The Best Workout Gear on a Budget

female runner on an incline

Whether you just started a running routine or simply want to rejuvenate your wardrobe, buying new gear can start to add up financially. Luckily, there are plenty of quality options that won't break the bank. If you're ready to add some fresh gear to your closet, you've come to the right place. Here are some of our top picks.

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All in Motion by Target Men's 9" Running Shorts


Target's All in Motion line is made for running and walking at a budget price. These shorts have a not-too-short 9-inch inseam, quick dry four-way stretch fabric, a drawstring waist and pockets. If you're looking for everyday basics, this gear line is the way to go.

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Zella Aero Shorts


The Zella brand of shorts and leggings are a cult favorite with activewear lovers. These shorts are often compared to Lululemon, which retails for twice as much. The Aero shorts come in a ton of color options and feature a stylish dolphin hem. Plus, they have a hidden zip pocket in the back to hold your keys and credit card. Bonus: They're often even cheaper during Nordstrom's annual anniversary sale!

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Old Navy Breathe Mesh Tank


Old Navy is another go-to brand for basics, and the stylish Breathe Mesh tank doesn't disappoint. It's made of super soft lightweight jersey material and features Go-Dry moisture-wicking technology. Plus, it comes in a wide range of colors and sizes, from XS to XXL.

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Senita Sarah Bra


Pockets are a must if you like to run with your phone (or credit card or keys), and the Senita Sarah bra delivers. This wire-free racerback bra features removable cups, chafe-resistant seams and a back pocket that's perfect for stashing your phone. The best part? It's half the price of other pocket bras we've seen.

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Saucony Men's Multi-Pack Mesh Ventilating Comfort Fit Performance No-Show Socks


Cotton socks are a no-go for most runners (blisters!), but specialty socks can cost upward of $15 per pair. For a budget alternative, this six-pack of Saucony socks is a great value. The wicking fabric and mesh ventilation will help evaporate sweat and keep your feet cool and dry. Plus, they have a bit of compression around the arch to prevent the sock from bunching up or sliding around in your shoe. Six pairs of socks for the price of one?  Sign us up!

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GPS Watch Alternatives

GPS watches are one of the most expensive pieces of gear a runner can buy (the flashiest models an cost close to $1,000!), but if you're just looking for basic data like time, pace and distance, you can get what you need from a phone app. Strava, MapMyRun, Runstastic and RunKeeper all offer free basic versions.

Need a stop watch for intervals or don't like to run with your phone? At less than $30, the Timex ironman essential watch is a steal. This classic watch features a 100-hour chronograph with 10-lap memory, 24-hour countdown timer, customizable alarms and is water (and sweat!) resistant.

Finally, for shoes, consider picking up the prior year's model from Road Runner Sports or Hola Bird Sports. Once the latest model is released, older models are often available for a steep discount.

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