What a Guy Should Wear to the Gym: Workout Essentials

If you’re like me, you throw on sweatpants and a t-shirt with a pair of running shoes and head to the gym. This was my workout gear for a long time. But is it really the best choice for the gym? One day I decided to change it up a bit. Let me share my experience.

Man Doing Exercise with Dumbbell

First, I found that breaking this outfit is making me feel more confident in the gym and allows me to focus more on my workout. I changed the sweatpants for some shorts, the beat-up running shoes for a stylish new one, and the old, hefty t-shirt to a proper, well-fitting one. I think the end result is worth mentioning. So if you’re looking for a guideline on what a man should wear to the gym, this is it.

Pick the Right Shoes

As mentioned in the intro, for a long time, I was wearing beat-up running shoes to the gym with holes and occasional paint stains. Picking the right pair is not only essential to look good, but it will also make you feel way better during your workout.

If you wear uncomfortable shoes, they will slowly crump up your workout, and hurt your leg. While it can be doable for one day, if you want to go to the gym the next day, it’s not the best option.

What to Wear to the Gym: The Right Pair of Shoes
Photo by Malik Skydsgaard

Instead, pick a shoe that’s not only comfortable but stylish as well. Many gym goers prefer the classic high Chuck Taylor. They say it’s the best shoe for squats as it keeps their ankles stable.

I put my bet on a pair of running shoes, as it has the overall best comfort in my opinion. A good pair of shoes is especially important if you spend a lot of time on the treadmill or doing cardio. If you were looking for a new pair of shoes, make sure to check this deal on Amazon:

adidas Men's Ultraboost 22 Running Shoe

adidas Men’s Ultraboost 22 Running Shoe

Avoid Gray Color

It’s an easy hack when shopping for exercise gear. If you know, you know. However, if you don’t get it right away, let me explain it. For some reason, sweat seems to be most visible in gray color. Gray pants can be extremely uncomfortable to wear as sweat will show through.

I recommend picking a darker color, such as black – or if you don’t like black, any color but with a dark tone, especially for parts that can be uncomfortable.

Man Doing Rope Workout Exercise
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Try Regular Socks with Shorts

When I changed my sweatpants to shorts, I started wearing them with ankle socks. One thing I realized is that longer socks look much better with shorts than ankle socks. It was an interesting finding because I thought it would look better if we showed off our calves – but your outfit will look significantly better if you wear long socks, regardless of whether you have well-defined calves or not. 

Man Green Workout Outfit

If you’re a regular sweatpants guy and feel comfortable wearing them, this isn’t relevant to you. However, if you want to look a bit more put together while wearing sweatpants, make sure you only use them for exercise and choose a pair that fits well – not those old baggy gray pants.

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Don’t Show the Nips

I know you are working hard on your pecs and you are proud to show them, but please keep your nipples away from the gym. It’s not manly or cool. Simply put on a tank top, t-shirt, or long sleeve that covers most of your upper body.

There’s nothing wrong with showing off your muscles, but keep something for your partner.

What to Wear to the Gym: A Well Covering Top
Photo by: Men’s Health

Wear Workout Gloves to Help with Blisters

If you like to keep your hands well maintained and don’t like blisters I recommend you to wear workout gloves. There are a ton of brands on the market when it comes to workout gloves and almost all of them will get the job done. If you are someone who likes to lift heavy, I recommend this option.

What to Wear to the Gym: Workout Gloves
A Man Wearing Workout Gloves in the Gym

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A Good Body Spray or Perfume

There are people in the gym who tend to sweat more than others. To put it in the nicest possible way, if you’re someone who sweats a lot, I suggest you try a new body spray or perfume. One thing to know. Keep it subtle, as no one wants to smell a cloud of perfume when they walk past you. Another tip is to change your workout gear more often.

What to Wear to the Gym: Fragrance or Body Spray
Blue De Chanel captured by Jeroen den Otter


As a guy, wearing comfortable and stylish clothing at the gym can have a huge impact on your confidence and your workout. You will feel more confident in the gym and can focus on your training better. I hope I can help you with these tips. This list is constantly updated, so it’s worth checking back from time to time. Have a good workout session next time!

Keep on reading: The 9 Best Gym Exercises For Men: How to Have a Great Shape