The best workout clothes for men will allow you to stay cool and comfortable while giving you extra support and complete flexibility of movement. These are the best clothes we’ve tested.

Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey or are a seasoned gym-goer, the best workout clothes for men will help you get the most from your sessions. Cotton tees, baggy shorts and old trainers just won’t cut it when you start ramping up your HIIT workouts or weights programme. You need dedicated performance-focused training gear that will move with you and keep you cool and comfortable.

Clothes not made with performance in mind will be distracting at best, but will more likely be restrictive, unsupportive and uncomfortable. Trainers won’t support quick lateral movements, tees will get wet, heavy and start to chafe and shorts won’t wick sweat away and restrict your range of movement. Enter: the best workout clothes for men in 2024.

How we test the best workout clothes

When you’re looking to invest in new workout kit, we know just how crucial those trustworthy reviews can be in helping you reach that all-important decision. So, our team of trusted testers put dozens of tops, leggings, shorts, shoes and more through their paces to bring you the very best of the best. All items were tested in terms of fit, comfort and style, alongside how well they performed during various workouts. Our testers also honed in on the high-tech features each garment offers, from sweat-wicking fabrics and four-way stretch to breathable uppers and zero-chafe seams.

Men’s Fitness’ pick of the best workout clothes for men

  1. Best gym shirt – Vuori Strato Tech Tee
  2. Best gym shorts – Under Armour Vanish Woven Shorts
  3. Best gym shoes – Reebok Nano X3
  4. Best sweatpants – Under Armour Meridian Tapered Pants
  5. Best running shorts – inov-8 Race Elite 5-inch Short
  6. Best running shoes – On Cloudflow
  7. Best compression top – 2XU Core Compression Long Sleeve
  8. Best compression leggings – Skins Series 5
  9. Best sports boxers – CXP Ultralite XP
Kieran Alger wearing Vuori Strato Tech Tee

Vuori Strato Tech Tee

Best gym shirt

Men’s Fitness verdict

A great workout tee that’s versatile, lightweight and fits well. Ideal for travel, as it doubles as daytime wear and workout gear.
  • Incredibly soft and light
  • Excellent fit
  • Good flex for free movement
  • Holds sweat on longer cardio workouts
Materials:96% Polyester; 4% Elastane
Features:Moisture wicking; anti odor; UPF rating
Sizes:XXS – 3XL
Colours:17 available

The Vuori Strato Tech Tee offers simplicity, style, and comfort with its classic design, tailored fit, and muted color options, suitable for both workouts and more casual wear. Constructed from a soft, lightweight, four-way stretch fabric, it boasts UPF protection, anti-odor, and moisture-wicking properties. The flat stitch seams and flexible arm cuffs enhance comfort and mobility.

I noticed the fabric’s softness and lightness even before wearing, and it provided a barely-there feel ideal for workouts. It offers ample flexibility and comfort for various exercises – though its shorter length may cause slight rise during certain movements. Despite its classic appearance, it effectively handles moisture during shorter workouts, but may retain more sweat during longer sessions. Sizing is true to standard measurements, and durability remains intact after multiple wash cycles and tumble drying, making it a reliable choice for most.

Easy to care for, it’s machine washable and tumble dry-friendly.

Product shot of a man wearing grey Under Armour Woven Vanish shorts

Under Armour Vanish Woven Shorts

Best gym shorts

Men’s Fitness verdict

Temperature-regulating Heat Gear tech works a treat, creating light and breathable shorts that are the comfiest we’ve tested.
  • Excellent fit
  • Good length and coverage
  • No zip pockets
Material:UA Vanish (ultra-light durable woven fabric)
Features:Perforated panels for ventilation; 4-way stretch material; elastic waistband with pull draw; open hand pockets; notched hem
Sizes:S/M – 2XL
Colours:16 colours available

Under Armour’s Vanish shorts will help you keep your cool even when your session really starts to heat up. While testing, we felt cool and comfortable throughout the entire sweaty workout, thanks to temperature-regulating Heat Gear tech, lightweight fabric and breathable mesh construction.

Its wide elastic waist also keeps the pressure off your middle, and flatlock seams minimise the risk of chafing – all in all, we found them extremely comfortable to exercise in. If you’re stocking up on the best workout clothes, your gym kit won’t be complete without a fine pair of shorts like this.

Reebok Nano X3 product image

Reebok Nano X3

Best gym shoes

Men’s Fitness verdict

These stylish and comfy shoes are stable and secure, able to handle multiple movements as well as the strain put on by heavy lifting. A quality all-rounder and some of the best we’ve tested.
  • Comfortable with plenty of cushioning
  • Stylish design
  • Laces a little short
  • All-rounder rather than specialist design
Material:Flexweave™ knit upper / Floatride Energy Foam™ midsole / ROPEPRO+™ rubber outsole
Sizes:4 – 13
Colours:6 colours available

The Reebok Nano X3 is a superbly versatile gym shoe, able to handle multiple movements and cope with the strain of heavy lifting, making it perfect for cross-training.

