Greatest exercise leggings 2021 – CNN Underscored

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We rounded up 10 staffers to place greater than a dozen pairs of leggings to the take a look at. Our testers (who put on a variety of sizes and have some fairly sturdy opinions on leggings) judged every pair on high quality, consolation, model and extra. After weeks of testing, one stood out as the perfect exercise leggings in the marketplace (and you will discover extra of our favourite leggings in our complete greatest leggings information).

When you’re searching for a sweat-wicking, breathable legging that’ll transfer with you irrespective of how brutal your exercise is, and a pair that’s so comfy you’ll practically overlook you’re carrying it in any respect, the Lululemon Align Pant is an funding we are able to get behind.


The Lululemon model is virtually synonymous with the phrase “athleisure,” and whether or not you adore it or like to hate it, one factor is for certain: Lululemon makes some significantly implausible leggings. Sure, $98 might appear to be a steep value to pay, however should you’re critical about your health and/or yoga gear, you gained’t be capable to discover something higher than the Lululemon Align Pant.

Touching the material of the Align is a sensation like none different, giving new that means to the phrase “buttery smooth.” (One in all our testers might or might not have audibly oohed and aahed the primary time she put them on.) That luxurious materials interprets into a particularly comfy carrying expertise, which confirmed in our testing when the Align Pant scored good marks for on a regular basis consolation and stretch. However don’t let that smooth materials idiot you — these leggings can deal with any exercise you throw at them. When it got here to high-impact, super-sweaty actions, they held up remarkably, attaining practically good marks. We had been fast to know what folks imply once they say they really overlook they’re carrying any leggings in any respect with these on. We particularly beloved the fabric of those leggings, and the way light-weight but opaque they had been. Plus, its excessive waistband was remarkably safe and remained supportive all through exercises. One tester had a problem with the waistband rolling, however that appeared to be a problem resulting from sizing. Primarily based on our expertise (and on loads of buyer opinions noting the identical), we’d advocate sizing down one dimension for the perfect match.

The Aligns had been by far the perfect exercise leggings we examined, however there are just a few caveats: The fabric is a bit too skinny to put on on chilly days outside for an prolonged time. You possibly can run to get the mail, however something greater than that and your legs may begin feeling chilly. Additionally, based on our long-term wearers on employees, they have a tendency to tablet on the internal thighs over time should you don’t have a thigh hole — and actually, how many people do? — nevertheless it isn’t terribly noticeable and has by no means resulted in holes or tearing.

The Align Pant is offered in sizes 0 by way of 20, and in three inseams: 25-inch, 28-inch and 31-inch (they see you, tall folks!). Coloration choices depend upon the inseam, with the cropped model coming in 17 colours and patterns, the center inseam in 9 and the tallest inseam in 4. With a fundamental silhouette, the pair additionally contains a hidden waistband pocket sufficiently big to suit a bank card, small stash of money or key.

The Lululemon Align Pant leggings’ light-weight but opaque materials can have yogis, cyclists and any health fanatic, actually, forgetting they’re carrying any leggings in any respect. The Align’s buttery smooth and super-stretchy cloth was in contrast to some other we examined, and it’s positive to maintain you feeling comfy and supported it doesn’t matter what your exercise entails.

We researched the highest leggings in the marketplace and thought of staff-recommended pairs that our editors have worn for years — for each figuring out and on a regular basis put on, throughout a variety of costs — and settled on a pool of 13 to place to the take a look at.

We wore every legging a number of occasions, each earlier than and after washing it, throughout high-impact, sweaty exercises in addition to for lounging round the home and low-impact on a regular basis actions to find out how comfy every pair was total. We thought-about whether or not the waistband rode up or rolled down throughout exercises, and if the leggings pinched or had been in any other case uncomfortable to put on. We washed every pair at the least 4 occasions, noting if operating them by way of typical wash and dry cycles resulted in any noticeable pilling, fading or change in softness; we additionally noticed whether or not the leggings attracted lint and pet hair, and used extra anecdotal proof about sturdiness from staffers with any long-term expertise with leggings we examined. We checked out whether or not sizing was correct and aligned with our regular sizes and if the leggings match effectively throughout a variety of physique sorts.

We additionally thought-about the vary of sizes, inseams and colours obtainable, in addition to factored in our collective (albeit subjective, after all) ideas about every pair’s stylishness. We famous when pairs had fewer seams (which frequently ends in much less chafing, extra consolation and a extra flattering match total) and in the event that they had been designed with a gusset (a bit of fabric sewn into the crotch space to bolster it, leading to a extra sturdy legging).

Lastly, we gave each pair the “squat take a look at” to see how opaque the fabric was, famous how moisture-wicking the material appeared to be throughout runs/exercises, checked out how a lot stretch and motion the material had and thought of whether or not the leggings had been crafted utilizing eco-friendly, sustainable and/or natural supplies.

