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Best Leggings [2020 Review]

Nothing compares to leggings when it comes to versatility. You can wear them almost anywhere because they marry comfort and style. This makes them suitable for most kinds of daily activities ​including professional ​functions at work​. With so many options, we scoured the Internet to find the best leggings!

Top Leggings Reviews

When it comes to the top leggings, there are a few important things to consider: comfort, versatility, and quality. Below, we’ve found 5 pairs of leggings that meet our expectations in most or all of these categories. Read through to see our top picks!

If you want our final vote, we choose Carhartt Women’s Force Utility Legging as the overall best for its Rugged Flex Stretch, comfort and efficiency.

Brand
Best Overall
Carhartt Women’s Force Utility Legging
Best for the Money
Core 10 ‘Build Your Own’ Onstride Run Full-Length
Best Cheap Pick
VIV Collection Popular Printed Brushed Buttery Soft Leggings
Product
Carhartt Women's Force Stretch Utility Legging...
Amazon Brand - Core 10 Women's Onstride High Waist...
VIV Collection Printed Brushed Leggings (Volcano...
Material
95% Nylon, 5% Spandex
79% Nylon, 21% Spandex
92% Polyester
Rating
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
Carhartt Women’s Force Utility Legging
Product
Carhartt Women's Force Stretch Utility Legging...
Material
95% Nylon, 5% Spandex
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Core 10 ‘Build Your Own’ Onstride Run Full-Length
Product
Amazon Brand - Core 10 Women's Onstride High Waist...
Material
79% Nylon, 21% Spandex
Rating
-
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
VIV Collection Popular Printed Brushed Buttery Soft Leggings
Product
VIV Collection Printed Brushed Leggings (Volcano...
Material
92% Polyester
Rating
-
Folded gray nad pink leggings on top of a white background

Best Overall Leggings: Carhartt Women’s Force Utility Legging

Carhartt Women's Force Stretch Utility Legging...

Comfortable enough for athletic activities yet tough-built for rigorous and dirty work, Carhartt Women’s Force Utility Legging is no ordinary pair of leggings. Designed to provide convenience and comfort, these leggings combine a stretchable waistband, deep pockets, and quality material that won’t wear out as you bend or run. 

These leggings incorporate a technology to curb little annoyances about the fit that might hinder your comfort and efficiency. Superior to all is the Rugged Flex Stretch technology, which promotes ease of movement.

These nylon-based leggings add a bit of spandex to withstand any external factors that might ruin the leggings or increase discomfort, particularly sweat, stains, heat, and grime. The fabric also includes fast dry technology that leaves some room for your skin to breathe. 

With this workout-like leggings‘ abrasion-resistant properties in front and at pressure points like the knees, this pair ensures security amidst extreme environments.

At the same time, the mid-rise fit promises no gaps even as the waistband sculps the buttocks and hips. This is true especially at the back of the waistband, where other leggings usually open up when bending or sitting down.

The construction looks more formal than typical or workout leggings, enabling this pair to pass as pants you can wear for work. With a regular-length inseam, and sizes ranging from extra small to triple extra-large, you can achieve the right fit without compromising comfort.

Pros

  • Abrasion-resistant and moisture-wicking material 
  • Slimming waistband and side pockets

Cons

  • Only available in black and deep black 
Carhartt Women's Force Stretch Utility Legging...
  • Fast dry technology wicks away sweat for comfort
  • Fights odors
  • Durable, stretch knit fabric fits close to the body

Best Leggings for the Money: Core 10 ‘Build Your Own’ Onstride Run Full-Length

Amazon Brand - Core 10 Women's Onstride High Waist...

For the comfort and convenience guaranteed by the abundant features in the Core 10’s “Build Your Own” Onstride Run Full-Length Legging, you get every penny’s worth. These give you everything you need. Starting with the comfort and breathability that boosts your running capabilities, as well as the convenience of zipped storage and pockets for keeping absolute essentials with you.

Available with high waist and medium waist options, these full-length leggings are made with a nylon-spandex blend. They also have mesh panels at important points, like the back of the knees, to provide maximum comfort for exercises.

A four-way stretch hugs curves and calves to create a more toned look. This technology also allows the fabric to retain structure and opacity so you won’t have to worry about showing skin or underwear. 

Aside from that, the waistband includes an internal drawcord to help you achieve a more personalized fit. Even with a tight-fitting construction, a gusset crotch gives the leggings more room to stretch. Whether you are petite or plus size, these features can support body changes.  

While you’re on the run outside, you don’t have to worry about hazards. They are built with reflective material to make them safe to wear at night too.

