The 31 Best Workout Leggings for Every Body Type and Fitness Need

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We can’t tell you how many times we’ve tried the “best” workout leggings, only to find that they slip down during spin class, show our underwear during downward dog or pill after just one wash. In our search to find the real best workout leggings for everyone (since we all have different body types and fitness goals), we asked women to share their honest opinions on their go-to pants, crops and more. Here, the best workout leggings, whether you’re a yogi or an ultramarathon runner.

How to Find the Best Workout Leggings

  • Try the squat test. Put the leggings on and video yourself from behind doing a deep squat. Can you see your undies or your butt? If so, take note of that material and steer clear of it in the future.
  • Check how the material feels. If you put the leggings on and they feel even slightly uncomfortable, move on to the next pair. Otherwise, they'll become the leggings that sit in your drawer that you can't bear to throw away because they're new.
  • Consider your wishlist. Need pockets? Make sure you are looking specifically for a pair that has them. Hate a butt seam? Look for a seamless legging line.
  • Do your diligence. Shopping based on factors like opacity, sweat-wicking fabric and a comfortable waistline certainly helps. But it's also useful to do your due diligence on the pair you're eyeing by reading reviews, especially if you haven't tried the brand.

How We Picked the Best Workout Leggings

Our editors look for qualities like moisture-wicking capabilities and breathability when it came to functionality and quality, while simultaneously judging the comfort by how stretchy and soft the fabric is. We also like to take into consideration how well they fit on different body types, the thickness of the waistband, how well they stay up during workouts, seam construction, pilling tendencies after many wears and, of course, the overall aesthetic of the leggings. And trust us, our editors are picky, so after our meticulous testing, our scores reflect our honest opinion.

The Top 5 Best Workout Leggings at a Glance

1. lululemon Base Pace Leggings

Best Overall

These new leggings from lululemon hit the nail on the head in just about every way. The Nulux fabric is basically weightless and super breathable, so if you're running outside on a hot day, they won't cause you to overheat. They also have a handy back pocket for your keys, a hidden drawstring in the front for cinching and no inseam. You can't ask for much more in a workout legging.

Size range: 0 to 20

2. Nike One Luxe Leggings

Most Squat-Proof

Squat-proof, smooth and compressive, these lightweight recycled polyester leggings feel like a second skin, according to reviewers. Happy customers also report that they're not see-through (an essential feature for everyday wear) and that they hug the body well. And with three hidden pockets, you can fit most of your essentials. One buyer shares, "I love how they are silky smooth and offer some compression and lift. I [also] appreciate that these leggings are very thin feeling but are not see-through at all when bending over or squatting."

Size range: XXS to XL

3. Gymshark Vital Seamless 2.0 Leggings

Best Seamless

These are the seamless leggings we all need. The problem some folks face with seamless leggings is gapping and sagging in the butt area. These have incredible compression from the high waist down to the calves, and because of that hold, they contour your booty like no other. These leggings also have tiny holes along the sides of the legs, making them super breathable. In other words, they're a sweaty girl's dream.

Size range: XS to XXL

4. Ultracor Ultra Lux Knockout Leggings

Most Splurge-Worthy

PureWow Senior Editor Sarah Stiefvater feels so passionately about these Ultracor leggings, she wrote an entire review describing her love-hate relationship with them. (The hate mostly centers around the fact that each pair costs $198.) After wearing them to a spin class and experiencing their high-stretch, soft compression and sweat-wicking abilities, she promptly retired her favorite leggings. But 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 good. Stiefvater has a hot tip for anyone else who is still cringing at that price: Wait until they go on sale. You can usually find them marked down at athleticwear sites, like Carbon38 or Bandier.

Size range: XS to XL

5. Everlane The Perform Leggings

Best for Low-Impact Workouts

More of a sculpt, yoga or barre person? This pair’s for you. Everlane’s minimalist leggings are advertised as "ideal for all types of workouts," but according to our former fashion director Dena Silver, lower impact workouts are 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.

Size range: XXS to XXL

6. 90 Degree By Reflex Power Flex Leggings

Best for Yoga

This pair is another fave for everything from running miles to running errands. There’s nothing worse than having to stop mid-Vinyasa flow to yank up your waistband, and you'll never have to do that with these since the stretchy, super soft nylon and spandex fabric will both sculpt and support your legs and booty without suffocating them. The array of pretty colorways that are available changes often, which might explain how we've ended up with six pairs…and counting.

Size range: S to XL

7. Superfit Hero Superhold Pocket Leggings

Best for Plus-Size Women

For this pick, we 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 that never rolls down, even on mile 21.

Size range: L to 7XL

8. Girlfriend Collective Compressive Leggings

Most Sustainable Leggings

As far as sustainability goes, Girlfriend Collective’s leggings are the best of the best. The fabric is made from 25 recycled water bottles, which saves 3 gallons of water and prevents 18 pounds of CO2 emissions when compared to the average production process of leggings, according to the company. That said, the material feels so luxe you’d never guess it had a previous life. We find that our Girlfriend Collective leggings are best suited for yoga and sculpt classes, because the compression material keeps us feeling sucked in, even if we're attempting a particularly tricky move—looking at you, crow pose. Word to the wise: If you’re between sizes, go up.

