The expiry dates on your active wear

We look at how to spot the wear and tear signs of your activewear.

We look at how to spot the wear and tear signs of your activewear. Photo: Getty

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You’ve kicked off your 2022 fitness plan and if high impact workouts are part of it, you constantly need to review your activewear.

Despite being designed to weather intense squatting and lunging, sweaty runs and those power strength sessions, activewear doesn’t last forever.

Each item has it’s unique expiry date depending on how frequently you use it and how you wash it. Unfortunately this includes those lucky runners you’ve been keeping for eons.

Here, we look at how to spot the wear and tear signs of your activewear and point you in the direction of some new additions, should you need to retire some of your collection.

Fortunately there are ways to recycle your old active wear. Rather than binning it and adding to Australia’s landfill, you can seek out recycling bins that turn unusable clothes into rags or biofuels.

SRCGroup is one such organisation – check your local drop off points here.

Sports bras

You may be surprised to know that sports bras only last for between six months and one year. This even applies to those more expensive brands.

If you notice your sports bra has lost its shape, rides up, is fraying or the clasps aren’t doing the job they once did, it’s time to give it the flick.

The Adidas Powerimpact Training Medium Support Bra has a pullover design with soft anti-chafing seams, so need to worry about fiddly hooks. The racerback design features wide supportive shoulder straps and there are mesh panels in high-heat areas.

To keep your sports bras in action for as long as possible, always wash in cold water and preferably, in a delicates laundry bag.


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Runners are built to last between 500-700km. Based on frequent use, most shoe experts agree runners need to be renewed after eight to 12 months.

After this amount of time you may have noticed the telltale signs yourself – holes in the toes, worn out treads and uneven sides. Make the switch to a new pair before you start experiencing foot pain.

These mens Adrenaline GTS 21 runners by Brooks are all about lightweight comfort. The air-mesh upper allows for maximum breathability and the DNA Loft foam adds a responsive bounce to your step.


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You probably have two or three pairs of leggings you absolutely love and don’t want to part with. But never fear – there are more leggings out there!

Depending on the quality, leggins last between six months to two years. Generally compression leggings are the first to get saggy, which is owing to the many elastic fibres that stretch when you move.

Leggings made of spandex and nylon are the ones to look out for because they have more stretch than cotton and will bounce back, keeping them alive for longer.

Lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Tight 28″ are made with sweat-wicking Nulux fabric as well as added lycra for stretch and shape retention.

Conveniently, they have two side drop-in pockets for your phone and five waistband pockets to stash your keys or cash.


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Tops don’t go through the heavy stretching bottoms do, so they are likely to last longer. But the most wearing factor is sweat.

Once you notice a smell in your active wear top and you can’t remove it after repeated washes, it’s time for it to go.

Most activewear brands stock clothing made from sustainable materials now, so you don’t feel any guilty buying brand new.

The Nike Dri-FIT One Elastika Tank has been made from recycled polyester, which is manufactured using old plastic bottles.

The bottles are cleaned, shredded into flakes and converted into pellets, which are spun into yarn. The end result is a smooth, soft fabric that produced up to 30 per cent lower carbon emissions than virgin polyester.


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