hearing, and about 50% have at least some difficulty seeing.
Once the moratorium ends, these groups of people have the highest risk of being evicted from their homes.
Last year, US Census data showed evidence that people of color more frequently faced evictions than white tenants did.
Women on average face 16% higher rates of eviction than men, a 2020 study by the Eviction Lab said. When broken down by race, the difference is even more drastic.
Between 2012 and 2016, the study says, Black women were evicted about 36 percent more often than Black men.
“There’s the dynamic intersection between poverty and race,” Shamus Roller, executive director of the National Housing Law Project, an organization that aims to advance housing justice for poor people and communities, previously told Insider.
Researchers say there are several reasons why women might be evicted at higher rates than men.
One study, for example, found that men have a tendency to share personal conflicts like a job loss or health issue with their landlord directly while women generally keep to themselves, especially when either group deals with predominantly male landlords.
“The interaction between predominantly male landlords and female tenants,” that same study says, is “a culprit and often turns on gender dynamics.”
The ongoing pandemic has changed many of our work uniforms in a big way. Many have traded in their loafers, flats, and heels for a pair of slippers that fit much better with this new lifestyle. But choosing the right pair is important. They’re meant to be comfortable, after all.
Of course material is essential to maximum comfort for your feet, but so is the design. Do your feet feel supported as you sit at your desk, move around the kitchen, and go about your other daily tasks? We’re here to help you choose by spotlighting 13 pairs of slippers that tick off all of our boxes.
Click to jump to the best women’s slippers of 2021:
I got these slippers a few Christmases ago, and they’re just the best for keeping my feet nice and toasty in the winter. They’re shearling-lined, so they’re perfectly cozy to wear with or without socks, and they’ve held their shape nicely after plenty of indoor wear. The laces often come undone, but that’s about the only flaw I can come up with for them. They’re affordable at $79 (you can get them even cheaper during sales), they’re durable, and the women’s version comes in seven great colors and two widths. I’ve got the Neutral shade and my size 8 fits true to size. — Ellen Hoffman, executive editor
After trying many different slippers, from slip-ons to fuzzy cloud-like ones, these have quickly become my favorite. They’re easy to slip on, and they have great grip so I never slip and slide when walking on tile or hardwood floors. The fuzzy lining keeps my toes warm and has stayed soft, even after wearing these slippers every day for a month. They fit very true to size and are an absolute steal for the price. — Paige DiFiore, lifestyle and entertainment editor for Insider Life
UpWest Fireside Slipper
Product Card (small)
The UpWest Fireside Slipper stands out with its ability to be worn outdoors along with its thoughtful, hand-stitched details.
Sizing options: 6-10
I got these slippers and a new puppy around the same time, and I was sure she’d eventually rip them to shreds. But they’ve held up to her fascination with the sturdy ties and shearling lining. Plus, they have a rubber sole, so I can wear them for quick trips outside during potty training. — Bartie Scott, small business editor
The best slip-on slippers
Ugg Tasman Slippers
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With a plush interior and a lightweight, durable outsole, the Ugg Tasman Slippers are a comfy choice you won’t regret wearing outside.
Sizing options: 5-12
While Ugg has a lot of slipper options, I love the Tasmans for their versatility. The brand’s proprietary wool insole is seriously plush — it feels like you’re always standing on top of a luxurious rug. This pair also comes with a particularly durable yet lightweight outsole, making them a great choice for wearing outdoors. Because they’re slip-ons and keep your whole foot covered, these are ideal for just throwing on with a pair of jeans or leggings when you’re in a rush to get out of the house. The color offerings include chestnut and black, which both match pretty much everything. — Remi Rosmarin, former commerce reporter
For the longest time, I was a socks-only person. But Everlane’s The ReNew Slipper has turned me into a slipper person, a feat I didn’t think possible. Unlike most indoor footwear, the ReNew Slipper isn’t impossibly fuzzy and warm. The lining is made from a low-pile, recycled polyester that feels like a shearling, so it keeps your feet cozy without causing them to sweat.
The sturdy rubber outsole helps to support my feet and the nylon outer fabric is also clutch. It’s easy to spot-clean, so should your morning coffee splash on your feet, you won’t be left with a stain. The ReNew Slippers are the coziest slippers I’ve ever worn. And the chic, quilted pattern on the exterior makes them look chic, not hokey. The one drawback? The trim isn’t elastic, so if you have a high instep, it might be a little tight at first. It took me a day of wear to break them in, and now they’re super comfortable. — Maria Del Russo, style and beauty guides editor
Ugg Coquette Slippers
Product Card (small, Preferred: Zappos)
Versatility shines through with the Ugg Coquette Slippers, which can be worn both indoors and outdoors thanks to the Treadlite by Ugg outsole.
Sizing options: 5-12
These days, I’m living in two things: Black leggings and Ugg slippers. My fluffy Uggs are the first thing I slide on in the morning, and I wear them right up until the moment I’m climbing into bed. I love how cozy and warm and they are, but I also appreciate how functional the rubber lug sole is. I can wear these to check the mail or grab a package without thinking twice. The shearling lining will wear out eventually, but I don’t mind knowing I’ve gotten my full use out of this pair. Even at $120, the cost-per-wear comes out to basically nothing. — Ashley Phillips, style and beauty editor
Sizing options: 4-12.5; these also come in regular/wide and medium/narrow options
I was a big Ugg slipper person until the pandemic. I quickly realized that with daily wear, the shearling on the inside wore out so quickly that the slippers became too big to wear comfortably. So I purchased these as a replacement. After five months of wearing them, not only are they still the right size, but they are also warm, comfortable, and not at all worn out. I almost never take them off at this point. — Jana Meron, SVP programmatic & data strategy
The shearling in these slippers is moisture-wicking, so even though your feet may get a bit sweaty due to the limited breathability of the suede, they will still stay relatively dry. The shearling does get matted over years of wear, losing some of its initial fluffiness, but the integrity of the overall slipper has lasted very well. You can’t slip them on — they require at least one hand to assist you in pulling them over your heel — but they’re not going to fall off your feet as you rush around the house either. The Wicked Good Slippers don’t have a rubber outsole, so they are indoor only. The leather sole isn’t textured, and though I’ve never found them to be slippery, you may want to be careful on tile surfaces. — Michelle Ullman, freelance writer
Margaux The Slipper
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Margaux’s The Slipper is the cozy sister of the brand’s iconic ballet flats, and adds a touch of chic to your slipper collection.
Sizing options: 3-13; thanks to the elastic, these can fit a little snug, so you might want to size up.
Given my aversion to slippers, I spent the early part of my time working from home still wearing shoes around the house. It helped me feel a little more put-together. So when I saw The Slipper, which is the perfect ballet flat/slipper hybrid, I was thrilled. They look like Margaux’s ballet flats, complete with the iconic bow above the toes, but are outfitted with a plush sole and Mongolian cashmere. They’re definitely one of the more luxe pairs of slippers I’ve ever worn. But considering they’re some of the only “shoes” I’m wearing these days, I’d say I deserve it. — Maria Del Russo, style and beauty guides editor
The best open-toe slippers
Acorn Spa Slide Slippers
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The Acorn Spa Slide Slippers transport you to a spa with their soft terry material and multilayer Cloud Contour footbed.
Sizing options: S-XL; plus, wide options for each size
It wasn’t until the pandemic that I realized I needed new slippers that could actually last. I landed on the Acorn Women’s Spa Slide Slippers because they looked cozy — and they had the word “spa” in the name. After having owned a pair for nearly five months now, I can definitely vouch for its comfort and durability. These slippers are made of terry, a fabric you can find at many spas. And unlike other slippers that eventually flatten out and lose their support, this pair has footbeds that hold shape well. Plus, the velcro straps can easily be adjusted if you want a wider, or narrower, fit. I’ve also found the rubber outsoles to be especially sturdy and slip-free, which is handy for when I’m moving around the kitchen or rushing down the stairs. My size small slippers fit me perfectly and I’m a true size 6. — Katie Decker-Jacoby, style & beauty reviews fellow
Ugg Fluff Yeah Slide
Product Card (small)
The Instagram-famous Ugg Fluff Yeah Slides actually live up to the hype, thanks to their cozy interior and sturdy rubber sole.
Sizing options: 5-12
Like all Uggs, these are made with soft sheepskin. In fact, the sheepskin covers the entire shoe, save for the elastic back and sturdy rubber platform sole. That elastic back is actually pretty handy for folks who like an open-back slipper but find they slip off. And the open toe and backless silhouette ensure your feet don’t overheat — even with all that sheepskin. My favorite part, though, has to be how supportive they are for my feet. The platform is lightweight but solid, and it makes for slippers that don’t make my feet ache after extended wear. Plus, since the Fluff Yeah are technically slides, they’re more than strong enough to be worn out — even around the corner to the market. — Maria Del Russo, style and beauty guides editor
Parlovable Faux Fur Slippers
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The Parlovable Faux Fur Slippers make your feet feel – and look – like clouds thanks to the faux fur upper, velvet lining, and memory foam cushion.
Sizing options: 7-10
I struggle with splurging on slippers because I know they won’t last me too long with how often I wear them. This pair from Amazon is the perfect compromise. And thanks to quarantine, they get a lot of usage. It’s a reasonably priced and comfortable buy. They fit me true to size and never slip off my feet. I’ve thrown them in the wash a few times, and it restores the slipper’s fluff. The memory foam lasted me for about five to seven months until I decided to replace them with a new pair, which wasn’t a hard sell considering the price. — Jacqueline Saguin, style & beauty reviews fellow
Because there’s a bin in my closet specifically devoted to fuzzy socks of all kinds, I’ve never been much of a slipper person. When I received these for Christmas, however, the game changed — and I’ve been practically living in them. They are my go-to footwear when I hop out of the shower or if I’m lounging around the house. The plush material provides a fluffy mat for your feet with a wide toe for both stability and comfort. I have the hot pink ones (to channel Elle Woods, of course), but they come in a variety of colors and make great gifts for a spa lover or anyone who gravitates toward fleece and fluff (a.k.a. me). And, for less than $20, they are a steal. — Victoria Giardina, Buying Guides Fellow
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Summer wouldn’t be the same without that magical sound of flip-flops at the beach and pool.
These simple sandals come in a variety of styles, including day-to-night options.
Some brands offer styles with arch support or massaging footbeds.
The sound of flip-flops flipping and flopping at the beach or pool is one of the quintessential sounds of summer. These simple sandals have a history dating back to the ancient Egyptians. The modern version first became popular in the 1950s when they received their onomatopoeic name for the distinctive sound they make, although they also go by a variety of other names including thongs (Australia), slippers (Hawaii), and clam diggers (Texas).
At their simplest, this sandal style features a post that goes in between the first and second toes and often has Y-shaped straps that go around the sides of the feet. With that being said, there are many variations on the basic theme, as you’ll see below.
We’ve included men’s, women’s, and unisex choices, and although anyone can wear any of these, the women’s and men’s selections have limited sizing compared to the unisex options.
Here are the best flip-flops for 2021
These are easy wearing sandals good for all-day wear that look great whether running errands, hanging out at the beach, or having a casual dinner out.