Size range: XXS to 6XL

9. lululemon Align Leggings

Best for All Workouts

Multiple women declared this best-selling style from lululemon their all-time fave, and for good reason. The brand's patented Nulu fabric is the main selling point. (Two words: buttery soft.) Though they're recommended for low-impact workouts like yoga, they're fabulous for barre and pilates as well. If you're wearing them for more than just yoga, though, you might notice that the crotch pills easily (especially if your thighs tend to rub or touch together even a little bit). Even with that small flaw, these leggings will always hold a special place in our hearts (and closets).

Size range: 0 to 20

10. Blanqui Everyday Leggings

Best Maternity Leggings

According to PureWow’s Executive Editor Candace Davison, these maternity leggings 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 noted. After months of nonstop use, they did pill a little bit between the thighs, but Davison says they were great otherwise.

Size range: S to XL

11. Sweaty Betty Power ⅞ Leggings

Best Butt-Sculpting Workout Leggings

“Every time I decide to try a new brand of leggings, I’m left disappointed that I didn’t just invest in another pair of Sweaty Betty’s Power leggings instead,” says PureWow’s SVP of Growth Emily Kerr. She became a loyal fan of the style because they’re durable, never see-through and come in a variety of pretty shades and patterns. But her favorite thing about these leggings? They make her butt look amazing, thanks to the flattering seams that are designed to do just that.

Size range: XXS to XXL

12. Afitne Leggings

Best Luxe-for-Less

Want the look and feel of a pair of high-end leggings without the price tag? Opt for this high-waist pair from Amazon. PureWow's former fashion director Dena Silver agrees, adding “They have light compression and the seams fall right where they should for a flattering fit around the tummy and thighs.” A tip: Reviewers say the patterned options tend to be stretchier and softer than the solid ones, so if you choose a patterned pair, you might want to size down to avoid potential slippage. Just don't forget to apply the coupon to get an additional five percent off.

Size range: XS to XXL

13. Zella Live In Leggings

Best for Big Butts

PureWow’s director of branded content, Cristina Gutierrez, could never find leggings that fit her pear-shaped frame quite right...until she tried on a pair of Zella’s Live In leggings. “They check all of my boxes: Affordable, thick, enough coverage, a high waist that doesn’t feel like a corset, stretchy and suction-cupped to my body in a way that feels like a second skin,” she says. She recommends checking Nordstrom Rack to see if you can find them on sale before you pay full price.

Size range: XXS to XL

14. Tracksmith Turnover Tights

Best for Winter Running

These leggings won't budge on your waist while you're out for a chilly run in the winter. They are made from the brand's patented inverno blend fabric for warmth and effortlessness with every stride. PureWow's senior food editor, Katherine Gillen, adds, "They’re sweat-wicking, quick drying and feel pretty lightweight but the material is brushed on the inside, so it’s fleecy-soft and warm. Bonus points for the back pocket and the bonded seams to prevent chafing."

Size range: XS to XL

15. Old Navy PowerSoft ⅞ Leggings

Best for Breathability

Comfy running leggings for cheap? We're in. These are flexible and comfortable for any workout, but our fashion editor, Abby Hepworth, likes them for running. "They really live up to the name and are super soft and smooth. They come with pockets on the sides, which is an absolute must when I go for a run (although Old Navy also makes them without pockets), and I appreciate that they come in tall and petite lengths, too."

Size range: S to 4X


16. Alo Airlift Leggings

Best for HIIT

These best sellers have quickly become some of our favorite leggings to wear for a HIIT workout. We love that they don't pill because of their nylon exterior, yet they still feel smooth against the skin. On top of that, they're moisture-wicking and have a lovely four-way stretch.

Size range: XXS to XL

17. lululemon Wunder Train Tights

Best Moisture-Wicking

The thick waistband on these leggings is unmatched. We especially love them for high-intensity workouts, like circuit training. If you sweat a lot in the crotch or waist areas, they soak up the moisture almost instantly, thanks to their Everlux fabric (which is lululemon's fastest drying fabric available). In sum, they'll keep you comfortable without leaving any dampness behind.

Size range: 0 to 20

18. Free People FP Movement Good Karma Leggings

Best All-Day Leggings

When we talk about leggings you can wear to work out and run errands, we have to mention this nylon and spandex pair. Buyers can't stop raving about how comfortable they are, thanks to their combined wide waistband and high-rise fit. Writes one satisfied customer, "It makes it so there’s no uncomfortable pinching at all. [They're] seriously as relaxing as good maternity pants. And no see-through problems for me."

