These Body-Inclusive Activewear Brands Will Forever Change The Fitness Industry

Say goodbye to tights that bind, tees that compress and sports bras that are unremovable.

Photo Credit: Knix

The pursuit of health and wellness belongs to all of us, but you can’t get far (or feel amazing) without workout wear to help achieve your goals. And, until recently, limited sizing in activewear meant that not all body sizes had functional options. Or stylish options. Or any options, really.

“It was like finding a needle in a haystack,” says plus-size model and designer Candice Huffine. “As a long-distance runner, I needed leggings that would fit me and withstand performance without slipping and falling. I once found a pair that seemed to tick all the boxes but had no pocket, so I cut one into the waistband myself.”

Taking inspiration from her retail frustration, Huffine is now a leader in the inclusive fashion movement.

In 2017, she launched the Day/Won activewear line, which is available in sizes 0 to 32. “Everything is designed with a woman’s needs and activities in mind,” she says. “Tanks are a bit longer in the back, waistbands are high and double lined to stay put, and fabrics don’t become see-through when you bend. What is most special about ensuring the right fit for all sizes — which is what customers praise most — is that we do our fittings on multiple sizes of women and don’t simply grade up mathematically. It’s so important to see how it feels and moves for every woman to guarantee comfort and confidence.”

Those two Cs — comfort and confidence — are key to the VIP of any workout outfit: the sports bra.

Enter Joanna Griffiths, founder of the Canadian line Knix. Setting out to create “the best sports bra ever” meant including a range of bust sizes. “No woman should ever be ashamed of her body or feel ostracized from running or other activities due to a shortage in bra sizes,” she says.

Last summer, after three years, 22 design sketches and 42 prototypes, the brand’s high-impact style debuted. Besides accommodating cups up to 42G, it shattered testing records. “It wasn’t released until it could outperform competitors in every noteworthy area,” says Griffiths. “Traditionally, sports bra performance is measured by bounce rate alone, but we took it one step further. Through research, we learned that 85 percent of women have experienced extreme difficulty when removing sports bras. When we realized there was no test for that, we worked with the Technical University of Munich to create a new testing protocol for wearability. In the end, Catalyst was the easiest sports bra to remove, and we’re pretty proud of that.” We had the opportunity to test-drive Knix’s Catalyst Sports Bra back when it debuted — here’s our review.

Next, read up on our 2019 fitness predictions.

Originally Published in Best Health Canada