When You slide into a pair of OluKai ‘Ohana flip-flops, the footbed feels smooth and pillowy yet with a firmness below the surface. These are easy-wearing sandals that look great whether running errands, hanging out at the beach, or having a casual dinner out. The upper is made from a soft, but sturdy synthetic material that’s lined with a quick-drying jersey, and doesn’t chafe the space between your toes where they touch the nylon post. Over time they conform to the shape of your feet.
OluKai is also a certified B Corporation that meets high ethical and environmental standards and has been giving back to Hawaii, where the company was born in 2006, through its Ama OluKai Foundation, which helps preserve the state’s heritage, culture, and the environment through grants to various non-profits.
If you’re used to thin, flat flip-flops, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the Vionic Tide II Post Sandal. They’re made with a footbed that supports your feet and cradles the arch in a design that’s been proven to alleviate heel pain. It even has a Seal of Acceptance by the American Podiatric Medical Association. My wife, who owns these sandals, tells me she doesn’t experience any chaffing between her toes even after wearing them all day. The footbed is firm but cushiony and there’s a medium-density EVA midsole that’s good at minimizing shock when you walk, which helps reduce stress on your knees and ankles.
Vionic recommends slowly breaking these sandals if you’re not used to flip-flops with arch support. The outsoles are durable and provide good traction. The Tide IIs come in six colorways and are cute enough to dress up for a casual night out. These are the brand’s most popular styles and with good reason.
Tide II Post Sandal (small)
Crocs Crocband Flip-Flop
The Crocband has all the advantages of Crocs’ clogs—shock absorbing, comfortable, water and odor resistant—in a sleek flip-flop with a massaging footbed.
Crocs are known for its clogs, but the Colorado-based company also makes a lot of other footwear — including the Crocband Flip-Flops. They combine the brand’s signature comfort (chefs and school kids love them for a reason) and the breathability, lightness, and sleek look of a sandal.
The Crocband has a massaging footbed, a sporty look with a signature midsole racing stripe. It is made of a proprietary resin called Croslite (the same thing they use for the clogs) that has maximum cushioning, is odor and water-resistant, buoyant, quick-drying, and easy to clean. With a whopping 34 colorways, you should be able to find one that suits you. These only come in full sizes, and we recommend sizing up if you usually wear a half-size.
Reef’s Voyage Lux flip-flops are beautifully crafted leather flip-flops that are tough enough for whatever outdoor activity you throw at them.
Reef, the California sandal and surf lifestyle company, always does a fantastic job of combining comfortable footwear that doesn’t require breaking them in with quality craftsmanship. The Voyage Lux men’s sandal is a good example. Unlike some flip-flops I’ve owned, these didn’t give me a blister between my toes and were comfortable from day one. After four years of hard seasonal use, mine are still going strong.
The leather footbed has gotten even softer and developed a nice patina (like an old baseball glove) while the foam midsole is still responsive and cushiony. These flip-flops have a leather upper with a soft molded footbed, an EVA midsole, and a rubber outsole with a thickly ridged sawtooth tread that keeps you steady in slippery conditions. Plus, Reef offers free shipping and returns.
Everlane’s ReNew sandal combines the best of a flip-flop with a strappy sandal for an elevated look and a bit of extra support while walking.
Everlane is a go-to favorite for many reasons, including timeless style over fast fashion trends, relatively transparent sourcing, and a drive to be as sustainable as possible. Their ReNew Strappy Sandal gives you the best of a flip-flop and a strappy sandal. Unlike typical flip-flops, the thong strap extends fully around the ankle with a stretchy back strap that provides a bit of extra support when walking. The footbed is made of recycled polyester and has a cushioned insole, and the recycled rubber outsole will keep you from slipping poolside. These sandals are made in Vietnam. They don’t come in half-sizes so size up if you fall in between sizes.
ReNew Strappy Sandal (small)
Havaianas Unisex Top Flip-Flops
Havaianas has been making exceptional flip-flops since 1962 and still makes them out of natural rubber in Brazil.
Havaianas flip-flops have been a part of summer since 1962 when the Brazilian brand first launched the first mass-produced rubber flip-flop. The Top Flip-Flop is an iconic style still produced in Brazil. Because they’re made of natural rubber, they may feel a bit stiffer than foam versions when you first wear them but they’ll quickly become more pliable. The rubber should also keep from compressing over time, unlike foam. These sandals feature wide straps and a cushioned footbed with the brand’s signature textured rice pattern that harks back to these flip-flops origins as they were based on traditional Japanese zori sandals. They come in nine colors, including a bright orange that’s perfect for a summer holiday.
Unisex Top Flip-Flops (small)
Hari Mari HM x Peter Millar Flip-Flops
The Hari Mari HM x Peter Millar Flip-Flops are made from water-resistant full-grain leather and feature firm arch support, memory foam in all the right places, and rubber bottoms with good gripping power on wet areas.
The Hari Mari HM x Peter Millar Flip-Flops are a limited-edition collaboration with North Carolina-based premium sportswear brand Peter Millar, which is known for its craftsmanship and casual elegance. These flip-flops are made from water-resistant, full-grain leather and feature firm arch support, memory foam in all the right places, and rubber bottoms with good gripping power on wet areas. You could consider these “dressy” flip-flops, as in they’d look great with a pair of chinos and a linen button-up shirt or a more casual camp shirt and Bermuda shorts.
They come in three colorways, but the chambray and cognac pair is especially good-looking with its woven linen chambray straps. Hari Mari flip-flops don’t come in half sizes, so size up if you’re between, per the company’s recommendation. You can also feel good about buying from this brand. Hari Mari donates one percent of its profits from every flip-flop sale to its “Flops Fighting Cancer” initiative that assists pediatric cancer patients.
HM x Peter Millar Flip-Flops (small)
Birkenstock Gizeh Patent
The German brand Birkenstock that’s been around since the 1700s has a well-deserved reputation for being super comfortable, thanks to the sandals’ contoured cork footbeds that conform to the wearer’s feet. While best known for its iconic two-strap sandal, the brand also makes a thong style. The footbeds are lined in soft suede with a springy EVA midsole sandwiched between the suede and the brand’s signature cork layer that offers arch support, a deep heel cup, and a wide toe box. The outsole is also made of EVA and is light but provides good cushioning.
Besides being able to slip into them on like traditional flip-flops, these sandals have buckle closures so you can adjust them for an individualized fit. The backside of the Birko-Flor is lined with soft, breathable fleece that’s gentle on the skin. Zappos offers three color choices, including a shiny bright red. Think of these as minimalist upscale flip-flops that are good for your feet.
Archie’s one-piece design prevents the dreaded flip-flop blowout while the design promotes proper foot posture. All this and a decent price tag, too.
Australian footwear brand Archies, which was started by a physiotherapist, has a hugely loyal following thanks to its super comfy flip-flops that come at a reasonable price point of $35. These podiatrist-recommended sandals are made from special closed-cell foam that’s springy, soft, and molds to the feet. The high arch may take a little getting used to, but you’ll soon appreciate it. Unlike many flip-flops, Archies has a one-piece construction that prevents the dreaded blowout when the post pops out of the sole. They don’t come in half-sizes so the company recommends that if you have narrow feet to size down and wide feet to size up.
Arch-Support Flip-Flops (small)
Freewater Treeline Sport
The Treeline Sport takes the flip-flop in an outdoor direction with a multifunctional design that allows you to wear them as flip-flops or as hiking sandals, thanks to a removable ankle strap. There’s also a strap that goes across the top of the foot for added support. These sandals feature a ridged Therm-a-Rest material as the footbed. In the Treeline Sport, these ridges massage your feet and promote airflow and water drainage. The Vibram Eco Tread outsoles are made of 30% recycled content and are good at gripping the ground in wet conditions. Another benefit of buying these sandals is that one percent of Freewater’s net sales go to grassroots projects that provide clean drinking water in developing nations. Size up if you wear a half-size, according to Freewater.
Treeline Sport (small)
J. Crew Easy Summer Flip-Flops
Cute, simple but elegant, and priced right, J. Crew’s Easy Summer Flip-Flops pair with whatever you’re wearing, and can easily go from the beach to a casual night out. With eight colors, from metallic gold to brilliant cobalt (a bright blue) you may have trouble deciding which to get. The sole has good traction and the footbed is lightly padded and looks great with shorts, jeans, or a maxi dress. If you wear a half-size, get the next whole size up.
Oofos Ooriginal Sandals are like walking on marshmallows and are made to aid your recovery after a brutal workout or a hard day at work.
The experience of wearing the Oofos Ooriginal Sandal has often been described as “like walking on marshmallows.” They’re soft and ultra-cushiony, thanks to a proprietary foam technology that absorbs 37% more impact than regular foam footwear material. These are billed as recovery sandals, meaning their main function is to relieve tired feet after strenuous activity like running or hiking. This is achieved through the patented footbed design that takes the pressure off the feet, knees, and lower back. They’re also machine washable, have a six-month warranty, and don’t require any break-in period. Oofos don’t come in half sizes so the company recommends sizing up for women and down for men.
OOriginal Unisex Thong Sandals (small, Preferred: Zappos)
The Astral Filipe takes you from poolside to mountainside with a removal ankle strap and super-grippy outsoles.
Astral, the North Carolina-based outdoor equipment company, offers a flip-flop that’s built for the outdoors, whether at the beach, on a hike, or cruising around the city. The uppers are made from cushioned synthetic leather and feature a soft, water-wicking knit liner and a cushy nylon webbing toe post. Below, there’s a springy EVA midsole and outstanding outsoles made from G Rubber, the company’s proprietary material, which is super grippy, non-marking, and abrasion-resistant The Filipe comes with removable ankle straps to take you from poolside to mountainside in a jiffy. If you wear a half-size, size up.
Hoka One One Ora Recovery Flip
Hoka One One is best known for its “maximalist” super-cushioned running shoes so it makes sense its Ora Recovery Flip also features tons of plush cushioning and design that encourages a smoother gait.
Hoka One One, the French athletic shoe company, is best known for its super-cushioned “maximal” running shoes that have excellent cushioning-to-weight ratios and promote stability. It should come as no surprise that the company’s Ora Recovery Flips also feature an extra thick cushioned midsole, a plush, textured EVA footbed, and a design that encourages a smoother gait. These also have a textile upper that helps wick moisture and an outsole that has great traction. The Ora Flips are extremely light at 4.5 oz per sandal. Like the Oofos, these are designed for post-workout or a hard day at work and help relieve tired feet while promoting recovery. Besides that, they offer them in basic black or two brighter hues: Luminary Green/Blue Tint or Cantaloupe/Fiesta, a pretty pinkish-orange.
Ora Recovery Flip (small)
Revs Lights Massage Flip Flops
With its hundreds of massaging rubber nodules on the footbeds, the Revs Light flip-flops aren’t just for chilling poolside, these are meant to stimulate your pressure points for better circulation and to reduce fatigue, among other alleged health benefits. Designed by a Scottish reflexologist, these sandals are also designed to improve your posture and stance.
