With the gym back in action and fitness well and truly on the menu, many of us are heading back to the cupboard to find our gym bags filled with 12-week-old, sweat stained t-shirts and training gear. It’s funny; as soon as you finish a workout, your gym clothes seem to enter this strange vortex where you completely forget about them until next time you head in for a big sesh. But rather than attempt to wash the stains and smells out of your gym wear and gym gear, we’re advocating for a fresh start.
To kick-off your post-isolation fitness regime, start with an overhaul of your wardrobe. You don’t want to head back to the gym wearing the same cut-off tee you did prior to lockdown, you want to get your hands on the best gym clothes for men. The gym wear that offers mobility, movement and a bit of air-flow for your sweaty bits. But what makes a piece of gym apparel worth the purchase?
What to Consider When Buying Gym Apparel
If you’re making the trek back to the gym and want to get your outfit sorted, it’s not as easy as just chucking on an old, worn out t-shirt. There are a few key things that gym apparel offers that conventional clothing does not. Here’s what you should be looking out for;
- Movement – The best gym clothes for men are all about making it easy to move. Let’s face it, going to the gym is pointless if you aren’t going to get your body in action. For this reason, it’s important that your gym gear is flexible and not too tight.
- Material – You want to have a full range of motion, so it pays to look for gym wear made from materials that stretch. Denim is obviously out.
- Air-Flow – In order to keep yourself from overheating, your gym clothes should offer some breathability. The best gym clothes for men often have vents or mesh ducts above your important, high-sweat areas.
Best Gym Shoes
Starting at the bottom, copping a fresh pair of the best gym shoes you can find is critical for ensuring your gym outfit is on point. The keys to a great pair of gym shoes are cushioning and support. Whether you are planning on running or lifting heavy, you need gym shoes that will fit the bill.
1. Nike React Metcon
The Nike React Metcons are some of the best gym shoes on the market. This variation of Nike’s iconic footwear takes the stability and traction from the training original and pairs it with the brand’s most comfortable cushioning. The light, breathable upper is designed to help you tackle high-impact workouts, with durable grip to support your ongoing performance.
2. New Balance FuelCell Echo
Designed for both road-running and gym use, the FuelCell Echo trainers from New Balance are a versatile addition to your gym bag. This footwear includes New Balance’s high-performance foam, which offers added support and shock absorption, meaning you can tackle any terrain. Additionally, the FuelCell Echos have a full-length ripped rubber outsole for added grip and traction.
3. adidas Asweerun
The ultra-lightweight Asweerun gym shoes from adidas will definitely get you back in the mood for fitness. Featuring a mesh upper, these durable shoes also score an innovative rubber outsole that grips the floor for better traction. This way, when you pushing through your heels for a heavy deadlift, you don’t need to worry about slipping. Add the cushioned midsole to the mix and you’ve got one fine piece of workout gear.
4. Reebok Nano X
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Nano, Reebok reimagined its iconic gym shoe to create an all-new version, the Nano X. This light-weight variation has a soft woven textile upper with targeted areas of support and stretch. Further, Reebok has added a compression moulded midsole for a smoother stride and long-lasting comfort.
For most guys, the humble t-shirt or an old work shirt may suit them just fine in the gym, but that’s usually because they’ve never tried specially designed fitness apparel. Brands like Under Armour and Nike offer gym shirts that have been constructed with fitness in-mind. Here are some of our favourites.
5. Under Armour Tech Long-Sleeve
When it comes to what to wear when you hit the gym, Under Armour is the obvious answer. The brand’s line of hi-tech gear is a go-to for athletes and celebrities across the globe. The Under Armour Tech range is made from fabric that is quick-drying, ultra-soft and has a natural feel. This long-sleeve shirt also features anti-odour technology that prevents the growth of odour-causing microbes.
Material: 100% Polyester
6. adidas Badge of Sport Tank
adidas’ classic triple-stripe has become an icon of streetwear in recent years, but the logo still reigns supreme in the gym. This sleeveless tank top is made of lightweight cotton for a soft feel and sit between a loose fit and regular, giving you more movement. The best part is, once you’re finished in the gym, you can chuck a jacket over the top and you’re good to hit the bar.
