As a gentleman of modern society, you should be well acquainted with the best athleisure brands. But in case you’ve just awoken from a three-decade-long nap, welcome to the Internet (all manner of possibilities await). Now it’s time to discover the best athleisure brands for men.
The fashion movement became so integrated so quickly that it deserved its own word: athleisure. And this style has dominated in recent years. The biggest contributing factors include the declining relevance of formalwear and the growth of a wellness industry that’s now worth $1.5 trillion.
Don’t get confused by the term “wellness industry”—athleisure isn’t activewear. It might look sporty and have sporting capabilities, but it isn’t designed for hardcore workouts. For a more detailed analysis of the key pieces of athleisure clothing, try this wonderful Fashion Beans explainer by Sam Diss.
Athleisure on your couch, athleisure on a walk, athleisure at drinks with your pals. Athleisure is everywhere (and it’s so fun to say). Its mass appeal has seen thousands of brands claiming they’re the true athleisure label. That’s where we come in. With the help of some good old-fashioned research and our general fashion expertise, we’re here to guide you away toward the best athleisure brands available. Do read on.
Our Top Brands
Imagine a singular brand miraculously spawned from the very concept of the best athleisure brands (yet being uniquely it’s own). Imagine that brand was innovative, stylish, and sleek.
It skirts that perfect liminal space of not looking out of place at the gym but isn’t gym kit. It’s chic and comfortable. Just take the ingenious molded slides. Pure, pure style. Or this green shopper bag that screams out “leisure.” Pair it with these chunky “marathon” trainers, and now there’s a megaphone yelling “ATHLEISURE.”
If you’re looking for a matching set: brown polo shirt and brown shorts. Done. It’s possible you might squeeze out a few downward dogs, for sure. But ultimately,
The message from Outdoor Voices is to enjoy the game, not how it’s played, and we love it. Is one of the best athleisure brands in the game suggesting… a leisurely approach to athletics? Outdoor Voices tends towards activewear. But the pieces are fun, funky, and there’s a wonderful vintage flair to it all.
Combine the recycled tank top, recycled shorts, and sports glasses for some stylish impromptu “ath.” Or, if you see yourself leaning more towards a long hike, try these socks with this bag, which brings the added safety benefit of not getting lost. They’ll burn into the retinas of every man, woman, and animal in a hundred-mile radius.
Finally, we just have some athleisure housekeeping to do. No athleisure day is complete without the obligatory branded water bottle (albeit this one is for four-legged friends) and surprisingly common branded foam comfort shoe.
Cucinelli has been one of the best athleisure brands even before athleisure could eat solid food. The Puglia-based fashion icon has a strong sense of Italian craftsman heritage. Brunello Cucinelli treats their workers with dignity and strives to respect the surrounding land. That’s why their clothing has an ineffable rustic Italian charm with the highest production standards.
Speaking of standards… Yes, this is a hoodie, but it’s a techno cotton fabric that means no one could possibly look shabby. And the honeycomb structured interior lining is fabulously comfortable.
Combine the hoodie with a water-resistant gilet or gabardine jacket. On the bottom half, try out these smart trousers with elasticated hems and these suave sneakers. With that combination, you’ll find yourself in luxury clothing fit for sailing across The Mediterranean Sea. This is athleisure but real sophisticated.
Uniqlo is a brilliant choice for your best athleisure brand basics. This much-loved Japanese brand is affordable, minimalist, and up-to-date. If you’re a bit of a technical clothing nerd (um, yes), Uniqlo experiments with new fabric technology. For example, “AIRism” uses cupro to produce a silky smooth, moisture-wicking, and breathable fabric. See it in action on this cool and casual polo shirt.
If athleisure is about making the active lifestyle look effortless and suave, try these fully recycled PET shorts. The knitted details blur the line between athlete and mathlete, but they’re also fully operational for sprints, squats, deadlifts, and whatever other insane workouts you can imagine. For a more sleek preppy style, consider this highly versatile insulating gilet. Good for the commute. Good for the dog walk. Good for all your athleisure outfits.
