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23 Leggings for Any Type of Workout


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During my seven years as a shopping writer, I’ve reviewed many pairs of leggings for my job and for personal interest. And after wearing them for New York Pilates, Core Power Yoga, Solidcore, Rumble, Monster Cycle (RIP), “hot-girl walks,” running, trampoline classes, at-home workouts, dance classes, and many other workout options, I feel well equipped to say this: Leggings can make or break a workout.

A pair that fits well can support you and help you get hyped to exercise. On the flip side, an undesired wedgie or a waistline that doesn’t stay put can discourage you. And as much as I would love a “one-legging-fits-all” approach, I struggle to say that exists.

That’s why I’ve filled my drawers with the best leggings for different types of workouts: high-waisted ones, ones with pockets, and even some that are fleece-lined. I’ve listed mine below. And yes, I tested them alongside the best sport bras. Plus I tapped into the Cut Shop team for their tried and true favorites, too.

Our top picks:

The Best Leggings to “Do It All”

best leggings from lululemon

lululemon Wunder Train High-Rise Tight

Sizes: 0-20 | Colors: Available in 8 | Materials: 7 percent nylon, 23 percent Lycra® elastane

These offer super-high coverage and go all the way up past your belly button, making them perfect for pairing with crop tops or your favorite sports bra without worrying about exposing a ton of skin. As one reviewer notes, it accentuates your waist for a “snatched” look. The Everlux fabric is smooth to the touch and meant for lower-impact activities like yoga.

$98 at Lululemon

The Best Leggings for Pilates

Alo Yoga High Waist Airlift Legging

Alo Yoga High Waist Airlift Legging

Sizes: XXS–XXL | Colors: Available in 16 | Materials: Polyester and spandex

Don’t take it from me, but Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner also turn to their Alo Yoga leggings for a Pilates class. And while the Rhode founder likes to wear the high-waisted Alosoft Highlight leggings, I gravitate towards the 7/8 high-waisted Airlift because the double-knit Airlift fabric definitely works wonders. The moisture-wicking technology just soaks up the sweat, so I don’t feel sticky at all.

$128 at Nordstrom

$128 at Alo Yoga

Another Option for Pilates

Gymshark Everyday Seamless Leggings

Gymshark Everyday Seamless Leggings

Sizes: XXS–XXL | Colors: Available in 4 | Materials: Nylon, elastane

These seamless leggings are like a second skin, and Ware loves this for Pilates. Not only are they comfortable, she says, they’re also lightweight.

$38 at Gymshark

The Best Leggings for At-Home Workouts

best leggings from everlane
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Everlane The Perform Legging

Sizes: XXS–XXL | Colors: Available in 3 | Materials:58 percent recycled Nylon, 42 percent elastane

These are ideal for at-home low-impact workouts. They’re lightweight without being see-through and come in two lengths, especially helpful if you’re on the petite side.

$68 at Everlane

The Best Leggings for Running

Free People Movement Never Better Leggings
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Free People Movement Never Better Leggings

Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: Available in 9 | Materials: 79% Polyamide, 21% Elastane

When it comes to running you do really need a good pair that doesn’t sag down every three steps. I love to wear my Free People Movement one to run on the treadmill, and they hold up, literally. Whenever I do SLT Tread, they really maintain their shape in both the reformer and the treadmill side. Plus they are incredibly soft.

$98 at Free People

More tried-and-true options:

The Best Leggings for the Gym

best leggings with pockets

Heathyoga Yoga Pants with Pockets

Sizes: XS–XXL | Colors: Available in 19 | Materials: 75 percent polyester, 25 percent spandex

These leggings are made with a blend of polyester and spandex to stretch and move with you during a workout. There are two pockets, which are just large enough to fit a phone. Smaller pockets are actually a good thing in a pair of leggings, because it holds your phone in place by your hip rather than sending it all the way down your thigh.

$25 at Amazon

The Best Leggings for Low-Impact Workouts

best leggings for gym workouts

IUGA High Waist Yoga Pants with Pockets

Sizes: XS–3X | Colors: Available in 31 | Materials:77 percent polyester, 23 percent spandex

If you’d prefer a lower rise in the world of ubiquitous high-waisted pants, these gems from Amazon are your answer. They have a functional pocket, are “squat-proof” (meaning they won’t suddenly become sheer or split when you squat down), and are just as comfortable for lounging as they are for working out.

