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Ten Thousand Review: Workout Gear Goes Hardcore

Disclosure: We received courtesy product from Ten Thousand in exchange for our honest review only. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

Joe Niehaus
Expertise:

Style, Skincare, EDC, Fitness, Shoes

Joe is world traveler and brand fanatic. He's been writing about physical goods and the founders behind them for over four years. Beyond his work for The Adult Man, he's contributed to The Quality Edit, Business Insider, Men's Health, Travel + Leisure, and more. He's been around the block, taking his goods across the world to countries like China, Spain, Italy, Thailand, Dubai, France, and Mexico. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Feb 23, 2024
14 min read
Ten Thousand Review Up Close on Side of Ten Thousand Durable Shirt in Blue

If you work out a lot, you need gear that can take a beating. But that usually comes with a price. Forget about the “technical” features it may come with—it’s a waste of money having to replace clothing that just doesn’t last or perform.

Ten Thousand puts their gear through Fort Knox-level testing, but is it truly the alpha product it claims to be? Keep reading to find out.

Tech that actually works
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Ten Thousand

Bottom line: Ten Thousand’s durable materials and convenient features justify the premium they charge. Their useful pocket arrangement is one of a kind and their shirts’ anti-odor treatment is surprisingly effective. If you're like me, you may find their shirts to run slightly large, so consider sizing down.

Ratings: The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service
Pros:
  • Convenient pockets that keep objects from bouncing around
  • Silver ion anti-odor treatment actually combats body odor
  • M Easy Care application kept sweat stains from being permanent
  • Flat-lock seams reduce a lot of friction-induced discomfort
Cons:
  • Liner isn’t as supportive as I like
  • Shirts run a tad too big

We’ve all seen the guy at the gym doing sets in a pair of jeans and a polo.

Don’t be that guy.

While you probably have a decent set of workout clothes already, if you’re here, you’re probably looking to take the jump into more advanced gear. Running shorts, muscle tees, training shoes—is all of this specialization needed?

Even if you buy highly technical pieces, how can you be sure they’ll withstand the abuse of a sweaty workout?

Ten Thousand aims to cut the B.S. out of flimsy athletic wear that doesn’t support your entire training regimen. Do they lift the weight of this ambition? I tested the line in the real world to find out.

What Is Ten Thousand?

Keith Nowak and Eugenio Labadie founded Ten Thousand in 2017 with the sole objective of creating an athletic brand that does it all.

Ten Thousand long sleeve shirt grey logo

Fatigued by the bottomless assortments of activewear brands, the duo wanted to condense the wasteful rotation of seasonal, sport-focused styles.

Not only was it all too much, it wasn’t enough, which is why Ten Thousand grounds itself in its athlete-centric purpose. They partner with experienced athletes of all types to improve their offerings, backing up the bulletproof attitude of the brand.

It doesn’t stop at casual workout clothes. Ten Thousand even developed a line of tactical apparel alongside members of the U.S. Special Operations Forces.

Ten Thousand shorts and shirts in packaing laid out

Their reward program also has civilians covered. Each dollar spent earns you a point, which gets you $5 off once you reach 100. Orders over $75 ship for free as well (an item or two will do).

With their origins covered, I went toe-to-toe with Ten Thousand’s product to see if it could keep up with the grueling conditions of my push-pull-legs routine.

Things to Consider Before Buying Training Gear from Ten Thousand

Ten Thousand shirts and shorts poly bags

While Ten Thousand makes athletic apparel that works for most activities, it’s still a good idea to reflect on your individual needs.

If you’re neck-deep in a specific sport, chances are you’ve stockpiled a wardrobe of proven winners that supports your game. Versatility is nice, but sometimes you want the nuance of specialized gear.

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For example, a competitive distance runner that occasionally lifts might not see the value in a longer all-purpose short if they prefer a 3-inch inseam to run in.

Not all of us are workout influencers or Wimbledon competitors. Sometimes it just comes down to needs and cost.

You get what you pay for, and Ten Thousand is no exception. If your existing workout clothes do the job, it may not be worth spending more money on their technically advanced alternatives.

But if you value durability in your workout gear and can afford it, you’re in the right place.

Ten Thousand

Ten Thousand’s durable materials and convenient features justify the premium they charge. Their useful pocket arrangement is one of a kind and their shirts’ anti-odor treatment is surprisingly effective. You might find their shirts to run slightly large, however.

Shop Ten Thousand

Ten Thousand Shorts Review

Interval Short

Ten Thousand short white front

Shorts have always been a sore spot in my closet. My workouts are a mix of cardio and strength training and so I’m always trying to find the perfect in-between. With the Interval Short being Ten Thousand’s general-purpose athletic short, it was an obvious choice.

Ten Thousand maintains a small selection of shorts, but they still give you a few variations within each model of short. I picked up a size medium with a 7-inch inseam and no liner (though you can get a lined version if you want).