Percival says on their website, “our Instagram is very, very good.” And the damn cheek of it… because it really is. What makes a good Instagram? Some people might want to be soaked in 35mm shots of crew neck polo shirts draped over Mediterranean rockfaces in the sun. Others might want a montage of four-year-old Prince Louis’s reactions to the Red Arrow planes over Jubilee weekend while also taking you through the emotions of sale purchasing. I am an idiot, so I prefer the latter.
Percival has a knack for collaborating with influential, chic, talented people and brands. For example, Off Menu, a food podcast hosted by comedians, an intelligent football magazine Mundial, or The Batman. There’s always a new, wild collaboration, event, or competition going on. It’s one of the best athleisure brands worth staying tuned for.
Aside from just plain good content,
Neutrale has all the prerequisites of the best athleisure brands: the dusty-toned hoodie, the luxurious t-shirt, and the sumptuous soft track pants, all in conscious organic cotton. But athleisure isn’t an assortment of clothes. It’s a statement about the way you want to live your life.
Is that a life that prioritizes elaborately priced coffee at your local cafe after a run? No sweat. Neutrale’s easy-going shades are here to serve and protect. The athleisure lifestyle does not permit hours of endless doom scrolling. Oh no. It suggests reading a real-life book on how to live better (which Neutrale also provides) for precise and scientific reasons. It’s aspirational.
Basically, Neutrale has the athleisure lifestyle wrapped up in one store. And that includes your dinner. For your maximum pleasure (or P-leisure, as I like to call it), try the “casa neutrale” dinner plate to pig out on after a hard day of athleisuring.
Set up in 2014 by a couple of hometown friends in Denmark, they wanted to create a brand that inspired people to switch off their devices, go outside, and reconnect with nature. Hence the name “Forét,” which is French for the forest. Adopting a slow pace of life has many rewards, including a 10% discount off your purchase when you enter “SLOWDOWN” at checkout (but you better type it very slowly).
The clothing is multi-purpose, simple, and chic. The elegant loose-fitting shirts, camp collar shirts, casual cream tees, sweatshirts, and baseball caps prove athleisure really isn’t meant for the gym. It’s meant for everything apart from the gym. And, of course, where would one of the best athleisure brands be without its signature water bottle? Fill ‘em up, boys.
LØCI is vegan and proud. The shoes have cork insoles, recycled plastics, bamboo lining, recycled brass for the eyelets, and 100% natural, renewable rubber soles. 10% of their profit is donated to various wildlife protection charities—See Turtles, Mission Blue, British Divers, Sea Shepard. LØCI is serious when it comes to doing good.
So do some good for ocean life and your footwear style. A shortcut to the best athleisure brands is these incredible sneakers. Thankfully, LØCI specializes in the rather stylish kind. We suggest checking out the classic athleisure shoe choice first: the white sneaker. Not veering too far from that is the brand contrasted white trainer, which is also very snazzy. If you’re ready to get a little crazier, LØCI produces a mid-top skate-inspired sneaker in red that will inject all kinds of fizz into your outfit.
Nike provides the full spectrum of athleisure support through its various offshoot labels. This is unsurprising when you consider its global reputation as a sportswear brand. ACG (All Conditions Gear) brings streetwear panache to your hiking gear. Try this combination of low-top hiking sneakers, zip-off cargo trousers, and a fleece hoodie. Jordan brand has hype-worthy streetwear, often tieing in unique collaborations too.
For example, this CLOT hoodie and jogger matching set. And the laidback SB (skateboard) range has a selection of the coolest baggy t-shirts in the game. Finally, we recommend considering the Air Max range for the foundation of your athleisure style. Air Max broke into the market in ‘87 with the Air Max 1, but as technology moved on, it became better known for aesthetic rather than sporting prowess.
