Joggers vs Sweatpants: The Differences That Matter

In recent years, activewear and athleisure categories have witnessed a huge surge in popularity.

Naturally, popular clothing items like joggers and sweatpants are filling up everyone’s wardrobes. That’s mainly due to the immense versatility of these garments. They are stylish, extremely comfortable, and even affordable – what’s not to like?

But there’s one thing about wearing sweats and joggers that might peeve everyone off – people are unable to differentiate between the two!

They look and somewhat feel identical. And it does not help that even many top brands are selling joggers as sweatpants and vice-versa.

So, what are the differences between the two and which is better for you? Let’s find out.

Are Sweatpants and Joggers the Same Thing?

Are Sweatpants and Joggers the Same Thing

No, joggers and sweatpants are different from each other in terms of design, materials used, functionalities, and even some features. While both of them can be used for active and casual wear, they target distinct needs and requirements.

Generally, joggers are designed to be more stylish. They are sleeker and more modern-looking. At the same time, they also enjoy more functional features than sweats, like improved breathability and additional moisture-wicking properties.

Sweatpants, on the other hand, are thicker and heavier. As such, many people wear them while working out or running in colder climates to keep their bodies warm. But usually, sweats tend to be more popular nowadays for casual or loungewear.

That’s because they feature a loose-fitting style that’s excellent for keeping your body relaxed and at ease. So, you can even spend an entire day in a pair of comfy sweatpants without feeling any sort of discomfort.

So, when you have to decide between joggers or sweatpants, it’s important to remember the differences between them instead of the similarities they share.

Joggers vs Sweatpants: Head-to-Head Comparison

Joggers vs Sweatpants

There is nothing more embarrassing than wearing the wrong type of clothing for a certain occasion. While both joggers and sweatpants belong to the same category (to an extent), they are used for different applications in the modern setting.

To understand which one’s best for you, you’ll need to understand the primary difference between joggers and sweatpants. So, we will help you with that by providing you with an in-depth comparison between the two.

Here’s what separates a pair of joggers from your favorite sweatpants:-

Basis of Comparison




Joggers are more form-fitting and slimmer comparatively. They feature a tapered cut and can even be tight around the ankles.

Sweatpants feature a more relaxed and looser fit. They also have a straight-leg design to ensure that the ankles are not hugged too tightly by the fabric.


Joggers are made from lightweight materials like cotton blends, polar fleece, and performance fabrics.

Sweatpants are made from thicker and warmer materials like heavyweight cotton and fleece.


Joggers usually come with cuffed ankles, front pockets, and a drawstring waist. 

Sweatpants usually come with open ankles, side pockets, and an elastic waist.

Design Features

Joggers are more stylish and sporty, with many design features like paneling, contrast stitching, and zippers.

Sweatpants feature a relatively simpler design and are less stylish.


Joggers come with functional features like sweat-wicking capabilities, maximum stretchability, and reflective accents for improving visibility during outdoor activities.

Sweatpants only offer functionalities like providing warmth and greater flexibility (due to the loose fit), making them more comfortable than functional.


Joggers are made of permeable materials, offering more breathability.

Sweatpants offer limited breathability.


Joggers are generally light and not suitable for colder weather.

Sweatpants provide warmth, making them excellent for tackling colder climates.


Joggers usually come with excellent sweat-wicking properties.

Sweatpants usually do not have sweat-wicking capabilities.


Joggers are suitable for athletic and casual uses. They are also more appropriate for semi-casual outings and can be worn as a replacement for jeans.

Sweatpants are mostly suitable for athletic and lounging activities. While they can be used for casual outings as well, they are considered less appropriate for wearing outside than joggers.


Joggers have a flexible waistband with a drawstring or an elastic band, ensuring personalized fit.

Sweatpants feature comfortable elastic waistbands that do not require additional closures such as zippers or buttons.

Joggers and sweatpants belong in the same category. And yet, they are very different from each other.

To the well-trained eye, joggers and sweatpants will even look different because of their distinct fits and styles. They certainly share a lot of differences when it comes to their looks and similarities.

Based on the features they offer, joggers are definitely more versatile. That is one of the reasons why they made a comeback recently after many years of being outshone by other garments like sweatpants, leggings, and yoga pants.

In any case, both joggers and sweatpants provide different solutions. When worn smartly, there’s no reason why you should not have a pair of both of them in your wardrobe.

What are Joggers?

What are Joggers

Joggers are a style of athletic pants that are typically made from soft and stretchy fabrics. They were originally designed to keep you cool and dry while running and jogging.

