Life·14 min read

Summer Workout Gear That'll Keep You Cool

Breathable Gear and Accessories to Upgrade Your Summer Workouts
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Amazon, Girlfriend Collective, Beyond Yoga
Jun 15, 2022

This post was originally published in July 2021 and has been updated.

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By now it shouldn’t come as a surprise that working out has a ton of benefits. (Reminder: Exercise gives you endorphins...endorphins make you happy...and you know the rest.) But thanks to scorching summer temps, it can be difficult to even make it to your workout without sweating through your clothes first. And since no one’s here for that, we rounded up the gear you’ll need to make your summer fitness routine doable — and enjoyable. 

We’re talking stuff that’s breathable, lightweight, and moisture-wicking. And a few helpful extras. Whether you’re hiking, running or going for a dog walk, we’ve gotchu. 

Bras, tops, and dresses

A soft, cropped bra top with lots of support…

This cropped tank isn’t just *any* cropped tank. It has a built-in bra that’ll keep you supported without feeling scratchy on your skin. The cult-fave performance fabric feels like heaven and has a unique texture to keep you nice and dry. Plus, the racerback cut is uber flattering and even has UV protection. Win. Psst…here are the matching leggings if you can’t resist a good set. ($68, Beyond Yoga)

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The perfect tee for soaring temps...

This one from Under Armour has it all: quick-dry, sweat-wicking material, four-way construction that makes for easy movement, and anti-odor technology. Talk about containing multitudes. ($14.22+, Amazon)

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A sleeveless tank if you want to keep your underarms feeling fresh and breezy…

This machine-washable, lightweight, moisture-wicking racerback has breathable mesh vents that let out heat so you can stay cool while you’re getting your fitness on. Plus, it’s designed with a chafe-free construction, to help you avoid any irritation during a sweat sesh. Add to cart. ($33.60+, Nordstrom)

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An exercise dress for when you want a one-and-done look…

Sometimes it’s just too hot to wear pants and a top. And sometimes you just don’t have the energy to pick out an entire outfit. This sporty option comes in sizes XXS–6XL, and is flattering, functional, and perfect for intensive physical activity or just your afternoon dog walk. It has UPF 50+, built-in shorts with mesh side pockets, and is made from recycled plastic water bottles. Plus its adjustable straps will let you get the perfect fit. Trust — the hype is real. ($61.60, Girlfriend Collective)

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A supportive, full-coverage sports bra for anyone who hate wearing one…

Comfy vibes, for the win. This one from Girlfriend Collective has straps that aren’t too thick so they shouldn’t pop out from under your tanks. It’s ultra supportive thanks to its four-way stretch fabric. Plus, it's made from stuff we love, like recycled plastic bottles. Keeping your babes supported while you look out for the environment? Yes, please. ($46, Girlfriend Collective)

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Leggings and bottoms

Stretchy biker shorts for when you want to keep up with trends...

If you need more convincing, here's why we love these: They’re moisture-wicking, machine washable, and have a longer inseam, so there's enough coverage to prevent thigh chafing. The ergonomic seams give you a full range of motion, and the waistband provides maximum coverage. Oh yeah, and they have pockets. We repeat, they have pockets. ($18.99+, Amazon)

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Leggings that’ll give your Lululemon pair a run for their money…

You heard it here first. These are buttery-soft and come in over 40 colors. With slight compression, this pair is great for yoga and other workouts —  it’ll essentially feel like you’re wearing nothing. Plus, there’s a hidden waistband for key or cash storage. Here for it. ($26+, Amazon)

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Cropped leggings for when you prefer something with a shorter inseam…

Some people love full-length leggings all year round. Others...not so much. This cropped pair has UV protection (aka a summertime necessity). The high-rise design is quick-drying and moisture-wicking too. We stan. ($86, Beyond Yoga)

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A tennis skirt for when you’re feeling sporty…

This one has a high waistband that provides full-coverage tummy support, integrated shorts with pockets, a built-in flexible mesh liner, and super-stretchy fabric. Whether you’re running errands or actually playing on the courts, this one’s a must-have. You’re basically Sporty Spice now. ($19.99+, Amazon)

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Maternity leggings that you won’t want to take off...

These moisture-wicking ones are made of crazy-soft performance fabric (emphasis on the crazy-soft). And will make you and your bump feel supported without skimping on the comfort. They’re especially great because they have UV protection. Just fold the over-the-belly waistband up or down based on your preference and you’re good to go. Get it, mama. ($110, Beyond Yoga)

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Sweat-wicking underwear you’ll forget you have on... 

