Best Gym Clothes for Men 2024: 20 Indie Athletic Labels to Know

For some folks, all the motivation they need to hit the gym or finish that punishing set of reps is an investment in the best gym clothes for men. Not only will a grip of fancy new workout gear help you start (and stick) to the resolutions you made at the beginning of the year, it’ll also help you get some galactic-level fits off in the process—even if you’re sweaty as hell, huffing and puffing like you blew the house down.

Those scratchy old band tees and baggy basketball shorts won’t cut it when you’re facing off against your gym nemesis on the elliptical, and as much as we love Swooshes and Stripes around these parts, there’s a whole world of sleek, performance-minded activewear brands out there for you to explore. To help you do it, we went deep on 20 cutting-edge athletic labels we love—each a top-notch purveyor of the best gym clothes for men—to keep you feeling motivated and ready to smash your next PR.

The Best Gym Clothes for Men, According to GQ

The Ol’ Reliable Pick: Rhone

Longtime GQ Recommends readers know how we feel about Rhone. Its breathable, odor-fighting tees have held down the top spot on our list of best workout shirts for years now, and we’re such big fans of their thoughtfully-designed shorts that we made them the flagship product of the GQ Box a few quarters ago, too.


Reign Short-Sleeve Shirt

Who says distance running can’t feel punk rock? Satisfy’s moth-eaten muscle shirts and leopard-print shorts reflect their Parisian founder Brice Partouche’s roots in skateboarding and hardcore.


Rippy 3″ Trail Shorts


AuraLite Desert Tee

Need to feel completely free in order to really hit your stride? Ten Thousand’s featherlight Session shorts and Distance tees are built to be as efficient as possible—and stay out of your way in pursuit of that next PR.

Ten Thousand

Distance Shirt

Ten Thousand

Interval Short

Boston-based Tracksmith transplants Chariots of Fire-era aesthetics onto modern marathon-ready gear in a way that feels natural, stylish, and not the least bit kitschy.


Van Cortlandt Singlet


Longfellow Shorts

After shaking up the performance eyewear game with its ultramodern Japanese frames, District Vision has turned its attention to apparel. The brand’s latest innovation is a stretchy, lightweight mesh called Air-Wear, with thousands of tiny pores that open and close as you move to regulate your body heat and sweat.

District Vision

Logo-Printed Hemp-Jersey Tank Top

District Vision

Junya Racer Sunglasses

Given all the hype and celebrity loyalists, you’d be forgiven for assuming that Outdoor Voices deals in loud, splashy, logo-heavy kits. In truth, the brand is so beloved because it specializes in some of the subtlest, most technically sound workout gear around.

Outdoor Voices

Jog 6″ Short with Liner

Outdoor Voices

ThinkFast Mesh Graphic Shortsleeve

The Preposterously Soft Pick: Vuori

If hand-feel is your number-one criteria, then Vuori is the move. Its buttery, sumptuous, stretchy sweats make all other pants feel like sandpaper by comparison.


Outdoor Trainer Shell

The Outdoor Adventurist Pick: Veilance

The upscale, forward-thinking wing of Vancouver outdoor label Arc’teryx, Veilance focuses on bridging the gap between the streets and the trail: Its parkas and blazers are sharp enough for your everyday life, but they’re built with enough under the hood to survive scaling a mountain. The brand’s simpler stuff, though, is perfect for training at home while fantasizing about being out there.


Metron Polo Shirt


Secant Comp Short

Reigning Champ is Canadian through and through, focusing on high-quality materials (its French terry is exceptional) and high-functioning performance details. Everything is made and designed in Vancouver, yielding year-round staples that will take you from couch to crunch with comfort and ease.

Reigning Champ

Straight-Leg Cotton-Jersey Drawstring Shorts

Reigning Champ

Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt

The Repentant Raver Pick: Soar Running

If your name is Tim Soar, you’re all but legally obligated to start selling gym clothes. So in 2015, that’s exactly what the London-based designer did, churning out slick, colorblocked running gear designed to help you sweat out the toxins after the club.

Soar Running

Eco Tech T-Shirt

The Mercifully Austere Pick: Jacques

Most workout gear announces its presence from a mile away. NYC-based Jacques takes the opposite approach, leaning on a roster of crisp neutral tones to make activewear so pristine it’s almost a shame to dirty it in the squat rack. But dirty it you should—especially if you’ve got a closet stuffed with so many subdued designer grails it’d make Lydia Tár blush.


