A modern-day wardrobe staple, leggings are perfect for spin class, running errands, and — admit it — spending an afternoon watching an entire Netflix series on the couch. The versatility of the best workout leggings is what makes them the perfect investment. You can stroll from pilates class to brunch in the same comfortable leggings without lugging around extra gear.
But not all leggings are created equal, and their popularity is what makes it so difficult to find the right pair. As the athleisure market continues to grow, it provides consumers with even more options and drives down prices. This might sound like a win for shoppers everywhere, but it can actually make it harder to differentiate between features and figure out which fit and fabric is right for you.
It's also easy to forget the different factors that should go into picking the perfect pair of workout leggings. Shoppers should think about the activity they want to do in the leggings. If you're looking for leggings to cycle in, reflective strips are essential, while yogis will appreciate a pair with extra-stretchy fabric.
With so many different things to think about, shopping for the best workout leggings can become a daunting task. Luckily, I did most of the work for you and compiled eight of the most versatile and highly-rated leggings from across the web. So whether you want to find the best double-lined pants for winter runs or a pair of padded tights for 20-mile bike rides, here's a guide to finding your perfect pick.
1. An Everyday Legging With Thousands Of Positive Reviews
Available in 35 different styles, these versatile leggings — which have over five thousand reviews on Amazon — were made to suit any and every activity, from running to Pilates to brunch. Their design includes a gusset crotch, four-way stretch, moisture-wicking material, and interlocking seams that reduce irritation and chafing.
2. A High-Waisted Pant That Isn't See Through
When you're trying to hit a new goal, the last thing you want to worry about mid-squat is if your leggings are see-through. That's why these high-rise Lululemon leggings, made with Lycra fiber that gives a "second-skin" effect, are a great option for pants-stretching exercises like weight-lifting. The tight fit hugs your body while still offering breathability, and they come in an assortment of colors, from neutral hues to vibrant pinks and greens. Best of all, Lululemon offers free tailoring on any of their pants, in case they're too long.
3. An Anti-Chafe Capri Designed For Indoor Studio Workouts
Yogareflex focused on constructing the best fabric for indoor studio workouts while creating their signature CLEX-P220 textile. Made of a blend of spandex and polyester, these yoga capris offer superior stretch and recovery, a close fit that moves with the body, and flat-lock seams that won't cause chaffing. One Amazon reviewer pointed out a nifty hidden feature, raving "Love these pants! They are soft, comfy, and fit great. I have some workout clothes that slip down or ride up and these stay in place. They even have a little pocket where I can place my gym card, iPod or iPhone while working out."
4. A Pair Of Cycling Tights With A Padded Cushion And Reflective Strips
Cyclists know the importance of good workout gear, and these leggings, created with long treks in mind, are sure to please avid bikers. With a built-in 3-D padded cushion made out of lightweight foam, these cycling tights cushion hipbones and protect from injury. Made out of high-quality nylon to increase durability, these leggings also have reflective strips to keep visible and safe during night rides. They're cut so the back waistband sits higher than the front to prevent roll-down — another feature cyclists will surely love.
5. An Affordable Yoga Capri With A Hidden Pocket
Oalka's power flex leggings have an interlocked seam to stop chafing, sweat-wicking technology to keep skin dry, and a four-way stretch fabric to lock pants comfortably in place. With a high-rise waistband and hidden pocket, these capris, which are great for yoga, running, and everything in-between, offer everything you need at a great price.
6. An Opaque Compression Pant With An Ultra-High Waist
These high-waisted leggings have a 7-inch compression panel that hugs the stomach for a no-slip waistband. Constructed with high-quality nylon and spandex, these CodeFit leggings were made with squats in mind — the thick but stretchy fabric stays opaque, no matter what position you're bending your body in.
7. A Stretchy Compression Pant That Promotes Joint And Muscle Recovery
Made from a breathable material blend, these Active Research compression pants provide joint and muscle support while fighting moisture, odor, and bacteria. They also increase blood circulation to help the lower half of your body recover faster, making them a great option for people who struggle with arthritis, shin splints, tendinitis, and similar problems.
8. A Heavy Duty Legging That's Perfect For Winter Workouts
With winter just around the corner, it's time to invest in athletic wear that'll keep you warm in chilly conditions. Luckily, Under Armor's Dual-Layer construction is made for winter workouts. These moisture-wicking leggings use a fast-drying exterior and heat-trapping interior to keep the body dry and warm throughout sweat sessions. The "second-skin fit" is also ideal for running and other rigorous activities because it uses compression to increase circulation and prevent lactic acid buildup.
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