The changing seasons aren’t a time to take your foot off the gas, and that goes for matters of style as well as fitness, training and well, just about anything else you can think of. As you might have guessed, this is where the best running pants come into play.
You’re properly geared up, after all, with pieces like the best tactical jacket and the best solar watch, all the better for staying well-equipped and on time, in style, once you’ve completed your workout. And yes, we’re assuredly still recommending you keep your workouts going, especially with the best running pants. When chilly fall weather finally rolls into town, it’s tempting to throw in the towel, kick back on your couch, grab another Oktoberfest beer and put on Peaky Blinders (look, we’ve all been there).
Running pants, first and foremost though, need to take care of the task at hand.
But in searching for and buying the best running pants, you’re almost buying an insurance policy, of sorts. When you’ve got all the best gear that money can buy, from running sneakers to a comfortable hoodie, why wouldn’t you want to get out there, train, put that gear to good use and perhaps even show off just a bit? Finding fall running pants is different than outdoor training in spring and particularly the oppressive summer months, when the goal is to wear the lightest, most moisture-wicking shirt and shorts you can find (or even a muscle tank, for instance).
But with running pants for fall, you’re taking more of a two-pronged approach: You want to wear pants that keep your lower half warm, yet also wick away sweat. It’s quite the tall task, and it gets even taller, so to speak, when you consider the fact that these pants need to work with you, not against you, while also providing comfort. And if you enjoy wearing (clean) tapered sweatpants off-duty, as well, then hey, it helps if your running pants are also ever-so-slightly stylish.
Running pants, first and foremost though, need to take care of the task at hand, and that means they’ve got to be able to handle mile after (even if your initial training involves shorter runs, the better to get back in shape after pandemic lockdowns). Running pants are useful if you also favor cross-training or gym-focused weightlifting sessions, but again, the true aim needs to be mobility and performance for putting in the miles on cold fall mornings or nights.
Running pants can even be worn for other outdoor pursuits, like hiking, but you’re better off finding dedicated hiking pants and saving those functional, technologically advanced running pants for striding out your steps.
So, running pants should pass muster in terms of performance, design, mobility, warmth and moisture-wicking capability. Sounds like quite the high bar to clear, right? Not if the best brands for running pants have their say. Technology and design has evolved over the years to make it possible for brands to meet each of these aims quite handily, believe it or not.
What else do you need to look for in a great pair of running pants? Reader, we’re glad you asked, and we’re ready, willing and able to help.
How to Find the Right Running Pants for You This Season
- Start with seasonality: The difference between running pants you’d wear in the spring and running pants you’d wear in the fall comes down to materials and capabilities. Your spring running pants might be more like leggings, if only slightly, but fall running pants could involve everything from moisture-wicking fabric with insulation or perhaps even more traditional cotton sweatpants (if you want to literally heat things up a little bit). Look for running pants that can layer over shorts if need be, or running pants you can wear all on your own.
- Look for the right details: Running pants, although seemingly simple on the surface (they’re designed to be worn while running, after all) should actually provide some functionality beyond just warmth and moisture-wicking. Those touches can be as simple as a zip pocket for your keys or wallet, or multiple “hidden” zip pockets with waterproof zippers for small everyday carry pieces. Even a design detail as simple as a back locker loop above the back waist tag and allow you to hang your running pants up on a hook once cleaned, all the better to save space and maximize efficiency in your training and your wardrobe.
- Go with a brand you trust: Like we’ve said time and time again, if ever you’ve picked up some menswear from a brand that isn’t quite up to snuff in terms of quality (perhaps a cheap brand available at bargain), then you very well might have realized the error of your ways quickly. That goes for multiple categories, sure, but it’s particularly true if you need to rely on something like running pants to power you through a workout smoothly and without incident. Some of the best brands for running pants are outlined below, with quality and design innovation that’s a cut above the rest. See for yourself and thank us later.
There aren’t all that many brands that can lay claim to making some of the best running pants, but these selections below ought to provide just what you need, mile after mile… after mile.
The Best Running Pants for Men to Step Into This Instant
Ten Thousand Interval Pants
Ten Thousand can boldly and properly lay claim to making some of the best running gear and workout apparel on the market, using rigorous testing and research to put each piece through its paces. The result is gear, like the Interval Pants, designed to exacting specifications to handle intensive training. Especially on cold fall days, you need complementary items in your running gear rotation that pack a punch. The Interval Pants, made with “premium performance fabric with strategically positioned breathability panels,” are also outfitted with anti-odor technology. Beyond that, they get even more remarkable, believe it or not: We especially love the brand’s “Every Session Carry pocket system for secure, no-bounce storage of phone, keys, and cash.” Running pants that can do it all? We’ll take a pair of those. It gets even better if you go all-in and pick up more gear from Ten Thousand, which is certainly a brand to keep close at hand for fall and winter training sessions. The results and your performance, soon enough, will start to speak for themselves.
Vuori Sunday Performance Joggers
Vuori has built up a devout following through the years with its high-quality, technically savvy running shorts and shirts, which also happen to be pretty perfect for comfortable travel, weekend errands and adventures off the grid. Its aptly named Performance Joggers are the antidote to a lazy Sunday, with a tapered cuff for a streamlined finish, plus a handy size zipper on the leg for easy access to your valuables. Tighten up the fit with the drawstring waist and rest assured that you’ll stay warm and dry thanks to the “md weight premium technical knit fabric,” according to Vuori. Colors like Indigo make them cool and ever-so-slightly stylish, too.
Tracksmith Session Pants
If ever you’ve been on the lookout for cool running pants and gear in the last handful of years, perhaps you’ve stumbled upon Tracksmith. If not, well, now’s as great a time as any to shop the Northeast-based brand, which draws its inspiration from retro athletic gear worn in decades past. The resulting updates to iconic, heritage-minded running gear are about as ideal as it gets if it’s a blend of form and function that you seek. Helpfully, Tracksmith says its Session Pants are lightweight and yet made for year-round wear. Team with a Tracksmith shirt or jacket for the ultimate blend of throwback style and performance.
Nike Phenom Elite Running Pants
For the best workout gear on the market, or even on the planet, it’s long been a fact that Nike delivers the goods. That’s the case with its high-profile basketball shoes, its running jackets, its expertly cut T-shirts and of course, the very running pants you see here. These streamlined running pants are an essential fall move for runners on the go, more than ready to be teamed with Nike running shoes and a long-sleeve tee to ensure you get a sweat going without giving into the chilly fall weather. When that alarm goes off for an early morning run, be sure to answer the call. These are specifically made from knit fabric, so fall breezes don’t stand a chance.
Adidas Own The Run Astro Wind Pants
Adidas is yet another brand you can trust to deliver gear and running apparel that’s every bit as intense and ready for action as you are. These pants, crafted from recycled materials for an added shot of sustainability that you can feel good about wearing, are a smooth alternative to thin running leggings, offering up greater protection for your lower half on cool fall days. The three-stripe design is iconic, the build is ready for chilly fall training sessions aplenty, and if you’re wearing Adidas sneakers at the same time, we’d say you’ve nearly guaranteed optimal performance right now.