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When I first tried them on, the waistband caught my attention first. It’s thick enough to keep it from rolling during crunches, which I really like. I love that Ten Thousand keeps the drawstring out of the way by placing them inside the waistband, too.

Next to doing a face-plant on the sidewalk, there’s nothing more awkward than stuff in your pockets bouncing around while running. I’ve lost my house keys on a run before, so the zippered side pocket keeps me from checking that nothing has escaped.

Ten Thousand short white side

During my last jog, I put my car keys, wallet, and AirPod case inside and they stayed put the entire time. Ten Thousand added a tiny piece of fabric that keeps the zipper flat as well.

The fabric on the Interval Short is an 86% polyester/14% Spandex blend, which is perfectly stretchy for my liking. These shorts are unique in that they feel thinner than most athletic shorts I’ve worn, but they’re just as strong as other high-end pairs that I own. 

If your underwear doesn’t provide enough support during workouts, opt for the version with a liner. I wear polyester underwear so I chose no liner.

Ten Thousand Interval Short tags

Workout shorts are meant to take a lot of abuse, but sometimes a super thin fabric falls apart over time. I need to wait and see how these hold up, but I can’t imagine these shorts will fall apart at the seams because of the tight stitching and zip-up pockets protected with liners.

Replacing dingy gym shorts adds up. Considering how tough these shorts seem to be, I’d say they’re worth the extra bucks. If you prefer a minimalist aesthetic or wear athletic shorts casually, you might not like the large logo on the back of these.

This is a matter of personal preference, but I’d say the Interval Short is a slimmer fit than a basketball short. They hug on the thighs a little bit. I personally like the fit, but if you weigh more they may be a little snug.

Ten Thousand short white back

Overall, the build quality of the fabric and waistband fabric get thumbs up from me. The discreet zippered pocket keeps valuables secure—perfect if your workout covers a lot of ground.

Ten Thousand Interval Short

Overall, the build quality of the fabric and waistband fabric earns the Interval Short a thumbs up from me. The discreet zippered pocket keeps valuables secure—perfect if your workout covers a lot of ground.

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Tactical Short

Ten Thousand short front black

Given its name, the Tactical Short has a lot to prove. Unlike the Interval Short, they developed these bad boys alongside members of the U.S. Special Ops Forces. With that being said, I’m expecting unprecedented build quality.

That’s why I channeled my inner suburban commando to see if these shorts can handle storming enemy lines (the gym’s front door, in my case).

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Ten Thousand designed these to withstand anything, but rucking is one task in particular they highlight. Since these were designed to endure more intense demands, the fabric is more durable than the Interval Short’s fabric.

Ten Thousand Tactical Short tags

I’m not a rucker myself, but I was relieved to find the liner withstood the movement of my workouts, particularly squats and lunges where my legs reach a maximum flex.

Side by side, the fabric of the Tactical Short feels more rugged than the Interval Short.

If you’ve ever explored in a pair of hiking pants, the texture will feel familiar. However, the 20% elastane is pretty flexible.

Compared to the Interval Short, I would say these are the superior all-around short thanks to the 80% nylon makeup. I took my pair to the lake, and unless I was swimming, any water that came in contact with the fabric rolled right off.

My favorite thing about these shorts is the hidden key pocket tucked into the lining. I use this all the time to safely store my keys while at the gym.

The zippered pocket on the Interval Short provides a decent amount of stability, but the specialized phone pocket keeps it from moving at all.

Ten Thousand short black side

If you’re looking for a more covert styling, Ten Thousand toned down the logo on these. Instead of a large printed crosshair, the Tactical Short only has a subtle perforation of the same shape.

I really like this because they have a lot of innovative features, but (at least with the black color) they look like regular shorts and aren’t too flashy.

Ten Thousand Tactical Short

These are my favorite all-around short from Ten Thousand thanks to the 80% nylon makeup. Beyond the water resistance, my favorite thing about these shorts is the hidden key pocket tucked into the lining. It's perfect for safely storing your car keys while you're hitting a workout.

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Ten Thousand Shirts Review

Long Sleeve Versatile Shirt

Ten Thousand shirt grey front

With the amount of motions a workout shirt needs to be suitable for, I knew I had to put the Versatile Shirt through boot camp to see if it’s the generalist it claims to be. It sounds weird, but I love wearing long-sleeve shirts for exercise because they helps my body warm up and release more sweat and toxins.

Here’s the thing about workout shirts: they need to be absolutely kickass to make them worth the price. Most guys wear beater tees knowing they’re going to brave the sweat and friction of a workout.

Knowing the Versatile Shirt flaunts a silver ion anti-odor treatment and 3M Easy Care, I immediately knew this more advanced athleisure apparel.

