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Best Workout Leggings of 2024: 10 Quality Options for Any Activity

Best Workout Leggings
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Updated January 18, 2024

Alright fitness fanatics, listen up! We all know that staying fit and fab requires more than just a pair of sneakers and a positive attitude. The unsung heroes of our workout wardrobes? Workout leggings, of course! These comfy, stylish companions are the real MVPs, whether you're crushing it at the gym, sweating it out in yoga class, or just strolling around town. In this guide, I’ll spill the beans on all things leggings. I'll chat about the trendiest designs, butteriest materials, and the top features to make your workouts pop. So let's dive into the world of workout leggings—the ultimate game changers in athleisure fashion.

What to look for when buying workout leggings

Fit

It goes without saying that the most important factor when choosing a pair of leggings is the way they fit your body. Everyone’s body is different and choosing a pair that flatters you while being comfortable enough to move around in is the top priority. Additionally, make sure the pair is thick enough to be opaque while stretching.

Style

Workout leggings come in many different colors and styles. Some have pockets to carry your phone and keys, some are streamlined, some are short, and some are cropped. Nowadays, flare leggings are coming back into style as well! Choosing the right style for your individual taste and preferences will help you to perform your best at the gym.

Length

Similar to style, length is an important factor to consider when choosing your perfect pair of workout leggings. While many leggings are cropped at the ankle, there are also full-length options. Depending on your height, you may need to consider opting for a “short” option, or risk needing to roll them up.

Features and material

Different types of leggings have different key features you’ll want to look out for. Some are optimized for cooling, some feature sweat-wicking technology, and some are built for shape-retention. It’s important to know what type of workout you intend to put your leggings through in order to decide which features to look for. For example, while thickness and opacity may be a huge deciding factor for weightlifters, runners may want something with quick-dry technology to keep them dry and cool during their workout sesh.

Our top picks for the best workout leggings

Best workout leggings on Amazon: The Gym People Thick High Waist Yoga Pant

Starting off strong, these high-waisted bottoms from The Gym People are all the rage on Amazon right now and some of the best yoga pants for working out. Priced below $30, many purchasers feel that they are comparable with much more expensive, high-end brands. 

Specifications:

  • Material: 88% polyamide, 12% spandex
  • Length: Ankle
  • Size range: XS - 3XL
  • Fit: High rise
  • Price on publish: $24.99

What we like:

  • Ultra-comfortable
  • High-quality material
  • Affordable
  • Inclusive size range
  • Comes in 40 colors

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviewers felt the fabric was inconsistent
  • Color may vary from what’s pictured

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a pair of high-quality leggings on a budget, this pair from The Gym People is a safe option.

Best workout leggings on Amazon
THE GYM PEOPLE Thick High Waist Yoga Pants with Pockets, Tummy Control Workout Running Yoga Leggings for Women (Medium, Black  )

THE GYM PEOPLE Thick High Waist Yoga Pants with Pockets, Tummy Control Workout Running Yoga Leggings for Women (Medium, Black  )

Best maternity workout leggings: Belly Bandit Maternity Bump Support Leggings

These pants are supportive, stretchy, and versatile—so what’s not to love? Belly Bandit is one of the best places to buy maternity clothes, and the company’s leggings are no exception. Created with no-show fabric designed to move and stretch with your body, these leggings are sure to keep you feeling comfortable all day.

Specifications:

  • Material: WonderWeave™ fabric
  • Length: Ankle
  • Size range: S - XL
  • Fit: Wear high over your belly, or fold down to wear under it
  • Price on publish: $59.95

What we like:

  • WonderWeave™ material is designed to lock-in lotion and help prevent stretch marks from forming
  • Versatile wear: high or low, depending on preference
  • Extremely comfortable and soft

What we don’t like:

  • Some purchasers felt they do not hold up to the test of time
  • Several reviewers felt they are less opaque than advertised

The bottom line:

The Belly Bandit Maternity Bump Support legging is perfect for anyone looking for a high-quality option to wear while pregnant that’s comfortable enough to move around in all day.

Best maternity workout leggings
Belly Bandit Maternity Bump Support Leggings

Belly Bandit Maternity Bump Support Leggings

Best plus-size workout leggings: Athleta Transcend Stash Tight

The Transcend Stash Tight from Athleta is a fantastic, size-inclusive workout legging that flatters all body types. Complete with built-in pockets and moisture-wicking technology, these leggings are ideal for even your toughest workouts. With sizes ranging from XXS to 3XL, plus multiple heights and colors to choose from, there’s a Transcend legging for everyone. Shopping tip: Athleta also made our lists for the best joggers for women and the best flared leggings.

Specifications:

  • Material: VITAFREE fabric (75% nylon, 25% Lycra®)
  • Length: Full length
  • Size range: Regular: XXS - 3XL, Tall: XS - XL, Petite: XXS - L
  • Fit: High rise
  • Price on publish: $109

What we like:

  • Breathable and quick-drying
  • Buttery soft, comfortable, and opaque
  • Comes in seven colors
  • Made in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory

What we don’t like:

  • On the pricier side
  • Certain sizes sell out quickly

The bottom line:

Flattering, moisture-wicking, and size-inclusive—what more can you ask for in a legging brand?

