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Best Workout Leggings [2020 Review]

Activewear can do more than support you in your training or exercise. The best workout leggings can be used as motivation to get up every day and move your body around. Skip wasting time away on online shops. We’ve done the scrolling for you and compiled the best ones below.

Top Workout Legging Reviews

There are so many kinds of workouts popping up everywhere. Being active doesn’t even have to mean going to the gym.

Woman exercising in a gray sports bra and black workout leggings

Be it hiking or boxing, any workout is best done wearing comfortable cotton leggings. Only the best athletic leggings will work to compress and wick away moisture, and each of the fitness leggings we found meet this criteria.

Brand
Best Overall
90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings
Best for the Money
adidas Originals Women's 3 Stripes Legging
Best Cheap Pick
Ndoobiy Women’s Printed Leggings Full-Length Regular Size Yoga Workout Leggings
Product
90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Power Flex Legging...
adidas Originals Women's 3-Stripes Leggings,...
Ndoobiy Women’s Printed Leggings Full-Length...
Material
87% Nylon, 13% Spandex
93% Cotton, 7% Elastane
88% Polyester, 12% Spandex
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings
Product
90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Power Flex Legging...
Material
87% Nylon, 13% Spandex
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
adidas Originals Women's 3 Stripes Legging
Product
adidas Originals Women's 3-Stripes Leggings,...
Material
93% Cotton, 7% Elastane
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Ndoobiy Women’s Printed Leggings Full-Length Regular Size Yoga Workout Leggings
Product
Ndoobiy Women’s Printed Leggings Full-Length...
Material
88% Polyester, 12% Spandex
Rating

Best Overall Workout Leggings: 90 Degree High Waist Power Flex Legging

Even if you’re only at the start of your fitness journey, the 90 ​​Degree By Reflex High Waist Power Flex Legging is a flattering pick to flaunt the body you have. Without losing any pounds, these figure-hugging leggings have a compression ability that slims down your shape in a flattering silhouette.

The combination of nylon and spandex materials prevents the leggings from becoming sheer when you execute squats, even if your thighs or butt are on the bigger end. 

In the effort to enhance your curves, this pair incorporates tummy control capabilities into the snug fabric. The high-waist design provides extra support when you want to cover your abdomen, without feeling too constricted. Additionally, they have a scrunch bottom, as in a Brazilian thong bikini bottom, to make your butt more prominent. 

Despite the promise of suitability to yoga, this pair is made with a moisture-wicking material. This helps you power through an hour or more of other strenuous activities and exercise. Its 4-way stretch fabric and interlock seaming ensures no chafing or rubbing on your skin.

As a bonus, a gusset crotch allows your legs a wider range of movement. The leggings include hidden pockets in the front waistband to keep your phone while working out. Such features make this pair of leggings multi-functional, which means you can wear it both for leisure and exercise.

90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Power Flex Legging...

Best Workout Leggings for the Money: Adidas Originals 3-Stripes Leggings

Adidas Originals’ 3-Stripes Leggings is one of the brand’s classic pieces that requires no introduction. You’ll probably recognize the three-stripe design anywhere, and it almost immediately indicates superior construction.

This version of the 3-Stripes leggings is different and highly preferred because of its stretch cotton jersey fabric. These may as well be the softest, most comfortable pair due to the lightweight construction and flatlock seams that prevent chafing.

Unlike other spandex workout leggings, the elastic cotton jersey leaves some space for your legs to breathe and doesn’t stick to the skin despite the sweat. Since cotton is the main material, this one isn’t stretchy enough for a hardcore gym workout, although it’s comfortable for light stretching or yoga.

Even if the tight fit wears close and hugs your curves in the right places, the leggings don’t restrict movements. Likewise, the material is nice and thick, making sure panty lines don’t become visible. 

Being plus-sized is no problem either. It claims to “fit as expected” and even larger, curvier women have attested to that. Coming from a popular athletic brand, expect to be able to do several reps and sets of your workout routine in this pair of leggings.

adidas Originals Women's 3-Stripes Leggings,...

