Fitness Apparel – Save or Splurge?

Hello all! Summer has been flying by, and I have been SO busy with friends, family, and doing my best to keep in shape. Every year I try to do a few 5k’s and the occasional 10k or Half Marathon. During my recent closet clean-out I noticed I was in desperate need of new exercise duds. I have two schools of thought on this. One, I am fine with the cheaper stuff for gym time and shorter runs. Two, for heavier training and longer runs I invest in higher quality training gear. I thought I would list some stores and online sites where I deal-hunt for you readers.

A) I need clothes that I don’t care about for the gym…
Thrift: Goodwill, Salvation Army
These are my go-to places for super cheap workout t-shirts. My local Salvation Army in particular has rack upon rack of t-shirts to choose from. I don’t find exercise bottoms at either, unless I happen to have realllly good luck.

B) I need a specific workout item without running up my charge cards.
Bargain Shop Chain Stores: Target, Old NavyKohls
These are the three I buy from most often. I have found that Old Navy carries bottoms that have the thickness I desire (no see through). Kohls has their own brands as well as name brands that are often on sale (and even better coupon deals if you have their store credit card). Target is good for just about any basic workout item. A couple staples I like to buy there are plain v-neck fast wicking cotton C9 tees, and sports bras (for non-running workouts).

C) I need something to hold up through long workouts…and I want to look good.
Specialty stores for running/workout clothing: Road Runner Sports, Fleet Feet (Chicago area)
Fleet Feet has locations around the Chicago area, and I believe Road Runner Sports is a larger chain. I chose these places over other chains like Dicks Sporting Goods or Sports Authority because I KNOW they will have what need when I go. These are the places to go when cost is not a concern. I usually head there for specific high quality brands as well.

D) I’m just kinda browsing to see what deals are out there…
Online shopping: Running WarehouseThe Clymb
Running Warehouse, as the name implies, is geared towards runners but I think anyone can find a good deal on shoes or clothing here. Obviously the best deals are on liquidation items that have limited quantities and sizing. RW offers quite a bit on their site, and if you already know your sizing it can save you a drive to the store. Their shipping policies are also quite reasonable. The Clymb offers steep discounts on exercise/lifestyle clothing, accessories, outdoor gear and a myriad of other stuff. Downside: It is one of those deals where you have to sign up and receive rotating sales notifications via email.

What places do you shop for workout gear? What items do you splurge on, and where do you save?