Chances are you have more pairs of workout leggings in your wardrobe now than in previous years. The growing range of styles available feature moisture-wicking material, breathability and flattering body contouring that make them hard to resist slipping into—even if a HIIT workout isn’t on your to-do list. And since they’re so versatile, you can never have too many, whether for the gym or everyday wear. For those searching for the perfect pair, we found some of the best workout leggings for women ahead.
You’ve been warned: You’ll never want to take off these figure-sculpting Zella leggings.
From fleece-lined to mesh-paneled versions, below you’ll find options for every possible activity (as well as your WFH outfits). These pairs have either been tried and tested or come highly recommended—and they start at just $23, which proves you don’t need to spend a lot of money for quality workout leggings.
Best Workout Leggings Overall
Sweaty Betty: A Pair That Meets All The Standards
Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colors: Black, black fade, black geo, black print, green print| Materials: 62% polyamide, 38% elastane
If you frequently have problems with a gapping waistband, the bonded waist on these leggings have extra compression for support. The high cut and compression material make for a flattering, comfortable fit overall. And they’re squat-proof, so you can wear them for running, lifting, yoga or pilates.
What the reviews say: According to one Sweaty Betty reviewer, “These are the actual bomb! Super compressed, figure hugging, fabulous bum lift, perfect length, hugely flattering.” However, users are mixed on whether the waist rolls down, and some say these leggings run small.
- Sweat-wicking and quick-drying fabric
- Two side pockets
- Some don’t love the front seam
Best High-Waisted Workout Leggings
Vuori: A Sky-High Waistband With A Comfortable Fit
Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colors: light pink flower, rose heather, pale camo, navy heather, black heather| Materials: 87% recycled polyester, 13% elastane
Activewear brand Vuori is known for its thoughtful technical details and this legging features several. It’s made from sweat-wicking fabric, it has a hidden zipper pocket to stash things like keys and cash and it doesn’t have side seams, which helps with freedom of movement and no rubbing.
What the reviews say: Users love the “dreamy” fabric’s ultrasoft feel and perfectly snug fit, although some would prefer side pockets to the zipper pocket.
- Come in three different lengths—regular, short, long
- Supersoft feel
- Some say there can be pilling
Best Workout Leggings For HIIT
Outdoor Voices: Activewear For Serious Workouts
Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: Black, green, black polka, yellow, raspberry | Materials: 72% nylon, 17% lycra, 11% polyester
These leggings from Outdoor Voices have a structured waist, which helps keep them in place while you get all your burpees in. Made from the brand’s signature TechSweat fabric, these moisture-wicking leggings are specifically designed for HIIT workouts and the sweat that comes with it.
What the reviews say: “The waistband is unbelievably life changing for squats, lunges, HIIT and weight lifting,” says one reviewer. “Compression is just right. Not sure how they do it but these glide right on, stay put like no other leggings, and look amazing.” Users also say they wash well, but some comment that certain lighter colorways are see through.
- Compressive fabric retains its shape
- Some say the waistband is too rigid
Best Size-Inclusive Workout Leggings
Girlfriend Collective: Leggings For Every Body Type
Sizes: XXS-6XL | Colors: Plum, navy, black, green, brown, white | Materials: 79% recycled plastic bottles (RPET), 21% spandex
Girlfriend Collective is bringing transparency and size inclusivity to the activewear category with its range of eco-friendly workout gear. Available in sizes XXS-6X, these compression leggings made from durable recycled materials feature a high waist, double side seams and double side pockets—proving they’re just as functional as they are comfortable.
What the reviews say: “I love how compressive they are without feeling uncomfortable,” says one reviewer. “And they don’t slide down while working out.” Another user point out: “The hype on these is justified. The fabric is super thick and excellent quality, not at all see-through.”
- Two roomy hip pockets
- Four-way stretch
- Some say they have to size up
Best Lightweight Workout Leggings
Hoka: Workout Gear With UV Protection
Sizes: HS-XL | Colors: Black/red, blue, black | Materials: 78% polyamide, 22% elastane
You might be more familiar with Hoka’s running shoes, but don’t sleep on the brand’s workout gear. For warm-weather days, these brushed, ultra-soft tights with UV protection are an ideal choice.
What the reviews say: “I am runner and entering the world of ultra marathons,” says a Hoka reviewer. “These leggings are super comfortable, fit me like a glove and stay in place.” Other users love the pockets and like that they conceal sweat, but some say they wish there was a waistband drawcord.
