Discover The Ultimate Leggings Guide

Quality workout leggings are essential for any active wardrobe, offering both performance during exercise and comfort for everyday wear. Whether hitting the gym or lounging at home, versatile activewear is a must-have. We tested rigorously to pick top-quality leggings for comfort, fit, and style, so you’ll always feel great. Great workout leggings are a must-have: perfect for exercise and comfy for everyday wear.

Versatile activewear is crucial, offering support and comfort whether you’re on the move or relaxing at home. We tested extensively to find the best workout leggings for fabric, fit, performance, and style, so you feel great.

We’ve curated a selection of best workout leggings to suit every need: from flattering all-purpose options to indulgent comfort picks, budget-friendly styles with pockets, lightweight layers perfect for everyday wear, high-performance basics with a luxurious touch, and supportive leggings exclusively for plus-size individuals.

Elevate Your Closet with the Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging: Versatile and Flattering best workout leggings

Explore the Ideal Size and Fit: Nearly all our testers loved the flattering design and structured fit of the Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Legging. Our panel included four people: one petite tester, one plus-size tester, and two tall testers of varying sizes.

These leggings are available in sizes XXS to 6XL and three lengths: 19½ inches, 23¾ inches, and 28½ inches. Despite having more seams, they create a flattering shape. Made from thick, smooth fabric, they offer a cool feel and snug fit.

Why They Stand Out: These leggings are versatile, fitting for any activity or daily wear. With various sizes and colors, they suit different preferences. Crafted from medium-weight fabric, they offer both stretchiness and compression for comfort. True to size, they provide a snug fit without feeling tight. Girlfriend Collective’s Compressive High-Rise leggings offer a structured fit with flattering seams, enhancing the posterior. Available in various sizes and lengths, praised by testers.

Areas for Improvement: While the Compressive High-Rise leggings offer excellent breathability, their substantial fabric may lead to warmth in certain situations. Also, a tester noticed this pair’s waistband had less stretch, which made them a bit harder to pull on.

The best workout leggings feature a single internal back pocket, but it may not fit a phone or wallet comfortably. For more space, try Girlfriend Collective’s Compressive Pocket Legging. However, one Baharlivings team member found her phone slipped while jogging.

Sizes: XXS to 6XL (consult the size chart on the brand’s website for precise measurements based on waist and hip)
Inseam Lengths: 19½ inches, 23¾ inches, or 28½ inches
Material Composition: 79% recycled polyester, 21% spandex
Available Colors: black, brown, ivory, navy, green, purple, and exclusive limited-edition shades

Explore the Ideal Size and Fit: The Beyond Yoga Spacedye Caught In The Midi High Waisted Legging features a stretchy, comfy design with gentle compression. Our diverse panel of testers, ranging from petite to plus-size, unanimously praised these leggings for their comfort and forgettable wear. These leggings come in sizes XXS to 4X and have a versatile 24-inch inseam, made from super-soft fabric.

Why They Stand Out: These leggings offer unparalleled comfort, described by our testers as akin to wearing a second skin. Renowned for their softness and luxurious feel, these leggings are a must-have addition to your wardrobe. Made from a fabric softer than suede, these leggings offer a seamless, body-conscious silhouette with light compression for comfort.

These leggings excel in comfort and support during workouts. The breathable fabric keeps you cool and focused. The unique heathered look stands out among traditional black leggings. Available in various colors and sizes up to 4XL. However, they only come in Midi length and are priced at nearly $100.

Areas for Improvement: The Spacedye leggings offer a body-hugging silhouette for a sleek look. With minimal seaming, they provide a snug fit. Lighter colors may highlight imperfections. One tester felt they were too tight, but others found them perfect. The Midi length may not suit taller individuals, and they lack a pocket.

Size Range: XXS (0–2) to XXL (18–20), 1X (18–20) to 4X (30–32). Beyond Yoga’s size chart indicates some overlap for sizes 18–20.
Inseam: Midi length (between capri and full length)
Materials: 87% polyester, 13% spandex
Colors: Six core colors are available for sizes XXS to XL and four core colors for sizes XXL to 4X (including black, black/charcoal, and navy), plus nine seasonal colors for sizes XXS to XL and four seasonal colors for sizes XXL to 4X.

Explore the Ideal Size and Fit: The IUGA High-Waist Yoga Pants provide gentle compression and ample support with soft, medium-thick fabric for a delightful feel. In sizes XS to 3X, our testers generally found them comfy, though some had minor issues like waistband digging. Our panel included four people: one petite size 4, one plus-size size 16–18, and two tall sizes.

