There's no getting around it: gym wear is in.
Gone are the days when athletic wear was just for people in the gym too. It’s gotten pretty trendy over the years, which has blurred the lines between fashion and function. From iconic, hip-hop-inspired baggy fits to sleek, figure-hugging "gym-fluencer" chic, there's a lot of variety in the world of gym fits.
Whether you're all about making those gains or have a passion for the athleisure vibe, it's almost impossible to have those conversations without mentioning Gymshark or lululemon.
Okay, so which one is the best? Well, in this guide from the lifestyle news section of our blog, we explore some of the main talking points as these two fitness giants go head-to-head.
Iced latte in one hand, a dumbbell in the other; there has to be a winner!
A Brief History of Gymshark and lululemon
Gymshark has experienced a meteoric rise to prominence and from humble beginnings. If you aren't familiar with the story already, Gymshark was founded by two friends, Ben Francis and Lewis Morgan. The two started the brand in 2012 while attending university in Birmingham.
They’ve since made huge waves in the fitness apparel industry by making stylish yet affordable gym wear for fashion-conscious people.
lululemon was founded in 1998 in Vancouver by a businessman named Chip Wilson. The brand first gained popularity for its stylish and functional yoga wear, particularly being recognised for its signature stretchy and moisture-wicking fabric known as Luon. Like Gymshark, lululemon is known for its fashion-focused performance and athletic wear.
Gymshark vs lululemon: Which Should You Choose?
There’s no avoiding it: when it comes to yoga pants, sports bras and other kinds of gym wear, these are two of the most popular options to choose from.
Despite the similarities, though, there are plenty of differences in these two titans of gym wear, so there’s a decision to make when picking out your next purchase. To help you, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between these two gym giants.
Although they haven't been on the scene for too long, Gymshark is known for having high-quality items in its range. The brand’s gym wear is comfortable and made with thick, top-of-the-range fabrics.
With gym clothes, you're going to be washing this gear an awful lot (we hope; no one likes a sweaty sports bra!), so it needs to be resilient. Gymshark is designed to resist wear and washing, maintaining great shape, colour and stability even after plenty of use.
Thanks to the avid fan base it has amassed over the past few decades, lululemon is widely considered a luxury athleisure brand, with its high-quality products being loyally purchased year-in-year-out, regardless of recent price increases.
As an established athleisure brand, lululemon is known for making gym wear that fits great and feels better. The brand has even launched its own Luxtreme fabric, which promotes support and coverage, while the Everlux fabric has been specially created to be cool to the touch and quick-drying - ensuring optimal comfort during your workout.
Gymshark score: 8.2/10
lululemon score: 8.6/10
Gymshark has a great selection of clothing on offer, with a wide range of styles, colours and prices. People can pick up some bargains in the brand’s regular sales. For example, you can pick a pair of great gym leggings for as little as £9 in the sale. At the top end, its most expensive pair of leggings are £70.
lululemon has some more pricey items in comparison to Gymshark. Looking again at one of their best sellers, leggings, things are a little different. The cheapest lululemon leggings come in at £44, with their highest-priced ones being a whopping £168.
lululemon is a great brand when it comes to gym wear, but it's fair to say that many people wouldn't be willing to stretch their budget that far to fit into a pair of Lulu leggings.
Interested in getting quality clothing at great prices? Check out the 12 Best Affordable Luxury Clothing Brands.
Gymshark score: 9/10
lululemon score: 7/10
In terms of genuine variety, Gymshark offers just about every type of sports apparel you need, from running and lifting gear to clothing for your rest days. Gymshark has it covered with a nice blend of colours, too. Whether you're a low-key dresser or an out-there superstar, Gymshark has it all.
When it comes to sizing its casual wear, t-shirts and track pants, Gymshark offers a standard scale from XS to XXL. While this isn't bad, there is some room for improvement for plus-sized options.
Want to improve your selection of comfortable clothing? Check out ‘Kuddly vs Oodie: Which is Best?’ to see which loungewear brand came out on top in our comparison.
lululemon has some good variety, offering many safe gym options with a range of solid colours. Although the range is good, its clothing isn't particularly striking or trendy, meaning they fall short of Gymshark on this one.
For women's clothing, lululemon ranges from size 4 to size 18. For men, the brand also employs the classic XS to XXL scale. Again, this is similar to Gymshark in the way that it’s pretty inclusive for the majority but falls short when considering plus sizes.
Gymshark score: 7/10
lululemon score: 6/10
Gymshark has started to take steps to become more sustainable in the hopes of creating a better world for gymgoers and athleisure fans alike.
The brand has committed to using 100% recycled polyester by 2025. What’s more, by 2030, it will also be working to design products that can be reused and recycled. For its UK-based customers, Gymshark has partnered with Thrift+ to give a second life to customers’ pre-loved items.
Being one of the pioneers of yoga wear, lululemon made some of the biggest early strides in the industry when it came to picking materials that worked well and felt great.
The brand also takes its role in producing industry-leading yet sustainable products seriously, too. lululemon’s impact agenda states it is working to make 100% of its products with sustainable materials by 2030.
Gymshark score: 8.6/10
lululemon score: 8.8/10
Do you see these guys everywhere without realising? Well, that's on purpose.
Gymshark has made the most of influencer marketing, and it's a big reason they're as big as they are now. The brand uses the power of gym influencers on sites like Instagram and TikTok, offering personalised discount codes and commission on sales.
Most famously, Gymshark has been worn by trendsetters like Kendall Jenner and Vanessa Hudgens, making it especially prominent with younger people.
It's fair to say that these guys are the more low-key brand in comparison. lululemon seems to focus on old-school advertising instead of utilising influencers.
With this said, the brand has been spotted on the likes of Taylor Swift, Rita Ora, and more, and lululemon has even partnered up with Peleton. Together, the brands hope to achieve a more complete workout experience as they join fitness forces.
Gymshark score: 9/10
lululemon score: 8/10
Now, the moment we've all been waiting for. As you can see, both brands have made a valiant claim for the title of "king of the gym," but there can only be one ruler. So, without further ado, here are the final scores.
Gymshark score: 41.8/50
lululemon score: 38.4/50
Gymshark is the winner! The young guns behind this company have worked hard in recent years to make a company with a great product that is prominent in the public eye and caters to gymgoers and athleisure fans of all tastes.
It goes without saying, but sometimes brands are about personal preference! Even though we’ve given a review, it doesn’t mean you have to veer away from lululemon. Gymshark won this time, but what do you think?
Train in Style With Some Help from Slingo
If you want to get your hands on some of the best gym gear in the globe, Slingo is the perfect place to help you increase your collection of sporting goods.
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Which leggings brand is best?
The brand of leggings you choose can depend on a number of factors like personal comfort, colour preferences and price. With that being said, some popular brands for leggings include Fabletics, lululemon, and Gymshark.
What is special about Gymshark leggings?
The great thing about Gymshark leggings is the fact that all of their products are purpose-designed. Each pair of Gymshark leggings has a specific USP.
Often, people tend to pull towards Gymshark leggings because of their high-waisted nature and the fact they are built to not fall down during exercise. The leggings are also praised for being squat-proof and available in a range of stunning colours which match your yoga tops and sports bras.
Why are lululemon leggings so popular?
Customers admire lululemon leggings for their functionality, durability, and cost. Customers see that the leggings fit great for workouts and do not budge or move awkwardly during cardio sessions.
What kind of brand is lululemon?
lululemon is a clothing brand that supplies things like yoga pants, swimwear, sports bras and other basic gym wear. The brand was founded in 1998 and is often considered to be a luxury gym wear and yoga pants brand.
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