12 Best Workout Leggings Perfect for Any Type of Exercise: It can be more tiring to look for the right pants than to actually work out. It’s very hard to find a pair that looks good, doesn’t rub, doesn’t hurt, wicks away sweat, stays in place during exercise, and doesn’t need to be washed over and over again.
That’s why 150 people from the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab tried out 36 different pairs of workout pants to find the best ones that are made to last.
12 Best Workout Leggings Perfect for Any Type of Exercise
Because you need a workout legging that can do everything, we tried loungewear-friendly pairs, yoga pants, and tighter options (including some that are sold on Amazon). For every kind of workout, from running to yoga to boxing to Pilates to just running errands, we found the best styles.
Before making these suggestions, we looked at how long each pair would last, how well it would wick away moisture, how opaque it was, how the seams were made, how well they breathed, how well the belt would stay in place, and more.
You can read more about our top picks and how we test them at the end of this article. There are also shopping tips at the end to help you find the right pair of leggings. To get the best gym fit, wear your new pants with a well-reviewed sports bra and comfy workout shoes.
Lululemon Wunder Train High-Rise Tight
The smooth, compressive outside of these Lululemon pants helps support you while you do hard, high-impact exercises like CrossFit or running. There is a hidden drawcord in the waistband that keeps these pants in place properly. “The leggings stayed in place when I bent over and moved around,” said one tester.
You can get them in 13 different colors, including reds, blues, and greens, and with inseams that are 23, 25, 28, or 31 inches. The version of these pants with pockets is better if you like having your phone and other important things close at hand, but keep in mind that they cost more.
Colorfulkoala High Waisted Workout Leggings 7/8 Length
Other types that cost four times as much did not work as well as these Colorfulkoala leggings. This is a great choice for low-impact workouts because the soft polyester/spandex cloth gives you comfortable compression.
The cloth kept its shape after being stretched in the lab and looked great after every workout, but it didn’t do a great job of keeping moisture out and wasn’t completely opaque.
IUGA High Waist Workout Pants
There are more than 55,000 reviews of these stretchy pants on Amazon, and most of them give them 4.6 stars. Plus, each pair only costs about $20. The brand says these are great for a lot of different workouts, like yoga, running, pulling weights, and more, but we haven’t tried them yet in the Lab.
Online reviews really like that it has two large side pockets and a comfortable fit that makes it great for both working out and relaxing. Some users have said that it doesn’t give them as much control over their stomachs as they thought it would. Still, they say these are soft and comfortable and say they’re not see-through.
Gymshark Adapt Fleck Seamless Leggings
These seamless leggings from Gymshark’s Adapt line have a high-waisted, ribbed waistband that will stay in place. They are made for lifting. Because they don’t have a front crotch seam like most pants do, this pair keeps you from cameltoeing or digging in while you do RDLs or squats.
Take note that this pair only comes in one length (30.6 inches), which some testers thought was “a tad long.”
Under Armour HeatGear Pocketed Leggings
The ultra-smooth fabric in these pants wicks away sweat and reduces friction, making them great for workouts where you move around a lot and sweat.
They also hold your feet together better than many other pairs, which can help when your muscles are tired. They also have flat pockets in case you need to carry something with you while you’re out and about.
Champion Soft Touch 7/8 Workout Leggings
The double-brushed polyester/spandex fabric in these Champion pants keeps you warm while you move. They’re great for working out in cold weather or just relaxing at home. With an inseam of 25 inches, these pants can be worn in a variety of ways. They also have a secret pocket in the waistband for keys.
CW-X Stabilyx Compression Capri
Before, during, and after workouts, compression tights can help improve blood flow, keep muscles from getting tired, and keep them from straining. People who rate clothes online, especially those who have knee problems, love these capris.
Alo Yoga 7/8 High-Waist Airlift Legging
This pair of Alo Yoga pants is trendy for both working out and everyday wear because they have a bit of sheen to them. The smooth material is light, so it’s easy to carry around while you work out.
One tester said they were “very comfortable for everyday loungewear and almost any workout,” and another said, “The shiny material made my legs look long and lean.” This pair comes in 21 colors right now, which we love because most pants only come in darker, more neutral colors.
Lululemon Align Pant
The good news is that you don’t have to take these yoga pants off. You can wear them around the house and still feel good, and they work well for sports.
The fabric is very light and smooth, and the pants fit a lot of different body types without digging in or rolling at the waist.
Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket II Tight
This Athleta pair has a tight fit that studio regulars will love. The brand’s signature Powervita nylon/lycra fabric is the perfect mix of soft and smooth, making it great for yoga, Pilates, and barre classes. These pants come in both tall and small sizes and have two large side pockets.
OFFLINE By Aerie Real Me High Waisted Crossover Legging
Everyone wears tights as pants sometimes, so choose a pair that is really comfortable. Styles made for intense workouts that are too tight or compressive will be uncomfortable when you’re just resting.
It was tested and found that these Aerie pants are very comfortable for lounging because they are “super soft” and “comfy fit.” One tester loved the crossover belt and said, “They look great on everyone because they make the waist stand out.”
Girlfriend Compressive High-Rise Legging
The fabric for these Girlfriend leggings comes from about 25 plastic bottles per pair, which is good for the earth. The thicker material gives them a snug fit that’s great for sports with a lot of impact.
One tester even said they were “more comfortable than my other leggings.” The cloth pilled a little in the lab, but it kept its shape during tests of stretch recovery and after being washed a lot. But keep in mind that you can only hang dry these.
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