- Four pockets, and two fit smartphones
- Brushed, soft feel
Best Reflective Workout Leggings
Nike: A Pair That Glows In The Dark
Nike Dri-Fit Run Division Fast Women’s Running Leggings
Sizes: XXS-2XL | Colors: Black, indigo, lavender | Materials: 80% polyester, 20% spandex
If you’re a night jogger or runner, then the leggings of your dreams will probably come with some details to improve visibility, as is the case with this pair featuring a reflective print. Your ideal leggings might also feature pockets for storing your essentials and moisture-wicking fabric to help you stay dry. This pair from Nike checks both boxes.
What the reviews say: “The waistband is fitted enough, plus the draw cord provides extra insurance,” says a reviewer. “They provide the perfect amount of compression for every workout—my first one was a HIIT workout from the Nike Training Club, and I didn’t touch these once.”
- Waistband drawcord
- Zippered waistband pocket fits a cell phone
Best Inexpensive Workout Leggings
Baleaf: A Budget-Friendly Option
Sizes: XS-XXL | Colors: Black, gray, navy, purple | Materials: 80% nylon, 20% spandex
Along with 8,000 positive Amazon reviews, these nylon and spandex cropped leggings have chafe-free seams, a high-rise waistband and a super affordable price tag. They have a small internal pocket that’s just the right size for a key or credit card as well. While they do have quite a bit of stretch, they don’t have a strong compression hold or a thick enough fabric to be squat-proof, so they’re better off for walking or milder activities.
What the reviews say: Many buyers comment that these leggings nail it on comfort. “These are the most comfortable leggings I have found,” says one reviewer. “They’re very durable and not see-thru like some of the others out there. One problem I had with other brands is groin chafing and these do not do that.”
- No seams on inner thighs
- Deep side pockets
- Not as compressive as other styles
- Some users say they run a little large
Best No-Fuss Workout Leggings
Zella: A Go-To Pair
Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colors: Grey | Materials: 88% polyester, 12% spandex
Made from a lightweight, polyester and spandex blend that will hug your legs without adding much compression, these legging are good option for low-impact workouts.
What the reviews say: Reviewers (7,000 and counting) love that the high waist doesn’t bunch, slide or flip while you’re working out.
- Not-too-tight fit for low impact
- Moisture-wicking fabric
- More affordable price point than many other brands
- Some have issues with quick wear and tear
Best Workout Leggings With Pockets
Bandier: Sleek Leggings With Room For Essentials
Sizes: XXS-3X | Colors: Black, yellow, grey, green, navy, tan, camo | Materials: 50% nylon, 50% spandex
When it comes to leggings with pockets, the storage size tends to vary. Some pockets are shallow, with only enough room for storing your earbuds or locker key, while others are constructed to hold larger items like a cell phone, for example. If you prefer the latter, try this quick-drying pair.
What the reviews say: Overall, buyers love these for comfort and an amazing fit. According to one reviewer, “They stay in place, have just enough compression, and the fabric is high quality.” Another says, “These have great compression without being uncomfortable.”
- Lots of color options
- Roomy pockets
- Soft fabric that washes well
- May not work for petite frames
- Some say runs large in the waist
Best Workout Leggings For Cold Weather
Under Armour: Leggings That Bring The Heat
Sizes: XS-XXL | Colors: Black, charcoal, blue, navy, purple, red, garnet, rust| Materials: 87% polyester, 13% elastane
Think of the warmth you get from wearing multiple pairs of leggings. That’s what you get—minus the bulk—when you slip into this pair designed with ColdGear infrared technology. They hold body heat in and have a second skin-like finish, so you can wear them with layers if you choose to. Note: They’re just as warm when worn alone.
What the reviews say: Reviewers love these for their impeccable fit, no-slip waistband and warmth. One buyer says, “The wide elastic waistband is comfortable and secure so I can focus on things other than adjusting my leggings constantly. I love that they sit at the hipbone or a little above—not everyone wants or needs tall-waisted pants.”