Why They Stand Out: With an affordable price and over 50,000 reviews on Amazon, these leggings are a top choice. Made from soft, durable fabric, they offer gentle compression and reliable support. Convenient side-drop pockets fit essentials like an iPhone easily. Petite testers loved the perfect fit of the High-Waist Yoga Pants. Notably comfortable with a flattering silhouette, they’re a practical choice for daily wear.

These versatile leggings, though labeled as ‘yoga pants,’ are great for various workouts. The secure waistband holds up well during activities. They also dry quickly after unexpected rain. A BaharLivings team member confirms their durability during weightlifting sessions, with no signs of wear.

Areas for Improvement: An XXL tester had issues with tightness in the 1-inch elastic waistband, while an XS tester found the size chart confusing. Some noted fabric stretching over time, but after 10 washes, our leggings maintain elasticity. However, a team member received a ribbed variation instead of the expected High Waist leggings, finding them lacking in support.

Available Sizes: XS to 3X
Inseam Length: Approximately 28 inches (may vary by size)
Fabric Composition: 77% polyester, 23% spandex
Color Options: 27 shades, featuring classics like black and gray, as well as hues like dark teal and maroon

Explore the Ideal Size and Fit: Soft, Stretchy, and Versatile: Universal Standard Next-to-Naked Legging (formerly Core Legging). Made of smooth, stretchy fabric, the Universal Standard Next-to-Naked Legging offers lightweight comfort and gentle support. Our testers found the waistband comfortable, ensuring a snug fit without any pinching.

Our diverse panel, ranging from petite to plus-size, unanimously appreciated its comfort and fit. Universal Standard provides a wide size range, from 4XS (00–0) to 4XL (38–40), with a standard length of 27½ inches.

Why They Stand Out: These leggings excel in both workouts and daily wear, praised for their lightweight yet durable fabric and comfortable stretch. Despite some sweat marks after cycling, they dry quickly and feature a comfy, no-pinch waistband. Made from cool, smooth fabric with a matte look, they offer versatile style perfect for various occasions.

They provide a softer, less supportive feel than some options, ideal for everyday wear and lounging. Despite their lightweight nature, they offer adequate coverage and stay opaque. The waistband, reinforced by an inch-wide band, stays in place without rolling or flipping down. Available in a wide range of sizes and colors, they remain a favorite for lower-key recovery days, offering comfort for summer wear and everyday activities.

Areas for Improvement: The Next-to-Nakeds offer more stretch and less compression compared to our other recommendations. Their lighter and less structured design makes them better suited for casual outings than high-intensity workouts. Additionally, they lack pockets, so you’ll need to find another place to store your essentials.

Size Range: 4XS (00–0) to 4XL (38–40)
Inseam: 27 inches
Materials: 81% nylon, 19% elastane
Colors: Black, Deep Sea, Black Cherry, Rich Cobalt

Explore the Ideal Size and Fit: The Lululemon Wunder Train High-Rise Tight boasts a seamless waistband for comfort and a secure fit during activities. Available in sizes 0 to 20 and offering four in-seam options: 23 inches, 25 inches, 28 inches, and 31 inches. Made of cool, smooth fabric with a subtle brushed texture, these leggings offer comfort without looking slick or shiny.

Why They Stand Out: The Wunder Trains from Lululemon stand out for their simplicity, quality, and performance. Made from Everlux fabric, they offer breathability and quick drying, perfect for intense workouts. They’re true to size and maintain their shape well after regular laundering.

Versatile for various activities, they provide medium support with a lightweight feel. The minimal seam design enhances their sleek appearance and flattering silhouette.

Areas for Improvement: If you’re in the market for the best workout leggings equipped with multiple pockets, particularly one spacious enough for a phone, these may not meet your criteria. Although some customers mention waistband rolling or stitching issues after washes, we haven’t encountered these problems ourselves. However, we’ll keep you updated if our experience changes.

Size options: 0 to 20
Inseam lengths: 23 inches, 25 inches, 28 inches, 31 inches
Fabric composition: 77% nylon, 23% Lycra
Color choices: 12, featuring black, dark lavender, gray, and navy

Explore the Ideal Size and Fit: In late 2020, Superfit Hero prioritized inclusivity by offering plus and extended sizes, up to 40–44. Their leggings provide a dense yet soft texture with ample stretch, offering pleasant compression and support. Our tester, typically size 16–18, found them comfortable overall, with a slightly snug waist.

