best squat proof leggings cat1
Victoria Bellafiore

Leggings, we love you. But since there are so many styles and fabrications out in the world, it can be hard to know which pair will fit just right. So, we worked backward from what has to be the most important function of our leggings: to keep everything covered up (especially our rear ends).

The leggings consumer is savvier than ever about what to expect from our athleisure. Now we’re all practically as geared up as astronauts while we do our at-home cardio with the amount of engineering, high-tech fabrication and high concept design that’s going on in our outfits. Which is great, but it makes for a lot of information clutter for the shopper.

So, What’s The Anti See-Through Secret?

The key to making a squat-proof legging—by which we mean a legging that’s not going to get too thin and see-through when we bend down—is starting with the right fabric. Too much cotton, and the leggings will sag, while 100 percent nylon stretches nicely, but can be so thin it shows the imprint of even no-show knickers. A high percentage of polyester or polyamide is the gold standard when it comes to dependably opaque leggings, including the kind that can stand up to any leg series you throw at them.

As for fit? You want them to be tight in all the right places, so they don’t fall down, but not so tight that you can't move about freely. And let’s be real, we want every pair to be flattering so we can wear them to WFH as well as to a quick between-Zoom-meetings workout. Without further ado, here are our 25 picks for the best squat-proof leggings for every type of workout.

RELATED: 23 Matching Workout Sets That Will Inspire You to Up Your Fitness Game in 2021


1. Yummie Rachel Cotton Stretch Shaping Legging

Best for Hot Outdoor Workouts

The high percentage of cotton is cool and comfortable for those sweaty park wind sprints, and the back waistband curves to lift your rear end, while still being high waisted enough to keep you covered. And no worries about the cotton bouncing back into shape—the fabric contains 12 percent Spandex to stay shapely.

Buy It ($54)


2. Lululemon Wunder Train High-Rise Crop 23“

Best for Training

The cropped style means you're experiencing zero bunching at the ankles in this high-waisted legging that's made of a breathable, sweat-wicking fabric that keeps you from catching a chill once you're in cool down mode.

Buy It ($88)

Tory Burch


Best for Crossfit

These nylon-Lycra blend leggings were inspired by vintage Olympics uniforms, so you'll look like the champ that you are when you're doing moves like the butterfly pull-up and the rope climb.

Buy It ($118)


4. CARBON38 Ribbed Regular Rise 7/8 Legging

Best for Boot Camp

It's a story as old as time: You want to look cute while you're rotating from weights to the bike during your class, but you feel like you could legit pass out at any second. These leggings are going to help! They hold you in (compressive double-faced waistband), don't reveal your thong (high-waisted and opaque fabric) and are bright and energizing, even if you're not feeling that way.

Buy It ($98; $84)


5. Carbon 38 Metallic Snake High Rise Legging

Best Pattern

Reptile prints are the new basic black in the world of patterned leggings, and you’ll be spoiled for choice with the five different colorways from Carbon 38 that rival the iridescent scales of the snakes that inspired them. The high polyester content in the compressive fabric means you can do the splits all you want in these and still not reveal your undies—and the extra-wide, lined waistband ensures that even if you pair these with a crop top, there’s not going to be any visible muffin top.

Buy It ($98; $84)

Available in sizes XXS to L

Outdoor Voices

6. Outdoor Voices ¾ Warmup Legging

Best Medium Weight

The polyester-spandex blend that composes these Outdoor Voices tights offers a great in-between layer that can be worn out in an autumn chill or inside in a drafty dance studio. The three-quarter length ensures there won’t be any hot fabric bunching up at your ankles. “Perfect for the gym and running,” one wearer reports. “I like that I can wear underwear with them without the color showing through or having bad lines.”

Buy It ($78)

Available in sizes XS to XL


7. Wolven Juniper Crossover Pocket Legging

Best Crossover Waist

The 84 percent recycled polyester blend of this brand legging makes it totally squat-proof, which is another reason to love it besides the style’s wild TikTok popularity. “Mom bod here, such a flattering pair of leggings!" says one wearer. "I’ve received so many compliments! The crossover waistband is where it’s at for a tummy-flattering legging. I have two pairs, and I love them both.”

