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Much like women, men have their quirks and preferences with activewear, especially when it comes to pants. Whether they like the slippery track pant material or a fleece pair of joggers for outdoor winter runs, your husband, boyfriend, bestie or brother is specific in his wants and needs. That’s why we polled the guys in our life for the absolute best workout pants for men.
What Pants Are Best for Exercise?
Workout pants should be comfortable, breathable and flexible enough to move with your body. The material and style will vary based on the kind of workout—for example, a runner may opt for track pant or dri-fit tights to help with performance, while an avid weightlifter may want a stretchy, lightweight jogger with sweat-wicking capabilities.
The Best Workout Pants for Men at a Glance
- Why We Love It: Quick drying, wrinkle resistant
This specific lululemon jogger was recommended by many men we polled, and based on the tapered fit and quick-drying, stretchy and sweat-wicking material, we’re inclined to agree. “My husband is obsessed with these joggers (he has multiple pairs). He wears them to the gym but also casual events,” says PureWow’s associate design director Victoria Parrotta.
Most Versatile Pants
- Why We Love It: Hidden key pocket, drawstring ankle
According to senior food editor Katherine Gillen’s husband, these pants are great for running, hiking and other outdoor activities. “Got my mans these pants with the intention of them being cold-weather running pants that would also work for hiking,” she says. They’re made to be easy to layer for cold weather and the ankles have a drawstring cord to cinch for a jogger-like fit.
- Why We Love It: Soft material, tapered ankle
Senior editor of branded content and Royally Obsessed co-host Roberta Fiorito as well as managing editor Catrina Yohay both have partners who rave about these joggers. “He says they’re comfy, but that’s the only feedback I’ve gotten besides seeing him wearing them every day,” Fiorito jokes. The technical knit fabric is made for movement, and the relaxed fit and stretchy material makes them a great pick for working out or hanging out.
Best for Running
- Why We Love It: Quick drying, stretchy fabric
These stretchy pants are designed for running, and according to commerce editor Olivia Dubyak’s husband, they’re a must-have. “They’re super breathable for running, and on colder days outdoors I throw on a pair of dri-fit tights underneath for extra warmth,” he says.
Best Looking Joggers
- Why We Love It: Soft material, sleek look
Made to be incredibly comfortable for chilling out and having technical features for exercise, these joggers are super versatile. PureWow’s CEO Ryan Harwood says they’re his fave, and we can see why. They’re available in four neutral colors and other reviewers say they’re true to size.
- Why We Love It: Lightweight, dri-fit
These tights are great for outdoor runners who need an extra layer of warmth during those cold, long runs. They have a shin-length, cropped fit and can be layered under shorts or pants. “I was never a tights guy, even for outdoor running, but I gave in and now I have three pairs of these,” says reviewer Lucas D.
Best for Outdoor Walks
- Why We Love It: Reflective stitching, fleece lining
Winter can be dark and dreary, and especially since it gets dark so early, a pair of joggers with reflective lines are important. These fleece pants are made to keep your legs warm without being too thick and bulky. One buyer says, “They’re fit slim, so if you’re looking for a baggier fit, go up in size or look elsewhere. [I’m] very happy with these and the reflective stitching is a great touch!”
Best for Snowboarding
The North Face
- Why We Love It: Flexible fabric, lightweight
Not all snow pants have to be big and bulky. These are great for snowy activities from snowboarding to snowshoeing. They’re roomy enough for extra under layers and have articulated knees so they won’t feel like they’re going to tear when you bend down. The inner thigh vents will make sure you aren’t overheating, too. “I wore these to Breckenridge to ski this year and I liked how much room they had,” reports reviewer Gabe C.
- Why We Love It: Wind-resistant, ankle zips
If you walk to the gym, these are a great option to throw over your shorts when it’s cold or to keep on when you warm up. “They’re really, really comfortable, I own several pairs for when one is in the wash,” raves shopper Jeff D. They material is wind-resistant and whenever you’re ready to take them off, the ankle zips make it so you don’t have to take off your sneakers first.
- Why We Love It: Zippered pockets, fleece lining
These sweats are stylish and practical for indoor or outdoor workouts. “I like that the pockets are zippered, so when I wear these for my workouts I don’t have to worry about my card or phone slipping out,” says Nike customer Andrew P. They’re also fleece-lined for outdoor activities and come in three colors.
- Why We Love It: Camo print, sustainably made
While these sweats are made to be practical for working out, they’re comfy, too. “[I] bought these for the husband, he has pretty much every color now. They have washed great and are functional for exercise or casual wear. He does CroL.L.Bean Multisport PantsssFit and weightlifting in them, and the fabric looks brand new still—no pilling marks from a barbell,” reports Nobull shopper Sophia L. on behalf of her husband. They come in three camo colorways and they meet the bluesign qualifications for sustainable manufacturing.
Best for Outdoors
- Why We Love It: Up to SPF 50 sun protection, quick drying
If your partner loves to be outdoors, he’s going to love these pants. They’re durably made to withstand snagging from bushes or rugged terrain and they offer up to SPF 50 sun protection. “My husband and I just moved to Colorado so we do a lot of hiking and these are his go-tos, especially when we have to do a little climbing with the hike because they don’t snag,” says Dubyak on her hubby’s behalf.
- Why We Love It: Abrasion- and water-resistant
Most abrasion-resistant pants aren’t the most stylish looking, but these are different. They have a tapered fit and come in four earthy colors. “I really love the new fit and fabric compared to the Ripstop,” reports reviewer Ryan G., adding that these are great for wearing every day—and anywhere. The thigh zip pocket is handy to hold your belongings, too.
Best Everyday Joggers
- Why We Love It: Slim cut, pockets
Made for lying around the house or working out, these joggers are a Jack of all trades. They have a slim, tapered fit for an aerodynamic boost for running or training, and the side pockets are huge to keep your phone safe. “I’ve always been a sweats or shorts guy for working out, but my wife got me these for Christmas and I like how they sit comfortably on my waist and the ankle cuffs don’t feel like they’re choking me out,” jokes reviewer Joe K.
- Why We Love It: Side zipper pocket, roomy fit
The baggy silhouette is great for throwing over shorts for warming up. The French terry fabric is sweat wicking, too, and the goal in designing these was to combine modern performance features with a classic look. “I always throw these on for warming up in the gym, they’re super spacious and breathable, despite looking like baggy sweats,” reviews Logan D.