The Best Workout Leggings for Women, According to Fitness Pros and Reviewers

Woman wearing workout leggings
Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

We asked the womxn who have tried everything for the one pair of workout leggings they could never live without. Check out their picks for the ultimate best workout leggings for women.

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Best Workout Leggings for Women

Woman wearing workout leggings
Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Who among us hasn't bought a promising pair of leggings only to end up with pants that are semi-see-through and prone to rolling down? Mediocre leggings are all too common and can be a major distraction during your workout. Instead of going on a quest to find the perfect pair by process of elimination, you can rely on tips from people who've already managed to strike gold. Here, the best workout leggings for women, according to fitness pros, Shape editors, and reviewers.

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Lululemon Align Pant II 25"

Lululemon Align II Pant 25"

Lululemon Align leggings have wide fan base that includes Meghan Markle, so it's no surprise they made this list of best workout leggings. Alison Feller, creator of Alison on the Run, is a collector. "I don't want to admit how many pair I own, but let's just say it's in the double digits," she says. They're loved for their soft, lightweight fabric, which is why Feller wears them all the time. "I even wore them through all 39 weeks of my pregnancy, and recommend them instead of maternity-specific leggings to my pregnant friends."

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Colorfulkoala Women's High Waisted Yoga Pants 7/8 Length Leggings with Pockets

Colorfulkoala High-Waisted Yoga Pants

Plenty of people would attest that these are the best workout leggings on Amazon. They're currently the bestselling pair on the site and have more than 17,000 ratings and 4.7 stars. "I'm honestly thinking about buying a second pair of these in black because they’re that good," writes one reviewer. "These are my holy grail leggings: soft, seamless waist, squat-proof, flattering, not too long on my legs, and it has pockets!"

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DAY/WON All Grévy Color Block 3/4-Length Legging

DAY/WON All Grevy Color Block 3/4 Leggings

When it comes to selecting the best workout leggings, Jessie Diaz-Herrera, creator of Curves with Moves, thinks the options from Candice Huffine's brand DAY/WON are unbeatable. "They have tremendous hold and a thicker band which is key, especially for plus-size women," she says. In particular, she loves this pair for its print and the way its 3/4 crop hits her 5'2" frame.

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Alo Yoga Moto Leggings

Alo Yoga Moto Leggings
Alo Yoga

For Koya Webb, yogi and founder of Get Loved Up, Alo Yoga Moto Leggings are that rare pair that are suited for working out and going out. They're easy to dress up, but at the same time, they don't feel restrictive when you're breaking a sweat. "The fabric sculpts and lifts my booty and feels snug around my thighs and waist without feeling uncomfortable," says Webb. The women's workout leggings are also a favorite with Shape editors and celebs Hailey Bieber and Taylor Swift,

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Balance Athletica The Ascend Pant

Balance Athletica The Ascend Pant Sundown
Balance Athletica

Charlee Atkins, trainer and founder of Le Sweat, says she was hesitant to buy from an influencer's activewear line but ended up discovering the best active leggings when she did. "I couldn't believe what an amazing fit the leggings were. They're high-waisted, squat-proof, and form-fitting in a way that emphasized the female body – all shapes and sizes," she says. "The material is like butter and the colorways are beautiful, so I replaced all my lululemon leggings with this brand." (Psst: Atkins designed this 5-minute abs workout that just might be the hardest core workout you'll ever do.)

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Lululemon All The Right Places Crop II 23"

Lululemon All the Right Places Leggings

Emily Abbate, fitness writer and creator of the Hurdle podcast, considers this lulu pair the best training leggings. "I've worn these leggings for four of the eight marathons I've run because they literally have pockets in all the right places," she says. "They're perfect to stash my gels, gummies, keys, phone, you name it. Plus they offer up the right amount of compression that feels like a hug and makes me feel supported and comfortable from start to finish."

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Athleta Elation 7/8 Tight In Powervita

Athleta Elation 7/8 Tight In Powervita

Katie Austin favors full-length workout leggings that are high-waisted and not too tight around the waist. The trainer and fitness influencer especially loves anything in Athleta's Powervita nylon/lycra fabric. The brand's Elation 7/8 Tight made with the buttery fabric has a key pocket and comes in regular, tall, petite, and plus sizes.