Size range: XS/S to XL

19. Athleta Salutation Stash II ⅞ Leggings

Best Size Range

Sure, a lot of the pants on this list have pretty impressive size ranges, but this particular Athleta pair (which also boast convenient pockets) comes in regular, tall, petite and plus sizes ranging from XXS to 3X. And according to one reviewer, they have major range in terms of what you can wear ’em for, too. “I seriously have worn these for everything from sitting on the couch to skiing to running five miles,” she explains. Now, that’s impressive.

Size range: XXS to 3X

20. Alo Airbrush Leggings

Best Workout Leggings for Short Women

Short ladies, listen up: Shopper Jessie L. has found the perfect leggings for you. She says this pair hits just above the ankle, rather than bunching up or looking full-length, like most of the other ⅞ length pairs she’s tried. “I like how the high-waist design smooths my waist and moves with me,” she adds. The Airbrush material is also designed to smooth and sculpt the legs and butt.

Size range: XXS to XL

21. Fabletics On-The-Go Powerhold Leggings

Best for Spinning

Spin enthusiast Jackie C. says these Fabletics leggings are her favorite 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 some others on the market.

Size range: XXS to 4X

22. Free People FP Movement Breathe Deeper Leggings

Best Polyester Leggings

Even though these beloved high-rise and cropped leggings are made of polyester and elastane, customers say they feel like cotton, so you can bet they're as breathable and stretchy as they come. These are ideal for lower-impact workouts, like SoulCycle or yoga class. The V-waistband with ruched detailing also makes them one of the most flattering pairs to buy. 

Size range: XS to L

23. Colorfulkoala Pattern Leggings

Highest Rated on Amazon

Colorfulkoala’s leggings are known for being among the most comfortable and affordable on Amazon, so it’s no wonder they’ve racked up more than 15,000 five-star reviews. They’re comfy enough to rock for just about any type of workout, confirms happy customer 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?

Size range: XS to XL

24. lululemon Fast and Free Tights

Best Stay-in-Place Leggings

"These are great," raves lululemon fan Gabriella. "I have cycled, run and weight lifted in them. These did not slide down or roll on my waist, which was amazing. Pockets are super convenient, will be purchasing more!" She’s so enamored with this pair’s comfort and sturdiness that she's ready to buy another. According to lululemon’s site, these leggings were specifically designed for running, but we wouldn't blame you for considering investing in a pair for everyday errands, like grocery shopping, as well.

Size range: 0 to 20

25. Athleta Elation Capris

Most Durable

If you prefer to wear your leggings until they come apart at the seams, Athleta’s capris were made for you. These babies are so durable that reviewer 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 in high-friction areas. 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.

Size range: XXS to 3X

26. Target All In Motion Leggings

Best Moisture-Wicking

Buyer Eliza K., who recommended these Target brand leggings to us, 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. Alas, she decided to share her $25 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 they're appropriate 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.

Size range: XS to XL

27. Beyond Yoga Spacedye Essential Leggings

Softest Workout Leggings

These Beyond Yoga workout bottoms are ridiculously soft and smooth over your legs and butt for a flattering fit, according to a review from Tiffany K. And nope, they won’t start sagging five minutes into your Zumba class. They also happen to be moisture-wicking, making them ideal for your next hot yoga sesh.

Size range: XS to XL

28. Offline by Aerie Real Me Leggings

Best Lightweight Workout Leggings

If you’re familiar with the V-waist Aerie leggings that went viral on TikTok, these are basically their sister pair. They’re made from the same figure-flattering nylon material customers love, just with a traditional straight waist instead of a cross-front waist. "They’re the softest and silkiest leggings ever, and they’ve held up through, like, 600 washes,” writes Lauren E. in a glowing review.

Size range: XXS to XXL

29. 90 Degree By Reflex Leggings

Best for Cold Weather

Want to stay warm during the winter? Get these fan-favorite fleece-lined leggings, designed to keep you extra cozy during brisk morning runs. You can get them with or without pockets, but we think you'll love having the option either way. Take it from this one happy buyer: "I purchased these leggings with the idea to wear them hiking in the winter. I have not been disappointed. I wore them in 20-degree temperatures and was comfortable in them."

Size range: XS to 2X

30. The Gym People Yoga Pants

Best Leggings with Pockets

"I love the pockets, there's one on each side large enough to hold my cellphone," writes happy customer Liz. "The pocket in the waistband also fits my phone, and held it there through a pretty strenuous jump/burpee test. Very convenient place to hold your phone if you want to make sure it doesn't fall out while working out." She loves the snug fit and says she would even buy a size down for some extra compression. More than 34,000 others back Liz up, giving 5-star ratings that proclaim they're a must-have.

Size range: S to XL

31. Free People Running Through My Mind Leggings

Most Flattering

One thrilled buyer writes, "Love! Love! Love! Got these in four different colors. They are very flattering. They may look like they may run a little small when you pull them out the package—but don’t panic—once you put them on, you’ll fall in love instantly! They don’t slip, and they make my bum look amazing!" They have a high-compression waistband with adorable cutout details on the sides for extra breathability and contour your body beautifully from every angle. Not sold yet? Check out the matching bra.

Size range: XS to L

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