What To Wear (and Not) to Spinning Class

A spinning class involves pedaling on a stationary cycle in a classroom setting with an instructor to guide you through the workout. Spinning sessions can be pretty intense, and wearing the proper attire is crucial to get the most out of your workouts. 

For a spinning class, it’s best to wear loose-fitting, breathable workout clothes. You should also avoid attire that restricts mobility or will stick to your body when you sweat. 

In this article, we’ll look at the ideal clothing to consider wearing for a spin class. I’ll also cover what you should avoid wearing for this type of workout. 

What Not To Wear for Spin Class

Spinning classes often transition between rapid, high-intensity pedaling sessions and slower, more steady workouts focused on endurance. The spin instructor usually guides the process, providing visualizations and cues that signal when you should pick up or drop the pace. 

This means that spinning can be extremely mentally and physically taxing, with a lot of sweating throughout the class. As such, you should avoid wearing anything that can be uncomfortable or get in the way of your workout. 

Here’s a checklist of clothes you should avoid wearing during a spinning class. 

Jeans/Khakis

This one is a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning as most beginners tend to take their bottoms for granted and wear whatever they are most comfortable in for the class. 

While jeans and khakis have their place in traditional society, a spin class is perhaps the worst location to wear such stiff bottoms. 

These kinds of pants restrict mobility significantly, making it a task to switch up the pace when required. Additionally, wearing these kinds of bottoms will make it challenging to push yourself during the workout, leading to undesirable or sub-standard results. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that there is no ventilation with jeans and khakis. Once you start to sweat, you’re sure to feel icky and uncomfortable for the rest of class. 

Sweats

Sweats and track pants may seem ideal for a spin session, but it’s best to avoid these pants unless you particularly enjoy sweating. 

Sweats won’t adversely affect your mobility, but they will make your body unnecessarily warmer – and you should ideally limit external heat as much as possible during a workout session. 

Even in the coldest months, a spin studio is sure to heat up considerably, leading to excessive perspiration. More than that, sweating it out is an integral part of a spinning workout. 

So while it’s OK to wear sweats to your class, consider changing before you get on your spin cycle. 

Cotton Tees

Cotton is an airy, breathable material, so why are cotton tees on the list of no-nos? Well, for starters, cotton will absorb sweat and stick to your body a few minutes into class. This will make you feel uncomfortable, which can result in you being distracted for the rest of the class. 

Aside from being a nuisance, a cotton tee will make it challenging for your body to regulate your internal temperature efficiently. The T-shirt will soak up the sweat, which means it will still be in contact with your skin. This could cause your body to cool down in the breaks between spin sessions and then heat up again, which isn’t great for an effective workout. 

What To Wear for Spin Class

As mentioned above, workout clothes, in general, are ideal for spin classes as they offer the mobility and breathability required to sustain a prolonged workout session comfortably. 

While most workout clothes will do, here are a few specific ones you should consider to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible. 

Tops

For a great spin session, consider wearing a tank top or another light (yet fitting) top that will stay out of your way while cycling. As mentioned, cotton isn’t advisable, and you should avoid cotton tees if possible.

Instead, consider getting yourself a moisture-wicking, breathable top that will prevent sweat from sticking to you while offering you the freedom and mobility you need during your sessions. 

When getting yourself a top, you also want to avoid tight-fitting pieces. Instead, opt for ones that will sit comfortably and a little loosely on your frame. 

The slightly larger size will ensure you’re comfortable while providing some coverage towards your back, which tends to get exposed during certain sections of your workout. However, you do want to be careful here and avoid wearing something that is too loose and will get in the way. 

You should try to find a balance between flowy and fitted so you’re able to move comfortably without the fabric getting in the way. 

Here are a few tops you can try, all of which are available on Amazon.com:

  • Quccefods Workout Top: This top is available in a wide range of colors, allowing you to bring in a bit of fun to your spin classes. It’s made of super light, moisture-wicking polyester and spandex fabric will keep you comfortable and dry.
  • Frueo Men’s Workout Shirt: This men’s top comes in a 3-pack and is available in numerous colors, so you can choose the one you like the best. The mesh fabric is extremely breathable, and the polyester fabric is moisture-wicking and offers ventilation.

Wearing a top designed to keep you cool and dry will help improve your sessions, allowing you to get the most from them while enjoying the workouts.

Bottoms

Your bottoms need to be a mix of comfort and functionality, so you can continue moving gracefully and with purpose even during the most intense sessions. 

Uncomfortable bottoms or ones that cause chafing can distract you from the workout and can even reduce your motivation to attend spin sessions. Your bottom wear will be in contact with the spin cycle, so it’s best to ensure you’ve got it right to avoid complications. 

You can wear leggings or shorts to your spin workouts. However, as mentioned, avoid tracks and sweatpants. Some cyclists prefer padded shorts to prevent chafing or abrasions, while others prefer shorts without the padding for unrestricted mobility and breathability. 

You can try your first spin session with regular shorts to get a feel for the class and check whether the equipment and workout agree with your attire. For example, some spin studios offer bikes with gel-padded cushioning on the seats to prevent chafing and discomfort from long sessions. In such cases, padded shorts are unnecessary and can get in the way of your workout. 

