Best Athletic Clothing Brands: Top 5 Companies Most Recommended By Fitness Experts

Recent years have seen athletic clothing infiltrating everyday wardrobes in a major way. From yoga class to running errands, it would almost be harder to find an occasion that isn’t suited for leggings. And with more people getting back to the gym and ditching their office attire for a work from home wardrobe, it’s no surprise that so many brands have come out with great athleisure wear. Some of the best athletic clothing brands make high-quality workout gear that lasts forever and is great for any situation.

Studies show that popular opinion has shifted in favor of a comfortable and functional wardrobe. In fact, a recent survey of 2,000 Americans reports that more than half of Americans (52%) say their personal style is now all about being comfortable. Two in five even add that following the pandemic, they will dress comfortably for the rest of their lives.

Another 2021 study of 2,000 Americans working from home reveals that more than two in five (48%) employees say a company’s policy on remote work is now their number one desired workplace perk. It’s so important that nearly three in four (72%) claim they wouldn’t even consider working for a company that didn’t offer flexible work-from-home policies. With this push for remote work, that usually means business on top, comfies on the bottom. Time to stock up.

So, whether that pair of athletic joggers in your cart is for working from your couch or training for a half marathon, you deserve a wardrobe that fits your needs. From compressive running gear to moveable yoga wear, there are options for every lifestyle and workout preference. But with so many brands on the market, it can be hard to find top quality and selection. That’s why StudyFinds searched the internet for expert opinions on the best athletic clothing brands. These are the top recommendations, but of course, be sure to drop any favorites that we missed in the comments below!

The List: Best Athletic Clothing Brands, According to Experts

1. Lululemon

This athleisure classic has taken everything from workout wear to office wardrobe by storm. Originally focused on athletic clothing, the brand has significantly branched out to include a wide range of high-quality items that have fitness enthusiasts raving. “The first designs released in 1998 were yoga outfits for women. Since then, the range has expanded to include menswear and garments targeted for running, cycling, training, and anything else that gets you sweaty,” says The Trend Spotter. “Select from sports bras, leggings, shorts, t-shirts, joggers, tanks, and swimwear. Plus, there are outfits for casual wear, including polos, dresses, button-down shirts, jackets, hoodies, and skirts.”

“For starters, all its gear just looks higher quality and more put together, which is a priority for some people,” claims Business Insider. “But moreover, everything is pretty well designed and stays put whether you’re moving through a yoga flow or hitting box jumps at CrossFit.”

DMARGE writes: “Lululemon are a perfect option for gym wear as they are highly flexible, allowing movement in any direction. Unlike most gym clothing they look great, even when they’re drenched in sweat.”

2. Outdoor Voices

Fitness enthusiasts will appreciate Outdoor Voices for its great performance. Fashion lovers will fall in love with the exciting colors, designs, and patterns. And of course, who’s to say you can’t be both at once? “Every garment from Outdoor Voices is designed to sweat in. However, it’s less about performance and more about having fun and releasing endorphins,” notes The Trend Spotter. “That’s why everything is also designed for recreation. It’s athleisurewear reimagined.”

“Perhaps the original Instagram darling, Outdoor Voices is well known for its flattering designs, bright colors, and matching workout sets,” says Business Insider. “Its leggings, shorts, sports bras, and tops are all made from high-quality, sweat-wicking material that keeps you cool and comfortable everywhere from the gym to a hike to running errands.”

Forbes adds, “Outdoor Voices makes sporty, flattering and functional clothing. The made-to-sweat-in apparel is versatile for hiking and walking since it’s easy to layer and has appeal in everyday life, too. The brand is also transparent about its sustainability efforts, and plans to launch a circular product take-back and repair program.”

3. Athleta

If you prefer your clothing with both top-notch fabric, design, and quality and a meaningful brand message, Athleta is for you. Focused primarily on women’s wear, the brand is all about female empowerment. “The five core values of Athleta are: Movement Matters, Performance Empowers, Design for Life, Sisterhood Elevates, and Sustainability Sustains Us,” lists The Trend Spotter. “As such, their focus is on creating versatile garments that empower women to live actively, support each other, and contribute to the planet and the future.”

Women wearing Athleta clothing
Women wearing Athleta clothing (Photo via

Athleta particularly excels when it comes to running essentials. “Among all the running brands on the market, Athleta is our top pick because it nails the sweet spot of price and quality and has a huge range of offerings for runners,” explains Business Insider. “When it comes to its running gear, we love that nearly all the tops and bottoms are moisture-wicking and lightweight to keep you flying through your miles.”

“Athleta is one of the most beloved activewear brands on the market, particularly when it comes to high-performance yet super-chic pieces,” adds CNN. “Whether you’re looking for your next everyday legging or the perfect sports bra, the brand specializes in simple yet gorgeous pieces that work really well, whether you’re having a sweat sesh or just strutting around the city.”

4. Nike

The minute you spot the iconic Nike symbol, you know you’ve found a quality piece of athletic wear. With options to outfit you from head to toe, Nike is an enduring favorite for a reason. “Nike has the best balance of price, performance, and variety in its workout gear,” claims Business Insider. “Nike items also have a good price-per-wear breakdown thanks to an expert handle on performance engineering and technical materials across categories.”

People wearing bright Nike clothes and shoes
People wearing bright Nike clothes and shoes (Photo via

“Nike is a name synonymous with high performance, elite athletes and cutting edge technology,” says DMARGE. “Their gym gear is no different and employs the brands newest technology to allow the wearer to move freely whilst having every bead of sweat wicked from their skin.”

“You’re just as likely to spot the Nike swoosh at the Olympics as you are at your local hipster coffee shop these days,” notes Travel + Leisure. “It is perhaps the most recognizable sportswear brand — an athlete favorite with functional items for men, women, and children. If you’re looking to hit your fitness goals, Nike has the high-tech gear to get you started.”

5. Alo 

Another brand with yoga roots, Alo Yoga is popular both in and outside of the gym. With highest quality fabrics and designs, you can easily step from workout to errands without missing a beat. “Alo Yoga was created in 2007 as an activewear brand specifically for yoga lovers, but it has since evolved into one beloved by everyone from the barre-obsessed and Pilates loyalists to celebrities as a street style option,” explains CNN. “And there’s a really good reason for that. The brand’s super-soft and comfortable activewear is probably the most luxurious-feeling gym clothing you’ll ever wear.” 

“Alo Yoga’s collections are made from performance fabrics and offer plenty of stretch,” says DMARGE. “This means they’re perfectly suited to the gym floor, allowing you to squat, lift, run and row to your heart’s content. The brand’s clothing looks great too, serving up minimalist design, and all pieces can be had in a multitude of colors.” 

You can still find an homage to the brand’s yoga roots in it’s DNA. “It’s a brand that is all about the yoga philosophy: produced sustainably to inspire mindful movement and wellness and to create community,” notes Travel + Leisure.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.