I've Tried Hundreds of Leggings, and This Lululemon Pair Is the Best for Running

They’re an investment I’ll keep making because they look and feel so good.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Lululemon Leggings
Courtesy of Lululemon.

I’ve been a runner since high school and I’ve discovered that good leggings are second on the list of activewear must-haves, behind only the quality running sneakers. Leggings that are too tight? Uncomfortable. Ones with itchy fabric or cause chafing? A nightmare. Or finally, pairs that slide down as you stride and need to be yanked up every 10 seconds? Those are reason enough for me to turn around and go home. In attempting to find the perfect unicorn pair, I’ve tried my fair share of leggings. Compression and cropped, naked-feeling and butt-sculpting, I’ve walked, ran, and squatted through upwards of 100 pairs at this point. 

There’s a short list of leggings that have met all of my qualifications: sweat-wicking, have pockets, and stay in place when I run. Lululemon’s Swift Speed High-Rise Tights have made it into that legging hall of fame. 

Lululemon Swift Speed High-Rise Tights Key Features

How I Tested: I have owned multiple pairs of these leggings for the last six years, wearing them mostly to run, but they have been tested with other workouts. 

Perfect for: These were designed specifically for running. The fabric is thinner, so best for warmer climates: mild spring, summer, or early fall. 

What you’ll love: The leggings provide support in a weightless fabric. Plus, there are pockets galore. 

Keep in mind: You may need to adjust the drawstring mid-run and some inseams have a limited size range. 

Lululemon Leggings
Courtesy of Lululemon.

Buy It: Lululemon Swift Speed High-Rise Tight, $138, lululemon.com

Lululemon Swift Speed High-Rise Tights Review

The mark of a truly outstanding pair of leggings is the repurchase. Not only did I buy this pair once, but I have ordered several times in the last half decade. It wasn’t from the leggings wearing out too fast or any decline in quality — I can squeak out several years of weekly wear before I need to swap them out for a newer pair. I reach for these for every run, especially when I’m training for a race with double-digit mile runs, and rather than grab an overly ripe, previously worn pair, I consider adding another one to the workout clothing rotation. The price is the only deterrent from replacing my entire leggings wardrobe with just the Swift Speed style

The first thing I noticed when I took these for a spin was the fabric: It has an almost slick quality to it that feels cooling on the body and doesn’t instantly get bogged down by sweat. (Some of my other leggings give you that wet-your-pants feeling — you know the one.) It’s the ideal thickness level for moderate spring or fall runs and is sweat-wicking for scorching ones. I would describe the hold as light compression — just enough to feel supported without the too-tight, achy stomach sensation. The leggings are available in 21, 23, 25, and 28” inseams, too. I have short legs making the 25” an ankle-grazing length, and I love the 21” version for summer running. The continuous loop drawstring allows you to pull and tie it to your perfect fit. The one downside: occasionally the tie pulls free and will need to be adjusted mid-run. 

Beyond the fit, my favorite feature is the pockets. In fact, these leggings claimed the award for Shape’s Best Lululemon Leggings with Pockets. Long runs also mean a long list of essentials to carry with me; keys, cash, energy gels, phone, and lip balm are non-negotiables, and these leggings have space to hold it all. There are two drop-in pockets on the sides that are actually big enough to fit your phone, plus your hand won’t get stuck trying to pull what you need out. It also has a big, zippered pocket along the back waistband. 

I am selective in what I’ll spend money on, and if I can find good quality items at an affordable price, I will opt for that every time. My favorite sports bra is under $30 at Amazon and the Old Navy PowerSoft collection has a chokehold on my credit card. So believe me when I say, I’ve tried leggings across the budget spectrum and Lululemon’s Swift Speed High-Rise Tights are worth it. 

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles