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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried the “best” workout leggings, only to find that they slip down during spin class, they’re sheer enough to show my underwear or they pill after just one wash. Which might explain why I have trust issues with Instagram ads. So, I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and determine the best of the best workout leggings once and for all.

How to find the best workout leggings

Sure, I could give you some fancy criteria for how to discover the all-time best workout leggings. And looking for factors like opacity, sweat-wicking fabric and a comfortable waistline certainly helps. But ultimately, it all comes down to reading product descriptions and reviews, then biting the bullet and trying them yourself. Trial and a lot of error is how I’ve found the handful of pairs that I love and wear on the reg.

Despite my extensive experience trying out almost every style from Lululemon to Old Navy, I don’t quite feel qualified to give the final say on the best workout leggings. After all, I’m 5’0’’ with runners' thighs, so what works for me isn’t necessarily going to be the right style for, say, a tall, lean dancer. So, to get a better idea of the best workout leggings for women with different body types and fitness interests from my own, I did some serious research—by asking real women to share their honest opinions on their go-to pants, crops and more. Here, the 15 best workout leggings, whether you’re a pregnant yogi or a plus-size ultramarathon runner.

The Best Workout Leggings to Wear

RELATED: The 21 Best Sweatpants for Women, Because Comfy Is *Still* Our Uniform

Lululemon

1. Lululemon Align Pant 28’’

Best Overall

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Comfort: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 99/100

Multiple women declared this best-selling style from Lululemon their all-time fave. According to one woman, that’s because they’re super versatile—both in terms of the workouts they’re good for and the body types they flatter. “As a yoga/HIIT instructor I’ve seen bodies of all shapes and sizes that look [good] in these leggings,” says Laura H. She also swears her Aligns perform just as well during a hot yoga class as they do during a run, even though the brand says the buttery soft Nulu fabric is best suited for yoga and lower impact workouts. Laura’s only qualm? Like most of Lululemon’s products, these run a bit small, so she suggests sizing up. No wonder she gave them a near perfect score.

Buy It ($98)

Available in sizes 0-14

Old Navy

2. Old Navy High-Waisted Elevate Crop Leggings

Best Value

  • Value: 18/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 18/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Comfort: 20/20
  • TOTAL: 94/100

Under $25 for a pair of leggings that are equally comfortable for jogging, hiking, TRX and rowing? It might sound a little too good to be true but according to Izzy C., it’s not. She insists these cropped leggings are great for all of the above, thanks to their impressive range of motion and breathable fabric. And as a curvy woman, she likes that they don’t roll down around her stomach. But the best aspect of these workout leggings is—obviously—their price. “You can usually get them on sale, and even if you pay full price, they don’t break the bank,” she says. Just keep in mind that you might experience a little pilling around the thighs, but you can mostly mitigate that by air drying these leggings, instead of tossing them in the dryer, Izzy adds.

Buy It ($27; $22)

Available in sizes XS to XXL

Revolve

3. Ultracor Ultra Lux Knockout Legging

Splurge-Worthy

  • Value: 16/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 18/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Comfort: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 92/100

PureWow editor Sarah Stiefvater feels so passionately about these leggings, she wrote an entire review describing her love-hate relationship with them. The hate mostly centering around the fact that each pair costs a cool $198. After wearing them to a spin class and experiencing their high-stretch, soft compression and sweat-wicking abilities, she promptly retired her favorite Nike leggings. What sets them apart from the rest, you ask? “They stay put through burpees, box jumps and sprints on the rowing machine without ever feeling too tight,” she says. Plus, they have a unique built-in underwear design that smooths lumps and bumps and makes your butt look damn good. Stiefvater’s has a hot tip for everyone else who cringed at that price: Wait until they go on sale to pick up your pair. You can usually find them marked down at Carbon38 or Bandier.

Buy It ($198)

Available in sizes XS to M

Amazon

4. Colorfulkoala High Waisted Pattern Leggings

Highest-Rated on Amazon

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 15/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Comfort: 20/20
  • TOTAL: 93/100

Colorfulkoala’s leggings are known for being among the most comfortable and affordable on Amazon, so it’s no wonder they’ve racked up over 4,000 positive reviews. In fact, multiple shoppers say they’re so good, they’re a total dupe for the aforementioned Lululemon Align Pant. And just like the Align, they’re comfy enough to rock for just about any type of workout, confirms Janine O. She says her Colorfulkoala leggings have never let her down, but she especially likes wearing them for HIIT and boxing classes, since they don’t need to be adjusted constantly. That’s the dream, right?

$30 at Amazon

Available in sizes XS to XL

Outdoor Voices

5. Outdoor Voices TechSweat ⅞ Leggings

Best for High-Intensity Workouts

  • Value: 16/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Comfort: 18/20
  • TOTAL: 90/100

This pair of ⅞ leggings from Outdoor Voices is one of my personal favorites. Especially if I’m going to be doing a high-intensity (and high sweat) workout like HIIT or a dance cardio class since as the name suggests, they’re made to keep you feeling comfortable during super sweaty workouts. Here’s how: The lightweight, quick-drying material doesn’t absorb sweat like some cotton blends do, and the engineered waistband stays put even during jumping jacks. I find that these run really small, so I’d recommend going up a size or two to avoid feeling like a sausage and I’ve found that air drying them seems to do a good job of maintaining the delicate fabric.

Buy It ($98)

Available in sizes XS to XL

Everlane

6. Everlane The Perform Leggings

Best for Low-Impact Workouts

  • Value: 19/20
  • Functionality: 15/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Comfort: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 88/100

More of a sculpt, yoga or barre person? Then this pair’s for you. Everlane’s minimalist leggings are advertised to be ideal for all types of workouts, but according to PureWow fashion director Dena Silver, lower impact workouts is where they really shine. “They’re super soft and stretchy, but not too heavy on the compression fabric, which makes them really easy to move around in,” she explains. In fact they’re so comfy, she says it almost feels like you’re wearing nothing at all. The only downside? Silver mentions that the lighter colors show sweat marks, so definitely take that into consideration before you wear them to hot yoga.

Buy It ($58)

Available in sizes XXS to XXL

New Balance

7. New Balance Q Speed Fuel ⅞ Tights

Best for Running

  • Value: 18/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Aesthetics: 19/20
  • Comfort: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 95/100

Given that PureWow associate editor Abby Hepworth has run two marathons and is currently training for a third, she’s our resident authority on running gear. And when she says a pair of running leggings actually performs, we take note. “I love these because I can completely forget I’m wearing them in the sense that I don’t have to stop to adjust or consider any point of chafing,” she says. Hepworth adds that despite owning them for two years, her New Balance Q Speed Fuel Tights don’t show any major signs of pilling or wear between the thighs. Her favorite feature, though, is how cool they keep her legs. “As someone who runs very hot and sweats no matter the temperature, I really see a difference when I’m wearing these leggings.”

Buy It ($80)

Available in sizes XS to XL

Fabletics

8. Fabletics High-Waisted PowerHold ⅞ Leggings

Best for Spinning

  • Value: 18/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 15/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Comfort: 16/20
  • TOTAL: 87/100

Spin enthusiast Jackie C. says these Fabletics leggings are her favorite ones to wear on the bike because the compression PowerHold fabric makes her feel secure and held in. At the waist, the extra support reminds her to keep her core engaged—something she admittedly struggles with. Oh, and Jackie confirms that they’re totally squat proof, if that’s something you’re concerned about. It’s also worth noting that they’re available in sizes XXS to 4X, making this pair a lot more size inclusive than others on the market.

Buy It ($50)

Available in XXS to 4X

Amazon

9. 90 Degree by Reflex High Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings

Best for Yoga

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Comfort: 20/20
  • TOTAL: 93/100

This pair is another one of my faves. It’s also why I wrote an entire article about them, titled “I Can’t Stop Wearing These $28 Leggings from Amazon.” I honestly do wear them for everything from running, to errands, to yoga class. And I have to say, the latter is where they truly shine. There’s nothing worse than having to stop mid-Vinyasa flow to yank up your waistband and I never have to do that with these. Also, their stretchy, supersoft fabric means that my legs and butt feel held in and sculpted, but not suffocated. The array of pretty colorways available changes often, which might explain why I’ve ended up with six pairs…

$28 at Amazon

Available in sizes XS to XL

Lululemon

10. Lululemon Fast and Free Tight II 25’’

Best Leggings with Pockets

  • Value: 15/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Comfort: 20/20
  • TOTAL: 95/100

“I wear these for everything, but I love them for a run or a nice long walk because I can put my phone, card, keys (and during Covid, a mask and hand sanitizer) in the pockets so I don’t have to hold anything,” says Jaymie L. She’s so enamored with this pair’s comfort and convenient pockets that she already owns them in five shades and confidently plans on buying more. According to Lululemon’s site, these were specifically designed for running but I’m considering investing in a pair just to make grocery shopping a little easier. The hand-sanitizer-in-pocket idea? Genius.