The footbed and straps are made of rubber and the outsole of shock-absorbing EVA. Many customers suggest easing into wearing them over time as they can feel unusual when you first put them on. They come in a bunch of fun colorways from metallic to two-tone blue and bright yellow. Since there are no half sizes, it’s recommended you size up.
Lights Massage Flip Flops (small)
Sole Catalina Sport Flip
The Sole Catalina Sport Flipis good for your feet and the environment that mold to the shape of your feet and includes a new type of sustainable foam made from algae rather than petroleum.
Sole made its name with its orthotic insoles but the Canadian company also makes a popular line of footwear, including the Catalina Sport Flip, a sandal with the same eco-friendly technology that goes into its insoles. The Catalina sandals mold to your feet after about a week of use for a customized wearing experience. They feature a sustainable Bloom Algae Foam footbed made from algae instead of petroleum, an EVA midsole, and arch support. The upper is made from a nicely padded, soft synthetic nubuck-like material. Plus, they’re water-friendly and have a grippy outsole. Size up if you typically wear a half size.
Catalina Sport Flip (small)
Flojos Olivia Vintage Sandal
Flojos, which started life in Mexico in 1972, is a California sandal brand with a throwback beach vibe and decently priced footwear ranging from $20 to $60. The Olivia Vintage Sandal is a wedge flip-flop with a 70s feel that’s the brand’s most popular style. The 2 ½ inch heel is not too tall, not too short, but definitely gives you a bit of a lift while still being comfortable thanks to the cupped footbed design that cradles the feet and a springy EVA midsole, and a light sponge rubber outsole.
The burnished faux leather straps also give these wedges a vintage feel but they haven’t forgotten the comfort here either as the straps are lined with a soft fabric and the toe post is also softly reinforced. Dress them up with wide-leg pants and a poet’s blouse or down with denim shorts and a T. Per the brand, if you typically wear a half size and have narrow feet, go down to the next whole size. If you wear a half-size and have wide feet, size up.
Olivia Vintage Sandal (small)
Indosole Flip-Flops are eco-conscious with soles made from recycled tires. Beyond that, they come in a range of beautiful colorways, are well made, and very comfortable.
While not billed as unisex, Indosole’s flip-flops are gender-neutral except for the sizing. Let’s start with one of the major differences between this brand and others on the market. The company uses recycled tires in its products. Tire waste is a huge international environmental problem as they don’t easily decompose and are often burned in developing countries polluting the air, ground, and water.
Indosole, a certified B corporation, came up with a way to break the tires down and reconstitute them for use as sturdy outsoles. The rubber the company uses for the footbed is ethically sourced and the strap is from a custom-made material called ENVRO Fiber that comes from sustainably grown plants and recycled sources. Besides the environmental aspects of these flip-flops, these are well-made, waterproof, non-slip, come in a ton of beautiful colorways, and are very comfortable.
Jobs are once again being added to the labor market and the economy is showing signs of recovery from the pandemic. But this recovery is not equal, and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan represents an opportunity to change that.
“You cannot have a strong workforce, a strong economy, and a strong democracy if women aren’t included,” Raimondo told Fortune in an interview.
Raimondo is referring to the toll the pandemic has taken on women in particular, which Vice President Kamala Harris called “a national emergency” in an opinion piece she wrote in February. The latest monthly jobs data found that over 1.6 million women are still missing from the workforce, putting their labor participation rate 11 percentage points lower than men, and at its lowest levels since 1989. A major reason for this is the lack of caregiving opportunities that are keeping women from returning to work, which is why “men have done much better” in the economic recovery, Raimondo said.
Despite a labor shortage, 97% of women who rejoined the workforce are still unemployed
Insider reported in the beginning of July that even as more women are rejoining the labor force, the vast majority of them – 97%, that is – are still unemployed, compared to just the 12% of men who rejoined. And August research from the Census Bureau found that, among those not working, 32.1% of women ages 25 to 44 weren’t working because of childcare, while The New York Times reported that potentially 1.5 million mothers had left the labor force between the onset of the pandemic and September 2020.
That’s why a major part of Biden’s American Families Plan included investments in care-economy measures, like $225 billion for affordable childcare and $225 billion for a national paid family and medical leave program.
“Businesses need to support these investments in the care economy, in the same way that they would support investments in anything else-roads, bridges, airports, Amtrak,” Raimondo said. “Women need to be able to go to work and reliably hold down a job without worrying if their kids are being cared for-or spending half their income on childcare.”
Raimondo’s call is the latest from a growing number of Democratic lawmakers who want to ensure care-economy measures are not left behind in the final draft of Biden’s infrastructure plan.
Although Biden reached an agreement with a bipartisan group of senators on the American Jobs Plan, it left a number of measures out, like caregiving for the elderly, and some Democrats have said they will not support this bipartisan agreement unless a reconciliation bill consisting of care-economy measures is passed alongside it.
“Now is the time to make critical investments in our care economy and care infrastructure, so we can increase women’s participation in the labor force and have vibrant economic growth,” Raimondo said. “We cannot wait. It has to happen now.”
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Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
Wearing the right workout clothing helps keep you cool, comfortable, and prevents chafing.
The best apparel should use performance materials, feature a smart design, and have a versatile style.
We recommend Nike‘s activewear for women overall, as it’s the best blend of price, performance, and variety.
Even though all of us own workout clothes, it’s rare to come across a top or shorts that you truly love. But comfortable, well-fitting women’s workout clothes can make or break your motivation to go for a run, hit the gym, even just take your dog for a walk. And if that workout clothing is flattering and makes you feel good, well, that’s just the holy grail.
Well-designed workout clothes for women should be made of technical fabrics that wick sweat away, dry quickly, and potentially provide a slight compression to help your body feel supported. It should also be well-designed so that nothing rides up or falls down, and it doesn’t make you chafe.
As a fitness editor for nearly a decade and a woman, I’ve not only tried a lot of women’s activewear brands but I also know the struggle of finding workout clothes that actually fit your body correctly. Whether you’re looking for cheap workout clothes to just get you to the gym, athletic wear that looks flattering in photos, or simply the best place to buy a new pair of shorts for the summer, I’ve got you covered.
Below, I’ve ranked the best workout brands to shop based on my personal testing, as well as input from the countless women I quiz about the athletic wear they’re wearing. The brands featured here all hit the sweet spot of price for the quality and offer inclusive sizing and fits.
The best places to shop for women’s workout clothes:
Nike caters to pretty much every sport with a variety of inclusive styles, making it our top pick for high-performance workout gear.
Size range: XS-3X, short and tall
Nike has the best balance of price, performance, and variety in its workout gear. A pair of leggings can go for upwards of $70, but you can find plenty of $40-$60 options, and the site semi-frequently offers discounts. Nike items also have a good price-per-wear breakdown thanks to an expert handle on performance engineering and technical materials across categories.
There’s something for athletes of pretty much every sport: running, golf, soccer, training, tennis, basketball, softball, skateboarding, swim, and lacrosse — and all different types of gear, from women’s running shoes to swimwear and compression layers. And they’ve expanded their activewear to have more inclusive sizes (from XS to 3X) and styles (for example, high-performance hijab options). That being said, its sizing can be hard to nail down, especially for sports bras that notoriously run small. –Mara Leighton
What to buy
Pro Shorts (small)
One Icon Clash 7″ Shorts (small)Icon Clash Tank Running Tank (small)
The best budget workout clothes for women
Amazon’s Core 10 makes workout gear that is comfortable, sweat-wicking, and well-designed for around $25 per item.
Size range: XS-XXL; some styles go up to 3X
Good budget workout gear is incredibly hard to find. While we love the price point, size range, and accessibility of brands like Old Navy Active, performance fabrics and thoughtful design features like light compression and phone pockets will make your workouts far more comfortable, especially if you’re just starting out.
We really like Core 10, one of the uber-popular Amazon-owned fitness brands that makes surprisingly reliable workout gear. In our experience, its bike shorts stay put on runs and do a good job of wicking away sweat. The company makes everything from yoga pants to running capris to sports bras to workout tanks, all usually between $18 and $35. You can even customize your own leggings, choosing the waistband, length, style and color. The brand also just partnered with Reebok to make an exclusive line with the fitness giant.
The fabrics, obviously, aren’t going to compete with the quality of the higher-end leggings or tops. But to supplement your workout closet with a few cheaper pieces or get you into something until you see if your new running hobby is here to stay, Core 10 has you covered.
What to buy
Muscle Tank (small)All Day Comfort High Waist Yoga Short with Side Pockets (small)Longline bra (small)‘Build Your Own’ Flashflex Run Capri Legging (small)
The best women’s workout clothes for runners
Athleta’s running apparel is comfortable, moisture-wicking, reasonably priced, and comes in a wide range of sizes and styles to fit different body types.
Size range: XXS-3X
Among all the running brands on the market, Athleta is our top pick because it nails the sweet spot of price and quality and has a huge range of offerings for runners. When it comes to its running gear, we love that nearly all the tops and bottoms are moisture-wicking and lightweight to keep you flying through your miles.
Its gear is well-designed too, so the majority of the shorts don’t fall down or ride up, and reasonably priced, with most tops falling between $40-50 and shorts $50-60 (its leggings and sports bras are on the pricier end at $70-100 and $50-60, respectively).
In addition to price and quality, we love the fit of Athleta’s clothing. For starters, the brand offers a wide range of sizes on 70% of its portfolio, from XXS to 3X, and plans to offer extended sizing across all categories by the end of 2022.
What’s more, everything tends to run at least one size bigger compared to how other athletic brands are sized, which is refreshing in a world of sizing that makes you feel bad about yourself. Overall, this fosters a more positive and body-inclusive running community.
What to buy
Phenomena Bra B-DD (small)Vapor Scoop Tank (small)Ultimate Stash Pocket 7″ Short (small)Accelerate Shortie (small)
The best workout clothes for women that’s worth-the-splurge
Lululemon gear fits well and flatters most figures, performs for all types of workouts, and holds up through many washes, making it worth the splurge.
Size range: 0-20
You don’t have to drop tons of money to get a good workout in, but, if you choose the right brand, smartly investing in $100+ leggings or $60 workout shorts can deliver not only more luxurious and comfortable fabric but also more nuanced and thoughtful designs that make your workout (or errands) more comfortable. Lululemon is the apex of that worth-the-splurge market.
For starters, all its gear just looks higher quality and more put together, which is a priority for some people. But moreover, everything is pretty well designed and stays put whether you’re moving through a yoga flow or hitting box jumps at CrossFit.
Its leggings and shorts come with small nice-to-haves like phone and key pockets, strategically-placed reflective features for dark runs, and, most notably, adjustable ties on the inside of the waistband so you can synch the bottoms tighter for a more flattering fit and comfortable workout. Most of my leggings and tops from the brand have been washed dozens and dozens (and dozens) of times and still have a rich color and sleek look (although the Align leggings notoriously pill inside the thighs).
To top it off, its cuts and styles are very flattering for pretty much every figure (although everything fits small so the sizing is frustrating for most women).
What to buy
Fast and Free Tight II 25″ Non-Reflective Nulux (small)All Tied Up Tank (small)Enlite Bra Weave High Support (small)Align Super High Rise Short 10″ (small)Speed Up Shorts (small)
The best sustainable workout clothes for women
Girlfriend Collective’s workout clothing is thoughtfully designed with buttery-soft fabric for a wide range of sizes, and everything from its fabrics to its packaging is mostly or 100% recycled materials.
