The 13 Best Warm Leggings for Winter, Tested and Reviewed By Editors and Customers

Fleece-lined tights are running through our minds

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universal warm leggings for winter
Dasha Burobina for PureWow

Whether we’re working from home or heading out for a chilly jog, we live in comfortable, cozy leggings as the temperatures cool down. Warm leggings for winter weather are essential because they keep your legs warm and can help with your performance and recovery when you wear them to workout in, which is why we've dubbed the lululemon Wunder Train High-Rise Leggings ($98) as the best lululemon option because of the breathability and warmth of the fabric. And if you're looking for the best warm leggings for running, we'd like to point you to the Tracksmith Turnover Tights ($128). Thanks to their Inverno blend material that adjusts to the temperature, food editor Katherine Gillen says the brushed material feels so soft against your skin, it's like they're fleece-lined to keep you toasty. As for our best overall pick, we've tested and vetted quite a few warm leggings for winter that could be worn casually or for working out. We also looked for the leggings that kept our legs warm on their own and as a base layer in snowier climates. Other qualities we assessed when testing were how flexible, comfortable and sweat-wicking the leggings were, and we tried to pull options in varying price ranges.

The Best Warm Leggings for Winter At A Glance


Best Overall

Athleta Altitude Stash Leggings

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Best lululemon Leggings

lululemon Wunder Train High-Rise Tights

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Best Running Tights

Tracksmith Turnover Tights

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Most Comfortable Active Leggings

Adidas COLDRDY Leggings

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Best Maternity

Cuddl Duds Fleece Thermal Leggings

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How to Style Warm Winter Leggings

A pair of warm winter leggings doesn't just have to be a base layer under your ski clothes. If you're headed to the office, we recommend trying the Spanx Faux Leather Leggings and pairing them with more work-appropriate layers like a collared shirt under a sweater or an oversized blazer on top. For lounging around, you can dress them down with a cute sweatshirt or go for a full athleisure vibe.

Our brains automatically assume warm leggings have to be fleece-lined, and while that can be true, there are so many other kinds out there to keep your legs toasty.

How We Chose the Best Warm Leggings

From trekking through the streets of NYC during the brutal winter months to swooshing down the slopes of Vail, Colorado and walking against the harsh winds of Chicago in February, our editors have a few pairs of leggings we stand by for staying warm in the winter. We tested for comfort, material, warmth, style and compression. Several PureWow editors are avid runners, who have vetted these leggings against long runs and low temps, while other picks have been tested as base layers during day-long sledding excursions with our kids. We also looked at reviews for some of our favorite brands to scope out which leggings had the highest customer ratings. Without further ado, here are the 13 best warm leggings for winter

25 Pairs of Leggings with Pockets That Are Big Enough to Hold All Your Essentials

Best Overall

1. Athleta Altitude Stash Leggings


  • What We Like: Polartec material, moisture-wicking
  • What We Don't Like: only three colors, may make you hot you wearing indoors
  • Material: Polartec
  • Size Range: XXS to 3XL

These leggings are made with Polartec for a sleek, smooth outer that's great for avoiding pilling and chafing. The fleece interior will keep your legs warm but won't cause them to overheat, thanks to the sweat-wicking technology made to pull the sweat from the material to the surface so it can evaporate. "I wear these constantly in the winter for outdoor walks and workouts because the Polartec is a fleece-lined fabric that wicks my sweat instead of soaking it up," says commerce editor Olivia Dubyak. "It can be hard to find fleece-lined material that's flexible enough to keep up with your workouts, but this material has plenty of stretch and flex to support your movements," she mentions.

Best lululemon Leggings

2. lululemon Wunder Train High-Rise Tights


  • What We Like: soft brushed material, quick drying
  • What We Don't Like: they run a little tight
  • Material: Everlux
  • Size Range: 0 to 20

According to commerce editor Olivia Dubyak, these leggings are a must-have for outdoor training. "I wore these leggings for half marathon training in the Colorado winter and they kept my legs and butt warm during my entire run," she says. "They also made a great base layer for snowy runs because my second layer would glide comfortably against the material and wouldn't cling to it." This pair is also ideal for going out on long winter walks or jogs, thanks to its high waist and snug compression. The Everlux material is breathable and supportive, which is great for anyone who wants to keep warm without sweating their butts off, and the supportive waistband will keep them from falling down while you workout.

Best Running Tights

3. Tracksmith Turnover Tights


  • What We Like: Inverno blend fabric, lightweight
  • What We Don't Like: brand mentions they run a little small
  • Material: Inverno blend
  • Size Range: XS to XL

Made for long, hard runs, these tights stretch with every step. The Inverno blend fabric is incredibly breathable and flexible, moving with your body. Plus, it provides plenty of warmth without overheating your legs since it adjusts with your body temperature. "These Tracksmith leggings are just so good. They’re brushed on the inside, almost like fleece, but they still dry fast and don’t feel heavy or too thick," says food editor Katherine Gillen. "I’ve owned them for a little over a year now and they haven’t gotten that musty sweat smell—even after I’ve worn them a couple times in a row," she mentions. You can also find a little zippered pocket along the back waistband of the leggings to store your keys or cards in.