Best Cheap Workout Leggings: Ndoobiy Full-Length Yoga Workout Leggings

Plain leggings do little to motivate you to work out. In critical decision-making moments between exercising or not, Ndoobiy’s Full-Length Printed Leggings can direct you to the most beneficial decision.

For its price point, this pair of leggings is incredibly unforgiving when it comes to high quality. It follows through with its promise of comfort with its buttery smooth, sweat-wicking fabric.

If you usually do yoga or Pilates, there are times when the combination of shorts and sweat prevents you from holding certain poses. The stitching and fabric of these leggings are soft and breathable, making them light enough for hot yoga sessions.  

The garterized elastic waistband ensures a snug fit even while doing all sorts of positions in yoga or squatting for workouts. Even if you have a little belly and side fat, the elastic band won’t squish you. You can also ensure your undergarment won’t show when squatting or bending down. 

With vibrant colors, this one will get you up and ready for the next workout without hesitation. Printed with images and patterns unexpected in a pair of leggings, Ndoobiy’s fashion-forward leggings can take you from couch potato to gym-ready in a minute.

Ndoobiy Women’s Printed Leggings Full-Length...

Best Running Leggings: CompressionZ High Waisted Leggings

If there’s anything to prove the CompressionZ’s High Waisted Women’s Leggings as the best running leggings, it’s the compression capability of the snug fabric that delivers comfortable yet firm pressure to your quads, hamstrings, and calves. As a result, you can experience maximum muscle support while working out.

The body and crotch liner both use polyester and spandex, making the leggings breathable yet sweat-wicking. Aside from that, the material’s stretchable components reduce chafing and skin injuries from rubbing and impact, all without limiting mobility and comfort. 

It hugs your legs with just an ample level of tightness to restrict the movement of your muscles. This makes sure you don’t overuse or over-extend your muscles, making them last longer and you more efficient.

For longer endurance, this pair also regulates and promotes circulation around your glutes and thighs. As you may know, these are some of the first parts to give out when running.

Energy won’t be scarce and pain is reduced when you wear this pair for workouts like cardio. These are built to assist your muscles during strenuous activities. As a result, it also quickens recovery for a future session of another intense workout.

CompressionZ High Waisted Women's Leggings -...

Best Concealing Workout Leggings: 90 Degree High Waist Squat Proof Interlink Leggings

One of the most annoying things about leggings is when they show the outline of your panty through the fabric. If this is a constant problem for you, 90 Degree By Reflex’s High Waist Squat Proof Interlink Leggings for Women is the answer to your prayers.

These high-rise tummy control leggings provide gentle compression to the midsection, giving you a toned and trim look. In addition to getting rid of that unflattering outline, its high waistline also gets rid of your muffin tops and belly bulge

The interlocking weave of spandex and polyester creates a four-way stretch, which means the fabric stretches and recovers both crosswise and lengthwise. In effect, the leggings provide total coverage when lifting, squatting or bending.  

Despite its function to enhance your figure, these leggings are really equipped to support you in your booty-enhancing workouts like squats. Its squat-proof name is taken from its ability to give you full coverage for any workout that involves bending, lifting, and squatting.

The durability of the stretch fabric is evident in its flexibility and ability to move with your body. Fitting in your legs like a glove, this pair of leggings will hold you in the right places while ensuring comfort. In turn, this boosts your confidence and lets you perform your best when doing a range of workout routines.

90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Squat Proof...

Quality Features to Look For in the Best Workout Leggings 

Even if the ones on the list are the best workout leggings on the market, they still differ in some aspects like comfort, style, or fit. It’s essential that you understand such factors so you can buy one (or more!) that will inspire you to get moving and improve wellness. 

Fabric

Comfort is the most crucial factor when buying workout leggings, especially if you like wearing one even after exercising. No matter the temperature, you’ll likely break a sweat when working out, so considering the fabric should help you remain comfortable.

