I Tried Lululemon’s Best-Selling Running Gear To See If It Held Up (Literally)

What if I told you there was an amazing workout that cost zero dollars per session, didn't require a single piece of equipment, and was an extremely effective way to break a sweat? Great news, there is! It's called running. The jog life is hardly new. But as someone whose ClassPass app was first-page iPhone status, I discovered the joyful solitude of running during the height of the pandemic; when socially distanced outdoor jogs and Obé Fitness videos were my exclusive method of fitness. In terms of what I look for in my running clothes, breathability and comfort are both key. I want to feel supported but not too constricted while I'm trying to focus on my stride. Having already tried Lululemon's bike shorts for a previous story, I had an already established preference for the popular activewear label — and so, for more testing purposes, Lululemon kindly gifted me an outfit consisting of the following running gear: a sports bra, tank top, shorts, and leggings. Below, discover exactly how these pieces fit, felt, and held up during outdoor jogs, dog walks, treadmill runs, and even a 1,200 mile move.
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First up, I decided to try Lululemon's Speed Up Low-Rise Shorts, which have a teeny-tiny 2.5" inseam. I already own a pair of 4" Speed Up Shorts but was definitely down to try a shorter length. These were super breezy and lightweight, and as soon as I popped them on, I felt like I could run for miles in 'em. The fabric itself was almost weightless and very sweat-wicking. And thanks to the hidden, built-in drawstring waistband, they didn't move an inch as I went on several jaunts through Brooklyn's McCarren Park.
On top, I went with the High-Neck Energy Bra Longline in a ribbed fabric. The Energy Bra is actually one of my favorite Lululemon bras, since it's got gorgeous strap detailing and a longline silhouette that's super supportive.
Meanwhile, the Cropped Sculpt Tank Top was airy and light AF — I could honestly wear it every day. Since I'm petite, I loved the cropped fit; it was flattering on my torso but wasn't formfitting or tight around my ribs. Any runner knows the sweet, sweet burn that starts in your lungs after you've been going for a while, and the last thing anyone would want is to feel like you've got an ACE bandage around your chest when you're focused on your breath.
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Photo: Courtesy of Karina Hoshikawa
I paired the Swift Speed 21'' Crop leggings with a white Cates Tee and the same Energy Bra featured above. Keys, phone, and wallet live in my Easy Access Crossbody.
Lastly, I took the brand's Swift Speed 21" Crop for a spin. Guys, let me tell you: these are my new favorite leggings of all time. I was a die-hard Align loyalist before, but you can now call me a Swiftie because I'm planning on snapping these up in every color. The fabric is not as soft and buttery as other Lulu leggings I own but was still surprisingly comfortable. (FYI: I sized up in these and would recommend readers to do so, too.) I actually loved how dry the fabric was since when it comes to running, sweat-wicking is my number one priority. Compared to the low-waist shorts, the high waist of these was definitely more constricting. I feared it might be an issue, but since I sized up, this was actually NBD. Still, I'm reserving these for indoor treadmill workouts, at least until the weather cools down. I recently completed a major move from New York to sunny (maybe a little too sunny?! ) Miami. With all the packing and lifting involved, moving is a workout that — in my humble opinion — beats barre class any day of the week. The Swift Speed leggings were in heavy rotation on my busiest days of the process, and not only were they comfortable, but they also were breathable and minimized friction wonderfully. (There are also pockets galore, which came in handy to keep my phone and keys on me at all times.)
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All in all, I was seriously impressed by Lululemon's luxe running apparel options. Of course, luxe comes at a price — and if you want to upgrade your run wardrobe, it'll be an investment. (Albeit one that I will gladly pay full price for since quality workout clothes help motivate me to actually get out there and move.) I like that there's something for everyone. While I didn't try them out, there are plenty of long-and short-sleeved options, plus shorts in varying lengths, if people prefer more coverage. Peruse my top picks below, and happy running, this season and beyond.
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