Buy It ($128)

Available in sizes 0-14

Athleta

11. Athleta Elation Capri

Most Durable

  • Value: 12/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Comfort: 18/20
  • TOTAL: 88/100

If you prefer to wear your leggings until they come apart at the seams, Athleta’s Elation Capri was made for you. These babies are so durable, Anne F. says she’s owned multiple pairs that have lasted six or seven years. Even more impressive? After all that time they have yet to pill or become threadbare. Reviewers say they’re opaque, ultra-flattering and buttery soft, too. And they’re available in tall, regular, petite and plus sizes, which is a major win for women everywhere.

Buy It ($79)

Available in sizes XXS to 2X

Superfit Hero

12. Superfit Hero Superfit Pocket Leggings

Best for Plus-Size Women

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Comfort: 20/20
  • TOTAL: 100/100

For this pick, I turned to plus-size ultramarathon runner Latoya Shauntay Snell. She’s logged hundreds of miles wearing this exact pair, so you know they’re worth every penny. “Between the vibrant color and pockets, I feel a boost of confidence while wearing them. And as a plus-size woman, I like the added security of knowing that [they’re] not see-through, chafe-free and hold in my tummy when I’m doing high and low impact workouts,” she says. Snell is also a fan of the waistband never rolls down, even when she’s on mile 21.

Buy It ($89)

Available in sizes XS to 5XL

Nordstrom

13. Girlfriend Collective Compressive High Waist ⅞ Legging

Most Sustainable Leggings

  • Value: 19/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 19/20
  • Comfort: 18/20
  • TOTAL: 94/100

As far as sustainability goes, Girlfriend Collective’s leggings are the best of the best. Each pair’s fabric is made from 25 recycled water bottles, which saves three gallons of water and prevents 18 pounds of CO2 emissions, when compared to the average production process of leggings. That said, the material feels so luxe you’d never guess it had a previous life. I find that my Girlfriend Collective leggings are best suited for yoga and sculpt classes, because the compression material keeps me feeling sucked in, even if I’m attempting a particularly tricky move—looking at you, crow pose. Word to the wise: If you’re in-between sizes, go up. I kinda wish my Midnight pair was a tiny bit bigger.

Buy It ($68)

Available in sizes XXS to 3X

Target

14. Target All in Motion Women’s High-Waisted Capri Leggings

Most Squat-Proof Leggings

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Comfort: 20/20
  • TOTAL: 100/100

In case you couldn’t tell by the perfect 100/100 rating, the woman who recommended these Target brand leggings, Eliza K., is crazy about them. As a matter of fact, she was hesitant to mention them for fear that they might sell out once others catch on. But alas, she decided to share her $30 secret with the rest of us. The All in Motion capris are made from a thick material that Eliza says makes them totally opaque regardless of the workout. The polyester-spandex blend sculpts while wicking away moisture so that these can be your go-to for all levels of intensity. Just note that you might want to size up, as some reviewers say the waistband tends to dig in a bit.

Buy It ($30)

Available in sizes XS to XXL

Nordstrom

15. Blanqui Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings

Best for Pregnant Women

  • Value: 15/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 19/20
  • Comfort: 18/20
  • TOTAL: 92/100

According to PureWow’s executive editor Candace Davison, these were a total godsend when she was pregnant with her daughter. She wore them for everything from Orange Theory and yoga during her first trimester to just lounging on the couch closer to her due date. “The extra-high waistband is super supportive on a growing stomach—which became crucial for preventing back pain during my second trimester,” she notes. After months of nonstop use, they did pill a little bit between the thighs, but Davison says otherwise they were great.

Buy It ($64; $44)

Available in sizes S to XL

RELATED: 8 Pairs of Workout Shorts That Won’t Chafe or Ride Up

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