It’s a sad fact of life that weather conditions won’t always allow you to flaunt your svelte legs in short shorts every workout. Clouds inevitably appear, winds whip and rains descend. What’s needed in these times of weatherly struggle is a humble pair of men’s workout pants to keep you pushing when the elements turn against you.
While the clue is in the name, exercise itself is a vast field. Men’s workout pants thrive when used in the depths of the chilly winter months when battling icy conditions and everything in your body is telling you not to go outside. That’s when you need an extra layer of sartorial enthusiasm to wrap yourself in.
Some designs, such as the ON Running pants, are catered specifically as waterproof and windproof. Others adopt a traditional “jogger” form, in which heavyweight Terry Cloth cotton will help stave off the cold and the wind. They are also a marvelous tool for less intense training regimes such as warm-ups and warm-downs, dog-walks, light-jogs, and getting back to working out after an injury since they aid homeostasis by slipping on and off with ease.
As we see it, the rest phase is just as integral to the fitness phase, and a lot of men’s workout pants also double up as fine couch companions too. But, if you have the energy to get off the couch after a workout, they can look extremely dapper when worn out and about.
In recent years, we have even seen them transcend the gym and blur into more fashionable realms owing to the ever-growing streetwear market. Consider New Balance x Aimé Leon Dore’s 2020 campaign “Runners Aren’t Normal” as typical of how men’s workout pants are worn alongside long coats, beanie hats, and clean sneakers have formed a desirable high-low fashion aesthetic. The age-diverse cast shows how this particularly stylish/cozy party is open to everyone.
So, whether it’s nestling up on the couch with a book, or maniacally running up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps to the Rocky soundtrack, we’ve flicked through countless JPEGs and scoured the internet high and low to find these eleven best workout pants for men below. Grab your trainers, drink a nice cup of ambition and get on out there.
Our Top Picks
While Armani the brand doesn’t naturally associate with undignified sweating, their expertise in elegant tailoring and fabric choice makes them a smart choice. The chic, pared-back Italian fleece design delivers sophisticated simplicity to your workout gear.
The styling notes consist mainly of a little white EA7 logo below the left pocket and the navy hue makes it easy to style. So, there’s no shame if you need to nip out to meet someone for a coffee wearing these joggers. They are about as respectable as men’s workout pants get.
The wide elastic waistband makes these joggers the perfect partners-in-crime to chill out and watch a crime-busting-police-duo bust open some case.
Sizes: S-XXL | Material: cotton | Best for: jog, warm-ups, warm downs, tennis, cold weather | Colors: navy blue, black
Whether you’ve never sat cross-legged before or you walk down the stairs in chakrasana, these Nike yoga pants are an ideal practice companion. The idea of yoga pants might conjure up notions of baggy harem-style pants, these adopt a more modern, slimmer approach, and yet retain the stretch, comfort, and all-important flexibility of motion necessary for an adept pair of yoga pants.
During yoga, things can get sweaty. Real sweaty. So the sweat-wicking properties will help you stay dry, comfortable, and focused on the task at hand. The fabric is constructed from at least 75% recycled polyester, bringing you that bit close to Nature. Styling-wise, we just request you try to keep them within the confines of the yoga studio. Even Harry Styles hasn’t managed to convert them into a chic everyday item… yet.
Sizes: S-XXXXL | Material: cotton | Best for: yoga | Colors: light green, blue, dark green, gray, terracotta, beige, black
These sweatpants by Axel Arigato blend classiness, simplicity, and vintage swagger with such delectable ease. The organic cotton construction lends these men’s pants their blissful ergonomic experience when worn, but also contributes to a less ecologically destructive means of farming.
The blending of green and gold makes a design of vintage simplicity, with a straight leg silhouette, simple elasticated ankle, and a roomy construction. Sure, you could pop out for a jog, but these are almost too cool for that. They need to be styled with panache. We suggest here may be a chore jacket, a pair of chunky trainers and a relaxed t-shirt.