Size range: XXS-XXXL
The cult-brand Girlfriend Collective is one of our favorite women’s workout brands, and they just so happen to be sustainably made. Let’s start with the fact that the brand designs its activewear to fit a huge range of body types and its leggings and sports bras are beloved by everyone from a size small to a size XXXL for their comfort and cuteness.
Then, the brand uses recycled materials for everything, most often post-consumer water bottles that have been turned into soft, recycled yarn, but also sometimes the factory-floor scraps of that fabric.
Mostly though, we love Girlfriend collective because of its minimalist approach to its designs, offering all the basics, but designed near-perfect and in a range of coordinated colors. Its classic leggings are actually the perfect pair: high-waisted, slightly compressive, squat-proof, and made with super soft fabric crafted from 25 recycled post-consumer plastic bottles (79% recycled polyester).
Its low-impact sports bras are made from the same recycled polyester (from 11 bottles), while they probably won’t support you through box jumps and jump rope, they are cut with a wide rib band so you can wear the set sans shirt to rock that uber-cute monochrome kit look during yoga, hikes, weight-lifting days, or just running out for coffee.
The brand also makes bike shorts, fun (and functional) unitards, and a bunch of loungewear like joggers and fleeces, all of which are made from mostly or entirely recycled materials. The activewear runs on the pricier side (although still cheaper than a lot of its competitors) but you’re paying for higher quality and better sustainability practices.
Superhero Fit uses soft fabrics, flat-lock seams for minimal chafing, and specifically designs its apparel to support and move with sizes Large and up.
Size range: L-7XL
Despite the fact that the average woman is a size 16 or 18 (XL-2X), it is incredibly difficult to find many options for great workout gear above a size 12, let alone, say, a size 24, which is when the fashion industry ventures into “plus-size” or “extended sizing.” However, there are a few plus-size athletic apparel brands that excel at what they do.
One of the newer darlings on the block is Superhero Fit, a brand of high-quality, sweat-wicking activewear designed specifically for people sizes L thru 7X. It doesn’t have a huge selection, but the brand makes one awesome sports bra, one legging, one Capri, and one bike short, each in a variety of colorways (and the option to go monochrome, which we love).
Each piece of activewear is designed using ultra-soft, sweat-wicking, quick-dry fabric with slight compression, strategic gusseting for mobility, and flat-lock seams to minimize chafing. The sports bra supports medium-high impact activities.
Superhold Pocket Leggings (small)Superhold Pocket Capris (small)Superhold Sports Bra (small)Superhold Pocket Bike Shorts (small)
The best outdoorsy workout clothes for women
When you need technical fabrics with UPF, merino wool, and abrasion resistance, Title Nine has some of the best clothes to move in without breaking the bank.
Size range: XS-XL, 4-12
Finding technical clothing that actually fits American female bodies is one of the biggest gripes in the outdoor industry. Title Nine makes outdoor gear specifically designed for hips, booties, and any curves you’re rocking.
What’s more, it has every type of outdoorsy woman covered, whether you like to hike in super technical pants with a ton of pockets, or you prefer form-fitting leggings; whether you like your adventure gear to be loose and breezy or more curve-hugging and flattering.
All of its gear is designed to hit that sweet spot of fashion and function. Its hiking shorts are the perfect length to flatter and prevent chafe, and they hold up against the elements; its sun shirts are quick-dry, offer UPF 50, and come in an array of necklines in case you want something a little showier; and the brand even makes girly gear like sweat-wicking, move-with-your-body dresses, skirts, skorts, and rompers.
To top it off, its prices are in a reasonable category considering not only the technical fabrics and thoughtful features used in the designs, but also the sky-high prices across competitors in the outdoor apparel industry.
What to buy
Sunbuster 2.0 Full Zip Hoodie Sun Shirt (small)Indestructible 2.0 Hiking Shorts (small)Level Up Dress (small)Clamber Pants (small)
The best-looking workout clothes for women
Outdoor Voices is The Brand for Instagram-worthy workout sets, and the quality and fit of its activewear make it well-worth the buy.
Size range: XS to XL, sometimes XXS thru XXXL
Perhaps the original Instagram darling, Outdoor Voices is well known for its flattering designs, bright colors, and matching workout sets. Its leggings, shorts, sports bras, and tops are all made from high-quality, sweat-wicking material that keeps you cool and comfortable everywhere from the gym to a hike to running errands.
What really sets Outdoor Voices apart from competitors are its on-trend colorways (this season is full of pale lemon and bright pink) and its flattering fits. The best-selling Hudson shorts, for example, are high-waisted and cut in a way that lifts and flatters your booty. Its shorts never cut in at the waist or give you chafing between the thighs. Its best-selling Doing Things Bra has a super comfortable rib band, flattering scoop neck, and a stylish back to help provide medium support.
Perhaps the most noteworthy option among OV’s collection is its cult Exercise Dress (I own three colors), which has a lightweight, onesie spandex under layer and with a looser overlay so you can run, jump, play, and sweat without worrying about anything falling out, all while looking ridiculously cute.
The brand isn’t the most size-inclusive with the majority of its line only running from XS to XL. But if that is your size, we love that you can mix and match OV pieces to create eye-catching, monochrome kits.
What to buy
Hudson 2.5″ Short (small)The Exercise Dress (small)Rectrek Shorts (small)Move Free Tank (small)
Women hold less than 5% of CEO positions in the US and Europe, according to Financial Times, and over two million women left the workforce in 2020. Many factors contribute to these realities, which leave women feeling tired, disempowered, and unmotivated, sometimes to the point of self-sabotage. The term “glass ceiling” was created by Marilyn Loden; the phrase is a metaphor for the invisible barrier that prevents women from achieving elevated professional success.
Despite making up 50.8% of the US population and 58.2% of the civil labor force according to the US Census, women are staggeringly absent from upper-level leadership positions in the American workforce.
Efforts to shatter glass ceilings in the workplace and life are still underway. Over the years, I’ve seen women still hesitating, hiding, and holding back – allowing limiting beliefs, situations, and circumstances to take over. Shattering inner and outer glass ceilings is critical for change to occur. Transformational work always starts with the inner work, which creates larger impact and influence.
Here are seven ways to shatter your own glass ceilings that may be holding you back.
1. Release and redefine
Think about a belief or behavior that may be blocking you currently: What meaning are you giving it? Where did those thoughts and stories originate? Once you identify what’s holding you back, write it on a piece of paper and then go bury, burn, or release it. Then, redefine what it is that you desire. Come up with a new thought, belief, story, or behavior that you want to adopt. In every moment, you have a choice to see and create differently. What will you release and redefine today?
2. Break out of the “good girl” mentality
Growing up, girls are praised for being a “good girl” via messages reinforced by society, media, parents, teachers, and other influences. It’s your responsibility to break free from the programmed “good girl” messages. One way of doing this is to take more risks, assert your ideas, and express yourself authentically. Breaking free from what you are expected to do is the key to following your heart and your joy, which honors yourself and your truth.
3. Use your voice
A recent survey of 1,100 US working adults conducted by Catalyst, a nonprofit that works to increase women in leadership, found that 45% of women business leaders say it’s difficult for women to speak up in virtual meetings. One in five say they’ve felt ignored or overlooked by colleagues during video calls. While this happens in business and in the virtual world, this also happens in everyday life.
Women are not owning their full power or utilizing their voice because they fear others’ judgments and risk ruining their reputation. One way of strengthening this muscle is by leaning into the uncomfortable and taking imperfect action. Every time you use your voice, it makes it easier to make it a habit. Where can you start to use your voice more, regardless of how you feel? Don’t worry about what you sound like or who is judging you.
4. Find or hire a mentor, coach, or advocate
Olympians, actors, actresses, and the majority of highly successful people all have one thing in common: They have mentors and coaches to support them, guide them, hold them accountable, challenge, and push them. Personal blind spots can occur, and a third party can help you shift and show you different ways of looking at things that you may have never thought about before.
5. Praise and promote yourself
Know your worth. A study done by KPMG found that 75% of female executives across industries have experienced imposter syndrome in their careers. Imposter syndrome involves persistent feelings of inadequacy, chronic self-doubt, and feeling like a phony despite past and current accomplishments and successes. How can imposter syndrome be eliminated? It starts by celebrating ourselves and each other.
The first step is to remember and own all of your past successes, achievements, and accomplishments. You can set aside some time and list out every single success, achievement, and accomplishment as far back as you can remember. Praise yourself every day, write yourself a note, look in the mirror, and speak to yourself – then celebrate all of your blessings. Finally, take action and get yourself out there. Promote yourself, connect with someone new, or send that email. It doesn’t matter how you do it; it matters that you do it.
6. Ask for what you want
Do you ask for what you want? Do you ask for help and support? Asking requires vulnerability and getting over the fear of rejection. First, get clear about what the ask needs to be: What do you want and need? Then, take action because every time you take action, your confidence increases. Remember, if you never ask, the answer is always no.
7. Find a support system
Find a strong circle of support. Your environment can either make you, break you, or keep you stagnant and stuck. We are truly the average of our environments, and if someone or something isn’t making you stronger, he or she is making you weaker. Breaking the glass ceiling and finding an environment that’s going to challenge you will change your life. Research different online groups; ask friends, mentors, and people who have what you want. Success leaves clues.
Every action you take creates a legacy for the next generations to come.
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Staying cool and comfortable on summer runs requires breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics.
To stay safe on hot runs, you also need sun protection and hydration systems.
We love these 10 brands for all the gear you need for a safe, comfortable summer run.
Athleta is the best overall hot-weather running brand, thanks to its performance fabrics, extended sizing, and stylish gear.
Running is one of the cheapest, most accessible ways to boost your cardio fitness, improve your overall health, and enjoy the mental benefits of exercise. And while all you truly need is a quality pair of running shoes, having comfortable, functional gear can make running a lot more enjoyable – especially as the temperature starts to heat up.
As an avid runner and personal trainer myself, I’ve run in my fair share of both cheaply-made and luxury gear. What I’ve learned: Cotton and cheap fabrics will either absorb your sweat or trap it next to your body, causing it to literally weigh you down and heat you up.
If running is your sport of the summer, it’s worth it to invest in performance fabrics that have sweat-wicking, quick-drying features and apparel designed to be breezy, lightweight, and move with your body, comfortably (no one needs chafing to interrupt their flow). It’s also crucial that you don sun protection – UPF clothing, polarized sunglasses, sweat-proof sunscreen – and have a comfortable way to carry water, no matter how many miles you’re logging.
Lastly, in an effort to shop smarter and make the fitness world more inclusive for everyone, the brands most worth your money should be able to perform during both speed training and long runs, and offer extended sizing.
To help you figure out where to shop for the best summer running gear, we laid out our favorite go-to retailers. These brands will become your best new run buds so feel free to go all in.
Here are the best places to shop for summer running gear:
The best place to buy running clothes overall: Athleta
Athleta not only has cute, comfortable, and 100% functional gear for going on the run, but they also offer extended sizing and sustainable apparel.
