The world’s best sportswear brands
Modern sportswear is proof (like we needed it to) that our wardrobes have truly entered a new era. Originally designed for athletics, nowadays you are just as likely to see it at the bar, in town or even in the office. Menswear purists might not like this, but this stuff is the new default setting for much of the modern man’s wardrobe.
It’s the hoodie he’s lounging around the house in. These are the sneakers he proudly wears at his workplace where he previously had a shirt and tie. It’s the smart joggers and the baseball cap that he can now legitimately wear with a tailored jacket. Sportswear is fully woven into our everyday clothes, so it’s interesting to know who makes the best of the best.
Here we count the biggest sportswear brands in the world and explain why they are worth being on your radar.
Lack of time ? Here are some great brands of sportswear to discover.
It’s hard to think of a more established sportswear brand than
No list of the biggest sportswear brands (or just the biggest brands in general, for that matter) could be considered complete without the inclusion of Adidas. This German sports giant makes some of the finest sportswear the world has seen in over half a century.
The brand’s iconic Trefoil logo has been adopted as a badge of honor by hip hop pioneers, terrace fashion aficionados, mods and Madchester hedonists. There is no other sportswear brand so closely tied to music and subcultural movements, and that’s before we even get into the thick of it just how awesome sneakers are.
Adidas has a knack for creating instant, simplistic classics. The Stan Smith, the Samba, the Superstar and the Gazelle. These shoes solidified Three Stripes’ reputation as one of the best sneaker brands in the world. Meanwhile, the Kanye West-endorsed Yeezy line is drooling the hypebeasts and queues are forming for Adidas kicks around the world.
Bolton may seem like an unlikely birthplace for a global sportswear phenomenon, but that’s exactly where Reebok was born. The Lancashire brand has been making sneakers and sportswear since 1958, but it was in the 1980s that things really took off.
The brand released the Workout – the first athletic shoe designed specifically for women – and sales skyrocketed. Since then, Reebok has been an icon of retro sportswear style. Become the go-to place for nostalgia-laden kicks, ’90s vibrancy and quirky design patterns. Inflatable tongues, do you like it?
Family quarrels are not that rare. What is rare, however, is that they reach the level of whoever gave Puma his chance to outdo himself. Brothers Rudolf and Adolf Dassler together founded a sportswear brand, but when their relationship degenerated it split into two separate entities, Adidas and Puma. Both were hugely successful, but it was Adidas that became the most important. Yet what Rudi Dassler’s Puma does, it does well.
The brand is known for its retro-hued sportswear and timeless sneakers like the Suede Classic. In recent years, he’s capitalized on a trend to become the unofficial king of affordable chunky sneakers. Models such as the Thunder Spectra and the RS-X have become among the most popular and trendy sneakers in recent history, and also among the most wearable.
Acronym of the Latin phrase “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” (“You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body”), ASICS is a brand built around the concept of wellness through sport. Originally founded as the Onitsuka Co. in 1949, the Japanese brand quickly gained recognition for its high-quality athletic shoes.
Basketball shoes were among the brand’s earliest products, but over the years ASICS has gained a reputation for its running sneakers. Today, the brand is considered one of the best performance shoe suppliers in the world, with a side business of making nostalgic retro running shoes as part of its Onitsuka Tiger line.
When it comes to well-made running gear, it doesn’t get much better than New Balance. The Boston brand first appeared in the limelight in 1906, and sportswear has not been the same since.
The brand’s main production includes performance running wear, casual wear and sneaker baiting shoes through its ‘Made In England’ and ‘Made In The USA’ lines. The latter is what really gives NB its place in the menswear world, with shoes like the 990 and 991 having achieved cult status among the fashion elite. In addition, hoodies, joggers and other sports basics are very present, with a bold branding, quality workmanship and street style as standard.
French brand Salomon has made a name for itself in the sportswear world, outfitting everyone from ultra runners to freestyle skiers. More recently, however, it has gained a new following thanks to one of the most unlikely fashion trends in recent history.
Trail running shoes are the hottest new thing in high fashion, and Salomon happens to be some of the best around. The brand’s S / LAB series and Speedcross 4 in black have been favorites of fashion insiders for a little while now. So much so, in fact, that Salomon started making his first forays into this particular world by recruiting a lifestyle shoe manager from Veilance and designing his very first fashion sneaker in the form of the S / LAB XT-6.
It’s more than just a fad, however. Fashion’s obsession with adopting performance gear has translated into mainstream style status of garments like hoodies, tracksuits and performance outerwear. Why should trail runners be any different?
It may not have the same industry leading and cutting edge status as competitors like
You won’t find innovative technical fabrics or ultra-light clothing here. What you will find, however, is sturdy, timeless gear with a dose of retro charm. Add some streetwear sensibility and the weird high-profile connection and it’s easy to see why Champion is still one of the best around.
Great American sport Converse is a name that doesn’t need to be introduced. The brand is responsible for creating the most popular sneaker ever made and it has hardly changed its design in a century. Converse All Stars was the very first celebrity-endorsed athletic shoe, paving the way for a future of big-name partnerships in the sportswear world.
Most people trace the roots of sneaker culture back to the first Air Jordan shoe, but if you really want to be thorough it all started with Converse. That’s not all Chuck Taylor All Stars, however. Converse has made strides in everything from racing to skateboarding in addition to its hugely popular basics for casual wear and loungewear.
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