Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Summer’s lazy, crazy, hazy vibe can tempt you to slack off on workouts. But your inner voice knows summer exercise is straight-up crucial for maintaining cardio fitness and muscle. To keep your groove going, up your gear game. You’d be surprised by how well you can ditch random T-shirts and sweats for more purpose-built items engineered to enhance your workout.
Let’s make this easy. When shopping for training gear, check into the performance claims of interest to you for activities you do most. But don’t go crazy comparing branded proprietary features — just three factors matter: how it functions, how it feels, and how it looks.
If you push hard, train in the heat, or sweat easily, cotton tees aren’t your friends. For many workouts, pick sweat-wicking fabrics that get moisture away from the skin and keep you dry, cool, and comfortable. Some feature odor-resistant technology too.
Long- and short-sleeved shirts, compression tops, sleeveless vests, zip-necks, and hoodies are all available with sweat-managing features. Whether you power lift in stringers, circuit-train in stretch tees, or run in hoodies, don’t let sweat sit. And you needn’t sacrifice comfort for performance. You’ll find sweat-wicking, stink-fighting tops that are as soft as your old sweatshirt.
You’re probably not concerned about fashion when you exercise, but today’s fitness clothes have style, and you might as well rock it. Men’s summer fashion trends for clothes include body-conscious fits, stylized logo interpretations, and statement graphics with influences such as street art, psychedelia, and industrial design. Many of these shirts even look good enough for a festival or barbecue.
The Bottom Line
You’ll find pants with valuable features, from perforated running shorts to odor-fighting tights. Many believe men should only wear tights under shorts. That’s up to you, but either way, a base layer is worth considering. Tights add warmth, wick sweat, and provide support and a body-con fit. Just don’t wear them too tight; it’s not a good look.
Leggings are similar to tights but opaquer. You might hear the term jeggings to describe a leggings and jogger hybrid. These items feel like deluxe tights but act like joggers for more versatility.
You’ll see plenty of gym shorts that are lightweight, easy to move in, and sweat-wicking. Some have pockets for essentials and comfortable liners to keep everything together. Sweat shorts can’t compare.
On Your Feet, Men
The right shoes boost performance by supporting feet and posture for good form throughout the body. That keeps you comfortable so that you and your feet can keep going. Whether you’re into running, cross-training, HIIT, cardio classes, lifting, or being an all-around gym rat, you’ll find plenty of tech-driven shoes from the big brands this summer.
Check out engineered features such as thick foam cushioning, midfoot straps for arch and lateral support, multidirectional traction nubs, technical laces for extra foot security, TPU fibers and heel clips for stability, outsole rope grips, strategically placed flexibility features, reinforced heel cups, gait-path technology, and more.
These high-performance shoes deliver comfort, a sport-specific balance of support and airflow, traction and flexibility, and stability and responsiveness. Choose your shoes to fit the way you like to move, then look at colors. Classic black always serves well. If you prefer a splash of color, go for it. You’ll find dozens of options.