For starters, Athleta has great workout clothes that hit that sweet spot of quality and price. I always turn to leggings and shorts with pockets — a must when trying to stash your phone, credit card, keys, and maybe even some fuel on the run. Plus, many of its bottoms feature moisture-wicking fabrics and waistbands that won’t slip as you speed up. Its range of silky soft and extra lightweight tanks also offer that nearly-naked feel I crave on hot, sweaty runs. Lastly, its sports bras provide the support you need to withstand the impact of your stride. In other words, you can wear Athleta from head to toe and feel good through every mile.
What’s more, earlier this year, Athleta expanded its sizing in more than 70% of its collections to offer everything from XXS to 3X. It also plans to offer extended sizing across all categories by the end of 2022. The brand worked with thousands of women to create clothes that work for all sizes and it’s on a mission to feature diverse body types across its catalogues and in-store mannequins, too.
In addition to inclusive sizing, Athleta is also a certified B corporation, meaning it treats its employees and the environment well with fair trade practices and sustainable materials incorporated into its clothes.
What to buy:
Phenomena Bra B-DD (small)Vapor Scoop Tank (small)Ultimate Stash Pocket 7″ Short (small)Accelerate Shortie (small)
The best place to buy budget running apparel
If you’re looking to save money but still want comfortable gear that moves with you and feels good as you go, Amazon’s Core 10 collection has you covered from head to toe.
With most pieces in this Amazon line checking out at under $30, you can’t go wrong with a set of hot weather run gear from this brand. I felt pleasantly surprised by the touch and feel of the pieces I tried on the run, including the soft, stretchy fabrics and lightweight materials.
The gear on Amazon’s Core 10 line-up ranges from shorts and leggings to tanks and tees, plus sports bras and jackets too. The clothes also offer features you want from your warm weather apparel, including moisture wicking to soak up the sweat and four-way stretch so the clothes move with you, not against you. Look for the cuts and styles you prefer on the run, but a few of our favorites are below.
What to buy:
Tri-Blend Muscle Workout Tank (small)Knit Waistband Woven Run Short (small)All Day Comfort High Waist Yoga Short with Side Pockets (small)
The best boutique brand for run apparel
For a brand that promotes running in its next-level clothing and athlete-supporting programs, Tracksmith brings the best in fashion and function.
Tracksmith honors the sport of running in several ways, including making clothing that looks good and feels even better on the move. Each piece of its line has a retro varsity track team vibe, which looks cool on the road. But it’s not all about the style: Each top and bottom also rocks technical properties to help you stay comfortable, like merino wool (a moisture-wicking and anti-odor fabric, which you’ll find in its Harrier collection) and a super lightweight and breathable mesh (which you’ll find in its Van Cortlandt collection). My favorite, the Twilight collection, also features a super lightweight and silky-smooth mesh material that helps to stop you from overheating on those humid days.
We love Tracksmith because it also has a few initiatives that support runners: Its Amateur Support Program offers help for non-professional athletes looking to compete for the podium, giving them stipends for gear; its Fellowship Program funds creative projects that elevate the sport of running, like film, poetry, or podcasts. So, when you buy Tracksmith clothes you can also feel good knowing you’re supporting a brand that’s advancing the sport.
What to buy:
Harrier Tank (small)Twilight Crop Tank (small)Twilight Split Shorts (small)Merino Tube Socks (small)
The best brand for running socks
You’ll want to wear Balega socks every day, but especially on the run thanks to their tech, support, and supreme softness.
You know how good your feet feel after a pedicure? Well, that’s the sensation you get when you slip into Balega’s socks thanks to their ultra-soft material that feels so good against the skin. The brand has a few stand-out performance features, too, including a deep heel pocket that adds comfort and support as you stride, a seamless construction that shields your feet from blisters, plus supreme moisture wicking materials and ventilation that keep your feet cool, even when the weather (and you) heat up.
In addition to those general performance features, Balega also has a few collections with other technology that makes them ideal for running. For example, the Balega Silver sock line features an anti-microbial finish that keeps stink at bay. If you prefer more cushioning, the Hidden Comfort line also acts like a pillow for your feet, while the V-Tech arch support in the Enduro collection adds extra comfort underfoot, cushioning your stride through plenty of miles.
For a lightweight running hat that looks cool and keeps you cool, too, rnnr has a line-up of caps you’ll love wearing.
Founded by a former special education teacher and track and cross-country coach, rnnr aims to get more people to lace up and hit the road via affordable gear. That gear includes their extremely lightweight and breathable hats, perfect for blocking the sun without locking in heat. Its collection of hats feature mesh materials that allow for airflow and ventilation, plus quick-dry and moisture-management properties — all features you want in a good run hat and at an affordable price point (the most expensive one is $35). With each hat, you can also style it to your liking, with a flat, curved, or popped-up brim, or choose to get in on the trucker hat trend.
In an effort to get more people to fall in love with running at an early age, the brand also donates a portion of the proceeds from each purchase to initiatives that fund local youth running programs.
What to buy:
Lightweight Running Hat Pacer Oreo (small)Lightweight Distance Hat Unicorn (small)
The best brand for sports bras
To find a great fit at any size, along with high-impact support, Brooks sports bras bring all the features you want to keep things in place — without too much restriction.
Brooks has long been making bras that offer max support during high-impact activity like running and the brand particularly beloved by ladies with a large bra size (some items go up to 44E) for being comfortable, not too restrictive, and reliably supportive. That’s why it’s one of our top picks among the best sports bras you can buy.
You’ll also find more customization throughout its collections, with straps you can arrange multiple ways, straps that you can tighten in the front for easier access, and hook-and-eye closures in the back. They also offer bras with or without molded cups, and some even have pockets for storing keys or more with ease. There’s truly an option for all women at all sizes, with any preference.
Brooks recently launched a new running bra collection called Drive, meant to offer full support through every run. Based on research and testing in partnership with the University of Portsmouth and 1,000 runner reviews, this line stops the bounce, no matter your speed or size. This line features four new bras, including those with high necklines, mesh materials, and fabric that holds you in — and while all these bras stop any uncomfortable movement on the run, they don’t make you feel restricted.
Like their shoe search, Brooks also offers a Bra Finder so you can find your best fit before buying. It’ll ask you a series of questions on fit, preferences, issues you’ve had in the past, and what you like about your sports bras, and then it’ll serve up some suggestions.
Drive Convertible Run Bra (small)Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra (small)Dare Racerback Run Bra (small)
The best brand for running sunglasses
You can’t get much more lightweight and non-slip than 100% performance sunglasses, which stay comfy through every mile.
Sunglasses not only keep you from having to squint from the brightness of the sun, but they’ll also protect your eyes from harmful rays, especially if you get a quality set. The problem: I’ve always found it tough to run (especially when super sweaty) with glasses. That is until I found a solid, lightweight pair that didn’t slip off my nose as I hit my stride. These from small-business 100% do just that. They feel incredibly light on the face, courtesy of the carbon material, and have a rubber nose piece that keeps them from sliding down with sweat.
100% sunglasses have plenty of tech on each pair, too, in both their active performance and sports performance lines. For starters, they offer color contrasting lenses to make various hues on the street or trails pop and enhance your depth perception. The polarized lenses also reduce glare and, if you choose the Photochromic lenses, they also adjust to the lighting outdoors to better your vision. Finally, you get superior UV protection on all 100% glasses, as well as a treatment that keeps dirt, oil, and water from smudging up your lenses. And just in case you take a spill, this eyewear is also impact- and scratch-resistant.
Stay hydrated on the move, without feeling like you’re carrying around tons of weight with Nathan Sports bottle, belt, and vest options.
During long, hot runs (and even during some especially humid short ones), water is crucial to not only finishing your miles, but also making sure you’re still standing at the end. For that, you need to take some water with you on the go, and it should be easy to carry along. Enter Nathan Sports’ hydration systems from bottles to vests to waist belts.
Handheld bottles work perfectly for any short- to medium-distance mileage and you have several options from Nathan. The brand’s line-up of handhelds includes insulated bottles that not only feel easy to hold (no grip required, thanks to comfy straps), but also keep your liquids cooler for longer and some have extra pockets, too. Nathan also offer belts, complete with water bottles tucked into the sides, so you have plenty of H2O for longer distances. And for those going extra far, you can opt for a vest that makes drinking up easy and carrying convenient.
The new line of Pinnacle vests is a solid go-to. Created from years of feedback from customers and athletes, these vests weigh 20% less than others in Nathan’s line-up, plus they have 13 pockets to stash all your snacks and other belongings, a more comfortable carry design, and they hold up to 12 liters of water.
What to buy:
Pinnacle 12L Women’s Hydration Vest (small)Peak Hydration Waist Pak (small)Quicksqueeze Lite 12oz Insulated Handheld (small)Speeddraw Plus Insulated Flask (small)
The best brand for running shoes
For that sweet spot between cushion and responsiveness, Hoka One One brings the shoes that keep you going the distance.
Shoes hold the top spot for must-haves when it comes to running gear, no matter the temperature. Finding a sneaker that works for you and your gait often takes a little trial-and-error to see what keeps you comfy and ache-free through all the miles. And sometimes, you might love a shoe for your long runs and a totally different one for some speed work. But one brand I love myself as a long-time runner and that I hear the most raves reviews about again and again is Hoka One One.
Known for being super light but mega cushioned, Hoka shoes tend to have a thicker sole that provides the support needed for longer miles. They also have a heel cup that helps to keep the foot stable as you land and take off. Depending on which shoe you choose, you may also experience the ProFly technology, which provides a bouncy, more responsive ride, or if you’re really looking to pick up the pace, a carbon fiber plate in some shoes will help to propel you forward. For those who pronate, Hoka also offers stability shoes, thanks to their J-Frame construction. And another feature that helps with the impact on landing is Hoka’s extended heel. So whether you’re looking for light and bouncy or something more stable, Hoka has an option for you.
In addition to your typical body and face sunscreens that feel lightweight and smell delicious, Coola also has tons of products to fulfill all your UV protection needs.
Coola has a few stamps of approvals from third parties, including maintaining formulas that are cruelty free, vegan, organic, paraben free, and safe on our coral reefs. So, you always have the benefit of feeling good about what you’re putting on your body with this brand! But beyond the label, each product in the brand’s line-up also feels lightweight and great against the skin — and most smell delicious too.
In addition to your typical non-greasy body lotions and sprays, the brand also features several facial products that don’t feel oily when you rub it on and those that keep your eyes from burning when you start to sweat. The brand also has a few products you wouldn’t even think you need but are totally helpful, like the Scalp & Hair Mist SPF 30 — perfect for those who wear braids and need some protection for their part as they run.
What to buy:
Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops SPF 30 (small)Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 (small)Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 70 (small)Liplux with SPF 30 (small)
Solid running shoes that support your biomechanics will make miles more comfortable and safe.
It’s important to consider how much cushioning you need and where, and what surface you run on.
Our top pick, Brooks Ghost 13, is lightweight, cushioned, and durable enough to last long miles.
