Sweats are the new jeans. But that doesn't necessarily mean that any pair you buy for lounging can double as workout sweatpants or joggers.
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Depending on the sweatpants' features, fabric and fit, they can either make for a great workout companion or just trap sweat, weigh you down and ride up around your waist.
Here, training share the best sweatpants and joggers that aren't just comfy and attractive — they perform in the gym, on the running trail or wherever else your workouts take you.
How We Chose
We chatted with personal trainers and fitness instructors to find out which sweatpants they love, both in and out of the gym. From there, we narrowed down our top picks based on their criteria, including:
- Comfort level
- Added features
We make deliberate choices about the language we use when it comes to gender. While more brands now carry gender-neutral workout clothes, you’ll still typically see clothing brands market their products to men or women.
The main difference between most women's and men's sweatpants is the fit: Men's versions tend to be longer in length and roomier in the front due to physical differences. However, fabrics, quality and comfort should be the same between gender-labeled pairs. We encourage everyone to purchase the products that feel right for them.
1. Best for Waist Support: Lululemon Align High-Rise Jogger
- Sizes: 0-14
- Feature: thick waistband
Although Lululemon is probably best known for top-notch leggings, don't skip their sweats. We love the wide waistband on these athletic joggers. It sits high and hugs tight, so you never need to even think about adjusting mid-workout — it just stays put.
"I love anything Align," says Or Artzi, CPT, an Equinox + founding trainer. "The fabric is so soft and thin that you can move freely as if you have nothing on your body! The sweats come in different lengths, too, have a great cut and stitches that make your body look fit and fabulous. They come in so many beautiful colors."
Plus, these sweat-wicking, breathable pants don't get stretched out in the laundry, no matter how many times you wear or wash them. The trademarked Nulu fabric is buttery soft and feels so comfy.
Buy it: Lululemon.com; Price: $118
2. Best Secure Pockets: Athleta Headlands Hybrid Trek Jogger
- Sizes: 0-26
- Feature: zipper pocket
Originally designed for hiking, these joggers moonlight as one of the best workout sweatpants you can wear. They're made out of a lightweight fabric that's breathable even when things heat up, and come with a sun-protection rating of UPF 50+.
"I like joggers that are made out of lightweight, sweat-wicking fabrics and have an unrestricted feel," says Meghan Hayden, CPT, a certified personal trainer and director of training at Ghost in Brooklyn, New York.
We love the zipper pockets, too! They'll keep all your valuables stored safely while you train. Check them out in inclusive size options ranging from 0 to 26.
Buy it: Athleta.com; Price: $108
3. Best for Gender-Inclusive Sizing: Adidas Adicolor Contempo Track Pants
- Sizes: XS-2XL
- Feature: gender neutral sizing
These track pants have a loose fit but thanks to the drawcord around the waist, you can customize to find your perfect sizee. And the tailored design gives them a more clean-cut finish than a standard pair of workout sweats.
Unlike most clothing, these joggers are a gender neutral design, so the sizing may not be what you're used to seeing. Before you buy, double check the size chart to find your best pair.
Buy it: Adidas.com; Price: $80
4. Best for a Soft Feel: Vuori Performance Jogger
- Sizes: XS-XL
- Feature: buttery soft fabric
You'll feel secure with these joggers' high-rise, ribbed, thick waistband, says Haden, who especially loves the addition of a drawstring to these pants.
The pants are made from breathable fabric, and we found them to be extremely comfy and dry quickly post-sweat session. Sizes range form extra small to extra large.
5. Best Tapered Leg: Fourlaps Flex Jogger
- Sizes: small-XXL
- Feature: tapered leg
You can feel good wearing these pants when you work out, not only because they perform well, but also because they're made from recycled nylon material with four-way stretch. The tapered bottoms keep the pants from getting in the way and distracting you while you're lifting, stretching or sprinting.
"These aren't just functional and able to hold up during my workouts, but they are stylish enough for you to rock them to a meeting or to grab a bite to eat with friends without feeling underdressed," says Kelvin Gary, CPT, owner of Body Space Fitness in New York City.
They're available in sizes small to extra extra large.
Buy it: Fourlaps.com; Price: $78.40
6. Best for Flexibility: Nike Flex Vent Max Pants
- Sizes: S-4XT
- Feature: four-way stretch fabric
Consider these the best Nike sweatpants for men. The tapered hems on these pants keep them from getting in your way, whether you're on a treadmill or lifting a barbell. They're made out of extremely flexible fabric, flowing with your body with zero movement restriction. Choose to fold over the elastic waistband, or just tie the drawstring and leave the waist high.
"These look nice on and hold up under the pressure of a workout," says Gary. "While they're not slim fit, they don't feel too baggy, and you don't ever feel like you're overheating either."
Buy it: Dickssportinggoods.com; Price: $44.96
- Sizes: XS-XL
- Feature: thick elastic waistband with drawstring
A thick, ribbed waistband ensures these sweats stay up and on, no matter what you're doing. They're sized from extra small to extra large, and have two front zippered pockets so you can securely store personals. The bottoms are cuffed, too, so nothing is too baggy or in the way.
"The thick cotton fleece fabric keeps my legs warm while riding my bike around town all year round," says Hayden. "The tight, high-waisted waistband gives my body shape and looks great with any sneakers. And the loose fit around the leg allows me to wear my favorite workout shorts or leggings underneath them without bunching."
Check them out in sizes extra small to extra large.