Some instructors prefer doing most of the class with the cyclist standing up for a more varied workout. If this is the case in your studio, cushioned or padded bottom wear isn’t necessary.

However, some classes tend to be more intense with long periods of sitting on the spin cycles, while some studios don’t offer padded seats. So it’s best to assess your needs based on your studio and whether you want the added comfort of gel cushioning to prop you up. 

Luckily, you’ll have plenty of padded and unpadded options to select from, so assess your needs before deciding on one. 

If you’re looking for good bottoms to wear to spinning class, here are some great options – all of them are available on Amazon.com:

Men’s

Pudolla Men’s Running Shorts

Made from nylon, polyester, and elastane, this pair of shorts offers unmatched comfort and mobility while giving you the support you need. 

It comes with a quick-dry outer layer with an elastic waistband and drawstrings for easy adjustment and better support.

This exterior design is supported by compression shorts lining the inside, keeping you protected from chafing and protecting you by preventing excess movement during activity. 

Additionally, the internal layer includes a pocket where you can store your phone securely, allowing you to listen to music while cycling. The pocket on the inner lining is tightly strapped, preventing your phone from moving about or falling out even during the most intense sessions.

Sportneer Men’s Cycling Shorts

This pair is one of the more affordable options and is made from nylon and spandex for superior comfort and support. 

These shorts come with up to three layers of sponge cushioning to keep you comfortable and safe while cycling. The material is also breathable, leaving the seat completely dry even after a hot and sweaty workout.

Furthermore, they offer a fit sculpted to your skin, with a silicone gripper that wraps comfortably around your leg. This design provides the feeling of a snug fit without affecting breathability or mobility.

Women’s

G Gradual Women’s Running Shorts

This pair of women’s shorts are made from polyester and spandex with a mesh finish to ensure maximum breathability. The legs are made from 100% polyester, with a waistband made from a polyester-silicone mix. 

These shorts also come with a zipped back pocket to store your phone, keys, and cards so you can work out without worrying about where to store your items. More importantly, this secure back pocket is ideal for those who listen to music while working out. 

Pearl Izumi Women’s Shorts

The padding on these shorts is almost invisible, making this pair ideal for those looking for comfortable cushioning without the awkwardness of having excessive padding on their backside. Additionally, the base of these shorts forms a snug fit around your thighs, holding the shorts in place and preventing them from getting in the way of your workout.

A more comprehensive waistband design allows for superior mobility and comfort without compressing your belly during the workout. Furthermore, the waistband is elastic-free, allowing you to have a comfortable fit without compromising on providing support.

Keep in mind that, as mentioned, the kind of shorts each person requires will differ based on personal preferences, their spin studio, and the intensity of their workouts. So, make sure to consider these factors when deciding which pair of shorts you should invest in. 

It’s best to avoid underwear when you’re wearing padded shorts or pants, as they tend to get in the way during a workout. Depending on the fit, it can also cause discomfort during your movements and may even lead to chafing. 

You may also want to consider wearing leggings over your shorts or just on their own – they offer the stability and comfort of shorts while giving you added coverage during your workouts.

Footwear

Your footwear will depend on how frequently you plan to attend spin classes and the rules or norms of the spin studio you go to. Some studios allow all types of footwear, so your regular gym wear or sneakers should be acceptable. 

However, some studios, like SoulCycle, provide bikes that only work with cycling or spinning shoes. So if you’re attending classes at a specialized studio, you’ll need a pair of cycling shoes.

If you’re planning to make spinning a regular activity, it’s best to invest in a pair of cycling shoes to make the most of your workout. 

Cycling shoes allow you to target your glutes, hamstrings, and thighs during a spin session by stabilizing your feet and keeping them in place during your workouts. Thanks to the stability offered, cycling shoes can improve your sessions and help you make the most of them.

Here are a few options you should consider – all of them are available on Amazon.com: 

Venzo Men’s Road Cycling Shoes

The cleat area on this shoe is compatible with every cleat on the market, so you won’t have to worry about it fitting with your spin workouts. 

Aside from its compatibility with all spin cycles, this pair of shoes comes with a clean-cut design for a quick fit and breathable mesh material to keep your feet cool and in optimal condition during a spin session.

Tommaso Pista Women’s Indoor Cycling Shoes

These shoes were designed for indoor cycling, and they offer added comfort with a ventilated mesh and synthetic leather cushioning. 

The only catch with this pair is that you’ll first need to figure out what pedals your class uses and ask for a pair with matching cleats. But once you’ve got the right fit, it’s smooth cycling from then on.  If you would like more tips on choosing a pair of spinning shoes and a list of recommended spinning shoes, read my article – 10 Best Indoor Cycling Shoes for Women

Final Thoughts

What you wear to a spin class is an integral part of your session, as this type of workout requires specific attire to ensure you’re getting the most out of cycling. By wearing the proper clothes, you can give your body the freedom and stability to perform optimally during every workout. 

More importantly, suitable clothing can make these workouts more engaging and exciting, motivating you to return for more. 

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