The Best Leggings for Every Type of Workout

The Best Leggings for Every Type of Workout

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When you’re trying to give a workout your all, the wrong pants can distract and derail you. Of course, workout leggings are versatile — you can always wear your yoga leggings to a HIIT workout, and vice versa. But choosing the best leggings for the type of workout you do most often will help you stay as comfy as possible while you’re working up a sweat.

“Moisture-wicking fabrics and compression support are great for high-intensity, high-performance activities like kickboxing, HIIT training, and running,” says Makeba Edwards, an ACE-certified personal trainer, EXOS group fitness instructor, and fitness program manager. “And I prefer high-waisted leggings for yoga, which eliminates that feeling of self-consciousness.”

Here are top choices for some of the most popular workouts.

 

The Best Workout Leggings for Strength Training

1. Under Armour Vanish Pleated Women’s 7/8 Legging (Amazon)

Under Armour Vanish Pleated Women's 7/8 Legging | best workout leggings

Smooth, four-way-stretch material helps you feel supported through your full range of motion and doesn’t chafe. And the sweat-wicking fabric and mesh inserts help you stay cool and dry no matter how heavy you’re lifting.

2. Old Navy High-Waisted PowerPress 7/8-Length Compression Leggings (Old Navy)

Old Navy High-Waisted PowerPress 7/8-Length | best workout leggings

These budget-friendly leggings offer the support of compression gear in a breathable, stretchy fabric. They’re available in petite and tall sizes for the perfect fit, and there’s a cropped version if you prefer a capri length for lifting.

3. Paragon High Rise Arc Training Legging (Paragon)

Paragon High Rise Arc Training Legging | best workout leggings

Compressive but comfortable, these leggings support you through heavy squats and challenging lunges. There’s no front seam and contouring to the waistline to help you feel your best and most confident while going for that new PR.

4. Sweaty Betty Power High-Waisted 7/8 Leggings (Amazon)

Sweaty Betty Power High-Waisted 7/8 Leggings | best workout leggings

You get two side pockets on these compressive leggings, but you don’t need to worry about working up a sweat with your phone at your side. The material is also quick-drying and moisture-wicking so you can have your Spotify on pump-up music close by.

The Best Workout Leggings for Yoga

5. KiraGrace Pocket Yoga Legging (KiraGrace)

KiraGrace Pocket Yoga Legging | best workout leggings

A slim, supportive, and comfortable fit makes these soft leggings a favorite with yogis. They’re simple and stylish enough to wear to brunch, but they also perform on the yoga mat — with sweat-wicking fabric, anti-chafing seams, and a high waist that keeps you covered from sun salutations to savasana.

6. Girlfriend Collective Iris FLOAT Ultralight Legging (Girlfriend)

Girlfriend Collective Iris FLOAT Ultralight Legging | best workout leggings

Made from recycled plastic bottles, these eco-friendly leggings are lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying. You can also return them to be recycled through their ReGirlfriend program when they’re finally worn out.

7. Lululemon Align High-Rise Pant (Lululemon)

Lululemon Align High-Rise Pant | best workout leggings

Lulu describes the fabric on these high-rise leggings as “buttery-soft,” and they aren’t kidding — the lightweight, stretchy, sweat-wicking fabric feels like a second skin. Good luck staying awake during savasana when you’re this comfy. Plus, they come in more than one length!

8. Studio Pocket Legging (Vuori)

Studio Pocket Legging | best workout leggings

The material used for these leggings is lightly compressive and designed to move with you through every flow sequence. The waistband is squat (and bend)-proof, too!

 

The Best Workout Leggings for Running

9. Nike Swoosh Mid-Rise 7/8 Running Leggings (Amazon)

Nike Swoosh Mid-Rise 7/8 Running Leggings | best workout leggings

Stash your keys in the waistband of these second-skin leggings, and you’re good to go. The stretch material allows you to move naturally, even if you’re running over uneven terrain, and keeps you cool and dry. This 7/8 pair is also perfect for petite runners looking for full-length (but not too long) leggings.

10. prAna Transform Legging (Amazon)

prAna Transform Legging | best workout leggings

Durable, supportive, and compressive, high-rise leggings aren’t going anywhere. A hidden pocket lets you stash your keys in the waistband, which includes double-reinforced mesh panels for maximum support.

11. Asics Lite Show Winter Tight (Amazon)

Asics Lite Show Winter Tight | best workout leggings

The reflective details on these leggings can be a lifesaver when you run before dawn or late at night. The heavier fabric makes them ideal for cold-weather runs.

 

The Best Workout Leggings for HIIT Workouts

12. Athleta Rainier Unbrushed 7/8 Tight (Athleta)

Athleta Rainier Unbrushed 7/8 Tight | best workout leggings

Made for medium- and high-impact workouts, these leggings have the perfect amount of compression so you feel supported (but not squeezed) during all those box jumps. The breathable fabric keeps you cool no matter how hard you sweat, and the thick waistband means you can concentrate on your AMRAPs rather than worrying about them slipping down.

13. Reebok CrossFit Lux Bold 3/4 Tights (Amazon)

Reebok CrossFit Lux Bold 3/4 Tights  | best workout leggings

Not a fan of the high-waisted style? These pants sit low, but the wide, secure waistband keeps them from slipping. The downside: You can no longer use “Hold on, I have to hike up my leggings” as an excuse to take a mini-break during burpees.

14. Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Leggings (Girlfriend)

Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Leggings | best workout leggings

The compressive material of these leggings holds you in for even the most challenging moves while the high-rise waistline ensures you can bend and squat as much as your workout calls for. Do we sense your best squat thrust set coming up?

15. Reebok Training Supply Lux HighRise Tight (Amazon)

Reebok Training Supply Lux HighRise Tight | best workout leggings

While these leggings aren’t compression, fans report that they’re tight enough for a high-intensity workout and don’t slide down through runs, sprints, or WODs. The wide panel at the waistline stays in place and holds you in through box jumps, burpees, and more.

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