Buy It ($98)

Available in sizes XS to XXL


8. Vuori Daily Legging

Most Absorbent

It’s got a drawstring waist and cuffs on the legs like a jogger, but the poly-spandex compressive fabric of this Vuori style hugs the figure just like a legging. While it’s comfy enough to wear as an everyday pair of pants, the high moisture-wicking ability of these begs to be taken to a hot yoga class or to a sunny day workout in the park.

Buy It ($84)

Available in sizes XS to XL


9. Heroine Sport Marvel Legging

Best for Spin Class

Have you ever noticed how spin class outfits seem to be the most cray in all the workout disciplines? Maybe it’s the cumulative instructor-as-positivity-drill-sergeant-shouting that makes everyone really go there with their loose-fit tanks, leopard shorts and Mad Max-esque vibe. Don’t be a wallflower at this endorphin party! Outshine everyone in a metallic legging that's a fave of reviewers: "they are not see-through and they are comfortable,” says one wearer. “I get SO many compliments!”

Buy It ($99)

Available in sizes XS to XL


10. Spanx Look At Me Now Seamless Leggings

Best Seamless

Leave it to Spanx, the innovative shapewear company, to create hard-working and figure-flattering leggings. “Not see-through, even when bending over in bright light,” reports one woman, who likes the “medium-firm compression in all directions” which fit best when she purchased one size larger than usual. The double-layer waistband smooths the stomach area, natch—because it is possible to find a legging that does it all.

Buy It ($68)

Available in sizes XS to 3X

Outdoor Voices

11. Outdoor Voices Zoom 7/8 Legging

Best With Pockets

Outdoor Voices recently innovated its SuperForm fabric to be especially squat-proof. It’s got more nylon than most other high-coverage leggings—63 percent, to be exact—but thanks to the addition of Lycra, it also has users praising its full-coverage qualities and lightweight feel. (Bonus: Wearers say the stitching accentuates even the flattest rear end.)

Buy It ($98)

Available in sizes XS to M, XL


12. Solbari Swim Leggings UPF 50+

Best Swim Legging

Say you’re taking a surf lesson, or doing some sort of beach workout, or, bless you, meeting up with some pals to run through your triathlon training. It might be a bit chilly out, or you might not feel like displaying everything in a bathing suit bottom. That’s where a good swim legging comes in. This one, designed and created in Australia, has an SPF of 50+, is quick drying and has an inner pocket for keys.

Buy It ($80)

Available in sizes XS to XL

Alo Yoga

13. Alo Yoga 7/8 High-Waist Airlift Legging

Best for Hot Yoga

“It does hide cellulite, it is truly opaque and it stretches in all the directions with no surprises,” says one user. Alo Yoga’s Airlift fabric—here in the trending neon pink colorway—has a gentle sheen (the opposite of a tacky shine) that looks expensive, and its double-knit poly-spandex fabrication manages to seriously hide whatever color knickers you’re rocking. Also, the fabric is treated to be anti-microbial, which is why no matter how drenched these get during your ashtanga flow, you’re not going to have the aroma of a gym locker.

Buy It ($118)

Available in sizes XXS to L

H & M

14. H & M Seamless Leggings High Waist

Best Budget Option

The recycled polyamide-and-polyester fabric is free of seams, so you’ll be super-comfortable. Plus, the heather-knit pink hue hides any lines or colors that could be visible during even the deepest stretch.

Buy It ($30)

Available in sizes XS to XL


15. XGC Women's Long Cycling Pants Trousers Bike Pants Trousers Tights Legging with 4D Sponge Padded

Best for Cycling

We have two words for you: Seat padding. Multi-density sponge cushioning is sewn right where you need it, while extras like reflective details and zippers on the hems give you all the bells and whistles you expect for endurance rides. And the breathable poly blend delivers leg and fanny coverage you will appreciate.

$35 at Amazon

Available in sizes S to XXL


16. Amposh Woen’s Maternity Leggings

Best Maternity

Rayon comes to the rescue for expectant moms, as this super-soft, but matte opaque fabric stretches everywhere you need. (Because baby’s first workout is going to start way before their due date). The waistband expands from your early days of pregnancy, when you might indeed still be doing squats, up to the end of your pregnancy when you just hope exercise will induce labor.

