Even if you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard the term "athleisure." Some call it a buzzword, while others call it a fleeting trend. However, those who have tried athleisure wear know its high-quality styles aren't just a passing pandemic fancy.
So what exactly is athleisure, and how should you style it?
While athleisure clothing has been significantly growing in popularity since 2020, there are still many people who don't quite know what it is. Many people have vague ideas of joggers wearing tight activewear such as leggings, spandex, and sports bras, or yogis in comfy hoodies and loungewear. However, the fine details of athleisure wear are rarely discussed.
In today's style guide, the Kizik team is going to dive a little deeper into what athleisure actually means and how you can incorporate athleisure styles into your life. We'll also lay out some simple outfit ideas that can elevate your daily routine.
So kick back, relax, and read on!
Athleisure is a popular trend in the world of fashion and has been for a few decades now. As the name suggests, this style combines aspects of athletic wear or workout clothes with leisurewear. It basically takes all the performance benefits of sportswear and all the benefits of comfortable at-home clothes and puts them together, often with a particular focus on wellness.
Though there may be some debate about the origins of athleisure, most attribute its earliest popularity to the rise of Lululemon and their famous yoga pant leggings. The influence of yoga in athleisure wear can still be seen today, especially when it comes to balance and comfort. However, the athleisure style has evolved a lot from where it started.
Today, anything from leggings and joggers to performance-oriented T-shirts and fleece sweatshirts can be considered athleisure. But it's not just clothing; footwear is also an essential element of an athleisure lifestyle.
Thanks to its popularity since its inception, it's clear that athleisure isn't just a fleeting trend. As modern lifestyles become more fast-paced and active, the need for athleisure only seems to be growing.
Some kinds of clothes and footwear are designed with only surface factors in mind, mere style statements with little thought for practicality or the needs of the everyday person's daily life. Other styles might be extremely specialized but not particularly great for everyday use.
Athleisure, on the other hand, is all about the golden mean in between. It aims to find the balance between easy-to-style aesthetics, practical performance geared for everyday use, usability across a wide range of activities, and of course, convenience that makes these factors easy to enjoy.
Since popular trends tend to attract lots of low-quality options hoping to grab a piece of the communal success, it's important to be able to identify high-quality athleisure styles when you see them. To that end, let's talk about three of the essential features of athleisure, specifically when it comes to footwear.
The most crucial area in which athleisure styles must excel is comfort. "Athletic" may be the first part of the name, but "leisure" isn't just there for looks. Any shoe or piece of clothing that claims to be part of the athleisure style should be one of the most comfortable items in your closet.
True athleisure joggers will feel like pajama pants, and a high-quality athleisure t-shirt will be equally ready for a workout or nap time.
When it comes to footwear, your athleisure shoes ought to be competing with slippers in terms of comfort. Soft by every definition of the word, well-padded, and easy to slip-on and off.
Of course, foot pain can be caused by any number of issues, but general discomfort should be going out the window with a pair of great athleisure shoes, like our Lima shoes with Rabbit Foam™ outsoles.
When it comes to an athleisure wardrobe, versatility and range are the core characteristics. The ability to wear these clothes in nearly any situation is one of their biggest selling points.
For many of us, our days can cover all kinds of activities across the spectrum, from high-intensity workouts in the morning to big corporate meetings at work, followed by nights out with friends. Mix in commuting long distances, running errands, doing household chores, walking your dog, spending time with your family, and more, and we spend a lot of time on our feet.
The importance of having a versatile wardrobe from head to toe can't be overstated. Instead of wearing clothes and shoes ill-suited to what you are doing or packing two or three changes of clothes each day to match different situations, you could have one outfit that works for all the different circumstances of your day.
In specific terms, athleisure clothes are versatile, thanks to performance factors such as breathability, flexible materials, lightweight construction, and, in many cases, moisture-wicking fabrics.
Other features such as our HandsFree Labs® technology or even something as simple as pockets in leggings or bike shorts represent further innovations that athleisure styles bring to the table, making them some of the most versatile on the market.
Athleisure styles ideally make your life easier when the challenges of everyday life come your way.
That's not to say athleisure apparel can pay your taxes and meet your work deadlines for you, but what it can do is help you feel more comfortable and have less to worry about so you can focus on what really matters.
Ultimately, we can look at athleisure as a solution to the problems that clothes can often pose. Sure, those high heels or dress boots may look stylish, but they're not likely to be the most comfortable throughout a day packed with errands, commutes, and exercise.
Plus, most shoe styles that aren't built with convenience in mind can really slow down your day, especially when it comes to putting them on or taking them off.
At Kizik, our shoes are built to solve these problems. One of our favorite ways we do so is with our HandsFree Labs® technology, built to make putting on your shoes easier than ever.
The difference between slipping on your shoe and stopping to lace them up and down may not seem like much at first glance, but it can mean a world of difference when you're nearly running late for work, or you're exhausted from a long day and ready to relax. In a fast-paced lifestyle, any time you can save for yourself is exceptionally valuable.
Athleisure trend outfits are super easy to style, thanks to the versatile design of these pieces. All the best athleisure brand clothing can easily be mixed and matched for a variety of outfits.
You can start creating an athleisure outfit from the top, middle, or bottom, but since we're particularly fond of footwear, we'd suggest styling your outfits from there.
Starting with the styles that lean to the athletics end of athleisure, our Lima, Athens, and Madrid Eco-Knit shoes are all designed with breathable mesh uppers and a streamlined look. This results in a cool sneaker vibe reminiscent of classic athletic shoes.
Although our shoe lines aren't specially designed for sports like running, features such as breathability, comfortable soles, and grippy rubber bottoms ensure quality performance throughout your day.
The Madrid Eco-Knit shoes were also designed for those athleisure lovers looking to shop in a more environmentally friendly way. These shoes have a great sustainability factor since they are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
When it comes to styling an outfit with these shoes, athletics-oriented apparel fits the bill best. Running shorts, leggings, and drawstring sweatpants are excellent bottoms options. Tank tops, sweat-wicking athletic t-shirts, long sleeve sweatshirts, or zip-up jackets all make great tops to bring your outfit together. These shoes also go great with tracksuits from your favorite activewear brands.
If that's not your look, have no fear! Thanks to the versatility of athleisure, you can easily style these shoes with less sporty looks. Chinos and jeans can pair just as well, particularly with neutral colors such as white, gray, black, or navy.
Our Prague and Vegas styles take a different approach when it comes to athleisure. Though they certainly meet the criteria of comfort, convenience, and versatility, these styles lean more towards an out-and-about leisure angle than our other styles.
When building an athleisure look with these shoes, you can incorporate apparel that fits more of a streetwear or skater aesthetic. Performance-minded chinos or stretch jeans can pair perfectly with a pair of Prague or Vegas shoes and a comfortable sweatshirt.
If you want to take your athleisure up a notch, you can also pair these shoes with a loose jumpsuit or a simple exercise dress. That way, you can still feel extra stylish in your outfit without having to sacrifice comfort.
Whether you're looking to finish off your perfect athleisure outfit with a great pair of shoes, or you're starting from the ground up, Kizik shoes are built with all the most essential athleisure aspects in mind. Try a pair now to see how they can elevate your everyday life!
How Did Athleisure Take Over American Fashion? | The Atlantic
Foot Pain in Arches, Ball, Heel, Toe, and Ankle Problems - Non-Injury Causes and Treatments | WebMD
Average Steps Per Day by Age, Gender, Occupation, and Country | Healthline
Breathability - An Overview | ScienceDirect Topics