There's never been a better time to be an athlete—as far as clothes are concerned, anyway. With fitness still trending like crazy in America, spanning from Crossfit boxes to spinning studios to yoga retreats, the fashion industry has taken notice. And while there's plenty to say about how athletic gear has influenced the modern clothing world, the focus here is on the opposite: how modern style has impacted true, functional athletic wear—specifically, running brands.

The running industry is largely dominated by a handful of brands—Nike, Brooks, Hoka
One One, New Balance, Saucony, Asics and others. Nike does offer exceptionally stylish running apparel via its Gyakusou line in particular (more on that below), but—on the whole—most of the other large brands don't win any awards in the style department.

That said, there is a new breed of running apparel—small, more under-the-radar brands that are bucking the industry's ugly neon and mesh designs, opting instead to blend technical fabrics and thoughtful athletic detailing with thoroughly modern styling across all points of the fashion spectrum. Their gear may not make you run any faster, but it will make you look and feel better as you're pounding the pavement.

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Tags: sportswear, running, gyakusou