$26 at Amazon

The Best Leggings for Intense Training

Nike Pro 7/8 Crop Tights
Photo:

Nike Pro 7/8 Crop Tights

Sizes: XS–2XL | Colors: Available in 4 | Materials: Made with at least 50 percent recycled polyester fibers

There was a time pre-pandemic when I trained with Nike trainers. Since the workouts varied each time, these were my favorite leggings to wear because, despite the constant moving and sweating, these held up well and sprang back into shape wash after wash.

$45 at Nike

$45 at Zappos

The Best Leggings for Dance Class

best leggings from nordstrom
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Zella Studio Luxe High Waist Pocket Leggings

Sizes: XXS–XXL | Colors: Black | Materials: 74 percent nylon, 26 percent spandex

Whenever I want to add one of Obé’s on-demand dance-cardio classes into my workout routine, I like to wear my Zella leggings. Something about the blue hue makes me feel like I’m a professional dancer. Plus, they hold up well during the 45-minute sessions of cardio and whenever I just freestyle and make a complete fool of myself.

$79 at Nordstrom

The Best Leggings for Daily Walks

best leggings from aritzia
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TnaBUTTER™ Cheeky Hi-Rise Legging

Sizes: XXS–XXL | Colors: Available in 26 | Materials:80 percent nylon, 20 percent elastane

Aritzia fans know that their leggings are the best for running errands. They are buttery soft, hug your curves just right, and can withstand carrying your groceries up your walk-up and a full day of doing your laundry.

$68 at Aritzia

The Best Leggings for Stretching

best leggings from athleta
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Athleta Transcend 7/8 Tight

Sizes: XXS–3X | Colors: Available in 5 | Materials:75 percent nylon, 25 percent lycra

Recently, I took a somatic movement class where you lay on the floor and focus on your pelvis by doing subtle movements. These leggings felt so comfy that I forgot I had them on.

$99 at Athleta

Another Solid Option for Pilates

UGG Saylor Legging

UGG Saylor Legging

Sizes: XXS–3X | Colors: Available in 5| Materials: 94 percent organic cotton, 6 percent elastane

Cotton leggings aren’t usually my first pick; however, these leggings from UGG really changed that when it comes to Pilates classes. They are soft and thick enough to stay in place through a session without scrunching up in all the wrong places.

$28 at Amazon

$39 at UGG

The Best Leggings for a Reformer Class

Pink Seamless High-waist Leggings

Pink Seamless High-waist Leggings

Sizes: XS- XXL | Colors: Available in 11 | Materials: 58 percent polyamide, 31 percent recycled polyamide, 11 percent elastane

Not to be confused with Pilates. Yes, it’s in the Pilates family, but when you take Solidcore, SLT, or Tremble, you know it’s different. Reformer classes are a bit more high-intensity, and you’ll need a legging that can keep up with your small but mighty movements. This seamless pair from Pink stands its ground. It’s comfortable and soft and sweat wicking.

$45 at Victoria’s Secret

The Best Warm Workout Leggings

best warm workout leggings

Under Armour Women’s Cold Gear Authentic Pants

Sizes: XS–XXL | Colors: Available in 2| Materials:87 percent polyester, 13 percent elastane

We wrote about these fleece-lined pants in our fleece-lined winter leggings round up, and we are still obsessed with them for wintertime workouts. They’re lightweight and wicking enough for you to workout in them without becoming a living puddle of sweat, but warm enough to brave ever-dipping temps outside.

$55 at Amazon

The Best Leggings for Cycling

best leggings from outdoor voices
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Year of Ours Ribbed Veronica Legging

Sizes: XS–XL | Colors: Available in 15| Materials: 85 percent nylon, 15 percent spandex active rib

These Instagram-friendly leggings can hold up to a wide gamut of activities, but I prefer them for cycling. Despite the fabric being ribbed they are incredibly comfortable no matter how intense your biking session is.

The Best Sustainable Leggings

best sustainable leggings
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Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Leggings

Sizes: XS–XL | Colors: Available in 10 | Materials:79 percent recycled plastic bottles (RPET), 21 percent spandex

Girlfriend Collective’s leggings are made with recycled water bottles. They’re also super-cozy and have a soft, almost shiny texture to them. Since the fabric is tightly woven synthetic material, they tend to hold heat well. They’re great for brisker activities, less so for super-sweaty ones. These have a super-high rise, too, making them ideal for when you want to wear a crop top but not show a ton of skin.