Running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise (and stress relief). Whether you’ve decided you’re going to start running a mile a week or you’re training for your first marathon, finding a quality, comfortable pair of running shoes is the first step to guaranteeing that commitment will happen – and that it’ll actually be enjoyable.
If you’re new to running, it’s hard to know how to choose the best pair of shoes off anything other than aesthetics. But, truly, it’s fit you want to look for. The amount of cushioning, stability, tread, breathability, and overall design shape is different for every shoe, and each of these effects or supports your natural biomechanics (that’s the way all the parts of your body move to create one overall unit).
If shoes often squish your toes, you want to look for a pair with a wider toe box. If you have bad knees or an old injury, you might do well with more cushioning in a shoe. What’s more, features like deeper lugs or waterproofing can make things like trail runs or winter runs not only more comfortable but also safer.
These aren’t just nice-to-haves: Over time, running miles and miles in the wrong shoe for your body can lead to stress and overuse injuries.
We would know: I’ve been an avid runner for years, as have all the fitness editors at Insider Reviews. Together, we comprise a diverse pool of varying foot shapes and biomechanical needs and have tested nearly every running shoe on the market.
Leveraging our experience as runners and as gear reviewers, we’ve narrowed in on the best running shoes for women with different needs. At the end of this guide, we go into more detail on how to shop for a women’s running shoe.
The Brooks Ghost 13 shoes are durable enough for long runs, light enough for speedwork, and are even more responsive than the Ghost 10 thanks to a new sole unit.
Pros: Well-cushioned, lightweight, smooth heel-to-toe transition, breathable, versatile design ideal for both speed work and long distances
Cons: Heavy, not supportive enough for overpronation, some reviewers feel the sole redesign creates a firmer feel that could become uncomfortable on long distances
If you’re looking for a cushioned, neutral running shoe that will fit most foot shapes, the Brooks Ghost 13 is your pick. The latest model of the Ghost line-up, the Ghost 13 has out-of-the-box comfort and works for both comfortable long runs and snappy speed work.
The Ghost 13 keeps much of what worked in prior Ghost iterations, including the 12mm heel-to-toe drop for a smooth ride. There have also been a few significant design changes, most notable the new sole unit which cuts down on the foam of previous models. This helps break away from Brooks’ reputation for heavy shoes — the Ghost 13 is comparably lightweight to other shoes on our list at just 8.8 ounces.
The rest of the sole keeps the original DNA foam which gives it the cushioned and responsive feel the Ghost line is known for. I found that this redesign offers a firmer feel underfoot than its predecessors, which is great for speedwork but could create some discomfort for longer distances.
The shoe’s upper features a seamless, engineered mesh that promotes airflow while keeping dirt and debris out. It also gives the shoe a sleeker, more modern look. I also love that unlike many other shoes, the Ghost 13 has one tongue loop so it won’t slip around while you run and you don’t have to constantly readjust.
Pros: Great overpronation support, comfortable cushioning, breathable, stable, 10mm drop for a natural heel-to-toe motion
Cons: Heavy, not ideal for neutral runners, upper too breathable for cold weather, narrower toe box than previous models
As a tried-and-true stability shoe line, the entire New Balance 860 line is solely dedicated to providing stability to those who overpronate, helping prevent any unnecessary running injuries.
The newest model in the line, the 860v11 has a new Fresh Foam midsole, which delivers a soft-yet-supportive feel. The 860v11 excels at providing a steady and well-supported run. One of the downsides of the 860v11 is, at 9.6 ounces, this shoe is slightly heavier compared to others on our list. But the slight weight increase comes with the payoff of more support, and its durability makes the 860v11 ideal for high-mileage.
It has a T-Beam stability shaft that runs under the midsole to help correct overpronation and still allows for a snappy and responsive feel often found in lighter running shoes. The blown rubber outsole works well in both wet and dry conditions, too.
Unfortunately, the 860v11 does have a slightly narrower toe box, particularly in comparison to past models, which will be a deal-breaker for some (though it’s worth noting the model comes in narrow, standard, wide, or extra-wide widths).
The best shoe for trail running
The Hoka One One Challenger ATR 6 can handle rough terrain with its rugged soles, yet provides max cushioning and feels lightweight for a comfortable run.
Pros: Fantastic cushioning-to-weight ratio, rugged outsole and 4 mm lugs provide great traction, works on both trails and roads, toe-cap protection against rocks, comes in wide-width option, beloved by runners with joint pain
Cons: Not suited for overpronators, maybe too cushioned for rugged trails
The Hoka One One Challenger ATR 6 is the ideal road-to-trail shoe for anyone who may be tackling mixed terrain. With Hoka’s signature cushioning underfoot, the Challenger ATR 6 provides stability and less stress and impact on the body. The Challenger ATR 6 is considered a neutral running shoe, so it won’t offer much in terms of support for overpronators. Devotees of the brand swear by that padding for reducing stress on their tendons and muscles, though.
Lightweight at just 8.8 ounces and with 4mm lugs, they’re responsive, rugged, and won’t weigh you down while you conquer your local trail. The shoe’s box is reinforced with thermoplastic polyurethane to protect your toes from rocks and roots on the trail. Hokas fit most feet, but the Challenger ATR 6 does have a wide-width option for those who need a seriously wide shoe.
If you have to log some pavement strides before you hit trail, the traction and grip performance of this shoe is the sweet spot to works just as well on trails as it does on the pavement.
The biggest update to the ATR 6 from the 5 is the switch to recycled Unifi REPREVE® yarn derived from post-consumer waste plastic in the primary and collar mesh, and recycled poly laces, both of which are moves to help reduce waste in the running shoe industry.
The best lightweight running shoe
The New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v3 running shoes provide a super lightweight feel without sacrificing cushioned comfort, and they’re versatile enough to tackle both short and long runs.
Pros: Super lightweight, cushioned, comfortable upper, reflective, versatile for both short and long runs
Cons: Shorter lifespan for total mileage, runs small
If you’re looking for a neutral, lightweight running shoe with a cushioned feel, the New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v3 is your go-to. The women’s model weighs in at a mere 6.2 ounces, which is significantly lighter than most other running shoes.
This weight seems impossible with all the foam cushioning involved. The magic lies in what’s known as Fresh Foam Ground Contact, the concave and convex hexagon material that makes up the sole, sculpted and shaped to provide cushion and stability where its needed most. It’s ultra-light yet still provides a soft and responsive feel.
The all-knit upper allows for comfort, breathability, and stretch. From heel to toe, there’s a 6mm drop, which is ideal for neutral runners. We also love the unique design feature of the ‘N’ logo being highly reflective, making for a safer dawn or dusk run.
The sole does have quite a bit of exposed foam, and while New Balance has strategically-placed lugs to keep the heel and forefoot supported, this design means this running shoe will last you more like 250 to 300 miles of running, as opposed to most other shoes’ lifespan of 500 miles.
Also, we found that the Arishi v3 run slightly small, so we recommend going half a size up for a comfortable fit.
Best running shoe for long runs
The Under Armour HOVR Infinite is specifically designed for long runs, with responsive cushioning, a durable outsole, and a built-in chip that tracks your running progress.
Cons: May need to size up, connectivity feature is currently only compatible with MapMyRun
If you’re logging longer and longer runs, the Under Armour HOVR are ideal for two reasons: its distance-specific design and built-in Record Sensor technology.
A neutral running shoe, the HOVR Infinite is marked by its high energy-return HOVR foam. This has just the right amount of cushion to keep your legs feeling fresh even as you pile on the miles, and offers responsiveness with each stride to help keep you moving with more ease. The outsole is made of blown rubber and carbon rubber for extra durability — a must for shoes expected to withstand high-mileage runs.
The HOVR Infinite are specifically designed for the anatomy of the female foot, as well, to deliver a tighter better fit with a contoured sock liner. We found them to be not only comfortable with a soft tongue and breathable mesh upper, but also very lightweight at 8.8 ounces.
The other stand-out feature for these shoes is Under Armour’s proprietary Record Sensor tech. This is a removable chip is embedded in the insole of the shoe to track your speed, distance, stride length, and cadence. This data can then be uploaded to the Under Armour MapMyRun app post-run, allowing you to view your stats in one place. The data only works on MapMyRun (for now) but we love that you can still track your miles if you don’t own a GPS watch or if you want to know your end mileage without being distracted by your split times on your wrist.
Even if you don’t care about the connectivity aspect, the shoe itself is still impressive. They clock in at $120, which is roughly the same as other running shoes on the market that don’t offer the same smart features.
Best shoe for winter runs
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 Shield are incredibly comfortable, have great traction on icy roads, and keep your feet dry running through slush, snow, or rain.
Pros: Lightweight, springy, great waterproofing, superior traction
Cons: Can feel a little tight around the top of the midfoot, will feel narrow for wide feet
After testing 15 pairs of winter-specific running shoes, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 Shield is our top pick thanks to its road-specific design that provides a little bounce back with each stride you take. What’s more, the traction on these shoes replicates what you’d find on tires. The result is a ton of grip underfoot without the lugs normally required for such a hold, which is a very hard combo to find in running shoes.
These shoes kept fitness writer Mallory Creveling’s feet dry on snowy runs, as well as when splashed directly with water in a bathtub test of the shoes waterproofing capabilities. Despite being water-repellent, these shoes are still flexible and breathable.
These do have a unique feature of giving a squeeze of support from the upper, which can feel a little too tight at times. Creveling notes loosening the laces is a simple fix, but these probably won’t be comfortable for a wider foot shape.
Overall, these are running shoe you could wear every day year-round without having to worry about cold, wet, or uncomfortable feet through many chilly miles. –Rachael Schultz
How to shop for running shoes
While shopping, you’ll want to consider the type of running you plan to do. Do you intend on doing a lot of road racing? If so, a lightweight shoe should be your go-to. Perhaps you’re planning on embarking on long trail runs; you may want a shoe designed specifically for trail running.
If you’re looking for a simple training shoe for casual running, then durability won’t be a big concern. However, if you’re the type of runner who lives in their running shoes, finding a high-mileage shoe gives you the best quality for your money.
One of the biggest factors in which running shoe is right for you depends on whether your foot strike overpronates, supinates, or remains neutral.
When your foot strikes the ground, the arch of your foot is going to collapse to some degree, which then causes your ankle to roll inward. This concept is called pronation, and it is the most defining factor in what kind of support you need from your shoe.
Some people have a neutral footstrike, so they don’t need cushioning on either side. But most of us have a tendency to overpronate or supinate.
If you overpronate, your foot rolls inward when you run, and your body isn’t absorbing shock as efficiently. To help with this, you’ll want a more supportive motion-control shoe designed to correct your foot motion.
If you supinate, your foot doesn’t rolling in far enough. This causes the outside of your foot to take the brunt of the impact with every strike. If this is the case, you’ll want a more neutral-cushioned shoe that encourages natural foot motion.
This is one of the most important things to consider when buying running shoes, too — overpronation or supination often causes serious injury over time if not addressed.
The difference between women’s and men’s running shoes
What makes women’s running shoes different from men’s starts with foot shape. Women tend to have smaller heels in relation to the forefoot, so the shape of the shoe needs to be slightly different. A lower body mass also results in slightly less foam in the midsole of the shoe, while deeper grooves make it easier to flex the midsole when toeing off.
