Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

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DualIncomeNoDebt
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Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by DualIncomeNoDebt » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:02 pm

I believe this falls under consumer goods. I am looking for recommendations concerning lines or brands for comfort clothes, and for workout clothes -- without regard to price. I am interested in the best (defined as comfort and utility), not the cheapest.

I despise suits, fashion clothes, designer clothes, etc. Instead I wear high quality, comfortable clothing as often as I can, with emphasis on comfort, and this often means superior cotton t-shirts, shorts, and quality sweats. Same thing for workouts, I seek the best, most comfortable cotton clothing I can find; I dislike the flash and trend of many poly fabrics because they do not work as advertised. Many of these poly blends are uncomfortable and plasticy, and are a mess after a few washings. I don't understand why people buy them.

Right now I am having difficulty finding quality cotton shorts with drawstrings for workouts; all the sports stores sell the cheap poly and plastic blend junk, hate it, so give me a good recommendation please.

I'll start the list with sneakers, socks, and one t-shirt recommendation.

Socks: Copper Sole. Fantastic for everyday use and for workouts. Excellent build quality, comfort, and have great design. I'm partial to the Copper Sole Extreme Athletic Low Cuts, in particular because the back portion of the sock has extra fabric to avoid abrasion, and increase strength (because that is how you pull them on and off). Small detail, but big difference. Fantastic for the money. Here's an example, http://tinyurl.com/kkgjpdr, I'm not recommending the merchant, just the sock, you can buy them elsewhere for cheaper, in fact.

Sneakers: Generally, New Balance. I find them superior to other builds. For workouts, I prefer a New Balance Custom 993, or even just a regular 993, or perhaps the newer variants, i.e. the 996. The 99x line is solid and sturdy, but not too heavy, great quality and endurance. For going out and everyday use, New Balance Minimus line, right now I use the Minimus 10v2. If you've never tried them, they are unbelievably light yet comfortable. If this is your first foray into this line, get a Minimus with maximum sole size/cushion -- because some within the line are so light and thin it's like sliver of rubber between you and the pavement (yes some people prefer this).

T-shirts: Tommy Bahamas cotton short-sleeve t-shirts. They have 100% cotton Peru t-shirts with double-stitching around the seams, and a reinforced double-stitched patch behind the neck, which is great because that is where most t-shirts tend to stretch and sag. These are nice enough that you can wear them out to most places, but they also work great in the gym too, and will last, I've beat them to hell and they still work. If you don't want to splurge on TBahama, an alternative is Nautica's cotton short-sleeve t-shirts. Great workout shirts, but they will start to wear and fade after awhile, cheaper than TBahama but so is the build quality.

livesoft
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by livesoft » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:08 pm

Socks: Only acrylic/Orlon, no cotton whatsoever, minimal polyester. They are hard to find among all the cotton socks out there, but about $10 for 3 or 4 pair at your local sports outlet. Here's a link to such socks: http://www.socksmax.com/Asics_low_cut_s ... 027-90.htm
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cherijoh
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by cherijoh » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:07 pm

Personally, I don't like cotton for working out because it gets soggy when you sweat. All my workout gear is Under Armor Heat Gear because it has superior wicking properties. For workout and hiking socks, I like SmartWool.

For non-workout wear, if you want cotton look for long-staple or pima in the label. That has the softest hand. Rayon is also a good choice, since it is also a natural fiber. It may also be listed on the label as viscose, Tencel or Modal. Since I'm not a guy, I really can't recommend any specific brands.

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Christine_NM
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by Christine_NM » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:51 pm

Socks - Thorlo
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Andyrunner
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by Andyrunner » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:18 pm

I think the issue with the workout ply blends is there is a big difference in quality. The stuff you buy at dicks or sports authrity are are generally garbage, I mainly run so my ideas for workout clothes are geared toward running. Craft (extreamly expensive) has probably some of the best stuff out there. Nike has good running shorts and solomon are good brands as well. I am actually very happy with Target champion brand shorts.

shoes: inov8 was good not sure now as their prices have gotten above my liking. Solomon is great stuff, but again expensive. I enjoy Mizuno shoes, I hear good things about Altra but never ran in them myself. Hoka is the latest trend, but nothing but good things.

Socks: Fits is good, smartwool is ok, they dropped in quality over the years, any merino wool is good stuff.

t-shirts: most I own are from races, I really dont care about quality because I have too many of them, if they fall apart or don't wick as well...whatever.

