After 11 hours of research evaluating 130 products, we picked adidas Men's 3 Stripe Pant as our top choice.
Sometimes it's just too cold to wear shorts!
Shorts are the perfect choice for training indoors or in the summer, but what about when the weather turns cold? When autumn and winter set in, it's time to bundle up those legs and start wearing workout pants.
Athletic pants are the bomb!
Not only do they keep you warm in cold weather, but they provide you a stylish item of clothing and handy pockets to store your keys, wallet, cell phone, and so on. They're a bit heavier and bulkier than shorts, but they're a must-own if you intend to get your training on during the colder months.
So which are the pants for me?
Below, we've gathered a list of the best men's workout pants for any and every need. We've combed through all the athletic pants on the market—testing more than a few ourselves—to find the pants that will suit your needs best. Check out these options to see how you can be warmer (and more comfortable) this winter.
Comfortable, affordable, lightweight, appropriate for all-season use, blocks UV rays, moisture-wicking, allows for good circulation, never slide down, great fit and performance, won't limit your mobility, and the waistband is snug without being overly constricting.
Sheer when squatting or bending, and lacking in the area of groin support.
The compression pants are lightweight (though a tad sheer when you bend or squat), and they make the perfect base layer to wear beneath basketball shorts, board shorts, or skiing/snowboarding gear. Their all-weather use means they'll keep you warm in cold environments and offer good ventilation in the heat. Thanks to their moisture-wicking material, they'll prevent excessive sweating no matter how hard you train.
Though a bit tighter than your average athletic pants (they are "compression pants" after all), they offer versatility and comfort at an amazing price.
The pants are made of 92% polyester with 8% spandex mixed in, so they have good elasticity without excessive compression. They are easy to get into, as they have a good amount of stretch. But once they're on, they'll never slip down or slide around. All in all, one of the most comfortable pairs of compression pants you'll ever wear.
Starting at $15, these are among the most affordable compression pants on the market. They offer great value for the price, excellent comfort, and durability. A great choice overall!
These yoga pants are comfortable with just the right amount of stretch. They're super comfortable, eco-friendly, and excellent for less intense activities.
Thin material makes them unsuitable for very active types of exercise—wear them for yoga or lounging only.
What we love most is that you can wear these pants in the yoga studio, at the grocery store, or even to the office (on Casual Fridays only, of course). They're designed with a false seam in the front, creating the look of everyday pants rather than workout clothes. And, they come in seven earthy tones, including khaki and gravel. The extra deep pockets come in super handy if you're looking for a safe spot to store your keys or cash.
Made from 53% organic hemp, 44% Recycled PET plastic yarn (yes, like from soda bottles), and 3% Lycra, the prAna Sutra Pant is designed to tread from indoor studio to the outside world. Although thin, these pants are very durable. And, you won't notice any shrinkage from washing.
At just over $40, these pants provide many of the same awesome features as the more expensive brands of Yoga pants, but at a slightly lower cost.
Classy capri-style pants, solid drawstring, breathable, moisture-wicking and quick-drying, ribbed cuffs grip your calves, deep side pockets, machine washable, comfortable, and good build quality.
Fabric can be a bit rough and may rub your inner thighs raw.
Instead of full-length pants, these are your classic three-quarter length (or Capri-style) pants. They end at the top of your calf, giving you the flexibility that makes shorts so useful for sports but still offering good leg coverage and warmth. The elastic waistband will help the pants hug your hips, and the thick drawstring will keep them tight for more active exercise.
These pants are made of 100% polyester. They're beautifully breathable, with a lightweight design that feels nice for all-day use. During your workouts, you'll love how they wick moisture away from your skin, keeping all your downstairs bits dry. The polyester is also quick-drying, so you won't have to worry about sweat rashes.
However, some users have complained the fabric isn't as soft as they'd like, and may cause friction or irritation.
These are some of the best-priced pants on our list, making them a good option to consider. If you've got the long, lean form to pull off this style, these are your best pick for three-quarter pants.