Buy it: Boxraw.com; Price: $60
8. Best for Sweaty Workouts: Rhone Spar Jogger
- Sizes: S-XXL
- Feature: durable, moisture-wicking fabric
Throw on these sweat-wicking joggers before you hit the weight room or pound the pavement, but be warned that the soft poly-nylon-spandex blend fabric may keep you from wanting to take them off after.
"They are lightweight and fitted, and they dry quickly even after a pretty sweaty workout," says Noam Tamir, CSCS, certified strength and conditioning specialist and owner of TS Fitness in New York City. "They have a zippered back pocket, too, so if you have things that are small and light you can store them and not worry about losing them."
Choose from black, navy, graphite heather or black heather in sizes small to extra extra large.
Buy it: Rhone.com; Price: $128
9. Best for Odor Protection: Ten Thousand Interval Pant
- Sizes: XS-XXL
- Feature: breathable, anti-odor fabric
Owned and operated by athletes, this brand is very tuned into what's needed for workout sweatpants to perform at a high level, explains Trevor Franklin, CPT, a coach at For All Movement in New York City.
"They're one of the best sweatpants I have tried in a while," says certified functional strength coach Anthony Crouchelli, CFSC, a master trainer at Grit Boxing in New York City and Ten Thousand ambassador. "They're sweat-wicking and breathable, thanks to built-in panels, and have a perfect tailored cut that works to wear both during your workouts or during your daily routine."
Buy it: Tenthousand.cc; Price: $118
10. Best for Layering: Reebok DreamBlend Cotton Knit Pants
- Sizes: S-2XL
- Feature: soft fabric with side pockets
Is comfort your biggest priority? Consider purchasing this pair of sweats. Their DreamBlend fabric combines cotton, recycled polyester and elastane for a super-soft feel.
"These are perfect to wear on top of my workout pants for extra warmth in the winter or if I want to take a break from leggings," says Hayden.
Choose from a wide variety of sizes with a drawstring to customize the fit.
Buy it: Asos.com; Price: $36.50
11. Best for Versatility: Outdoor Voices Rectrek Pant
- Sizes: XS-XL
- Feature: stretch paneling
These versatile pants combine a mid-rise waist and slightly cropped length. They're extremely breathable, and you'll love the roomy, straight-leg fit.
"Outdoor Voices' joggers are extremely comfy," says Eric Rakofsky, CPT, a certified personal trainer in New York City. "You can easily move in them, which makes them great for workouts, plus they show off the legs well for leg day. And they're even appropriate for a casual dinner, which makes it easy to go right from the gym."
Buy it: Outdoorvoices.com; Price: $98
12. Best for Tapered Fit: Beyond Yoga Spacedye Jogger
- Sizes: XS-XL
- Feature: tapered fit
We can't get enough of these pants' extremely wide waistband. It sits flat against your mid-section and doesn't move or budge at all. The pants aren't skin tight by any means, but they do have a tapered look that's flattering on all. And the feel of the fabric is so incredibly soft, they may be come your favorite pair of sweats in no time!
"If I plan on wearing joggers for my workout, I go for lightweight, sweat-wicking fabric and an unrestricted feel like these," says Hayden.
Buy it: BeyondYoga.com; Price: $110
13. Best for Style: ALALA Fast Track Pant
- Sizes: XS-XL
- Feature: mesh trim
You'll love how breathable this pair of pants are, thanks to the mesh panels that run down either side of each leg. They have a more relaxed fit, with a thick waistband and drawstring for a secure fit.
"These joggers are perfect on days I want to feel free," says Hayden. "No pressure, no tightness around my belly or legs, just free-flowing movement. They come in handy on days I feel bloated, have a tummy-ache or want to feel cozy, yet still look professional."
Check them out in sizes extra small to extra large.
Buy it: Alalastyle.com; Price: $145
What to Consider Before Buying Sweatpants and Joggers
Consider what you're going to be doing in your sweatpants. Yes, you can wear most pairs lounging around the house, but heavy, cotton sweats aren't going to perform well in the gym.
"The big thing I stay away from is a 'baggy' or 'loose' fit," Couchelli says. "For me, this type of cut has always made it difficult in the gym, with the pants getting caught on equipment. It's a constant struggle to keep them from sliding down on lower-body days."
That said, some people prefer a baggier fit, but it's still important that the pants have a secure waistband and tapered cuffs, so the pants don't fall down or get in the way, Hayden says.
The fabric of your joggers matters more than you may realize.
Are you looking for a pair of pants to help you get a little extra sweat in on cardio days? Then you may want to go for a baggier, thicker pant option. Hayden recommends thick cotton or fleece fabrics to stay warm. High waists tend to work well.
"I look for a lightweight, breathable material," says Franklin. "I want my sweats to also have four-way stretch so that I can move in all planes of motion. And when it comes to the waistband, I prefer a mesh fabric, so that it's not too tight, but sits nicely on my hips and doesn't move."
3. Added Features
Once you've decided on fit and fabric, it's time to think about what other features you want in your jogger sweatpants. Think about how you'll be using them. It'll help you decide what features make the most sense for you.
"I look for pockets that zip," says Alonzo Wilson, founder and director of training at Tone House in New York City. If you run commute to work or are frequently getting in and out of cars, secure pockets are important.
Do you want a thick or thin waistband? A high, low or customizable waist? "I like joggers with a tie waistband, so I can adjust throughout the workout," says Hayden.