Sizes: XS-L | Material: 100% organic cotton | Best for: running, lounging, warm-ups, warm-downs, dog-walk | Colors: black, green, blue
Imagine this: you’re working at home. After the pandemic that might not be such a crazy thought… but then, imagine you have the urge to play tennis or go for a jog. With these trousers, you can immediately get out of your office chair and run outside without changing.
These are truly sophisticated men’s workout pants. While they are constructed from technical, lightweight, breathable, and workout-ready Italian cotton, they have been fashioned in such a way that they work as office trousers. The pleated tailoring, the refined straight fit, and ankle cuffs all act in synchronicity. Roll the cuffs at the bottoms for an even more stylish take.
Sizes: 28”-38” | Material: cotton | Best for: light jog, tennis, the office | Colors: dark nickel, dark night
“Excuse me. I’m just going to stop you there.” Says the gym police to the trendy athlete.
“Um. Can I help you?” They say, coolly.
“Just wondering if you have a license to train?” Says the officer with a stern expression.
While there’s little risk of being stopped by the gym police IRL (unless you are training worryingly hard or you’re freeloading) these Lululemon men’s workout pants guarantee you the answer: “Just look at these things. Of course, I have a license to train.”
Thanks to its Luxtreme Fabric construction with added lycra, the tight-fit pants are super stretchy, sweat-wicking, produce little friction, and compress your muscles for maximum exertion. They also happen to look rather dapper.
These are ideal for workouts that need unimpeded leg movement like yoga, sprinting, and general gym HIIT workouts. They have silicone grippers on the inside leg to ensure no slippage and boast little pockets so your Advanced Training License is never more than a zip away.
Sizes: XS-XXL | Material: 69% nylon, 31% lycra elastane | Best for: yoga, running, weightlifting, HIIT | Colors: white, rhino gray, black
The sophistication and desirability of these men’s workout pants are to be expected when dealing with running brand ON Running. They also come with a wealth of tricks down to their ankle cuffs.
Firstly, there’s the zip from ankle to knee allowing an easy exit and entry of the trousers without taking your trainers off; great for warm-ups and cool-down swap overs. Secondly, stashed away in the rear pocket, a thin nylon loop is designed to attach to your key. This wonderful detail means: no more getting locked out of your house and no more carrying your key rings around like an off-duty jailer.
While they are designed specifically with runners in mind, their lightweight, adjustable and waterproof nature delivers a wider sporting remit.
Sizes: S-XXL | Material: 87% polyamide, 13% elastane | Best for: running, warm-ups, tennis, all-weathers | Colors: black, navy-black
The softness of the French Terry cotton here allows you for two types of experiences. The first is to be paired with a chilled day swanning around the house featuring intermittent bathing, Netflix, and unrestrained eating. Your skin will be singing with joy.
The second is to get active. The density of the fabric is great for lighter workouts, warm-ups, warm-downs, and cold-climate activities. It’s this versatility that makes these New Balance men’s workout pants a minimalist wardrobe essential.
Sizes: XS-XXXL | Material: 60% cotton, 40% polyester | Best for: jogging, lounging, walking the dog, layering | Colors: natural indigo, pink haze, rich earth, sea salt heather
Inject some excitement into your men’s workout pants with the pure luxury of cashmere. Cashmere wool is from the Cashmere sheep and has an incredible thread count, making it unfathomably soft and a very good insulator.
Wool has been adopted into men’s workout pants and gear more and more in recent years because it is lightweight, breathable, sweat-wicking, anti-microbial, insulating, and fully biodegradable, making it score high on circularity parameters. The recycled cashmere of these joggers from COS means it goes one better.
These joggers do not need to exert themselves stylistically for the gorgeous dark gray hue does all the heavy lifting. And need we mention how incredibly comfortable cashmere jogging bottoms will be for lounging?