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Ged
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by Ged » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:19 pm

Christine_NM wrote:Socks - Thorlo
+1

snyder66
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by snyder66 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:28 pm

UA works for me. And, I'm quite averse to trendy "brand" names. Their loose gear fits me well. Never shrinks. Assics for sneakers. UA for socks as well.

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climber2020
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by climber2020 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:06 pm

I own several Columbia Titanium Omni Dry short sleeve shirts that are great for travel and exercise. They're polyester but don't feel like polyester and will last years as long as you hang dry them and don't put them in the dryer.

LifeLearner
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by LifeLearner » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:08 pm

If the poly/synthetics don't work for you, try wool. I find wool to be better than cotton in weight, texture, moisture-wicking, odor-resistance. It does wear quick and cost a decent amount, but if price is not an issue and you want performance, wool. Some synthetic wool blends work well, too, while lasting longer.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by Steelersfan » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:33 pm

The only thing I care about are shoes. T-shirts come from runs and volunteering. I've got more than I'll wear out in a lifetime.

Asics shoes are best for work-out and running since they have more cushion than other brands I've bought.

New Balance for walking. They have more stability, come in widths, last a long time, and I don't need the cushion.

HomerSector7G
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by HomerSector7G » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:53 pm

Working out covers a lot of territory... Nearly all of my workout clothes (including socks) are New Balance, all synthetics (no cotton!). Why do people avoid cotton? Well, I run. If you run more than say 6 miles in cotton (less if you are sweating a lot) the chafing and resulting pain and even bleeding can be pretty lousy. Learned that the hard way when I ran my first half marathon wearing all cotton. Ouch.

lightheir
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by lightheir » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:11 pm

I consider myself pretty serious about exercise (15 hours per week is not unusual for me on a regular basis), with a focus on endurance sports. Have done a lot of marathons, half ironmans, road cycling races, etc.

I've tested my training/racing gear out pretty extensively. It HAS to work, or it's out. When you're biking for 6+ hours, or running a 24 miles in training, etc, even a little niggling error that you might just ignore as a 30-minute workout person, becomes a total dealbreaker. (That short that rubs just slightly the wrong way and is fine on 30 minutes of running, will lead to a bloody blister after 3 hours of running, for example.)

Intrestingly, here are my tried and tested proven clothing preferences for running:
- Target 100% polyester sports socks. The cotton ones break down more quickly, but the poly ones do great, and are totally fine for my feet. I'm glad they are - I've tested some much pricier socks, which was also fine, but when you run as much as I do, it's nice to be able to use inexpensive socks no problemo even for serious run/bike training.
- Target poly shirts (see a theme here?)
- Target mock turtle longsleeve for cooler weather
- Target form fitting compression style underwear for men (surprisingly good)
I honestly don't think this Target stuff is 'all-that', since most other comparable clothing will work similarly, but the price is as low as it gets.

It's not all target, though. Things that HAVE to be brand name for me:
- Brooks thermal running tights. No cheap substitute available
- Brooks nightlife running jacket - lots of reflectives
- Windproof bike jacket ($$$)
- Premium gloves for running and cycling (separate)

Also interesting - running shoes for me are only chosen by feel. I pretty much know now what my favorite shoe should feel like, and I have to try them out to find out since they change models every year. Contrary to what the running store clerks sell you hard on, there is ZERO evidence that matching feet to shoes, like motioncontrol to over-pronators, shows any reduction in injury or increase in performance. In fact, there was a pretty good study I believe in the past few years that showed NO effect for all that fancy matching of feet to shoe type - which to a MD like myself is completely expected since those 'motion control shoes' were not based at all on science or podiatry, and entirely on the marketing of niche selling to smaller market segments to capture money. I am aware of almost no adequately controlled studies backing up all those running sneaker claims of pseudoscience (classifying you into neutral, overpronator, underpronator, etc. and matching you to a sneaker that will allegedly work better for you.)

I also run seriously, (at peak 70miles+ per week), and essentially never worry about wearing out my shoes. Again, there is no data showing that you have to change your shoes after "350 miles" or such or else you will get injured. On top of that, the recent interest in barefoot running shows pretty clearly as well that you really don't need any padding at all to run, provided you're adapted to it over slow gradual training. (Can take years.) So I basically run my sneakers until the upper portion literally crumbles apart - takes over 1000 miles for most sneakers. Note that I would absolutely change my shoes much sooner if there was good evidence showing it reduced injury - I train hard and at enough volume that injury risk is constantly looming. But there is no such evidence, and I run just as well on those beat-up shoes as the new ones. (I've done a lot of A/B testing of used vs new as well to make sure.)