Avoid fabrics that don’t let your skin breathe. Leggings with portions of rubber will only keep your body temperature too high when exercising, making you uncomfortable and sweaty. Instead, choose between the two most ideal fabrics for workout leggings: moisture-wicking and absorbent.

Moisture-Wicking

Synthetic fibers like polyester, spandex, and nylon allow sweat to evaporate from the skin, keeping your body feeling fresh and cool. A better stretch makes the leggings more durable for high-intensity actions like running. Likewise, stretchy materials hug the body well, giving you a flattering fit.  

The downside of synthetic is that it tends to harbor smell easily, which is why it would be better to choose leggings with a polyester or spandex blend, or one that has antimicrobial treatment.

Absorbent

If you prefer leggings that absorb sweat, you can opt for cotton or rayon fabrics. Natural fibers soak up and hold onto sweat, so leggings with such materials are only suitable for slower movements like weightlifting or yoga sessions. 

Cotton leggings are very soft and breathable, making them comfortable to wear. However, cotton doesn’t hold up well to stretching, which means the leggings may lose shape over time. If you still prefer cotton leggings, consider one with additional moisture-wicking materials for balance. 

Cut

Workout leggings have various styles and lengths. While the cut is more of style preference, there are still benefits to considering the length.

  • Ankle-Length: Also known as full-length, ankle-length leggings cover the leg’s entire length. Some also feature stirrup cuffs that hold the leggings in place. 
  • Cropped athletic: This style cuts around the mid-calf and it often consists of compression materials like polyester and spandex.  
  • Capri: Leggings with this cut usually hit under the knee, making a part of your leg uncovered. If you prefer less-constricting bottoms, yet you don’t want to wear shorts, this can be your go-to cut. 

Construction

Workout leggings are commonly seamless, which means there are no stitches or seams that will cause chafing on your skin. If there are stitches, the best workout leggings must have flat seams on the inside, not raised, as they minimize irritation due to movement and sweat. 

Check if there’s a gusset, which is an extra piece of fabric on the crotch area. This diamond or triangular-shaped fabric prevents leggings from riding up, especially during high-performance motions. 

The combination of fabric and construction should provide you a butt lift, while also preventing the appearance of camel toe or panty lines. In this way, you can be confident that everything’s well covered. 

Size and Fit

The size you choose when buying shorts or pants can also apply to your workout leggings. Since leggings are stretchable, you usually won’t have a problem staying true to your size. 

However, you have to be cautious about how stretchable your chosen leggings can be, which is why we emphasized the importance of knowing the fabrics earlier. Most leggings fit snugly around the hips, thanks to the stretchable waistband that can adjust depending on your size, without becoming too sheer. 

Functionality and Versatility 

What works best for yoga might hinder your movements while running or practicing kettlebell lifts. Hence, it’s wise to pick a pair of leggings appropriate for the type of activity you’ll do, so that you can make the most of your time when working out.

  • Stretching/Yoga: Sitting or bending calls for ultra-stretchy leggings that won’t become too sheer as you move. High-waisted ones are ideal as they can provide extra coverage on your back, side, or stomach. Opt for natural fabrics as they are gentle on skin.
  • Cardio/Running: High-impact actions require durable leggings that can move along with you. Leggings with lower waistlines are suitable for this situation to keep you comfortable as you breathe heavily. You’ll be ramping your heart rate and sweat out a lot, so sweat-wicking material is a must-have. 
  • Weightlifting: Lifts, lunges, and squats will put leggings to the test. In this case, the best workout leggings must combine snatch-proof stretchability, moisture-wicking technology, and waistband reliability. You can also add aesthetic appeal since you’ll probably be facing a mirror for much of your routines.

Conclusion

When exercising, you’re putting your body through enough straining movements. You don’t need your clothes to do the same. These flexible and comfortable, yet also fashion-approved, leggings won’t give you a harder time while working out. This might be the best motivation to keep up with that fitness routine.