Another Elation fan, Lauren Leavell is obsessed with the Athleta Ultra High Rise Elation Tight, a higher-waisted version. "They are baby soft, don't roll down, and come in some beautiful colors," says the trainer and barre and HIIT instructor.

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Big Bottom Behavior Knockout Legging

Big Bottom Behavior Knockout Leggings
Big Bottom Behavior

Yoga instructor Luisa Fonseca thinks Big Bottom Behavior makes the best leggings to work out in. "They all have the same v-cut detail on the back to make your booty look the best," she says. One of her favorites, the Knockout Legging, features compression support and is one of Ashley Graham's go-tos. "I truly believe BBB leggings are the best as they outnumber any leggings in my closet," says Fonseca. "The fit is great, the look is good, and the wearability is better than most out there."

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Nike One Luxe Women's Tights

Nike One Luxe Leggings

When you've found a pair of leggings you're wearing for every type of workout, that's when you know you've found the one. For Alex Silver-Fagan, Nike master trainer and Mirror founding instructor, that pair is the Nike One Luxe. "They feel like butter and have just the right amount of compression and support," she says. "I train, run, and practice yoga in them."

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90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings

90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings

If you're in search of the best cheap workout leggings, you'll appreciate this pick from Shape editor Allie Strickler. "Honestly, I stumbled upon these leggings while falling down an Amazon rabbit hole (as one does)," says Strickler. "I had neutral expectations at best when I first tried them (the price seemed too good to be true), but they actually are one of the ONLY things I want to wear lately." That's because she's found they're "comfortable enough to live in all day, but also movable and breathable enough for when I want to take a quick stretch/yoga/workout break from my WFH setup."

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Carbon38 Takara Regular Rise Tight

Carbon38 Takara Leggings

If you've already found the perfect pair of long black gym leggings but are looking for something flashier, consider this bestselling liquid legging. Trainer and Barry's Bootcamp instructor Taylor Walker Sinning loves the Carbon38 Takara Regular Rise Tight so much, she owns them five different colors. "Takara's were the only pair I could wear throughout my pregnancy without discomfort and they instantly give me a confidence boost while teaching or working up a sweat," she says.

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Lululemon Fast and Free Tight

Lululemon Fast and Free Tight

Lululemon's Align leggings don't deserve all the glory. The brand's Fast and Free Tight is such a standout, Shape editor and trainer Alyssa Sparacino considers them a "unicorn" among performance leggings. "Asking a pair of leggings to hold you in — as to not get in the way of a heavy kettlebell clean or deadlift PR — while also not bunching at the hips or flattening your butt like a pancake is actually a tall order," she wrote about her discovery. "So when you find the one, you make it official...and buy, like, five pairs."

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Everlane The Perform Legging


By popular request, Everlane dropped its first-ever legging this year: the Perform Legging. Alicia Ferguson, co-founder of the Brooklyn Yoga Club, is convinced they're the best workout tights. "I'm completely obsessed!" she says. "I'm a body-positive yoga teacher and studio owner and these leggings fit a wide variety of shapes and sizes; They really are flattering on everyone's curves." She loves that their material is soft, lightweight, and composed of 58 percent recycled nylon.

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Tory Sport High-Rise Compression Mélange Side-Pocket Chevron Leggings

Tory Burch High-Rise-Compression-Side-Pocket-Melange-Leggings
Tory Burch

Ballerina and Pilates instructor Nardia Boodoo loves these Tory Sport leggings for dancing and working out. "As a ballerina, I love leggings that are high waisted, form-fitting, and add compression," she says. "These are solid (not sheer), lightweight, and comfortable. They show absolutely no sweat. My favorite feature is the large side pocket for my phone and keys."

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Year of Ours Ribbed Football Leggings


The football-inspired details on this Year of Ours pair makes them stand out to yoga instructor Saya Tomioka. "I love the cinching at the front, which accentuates the waist, making the leggings very flattering to a wide range of body types," she says. "The fabric is sturdy, yet soft, so I love wearing these both on and off my yoga mat!"

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