Dressing up, or getting dressed at all, has become far more relaxed than many people are used to. High fashion in the days of COVID-19 looks less like walking the runway and more like walking around in your old high school sweats three days in a row. Nobody’s proud of it but it’s the hand we’ve been dealt. In spite of that, it’s relieving to know that men’s fashion today actually does cater to a relaxed lifestyle. It’s time to finally take those loose, old sweatpants off and trade them in for a refined, cozy pair of joggers.
Now, if you’re a punny person; a joker of the “dad” variety, we’re sorry to say that no, joggers are not slower than running pants. If anything, they’re cooler, and not because jogging requires less energy than running. But in a world of cuffed pants, the jogger presents a clean and easy alternative to looking good and sometimes even making a statement.
A traditional pair of jogger-style pants has three distinct characteristics:
- Pull-up style pant
- Elastic waistband with drawstring
- Elastic cuffed bottoms
The best men’s joggers today remain true to their original uses — comfort and accessibility. In fact, they’re a derivative of a style of sweatpants largely associated with track and field, hence the name. But modern fashion, like every menswear staple, has twisted and translated this garment into multiple versions that are appropriate for all lifestyles.
WHO WEARS JOGGERS IN 2020?
Today, the world of menswear has created joggers for lounging, casual and dressy occasions aside from the traditional activewear version. Most people are familiar with the pajama bottom or sweatpant versions, but casual and dress types are becoming widely popular in the streetwear and tailored fashion scenes.
Brands like Zanerobe, Topman and ASOS have dominated the jogger style in recent times, helping to reshape the way they’re worn. New fabrics have been implemented, some even with prints or patterns, to separate from the lounge and activewear types. Today, it’s not uncommon to see a pair of joggers worn with some classic Gucci loafers, Jordans or Stan Smiths.
This kind of design development opened up the garment to be worn in environments like the office, family gatherings and even award shows while achieving a level of presentation far more acceptable than exercise clothing.
To demonstrate their versatility, here’s a collection of some of the best men’s joggers available right now.
1. Topman Dry Handle Skinny Fit Jogger Pants
BEST SKINNY JOGGER
One of the benefits of wearing joggers over denim is that they’re far more forgiving. That means for those who like a tighter fit, going skinny isn’t as suffocating. Topman is a brand who does skinny very well. An English brand, their aesthetic is modern and minimal and caters to a very slender customer. They’ve also built fan bases in Asian countries and the Americas specifically because of their fit. This skinny jogger from Topman is perfect for lounging at home or cruising around town. The cotton-polyester blend makes them flexible, breathable and an easy choice for those looking to get cozy at home. This style comes in both hunter green and grey, but the grey makes for a fantastic all-around option.
2. UGG Hank Jogger Pants
BEST FOR QUARANTINE
We featured this pair of joggers in a recent story about the best men’s hoodies. UGG designed this jogger to accompany their latest hoodie collection. But on their own, they’ve got the most five-star ratings out of all the men’s joggers on Nordstrom.com right now. Even just looking at them, you can tell they’re soft but also durable enough to wear multiple days in a row — not that you should. They’re built with stretch to keep you comfortable on the couch, hopping around town or out for a jog. Wear these with a steaming hot, fresh pizza from your local pizza spot. Trust us, joggers and pizza are a winning outfit.
3. Zanerobe Plaid Jogger Pants
BEST CASUAL PRINT
For some guys, finding a cool pair of printed pants to break up the monotony of solid colors can be difficult. While a normal pair of joggers adds texture, a printed pair of joggers adds interest. Zanerobe has found the spotlight in the jogger market, making some of the best joggers for men while finding new ways to make them interesting. Not only have they mastered athleticwear and plain, casual joggers, but they’re sought out for their fun materials and prints as well. This pair in brown plaid is one of those fun prints. Use this as a substitute for a tan chino and pair it with a grey graphic tee, blue button up, and a clean pair of sneakers.
4. Champion Men’s Jersey Jogger
THE DAD JOGGER
These are the sweats your dad wore in the 90’s. Hell, these are the sweats your dad STILL wears today — probably the same pair, too. If they’re comfortable enough for him, they’re going to be a quarantine staple for you. Champion, believe it or not, has been in production since 1920 and has been specializing in activewear almost from the start. They’ve seen their ups and down throughout the years but they’ve always been good for quality goods. Which is precisely why your dad has hung on to them this long.
5. Champion Reverse Weave Grey Core Jogger Sweatpants
THE CHAMPION HYPE
Hypebeasts know these to be one of the coolest brands in streetwear right now, especially in New York and Los Angeles. In recent years, Champion has partnered with brands like Supreme, Todd Snyder and Rick Owens that have completely put them back on the radar of fashion and pop culture enthusiasts. This particular Champion jogger was designed with the brand’s Reverse Weave technology. Reverse Weave is a textile technique that sets the grain of the fabric to run horizontal instead of vertical. This helps prevent shrinking over time and allows the garment to maintain its original shape. Despite the fact that these two pairs of joggers look, sound and smell very similar, they are different.
6. Eleventy Stretch Wool Jogger Dress Pants
BEST DRESS JOGGER
Joggers have been slowly creeping into formal wardrobes thanks to luxury fashion making the translation. This pair of joggers from Eleventy is a handsome example of a work-appropriate jogger. Right off the bat, we see that this isn’t a pair of sweatpants. In fact, this is a lightweight, textured wool material and is manufactured in Italy. Despite this, there’s still an homage paid to the classic jogger. The garment has stretch for comfort and a cropped bottom in place of the traditional cinching. And, even though Eleventy added a button and zipper, they kept the drawstring feature which acts as the “belt.” This is one of the best men’s joggers to dress up. Try it out with a pair of tan double monk straps and a blazer or dress it down with clean sneakers and a polo.
7. Joe’s Jeans Cargo Joggers
BEST CARGO JOGGER
One feature you’re likely to find on a jogger is one or multiple cargo pockets. Even if it’s not your first choice, they’re very handy once you’re wearing them and can eliminate the need for a backpack when going out for errands. Joe’s Jeans did everything right when designing this jogger. Notice the attention to detail in the fine elastic drawstring, diagonal zip pockets and single-button pocket. The brand made every effort to be different and it worked perfectly. Style this jogger casually with confidence. Treat the olive color both as a brown and a green and match it with any shade of grey, black, white or dark muted colors.
8. ASOS Design Skinny Sweatpants with Side Stripe Taping
BEST JOGGER TREND
One of the best men’s jogger trends is the taping stripe. A taping stripe is reminiscent of classic track pants that feature the taped side, think Ben Stiller in The Royal Tenenbaums. This jogger style is fun to wear and adds texture to an otherwise plain pair of pants. Traditionally, these stripes have two to three colors in varying widths. Occasionally, brands will mix it up and throw graphics inside the stripe. This is definitely a jogger deserving of a sneaker. Any type of low profile sneaker will work, like a Jack Purcell or a Greats Royale, but a mid-top sneaker would look best. Look into pairing this back with an Adidas Ultra Boost, New Balance 990 or 997 or a Nike Air Max 90.
9. Amazon Essentials Men’s Straight-Fit Jogger Pant
Once again, Amazon Essentials comes through with a great deal. This pair of joggers is what we’d consider to be the most basic. Khaki or tan is one of the more popular colors and looks great with just about anything. This pair from Amazon is a straight fit, which means it’s a bit more relaxed, not as to-the-leg as some others in this article, but offers just as much mobility and comfort. For anybody trying to escape the everyday chino, this is your best option, and at a very low cost.