Primarily based on the classes and testing procedures listed above, we gave all leggings a rating in every subcategory, mixed these numbers for a most rating in every class, then totaled these numbers for a remaining total rating. We broke down the scores as follows:

  • Perform/match had a complete of fifty factors: consolation (20 factors), sturdiness (15 factors), match throughout sizes (10 factors) and sizing accuracy (5 factors).
  • Type had a complete of 45 factors: dimension availability (10 factors), inseam availability (10 factors), colour availability (10 factors), common aesthetics (5 factors), seams (5 factors) and gusset (5 factors).
  • Materials had a complete of 35 factors: opacity (10 factors), moisture-wicking capability (10 factors), quantity of stretch (10 factors) and eco-friendly and/or natural cloth (5 factors).

We additionally took worth into consideration, weighing the leggings’ value factors towards their high quality.

Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket II 7/8 Tight ($98;

Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket II 7/8 Tight


Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket II 7/8 Tight

When you’re searching for a legging that does all of it, you’ll be able to’t go incorrect with the Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket II 7/8 Tight. Actually, in our total information to the perfect leggings, we named them the perfect total leggings. That includes pockets sufficiently big to stash issues like your telephone or pockets, we beloved this pair for its consolation throughout exercises and on a regular basis actions alike, high-quality building, safe waistband and stylish aesthetic. If you wish to know extra and see why we named them the perfect, try our full greatest information right here.

Zella Reside In Excessive-Waist Legging ($59;

Zella Live In High-Waist Legging


Zella Reside In Excessive-Waist Legging

In our testing, we named the Zella Reside In leggings as the perfect pair to put on as pants, because of their sturdy, barely heavier weight, compressive however nonconstricting cloth and skill to pair with just about something. Take a look at our full ideas right here.

Colourful Koala Girls’s Excessive-Waisted Yoga Pants 7/8 Size Leggings With Pockets (beginning at $25;

Colorful Koala Women's High-Waisted Yoga Pants 7/8 Length Leggings With Pockets


Colourful Koala Girls’s Excessive-Waisted Yoga Pants 7/8 Size Leggings With Pockets

When you’re not trying to shell out as a lot money, the Colourful Koala Yoga Pants are a extra wallet-friendly choice to the opposite winners. They’re smooth, comfy leggings — with substantial pockets besides — that we discovered as a lot a pleasure to put on throughout exercises as we did lounging round the home. They’re additionally obtainable in a whopping 33 colorways, so that you’re positive to seek out one which fits your model — or a number of. Learn extra about these price range leggings right here.

Lululemon Wunder Underneath Excessive-Rise Tight ($98;

Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise Tight


Lululemon Wunder Underneath Excessive-Rise Tight

Whereas this pair didn’t fairly have that “second pores and skin”-type stretch to it because the Lululemon Aligns did, we had been nonetheless impressed by their consolation and efficiency. We appreciated their supportive however nonconstricting waistband, their opacity and their clean, smooth really feel to the contact. Some long-term wearers of the Wunder Unders have famous they’ve held up exceedingly effectively after years of washes, with no pilling, lint or fading to notice, making them a worthy funding for his or her practically three-figure price ticket.

Our testers thought-about this pair trendy sufficient to put on outdoors of the health club (in addition they have a hidden waistband pocket sufficiently big to suit a bank card), and their thicker cloth makes them a sensible choice to put on in chillier climate too. That mentioned, a few of us felt the fabric was slightly too thick and constricting for optimally comfy exercises in hotter climate, and one discovered the waistband to generally roll beneath her stomach button throughout exercises, which wasn’t best. If, nonetheless, you’re searching for leggings that really feel a bit extra like shapewear and offer you that “held in” feeling — and/otherwise you need a good pair for operating outside when the climate isn’t sweltering — these are a terrific choice which have confirmed wonderful at standing as much as years of wear and tear. They’re obtainable in sizes 00 by way of 20, in 25-inch and 28-inch inseams and 7 colours.

Girlfriend Collective Compressive Excessive-Rise Legging ($68;

Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging


Girlfriend Collective Compressive Excessive-Rise Legging

We discovered these leggings to be very comfy for on a regular basis put on, and so they racked up an ideal rating in opacity, passing the squat take a look at with flying colours. Every pair is comprised of recycled water bottles (25 of ’em, to be precise), and we’re large followers of Girlfriend Collective’s ethos of making sustainable clothes and upholding moral work environments.

Just a few different issues we beloved about these leggings: They’re obtainable in maybe the widest vary of sizes of all of the pairs we examined, from XXS by way of 6XL (for context, they accommodate waists from 22.5 to 52 inches and hips from 32 to 62.5 inches), and their three inseams additionally span a variety (19.5, 23.75 and 28.5 inches), so discovering the best size irrespective of your top is within the bag. From our expertise, they appear to be true to dimension. The leggings can be found in six colours in addition to seven extra limited-edition colours for the time being. Additionally they wash and dry fantastically, trying pretty much as good as new after a number of wash cycles.

