The New Breed of Performance Gear

Best new men's performance gear in 2024

The New Breed of Performance Gear

These modern pieces are stylish and discreetly technical

The days of a ratty old T-shirt and mesh shorts are all but over at the gym. These days, you're more likely to see guys completely kitted out in superhero-adjacent technical apparel. And why not? There's been huge advancements in fabric technology—it moves, breathes and fights odor better than ever before. But what about when you're done with your workout? Or if you just want to be active outdoors but not look like a gym rat. Thankfully, there's now an ever-growing range of stylish performance-minded activewear brands that blend the laidback cool of modern menswear with cutting-edge performance attributes.

The latest just launched from 3sixteen. “Over the past few years, we realized that most of our athletic clothing is made to just do one thing—golf, run, work out, etc.,” says co-founder (and regular runner) Andrew Chen. “You'd look funny wearing shorts with compression tights out to breakfast, right?” So with this collection, the label tried to honor the need for function—the fabrics are lightweight, anti-microbial, moisture wicking, and have mechanical stretch—but the design and details are meant to be discreet and wearable casually. “All the nylons in the collection are matte and low-key,” he says. “We have reflective logos on a few pieces where it makes sense but there are no big print mantras to let the world know that you're working out.”

3sixteen men's performance apparel
3sixteen men's performance apparel

Of course, the R&D phase definitely took some time. Chen says he and the 3sixteen team spent a year on this small offering, “because we wanted to make sure the products really checked all the aforementioned boxes.” It was an education in performance fabrics as they tried to identify what worked both aesthetically and functionally. “We made samples and gave them out to a local NYC run crew to get their feedback, and made some tweaks along the way. We extensively wear-tested everything internally.”

They now join the ranks of other brands that toe the line between fashion and athleticism. Pieces that will help you train hard, sure, but also help you get a big fit off in the process. After all, just because you're sweating and breathing heavy doesn't mean you can't look fresh as hell, right?


Our Picks

3sixteen Trail shirt

Andrew’s favorite piece: “It’s a nylon pullover that takes inspiration from vintage USN denim deck shirts. It pairs really well with a tee and some baggy cargos, but is great for a hike due to its light weight and water repellence.”

Trail shirt,
$175 by 3sixteen

Satisfy PeaceShell climb pant

These lightweight pants fit and feel like workwear pants, but have multi-dimensional stretch and abrasion-resistant qualities that are perfect for outdoor adventures.

PeaceShell climb pant,
$360 by Satisfy

YPB Nylon tote

Nylon tote,
$90 / $76.50 by YPB

3sixteen Patch pocket running short

Patch pocket
running short,
$155 by 3sixteen

ASRV Oversized waffle-knit tee

Oversized waffle-knit tee,
$98 by ASRV

Outdoor Voices RecFleece snap hoodie

RecFleece snap hoodie,
$98 / $79.95 by Outdoor Voices

Four:Laps Accel jacket

Accel jacket,
$138 by Four:Laps

3sixteen Running cap

Running cap,
$60 by 3sixteen

PROOF Hybrid cargo short

These tailored cargo shorts are cut with a 7-inch inseam from a moisture-wicking hybrid fabric that’s just as well-suited for the beer garden, the trail, or a spontaneous dip in the river.

Hybrid cargo short,
$98 by PROOF

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