It used to be that we saw very little of athletes outside of their play on the field, court, or rink. One can only imagine what kind of exploits would’ve been exposed if Michael Jordan or Babe Ruth played in the age of social media. But today’s athletes are much more comfortable sharing certain aspects of their private lives, especially on Instagram.
That includes their fashion choices. Certain athletes treat Instagram like a runway show, revealing their pre- and post-game looks. And you just know there’s an unspoken competition going on amongst these guys to see who can stunt the hardest.
To add fuel to the fire, we rounded up the most stylish athletes on Instagram and ranked them from 1-10.
1. DAVID BECKHAM
Beckham only posted his first Instagram photo earlier this month, but his style bonafides were already well established beforehand. Beckham excels at that relaxed city meets countryside vibe that Brits seem to pull off so effortlessly. But the soccer star also cleans up well when a suit is required.
2. RUSSELL WESTBROOK
Westbrook’s fashion sense is best summed up with the hashtags he uses for his style posts, such as #fashionking, #donthateonthebrodie, and #whynot. The Oklahoma City Guard is definitely not afraid to take some style risks—such as a black jumpsuit that was part goth, part Hazmat cleanup crew—and most of them pay off.
3. VICTOR CRUZ
We already knew that the New York Giants wide receiver had an impressive sneaker collection, but Cruz’s style is about much more than just kicks. Cruz is partial to elevated streetwear brands like A Bathing Ape, Kith, and Aime Leon Dore and is able to combine them with more refined fashion pieces in a way that doesn’t seem the least bit forced.
4. LEBRON JAMES
King James rules the fashion game as well and uses his Instagram account to showcase some of his more fashion-forward choices. LeBron coined the #KickGameCray hashtag to promote the tons of exclusive Nike sneakers the Swoosh spokesman receives. He also shows off his more polished looks—like rocking a suit with a striped crewneck sweater and matching beanie or a chambray shirt layered over a henley—that stand out without being flashy.
5. MATT KEMP
Baseball players aren’t traditionally known for their physiques or their style sense. Legend has it that Braves pitcher John Smoltz once tried to iron a shirt while it was still on. But Kemp defies both stereotypes. The San Diego Padres outfielder has an impressive physique on which he drapes modern silhouettes. Kemp favors buttoning his shirts all the way up for a sleek look and isn’t afraid to take chances like wearing a three-piece suit without the jacket.
6. CRISTIANO RONALDO
The Real Madrid striker posts more pics of himself in his underwear than most guys would care to see. But it’s hard to knock Ronaldo’s style when he’s more clothed. What more would you expect from a guy who’s won an award called the Golden Boot? Whether he’s in a slim suit or the latest Nike Sportwear gear, Ronaldo makes it all look good.
7. NICK YOUNG
A nickname like Swaggy P is a lot to live up to, and Young isn’t shy about doing so. The Los Angeles Lakers star moves effortlessly between styles, ranging from grunge-y flannels to a black bomber jacket with black jeans look that oozes downtown cool to a buttoned-up suit. His style has been featured in fashion magazines and was enough to attract girlfriend Iggy Azalea so something must be working.
8. HENRIK LNDQVIST
When he’s on the ice, the New York Rangers goalie is covered in so much equipment he’s practically invisible. Off the ice, he is tough to miss. Lundqvist was born in Sweden and has played his entire career in New York, so he is able to blend influences from two of the world’s style meccas. He wears a suit very well, and sports a tie in almost all of his Insta pics, but he can pull off a leather jacket over a T-shirt with equal aplomb.
9. ODELL BECKHAM JR
Victor Cruz has some serious competition in the style department from his own teammate and fellow wide receiver Beckham. At the Met Ball recently, Beckham stepped out in a tuxedo with a purple velvet jacket and managed to make it look suave. He’s also got a pretty loud sneaker collection that a guy with less confidence would have a tough time pulling off.
10. NACHO FIGUERAS
For the sake of this story, we’re calling polo a sport, because it would be a shame to leave Figueras off this list. He is not only a polo player, he is a Polo model. You’ll probably recognize him more for the latter. Off the horse, Figueras is usually wearing either an impeccably tailored Ralph Lauren suit or a simple jeans-and-T-shirt outfit.