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The first sign that the sportswear market was going to someday consist of more than just giants like Adidas and Nike was when Under Armour broke onto the scene with their adrenaline-packed “We must protect this house” ad back in 2005. Adidas and Nike had been around in some form since the early 1950s and 1970s respectively, and then out of nowhere this small unknown company was cutting into their market thanks to a new clingy and sweat-wicking fabric. It was cool, it was futuristic, and people wanted it.
Now, over a decade since Under Armour began to try and stake its claim in the world of sportswear there are an increasing number of small athletic brands catering to a new market. From companies with their feet firmly planted in the fashion world to those who have sustainable and humanitarian missions, there seems to be a company out there for every niche. While we doubt any one of these individually will disrupt the market, as a whole these new brands are changing the dynamic and forcing gigantic companies to innovate in new ways. We sifted through a large number of those brands and built out a list of what we think are some of the most interesting and unique activewear brands for men.
Take notice of runners next time you drive to work early in the morning or go for a walk in the park. For the most part, their outfits will either consist of baggy t-shirts from high school or college, or absurdly bright and tight clothes. That is what the husband and wife team based in West London hoped to change with Iffley Road. The athletic wear company’s mission is to provide something more refined, but just as technically capable as other running apparel out there. So far, we think they’re doing a stellar job at it.
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