Avid gym-goers know that you're only as good as your equipment — and durable workout leggings are a key part of any exercise buff's arsenal. CrossFit workouts are intense and the best leggings for CrossFit are made from moisture-wicking, stretchy materials that are thick and opaque enough to be squat-proof. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for the best leggings for your next workout.
Most workout leggings are made of some combination of polyester and spandex — but how they're made and the features that are added to the materials make a huge difference when you're relying on them to power you through your challenging CrossFit workouts.
- Moisture-Wicking Properties: Leggings with this technology are usually made with wicking polyester, which moves water away from the skin to keep you feeling dry, and ultimately less weighed down since you won't have sweat bogging you down.
- Stretchiness: The perfect workout leggings feel like a second skin and allow you to move freely. Look for pairs with four-way stretch and a higher percentage of spandex that allow you to move in all directions with ease.
- Seams: Seamless leggings can prevent chafing since your skin will not rub up against seams as you jump, run, and lift. Leggings with flatlock seams are also great for reducing chafing and making you feel more comfortable during workouts.
I've included pairs of leggings below that are cropped and long, depending on your preference, as well as pants at all price points. And the cherry on top: each pair transitions from the gym to a lunch date or a chill day at home.
1. These Seamless High-Waisted Leggings
If you love a high waistband and seamless design that won't chafe, these are the leggings for you. They are made from a polyester, nylon, and elastane material with "DRY" technology to wick away moisture as you work hard. They feature a ribbed waistband, that offers support without being restrictive, and come with a shading pattern that provides a contour effect. The brand mentions that they are 70% squat-proof, depending on the color (you can choose from 27 shades that range from dark indigo and black to lighter hues like pink and smokey grey). These were not designed specifically with four-way stretch, but their stretchiness is mentioned countless times in reviews (and there are many glowing reviews! Think: 2,000+ on Amazon).
Helpful Review: "These are HANDS DOWN THE BEST pants I’ve ever purchased for the gym. They are true to size. They are thick enough that they’re squat proof, no camel toe, enough compression that I can still breathe without feeling like I’m wearing leather pants or wet jeans but enough to wear I feel that it does hold me in [...] One month later. I wash on regular/cold and air dry them. No issues with seams or stitching. I wear them ~ twice per week. Still in love with them. My new favorite pair of leggings."
- Available Sizes: XS-XL
- Available Colors: 27
2. A Cropped Pair With Deep Pockets
These sweat-proof leggings are cropped to mid-calf and are made from stretchy, moisture-wicking polyester and spandex blend. Plus, they have a cult following with more than 21,000 reviews on Amazon, with many shoppers raving about how they dry quickly during sweaty workouts, so you can leave the gym and head out to run errands without having to change. The four-way stretch fabric is described as opaque, with two roomy pockets on the legs, which are spacious enough to hold your smartphone. The waistband is wide and high, keeping these leggings in place through each grinding workout. They're available in more than 30 colors and are designed with a gusseted crotch that helps you move more easily, as well as a flat-lock seam to minimize friction and chafing.
Helpful Review: “I’ve been buying leggings for years and these are one of the best that I’ve come across. They’re not too loose and not too tight. The material is soft and hugs my body comfortably. The fit is great and they’re not sheer at all. I bought them in black and trust me they look better in real life! They’re a little thicker than what i’m used to be I like it. My fav part? The pocket. I can finally workout without having to worry about my phone! I was worried that they might slip out at first but the pockets are deep enough so that thats not a problem. I just slip my phone in and forget about it."
- Available Sizes: XS-3XL
- Available Colors: 30+
3. And A Super Stretchy Longer Pair With Pockets
Similar to my last pick, these high-waisted leggings feature two deep side pockets that are large enough to hold your phone, but they're cut to the ankle in case you prefer full coverage. Another thing that sets them apart from the other picks on this list is that they're made from a blend of moisture-wicking polyester and a whopping 24% spandex blend, which is about 10% more stretch than similar leggings, making these an excellent choice if your workout requires major flexibility. They have four-way stretch, a gusseted crotch, and interlocked fabric, which means it is double knit to provide a more opaque material that's squat-proof. These leggings have earned more than 3,000 reviews and come in 12 shades, including a space dye pattern.
Helpful Review: "In general, 90 Degree has been a reliable brand for me and is becoming a go-to for workout leggings.This particular pair is great because of the side pockets that can hold a cell phone (yes, even a larger phone -- as cell phones continue to get bigger & bigger!). Having TWO side pockets is nice for stashing a key or card while out on a walk or jog as well.The fabric is on the thinner side for this brand, so they won't make you sweat terribly and do a good job wicking. I found them comfortable for around-the-house and working out."
- Available Sizes: XS-1X
- Available Colors: 12
4. These Opaque Capris With Compression & UV Protection
These compression leggings can help you recover after a tough workout. They're made with a thick, durable polyester and 20% spandex blend with patented technology that supports your joints, Coolmax fabric for faster moisture wicking, and UPF 50+, just in case you take your workouts outdoors. They also have a drawstring closure at the waist to provide a snug fit that makes them squat-proof, a gusseted crotch liner, and reviewers confirm they have smooth seams and are opaque. Reviewers also say these leggings truly excel when you are running and engaging in other cardio activities that can be hard on the joints, making them perfect for CrossFit's high-intensity movements.
Helpful Review: “Love these capris. They are definitely compression tights, which is great for providing support and helping my knees. [...] These are thick enough to protect my skin when I took a pretty hard fall on a bumpy sidewalk. Hands and elbows scraped and bleeding but my knee only got a bruise, the fabric didn't rip even though I could see the dirt skids. My knees felt protected and supported through fall and rest of the run. Definitely recommend these tights."
- Available Sizes: XS-XL
- Available Colors: 6
5. A Premium Pair That's Worth The Price
These Lululemon weightlifting leggings are pricey, but reviewers say the quality can't be beat. They're designed with the company's trademark Luon fabric, a moisture-wicking blend of nylon and a high 31% Lycra that has four-way stretch. Many reviewers say they were hesitant to spend the money, but after trying out this pair, they felt the price was justified because these stand the test of time, wash after wash. These leggings do not have an outer seam, allowing for frictionless movement. The inseam is the only stitching, which cuts down on chafing. This highly rated pair has a high waistband, comes in eight colors (one pair is designed with cooling mesh cut-outs on the backs of the legs), and features a small hidden pocket at the waistband where you can fit keys or cards.
Helpful Review: "As the owner of many virtually indistinguishable pairs of high-performance opaque black leggings, I was secretly hoping I would not be able to tell the difference between these and some of the slightly cheaper pairs I own. But they are the best leggings I've ever worn or purchased [...] Unlike all the brands listed above, these have NO seams on the outer leg (just inseam) [...] Very soft, cotton-like feel to the touch."
- Available Sizes: 0-12
- Available Colors: 8