While testing, the shoe offered excellent lateral support, plus a good deal of grip and traction thanks to the shoe’s rubber outsole. The Reebok Nano X3 is a stable, secure shoe, able to handle multiple movements, as well as the strain put on by heavy lifting. We also found it was highly comfortable, and easy to slip on and off. Plus, the heel area gave us a spring in our step and the breathable upper material meant our feet stayed fresh even during the most intense sessions.

A man wearing Under Armour Meridian Tapered Pants

Under Armour Meridian Tapered Pants 

Best sweatpants

Men’s Fitness verdict

With a supportive fit and four-way stretch fabric, these comfy and supportive joggers allow for full range of movement and are ideal for short workouts or runs.
  • Flattering, supportive fit
  • Plenty of flexibility
  • Comfortable waistband
  • Breathability could be better
Material:83% nylon, 17% elastane
Features:Four-way stretch material; elastic waistband with external drawcord; zip hand pockets
Sizes:XS – 2XL
Colours:Black, fresh clay

You might not initially consider sweatpants when shopping for the best workout clothes, but the right pair can offer unrivalled comfort during a workout. Plus, they double up as comfy loungewear when chilling at home.

The Under Armour Meridian Tapered Pants have a close, tapered fit for a flattering look and supportive feel. We love their lightweight, super-soft and stretchy fabric, which delivers all-day comfort whether you’re on your sofa, at the shops or midway through your session.

While working out, we found the material wicked sweat away from the body and dried quickly, making the Meridian suitable for intense gym or track sessions. Plus, the two zipped pockets came in handy for stashing our valuables. 

Pair of Inov-8 Race Elite running shorts, best workout clothes for gym

Inov-8 Race Elite 5-Inch Short

Best running shorts

Men’s Fitness verdict

The Inov-8 Race Elite proved to be not only the best of our 5-inch shorts but the best running shorts overall. They are the most versatile, comfortable and high-performing shorts we’re tested.
  • Chafe-free boxer liners
  • Soft-lined waistband
  • Well ventilated
  • Could do with more storage
Material:Recycled polyester, elastane
Details:Integrated boxer liner, rear zipped pocket with key loop
Sizes:XS – XL
Colours:Black, navy

Whether you’re logging training miles, nailing gym drills or rocking up at a weekend race, the Inov-8 Race Elite 5-inch should be on your list. On test, we found it struck the perfect balance between that lightweight, barely-there feel and confident coverage. 

We were also impressed by the perforated panels, which kept air flowing and sweat dissipating, while the silky soft boxer liners with flat seams enhanced our comfort. Plus, the soft, wide waistband also resists rolling and reduces pressure, adding even more comfort points. We also noticed there’s enough pocket storage for a large smartphone or a fistful of gels, as well as a key loop.

Product shot of On Running Cloudflow shoe, best workout clothes and kit for the gym

On Running Cloudflow

Best running shoes

Men’s Fitness verdict

Whether it’s a 5k, 10k or marathon, the Cloudflow’s versatility makes it stand out from the crowd. The Helion foam provides an impressive kick of speed too.
  • Versatile enough for any distance
  • Helion foam ensures a smooth ride
  • Impressive grip on slippery terrain
  • Expensive
Material:Helion™ superfoam, recycled polyester
Sizes:6.5 to 13.5
Colours:9 colours available
Heel-toe drop:9mm

Swiss brand ON has established itself as a shining light in the running shoe game. Its Cloudflow is all about soft landings and explosive take-offs, making it one of the best any-distance running shoes we’ve ever tried.

The Helion™ superfoam, meanwhile, ensured a smooth ride while we were running – giving comfort, kick and more speed – and the curved heel unit meant for better hold, durability and comfort. We also found them to be super lightweight, reinforced and well-ventilated. What’s more, the advanced traction pattern on the sole also offers superior grip when we were running on wet and slippery terrain.

2XU Core Compression Long Sleeve best workout clothes for gym

2XU Core Compression Long Sleeve

Best compression top

Men’s Fitness verdict

The breathable 2XU Core Compression top ticks all the boxes when it comes to comfort, support and reducing muscle fatigue. Breathability is impressive too.
  • Good compresssion
  • Excellent flexibility
  • No colour options
Material:80% polyamide, 20% elastane
Sizes:XS – 2XL
Features:Circular knit, 360-degree stretch fabric, flatlock seams, raglan sleeves, vent panels, reflective logo

If you want to upgrade to the best workout clothes, compression kit offers the latest top-of-the-range technology to support your muscles during workouts. The 2XU Core Compression top boasts high-level compression and a wealth of technical features. While testing, we found it had a tight, compressive fit, which is designed to support the muscles during exercise and kickstart the recovery process afterwards.