Andyrunner
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:07 am

Glad to hear I'm not the only serious runner sporting the target brand clothes!

Its a treat for me to go buy an expensive running top/bottom.

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gatorking
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by gatorking » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:37 am

Andyrunner wrote:Glad to hear I'm not the only serious runner sporting the target brand clothes!

Its a treat for me to go buy an expensive running top/bottom.
Are these labeled "C9 by Champion"?

simpsonlang
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by simpsonlang » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:46 am

I personally can run in anything. Must be those brutal Marine conditions. In recon we weren't allowed to walk anywhere and when we went to the chow hall we ran with a log. At some point you start to realize it doesn't matter. I'm 40 now and can still run fast even with a year in between running.

Normal T-Shirt - Nothing special
Socks or None - Cotton, wool, nothing.
Footwear - Sneakers, Jungle Boots, Full Leather combat boots, once I ran in flipflops 3 miles because I forgot my sneakers.

Phatphoeater
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by Phatphoeater » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:14 am

I jump rope in my back yard. Doesn't require special clothing. I basically where compression shorts or leggings and nothing else. For socks I wear whatever cotton blend below-the-ankle socks I can find at TJMaxx. Woohoo for barechested workouts!

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englishgirl
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by englishgirl » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:07 am

Goodness, I couldn't imagine working out in cotton. I see people jogging in cotton t-shirts that are drenched in sweat, and I just feel sorry for them. Cotton gets so heavy and uncomfortable when wet.

I also like the C9 by Champion brand from Target! Good performance at a great price, and they are not flashy, trendy pieces that will date quickly.

If I really want to wear cotton (say for walking, or yin yoga, where I won't be breaking a sweat), then I like Blue Canoe. Good quality organic cotton, and made in the USA. I only have a couple of items by them, but they have held up well and are designed nicely. I don't think they do men's wear though.
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stoptothink
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by stoptothink » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:21 am

lightheir wrote:
Also interesting - running shoes for me are only chosen by feel. I pretty much know now what my favorite shoe should feel like, and I have to try them out to find out since they change models every year. Contrary to what the running store clerks sell you hard on, there is ZERO evidence that matching feet to shoes, like motioncontrol to over-pronators, shows any reduction in injury or increase in performance. In fact, there was a pretty good study I believe in the past few years that showed NO effect for all that fancy matching of feet to shoe type - which to a MD like myself is completely expected since those 'motion control shoes' were not based at all on science or podiatry, and entirely on the marketing of niche selling to smaller market segments to capture money. I am aware of almost no adequately controlled studies backing up all those running sneaker claims of pseudoscience (classifying you into neutral, overpronator, underpronator, etc. and matching you to a sneaker that will allegedly work better for you.)
This. Shoes are an individual thing, but do not buy into the pseudoscience. I prefer "minimalist" shoes (Saucony Hattori's being my all-time favorite), I have Inov-8, Mizuno's, Altra's, Skechers Gobionic (yes, skechers), and various flats that I have in my rotation. As far as clothing is concerned, it is old t-shirts and $10 shorts from Ross, but I don't have to deal with chaffing and extreme sweating anymore since I stopped competing in endurance sports.

Colorado13
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by Colorado13 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:18 pm

englishgirl wrote:Goodness, I couldn't imagine working out in cotton. I see people jogging in cotton t-shirts that are drenched in sweat, and I just feel sorry for them. Cotton gets so heavy and uncomfortable when wet.

I also like the C9 by Champion brand from Target! Good performance at a great price, and they are not flashy, trendy pieces that will date quickly.

Cotton is the worst. Santa brought me an Under Armour t-shirt and so far it seems very similar in look/feel/wearability/washability to C9 by Champion. Much more comfy than cotton.

DEBTINATOR
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by DEBTINATOR » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:27 pm

For TRAVEL workout clothes: Smartwool products are awesome, they don't stink. They are also great socks for winter climates.

For COMFORT: I hate to admit it but Lulu lemon clothes are top of the line here. I really really wish they weren't, they are ungodly expensive. They are not great for running though, but for lounging and most workouts - they are quite comfortable.

For running shoes: I'm a "Fat runner" at 6"3 200 lbs; can't run in anything other than the Brooks Glycerin.