Ten Thousand long sleeve shirt grey behind logo 1

A basket full of dirty workout clothes can stink up a whole room. The silver ion anti-odor treatment uses the metal’s antimicrobial benefits to kill any unwanted bacteria that permeates B.O.

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Don’t get me wrong, I could definitely smell myself during the grueling 5-miler I tested this shirt in. I smelled the Versatile Shirt the day after and it didn’t reek like my inferior, silver-less tees. Yeah science!

Honestly, I didn’t know what 3M Easy Care was upon receiving this shirt. I know what 3M makes–tape, glue, Post-it notes. But what can it do for military-tested athletic wear?

So here’s the deal: It’s a treatment that keeps fabric from holding onto stains. 

This is a game-changer if your underarms sweat like a hog.

Ten Thousand Versatile Shirt tags

That doesn’t matter as much for a workout shirt. They’re for the gym, not the Paris runways. But this is the Versatile Shirt we’re talking about after all.

I love this quality for gym-induced sweat stains, but it really comes in handy when you want to wear it casually. The minimalist styling makes it an easy wear without being a potential casualty to spilled drinks, though it definitely looks like a workout shirt so it may not be best for hitting the bars.

A minor note I have with the Versatile Shirt is the fit. I ordered a medium like I always do. My arms didn’t fill out the sleeves the way I prefer, giving it a boxier look. If you want a fitted look (think tight Under Armour shirts), consider sizing down.

Ten Thousand long sleeve shirt grey side

Sizing aside, the Versatile Shirt is a solid long-sleeve for inside and outside of the gym. It’s stylish, durable, and as flexible as any athletic shirt should be, though it will cost you, coming in at well over $50 for a shirt.

Ten Thousand Versatile Long Sleeve Shirt

Sizing aside, this is a solid long-sleeve for inside and outside of the gym. It’s stylish, durable, and as flexible as any athletic shirt should be, though it will cost you, coming in at well over $50 for a shirt.

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Durable Shirt

Ten Thousand blue t shirt front view

The Versatile Shirt proved itself to be a solid all-purpose top. However, how does its beefier counterpart the Durable Shirt compare in terms of quality and performance?

Its weight was apparent from the get-go. The feel of the shirt was similar to 100% heavyweight cotton tees I’ve owned before, only smoother and stretchier.

Ten Thousand shirt blue logo

It leans into the fitted aesthetic, making it better for casual use‌ rather than the gym. The fabric is a 65% polyester/35% cotton blend. I normally prefer natural fibers on my shirts, so this was a big plus.

Ten Thousand Durable Shirt tags

I appreciate that Ten Thousand went the extra mile to use flat-lock seams for comfort. Shirts with thick, raised stitching can cause uncomfortable chafing, especially around the armpits. 

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A drawback to the cotton is higher sweat absorption. Compared to the 100% synthetic Versatile Shirt, this held onto more moisture over the course of a gym session. Both shirts didn’t take long to dry, but you might feel the shirt get stickier as you raise the intensity.

I used to work out in regular t-shirts that I retired from my casual wardrobe. I’d burn through them quickly, so I dig the Durable Shirt’s sturdiness. It’s smooth, stretchy, and comfy thanks to flat-lock seams, though it’s a bit sweatier at the gym than 100% synthetic tees.

Ten Thousand shirt blue back

Ultimately, at about double the price as most cotton shirts I’d say you should either go all in with the more expensive and technical Versatile Shirt or just stay with cheaper bulk cotton t-shirts.

Ten Thousand Durable Shirt

I used to work out in regular t-shirts that I retired from my casual wardrobe. I’d burn through them quickly, so I dig the the sturdiness of this purpose-built shirt. It's smooth, stretchy, and comfy thanks to flat-lock seams, though it's a bit sweatier at the gym than 100% synthetic tees.

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What Do Other Reviewers Say About Ten Thousand?

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Sifting through a bunch of reviews, several key points were common across the board.

Customers are all about the soft feel of the gear for workout comfort. The Interval Short is known to be a great all-around option for all different types of workouts.

There’s a snag, though, that I’ve personally faced too. The liner in these shorts tends to lose compression mid-workout, leading to a twisted, shifting experience. But in the grand scheme, Ten Thousand impresses with its durability, feel, and thoughtful tech features.

Ten Thousand Alternatives

Ten Thousand vs lululemon

lululemon commission shorts on model

The major difference between lululemon and Ten Thousand is your use case. Ten Thousand focuses on rugged, athletic durability while lululemon excels in apparel that blends style and performance. lululemon is more “athleisure.”

lululemon’s assortment caters to men and women, giving it a broader appeal over Ten Thousand’s male-centric line. This makes lululemon a preferred choice for men looking to be more everyday fashionable than functional.

lululemon

lululemon activewear is quite pricey, but the style, fit, and features are among the best I’ve ever tried. I definitely recommend lululemon if you want multipurpose clothes that you can wear to the gym and for more casual, relaxed days out, because they’re both functional and stylish.