Best plus-size workout leggings
Transcend Stash Leggings

Transcend Stash Leggings

Best workout leggings for yoga and pilates: lululemon Align High-Rise Pant with Pockets

Extremely soft and effortlessly stylish, the Aligns are some of the best lululemon leggings and have developed a massive following over the years for their level of quality and meticulous attention to detail. Designed specifically for yoga, these pants move and stretch with your body seamlessly through every pose. The sweat-wicking material and four-way stretch feature makes this a light legging that will forever elevate your workout game.

Specifications:

  • Material: Nulu™ fabric (81% nylon, 19% Lycra®)
  • Length: Ankle
  • Size range: 0 - 20
  • Fit: High rise
  • Price on publish: $128

What we like:

  • Weightless feel, yet opaque
  • Moisture-wicking and breathable
  • Incredibly soft, cloud-like feel
  • Ten colors to choose from
  • Available in four lengths: 23”, 25”, 28”, and 31”

What we don’t like:

  • Pricey
  • Often out of stock
  • Many reviewers noted that they fall down/do not stay put all day

The bottom line:

For a stylish, classic, and comfortable yoga pant that contours to your body, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Aligns.

Best workout leggings for yoga and pilates:
lululemon Align™ High-Rise Leggings with Pockets 25"

lululemon Align™ High-Rise Leggings with Pockets 25"

Best compression workout leggings: SPANX Booty Boost Active High Waist Legging

While SPANX is known for the best shapewear for women, the brand also has options that are meant to be worn out and about. These slimming compression leggings from SPANX are the ultimate glute-sculpting workout pant. These tights are known for slimming the waist, creating a toned silhouette for the lower body, and accentuating all of your best features. For those new to compression leggings, try sizing up for a more comfortable fit.

Specifications:

  • Material: 60% nylon, 40% Lycra®
  • Length: Ankle
  • Size range: XS - XL
  • Fit: High rise
  • Price on publish: $98

What we like:

  • Great compression without the “suffocating” feel
  • Stays secure during high-intensity workouts
  • Easy to move around in

What we don’t like:

  • Limited sizing options
  • Reviewers say they run small

The bottom line:

The SPANX Booty Boost legging offers the perfect balance between comfort and compression. They tend to run small, so be sure to size up when ordering.

Best compression workout leggings
SPANX Booty Boost Active High Waist 7/8 Leggings in Dark Storm at Nordstrom, Size X-Large

SPANX Booty Boost Active High Waist 7/8 Leggings in Dark Storm at Nordstrom, Size X-Large

Best affordable workout leggings: 90 Degree By Reflex Wonderlink High Waist Ankle Legging

These ankle-length Wonderlink leggings are thicker than your usual leggings but have great stretch. (These pass the squat test so you don’t have to worry about any sheer areas around the seat.) They’re also soft and great for lifting, cardio, or yoga. Or just lounging!

Specifications:

  • Material: 75% polyester, 25% spandex
  • Length: Ankle
  • Size range: XS - XL
  • Fit: High rise
  • Price on publish: $21.97

What we like:

  • Super affordable
  • Comparable material and fit to much higher-priced products
  • Two pockets

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviewers felt the brand has been inconsistent with the fabric and preferred the older versions

The bottom line:

These Wonderlink Leggings are a high-quality option that will have you feeling comfortable all day—and for a fraction of the cost of its more expensive counterparts.

Best tummy control workout leggings: Alo Airlift High Waist 7/8 Leggings

For a sculpted tummy area that’s still soft and comfortable, you can’t go wrong with the Airlift by Alo (a brand that’s also appeared on our round-ups for the best sweatpants for women and the best leggings for women). These beautiful quality leggings are designed to keep you tucked in while still allowing you to move freely.

Specifications:

  • Material: 82% polyester, 18% elastane
  • Length: Full length
  • Size range: XXS - XL
  • Fit: High rise
  • Price on publish: $128

What we like:

  • Comfortable second-skin fit
  • High-quality and designed to last
  • Moisture-wicking, anti-microbial fabric

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviewers felt they were prone to pilling in the thigh area
  • Fits long, so shorter people may have to roll
  • Some colors are prone to showing sweat marks

The bottom line:

Even though these leggings are a bit pricey, the quality and tummy-control technology make the Alo Airlift worth the splurge.

Best tummy control workout leggings
Alo Airlift High Waist 7/8 Leggings in Black at Nordstrom, Size X-Small

Alo Airlift High Waist 7/8 Leggings in Black at Nordstrom, Size X-Small

Best workout leggings for lifting: Alphalete Amplify Legging

The Amplify Legging by Alphalete is an ideal choice for lifting due to its breathable, stretchy material. Thick, yet easy to move in, these leggings provide the perfect balance between support and flexibility, making them a game-changer during weightlifting sessions. They also come in a variety of colors, so you can lift heavy and look stylish while doing it.

