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The Best Joggers for Men Promise Style and Versatility
Aren't joggers just sweatpants? Sort of, but no. They're more practical and often more appropriate.
What are joggers, huh? Well, they're kind of like sweatpants. (Key words: kind of.) Their shapes are similar — an elasticated waist, a comfortable fit through the leg, and cinched hems — but joggers are typically made of alternative materials, or at least made to look more elevated than normal sweats.
Best Overall JoggersEverlane The Performance Traveler Chino Read More
Best Upgrade JoggersThe Après Pant Read More
Best Affordable JoggersGap Slim Canvas Joggers Read More
Best Everyday JoggersLululemon ABC Jogger Read More
Best Tech JoggersTodd Snyder Stretch Nylon Climbing Pant Read More
Joggers vs. Sweatpants
So they're simply nicer sweats? Not necessarily. Initially, the style as we know it was to be made from fleece by California brand Publish. Its designers sent technical packs — think of these as instructions for the manufacturer — to their factory and received a total error in return. Instead of soft fleece, they were made with durable twill. The accident stuck, though, and marked the arrival of the jogger stateside. (European streetwear fans were wearing drop-crotch pants for half a decade now, but they didn't catch on in the US until someone slimmed the seat.)
In fact, Publish trademarked the name "Jogger Pant" in 2014 — three years after they first used it — but abandoned the holding a year later, when the craze really kicked into high gear. The rise of athleisure compounded with the widespread acceptance of the practicality of sneakers over stiffer shoes contributed to the pants' popularity, too.
When Did Joggers Become Popular?
To put the recency of the style into perspective, a jogger was streetwear-store-turned-retail-giant Kith's first successful clothing launch. Owner and designer Ronnie Fieg refurbished some old camo pants and added cinched hems. He called them the Mercer pants. They've been updated since, but you can still find a few originals on resale sites. (Not saying you should wear them, but history, you know.)
Today, joggers are as utilitarian as they are technical. There's usually some stretch, which helps with comfortability and mobility, a handful of pockets, and a more polished fit than found in the sweatpant style. You'll find versions made from ripstop nylon, spandex, cotton twill, canvas, and even cordura.
How to Wear Joggers
Even if yours are canvas or cotton based, it's easiest to treat your joggers like sweatpants, which means they're best paired with sneakers, not boots. Sure, a hiking boot works — one with a rubber, treaded outsole — but your high-end leather designs deserve nicer trousers than ones with elasticated cuffs. Try to keep outfits comprising joggers and sneakers simple: pair them with a logo-less hoodie or a plain T-shirt.