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The 3 Best Workout Leggings To Wear, Trainers Say

They put in hours of real-life testing, so you don’t have to.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

There are leggings you relax in, and then there are leggings you actually wear to exercise. Knowing what to look for in the latter isn't always straightforward. There are countless options to choose from, and not all pairs are built for just any type of workout. What you need for yoga may not stay put when you hit the treadmill or the weight room, for example. You need to know the scoop on the best workout leggings to wear for your particular fitness regimen, and we're here to help with that.

To uncover the cream of the crop and hear how they perform when put through months of wear and tear, we consulted three top-notch trainers and class instructors (who teach everything from pilates and kids fitness classes to kettlebell courses) and asked them to give us all the details on the best workout leggings. Read on to shop their favorite picks, and next, be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Athleta Ultimate Stash II 7/8 Tight

black workout leggings from Athleta
$109 at Athleta
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"I've tested and tried tons of brands, but you'll find me in the Athleta Stash II tights or capris multiple times a week," says Michele Levy, NASM, the founder and CEO of Zing!, a company that offers children's group fitness classes. "I wear them for everything from strength training and HIIT to walking, easy runs, and even post-sweat meetings," Levy says.

Offered in sizes XXS through 3X, with inseam options spanning petite, regular, and tall, Levy says these pants are ideal for her 5'0" frame. Levy describes the fabric as "supportive yet breathable" and notes that the side pockets are big enough to hold her phone and earbuds, which is a must-have for cardio days.

Related: The 5 Best Walking Shoes, According to Podiatrists

Lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Tight 25"

lululemon workout leggings in navy blue
$128 at Lululemon
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This highrise tight comes in sizes 0 through 20 and is made from a buttery lightweight fabric that's as comfortable for workouts as it is for lounging. The continuous drawcord sits flat against the waist and ensures the leggings stay put—even when the side pockets filled to the brim, Levy raves.

Samantha Ciaccia, CSCS, a personal trainer and the founder of Bell Mechanics, a company that teaches kettlebell technique, also loves these pants because they're "comfortable, flattering, and stay put." She says they provide just enough compression to lend support without feeling restricted. "Plus, you can throw on a nice sweater after a workout, and dress them up for brunch," she adds.

The leggings in the Fast and Free Collection come in a range of lengths: 28", 25", crop 23", and crop 19", and according to the trainers, they're extremely durable. "I haven't needed to buy another pair of these leggings, because the one I have hasn't worn out, even after so many uses in all sorts of weather," Levy says.

Related: The 6 Best Winter Workout Items to Stay Warm, According to Runners

Alo Yoga High Waist Airbrush Legging

black alo yoga leggings
Alo Yoga
$88 at Alo Yoga
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Kit Rich, NASM, a celebrity trainer and Pilates instructor loves these leggings, which come in 13 colorways and are sold in sizes XXS through XL. Rich enjoys Pilates, weight training, hiking, and yoga, and says these leggings perform, stay put, and look flattering no matter how she decides to get active. "The right pair of leggings feel like an extension of my body, and these really deliver," Rich says.

Made from a moisture-wicking and odor-resistant fabric that hugs and comfortably compresses the body, these leggings have a "brushed on" look (hence the name) that makes Rich feel "strong and fit." Plus, at just $88, they're fairly affordable but don't skimp on quality. "They're well made and last a long time," Rich tells us, who has religiously worn her Alo leggings for the past four months.

For more…

woman working out outdoors wearing sports bra and workout leggings

For more fitness news, check out The #1 Best Workout To Get Rid Of Love Handles For Good, Trainer Says and The 3 Best Floor Exercises To Shrink Belly Fat Fast, Trainer Says.

Dana Leigh Smith
Dana has written for Women's Health, Prevention, Reader's Digest, and countless other publications. Read more about Dana Leigh
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