Long-lasting, durable fabric, soft and comfortable, breathable, loose fit, great for lounging, good price, solid elastic and drawstring waistband, great for cold and warm weather, and suitable for taller wearers.
Sizes run extra long and loose.
These pants are designed for comfort, but don't sacrifice style and elegance. They are loose and long in the legs (too much so for some people), yet they don't look like saggy or dumpy lounging pants. The Adidas 3-stripe looks classy, and the pants are a perfect option for athletic and leisure wear.
If you want pants that will last you for years to come, these are an amazing choice. They're made with a blend of 70% cotton and 30% polyester fleece. The cotton makes them more durable and breathable than many of the other polyester-predominant pants on the market, but the addition of fleece makes them super soft and warm. They're great for both cold and hot weather use.
These aren't the cheapest pants on our list, but they are the ones that will last the longest. You won't have to buy another pair of athletic pants for at least a year, even with regular heavy use and washing.
Good blend of cotton and polyester, super soft to the touch, uber-comfortable, midweight, soft inside, excellent for keeping in body heat, solid waistband, pockets included, nice fit, and great quality materials.
Heavier than expected and will increase sweating drastically.
This is your classic athletic pant style: a straight cut, with ribbed in- and out-seams, a drawstring, elastic waistband, and durable hems. They may not look like much, given their dull colors, but they are a beautifully comfortable option to wear all day long. They're also built for heavy athletic use and can also handle daily exercise.
The pockets give you a comfortable way to transport your wallet, IDs, keys, and other important items to and from the gym, but they fit your hands comfortably if you're lounging around the house.
The pants are made of a blend of 80% cotton and 20% polyester. The cotton makes them super soft to the touch and beautifully warm, while the polyester gives them a bit more flex. You'll find they're versatile and durable, and can handle any workout.
The pants are heavier than you'd expect, and you'll find they trap your body heat near your legs very efficiently. This makes them a bit too hot for summer use, but they're amazing to stay warm in the winter. The fabric is durable and reliable, so expect these pants to be with you for many winters to come.
$40 is a bit steep, but not when you consider just how darned comfortable these pants are. They'll be your best friend for a lazy day of lounging, but they're designed to keep up with even the most intense winter workout.
Durable, lightweight, moisture-wicking, solid elastic waistband, mesh-lined pockets, mesh lining for good breathability, comfortable fit, sized to be used for any exercise, and designed using very cool fabric.
Longer than average inseam and prone to collecting static electricity.
If style matters, these are a great choice for you! They have a loose-fitting leg that makes them versatile enough for any activity—resistance training, CrossFit, sport-specific training, etc.—but they don't look baggy. In fact, the inner lining will hug your legs, giving them a more form-fitting appearance that will be far more stylish than the classic "baggy" exercise pants.
The pants come with a mesh lining to keep all your "downstairs bits" nice and cool. The mesh-lined pockets will also aid in ventilation. The fabric is lightweight yet surprisingly durable. You won't have to worry about color bleeding or fading with regular use.
The material is 100% "other fibers", meaning artificial fabrics like polyester, nylon, and elastane. This makes them beautifully lightweight without sacrificing comfort or durability. Though they are prone to collecting static electricity, you'll find they work well for any and all sports.
The fabric is designed to wick moisture away from your body, and the outer layer will dry quickly as you run, train, or work.
At $35, these are one of the pricier pairs of athletic pants on our list. Given their versatility and great design, however, they're an option definitely worth considering!
Durable, made from 100% polyester, versatile, pockets included, comfortable bottom hems, drawcord and elastic waist, super comfortable, offer great freedom of movement, no fading or bleeding in the wash, machine-washable, thin fleece lining, and made in the good ol' U.S.A.
Not the most stylish and lacking elasticity.
If you're looking for the most stylish pants on the market, you're better off looking elsewhere. These are your "plain Jane", all-around useful athletic pants. With the straight cut, loose legs, and open-bottom hems, they aren't as sleek as some of the other options on our list—but SOOOOOO comfortable. Whether you're lounging, walking around the house, or pushing yourself at the gym, these pants will keep up with you.