The fabric, true to this product’s identify, is compressive with out feeling restrictive, plus the leggings additionally function much-coveted small facet pockets. This pair finally didn’t snag a profitable spot, nonetheless, as a result of we discovered them to be a bit too stiff for comfy high-impact exercises, and our testers had blended emotions concerning the waistband persistently staying put all through an train session. When you’re searching for a pair of on a regular basis leggings you could be ok with carrying, although, we expect these are a strong pair — and we admire the model’s dedication to inclusive sizing and eco-friendly manufacturing.

CRZ Yoga Excessive-Waist Tight Yoga Pants (beginning at $24.99;

CRZ Yoga High-Waist Tight Yoga Pants


CRZ Yoga Excessive-Waist Tight Yoga Pants

Lengthy thought-about a budget-friendly pair similar to the ranks of Lululemon’s Align, we sought out to see if the comparability was warranted. What we discovered was a legging that delivers a complete lot for a comparatively paltry price ticket. Out there in a whopping 41 colours and patterns, aesthetically these leggings are a no-frills pair that certainly really feel nearly as buttery smooth because the Aligns, albeit a tad much less sturdy. (Additionally they function a tiny hidden waistband pocket, just like the Align.) Whereas most of us discovered them to be as comfy for intense exercises as for lounging round the home, practically forgetting we had been carrying any leggings in any respect, one tester did have some points with the waistband, which tended to roll down persistently throughout runs.

Just a few different causes we didn’t finally identify the CRZ Yoga leggings our greatest price range pair: Bigger sizes tended to be much less opaque, and the material attracted extra lint and pet hair than we’d desire. Nonetheless, after a number of washes, we didn’t observe any noticeable pilling or fading, and so they remained as smooth and comfy as the primary put on. We additionally appreciated that these leggings can be found in sizes XXS by way of XXL, a wider vary than many of the price range pairs we examined.

The Colourful Koala leggings edged out this pair by only a tiny margin, pushed forward due to their handy bigger pockets and a safer waistband. And like with the Colourful Koala leggings, should you’re on the taller facet, you may discover the cropped size a tad too brief, specifically for outside put on in colder climate, however they’re additionally obtainable in a 28-inch inseam (once more, although, we didn’t take a look at the full-length choice ourselves).

Leggings Depot Excessive-Waisted Legging (beginning at $9.99;

Leggings Depot High-Waisted Legging


Leggings Depot Excessive-Waisted Legging

Given this pair’s over-15,000 5-star scores and $10 value level, we knew we needed to strive it for ourselves to see what all of the hype could possibly be about. Might all these clients be incorrect? Properly, sure and no. For 10 bucks, you get what you’d count on: a super-comfortable pair of leggings, and that’s about it.

Not like all the opposite leggings in our testing pool, this pair shouldn’t be designed with a gusset, that means that it’s extra prone to be inclined to ripping on the crotch space. Whereas the leggings scored excessive marks within the opaque and stretchiness classes, and so they’re smooth each inside and outside, they’re not optimum for figuring out, as the fabric is a bit too thick for best consolation throughout a sweat sesh, and so they didn’t appear to be very sweat-wicking both (not a shock given their low value level). When you’re searching for a pair to lounge round or sleep in and never a lot else, although? These will just do nice, and also you gained’t break the financial institution stocking up on just a few. They’re additionally obtainable in a staggering 44 colours and patterns.

Outdated Navy Excessive-Waisted Elevate Compression Leggings ($22, initially $29.99;

Old Navy High-Waisted Elevate Compression Leggings

Outdated Navy

Outdated Navy Excessive-Waisted Elevate Compression Leggings

We had been pleasantly stunned by this pair, given their price range value level. The Outdated Navy leggings retained their form and colour very well (even after a number of washes), had been exceedingly cozy and breathable, and are designed in an unassuming approach that makes carrying them as a part of a nonworkout outfit easy-breezy. The total-length leggings will not be solely obtainable in sizes XS by way of XXL, however in addition they are available in three inseams: 26.5, 28 and 31 inches, the latter of which (bonus for the taller of us within the room) is among the many longest inseams provided out of all of the pairs we examined.

Whereas they’re crafted with a moisture-wicking poly-spandex mix, they didn’t finally snag a profitable spot, as we discovered the Colourful Koala pair to have a extra flattering match (certainly one of our testers famous the Outdated Navy leggings pooled on the ankles a bit), with the addition of pockets and a cloth that wasn’t a magnet for lint and pet hair, as these tended to be.

