The Westin / New Balance® gear lending program has been around for a few years but after chatting with some folks I found that some were apprehensive about wearing other people’s sweaty clothes and still had not used the service. Understandable but I decided to give a try to provide a review for all of my germ-a-phobes out there.
On one note I took these photos at 7a in between my workout and work so, nothing special. My apologies 😉
Westin properties rent New Balance clothes, shoes and socks for $5.00 (and yes ladies this includes sports bras). No reservation is required. I went down to the front desk the morning of my workout, gave them my size clothing and shoe sizes and within minutes had gear. The shoes came freshly packed in a shoe box (stuffing and fillers included) and the clothes were neatly folded. Both the clothes and the shoes were packaged in a mesh New Balance bag.
I inspected my black sports bra, blue moisture-wicking shirt and black capris for wear and tear. How many people had put this stuff on before me? Surprisingly, it all looked brand new and thankfully (and hopefully obviously) it smelled fresh (and not like that just washed but it still has that faint smell of ‘me’ on it). More like, freshly washed with no hint of any others wearing this smell. I wonder what kind of detergent they use. It was nice to feel like I was putting something on for the first time or at least they went above and beyond to make it seem like that.
The clothes fit well. The bands around the bra and the top of the capris were tight and didn’t feel like they were worn or stretched out.
The shoes were also ‘fresh’ (I know people hate feet so this is a biggie). The insoles of the shoes are removed and replaced (whether that is after each rental or periodically is a little vague) but they do ‘refresh’ the shoes after each rental.
The socks are also yours to keep, so you’re never wearing someone else’s socks.
So maybe I’ll have my germ-a-phobe title revoked BUT I wasn’t totally grossed out by the concept of renting the clothes. I’m that person that wipes down the phone and remote in a hotel room because who knows if the maids wipe those down. From the start the shoes didn’t faze me. It’s like renting spin shoes at a studio or wearing bowling shoes (which in my opinion are probably the grossest of all rental shoes).
I think it’s a good resource if you’re traveling to multiple places with one suitcase or for an extended period of time.The space you could save by nixing the sneakers and the clothes could buy you an extra day or two of nicer clothes/outfits. I’m also not one to wear my gym sneakers to the airport (Adidas Superstars, black on black sneakers and all white fresh sneakers being notable exceptions).
Would I do it again, yes. I had a good experience this first time. It was super fast (I went to the front desk and had my bag in under 5 minutes. I got fresh clothes that looked practically brand new, with fresh sneakers in a nice little package. Next time I’m short on space, I’ll think Westin/New Balance and think gear lending.
Have you tried the program? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!