The pants come with the Adidas 3-stripe design, two pockets, an elastic waistband, and a drawcord to keep them tight on your waist. Plus, the pockets are large enough to hold smartphones, wallets, and other larger knickknacks. All in all, you'll find they're the best (if not the most stylish) exercise pants on the market.
The pants are made of 100% polyester. This makes them lightweight and comfortable, though some users complain that they lack the elasticity of Spandex. However, the material will keep the chill out and the warmth in. In addition, the pants have a thin fleece lining that make them surprisingly warm even in cold weather.
The pants come in just a few colors (grey, black, and blue), but the colors are sharp and won't bleed out or fade. The pants are fully machine-washable and resistant to pilling and fading. Definitely one of the longest-lasting pairs of athletic pants for men around.
At $50 per pair, these are certainly on the pricier side, but a great option if you want pants that will keep up with any activity at home, around your property, or at the gym
Workout tights have evolved into a ubiquitous wardrobe staple for their sleek and second-skin fit. They’re generally hassle-free to wear on most workouts. Plus, you don’t have to worry about excess fabric getting in the way of your reps.
But getting tired of that compressive feel is totally possible, too. Sometimes, you just want a comfy, loose-fitting pair of athletic pants that can take you from the gym to your favorite spot on the couch.
Men’s workout pants provide a more versatile and forgiving alternative to tights and leggings. They boast a relaxed and comfortable fit that works well whether you’re running, playing a sport, or lifting weights.
Aside from being gym-friendly, athletic pants are also stylish and modest enough to be incorporated into your day-to-day wardrobe.
Buying the most flattering and technologically-advanced pair of athletic pants is of no use if the fit is abysmal. Nothing feels better than workout pants that fit like a glove, so make sure that you’re paying close attention to this aspect.
To help you effectively assess fit and comfort, consider the following tips.
When fitting athletic pants for the first time, try to jog in place with high knees. Observe how the pants move with your body. How does the waistband feel against your skin? Does the crotch area remain comfortable? Can you easily raise your knees?
At one point, we’ve all been victimized by low-riding pants that partially expose our behinds when we bend at the torso. Obviously, you wouldn’t want this to happen while you’re busy working out at the gym.
After jogging in place, try bending over forward, backward, and sideward. This tests the amount of coverage provided by your pair of choices. What’s more, executing bending motions is a great way to check if the pants get uncomfortable around the crotch and inseam.
Speaking of low-riding bottoms, unless you have an ultra-specific reason to go for low-waist workout pants, taller waistbands usually are recommendable. Not only do they give you maximum control and coverage, but they give you extra tummy support, too.
So you’ve already jogged in place and executed every possible pose you can think of. What now?
Well, go ahead and remove the pants you’re trying on. As a final checkpoint, check your body for any unnecessary marks. If the pair leaves red marks around your belly, the waistband might be too tight, and you should probably go up a size.
Likewise, check your ankles if the pants feature elastic cuffs. A nice-fitting pair of athletic pants shouldn’t punish your skin. Quite the opposite, it should protect your body from unnecessary chafing and friction-related irritation.
When it comes to day-to-day comfort wear, cotton is a tried and tested favorite. It is, after all, breathable and soft to the touch. However, it might not be the best fabric for athletic pants.
Cotton holds moisture and keeps it close to the skin, which is not only uncomfortable but performance-reducing, as well. It tends to get heavier the more you sweat. What’s more, cotton clothes are prone to unflattering sweat stains.
High-performance fabrics are typically favored in the world of athletic wear. You can opt to go for a mix of different performance fabrics, or you can go the hybrid route with a synthetic-cotton blend.
Here are some of the most popular performance fabrics that you should consider.
Nylon and polyester are synthetic fabrics. They are durable, lightweight, and long-lasting. They also have moisture-wicking properties that help keep you cool and dry throughout your workout.
Spandex or Lycra is another synthetic fabric that is known for its durability. On top of that, this fabric is extremely flexible, which is why it is commonly used in workout tights.