- Dual-layer fabric with a brushed interior
- Sweat-wicking material
Best Everyday Workout Leggings
Alo Yoga: Leggings With A Second-Skin Feel
Sizes: XXS-XL | Colors: Gravel, gray, black, navy (and 10+ limited edition colors)| Materials: Signature micro-performance double-knit Airlift fabric
Leggings are generally comfortable, but few can match the barely-there feel of this pair. They’re constructed with breathable fabric, yet constrictive enough to hold everything in without being uncomfortable or limiting your mobility, which makes them ideal for all-day and everyday wear.
What the reviews say: Users particularly love the smoothing effect. Says one shopper, “I was so pleasantly surprised that the material was thick enough and compressing enough to smooth out the appearance of my skin.” Another reviewer says, “The wide waistband has enough compression without creating a muffin top and they are long enough to be worn under the heel for barre classes.”
- High waist works well with cropped tops and sports bras
- Moisture-wicking with four-way stretch
Best Squat-Proof Leggings
Meira: A Pair That Will Give You Peace Of Mind
Sizes: XS-XXL | Colors: Black | Materials: 88% supplex, 12% spandex
These leggings are designed with built-in underwear, so you don’t have to worry about visible panty lines. They’re also super opaque so you can squat with confidence and spend more time focusing on your workout and less time worrying about your pose.
What the reviews say: These receive high marks for comfort, coverage and versatility. “Some leggings will fit great on your waist but not your thighs, or the other way around—but these fit perfectly everywhere,” says a reviewer. “I’ve worn these leggings for a tough run, for yoga, and for hanging out and working from home…and built in underwear is great! No seams and one less thing to put in the laundry.”
- Easy care fabric that’s machine washable
- Totally opaque
- Some prefer a higher rise
- Best for low- and medium-impact activities
Best Value Workout Leggings
All In Motion: High-Quality, Budget-Friendly Workout Leggings
All in Motion Women’s Contour Flex Ultra High-Rise 7/8 Leggings
Sizes: XS-4X | Colors: White camo, orange, cranberry, black, black floral, olive green | Materials: 69% recycled polyester, 31% spandex
These high-waisted leggings check all the practical boxes: They’re moisture wicking and quick dry, and they have side pockets, flat seams and UPF50+. “I really like the brand All in Motion,” says lifestyle blogger Nany Ramirez. “The price point is under $30, and the quality is really good. They come in many colors and are very flattering too.”
What the reviews say: Users rave about the comfort, fit and dual pockets on these leggings. “These actually reach the smallest part of my waist which is flattering, comfortable, and helps prevent them from rolling down when I work out,” says one Target reviewer.
- Waist doesn’t roll down
- UPF protection
- Some users say lighter colors may be see through
What To Consider When Buying Workout Leggings
For the most part, people choose leggings based on what they’ll be wearing them for, whether for low-impact activity like walking, yoga or Pilates, or for higher impact options such as running or cross-fit. In general, look for leggings with equal parts support and movement. This combination can easily transition from errands to high-intensity interval training, or leggings that can be just as comfortable in a work from home setting as in barre class. Workout leggings that can be useful in a variety of scenarios tend to score big with reviewers.
Legging fabric composition is perhaps the most important—and polarizing—factor when it comes to choosing styles. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to fabric thickness, compression, stretch and moisture-wicking properties. In general, those who enjoy running and high-intensity workouts seek out more compressive, snug fabrics, and people who spend time doing yoga, walking, hiking, Pilates or barre often gravitate toward less compressive, softer brushed fabrics that allow for lots of movement. Fabric thickness is another key consideration, because you want something that’s thick enough not to be see through when bending or squatting, but also breathable and not suffocating.
Legging length is also highly personal. In cooler temperatures, many exercisers prefer full-length, and others will opt for capri lengths in warmer climates or during summer. Many retailers offer leggings at short, regular and tall lengths, or inseams come in capri, 7/8 or full-length styles.
Before buying leggings, think about seam placement. Many people don’t like it if there are seams running down the inside of their legs because the seams can cause chafing during activities like long runs. Similarly, pants with more intricate stitching can cause irritation after a long sweat session.
The best waistbands are those that offer the coverage you want and have a strong enough elastic that they don’t roll down or need to be constantly tugged back up. High waistbands are typically popular for yoga and Pilates where stretching and certain movements have the potential to expose your stomach.
If you need a place to store keys, a phone, credit card or cash, you’ll want pockets. Often designers will include a zip pocket in the lumbar area of leggings and a small interior pocket in the front, but many people love having roomier side pockets for stashing their phone and other essentials on the go.