Pros 

  • Reflective accents, mesh panels, and side pockets 
  • Four-way stretch and squat proof material

Cons

  • Shiny black coating
Sale
Amazon Brand - Core 10 Women's Onstride High Waist...
  • High-waisted legging featuring side panel pockets, powermesh panels behind the knee, reflective...
  • Reference our size chart to achieve the best fit
  • Exclusive Core 10 Onstride fabric: soft, moisture-wicking, medium weight fabric that hugs your body...

Best Cheap Leggings: VIV Collection Popular Printed Brushed Buttery Soft Leggings

VIV Collection Printed Brushed Leggings (Volcano...

VIV Collection’s Popular Printed Brushed Buttery Soft Leggings give you more than what you’ve bargained for. These are a special treat for tall women as the legging market apparently favors the not-so-tall. They have the appropriate length for women over six feet tall.

For their long length and soft buttery fabric, the VIV leggings have the answer to those who think the quality of leggings is declining. This is due, in part, to the fit and thickness of the polyester-spandex material.

The stretchy waistband fits snug on your waist with no gaps, and the length fits well on your legs. The waistband goes incredibly high, and may even hit the bra line. This creates a figure-flattering fit on both petite and plus-size women. 

Bragging one of the largest selections of printed brushed colored leggings, this style can provide a month’s worth of designs. You won’t have to wear the same plain-colored leggings every day. Even a couple of washes won’t distort the print. 

Despite being the most affordable option in this list, the leggings ensure well-sewn seams and high-quality material. Built for multi-purpose wear, this pair merges fashion and activewear through its many prints and patterns, just like Lululemon does.

Pros

  • Wide collection of printed designs 
  • Ultra-soft, elastic, and breathable material 

Cons 

  • A bit long for short women
VIV Collection Printed Brushed Leggings (Volcano...
  • BUTTERY SOFT FABRIC - ViV Collection printed brushed women's leggings come with two compositions of...
  • ULTRA COMFORTABLE - Ultra soft, stretchy, breathable and extremely comfortable, the bold printed...
  • MULTI-PURPOSE WEAR - These snug, figure flattering spandex leggings for women and teens are your go...

Best Comfortable Leggings: Baleaf Fleece Lined Leggings with Inner Pocket

BALEAF Women's Fleece Lined Winter Leggings...

Some leggings you just can’t wait to remove as soon as you step in your house. Baleaf’s Fleece Lined Leggings is one pair you wouldn’t want to take off. The fleece lining feels like a cloud wrapped around your legs—it’s too good to resist.

Made with soft fleece inside and breathable fabric, Baleaf’s leggings are designed to help you keep warm and endure extreme winter weather. In higher temperatures, the combination of spandex and polyester wicks away moisture quickly for a dry feel even when you’re sweating.

The high-rise style and wide waistband tuck excess fats, providing a flattering look without compromising comfort or leaving bite marks. This feature also prevents the leggings from sliding down as you move. 

To avoid chafing or skin irritation, these leggings use flatlock seams for a flatter, softer, yet more secure stitching. The construction also makes these leggings slim enough to layer under a pair of jeans. 

Mixed in with practical features, these leggings have an inner pocket in the waistband to keep small items as well as a triangle crotch to prevent embarrassing camel toes.

Pros

  • Soft fleece and breathable fabric for ultimate comfort
  • Stretchy construction for a cozy fit

Cons

  • Sizes run bigger than others
BALEAF Women's Fleece Lined Winter Leggings...
  • Breathable, soft brushed fabric helps you stay warm and lifts moisture away from skin for drier...
  • Anti-drop, high-rise, wide waistband for no muffin top and maximum coverage
  • Hidden big waistband pocket are available for 4",4.7",5",5.5" Mobile Phone

Best Fashionable Leggings: romansong Women’s Mesh Leggings Yoga Pants with Pocket

romansong High Waisted Yoga Leggings for Women...

You may be bored with the plain black leggings that don’t liven up your athletic outfits. The romansong Women's Mesh Leggings Yoga Pants with Pocket helps you up with that problem. Their criss-cross mesh panel at the sides work for style and function at the same time.

The 28-inch semi-sheer mesh partially covered by the criss cross pattern at the side of the leggings gives an edge to your gym look. These leggings also use a four-way stretch so that the sheer mesh panels won’t tear up easily. 

Similar to the other leggings, this pair makes use of spandex and polyester threads that don’t thin overtime. The high waistband and gusset crotch work together to guarantee mobility and comfort. 

Geared toward women of all sizes, these versatile leggings can stretch to fit various body shapes. The stretchability and thinness of the material allow you to do flexible positions without the fabric compressing your skin too much or trapping air out of your legs.

As a bonus, these leggings include hidden pockets around the waistband for sake-keeping of essentials you can’t go without. Perfect for any kind of lifestyle, these leggings keep you comfortable, well-ventilated, and fashionable. 