Bamboo, like cotton, is a natural fabric. However, it’s better suited to sweat sessions because it has natural moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial properties. Bamboo is also comfortable and soft to the touch. Bamboo workout clothes are a bit pricier and harder to find, though.
Generally, men's workout pants that are loose and comfortable should do the trick. But before you commit to this one-size-fits-all approach, know that your workout of choice also influences what style of athletic pants are best for you.
If you’re into running or biking, you should avoid pants that are wide-leg or loose. Anything that has too much excess fabric can end up getting tangled in the pedals or your legs and feet.
Men who like yoga or Pilates should stick to stretchy and fitted workout pants that wick away sweat. Going for something that supports movement will work wonders for your practice.
Whatever sport or fitness discipline you prefer, always remember to stay away from workout pants that could get in the way of your chosen activity.
Aside from the factors mentioned above, here are some special features that you might want to look for in a pair of athletic pants. Advances in technology and the sheer dynamism of today’s athletic wear market have paved the way for all sorts of bonus features and added conveniences. And what else is there to do than enjoy them and their benefits?
If you run at night (or very early in the morning), make sure that you’re wearing high-visibility athletic pants. This helps ensure that motorists can clearly see you as you run along busy roads.
High-visibility clothing mainly comes in two forms: neon and reflective. Colors like neon yellow, green, orange, or pink pop against the environment, which makes them extremely easy to see.
However, the prospect of wearing neon-colored athletic pants isn’t exactly the most appealing fashion idea for many of us. In that case, workout pants that feature reflective stripes or details are your best bet.
Who doesn’t love having extra pockets? While most workout tights will forego having this feature, that doesn’t mean it’s that hard to find.
If you need a pocket for your keys and other small belongings, keep that in mind when you’re out looking for a pair of athletic pants. Even if you typically leave all your stuff in a locker when exercising, having pockets can still be useful if you like wearing your workout pants to run daily errands.
If you’re the clumsy type, workout pants with elastic ankle cuffs are your best friend. Elastic cuffs ensure that your pants are safely tucked around your ankles, which means you’re less likely to get into accidents (like accidentally stepping on your pants, for example).
Elastic cuffs also prevent your pants from crawling up your legs. This is especially helpful if you practice yoga or Pilates.
Another bonus? Sweatpants with ankle cuffs are very on-trend right now. Sneaker culture has made them really popular sine they make your favorite pair of shoes pop.
Many of us tend to stick to one or two workouts. For instance, most guys are pleased with lifting metal and doing cardio every now and then.
But we can’t deny the existence of our more athletically inclined brothers. You know, that one guy from your local gym who also dabbles in yoga, CrossFit, and the occasional hoop session with the boys.
If you happen to be that guy, then you’d want to go for athletic pants that can take you from the gym all the way to the yoga studio.
But versatile workout pants aren’t only for the fitness elite. Versatility matters for regular dudes, too!
If you would like to be able to wear your pants on regular days out, then make sure to take that into consideration when you’re out shopping. Choose a pair that would complement your day-to-day style. Going for pants that are comfy enough to be worn to the airport wouldn’t hurt, either.
In this day and age of athleisure wear, donning workout clothing 365 days a year isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.
Unlike denim jeans, which can withstand up to a week’s worth of wear in between washes, athletic pants need a bit more maintenance.
As a general rule, anything that gets soaked in sweat should be washed after every wear. So if you engage in cardio and other high-impact exercises that make you perspire heavily, wash your athletic pants after every use. Doing so will help prevent microbial growth and its nasty repercussions.
On the other hand, workout pants that have been worn during low-impact activities (such as yoga or walking) may not need as much washing. If you barely sweat during your workouts, you can stretch washing to every few wears—especially if your pants are made of water-resistant fabrics like nylon.
There’s more to taking care of your athletic pants than washing them when they get dirty.
Workout pants work hard to support you and keep you cool during exercise. As such, they deserve special care to help ensure they last for many more gym sessions.