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Post by pinecrest » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:09 pm

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Last edited by pinecrest on Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3Wood85
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by 3Wood85 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:37 pm

Nike Dri Fit for workout clothes

4stripes
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by 4stripes » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:06 pm

Lululemon is definitely in the high end of athletic wear. Try them.

Icebreaker Merino also. Both $$$.

Darn Tough for socks.

For shoes, I find Adidas to have the best construction. New Balance often fell apart on me. Samba for the gym where a flat shoe is more appropriate than a trainer.

For me, cotton sweatpants (Urban Outfitters, H&M) and shirts (Uniqlo, Gap) are perfect for weight lifting. I find that those decked out in technical clothes indoors frequently look like bozos.

lightheir
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by lightheir » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:09 pm

simpsonlang wrote:I personally can run in anything. Must be those brutal Marine conditions. In recon we weren't allowed to walk anywhere and when we went to the chow hall we ran with a log. At some point you start to realize it doesn't matter. I'm 40 now and can still run fast even with a year in between running.

Normal T-Shirt - Nothing special
Socks or None - Cotton, wool, nothing.
Footwear - Sneakers, Jungle Boots, Full Leather combat boots, once I ran in flipflops 3 miles because I forgot my sneakers.
I too can run in anything - under 6 miles.

Trust me - if you're running 22+ miles in training for marathons, all of a sudden every little chafe becomes a huge bloody problem - whether it be thighs, nipples, etc. It's not just for show.

SwampDonkey
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by SwampDonkey » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:49 pm

Most gear doesn't matter - especially when it comes to regular ole' t-shirts and shorts. However, when it's a bit chillier than that, there are two pieces of active wear that I've had for 5 years and I still wear them whenever I get the chance:

Running pants from Sporthill: http://www.sporthill.com - they are a little spendy but they are absolutely worth the price. Extremely comfortable. Pockets that are big enough to use without being so large they are annoying. A stretchy feeling cotton. Light enough to wear when it's in the low 70's but also warm enough to wear even into the 30's. Running-pant tapered shape to them with a small zipper that runs for approx. 8 inches by the ankle. All in all, the best pants I have ever worn and I will definitely be buying another pair when my current pair wear out. REI Outlet occasionally has a few of their styles on sale.

Patagonia 1/4 zip pull over. Not sure of the blend of material but extremely comfortable and durable. This also has a stretchy feel to it and I would guess it is a cotton/poly blend. There is a single, vertical pocket on the left chest that is large enough to hold a wallet and cell phone. Very similar temperature characteristics as the Sporthill pants. Again, a little spendy but the comfort and durability make it a no-brainer for replacing it with the exact same type when this one wears out. I just tried to Google the exact pull-over and can't seem to find it. Most Patagonia gear has a granola feel to it - this does not.

Vermonster
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by Vermonster » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:52 am

+1 for Darn Tough socks. Found them after Timberland bought Smartwool and the SW quality started to slip.
Also check out Ibex if you like merino wool clothing. Not cheap.

Like the OP I can't find shorts I really like. Must have drawstring. Must have pockets.

Errol

BuckyBadger
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by BuckyBadger » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:30 am

Good lord - I would never work out in cotton *anything.*

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NORDO
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by NORDO » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:29 pm

Vermonster wrote:+1 for Darn Tough socks. Found them after Timberland bought Smartwool and the SW quality started to slip.
Also check out Ibex if you like merino wool clothing. Not cheap.

Like the OP I can't find shorts I really like. Must have drawstring. Must have pockets.

Errol
I just recently came across Darn Tough myself. There are some good sales on them right now if you're in the market:

http://slickdeals.net/f/6746548-20-off- ... e-shipping

As a moderate runner (3-4 miles a few times per week) and cyclist (25-35 miles per week when the weather cooperates), I've been looking for some better foot apparel. DT sounds like the perfect solution.

--------------

I also recently bought a few pairs of Duluth Trading Co's Buck Naked line of underwear. Perhaps the most comfortable stuff I've ever owned - breathes well, supportive, and doesn't stretch out like your typical cotton boxer briefs. Definitely recommend it. Also on sale (still not cheap at $16/pair, but worth it) at the moment!

http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/mens ... rwear.aspx

leonard
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Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Post by leonard » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:46 pm

Cotton gets soggy if you are sweating at all.

Why would you want that?

In light of that - everything I use is synthetic so not to you preference evidently.
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