Men and women also have different Q-angles, or the angle of incidence between the quad muscle and the kneecap, as women generally have wider hips than men. This tends to cause pronation, which requires different types of cushioning.
As a yoga teacher and decades-long practitioner, I live in yoga pants.
I went on a proper search for the best yoga pants and the top choices on the market.
I’ve rounded up my favorites, including my top maternity leggings, below.
There are few clothing items as versatile as the yoga pant. They’re not only great for yoga class but also ideal for running errands-and sprints. This is why they’re a staple in so many of our wardrobes. All yoga pants aren’t created equal, though. And the difference between poorly and expertly-made leggings can determine whether your yoga practice is distracted and fidgety or calm and blissful.
As a yoga teacher and decades-long practitioner, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of yoga pants with my fair share of ill fits and too-thin see-through fabric. These years of informal testing led me to know exactly what to look for when formally sampling the yoga-pant market. Specifically, the material’s comfort and cut are the two most important factors.
As a yogi watches their breath and tackles challenging physical postures, a nagging fold of fabric that needs to be adjusted (and readjusted) can take them right out of the peaceful moment that they were working so hard to achieve. That’s why the best yoga pants are the kind that you don’t notice you’re wearing.
The ideal material, on the other hand, can vary based on what you want your yoga pants for. For example, the ideal hot yoga pants won’t be made from the same fabric as those for a fall outdoor class. And maternity yoga pants’ material won’t compress as a performance pair might.
With these considerations in mind, we scrutinized some of the most popular and newest pants on the market. The details on our testing process are below.
How we tested
To assess how the cut and fabric felt and moved in different situations, I wore each for a diverse range of activities. I sported each pant for three yoga sessions and one non-yoga workout. Each pant was also my attire for one full day of varied activities, from running errands to watching Netflix. Each bottom was washed twice.
Everlane’s Perform Legging is comfortable for all-day wear, yoga, and other workouts. Its high quality and relatively low price distinguishes it from comparable pants.
Pros: Comfortable, ethically made, affordable
Cons: Thin material, so these aren’t great for outdoor yoga (or wear) in cold weather.
When most people think of yoga pants, Everlane isn’t among the first brands that come to mind. But since discovering this legging, I have been recommending it widely.
As a nod to their focus on ethical production, the bag that housed the leggings announced that it “is made from recycled plastic,” and the tag on the pants invited me to visit their website to learn more about the “ethical manufacturing process.” I took them up on the offer and the site took me to a factory in Sri Lanka and told their story. Yoga is more than a physical practice. It’s also a philosophy and way of life, which has a strong focus on ahimsa, or non-harming. It felt good to know that the pants’ production was aligned.
But it wasn’t just the backstory that made me fall in love with these pants. They’re thin and sleek with few seams and made from recycled nylon and elastane. The light compression from the extra-high waist, reminded me to use my ab muscles, even in simple poses like tadasana (mountain pose). And, most importantly, when I put them on, they felt so good that they made me want to get on my mat and practice yoga. Not all pants can inspire a workout.
During my yoga practice, the leggings checked all the boxes. They were flexible, so easy to move in, and they were comfortable. They lived up to the hype of being made from a “premium performance fabric from a renowned Italian mill.”
I also appreciated that these pants have no visible logo. My yoga practice is a time to step away from the material world, and the absence of a small symbol of consumer culture was a nice touch. They’re also well below the $100+ yoga pant price point at $58 per pair, leaving more cash to fit in the cute pocket in the waistband.
Cons: Not great for indoor high-intensity yoga or exercise
As the pandemic has shuttered studios, many teachers have moved classes to parks and parking lots with socially distanced mats. This has been great for those of us who need to practice with others so can’t just Zoom a class. But what do we wear? Thin yoga pants are great for feeling free and agile during practice, but they’re not great for winter walks or outdoor classes in cooler weather.
Of all of the pants that I tested, the Alo High-Waist Lounge Legging was the only one that had a level of thickness to provide strong protection from the wind chill of cold days. They’re still flexible, though, with Alo’s signature four-way stretch.
When I wore these outside, they were perfect, and for lounging indoors or doing light movement, like restorative yoga or stretching, they were also great. But when I wore them indoors for more intense workouts, they were too hot for my comfort.
Overall, these pants with Alo’s “velvety” Alosoft fabric are a dream. As the name would suggest, they feel incredibly soft against your skin, and the ribbing at the waist and ankles make them even cozier and more flattering.
Cons: The thin material is not great for outdoor classes or colder climates
While you may be questioning your decision to ever wear skin tight jeans after months of quarantine, the question about why we wear tight pants is especially relevant in yoga. When I went to India to study with my yoga school, they warned us Americans that our idea of “yoga pants” wouldn’t be acceptable attire there. Looser pants were the norm.
But the problem with baggy yoga pants can sometimes be that the fabric flies all around and makes movements clunkier. And in inversions, loose trousers may even succumb to gravity and fall down from your ankles to your hips.
I love Sweaty Betty’s Gary Yoga Pant because they’ve thought of all of that. These pants are loose, comfortable, and lightweight, but they also work well for practice. They’re tapered at the ankles, so they didn’t fall when I was upside down. Plus, the polyester/elastane blend fabric was roomy and stretchy enough that I could move into deep poses carefree. As Sweaty Betty advertises, they’re “100% squat proof.”
When in-person yoga becomes the norm again, I’ll probably mostly wear traditional leggings, but on days when I want to feel less constricted, these would be my go-to pants.
Cons: Prominent branding, too thin and airy for cold weather, can’t be tumble dried
Even with most hot yoga studios temporarily closed, many aficionados find ways to get in a heated practice at home by blasting space heaters and shoving blankets underneath doors. For these steamy classes, the right yoga pants can make a big difference. When drenched, certain fabrics’ compression and thickness leads to too much weight and cling to be comfortable. The adidas x Karlie Kloss Primeblue High-Waist Long Tights are a great thin option that avoids those pitfalls.
The pants are great for any workout, but especially good for sweaty activities like runs and heated classes. They’re made from primeblue, a material partially made of upcycled plastic, which would have otherwise ended up in oceans. They also have elastane.
These pants were comfortable for cardio workouts and unheated yoga as well. But they were less ideal for outside wear, at least in the fall and winter. Each leg has six small holes about half way down, and there’s a thinner, ribbed fabric interspersed with the main material. These touches made the leggings ideal when my heart was pumping but less so for running errands on a windy day.
Also, the branding made these pants feel less able to switch from a workout to a dressier engagement. The branding, a small “Aeroready” on the back waist, and 10 inches of “Karlie Kloss” and the Adidas logo down the hip make it clear that these are exercise leggings.
When I first tried on the Alo High-Waist Airlift Legging, I felt like I was getting dressed up. The double-knit Airlift fabric’s silky sheen and high waist made them feel more sophisticated than the yoga pants I had been wearing every other day.
High waists vary. Some land below my belly button while others nearly reach the bottom of my sports bra. I appreciated that these pants were of the higher variety. Having a higher waist supports my yoga practice because the touch of pressure on my stomach nudges me to engage my core. I’m not sure if it was that engagement, the micro-performance fabric, or both, but the pants did smooth my mid-section. And with the higher high waist, I didn’t have to worry about the pants rolling down during forward-folding poses like uttanasana or paschimottanasana.
Another advantage of these pants is that they’re thin, but not too thin. The light fabric and its four-way stretch is great for postures that call for deep stretches, like split pose, but they’re not so light that they expose what’s under them — in other words, no visible underwear lines. The front smoothing panel is great for that protection or, as Alo says, “commando comfort.”
The best maternity yoga pant
If you’re a yogi with a bump, these pants will give you a fit that rivals those of your pre-pregnancy pants.
Pros: Soft, comfortable and great fit
Cons: Limited duration of usability; the extra high waist is great for a bump, but with this extra fabric, they may not be ideal far beyond pregnancy
Maintaining my yoga practice during pregnancy was crucial, not only because I’ve been practicing daily for years and wanted to keep up my strength and flexibility, but also because a prenatal practice has been shown to reduce labor pain and length. As my bump grew, however, my yoga classes—and pants—had to change. Traditional vinyasa flows became too intense, and the waists of my favorite leggings kept getting lower and tighter. It was time for prenatal classes and new yoga wear.
These leggings are buttery soft and fit exactly like my favorite pre-pregnancy pants. The one exception, however, is the super high waist. This top portion can be worn up, reaching just below your bra, or folded down for a more traditional yoga pant look. Personally, I preferred wearing the waist up, so that during practice, the pants would stay in place perfectly.
As I sat in squats and reached my limbs into bird-dogs, the leggings’ Spacedye fabric, which delivers on its promise of an “ultra soft feel,” stretched with me like a second skin. And as my belly has expanded over the past few weeks since I first wore them, the fit has remained just as good. I’m excited to have these pants see me through the rest of my third trimester and beyond.
What else we considered:
Lululemon Groove Pant Flare Super HR ($98, sizes 0-14): As expected from Lululemon, these pant’s Nulu™ fabric is light and soft. They’re great for all day wear, and the high waist adds to their comfort. They weren’t a top choice, though, because their flare cut makes them less ideal for a fast-paced yoga practice. In inversions and seated forward folds, the excess fabric was a bit distracting.
Outdoor Voices Springs 7/8 Legging ($78, sizes XXS to XXXL): These were the only yoga pants that I got compliments on. Outdoor Voices’ signature color block design helps these leggings to stand out from competitors and is a creative way to have their pants be immediately recognizable as Outdoor Voices without needing a logo. I was comfortable in these leggings working out, running errands, and practicing yoga, and I also loved how they looked. But they didn’t make the top list, because I found the textured polyester and spandex fabric less comfortable than that of the other pants.
Beyond Yoga Heather Rib Jogger ($110, sizes XS to XL): These are another great option for a non-legging yoga pant. They’re very comfortable, and when I put them on I didn’t want to take them off for days. That said, they didn’t make the top choices, because they’re more fitted than I would like when I’m looking for a non-legging pant. A large part of the appeal of the non-legging pant to me is to not have a form-fitting shape, and these felt a little too close to leggings for me.
Seraphine Maternity Activewear & Yoga Power Leggings ($59, sizes XS to XL): At nearly half the cost of the other maternity leggings we tested, these are a great option if you want to invest less in pants that you’ll only be wearing for a couple of trimesters. Though I didn’t find the fit as ideal as that of the top maternity pic, these were comfortable and held up across activities. The pant legs are made of a sweat-wicking material, which made it feel like there’s some distance between me and the fabric. (This was nice at a time when I’m already feeling constricted enough!) And, the belly band is made of soft jersey material, which was comfortable to wear over my bump all day long.
HATCH Before, During, and After Legging ($98, sizes XS to XL): I loved these leggings. Made of 92% modal and 8% spandex, the fabric is super soft. Though they feel as cozy as pajamas, they don’t look like them, and can be easily dressed up with a nice top and non-athletic shoes. These aren’t explicitly yoga pants, but they worked well in maternity-style yoga classes, which exclude sweaty, vigorous sequences. What these pants lacked in yoga-pant-perfection, they made up for in their versatility.