$23 at Amazon

Available in sizes S to XXL


17. Anivivo Women Tennis Skirted Leggings with Pockets

Best for Racket Sports

This tennis skirts-and-leggings combo has handy ball pockets and a skirt that keeps you looking classic, while the leggings keep you warm. It’s enough to make you start playing tennis, because, outfits.

$25 at Amazon

Available in sizes XS to 4XL


18. Fabletics On-The-Go Ultra High-Waisted 7/8

Best for Stretching

We finally found it, a white legging that's entirely non see-through. This one achieves the honor by being lined and made of 88 percent polyester (with the addition of 12 percent elastane to lift and shape your assets). We love the idea of wearing this to a slow-flow yoga sesh or a stretch class, where you have time to admire how pretty and fresh-seeming white leggings can be—and how flattering the four-way stretch fabric shapes your figure.

Buy It ($75)

Available in sizes XXS to 4X


19. Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity Pocket 7/8 Run Leggings

Best for Running

Moisture-wicking and durable polyamide plus figure-sculpting elastane makes this pair of Sweaty Betty tights the go-to for even the most intense workouts, including the drills where you’re bending and running, and the negative splits where you’re sprinting your heart out. Not to mention, that pocket comes in handy for stashing your phone throughout it all.

Buy It ($135)

Available in sizes XXS to XL


20. 90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Fleece Lined Leggings

Best for Winter

With 88 percent polyester fabrication, you can trust these leggings are going to be both opaque and tough as nails. With added spandex, they’re figure-flattering, too—with a four-inch rise that covers your navel and a side pocket that safely stows your phone and credit card while you’re busy jogging, hiking, or otherwise slushing through the cold. The fleece-lined interior is just cozy enough to keep you comfortable while you’re moving around outside, no puffer coat required.

$16 at Amazon

Available in sizes XS to XL


21. Yogalicious High Waist Squat Proof Soft Printed Leggings

Best for Pilates

No one wants to be upside down in a jackknife, with your instructor critiquing your placement while staring at the neon panties that are showing through your leggings. Since Pilates offers an especially instructor-involved method—you need to be in exactly the right position on your reformer or mat, or all your reps won’t do any good—the exercise mandates a legging that won’t reveal too much. This Yogalicious legging’s high polyester content paired with a cute camo pattern mean it’s going to hide all your undergarments, no matter how much you stretch out in class.

$39 at Amazon

Available in sizes XS to XL


22. SOLID & STRIPED SPORT Soleil High Waisted Legging

Best for Barre

The internal power mesh waistband reminds to you pull in those core muscles while you're doing the precise placement that barre requires. And since it's so supportive, it keeps you tucked in even when you forget to flex.

Buy It ($118)


23. Tracksmith Allston Tights

Best for Distance Running

This high-rise style manages to be both super-sleek and also completely opaque. Created by a New England company that caters to serious runners who want cool-jock style, this compressive nylon blend fabric is sturdy and sweat-wicking and will keep everyone from the 5k neighborhood runner to ultramarathoners comfortable.

Buy It ($118)


24. Koral Venus Infinity High Rise Legging

Best for Pole Dance Classes

If there's a workout where anyone's likely to see through your leggings, it's a class where the whole exercise is spinning your body at eye level and above, preferably lit by a spinning disco ball. No worries with these shiny, mesh insert leggings that have compressive power and high-waisted coverage.

Buy t ($110)

Available in sizes XS to XL

Girlfriend Collective

25. Girlfriend Collective Earth Compressive High-Rise Legging

Best High-Rise Style

This design gets rave reviews for fit—it comes in 19.5-, 23 ¾- and 28.5-inch inseams, and comes in 11 inclusive sizes. Further, each pair is made from 25 recycled water bottles, so you can feel good about every move you make in these compressive beauties. And FYI, the eco-chic polymer made from those recycled bottles is sturdy and not at all see-through, according to reviewers.

Buy It ($68)

Available in sizes XXS to 6XL

RELATED: The 25 Best Workout Leggings for Every Body Type and Fitness Need, According to Real People

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