Our closets are all stacked with Nike and Lululemon gear, and for good reason — these brands make, high-performing athletic apparel that lasts for years. The thing is, if you’re wearing those styles, odds are you’re going to walk into the gym and see someone else wearing the exact same thing. Is there anything wrong with this from a technical gear standpoint? Absolutely not. We’ve all got good taste and know what works.
But, in a world where athletic apparel brands have gone mainstream, and now that “athleisure” has become its own subset of that category, many guys are looking beyond familiar brands like Under Armour, Lululemon and Nike. How can you stand out in the crowd for your athletic skills and style in the gym with pieces you can also rock at the smoothie shop post-workout? Check out these lesser-known men’s sportswear brands and pick up a few signature pieces to round out your drawer of established staples.
1: Ten Thousand
They’re known for their shorts and for good reason. They’ve perfected the workout short by making them super soft, the waistline incredibly comfortable, liner nearly invisible and phone pocket stable and minimal. Wear them while running, lifting, and HIIT workouts — no matter what they’ll help you perform at your best and look really good in the process. (Just saying) They’re also a direct-to-consumer company meaning you’re getting only the highest quality fabrics and materials.
They’ve got three models of shorts, these are our two favorites.
Ten Thousand Foundation Short
These redesigned and optimized board shorts are the baseline shorts for any and all physical pursuits, whether it’s a grueling gym sesh or weekend adventure. These shorts have got your back no matter what you put them through with excellent durability, a secure fit and unrestricted range of motion. They’ve also perfected the gym pocket with enough room for your phone, keys and wallet without too much bouncing — zip and lock them into place when it’s time to move.
Ten Thousand Session Short
This is their ultra-lightweight model for minimal dudes looking to hit the trails for a run or hot yoga session without a lot of fabric weighing them down. Even though the fabric is lighter, the coverage down under is still reliable. These shorts are made with the Ten Thousand “every session carry” belief in mind — meaning they can still hold all of your stuff.
The shorts are water resistant with a cling-free ultra-wicking shell and are made with vents along the side rather than mesh to avoid bulky seams and to keep you as dry as possible.
This brand is all about stylish clothing, whether it’s for the office or the gym, and their athletic wear is built for activity at the highest level. It’s the clothing you wore in college, bumped up a little for the adult world and made to last, so you know it’s worth the investment. Check out some of our favorites from their training collection below.
Rhone Compression Tights
In case you don’t know the purpose of compression tights, they’re the bomb in the gym. They keep everything in place, keep your muscles warm between sets and help with blood circulation. These tights from Rhone are some of the best ones you can get. They’re 3/4 length, compression fitted and made with moisture-wicking fabric and flatlock stitching for chafe-free movement. Throw em on underneath a pair of shorts for full lower-body coverage.
Rhone Reign Long Sleeve Tee
This is a long training version of their Reign short-sleeve tee made for outside the gym. It’s made with a soft, heathered nylon jersey blend, wicks moisture and has their patented GoldFusion anti-odor technology. You can rock this tee in the gym and at brunch afterward without worrying about odor. This shirt will help you master that trendy athleisure look wherever you go. It’s got it all.
3: NO BULL
If you can’t already tell by the name, this men’s sportswear brand means business. They’ve got great workout gear that’s aesthetically designed so it transitions well to streetwear while still performing very well in the gym. Plus, everything they make and sell meets bluesign™ standards for sustainable manufacturing.
NO BULL Men’s Sleeveless Tee
It wouldn’t be a workout round-up without a sleeveless tee for showing off those guns, right? Not only is the slogan pretty amped up, but it’s super absorbent to keep you fresh and available in a variety of colors. Check out their website for all of the styles, needless to say it goes with everything and sends the right message no matter what you’re going. For weightlifters looking for new athletic clothing brands, this is a great look.
NO BULL Black Knit Runner
These are some of the coolest runners we’ve ever seen. The knit design is unmistakable and designed for a seamless, breathable environment. The outsole lug pattern is made to work in a variety of environments including the hiking trail, gym, street and field. The midsole is made of lightweight Phylon for easy lift and solid support. It’s got a 10mm heel to toe drop so you’ll be supported without losing ankle stability.
NO BULL Men’s Compression Shorts
If you’re not looking to go full tights but still want some compression, these shorts are ideal for holding muscles in without causing your temperature to skyrocket. They’ve got an antimicrobial front liner, breathable mesh and solid waistband so they stay in place no matter what.
4: Outdoor Voices
If you’re looking for trendy men’s sportswear for the Millennial/ Gen Z set — Outdoor Voices has to be on the list. They’re one of the most progressive, trendy, sustainable athletic clothing brands out there. All of their designs meet the bluesign™ standard for sustainable manufacturing.
Outdoor Voices Sunday Shorts
These shorts are a best-seller for a reason. They’re some of the most versatile workout shorts for men out there made for any everyday activity. Wear them anywhere, from the gym to the hiking trail to the grocery store and enjoy mid-weight textured compression and easy stretch for the perfect amount of hugging comfort. They come in a few colors to match your style. Personally, we’re big fans of the grey and green ones. Their name says it all — they’re the perfect shorts for Sunday no matter what you’ve got on the agenda.
Outdoor Voices CloudKnit Hoodie
This athletic apparel brand’s CloudKnit collection is all about softness and comfort post-workout. This men’s hoodie is no different — it’ll cradle your muscles in soft goodness after hard work and you’ll never want to take it off. Grab it in a few colors and always have one in your duffle so you’re never without the perfect after-gym staple.
Outdoor Voices CloudKnit T-Shirt
Lastly, we love this CloudKnit collection so much we also wanted to include this popular tee as well. Rock it at the gym or post-shower for a casual look in super soft fabric. It pairs well with the Sunday Shorts for a chill Sunday look or compression shorts for taking on your next weight goal on the power rack.