Okay, you got us: the best joggers for men are basically just gussied-up sweatpants. It’s true. Guilty as charged. But “basically” is the operative word here, and in that single, seemingly straightforward term lies a world of abstraction. Because joggers aren’t just sweatpants, at least not really.
Sure, most of ’em come with an elastic waistband, or maybe a drawstring closure. And plenty of ’em come in the same super soft French terry or brushed fleece as your favorite sweats. But at their core, joggers remain a separate category of loungewear, a powerful sub-genre of athleisure unto themselves. Consider the jogger a close cousin of the sweatpant—the familial resemblances are there (those telltale ankle cuffs, the relaxed fit), but the differences remain. Most important among them? Joggers can be worn less casually than their relatives, especially when they’re made of fabrics that lean more chinos than sweats. (Though, in full transparency, we’d strongly advise against pairing them with anything more formal than your swankiest lounging gear.)
If thinking about the silhouette is enough to conjure up images of some nightmarish cargo jogger with a dozen extraneous zip pockets, calm down. The best joggers for men share nothing in common with type of pants-related atrocities Greg Kelly might commit on the timeline. And whether you’re in the market for a pair of slim-fit fleece pants to wear around the house, or some tech-y, moisture-wicking joints to wear to the gym, there’s a pair of joggers out there for you. Even better, they’re almost definitely on this list.
The Fitness Buff Pick
Let’s play a game: you name the product specs, and we’ll confirm if Lululemon’s ABC joggers have ’em. Added stretch for on-the-go mobility? Check. Secure back pockets? Of course. A touch of elastane for a snug but not restricting fit? C’mon, now. What do you think this is, a joke? If all that—and a bunch of moisture-wicking properties for good measure—sounds like a situation your gams could get into, the whole package can be yours for just under a Benjamin.
The Classic Classic Pick
Champion’s basic hypothesis hasn’t changed much over the years: make killer sweats at an affordable price and the customers will come. And come they have! These are not luxe designer sweatpants (ahem) that include a price tag close to 5k. What they do include is an exceptionally soft feel, a sturdy, triple-stitched construction, and a trendproof, retro-inflected design that’ll make you reach for ’em time and time again—no matter how many pricier counterparts you accumulate.
The New Classic Pick
Looking for a plain ol’ pair of basic joggers? You came to the wrong place. Polo’s ultra-soft fleeceback jersey joints might seem simple, but their pared-down design belies the level of attention the brand pays to its products. These are classic joggers made with timelessness in mind, the sort of pants your kids will spot as they scroll through whatever augmented reality platform your photos migrate to in the future, and then ask you to borrow, STAT. Add them to your closet now and look on with pride when your progeny begs you to resurface ’em years down the line.
The Nike Pick
Nike makes a lot of different things. For our money, though, few pieces in the Swoosh’s repertoire are better than the brand’s fleece pants, the type of high-quality sweats that can stand up to the grime of the squat rack and still look good—great, even—when you roll to brunch straight from the gym. Largely unadorned save for a small logo on the upper thigh, these are pared-down joggers you’ll have a tough time quitting, even when social etiquette dictates they’re no longer the, uh, appropriate option. Best of all? Right now, they’re on sale for just over 50 bucks.
The Designer Pick
By nature, joggers are a comfort-first proposition, but if you want a pair that’ll also turn heads—and nab a knowing nod or two from passersby on the street—look to Rick Owens’ exaggerated take on the cozy boy staple. Everything about the designer’s version is just a little extra—from the oversized cargo pockets, to the long drawstrings, to the way they taper from relaxed up top to slim below the knee. And sure, they’re comfy enough to replace your sweats on a lazy Sunday morning, but for maximum effect wear them exactly as intended: with a freaky pair of Rickensian kicks.