Top 6 Best Sportswear Brands

best sportswear brands

The creation of the first sportswear items dates back to the first modern Olympics in 1896. Up until then, most people would wear street clothes when practicing sports. However, with the evolution of sports, sportswear has now reached a point where it represents a potential difference-maker in competitions and there are many storied brands that produce these items. Listed below are the best sportswear brands currently on the market.

  1. Nike
  2. Adidas
  3. Under Armour
  4. Reebok
  5. Puma
  6. Lululemon

1. Nike

Widely considered the world’s leading sportswear brand, Nike has become the top choice of millions of athletes in almost 60 years of business. Nike was founded in 1964 by former track runner Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman in Oregon and quickly expanded its reach globally. Nike is currently the largest sneaker supplier in the world and has also developed many different athletic wear products such as shirts, shorts, sweatpants, and other accessories.

In recent years, Nike has secured partnerships with the NBA and the MLB, exponentially increasing their brand’s visibility worldwide. The Oregon-based brand is also the official supplier of the NFL and can count on sponsorship deals with top soccer clubs such as Chelsea FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC, and FC Barcelona. Nike is also the official supplier for all United States Olympic teams, as the brand offers high-quality products across all sports categories. Superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lebron James, and Serena Williams all represent the face of the brand, leading millions of fans to be loyal to Nike.

2. Adidas

Adidas is among the oldest sportswear brands, founded in 1924 by Adolf Dassler, a 23-year-old from Germany. For decades, Adidas represented the world leader in sportswear thanks to its success in the European soccer world. The kits manufactured for national teams such as Germany, Netherlands, Argentina, and Mexico immediately became an instant classic, bringing Adidas products to every part of the world. Adidas produces a plethora of sports-related products, from sport-specific equipment for soccer, basketball, and baseball, to general activewear and running shoes.

In recent years, Adidas has invested great attention to its advertisement campaigns, creating its slogan “Impossible is nothing.” Aimed at reaching every single sport, this campaign has involved legendary athletes like Paul Pogba, Deandre Hopkins, Lionel Messi, and David Beckham.

Adidas has also gained great popularity through its lifestyle collections that have involved artists such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. The brand is also the official uniform supplier of several prominent soccer clubs, including Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Bayern Munich.

3. Under Armour

Despite its short history, Under Armour has quickly risen to the top of the sportswear brand rankings. Founded by Kevin Plank, a former special teams captain at the University of Maryland, in 1996, Under Armour has obtained great success thanks to its synthetic fabric items. Thanks to the technology created by Plank, Under Armour products are able to keep athletes dry and effectively wick sweat. Under Armour offers a wide range of sports apparel and equipment for sports, including baseball, basketball, football, and much more.  

In only 26 years of activity, Under Armour has secured deals with some of the biggest US colleges. These include Notre Dame, Maryland, Cincinnati, and Auburn. Under Armour has also signed deals with some of the world’s top athletes, including Tom Brady, Steph Curry, and Jordan Spieth. Their technology has created resistant and affordable gear that has become the first choice of many worldwide, especially in sports like golf and running, where the comfort of Under Armour products can play a difference in competitions.

4. Reebok

Reebok was created in Bolton, England, as the sportswear section of J.W. Foster and Sons in 1958. Due to its English roots, the company’s logo featured the Union Jack flag, creating an iconic look that became popular all over the world. Reebok primarily specializes in athletic footwear but has also produced shirts, shorts, jerseys, and other athletic wear.

In 2005, the company was acquired by the Adidas Group, which revived Reebok through deals with athletes such as Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson. Aside from their basketball products, Reebok has also been active in creating lifestyle collections partnering with famous artists in the United States.

Throughout the years, 50 Cent, Rick Ross, Alicia Keys, and Jay-Z have all had deals with Reebok, making their sneakers a must-have for many fans around the world. Reebok now also has a deal with NFL star JJ Watt which has made their running shoes extremely popular in the United States.

5. Puma

Puma was founded by Rudolf Dassler, the brother of Adidas’ founder Adolf Dassler, and has become its own athletic apparel powerhouse. After a feud, the two brothers decided to split up, creating each their own brands. Almost eighty years after their split, Adidas and Puma are now two of the biggest sportswear brands in the world.

Puma owes a great amount of its popularity to its soccer products, especially gear such as cleats, jerseys, and tracksuits. The German brand can count on deals with many national teams including Italy, Austria, Ghana, Czech Republic, and Cameroon. Puma soccer cleats are also extremely popular thanks to brand ambassadors such as Sergio Aguero, Antoine Griezmann, and Neymar Jr.

After adding rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z to their creators board, Puma has been active in producing basketball gear. Deals with young NBA stars such as Kyle Kuzma, Michael Porter Jr, and Lamelo Ball have also helped make Puma basketball shoes a popular choice among amateurs.

6. Lululemon

Lululemon is a relatively young brand, founded in 1998, that focuses on athleisure. Unlike every other brand listed in these rankings, Lululemon has not made deals with teams and professional athletes their priority. Rather than creating team sportswear, Lululemon has been committed to creating products for individual athletes that can be comfortable and aerodynamic while also looking more elegant than the average sports gear.

This brand started out in Vancouver, Canada, and has become the leader in producing seamless yoga pants. They have found great success in running and golf collections for both men and women as well. Lululemon is now targeting an expansion into watersports, thanks to their deals with surfers Mihimana Braye and Malia Manuel, and winter sports, where they are partnering with snowboarder Craig McMorris.

Honorable Mentions

New Balance

New Balance is another classic shoe brand that also sells athletic apparel. The American company was founded in 1906 to create arch supports and other orthopedic footwear. Just over 70 years later, the now-famous shoe brand expanded into clothing, creating nylon and mesh tops, shorts, and specialized running suits. In the half century since, New Balance has become a leading manufacturer of athletic apparel for men, women, and children.


Columbia Sportswear has been making high-quality clothing and sportswear for nearly a century. The company was founded in 1938 as a hat company but then slowly expanded into other types of apparel. Columbia has also continued to innovate during this time, branching out into premium skiing and fishing gear in the 1980s and 90s before developing temperature-stabilizing gear in the 2010s. Thanks to this long history and devotion to technological development, Columbia today continues to provide any apparel that an outdoor athlete might need.

Russell Athletic

Russell Athletic is a sportswear manufacturing company owned by Fruit of the Loom. The company has been making team uniforms for over 100 years, supplying youth teams and professional teams alike. Today, Russell Athletic focuses more on casual sportswear, including shorts, t-shirts, underwear, and sweatshirts. However, they still manufacture team uniforms alongside partner Augusta Sportswear.


What is the best sportswear brand?

The best sportswear brand on the market is Nike. As a brand, Nike has grown from a small manufacturer to a global giant in the industry. They are most known for their sneakers, but they also sell athletic clothing, equipment for various sports, and team apparel.