Pros

  • Sexy yet not too revealing criss-cross side mesh panels 
  • Form-fitting yet not restricting in the thighs and calves

Cons

  • Length is a bit long for short ladies
Sale
romansong High Waisted Yoga Leggings for Women...
  • SEXY MESH PANEL. Sexy ripped design allows maximum breath-ability, cute and fashion. Cutout criss...
  • 4 WAY STRETCH & COTTON FEELING. Distressed Yoga Pants, super soft, naked feeling, compression, butt...
  • HIGH WAIST CREATES SLIMMING EFFECT. The high waist leggings are stretchy, soft, comfy feel, skinny,...

What Makes the Best Leggings 

Knowing which features make the best leggings will help you make a better, informed decision. Investing in the best leggings lets you enjoy function and fashion. With these features, leggings can support your movements, whether for work, exercise, going out, or staying at home.  

Breathable and Moisture-Wicking Materials

The best leggings wouldn’t leave you all sweaty and stinky, mainly because of fabrics combining lightweight, moisture-wicking, and breathable qualities. However, you still need to consider your needs and activities when choosing the material. 

For instance, natural fibers such as cotton and rayon provide the softest touch, yet the threads tend to hold onto sweat. Meanwhile, man-made fibers like elastane, spandex, polyester, and nylon brag unparalleled sweat-wicking properties. 

More than that, you also have to consider the weather, especially if you’re wearing the leggings outdoors. Organic materials provide warmth for colder seasons, while synthetic fabrics enable the body to cool off during hotter days.

Stretchable Yet Durable Construction

The finest leggings offer flexibility and functionality. They allow free movement in any direction without slipping or ripping out. While natural fibers don’t offer the same elasticity as synthetic fabrics, combining them in leggings provide a balance between stretchability and comfort. 

Fabrics can either have a two-way or four-way stretch. A two-way stretch lets leggings expand in a single direction, whereas a four-way stretch adjusts vertically and horizontally for a better range of movement. 

This technology helps the leggings retain form and opacity, so there’s no fabric distortion or sheerness as you flex. Likewise, stretchable leggings can hold up your shape without wearing out quickly.

Flattering Fit and Length

The fit can impact the comfort level and ability to function. Even if leggings have a snug fit, you may constantly pull them up if you choose a size larger than your actual measurements. Meanwhile, the size may be too small if you pinch and pull the material all the time. 

The length of the leggings also affects the fit. If the hem’s too long for your legs, the material may look unflattering or bunch around the ankles. Thus, consider the style when choosing the best leggings. 

  • Full-length: Also known as ankle length, this style contains hems that extend to the bottom of the legs. This is ideal if you want full coverage when running outdoors or you want to elongate the legs visually. 
  • Capri: The length usually extends below the knee or around mid-calf. This style is more suitable if you want more coverage than shorts, yet less constricting like ankle-length leggings.
  • 7/8: Length that cuts right below the calf and above the ankle. This one creates a full-length-kind look for shorter women. 

Supportive Waistband and Rise 

The rise indicates how high the waistband of the leggings rest on the waist and hips. Aside from snugness, a higher rise with a broad waistband helps the leggings stay put.  

You can choose a high-rise style if you want the waistband to smoothen the look of the stomach. A mid-rise style can also do this, yet with less coverage. Meanwhile, a low-rise style can make your buttocks and hips appear curvier. 

Functional Add-Ons and Designs

The best leggings also include some unexpected yet convenient features such as:

  • Pockets: Ready for a run yet you don’t know how to carry a phone, cash, and keys? A lot of leggings now include waist or side pockets to help you bring essentials. 
  • Gusseted Crotch: Some people steer away from leggings because the fit sometimes causes unwanted lines. The good thing is that leggings now add a gusseted crotch as an extra layer of cover and also to help the inseam expand. 
  • Compression: Leggings with compression technology increases blood flow to speed up muscle recovery, resulting in improved breathing and performance. If you get exhausted easily while exercising or doing chores, the compression helps alleviate body soreness and fatigue. 
  • Colors or Prints: Leggings come in a variety of patterns and colors, letting you express your personality in each pair. While this one may depend on your clothing style, you still need to check if the prints look flattering and won’t create unpleasant marks.

Conclusion

Leggings have evolved into being more fashion-oriented over the years. We have so many selections now that can be worn for different occasions. Without losing their functionality for exercise, these best leggings selections can keep up with your comfort-focused lifestyle.

Between photographing some of the outfits and apparel seen on the site, doing a little modeling herself, and contributing to the writing, Kaitlin focuses on showcasing easy and flattering ways to successfully dress for your unique body type. Along with helping run the site, Kaitlin is a wedding photographer in sunny San Diego.