Sizes: XS-XL | Material: recycled cashmere | Best for: jogging, a cold weather insulating layer, lounging | Colors: dark gray, gray
These jazzy, old-school Adidas pants are worn just as easily on the trails, as they are in bed on a Sunday morning doing sweet, sweet nothing.
The pants are constructed from an insulating, warming, and indulgent fleece material, giving your body that protection to go out and tackle the day’s exercise. The material is recycled too, re-using and re-utilizing otherwise defunct plastics which, like the daily exercise it’s facilitating, is a positive step forward.
These pants will work fantastically well with a cap, a long winter coat, wireless headphones, and a pair of sleek white sneakers, to create a sort of cultured-but-casual, city-dweller look.
Sizes: S-XXL | Material: cotton | Best for: yoga, jogging, lounging, coffee-run, dog-walk, warm-ups, warm-downs | Colors: vivid red, black, medium gray heather, victory crimson, quiet crimson
Sunspel is known for its pristine, high-quality menswear basics. So, when they released their Activewear range, the timelessness of design and use of high-quality fabrics were to be expected. These joggers feature a unique Dri-release fabric designed specifically for moisture-wicking, so expect a far more pleasurable, breathable experience while your work out wearing these.
What we love is how the minimalist design means that you can be dressed for the gym, without making that fact desperately clear to the rest of the world. This is understated Activewear at its most refined.
Sizes: XS-XXL | Material: 73% dri-release (62% polyester, 11% cotton), 17% polyester, 10% elastane | Best for: gym, yoga, tennis, cold weather outdoor activity | Colors: marine blue, black
What to look for in Men’s workout pants
Type of workout
The best men’s workout pants for men balance all of the extremes of various workouts and are also great for lounging in. More specifically for yoga, you’ll want something that offers maximum movement. That means a tight taper around the ankle and movement around the hips for those blissful, long stretches.
For running, there are either the conventional jogging bottoms, generally made from cotton, which are warm and comforting, or go for a more technical windproof, waterproof angle that might suit trail running specifically. Gym pants might embrace muscle compression, tightness, and sweat-wicking principles.
Brands are continually investing in better fabrics. Look out for properties such as sweat-wicking, anti-bacterial, water-proofing, and wind-proofing. Other brands are looking to adopt more ecologically sound principles and are using recycled polyesters and organically farmed materials.
So, it just depends on your personal set of priorities and the fabric that suits your pants. Thanks to the rise in technical materials, we’ve also seen traditional workout materials find their way into smart-casual, office-wear aesthetics. This has pushed men’s workout pants into more of a multi-faceted, all-purpose wardrobe item.
Fit will also determine use. For overall application, try a slim fit. This will make it comfortable enough to chill in, adaptable enough to style with versatility, and tight enough to keep close to your body while working out.
We have been seeing traditional elements of tailoring, such as pleating, creep into men’s workout pants, giving a more shapely, smarter fit, while retaining workout credentials. A tight fit is perfect for maximum flexibility, movement, and applicability in the sporting realm, while baggier fits work well with a nice cup of coffee on the couch.
This is slightly dependent on the workout they’re doing. For yoga, you want tightness around the ankles and bagginess up top for ease of movement. If you’re looking at sprinting, or HIIT, maybe tight compression pants would be better. Out for a casual jog? Then go for slim-fit jogging bottoms in cotton which will double-up as lounge pants, or for rainy climates, waterproof running pants are a good shout.
This slightly depends on what activity you’re doing. However, workout pants that are slim fit, but not skin-tight achieve a perfect balance of everything. This gives you comfort, flexibility, movement, and versatility of use.
You’ll be looking to wear something a little tighter than your average loose briefs. A snug-fitting performance boxer with technical materials is preferred, however, the one golden rule is that they’re compact and they keep the bundle in one bundle.
The jury is out on whether compression pants actually deliver performance benefits. But, if you’re looking to try anything in the name of potential edge, they are supposedly meant to deliver injury protection, a reduction in muscle fatigue due to increased oxygenation, groin support, and help offset DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)