Anyone hunting for the best workout leggings knows how challenging it can be to find the right size, length, style, and quality. Depending on the types of exercise you enjoy doing there are a variety of functional materials to look for including sweat-wicking fabric for high-impact workouts, stretchy bottoms for yoga, squat-friendly tights for strength-training, and more. You’ll also want to consider any extra features like deep pockets to hold your phone while you run or a drawstring waistband to keep things in place. Most importantly, it’s helpful to find a style that’ll get you hyped to move when you rather push the snooze button. It can be a lot to think about! (It’s almost as overwhelming as searching for the best workout clothes.)
Our top picks
- Best Overall: Lululemon Align High-Rise Pant, $98
- Best for Running: Urban Savage Chevron Legging, $125
- Best for Yoga: Live The Process Tuxedo Legging, $128
- Best High-rise: Fabletics On-The-Go PowerHold High-Waisted Legging, $75
- Best Amazon Pick: Crz Yoga Butterluxe High Waisted Lounge Legging, $32
- Best for Compression: Spanx Every.Wear Active Icon Leggings, $110
- Best Squat-Proof: Outdoor Voices TechSweat Thrive 7/8 Legging, $44
- Best Maternity Option: Old Navy Maternity Full-Panel PowerSoft 7/8 Leggings, $45
- Most Versatile: Vuori AllTheFeels Legging, $98
- Best for Lounging: Athleta Salutation Stash 7/8 Tights, $90
What to look for in workout leggings
Start by thinking about your weekly workouts and go from there, says Michele Levy, a certified personal trainer and the founder of Zing! For Kids. “If you’re running or walking, look for something made with moisture-wicking material and compression. On the other hand, if you’re more into yoga or pilates, you might prefer something that’s super stretchy and doesn’t have a ton of pockets or zippers. I wore my running leggings to a yoga class and hated how the zippers felt on my back and sides as I moved through different poses,” Levy says.
Most brands tout a propriety fabric, but if you look at the overall makeup of your go-to styles, you’ll notice some similarities. Materials like nylon, elastane, Lycra, and polyester are commonly used for their ability to wick sweat, dry fast, and regulate body temperature. For breathable options, look for cotton, but keep in mind that the material holds onto your sweat and could get cold and uncomfortable if you’re working out outdoors, Levy adds. And for stretchy leggings, look for pieces made of Lycra or spandex if you want a good amount of elasticity.
Once you’ve nailed down what type of legging you’re looking for, you’ll want to consider fit and style. “There are mid- and high-waisted options, flared leggings, cropped, 7/8, and full-length leggings. I’m 5’0” tall, so you’ll almost always see me in cropped or ⅞ length leggings unless a brand makes a petite option.”
The best workout leggings
Got all that? To further help you with your search, we chatted with avid exercisers who spend a lot of time working out, including personal trainers and class instructors. Whether you’re looking for a great pair of yoga leggings on amazon for your low-impact workouts or something that can stand up to high-intensity exercises like burpees and sprints, we have recs that will stay put and pass the squat test so you can reach all your fitness goals—and look good doing it.