Apple helped popularize smartwatches with the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015, which was one of the first smartwatches that appealed to broad audiences beyond those interested in tech.
But it’s also facing increased competition as rivals like Samsung and Fitbit have upgraded the form and functionality of their watches, too. Google also recently announced a new version of its smartwatch platform that it developed in partnership with Samsung, so we’ll be looking out for new watches powered by this updated software later this year.
We’ve been reviewing smartwatches for the past six years and have witnessed their evolution from being clunky, wrist-worn gadgets to sleek timepieces that can almost pass as regular analog watches.
Our buying guide includes all kinds of watches to suit every style and preference. Whether you’re looking for a watch that’s stylish and minimalist or want a device to help you get in shape for the new year, we’ve got you covered.
The Apple Watch Series 6 has an improved always-on display, a great fit even on smaller wrists, and excellent fitness features.
Pros: Stylish and customizable design, wide selection of health tracking features, easy-to-use interface, attractive always-on display
Cons: Expensive, shorter battery life than Fitbit watches, less detailed sleep metrics than rivals
The Apple Watch is still our top pick, and the Series 6 brings improvements like a brighter always-on display, faster charging, and the ability to measure blood oxygen levels. We think the Apple Watch offers the best combination of health tracking, general smart features, style, and customization options.
Just like the Series 5, the Series 6 comes in 40mm and 44mm size options. Apple also added two new finishes with its latest watch, blue and red, meaning the Series 6 comes in more color options than any other Apple Watch.
After testing plenty of Android Wear and Fitbit smartwatches, the Apple Watch is still generally the easiest to use and has the most polished software experience.
For fitness fanatics, the Apple Watch allows you to log dozens of workout types, track metrics like calorie burn and exercise minutes, can detect hard falls, and can monitor your heart rate. For those that may need to keep a closer eye on their respiratory or cardiac health, the Apple Watch Series 6 can also detect oxygen levels in the blood and take an ECG from your wrist.
Otherwise, the Apple Watch comes with all of the features you’d expect from a smartwatch, such as mobile payment support, standalone GPS, water resistance up to 50 meters, the option for cellular connections on pricier models, and plenty of apps to choose from.
For those who don’t want to spend $400 on the Series 6, Apple also sells the $280 SE. That watch is missing some of the bells and whistles found on the Series 6 — most crucially an always-on display and deeper health features like ECG monitoring and blood oxygen measurements — but still offers the same general experience.
In terms of battery life, you can expect the Apple Watch to last for more than a day, but probably not two full days. That can make it challenging to use as a sleep tracker since it’s best to charge it nightly.
Even so, the Apple Watch combines style, functionality, and health tracking better than most rivals, making it our favorite smartwatch.
The best with a feminine design
The Fossil Julianna HR is a sleek smartwatch with a feminine design, a heart rate monitor, GPS, NFC, and the power of WearOS.
Pros: Classic watch design, stylish color options, lots of compatible watch straps, and it’s compatible with iPhones and Android phones
Cons: It’s a bit chunky, not as good with iPhone
If you’re an Android user who wants a feminine smartwatch, you’re in luck. Over the past few years, fashion brands and watchmakers have been making great Wear OS smartwatches. Fossil’s smartwatch line continues to grow each year, and we are looking forward to testing its newer Gen 5 LTE watches. But until then, we still recommend the Julianna HR.
The Julianna HR has the latest tech like a heart rate sensor, GPS, and NFC for mobile payments. Fossil also offers several different finishes for the Julianna’s watch casing. I love the simple rose gold casing and leather strap option, but you can also get one with a metal bracelet.
If you don’t like any of the included straps, Fossil and other brands sell dozens of 22mm watch straps you can choose instead to really make the Julianna your own.
It’s a chunky watch, which is great for those who like bigger watches. Even though it’s stylish, this smartwatch is also waterproof up to 3 ATM, so you can swim with it on.
The Julianna runs Wear OS (previously known as Android Wear) and works with thousands of apps on the Google Play Store. You can answer texts, interact with notifications, and choose your own watch face — just like you would on any other smartwatch. Fossil has lots of nice watch faces in feminine colors, too.
It’ll work with both Android phones and the iPhone, but it’s best with Android devices. When Android Wear watches are paired to the iPhone, a lot of functions no longer work, and you’re left with a pretty watch that gives you notifications.
The best for minimalists
The Skagen Falster 3 has a simple, attractive design, a heart rate monitor, Google Pay, and built-in GPS.
Pros: Cool design, simple mesh band, suits women and men, Wear OS, works with iPhone and Android, GPS, NFC, heart rate monitor
Cons: A bit pricey
Skagen is known for its minimalistic design choices, and that’s exactly what you can expect from the Falster 3. It has a distinct look from other smartwatches with its signature lugs and simple bands, and it’s also slimmer than the original Falster.
Skagen also recently announced a new watch called the Jorn Hybrid HR, which should be available later this year and uses gray-scale e-ink technology for its watchface. We have yet to test this model, but will update this guide accordingly if it’s worth recommending.
The Falster 3 is an interesting smartwatch because it could easily suit just about anyone. I tried the Falster 3 on for size, and while it was still a bit large for my notoriously small wrists, it looked just fine on larger wrists. If you like bigger watches, it’ll look right at home on you.
Just like all other Wear OS (previously Android Wear) smartwatches, the Falster 3 works with both iPhone and Android devices. As always, Wear OS is best with an Android phone; some functions simply don’t work as well when you pair this watch to an iPhone. It also supports the Google Assistant, and you can take calls from your wrist since it has a speaker and microphone.
You can download thousands of apps from the Google Play Store and get notifications on your wrist. It also has GPS, NFC for Google Pay mobile payments, and a heart rate monitor, so it’s more fully-featured and high tech than the original Falster. You can even go swimming with it, as it’s rated for 5 ATM water resistance.
Pros: Heart rate monitor, automatically tracks some workouts, offers helpful data for 39 different types of exercise, easy to use, good app selection, simple design
Cons: Some features may be limited on iOS
Many fitness-focused smartwatches are still bulky and relatively unattractive, so if you’re looking for a smartwatch that looks subtle but knows its way around a workout, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.
It comes in two sizes (40mm and 44mm) so you can pick the one that suits your style and wrist-size best. You can also choose between several finishes, including black, silver, gold, a pink-ish gold, and a blue-ish silver. Plus, the 22mm straps are swappable, so you can change up the look of the watch to match your outfit on any given day.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is compatible with both iOS and Android phones, so you can get notifications, track your workouts, and even issue voice commands to the digital assistant Bixby on the watch. Samsung Pay works on the watch for mobile payments when you’re on the go. Samsung’s app store is quite robust, too, so you can have apps like Spotify, Twitter, Strava, and more on your wrist.
In terms of fitness features, the Active 2 not only tracks your activity, but it can automatically detect seven different types of workouts — “walking, running, cycling, rowing, elliptical trainer, dynamic workouts, and swimming” — and start tracking them without you having to do anything.
The watch can also track 39 types of exercise, though you will manually have to select the specific workout on the watch to get the specialized tracking and advice from the Health app. It’s water-resistant up to 5 ATM — just like the Apple Watch — so you can swim with it on, too.
Its heart rate monitor helps to ensure that your stats are accurate, and the watch can also detect high or low heart rates. All told, it’s an effective smartwatch that excels at fitness tracking.
The best for sleep tracking
The Fitbit Versa 3 combines robust sleep tracking with fantastic battery life for those interested in learning more about their sleeping habits.
Pros: Long battery life, in-depth sleep tracking, plenty of health and fitness features
Cons: Need premium subscription ($9.99/month) to access the most comprehensive stats, no LTE version
The Fitbit Versa 3 is a full-featured smartwatch that has a lot to offer when it comes to sleep tracking and fitness, coupled with excellent multi-day battery life.
The 40mm Versa 3 has a crisp AMOLED display and an aluminum watch casing with built-in GPS and sensors to monitor blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), heart rate, and skin temperature. There’s also a speaker and microphone for taking phone calls on the watch.
The sleep tracking is particularly robust. Users get a Sleep Score that is based on time spent in regular, deep, and REM sleep. In Fitbit’s free tier, you get access to graphs breaking down your time spent in various sleep stages, as well as the estimated oxygen level variations throughout the night. You can also see your 30 day average as well as benchmark ranges for people in your age bracket and gender.
The premium membership unlocks the full spectrum of the Versa 3‘s sleep tracking capabilities. This includes detailed readings from the blood oxygen sensor, sleeping resting heart rate, and skin temperature readings – which analyzes your individual skin temperature range, with the readings showing you how many degrees you are above or below your baseline.
This opens up access to even more graphs which allows you to dive even more deeply into the different stages of sleep, the time asleep, and sleeping heart rate.
The Premium membership, priced at $9.99 a month, also comes with a library of workouts, exercises, and mindfulness meditations.
The battery life on the Versa 3 is great for a full-featured smartwatch. I was able to routinely get four days on charge–even when occasionally using the GPS– which helps to make this an easy watch to recommend.
What we are looking forward to testing
We’re currently in the process of testing several other smartwatches that women might enjoy, and we’ll update this guide accordingly after we do so. Here are the ones we’re currently looking into and rumored smartwatches we’re keeping an eye out for.
Smartwatches with Google’s new Wear OS: Google and Samsung are working together to create a unified operating system that works with all Google-based watches. The update should bring more customization, faster performance, enhanced battery life, and overall better consistency between watches running Wear OS. The new Wear OS will be released later this year.
Garmin Lily: This watch features a stylish feminine design while maintaining core smartwatch functionality such as sleep monitoring, activity tracking, and the ability to see text and calls on the watch.
Bellabeat Time: This hybrid smartwatch mixes a traditional analog watch face with sleep and activity tracking.
Fossil Gen 5 LTE: Fossil’s new Gen 5 LTE smartwatches look great and offer updated internals, along with LTE connectivity for a phone-free experience.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 3: With the Galaxy Watch Active 2 becoming a little old following its 2019 release, we’re hoping Samsung launches a successor to one of our favorite smartwatches in 2021.
How we test smartwatches
To test smartwatches, we evaluate both the form and function of the device. Because these are pieces of tech that you’ll wear every day, the design matters more than it does for a lot of other kinds of devices.
Style is obviously subjective, so we look at design elements we can objectively measure like having a few different sizes, multiple band options, and a wider variety of colors and finishes to choose between. The more options, the higher the likelihood that there will be a style for just about everyone.
Other design elements we look for are water resistance and comfort while exercising because you’ll want to have both in a smartwatch if you’re using it for workouts. To test, we dunk the water-resistant smartwatches in the designated depth of water for the amount of time they’re rated to withstand. We also workout with these watches to see how comfortable they are to wear and how helpful they are during the workout.
We test all the tech specs and features to ensure that they are easy to use and actually work. Mostly, we just go through life and see how much value each smartwatch adds. How helpful are the notifications and apps? How good is music playback? How easy is the software to navigate? How helpful are the workout features?
We also track how long battery life lasts in different modes and how long the watches need to recharge. If the charger is annoying to use or easy to lose, that’s another consideration.