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What to Wear To Spin Class (and What NOT to Wear)

About to take your first spin class? Take a deep breath. It’s easy and you really can’t do anything wrong.

That said, if you want to be super prepared we’re here to help you.

We’ve picked out some of our favorite pieces for indoor cycling including padded shorts, spinning pants, and lightweight, breathable tops.

But first, what NOT to wear…..

What NOT To Wear to Spin Class

Despite the scary headline, you can’t screw this up to much. Make a mistake the first time, nobody will make fun of you, and you’ll learn what works for next time.

First the obvious stuff: don’t wear street clothes like jeans. Don’t wear your nice work clothes. That’s a no-brainer, right? Spinning is athletic and you’ll be moving around a bunch so you want to make sure your clothes are stretchy and forgiving.

What else not to wear? I wouldn’t recommend sweats unless you really, really like to sweat. Even in the middle of winter, a bike studio is HOT and you’re going to get soaked if you wear sweats.

In this same vain, we prefer not to wear anything made of cotton. When you sweat in cotton it gets wet and you’re gonna feel gross.

So What Should I Wear?

Wear whatever you would normally wear to the gym. Yoga pants, gym shorts, a tank top: they all work great. In fact, if this is your first spin class, I’d recommend wearing something that you already have.

That said, if you go to spinning a lot and you want to invest in some clothes specifically for spinning class, we’ve got some suggestions below.


Padded Shorts for Spinning

If you suffer from a sore bum, or saddle sores, after an indoor cycling class, you might want to consider investing in a pair of padded spinning shorts. These shorts have a thin pad covering your sitbones and crotch that can help reduce soft tissue bruising and chafing.

Pro tip: Don’t wear underwear with your padded shorts.  Underwear will only increase chafing, discomfort, and moisture down under.

Terry Actif Spin Short

Looking for comfort?  Search no more.  The Actif short is one of the most comfortable bottoms around.  You’ll love the fabric, waistband, and pad.

Pearl Izumi Studio Bike Shorts

Who said that spinning shorts need to be boring? These cute shorties come in fun designs, and will show off those beautiful legs you’re about to sculpt.

Canari Spinning Shorts

We like the nice wide waistband on these tights that help avoid plumber crack.  They also offer good support and are nice and breathable thanks to mesh side panels. 

Spinning Pants

Prefer a little more coverage? Here are some of our go-to pants. You’ll notice we’ve picked bottoms that are tight fitting or capri length. That’s because baggy pants can get caught on the bike seat or on the cranks.

Terry Studio Cycling Capris

These are our favorites spin-specific pants.  They offer a thin, breathable chamois (pad), and wick sweat well so you’ll stay dry and comfortable no matter how heated class gets.

REI Active Pursuits Tights

We like the nice wide waistband on these tights that help avoid plumber crack.  They also offer good support and are nice and breathable thanks to mesh side panels. 

Padded Underwear

If you already have gym shorts you love but want some extra cushion, consider a pair of padded underwear. These picks are minimalistic so you won’t feel like you’re walking around in a diaper.

Louis Garneau Spin Undies

These undies are a bit spendy, but you can exec high-quality.

beroy Cycling Underwear

Sweat a lot?  These breathable undies keep things cool.

Baleaf Bike Underwear

These bottoms are soft and comfortable and stay in place.

Spinning Tops

Look for a top that is breathable, wicks sweat, and has minimal stitching to reduce skin irritation.

Athleta Limitless Tank

Athleta makes great workout clothes and this tank is no exception.  It is comfortable, breathable, and cute.

Under Armour Tech Tee

This tee is flattering on pretty much everybody.  It is modest, pretty, and comes in a wide variety of colors. 

icyzone Strappy Sports Bra

The back on this bra is beautiful.  Wear it alone or under your fave top.  

What About Shoes?

If it is your first time to spinning, you’ll be just fine in a pair of gym or tennis shoes.

When you are ready to upgrade, you can get indoor cycling shoes. These are shoes specifically made for spinning. They have a stiff sole to transfer power efficiently to the pedals and cleats that can “clip in” to the spin bike.

If you’re ready to upgrade to cycling shoes, read this guide:

In addition to cycling shoes, you might also want to invest in a pair of cycling socks. They are thinner and wick sweat better than regular cotton gym socks.

More Reading to Make Sure You’re Prepared for Your First Spin Class

Now that you know what to wear, read our guide to your first class. You’ll learn what to bring to class, how early to show up, and how to adjust your bike.

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