Most Comfortable Active Leggings

4. Adidas COLD.RDY Leggings


  • What We Like: back and side pockets, stretchy material
  • What We Don't Like: only two colors, run a little large
  • Material: polyester-spandex blend
  • Size Range: XS to XL

If you're a cold weather runner, leggings that keep you toasty are a must. These are designed with extra stretch to support your legs through long strides and stay snug around your waist for all of your miles. Senior editor Dana Dickey loves these leggings for her outdoor winter runs."There’s a knitted waistband that cuddles your waist, as well as side pockets for holding my phone," she says. The COLD.RDY line is made to keep your body warm and well-ventilated through your workouts, and the extra back pocket is great for holding your cards. Dickey also mentions these run a smidge on the larger side, so you may want to size down.

Best Maternity

5. Cuddl Duds Fleece Thermal Leggings

Cuddl Duds

  • What We Like: fleece material, low rise
  • What We Don't Like: can pill after a lot of wear, not overly fitted
  • Material: polyester-spandex blend
  • Size Range: XS to XL

Commerce editor Olivia Dubyak loves the feel of these soft fleece leggings, which she wears constantly. "These are always my base layer for my wintery Colorado outings, and I love that the fleece is incredibly soft without feeling too thick or bulky under other clothes," she says."Now that I'm very pregnant, I can't wait to wear these as it gets colder because the low-rise waist sits beneath my belly comfortably," Dubyak adds.

Best Faux Leather Leggings

6. Spanx Faux Leather Leggings


  • What We Like: sophisticated silhouette, sculpting
  • What We Don't Like: fits very tight
  • Material: nylon blend
  • Size Range: XS to XL

If you’re going for a dressier look, these faux leather leggings do a magnificent job of looking chic, while keeping out the cold. "They have a super soft, silky feeling inside that adds some thickness to them, which is both smoothing and adds warmth," says assistant commerce editor Natalie LaBarbera. According to one reviewer, the compression will sculpt and flatter your curves. "They're sexy, chic and so comfortable all in one. They hug every curveeven my small calves and thicker thighs, which is hard to find," she says.

Best Merino Wool Leggings

7. Kari Traa Smekker Baselayer Pants

Kari Traa

  • What We Like: lightweight, soft material
  • What We Don't Like: may be long on shorter frames
  • Material: polyester-spandex blend
  • Size Range: XS to XL

If you're an avid skiier or snow bunny, you're going to want to opt for a pair of merino wool leggings because of the material's heat retention capabilities. Director of affiliate strategy Pamela Masin says these leggings were worth the splurge when she got into skiing. ""They are breathable and temperature regulating, so I no longer deal with sweating under my snow pants, which would end up making me feel cold. Plus, the fabric and fit are incredibly comfortable (they aren't skin-tight like traditional workout leggings). I've definitely worn them as pajamas, too!" she says. Be aware that 100 percent merino wool can stretch easily when worn but they will shrink back down after a wash. Make sure to properly launder your leggings so they stay nice and shapely after frequent wear.

Best Thermal Leggings

8. Nike Pro Therma-FIT Leggings


  • What We Like: high compression, thermal
  • What We Don't Like: not great for lounging
  • Material: nylon-spandex blend
  • Size Range: XXS to 2XL

If you're an outdoor workout fiend, these thermal leggings will save you from shivering when temps drop to single digits. They are made with a therma-FIT technology to help regulate your body temperature. "I wear leggings religiously in the winter. Even when I'm not working out, I like the compression of these leggings so I frequently wear them out and about because they make me feel put together," says commerce editor Olivia Dubyak. "I've bounced around from Pennsylvania to NYC to Chicago to Colorado, so I am a huge investor in warm weather clothing and can tell you that these are a total win," she adds. They're high-rise and have medium to high compression and are fitted nicely to your body.

Best Leggings With Pockets

9. Baleaf Fleece-Lined Winter Leggings


  • What We Like: side pockets, lightweight
  • What We Don't Like: may be too long on shorter frames
  • Material: polyester-spandex blend
  • Size Range: XS to 3XL

A trusty pair of leggings you can throw on any day of the week without having to think about it is essential to a well-rounded wardrobe, and these are our pick for the winter. They have a light fleece lining and are stretchy enough for lounging around in—plus, they have side pockets.Just a heads up, though: They have little to no compression or support, so casual wear is best. "[They're] water-resistant, warm and comfortable—everything I wanted them to be. [They] do tend to get slightly baggy around the knees through wear, but go back to normal after a wash," reports one Amazon customer.