Fabletics Trinity Excessive-Waisted Utility Legging ($84.95 for nonmembers or $59.95 for members;

Fabletics Trinity High-Waisted Utility Legging


Fabletics Trinity Excessive-Waisted Utility Legging

There wasn’t a lot to not like about this pair of leggings — in reality, it scored prime marks just about throughout the board, with significantly excessive scores for each consolation and stylishness. We love that these have pockets (each facet pockets and a discreet again zipper pocket), how they fared effectively after a number of wash and dry cycles, snapping proper again into form and searching good as new, and the way effectively they stored us heat outside in near-freezing temperatures. They arrive in three inseams, are provided in sizes XXS by way of 4XL and can be found in 11 colours, from neutrals to shiny and daring hues.

Just a few issues to say: Though definitely helpful, the pockets don’t lie flush towards the form of the leggings, so when sitting down they sort of caught out. Additionally, after hours of wear and tear, certainly one of our testers famous that the compressing excessive waist began to really feel slightly tight. One of many predominant causes we didn’t crown these our total profitable pair, although? Fabletics’ subscription-based enterprise mannequin. Whereas new members can snag two pairs for the ridiculously wallet-friendly value of two for $24, present members pay $59.95. When you don’t wish to decide to a $49.95-per-month membership, you’ll be shelling out $84.95 per pair. When you’ve already purchased into the Fabletics membership or are interested by it, you’ll be able to’t go incorrect with these leggings.

Oalka Girls Yoga Pants Exercise Operating Leggings (beginning at $9.99;

Oalka Women Yoga Pants Workout Running Leggings


Oalka Girls Yoga Pants Exercise Operating Leggings

What we beloved about these leggings: They’re obtainable in 61 (nope, not a typo!) colorways and patterns, with the choice to pick out a pocketed or nonpocketed design. The pockets are sufficiently big to suit a typical smartphone, and so they scored excessive marks within the opacity class. General, we had been impressed by their high quality given their $20 value level.

What we didn’t love: Sizing was a bit off for all of our testers (some famous that the leggings ran slightly large and others mentioned they ran too small of their regular dimension), and so they had been longer than best. For these on the shorter facet, this is usually a deal breaker since just one inseam size is obtainable. We didn’t discover them trendy sufficient to be seamlessly built-in into an on a regular basis outfit — aesthetically, they’re decidedly a exercise legging — and placement of the pocket was awkward. The design of the entrance seam wasn’t very flattering, we discovered the waistband incessantly had a tough time staying put and the material was a bit too stiff for essentially the most comfy exercises.

Out of doors Voices Springs 7/8 Leggings ($78;

Outdoor Voices Springs 7/8 Leggings

Out of doors Voices

Out of doors Voices Springs 7/8 Leggings

Amongst all of the leggings we examined, this Out of doors Voices pair held up maybe the perfect of all of them — after our checks, they proved to be tremendous sturdy after many exercises and washes, showing like new, with no pilling, fading or lint to talk of. They didn’t shrink when certainly one of our testers put them within the dryer on a sizzling cycle too, and there was no colour switch from both.

They’re a super-stylish, flattering pair that made us really feel assured when carrying ’em, each for exercising and doing on a regular basis stuff. In comparison with the opposite higher-end leggings we examined, nonetheless, we didn’t discover these to blow us away within the consolation division, significantly throughout sweaty, high-impact exercises. General, our testers wished the material allowed for freer motion and weren’t fairly as stiff, although they’d be a terrific pair for outside exercise on cooler days. We appreciated their comparatively expansive dimension vary (from XXS by way of 3XL), although be aware that they’re obtainable in simply two colorways and one inseam size. They’re additionally shipped in 100% recycled paper envelopes or recyclable packing containers, and based on the model, it has been lowering its use of standard materials in favor of extra sustainable supplies.

JoyLab Excessive-Waisted Seamless 7/8 Leggings ($34;

JoyLab High-Waisted Seamless 7/8 Leggings


JoyLab Excessive-Waisted Seamless 7/8 Leggings

We had blended emotions about these JoyLab leggings from Goal. Whereas a few of our testers appreciated how smooth and stretchy they had been, for essentially the most half, we discovered them unsupportive and uncomfortable for exercises. The design of those leggings was polarizing, with some discovering their aesthetic trendy and others not a lot. (The perforated element is actually not best for colder climates, and a few of us weren’t a fan of the actually noticeable ribbing on the waistband and ankles.) A bit much less opaque than our favorites within the testing pool, these did, nonetheless, maintain up effectively after a number of washes. The leggings can be found in 4 colours and sizes XS by way of XL. Though we had supposed on initially testing a distinct pair of JoyLab leggings, we discovered that they’d been discontinued and that this model was essentially the most comparable. Sadly, these simply didn’t hit the mark for us total.

Learn extra from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing:

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