- Being comfortable working out starts with what you wear, from properly fitting running shorts to moisture-wicking tops.
- What you wear should fit how you work out, too — i.e. running shorts for runners, stretch fabrics for lifting, etc.
- Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite workout clothing brands, with gear from Rhone, Janji, and Ten Thousand.
Wearing the right apparel while working out makes a world of difference. Though a simple pair of running shorts and a sweat-wicking shirt may not seem like the world-beating combo you need to set a new PR, they perform far better than those gym shorts you’ve had since high school and a cotton tee from your dresser.
Your preferred workout influences what you wear, too. While the current wave of workout gear intends to help you perform better by keeping you cool and comfortable, there’s also a variety of specialized gear designed for certain activities. For instance, a runner may opt for a lightweight and quick-drying pair of shorts while someone lifting weights would likely prefer a shirt made of stretch fabric.
No matter your go-to, there’s a wide range of fitness apparel available for all of it — and as fitness editor on the Insider Reviews team, I constantly sweat-test what I can to find the gear worth wearing. Be it the functional running apparel from a brand like Janji or Ten Thousand’s versatile training gear, there’s plenty on the market designed to keep up with however you stay fit.
A note on fit
This guide focuses specifically on workout clothing designed for cisgender men. Brands differentiate men’s and women’s workout clothing both in terms of specific design choices, as well as colorways and style. Men’s workout shirts tend to be cut to fit broader shoulders while men’s shorts offer more leg coverage (though this isn’t always the case) and added space in the crotch.
Women’s workout shirts are often narrower and form-fitting, have shorter sleeves, and are sometimes designed to fit tighter around the arms. Shorts designed for women tend to feature a cut that accommodates rounder hips, are void of any added space in the crotch, and may also have a wider waistband.
Despite these differences, finding the “right” workout clothing comes down to what fits you best and what feels comfortable while you work out. If you’re looking for apparel that more closely associates with the design and fit tendencies found in women’s workout clothing, check out our guide to the best currently available.