Western Rise Review: A New Take on Athleisure?

Western Rise review

These days, men’s athleisure brands seem to be cropping up faster than watch microbrands and celebrity liquors.

Western Rise’s focus is to build a catalog that will help you own fewer garments that you can do more with. They sell clothes for traveling, working out, and everyday wear.

I tried on a few pieces from Western Rise to see if they deliver this promise. In this review, I break down everything, including style, construction, and fabrics. I also share my thoughts on what situations each piece will or won’t work for and my recommendations.

About the Brand

Western Rise was started by husband-and-wife team, Will and Kelly Watters, in Colorado. The two former Vail outdoor guides wanted to focus on neutral and trend-resistant athleisure wear that could be worn in a variety of situations.

Western Rise logo

Basically, their focus was the classic from-brunch-to-the-trails needs of active, outdoorsy people.

They manufacture in small batches and use sustainable materials, each designed to solve particular problems.

For example, they use a woven canvas for their bottoms specifically built for durability and stain resistance with 97% nylon and a touch of spandex. This material is also Bluesign certified for environmental safety.

Their merino wool and polyester tops are made for odor neutralization and moisture wicking.

Western Rise’s catalog includes a range of pants, tops, outerwear, and accessories.

My Build

For reference, I’m 5’6” in shoes and about 125 lbs after dinner. I have a 35” chest and almost always order XS tops.

My off-the-rack suit jacket size would be 34S, and my ideal pant size is usually 28×28.

What I Tried

I went for a diverse curation of pieces here: The Diversion Pant, Spectrum Jogger, Session Tee, and the Merino Boxer Brief.

Diversion Pant

The Diversion Pant is made from that same nylon spandex combo I previously mentioned and is meant to take the place of uncomfortable work pants. It’s built to be water-resistant and breathable, with four-way stretch.

Western Rise Diversion Pant
Western Rise Diversion Pant

I can say right off the bat that the Diversion Pant fully nails it on basically every front. I’m definitely a fan.

Design and Construction

Despite how comfortable it is, the fabric doesn’t look like performance wear and has a brushed twill aesthetic. It’s more like denim, lacking the kind of shine you’d see on a tech pant.

Western Rise Diversion Pants fit

It’s strong, thick, and stretchy, which makes it effective for everyday casual use. It’s also great for travel since it’s durable enough to handle the rush of the airport or train station and can be styled like a fitted pair of jeans.

I’ve definitely subjected this guy to some accidental spillage, and I can say the water resistance factor is top-notch.

Fit and Sizing

This five-pocket pant fits more like jeans, rather than chinos, and is essentially the same as Lululemon’s ABC pant.

Western Rise Diversion Pant fit

I ordered it in a size 30, which I believe was the smallest size at the time though it looks like there’s a 28 available on the website now.

The 30 fit me really well though. It’s fitted and complementary in the thigh area, though the waist was a tad loose. This is mostly inconsequential, easily fixed with a belt, or if you’re so inclined, a bit of tailoring.

Diversion Pant length
Western Rise Diversion Pant

Plus, this problem is common in off-the-rack pieces for me since everyone has a different hip-to-thigh ratio. Also, the inseams were a bit long but the pants are easily cuffable.

If your sizing is similar to mine, you might try ordering the 28 and the 30 and just return one based on whether you prefer a looser waist or a looser thigh. Fortunately, Western Rise offers free returns and exchanges (good thing too, since they’re 100% online).

Spectrum Jogger

The Spectrum Jogger is meant to be both a performance tech pant and an office-friendly bottom.

Design and Construction

Immediately, I don’t actually think this jogger is professional enough even for a casual Friday unless you work in a really laid-back start-up-type environment. That aside, it’s a competent and stylish jogger if you can find a good fit.

Western Rise joggers zip pocket
Western Rise Spectrum Jogger

It’s made with a warp-knit fabric, which basically means the textile is knitted at a continual, consistent width, which makes the pant stretchy and soft (like a knit fabric) but durable enough for workouts (like a woven fabric).

It’s a nice material that does everything you expect from a technical jogger: Comfortable with loads of mobility and stretch, and convenient zip pockets in the front and back.

You can wear these pants at the gym, while running outdoors, or even as a travel or camping pant.

Spectrum Jogger back pocket

It’s too athletic for the office, but it’s definitely clean-lined enough to be part of a super casual outfit in public.

Fit and Sizing

Now going back to the sizing, I got mine in a small, which simply didn’t fit that well.

Western Rise Spectrum Jogger fit

I really had to crank the drawstring on it, and the supposed 29-inch inseam is more like a 34 — at least. They were also way too long for me.

Spectrum Jogger drawstring

It’s a shame they don’t make an extra small because other than the ill-fit, these are great joggers.

Spectrum Joggers length
Western Rise Spectrum Jogger

That being the case, I gave them to my brother, who is 5’8” and 155 lbs. He absolutely loved them.

Session Tee

The Session Tee is overall well-designed, and at the risk of sounding cliche, it does a good job of combining function with style.

Design and Construction

For a simple shirt, the Session Tee has great details. The split gusset, for example, makes it more fortified and easy to move in but also gives it a pretty cool look.

Western Rise tshirt
Western Rise Session Tee

Also, the back is longer than the front. I always like when designers do this with workout shirts because there are some lifts I do that I prefer to keep my shirt tucked in and out of the way.

The longer back ensures the shirt stays tucked when I’m doing exercises that require bending down or over.

Western Rise Session Tee details

This shirt has a nice construction to it that’s like a soft, comfortable mesh, but with some weight to it. It’s way too athletic to wear with jeans or chinos, so I’d reserve the Session Tee for the gym or for general athletic purposes.

Fit and Sizing

I ordered the size small, which like the Spectrum Jogger, is just way too big for me. It’s also 100% polyester so it doesn’t shrink. That being the case, I can’t really recommend this to men that are similarly sized to me.

Western Rise Session Tee fit
Western Rise Session Tee

Size aside, it is a good shirt though. I also gave this shirt to my taller brother who, again, absolutely loved it.

Merino Boxer Brief

Note: It looks like Western Rise has discontinued the Merino Boxer Brief.

So, this will be pretty quick. The Merino Boxer Brief is okay.

My biggest complaint is that the waistband immediately felt pretty loose, flimsy even. I can’t imagine this will last a few washes.

Western Rise boxer briefs
Western Merino Boxer Brief

I’ll give them credit for using merino, which naturally moves sweat and moisture away from your skin though. This effectively makes it actual athleisure underwear since it keeps you from feeling clammy after the gym.

Still, there are so many brands out there that focus solely on underwear so, naturally, they tend to do underwear better. Their laser focus allows them to consider super-nuanced needs.

I’d recommend checking out our round-up of boxer briefs for some worthwhile options.


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