Its thick yet lightweight PWX fabric – combined with well-placed vent panels – finds the sweet spot between insulation and ventilation. During our workouts, we found the top provided reliable temperature regulation. Plus, the raglan sleeves also ensured our movement was unrestricted, while elasticated sleeves and that second-skin fit kept the top in place on the torso.

Man's lower torso, wearing the Skins Series 5 compression tightsMen's Fitness Endorsed badge

Skins Series 5 Long

Best compression tights

Men’s Fitness verdict

Once you manage to wriggle into these flexible, breathable tights you’ll enjoy targeted compression and superb comfort – but they’re not cheap.
  • Graduated compression
  • Fabric is smooth and comfortable
  • Waistband can roll up
  • Expensive
Material:76% nylon, 24% elastane
Sizes:Small – 2XL
Features:Breatheable mesh panels, elasticated internal drawcord, reflective logos, rear stretch pocket

The close-fitting Skins Series 5 are dedicated high-grade compression tights that can be worn during and after workouts. Featuring the highest compression levels in the Skins recovery gear line-up, they deliver targeted, graduated compression to all the major muscles in your lower torso. 

Once you feel their muscle vibration reduction benefits – whether you use them for road runs, strength sessions or HIIT workouts – you’ll find it hard to go back. While testing, we found the super-smooth, quick-drying fabric to be some of the comfiest we’ve ever had against the skin. Plus, flatlock seams kept chafing to a minimum while we were working out.

Product shot of a man wearing CXP compression shorts, best workout clothes for gym

CXP Ultralite XP Compression Shorts

Best sports boxers

Men’s Fitness verdict

These shorts offer plenty of support and mild compression benefits in a light, breathable package. The waistband is super comfy too.
  • Mildly compressive
  • Bonded anti-chafe seams
  • Excellent durability
  • Fairly expensive
Material:86% polyamide, 14% spandex
Sizes:Small – XL

For seriously comfy and supportive sports boxers with compression benefits, look no further than the CXP Ultralite XP. During workouts, we found the bonded seams completely eliminated chafing, while a multi-panel waistband was effective at spreading the pressure out evenly for a comfortable fit.

They’re also the lightest sports boxers we’ve tested, yet durability and moisture management are first-class. Whether you wear them for regular workouts or sports, longer sessions or multi-hour endurance events, you really can’t go wrong with these CXP shorts.

What to look for in the best workout clothes

The best workout clothes should only enhance your workout. You want stretch, flex and breathability. You want comfort, light weight and support. So look for technical clothes made from advanced sweat-wicking fabrics including nylon, elastane and polyester (or natural fibres like merino wool). Look for flattened or minimal seams to stop chafing. And look for a fit that is close and supportive with good coverage, without being restrictive.

Don’t forget shoes, either. Unless you’re focused on lifting you don’t want dedicated lifting shoes, which are too rigid for most other workouts. Instead, for gym shoes look for ones that offer lateral support, or for running you want good flex and cushioning through your stride. Both should be lightweight, with breathable uppers.

Best workout clothes FAQs

What’s the most important thing to look for in a workout top?

Breathability and sweat wicking performance are the most important things to look for in a gym shirt. A gym shirt that promotes air flow and that dries quickly will stay lighter, drier and more comfortable for longer.

What length of gym shorts should I wear?

Gym shorts tend to come in three lengths – 3-inch, 5-inch and 7-inch. The best 3-inch shorts tend to be the reserve of runners. The best 7-inch shorts offer excellent coverage and the most storage but are a little heavier. Five-inch shorts therefore offer a good compromise of range of movement, coverage, weight and support.

Can I wear my running shoes in the gym?

Unless most of your gym sessions are focused on treadmill running, we’d recommend looking for shoes that offer more lateral support. Running shoes are built purely to support movement in one axis; good gym shoes should offer support whichever way you move.

Can’t I just wear my regular clothes to the gym?

Wearing street clothes is a sure-fire way to feel uncomfortable, restricted and unsupported. From jeans studs digging into you during floor work to your undies rubbing while riding an air bike, you’re guaranteed to get less enjoyment from your workout.

Are loose or form-fitting workout clothes best?

This one’s a matter of choice, really, though more intense sessions tend to favour looser clothes to help keep you cool. They’ll give you a better range of movement, too, although tighter clothes will give you better support.

Do I need compression gear?

Compression clothes aren’t necessary but they do offer certain benefits. Those include increasing blood flow to aid muscle recovery post-workout and good support to reduce muscle fatigue during exercise.

Need more info on choosing the best workout clothes? Find out what to wear to the gym