Long before the first Nike prototypes sizzled on a waffle iron, Oregon made clothes designed for action. (The Pendleton shirt was just workout wear for ranchers and fishermen.) Today, the Portland-rooted “activewear and outdoors” industry pays more than 14,000 Oregonians about $1.5 billion in annual wages. The business includes megaliths like Nike, Adidas, and Columbia as well as start-ups like RYU—and links the city to global commerce and creativity like almost nothing else. Turn the page for a closer look.


Portland-made activewear shirts
Image: Josh Ross

(1)  Nike Sport Pocket women’s golf polo, $65

The zippy 100-percent-poly number incorporates the Swoosh’s DriFit wicking technology with a sporty, mod design. 

The best thing   A four-button collar allows for different looks depending on whether the wind is whipping or sun shining. 

Take it out   By joining the women’s club at Heron Lakes, the highly regarded two-course club tucked in North Portland. 

(2)  Adidas Supernova running shirt for women, $40  

This new line from the Three Stripes emphasizes hot, bright colors and strategically located “sweat zones” aerated by lightweight mesh. 

THE BEST THING   A zip pocket with a router for headphone cords. 

TAKE IT OUT  On Forest Park’s six-mile Maple Trail Loop. 

(3)  Rapha short-sleeve merino jersey for women, $165

This 100-percent-wool, midweight pullover is cute enough for a casual cruise to the espresso shop, but brawny enough to fend off Portland’s spring gusts. 

THE BEST THING  A back-hip pocket just big enough for cash and cards, with an optional hot-pink “Rapha” tag if you want to parade brand loyalty. 

TAKE IT OUT   On the 12-mile Sauvie Island loop that is a Portland cyclist’s rite of spring. 

(4)  Columbia’s OmniFreeze zero running shirt for women, $55 

Columbia’s new “sweat-activated” fabric technology, OmniFreeze, is a potentially key addition to a runner’s arsenal, especially in schizoid Portland spring. Tiny polymer rings embedded in the fabric swell when exposed to moisture, increasing ventilation as your body heats up.

THE BEST THING  Fits well—but chafe-free.

TAKE IT OUT  For the ambitious, there’s the Portland Marathon’s 16-week advanced clinic. For the rest of us, there’s always the Eastbank Esplanade.