Material: 100% cotton
7. Nike Pro Short-Sleeve
For those looking to make a positive impact in the gym and out, the Nike Pro line is constructed from sustainable materials, including at least 50 per cent recycled polyester. The sweat-wicking fabric helps keep you dry and comfortable all the way through your workout. This t-shirt also has high-stretch and hem vents to allow for a full range of movement.
Material: 93% polyester, 7% elastane
8. Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Short-Sleeve
Designed for training,uLulelemon’s Metal Vent Tech short-sleeve t-shirt is made from 100% recycled polyester. Breathability is key in this piece of gym apparel with the shirt copping Lululemon’s innovative ventilation mesh construction for greater air-flow.
Material: 100% recycled polyester
Best Gym Shorts
Whether you are running, squatting or lunging, a good pair of gym shorts is essential. Make sure that you can move freely, while ensuring your loose bits stay firm in these awesome gym shorts.
9. Lululemon T.H.E Short 7″ Lined Nulux
Super-light-weight, T.H.E Short from Lululemon are specially designed for comfort while training. The gym shorts feature a smooth waistband and split hem to improve mobility, along with Gusset sweat-wicking fabric for a cool workout. For those worried about support, T.H.E. short has a built-in liner to keep your junk secure.
Material: Swift fabric
10. Under Armour MK-1 Warm-Up Shorts
Loose fitting with a fuller cut, the MK-1 Warm Up shorts from Under Armour are comfort personified. The piece of gym gear is constructed from a light-weight, double-knit fabric that is breathable and stretches for superior mobility. To keep things firm and in-place, Under Armour has added an encased elastic waistband with external drawcord.
Material: 100% polyester
11. Reebok Elements Woven Shorts
Nothing beats a good pair of woven shorts. Reebok has added the Elements to maximise your workout regime, complete with a mesh lining for improved breathability. These gym shorts are ideal for cardio, with Reebok’s Speedwick technology offering super-fast drying.
Material: 100% polyester
12. Asics Ventilate Mesh
Made from stretch-woven fabric, Asics’ Ventilate shorts support movement in all directions. For the cardio-focused, the gym shorts feature an inner sprinter compression short for support, with a drawcord waistband for a snug fit.
Material: 86% polyester, 14% spandex
13. Nike Pro Men’s Shorts
Another addition from Nike’s Pro line, these gym shorts combine breathability with flexible fabrics for a complete workout essential. The shorts come in a shorter length for comfort and natural movement, along with a hybrid waistband that keeps things in place.
Material: 81% polyester, 19% elastane
Best Workout Hoodies/Jackets
While a fairly recent addition to the gym bag, workout hoodies are now an incredible popular piece of gym clothing for men. Multi-use jackets and outerwear are perfect for those colder days when you could easily skip the gym.
14. Under Armour Perpetual Training Jacket
Under Armour has made a name for itself crafting exceptional workout gear for gym-goers and the Perpetual Training jacket is one of the brand’s latest and greatest. The midweight stretch woven fabric delivers comfort and durability on the outside, while the soft, brushed interior makes for a comfy wear. Additionally, this jacket cops anti-odour technology to keep you from stinking out the locker room and an action-back construction for a full range of motion.
Material: 91% polyester, 9% elastane
15. Lululemon Textured Tech Hoodie
Whether it’s an early-morning run or an in-gym sweat sesh, Lululemon has you covered with the Textured Tech hoodie. The outerwear has integrated, open-hole mesh to improve breathability and bonded eyelets for air-flow. You can also make sure your things are secure with exterior zippered pockets.
16. Nike Windrunner A.I.R.
Another piece of gym apparel made from sustainable materials, the Nike Windrunner A.I.R. is a colourful fitness statement. This version stays true to the design of the 1978 original, allowing you to stay cool and dry even if you’re running in the rain. This variation is constructed from a super-light-weight, water repellent material with the graphic created by artist-in-residence A. Savage.
Material: 100% recycled polyester
What are some things to look for in your gym gear?
For gym apparel, the best thing to look for is mobility and breathability. You want shoes, shorts and accessories that are comfortable and give you a full range of motion.
Are there any rules for what you can wear at the gym?
Regularly, you must wear closed in shoes, shirting that covers your upper body and shorts to the gym. More recently, however, COVID-19 restrictions may prevent you from entering the gym without a face mask or gloves.
What are the best gym apparel brands?
The most popular gym apparel brands include Nike, adidas and Under Armour. Each provide a wealth of shirting, shorts and training accessories to make you workout more accessible.