Thus, the Air Max range is basically athleisure in a microcosm, and the reason why the Air Max 90 is athleisure gold. Build your wardrobe up from a sleek AM90, and you’ll be standing on solid ground. While you’re at it, you may as well indulge in a
I do not stutter. Patagonia is at the very pinnacle of sustainable fashion. In 2021, the brand achieved the “Best in the World” award for environment and community. Since 1985, the brand has pledged a 1% profit to the “preservation and restoration of the natural environment.” And in 2022 the company has committed to 100% of the nonvoting stock (98%) to a climate change nonprofit, essentially giving the company profits over to fight against the ongoing climate crisis.
Patagonia’s values revolve around recycled materials, organic cotton, Fair Trade labor standards, and regenerative farming practices. They even have a US-based secondhand resale platform called ‘Worn Wear.’
Moving on from the gold standard for sustainability. The only thing I’d say about Patagonia is the specific design for outdoor pursuits isn’t for every guy. No discredit. It’s just that the emphasis is on function, not style generally.
That being said, the 68% recycled Better Sweater, colorful hemp socks, 100% fishing net recycled bucket hat, and this 100% recycled long sleeve t-shirt proves that function doesn’t have to forego style. Throw these into your athleisure mixer, and you won’t regret it.
Y-3 is the result of a brand collaboration so successful it was deemed worthy of its own brand. When Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas teamed up all the way back in 2003, it satisfied a perfect combination of high-fashion and sportswear, which sounds a lot like a precursor to the best athleisure brands.
Speaking to iD, Yamamoto found the idea of New York businessmen walking to work in their sneakers fascinating and thought there was something in this. Turns out, he was right. Y-3 is one of the best men’s athleisure brands around. While some may pass it off as just pretentious sportswear, the concept pushes sports design by prioritizing style over performance.
This leads to some wild trainer designs: these incredible spiked outsoles or these high-ride-slides. While these bright pink shorts are some of the most stylish sports gear you will ever own, I would suggest Y-3 to those who love monochrome. We’ve compiled a full monochrome Y-3 athleisure outfit for you: track pants, sweatshirt, running hat, and sports bag. #AthleisureGoals.
Founded in Montreal in 2012, Frank and Oak is committed to helping you lead a better life. In 2019, the B-Corp-approved brand pledged five ambitious environmental and social goals to achieve by 2022. We think they’re making damn good progress. Just because they believe in doing the right things doesn’t mean their clothes have to suffer.
Frank and Oak is great for their stylish terry cloth polo shirts, which, if you like your clothes to be versatile, can also act as a towel to mop up sweat, dry yourself after a dip, or if you spill your iced latté. The graphics on the tees and sweatshirts are fun, vibrant, and full of references to fruit. Their optimistic outlook for the future of fashion shines through their bright athleisure-inflected clothing, and it’s a delight to witness.
What To Look For In When Searching For The Best Athleisure Brands
Athleisure is two words smashed together to make one. That means within the genre, brands might emphasize athletics or style/leisure along the way. For sporty, try
Materials have three key considerations: quality, technicality, and sustainability. Techno cotton from Brunello Cucinelli will be more luxurious, durable, and expensive. Whereas regular cotton will be durable but not quite so soft.
Some of the best athleisure brands use materials that can be described as “technical” clothing, such as Uniqlo’s sweat-wicking, super breathable AIRism polo shirt—fantastic for humid weather. Finally, whether a material has been produced organically, or regeneratively, or has been recycled will determine its relative sustainability.
The best athleisure brands are a melting pot. The large price range allows people from all backgrounds to put aside their differences and form a happy blob of hoodies, track pants, and slides. There is something out there for everyone.
A trend? How dare you.
I would argue that athleisure has transcended being labeled a trend. It meshes so well with modern life that it just makes sense as a practical way to dress, and that’s not about to change anytime soon.
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