The Superhold Pocket Ankle Leggings, with generously sized side-drop pockets, received numerous five-star ratings. While I tested size M, they now exclusively offer plus and extended sizes.

Areas for Improvement: While our testers generally found the correct sizes in these leggings, a few weren’t entirely satisfied with the fit, especially around the waist area. Despite this, they still appreciated the overall quality and performance of the product.

Size Range: L (EarthFit) to 7X (InfiniFit) (corresponding to sizes 12–14 to 40–44)
Inseam: 29 inches
Materials: 88% polyester, 12% spandex
Colors: black, blue, cobalt, moonlight marble, green, cactus leaf-print (purple)

Why Does Fabric Matter for best workout leggings?

Leggings are built upon core-spun yarn, a delicate filament of elastane enveloped by fibers such as nylon, polyester, or cotton, as explained by Preeti Arya, assistant professor of textile development and marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Elastane, a term encompassing synthetic fibers like spandex and Lycra, forms the backbone of this yarn.

The best workout leggings typically share a common core yarn type, although differences in knit density affect thickness and coverage. Moisture-wicking fabrics, common in these leggings, draw sweat away from the skin, promoting quick evaporation. This process, explained by Preeti Arya, occurs due to capillary action between fibers. Many leggings also have antimicrobial finishes to combat odor, preventing bacterial growth and keeping them fresh during workouts.

After production, leggings undergo rigorous testing by companies to ensure quality and durability. Tests cover factors like dye steadfastness, tensile strength, stretchability, pilling, and abrasion resistance. Reputable brands conduct comprehensive evaluations to maintain quality standards.

For example, Lululemon’s Wunder Train High-Rise Tight uses its Everlux fabric. Athleta’s Ultra High-Rise Elation Tights are made from Powervita fabric, and Superfit Hero’s Superhold Pocket Ankle Leggings use Superhold fabric. These fabrics aren’t just marketing; they’re integral to brand identity and performance, undergoing extensive development processes, sometimes lasting up to two years.

How do Fabletics leggings compare?

Fabletics, founded in 2013 with Kate Hudson as its brand ambassador, operates on a subscription model where members can purchase various activewear items, including leggings and sports bras, monthly. Members are billed $59.95 on the sixth of each month, which converts into a credit redeemable for items worth up to $100.

We opted not to include Fabletics leggings in our review due to our preference for emphasizing quality over quantity. We believe that receiving a new pair of leggings every month may not be essential for everyone. Additionally, we are cautious about subscription services that entail continuous billing unless actively canceled.

Examining the Rivals

The Alo 7/8 High-Waist Airbrush Leggings boasted a plush, tactile fabric, but some testers reported discomfort due to scratchiness when worn. While one tester praised the flattering fit, others found the sizing too snug or experienced overheating. The Athleta Salutation Stash 7/8 Tight garnered mixed reviews, with praise for its petite-friendly length but criticism regarding pocket size and fit issues for larger sizes.

Nike Women’s Victory Training Capris impressed with their workout-centric design, featuring strategic seams and mesh vents. However, opinions varied on the mid-rise waist and sizing availability. SweatyBetty Power 7/8 Workout Leggings received accolades for performance during physical activities and their innovative fabric, yet concerns were raised about pocket placement and size. Similarly, the Zella Live-In High-Waist Leggings earned praise for versatility and comfort but faced criticism for sizing discrepancies and perceived quality.

In conclusion, when it comes to finding the perfect leggings for your active lifestyle, it’s essential to consider factors such as fabric, fit, performance, and style. After extensive testing and analysis, we’ve identified some top-notch options that cater to various needs and preferences.

Whether you’re looking for versatile and flattering leggings like the Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging, luxurious comfort like the Beyond Yoga Spacedye Caught In The Midi High Waisted Legging, affordability and functionality like the IUGA High-Waist Yoga Pants with Pockets, versatility and lightweight feel like the Universal Standard Next-to-Naked Legging, or enhanced support for all sizes like the Superfit Hero Superhold Pocket Ankle Leggings, there’s something for everyone.

Remember, the right pair of leggings can make all the difference in your workout performance and everyday comfort. So, invest in quality, prioritize your preferences, and enjoy the journey of finding the best workout leggings that perfectly complement your active lifestyle.

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