Best Fleece-Lined

10. 90 Degree By Reflex Fleece-Lined Leggings

90 Degrees by Reflex

  • What We Like: fleece-lined, wide waistband
  • What We Don't Like: run a bit small
  • Material: polyester-spandex blend
  • Size Range: XS to 2XL

Fleece-lined leggings are a great choice if you’re going (and staying) out for the day and want to stay warm. These aren’t too thick (so they won’t hinder mobility), but the soft fleece lining will provide an extra bit of warmth. And they're incredibly stretchy, so they'll be comfortable to wear all day long. "The wide waistband is a bit snug, but that's not an issue. I'd rather have a snug fit instead of fighting to keep them up when you bend over. The length is perfect, and the fleece is soft and plush. They're a 'keeper'," says one Amazon customer.

Best for Tall Women

11. On Running Tights Long

On Running

  • What We Like: made for long legs, sweat-wicking
  • What We Don't Like: run a bit small
  • Material: polyester-spandex blend
  • Size Range: XS to 2XL

Outdoor running in the winter is not for the faint of heart. Thankfully, these leggings will do a phenomenal job at keeping your legs warm while you get your miles in and wick sweat at the same time. The thighs have extra stretchy panels to lengthen with each stride you take, so if you have long legs you won't have to worry about them ever riding up above your ankles.

Best Base Layer

12. The North Face Winter Warm Essential Leggings

The North Face

  • What We Like: quick-drying material, contoured waistband
  • What We Don't Like: run a bit small
  • Material: polyester blend
  • Size Range: XS to 2XL

We love thick, high waistbands, but what we love even more is the contoured design on these leggings, so they sit higher in the back to emphasize your booty. They also have a triangle gusset for optimal stretch and movement and are made with FlashDry-Pro material to effectively wick sweat. "What you should know: they are somewhat compressive, which is great, they are high rise and have a very flattering cut, however they are not very thick. So it you're planning to wear them at -30 degrees, [you] will be cold. [Worn] with a base layer doing an active sport, they will be wonderful," says one North Face customer. Some reviewers note that these leggings run a bit small, so be sure to consult the sizing chart before you order.

Best for Workouts

13. Under Armour Cold Weather Leggings

Under Armour

  • What We Like: high compression, side pockets
  • What We Don't Like: runs a bit large
  • Material: polyester blend
  • Size Range: X to 2XL, short, regular and tall

Leggings that are made to withstand cold climates are great for athletes who are always working out outdoors. These are made of a dual-layer ColdGear fabric that keeps your legs warm against bracingly cold air. The interior is also brushed for extra softness against your skin. Last but not least, they have side pockets to hold your belongings and fit quite securely, as they're made to be ultra-compressive.

Tips to Consider While Shopping for Warm Leggings

The Best Materials

These days, many brands have their own technology that sets their leggings apart from competitors, so the names of the fabrics used can vary. That said, these are the best materials to keep an eye out for when shopping for the best leggings for cold weather.

  • Fleece: Obviously we immediately associate fleece with being warm and cozy, whether it's on your favorite PJs or blanket. This material is insulated to keep warmth in, while also being ultra-soft to the touch.
  • Merino Wool: Whether it's a wool or wool-blend legging, this fabric is especially great in activewear because it's sweat-wicking.
  • Blends: Synthetic blends are a top pick for keeping your legs warm in the winter. A little merino wool here, a little nylon there and whatever else is included will ultimately offer plenty of warmth that's not too suffocating against your skin.

What Are You Wearing Them For?

If you're looking for workout leggings that add to your activewear selection, you should look for features like sweat-wicking technology, hidden pockets and flexibility/stretch to ensure you can keep your performance strong during your workouts. If you're popping them on as a base layer for winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, they should offer breathability and feel soft against your skin. (Perhaps a fleece-lined set would be a good choice for you?) With workwear leggings, they should look sleek without too many activewear features like bulky pockets or mesh paneling on the sides, so it doesn't clash with dressier outfits.

How to Wash Fleece-Lined Leggings

While this may seem like a no-brainer, the first thing you should do is assess the instructions on the interior tag (and check the brand's website to see if they have any additional tips for extending the longevity of your leggings). Not all leggings are made the same, so even though some materials may have similar laundering steps, each brand has their quirks based on the way the leggings were made. As a general rule, fleece-lined leggings should be washed gently in warm water to keep the fleece soft and warm (and prevent shedding or matting). Follow any other instructions for laundering fleece items, so you're maintaining its texture and shape, including hand washing and hang drying them.

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Commerce Editor

Olivia Dubyak is PureWow's Commerce Editor and textbook Capricorn. She studied journalism at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has gone from New York City to...

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