Movement Jersey Tank Top


Movement Zipped Jacket

The Muscle Beach Pick: Y,IWO

Ever wondered what it would feel like slanging weight at Gold’s in its sweat-soaked heyday? Y,IWO harnesses the endearingly cheesy energy of Pumping Iron-era Schwarzenegger—think retro graphics, bicep-hugging cuts, and bright, saturated colors—to imbue your gym selfies with a healthy jolt of ’70s-era sleaze. It’s about time you tried a crop top anyway.


“Venice Shark” Cropped Tee


Hardwear Cropped Sweat Shorts

All it took for Miler Running to take home a Fitness Award was equipping its top-notch shorts with a couple of damn pockets; they’re that good. To absolutely no one’s surprise, the rest of the brand’s murdered-out wares—made in New York with fabrics sourced from the European capitals of the world—are equally stellar, too.

Miler Running

Base Running Short

Miler Running

Base Running Shirt

The “Bike Is Life” Pick: Rapha

Chances are you’ve seen Rapha if you’ve ever come close to someone speeding away on a bicycle. It’s arguably the most popular cycling apparel brand for the people who have a sick rig mounted above their bed. The clothing can be be loud or subtle, but above all else, you’ll be seen on the road (for safety reasons).


Trail Merino Short Sleeve Shirt

For High-End, Under-the-Radar Cycling Gear: Maap

Australian cycling hobbyists came together in 2014 and decided to make a brand of high-functioning cycling gear that’ll have innocent bystanders giving you a second look for all the right reasons. Its products are built to last so they don’t end up in a landfill, and they won’t wear down no matter how many miles you’re pumping out.


Alt_Road Cargo Bib Liner

Search and State’s premium apparel is made in New York City, one of the most stressful places to ride your bike. The brand features a lot of camo, but if you’re more on the toned-down side, you’ll find a nice selection of sleek and minimalist pieces, too. Either way, you’ll be ripping through the streets like a cab trying to drop off a fare.

Search and State

ALT Logo Jersey

Search and State

Performance Bib Short

For Perfect Thigh-Bearing Shorts: Path Projects

If you’re a fabric nerd and love a deep dive into how your workout gear is designed to perform, you need to check out Path Projects. The brand was founded with the mission of creating a superior running short system and—guess what—they did it; their shorts are out-of-this-world comfortable. 2-in-1 shorts are excellent, don’t get us wrong, but Path Projects did something miraculous — they made base liners and shorts that function perfectly together. Don’t get it twisted, the pairing is no simple Hanes-and-Mesh-Gym-Shorts combo, it’s a highly technical system that lets you define how you want to wear it. In the years since their inception, they’ve mastered shorts, but also mastered running tees, hats, hoodies, and travel apparel.

Path Projects

Sykes PX Relaxed Fit

Path Projects

Basis Sleeveless Tee

For Running Gear With Fashion Bonafides: On Running

On Running is a running brand first and foremost (hence the name), but it somehow feels like their performance running shoes have finally caught up to the hype. Their famous, or infamous, casual-leaning Cloud trainers have been a mainstay on the feet of Upper East Side dads, but, in our opinion, the brand is just now coming into its own as a performance and style mainstay. Their latest running shoes and technical sportswear are well worth the cash, but even if you don’t care about performance, On is putting some weight behind its lofty fashion ambitions, most notably with its recent Loewe collab that debuted on the back of American tennis phenom Ben Shelton. They are a running brand, but they’re becoming so much more.

On Running

Cloudsurfer Trail Waterproof Running Sneaker

On Running

Ultra Trail Short

If you’ve been running the streets of New York at any point in the past couple of years, you’ve probably seen Bandit. What started as a project to make the best running sock possible, Bandit took a community-based approach to development, handing out their prototypes at Brooklyn Track Club workouts, which let them soak up actionable feedback in real time. Their socks are still pretty much perfect, but their assortment has grown to include some of the best shorts, tees, and outerwear a runner can buy. Oh, and Diplo was just spotted rocking a Bandit tee in Los Angeles, so any doubts about Bandit’s reach as an NYC-based brand have been firmly put to rest.


For Runners by Runners Tee


Vento 3″ Splitty Shorts

For Aquatic Endeavors: Florence

If you prefer that your strenuous activity happens on the water, whether that means paddleboard yoga or hitting your local point break, Florence has you covered. Founded by North Shore legend John John Florence, the eponymous brand blends surf, sail and the outdoors with technical fabrics and aquatic-focused sensibilities. While obviously inspired by surfing and surf style, their designs look more at home in the local SCUBA shop or atop a beachside lifeguard stand, which gives them an air of technical prowess and functionality that surf shops might be lacking. The drapey, lightweight UPF hoodies are excellent and their shorts toe the line (or should we say hang ten) between fitness and surf, making them ideal for hitting the waves or the local gym.


Airtex Long Sleeve Hooded Shirt

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