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Just a few years ago, the idea of trying to find the best sweatpants for men would’ve sounded ludicrous. Sweatpants were the thing you wore exclusively in your most lethargic moments—sniffly on the couch, hungover in a college lecture, picking your kids up from soccer practice without ever getting out of the car—never something for true public consumption. So why bother? Just keep right on wearing the same ratty pair with the bright orange stain from the Great Kraft Mac & Cheese Disaster of 2017.
But in 2022, the idea of spending time and money to track down the absolute best pair of sweatpants no longer seems farfetched. Heck, if you haven’t already invested countless dollars and hours upgrading your regular sweats rotation, you’re definitely in the minority. First the athleisure movement happened, and everything changed. Then a full-blown pandemic hit, and everything really changed. Sweatpants went from cozy weekend attire to daily essentials you took Zoom meetings in and ran to CVS to replenish your toilet paper supply—all in the span of a couple of hours.
Thankfully, we’re a few months past the height of lockdown (and a few years past the peak of everyone rolling around town in high-concept yoga pants and $500 zip hoodies), but the idea of owning truly great sweatpants has stuck around for good. With the right pair—i.e. sweatpants that are hyper soft but still have some structure, that are tailored in a way that accentuates your legs instead of drowning them, with a decent number of pockets and a waistband that won’t stretch out—you’ll be able to cruise through the week, save for the occasional jaunt into the office, without ever changing your bottoms. If you’re looking to comfy up right, we did the hard work of lazing about in fleece and definitively determined the 40 best pairs of sweatpants for men—and everyone—in 2022.
The Best Elevated Sweatpants
When they launched in 2013, John Elliott’s Escobar pants quickly came to define the athleisure movement, and paved the way for men getting away with wearing what was once workout gear in public without looking lazy. Times have…changed. Where the Escobar was aggressively tapered and overly engineered, the LA is cut roomy and relaxed, with an elastic cinch cord at the waist that doesn’t bunch—giving the normally sloppy sweat a cleaner look. Crafted from a dense, proprietary French terry cotton, they’ll actually get comfier the more you wear them, which is really saying something since they start out pretty darn cozy as it is.
The Best Athletic Sweatpants
As far as Nike innovations go, these Tech Fleece pants may be one of Nike’s all-time greatest. The fabric brings that classic spongy and elastic feel that makes it the perfect fabric for sweatpants, combined with a space-age, structured silhouette. They have a trimmer fit and reinforced knees, but because they’re Nike, you can sweat your ass off in them without feeling guilty.
The Best Standard-Setting Sweatpants
Todd Snyder’s longstanding collaboration with Champion is responsible for our favorite crewneck sweatshirt, so it stands to reason that they also make a top-notch sweatpant. For once, an assumption won’t make an ass out of you and me—but it will make your ass look mighty damn fine. (Sorry.) Because of course the Todd Snyder + Champion line’s sweatpants are great, and for many of the same reasons as their upper body counterpart: The fit is tailored and on point, the details are handsome and vintage-inspired, plus the French terry fabric has just the right mix of structure and softness. If you’re looking for a simple, classic pair of sweatpants executed flawlessly, these are the way to go.
The Best Budget Sweatpants
At this stage, you might be thinking: OK, GQ, these fancy-pants sweats are all fine and dandy. But what about sweatpants for sweatpants’ sake? The kind you spend next to nothing on, wear into the ground, and don’t mind occasionally wiping off your Cheeto dust on? These are those sweats. Russell has been in the athleticwear game since the early 1900s, and its standard-fit, open-bottom sweatpants continue to deliver some of the absolute best value in the business. You won’t find a better basic sweatpant for under $30.
The Best Tough Sweatpants
The details help to separate Reigning Champ’s sweats from the pack: reinforced seams, a subtle taper, and a wide waistband with a thick rope drawstring that sits right on your hips instead of below them. But it’s the Canadian-made fleece itself—thick and tough on the outside, brushed and soft on the inside, with plenty of gorgeous texture—that really earns them a spot on this list.
20 More Cozy Sweatpants We Love