Because it feels like a second skin. This brand-new line of sports underwear from Parade features their bestselling Thong and Brief styles in a quick-dry material that’s designed to move with you. Think: no more chafing, sweating or bunching. Aka the dream. Oh, and Skimm’rs get 20% off their $25 purchase with code SKIMM. That's a sweat deal.* ($13+ Parade)

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Accessories and shoes

A buttery-soft scrunchie that has a special feature…

If you need an excuse to add yet another scrunchie to your collection, look no further. It has a zippered pocket where you can stash any small essentials ya might need during a workout class or your next walk. Oh and it comes in soooo many fun colors. We’ll take ‘em all, please. ($16, Beyond Yoga)

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Special running sunglasses to block out the haters (read: the sun)...

These polarized ones are glare-reducing, offer UV protection, and actually work. There’s a grip on the nose that’ll prevent slippage and give you that no-bounce fit too. Sun = blocked. ($25, REI)

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A UPF 50+ hat designed for ponytails... 

This moisture-wicking option has tapered panels that’ll keep your hat stable — and keep you cool and comfy as you work out. It’s designed to fit women’s heads and has adjustable straps so you can wear it along with your big messy bun, no prob. Plus, it’ll protect you against those bad ultraviolet rays. Winner, winner right here. ($29, Vimhue via Etsy)

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Running sneaks with major cushioning…

So many HQ’rs have worn these for years. They feel like you’re walking on clouds thanks to the gravity-defying foam sole. They’re light and are perfect for long walks or all-distance running. There is also a removable insole if you have orthotics that you prefer instead. Run, don’t walk, to get ’em. ($140, Nordstrom)

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A lightweight fitness tracker that won’t weigh you down…

Because the last thing you want in the heat is something heavy and tight on your wrists. This minimal one from Fitbit will monitor your steps, hourly activity, heart rate, REM sleep, and more. It has a long-lasting battery and is water-resistant (so you can wear it in the pool or outdoor shower). Plus, you can get call, text, and calendar notifications too. We love to see it. ($75.99+, Amazon)

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A belt bag to hold all your stuff while on the go…

Lightweight, water-resistant, and sweat-proof, this one’s snug fit will prevent it from bouncing up and down during your sweat session. And it comes with a convenient hole for headphone wires. Plus, it has a reflective strip, providing a lil’ extra protection if you love to head out for a run (or walk) at night. It’s a yes from us. ($13.99+, Amazon)

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A visor that’ll keep the sun (and your hair) off your face...

This wide-brim option is the perfect solution — and won’t make the top of your head feel like it’s gonna melt. It’s specifically designed for runners and is made of swift fabric that’s quick-drying and moisture-wicking. Bonus points for its adjustable closure so you can easily perfect your fit. Onward and upward. ($28, Lululemon)

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Multiuse sandals that can be worn for literally any summer activity...

On a hike, to the beach or for your morning walks. They’re made from recycled plastic and feature quick-dry webbing, a rubber sole for traction, a treatment to minimize odors, and a molded midsole that’ll provide arch support. The hook-and-loop closure makes them easy to take on and off. (And means you can make them as tight or loose as you want.) Your feet? They’re happy as can be. ($41.25+, Nordstrom)

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Machine-washable athletic sneakers...

This pair from Allbirds reimagines the classic running shoe. They’re made with natural materials (like eucalyptus trees and castor bean) and can be thrown in the wash. They have cushioned support, and a flexible design to conform to your movements. Long summer walks and runs, minus any foot pain? Priceless. PS: Peep all our fave comfy shoes for summer. ($135, Allbirds)

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Arch support bands that’ll provide some relief during your workouts…

These copper-infused compression bands allow for full range of motion while staying odor-free — which is perfect for both high- and low-impact hikes. They can be worn under socks and provide compression to reduce muscle strain and redistribute pressure. Customers love how the bands lift their arches, lessening pain immediately. ($19.95/2 pack, Amazon)

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An anti-chafe balm that’ll provide long-lasting comfort on the hottest of days...

Exercise + hot, humid days = chafe city. Use this between your thighs, on your heels, and where shoulder straps rub to prevent that dreaded discomfort. It’s made from plant-derived ingredients, is allergen-free and vegan, and won’t clog your pores. Savior of the summer. ($10.99+, Amazon)

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And the accompanying anti-blister balm to use when you’ve got new sneaks...

Apply this balm to places that typically form a blister (hi, back of the heel). It’s got vitamins A and C to soften skin and restore moisture. It’s made with plant-based ingredients and will make working out so much comfier. It’s all about being proactive instead of reactive. ($8.99, Amazon)

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