$78 at Girlfriend Collective

$78 at Shopbop

The Best Leggings for an Adventure

best leggings for hiking

The North Face Bridgeway Hybrid Tights

Sizes: XS–XL | Colors: Available in 2 | Materials:91 recycled front fabric, 80% recycled back fabric

The North Face is always the best brand for adventures. These leggings are quick-drying with a high-rise waist and zipped and drop-down pockets. Perfect for a weekend trip lounging and hiking in L.A.

$99 at The North Face

The Best Leggings for Studio and Barre

best leggings for barre class

Outdoor Voices Flow 7/8 Legging

Sizes: XXS–3X | Colors: Available in 1 | Materials:85 percent polyester, 15 percent Spandex

When doing a barre-style class, you need something that stretches and can withstand movement without being too constricting. These FreeForm fabric leggings do all that and more. They’re oh-so-soft and feel like a second skin. They have a high rise, and the wide waistband doesn’t pinch.

$88 at Outdoor Voices

The Best Leggings for Yoga

lululemon Align High-Rise Pant 25-Inch
Photo:

lululemon Align High-Rise Pant 25-Inch

Sizes: 0–14 | Colors: Available in 11 | Materials:81 percent nylon, 19 percent lycra® elastane

If you’re looking for buttery-soft leggings, these are the gold standard. The Nulu fabric with added Lycra is stretchy and supportive, moving with you even through extra-sweaty flows. The small pocket in the front of the waistband can fit an ID or credit card and lies flat with a high rise. The 25-inch length has the widest size range, but there are 28- and 31-inch options as well. That’s all to say, yes, they are worth the hype.

$98 at Lululemon

The Best Leggings for Lifting

Gymshark Vital Seamless 2.0 Leggings
Photo:

Gymshark Vital Seamless 2.0 Leggings

Sizes: XS–XL | Colors: Available in 12 | Materials:93 percent nylon, 7 percent elastane

Ware also swears by Gymshark. Its leggings are lightweight and breathable for your most intense training sessions and have plenty of support for weight training. The material is super-stretchy, so if you think you may be between sizes, you can size down for a more compressive fit.

$54 at Gymshark

The Best Leggings for Indoor Bouldering

Beyond Yoga Spacedye At Your Leisure High-Waisted Midi Legging

Beyond Yoga Spacedye At Your Leisure High-Waisted Midi Legging

Sizes: XXS–XL | Colors: Available in 10 | Materials: 87 polyester, 13 percent elastane

I may not know much about indoor bouldering, but I do know that these leggings were the ideal pair for this beginner to the sport. They stretched accordingly with my body and made me feel as though I knew what I was doing.

$99 at Beyond Yoga

Another Option for Reformer Class

Bandier Center Stage Legging

Bandier Center Stage Legging

Sizes: XXS–2XL | Colors: Available in 7 | Materials: Nylon, spandex

Super-stretchy and opaque, these high-performance leggings feel like a second skin and stay put through even the toughest reformer moves They’re also moisture-wicking and quick-drying, so you don’t have to worry about working up a sweat. They’ve even withstood a hot-yoga class.

$120 at Bandier

Another Option for Lifting

Nike Zenvy Women's Gentle-Support High-Waisted 7/8 Leggings

Nike Zenvy Women’s Gentle-Support High-Waisted 7/8 Leggings

Sizes: XXS–XXL | Colors: Available in 18 | Materials: Nylon, spandex

If you need another pair of squatproof leggings and a lot of color options, look no further. Ware recommends these for lifting, squatting, and overall comfort. The high-waisted leggings don’t roll, twist, or move during your workout, and they stay dry.

$100 at Nike

The Best Leggings for Compression

Alo Airlift High-Waist Suit Up Legging

Alo Airlift High-Waist Suit Up Legging

Sizes: XXS–L | Colors: Available in 5 | Materials: Polyester, elastane

Ware loves these high-compression leggings, which are stretchy but still sculpting when you need a little more. These can handle your high intensity workout and your chill days.

$138 at Alo Yoga

An Option for Everday Wear

Jsculpt Fitness Everyday Playsuit Pant

Jsculpt Fitness Everyday Playsuit Pant

Sizes: XXS–2X | Colors: Available in 2 | Materials: Polyester, spandex

Worry less about finding a matching and well-fitting sports bra with Ware’s favorite one-piece. The super-stretchy and moisture-wicking piece is easy enough to slip into for leisurely days or quick gym workouts. Ware loves to pair hers with a sweater.



Bianca Nieves , 2024-02-01 19:51:00

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