You have more than your fair share of options when it comes to selecting fitness apparel. There are the usual suspects—the big names and the major player-endorsed labels whose iconic slogans are known all over the world. But what about those that don’t receive quite the same degree of adoration? They may fly a little bit under the radar, but that doesn’t make them any less vital to the men’s fitness world. Here are a few to watch in 2020.
They’re firm believers in the fine art of doing—and that’s precisely why Outdoor Voices could well be the uniform you didn’t realize that you needed. The company takes a lighthearted approach to its fitness apparel. They’re committed to comfort and style, but they aren’t focused specifically on the race, the gold medal, or the big win. They’re there to help you feel more motivated, to get you out there with your friends, to help you feel that familiar surge of energy and rush of endorphins that fills you with joy when you’re on the move. Their Nimbus Cotton Shorts ($65) are the perfect option for the busy guy who needs something that provides more coverage. The thicker weight fabric is a more substantial alternative that looks great with long-sleeve tees.
It means “mountain,” but to you Vuori will only ever mean cool and casual athleisure that both looks and feels great. That was the mentality that drove founder Joe Kudla to develop the brand. It was also partially inspired by the brand’s own community, the active and lively town of Encinitas, CA. The result: clothing that’s comfortable, effortless, approachable, and simple to integrate into your existing wardrobe without a lot of fuss—and that’s easy to wear whether you’re strolling the beach, pounding the pavement, or breaking a serious sweat in the gym. Among the highlights are lightweight, colorful shorts that are perfect for casual strolls; elastic-waist performance pants that pull moisture from the body so that you stay dry during those hardcore sessions; and a smart Outdoor Trainer Shell ($112) that resists water, dries fast, and stretches for comfort.
If you’re obsessed with old-school track jackets and love the legendary look of the adidas Superstar range, you’ll probably find plenty to love in the Tracksmith collection. Everything in the range has that authentic 1970s vibe, thanks to elements like strategic stripes and deep shades of navy and red. It’s all very appealing to runners who still look to the likes of Prefontaine for their style inspiration. Features like water-repellent fabrics and key pockets feel thoroughly contemporary, while race-friendly shorts and stirrup pants feel decidedly old-school by contrast. It introduces the perfect mix to the modern world, and it’s ideal for those who appreciate the best of both worlds. The Hare A.C. Boathouse Jacket ($148) is a slick pullover that’s as eye-catching as it is functional.
Fast-fashion exhaustion can ultimately be credited for the inspiring growth of EYSOM. The brainchild of Stan Cheung, a corporate fashion professional, the company was born of a desire to slow down the pace and embrace more timeless styles that actually earned more permanent places in men’s wardrobes. The brand’s effortless pants, training shorts, muscle tanks, and T-shirts are all emblematic of that spirit. There’s a sense of nonchalance about them—and in this case, that’s a great thing. The very opposite of fast fashion is attire that’s built to endure and stand the test of time. EYSOM has a lock on truly stylish athletic wear that shows it’s possible to be both comfortable and appealing at once. High on the list: their Slim Zip Pants ($220), made with tech materials and featuring chic zippered pockets for an unexpected finishing touch.
On was born with a vision to improve the running experience. Pounding the pavement takes on entirely new meaning when you slip into one of the brand’s kicks, which are cushioned with Cloudtec® to help you “land soft, push off hard.” It’s a tactic that makes all the sense in the world for anyone who’s ever felt the familiar strain of shock that impedes their performance. In addition to their Cloud kicks ($129.99), the brand also produces essential apparel and accessories to make your athletic pursuits more comfortable—no matter what the weather might be like. Their genius Weather Shirt ($129.99) is designed to handle inclement conditions like a pro. Wear it as a layering piece under a lightweight jacket or during those late autumn workouts that require a little extra coverage.
The Bottom Line
The right workout attire can make all the difference to your wardrobe—and, most importantly, to your performance. In a world where technological advancements have the power to change everything, it’s no surprise that more and more brands are capitalizing on innovative techniques that lend more credence to the basics, like tees, shorts, and pants. Keep your focus on comfort, but don’t shy away from experimenting with new brands and styles that take your game to the next level.