They usually feature a form-fitting design with a tapered leg and are held in place during high-impact activities using an elastic waistband with drawstrings.

Joggers offer many benefits over other athletic pants. They are considerably lightweight and thinner while also being completely opaque and squat-proof. They also provide a good degree of comfort, breathability, and moisture-wicking capabilities to help you enjoy a good workout session.


  • Highly versatile and stylish bottoms.
  • Offers more breathability than sweatpants.
  • Features a form-fitting and tapered style for increased mobility while running.
  • Lightweight and thin to support intense cardiovascular training.
  • Flexible waistbands ensure a comfortable and personalized fit.


  • Joggers do not provide as much warmth as sweatpants.
  • The front pockets in joggers are not as functional as the side pockets in sweats.
  • Joggers are not as comfortable for wearing over long periods as sweatpants.

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What are Sweatpants?

What are Sweatpants

Sweatpants are also a type of athletic pants made from soft fabrics like fleece or cotton. They are mainly designed to provide warmth and relaxation while exercising or simply lounging.

Sweatpants generally feature a loose and relaxed fit. They are extremely comfortable and give the wearer a great degree of flexibility. Most sweatpants usually follow a straight-legged design.

They are usually heavier and thicker than other types of athletic pants and allow limited airflow, which could be bad for people who wear them during intense workouts.


  • Sweatpants help keep your body warm during cold weather. Some models are fleece-lined for extra warmth.
  • Sweatpants offer a more relaxed and looser fit for added comfort.
  • Sweatpants come with a straight-leg design to prevent the fabric from being too tight around the ankles.
  • Sweatpants have elastic waistbands that keep the pants firmly intact around the waist while working out.


  • Sweatpants have a simple design and lack many features that joggers offer.
  • They might be too warm if the weather isn’t cold.
  • Sweatpants lack breathability and moisture-wicking properties.

What is Better: Sweatpants or Joggers?

What is Better Sweatpants or Joggers

Sweatpants and joggers have highly different functionalities. While both of them are capable of serving athletic needs, the situations in which you would use them differ greatly.

Joggers are more streamlined, tapered, and lightweight, supporting activities like running and working out in normal conditions. They are also more breathable and have moisture-wicking properties.

Sweatpants, on the other hand, do not offer these functional features. They are warmer, heavier and thicker.

Because of the extreme comfort they offer, sweatpants are more useful as loungewear or for providing warmth in cold weather.

Based on these insights, here’s what we can conclude:-

  • Joggers are better for athletic activities in regular conditions (normal or warm temperatures) because they are lightweight, breathable, and have sweat-wicking characteristics. They are also better for wearing to semi-casual outings.
  • Sweatpants are better for exercising in cold weather as they are thick and warm with limited airflow provisions. But for regular workouts, they might feel too heavy and hot after a while. Sweatpants are good for casual wear and lounging, but might be inappropriate for semi-casual outings, like college or other similar public areas.

Are Joggers Tighter than Sweatpants?

Yes, joggers tend to be tighter compared to sweatpants. That’s because they are more form-fitting and tapered to increase mobility and comfort while running or working out.

However, joggers are not supposed to be tight in general. While they do snuggle around your waist, thighs, knees, and ankles, they should feel like a second skin and not restrict your mobility at all.

If the joggers are feeling too tight or strained against your skin, you might be wearing the wrong size.

Are Sweatpants Athletic Wear?

Yes, sweatpants belong in the athletic wear category. While they do not have the functional features offered by joggers or leggings, they are still used by many people for working out at the gym, especially in colder climates.

That’s because sweatpants tend to be warmer and more comfortable than other kinds of pants. So, they can be pretty good for upper-body exercises, lifting, and other kinds of workouts that do not involve a lot of mobility (as sweatpants are heavier and may tire you easily if you have to run or jump while wearing them).

Are Joggers Considered Athletic Wear?

Yes, joggers are mainly designed to be worn for athletic purposes. As the name suggests, they are meant to keep your body cool, dry, and supported while jogging or running. They can also be worn at the gym for any kind of workout program.

Joggers are lightweight, thin, opaque, and squat-proof. They can be used on a treadmill as well for lifting and lower-body exercises.

As such, joggers are highly versatile and appropriate for all kinds of athletic applications.

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Winding Up

Joggers and sweatpants are two of the most popular clothing items in the activewear category. Apart from being functional and versatile, they are also very comfortable and stylish.

But when pitted against each other, they do have some defining differences. Based on them, you can easily decide which one is more appropriate to fulfil your requirements.