Specifications:

  • Material: 51% polyamide, 38% polyester, 11% elastane
  • Length: Full length
  • Size range: XXS - 2XL
  • Fit: High rise
  • Price on publish: $72

What we like:

  • Form-fitting and flattering design
  • Made for high-impact workouts
  • High quality material

What we don’t like:

  • Some sizing inconsistencies
  • Not the most budget-friendly

The bottom line:

Whether you're hitting the squat rack or mastering deadlifts, the Amplify Legging has your back, offering the comfort and performance you need to conquer your workout with confidence.

Best workout leggings for liftin
Alphalete Amplify Legging

Alphalete Amplify Legging

Best leggings for running and cardio: lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Tight

Lululemon's Fast and Free is like a workout buddy that's got your back—and legs. The Nulux™ fabric feels like a second skin, keeping you cool and flexible during your cardio routine. Plus they have pockets to hold your stuff and come in a bunch of cool colors. Who said you can't crush it at the gym and look good doing it?

Specifications:

  • Material: Nulux™ fabric (84% nylon, 16% Lycra®)
  • Length: Ankle
  • Size range: 0 - 20
  • Fit: High rise
  • Price on publish: $120

What we like:

  • Five waistband pockets and two side pockets
  • Lightweight yet squat-proof
  • Sleek, sweat-wicking and cooling material

What we don’t like:

  • Limited sizing
  • Known to run small

The bottom line:

With comfy Nulux™ fabric, the Fast and Free High-Rise Tight is like a second skin that’s cooling and flexible.

Best leggings for running and cardio
Fast and Free High-Rise Leggings 25" Pockets

Fast and Free High-Rise Leggings 25" Pockets

Best workout leggings for curvy figure: BuffBunny Rosa Pocket Legging

A much-loved classic among curvy girls everywhere, the Rosa Pocket Legging from BuffBunny is built to accentuate all your best features for a fit that’s as attractive as it is functional. With built-in glute contour, these leggings are the perfect squat-proof workout pant.

Specifications:

  • Material: NuBre (nylon/spandex)
  • Length: Full length
  • Size range: XXS - 3XL
  • Fit: Ultra high rise
  • Price on publish: $72

What we like:

  • Comfortable “second skin” feel
  • Light to medium compression
  • Squat-proof and thick
  • Side pockets

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviewers said the fit is too loose
  • Leggings with the bright colors sometimes show panty lines

The bottom line:

The Rosa Pocket Legging is a great choice for curvy girls who want to accentuate their curves and feel confident all day.

How we selected the best workout leggings

I picked out the best workout leggings after diving into some serious research, comparing overall popularity, quality of the material, and reviews and ratings to make sure you're getting pants that look and feel great. As a fitness enthusiast, I also had personal experience with many of the picks on this list.

What to wear under workout leggings

Dreaded panty lines (even from the best cotton underwear) can ruin an otherwise perfect gym outfit. To avoid obvious lines beneath your workout leggings, many gym enthusiasts opt for a no-show seamless thong. It’s also important to note that thinner leggings, as well as leggings in lighter colors, will usually show more lines, so if this is a concern, you’ll want to opt for ones that are thicker, more opaque, and a darker color.

What's the difference between leggings and activewear leggings?

Activewear leggings differ from regular leggings in thickness, quality, and intended use. While regular leggings are made to be worn with boots, stylish shoes, or regular day-to-day outfits, workout leggings are specifically tailored to move and stretch with your body as you exercise, and often provide additional features such as moisture-wicking fabrics.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What leggings are best at the gym?

When it comes to gym leggings, it's all about personal preference. Some love the feel of a good compression legging, while others vibe with the flexibility of lululemon or the affordability of Old Navy. Whether you're into high-waisted comfort or a pocket for your phone, the best gym leggings are the ones that make you feel like a fitness superhero.

What leggings are squat-proof?

If you’re looking for squat-proof leggings, you’ll want to search for something made of opaque material, such as nylon, spandex, and/or lycra. These materials are ideal for bending without ripping, over-stretching, or becoming see-through.

Are expensive gym leggings worth it?

If you’re someone who exercises regularly, you know that a pair of high-quality workout leggings are usually worth the splurge. However, leggings do not have to be expensive to be made with high-quality materials. If you’re looking for great quality on a budget, try comparing materials from higher-end brands to more affordable options—you’ll find that many of them are comparable.

What causes leggings to be see-through?

Generally, leggings made with thinner fabrics, such as cotton, are more likely to be see-through. Additionally, tights that don’t fit properly may appear more see-through as they stretch. So it’s important to make sure your leggings are a proper fit.

How often should you wash workout leggings?

Since you’ll be sweating in your leggings, it’s important to wash them after each workout. A good pair of leggings will be able to withstand regular washing without pilling, tearing, or fading.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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