Shop lululemon Read Our Review

Ten Thousand vs Gymshark

Gymshark crest shorts

Gymshark is a close competitor to Ten Thousand in terms of use case. Gymshark has been making waves among fitness enthusiasts in recent years with their selection of gym t-shirts that caters to various preferences.

They offer slim-fit options like the Legacy T-Shirt and oversized and airy choices like the Essential Oversized T-Shirt. 

If you’re still getting your bearings with the whole exercise thing, Gymshark’s price point might be more appealing as well. Both their shirts and shorts are less than half the cost of Ten Thousand’s–ideal if you’re unsure about maximizing the benefits of Ten Thousand’s technical enhancements.

Gymshark

Gymshark offers solid mid-price gym fits, and I’ve been enjoying every piece I picked up from the brand. The Arrival Shorts are definitely my favorite piece, followed by the Crest Hoodie. I was surprised at how slim the Crest Joggers were, but ultimately I don’t mind. Compared to more expensive brands, Gymshark activewear is less feature-rich, and their prices are lower to reflect that.

Shop Gymshark Read Our Review

Ten Thousand vs Vuori

model wearing vuori workout shorts performing yoga move

You might prefer Vuori over Ten Thousand if sustainability is something you value from a clothing brand.

They offset 100% of their carbon emissions by supporting projects aligned with their values, such as renewable energy and emissions reduction initiatives. 

By choosing Vuori, you can support a brand that is committed to creating a better planet. Though similar to lululemon, Vuori is more stylish than technical, so if you’re looking for hard-core gear Ten Thousand may be the way to go.

Vuori

Vuori’s lineup of performance-wear looks and feels good. Their sizes are on the small side, so if you’re in between, go larger. Their customer service is on-point so you can focus on getting clothes that take you from the gym to the lake to a Sunday stroll.

Shop Vuori Read Our Review

My Thoughts Overall on Ten Thousand

What I Like

  • Functional pocket design that keeps belongings in one place while working out.
  • Silver ion anti-odor treatment that lessens gym-induced odors.
  • Flat-lock seams on the Durable Shirt reduce friction during movement.
  • 3M Easy Care on the Versatile Shirt takes the worry out of permanent stains.
  • Ten Thousand doesn’t skimp out on sturdiness, giving their products a longer life than cheaper options.

What I Don’t Like

  • Liner on the Interval Short doesn’t provide the supportive squeeze I like.
  • Sizing on the Versatile Shirt seems better suited for taller guys.
  • Durable shirt holds on to moisture longer than other athletic tees I’ve worn.

Who Is Ten Thousand For?

Ten Thousand is for the fitness enthusiast who needs more out of their workout apparel. If exercising isn’t a big part of your weekly routine, the higher cost of their clothing might not be worth it, even if it comes with more durability and features.

If the pump is your favorite part of the day, the tough build of their product will serve you for many reps to come. With added odor protection and convenient pockets, fitness junkies will find Ten Thousand’s clothing to be useful in and out of the gym.

The Verdict

Ten Thousand delivers on making high-quality, dependable athletic wear. Partnering with some of the world’s toughest dudes wasn’t all for nothing.

Even if my exercise routine is pretty vanilla, the Tactical Short is my favorite of all the pieces I tested. I’m excited to keep using the liner pocket, and the water-resistant fabric makes them great for outdoor workouts.

Yes, their shorts fall on the pricier side, but they’re not that expensive relative to their competition. If you look at most well known athletic brands, their prices are in the same ballpark. Compared to most of the ones I saw, Ten Thousand had better functionality and features.

Pumping iron in your old t-shirts is a good way to squeeze a little more life out of them. But even if you work out casually, I think you’ll find the Versatile Shirt and Durable Shirt to be a good investment.

It doesn’t hurt to have a nice shirt that is breathable and stretchy. Since they’ll last you longer, you won’t have to worry about frequent replacements either.

Ten Thousand

Ten Thousand’s durable materials and convenient features justify the premium they charge. Their useful pocket arrangement is one of a kind and their shirts’ anti-odor treatment is surprisingly effective. You might find their shirts to run slightly large, however.

Shop Ten Thousand

FAQs

Why are Ten Thousand shorts so expensive?

Ten Thousand’s pricing reflects the quality, durability, and versatility that their product delivers. You can find cheaper options in the market, but they might not offer the same benefits that Ten Thousand integrates.

Are Ten Thousand shorts made in China?

No, the Interval Short is made in Colombia and the Tactical Short is made in Vietnam.

How do ten thousand shirts fit?

Ten Thousand’s shirts fit comfortably and are ideal for taller guys. It’s breathable and lightweight, but not the most lightweight option on the market. For skinnier individuals, their shirts might have a boxier appearance.