Best Workout Leggings For Women 2022

Chances are you have more pairs of workout leggings in your wardrobe now than in previous years. The growing range of styles available feature moisture-wicking material, breathability and flattering body contouring that make them hard to resist slipping into—even if a HIIT workout isn’t on your to-do list. And since they’re so versatile, you can never have too many, whether for the gym or everyday wear. For those searching for the perfect pair, we found some of the best workout leggings for women ahead.

From fleece-lined to mesh-paneled versions, below you’ll find options for every possible activity (as well as your WFH outfits). These pairs have either been tried and tested or come highly recommended—and they start at just $23, which proves you don’t need to spend a lot of money for quality workout leggings.

Best Workout Leggings Overall

Sweaty Betty: A Pair That Meets All The Standards

Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colors: Black, black fade, black geo, black print, green print| Materials: 62% polyamide, 38% elastane

If you frequently have problems with a gapping waistband, the bonded waist on these leggings have extra compression for support. The high cut and compression material make for a flattering, comfortable fit overall. And they’re squat-proof, so you can wear them for running, lifting, yoga or pilates.

What the reviews say: According to one Sweaty Betty reviewer, “These are the actual bomb! Super compressed, figure hugging, fabulous bum lift, perfect length, hugely flattering.” However, users are mixed on whether the waist rolls down, and some say these leggings run small.


  • Sweat-wicking and quick-drying fabric
  • Two side pockets


  • Some don’t love the front seam

Best High-Waisted Workout Leggings

Vuori: A Sky-High Waistband With A Comfortable Fit

Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colors: light pink flower, rose heather, pale camo, navy heather, black heather| Materials: 87% recycled polyester, 13% elastane

Activewear brand Vuori is known for its thoughtful technical details and this legging features several. It’s made from sweat-wicking fabric, it has a hidden zipper pocket to stash things like keys and cash and it doesn’t have side seams, which helps with freedom of movement and no rubbing.

What the reviews say: Users love the “dreamy” fabric’s ultrasoft feel and perfectly snug fit, although some would prefer side pockets to the zipper pocket.


  • Come in three different lengths—regular, short, long
  • Supersoft feel


  • Some say there can be pilling

Best Workout Leggings For HIIT

Outdoor Voices: Activewear For Serious Workouts

Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: Black, green, black polka, yellow, raspberry | Materials: 72% nylon, 17% lycra, 11% polyester

These leggings from Outdoor Voices have a structured waist, which helps keep them in place while you get all your burpees in. Made from the brand’s signature TechSweat fabric, these moisture-wicking leggings are specifically designed for HIIT workouts and the sweat that comes with it.

What the reviews say: “The waistband is unbelievably life changing for squats, lunges, HIIT and weight lifting,” says one reviewer. “Compression is just right. Not sure how they do it but these glide right on, stay put like no other leggings, and look amazing.” Users also say they wash well, but some comment that certain lighter colorways are see through.


  • Lightweight
  • Compressive fabric retains its shape


  • Some say the waistband is too rigid

Best Size-Inclusive Workout Leggings

Girlfriend Collective: Leggings For Every Body Type

Sizes: XXS-6XL | Colors: Plum, navy, black, green, brown, white | Materials: 79% recycled plastic bottles (RPET), 21% spandex

Girlfriend Collective is bringing transparency and size inclusivity to the activewear category with its range of eco-friendly workout gear. Available in sizes XXS-6X, these compression leggings made from durable recycled materials feature a high waist, double side seams and double side pockets—proving they’re just as functional as they are comfortable.

What the reviews say: “I love how compressive they are without feeling uncomfortable,” says one reviewer. “And they don’t slide down while working out.” Another user point out: “The hype on these is justified. The fabric is super thick and excellent quality, not at all see-through.”


  • Two roomy hip pockets
  • Four-way stretch
  • Sweat-wicking


  • Some say they have to size up

Best Lightweight Workout Leggings

Hoka: Workout Gear With UV Protection


Sizes: HS-XL | Colors: Black/red, blue, black | Materials: 78% polyamide, 22% elastane

You might be more familiar with Hoka’s running shoes, but don’t sleep on the brand’s workout gear. For warm-weather days, these brushed, ultra-soft tights with UV protection are an ideal choice.

What the reviews say: “I am runner and entering the world of ultra marathons,” says a Hoka reviewer. “These leggings are super comfortable, fit me like a glove and stay in place.” Other users love the pockets and like that they conceal sweat, but some say they wish there was a waistband drawcord.


  • Four pockets, and two fit smartphones
  • Brushed, soft feel


Best Reflective Workout Leggings

Nike: A Pair That Glows In The Dark

Nike Dri-Fit Run Division Fast Women’s Running Leggings

Sizes: XXS-2XL | Colors: Black, indigo, lavender | Materials: 80% polyester, 20% spandex

If you’re a night jogger or runner, then the leggings of your dreams will probably come with some details to improve visibility, as is the case with this pair featuring a reflective print. Your ideal leggings might also feature pockets for storing your essentials and moisture-wicking fabric to help you stay dry. This pair from Nike checks both boxes.

What the reviews say: “The waistband is fitted enough, plus the draw cord provides extra insurance,” says a reviewer. “They provide the perfect amount of compression for every workout—my first one was a HIIT workout from the Nike Training Club, and I didn’t touch these once.”


  • Waistband drawcord
  • Zippered waistband pocket fits a cell phone


forbes.comNike Promo Codes | 10% Off In August 2022 | Forbes

Best Inexpensive Workout Leggings

Baleaf: A Budget-Friendly Option

Sizes: XS-XXL | Colors: Black, gray, navy, purple | Materials: 80% nylon, 20% spandex

Along with 8,000 positive Amazon reviews, these nylon and spandex cropped leggings have chafe-free seams, a high-rise waistband and a super affordable price tag. They have a small internal pocket that’s just the right size for a key or credit card as well. While they do have quite a bit of stretch, they don’t have a strong compression hold or a thick enough fabric to be squat-proof, so they’re better off for walking or milder activities.

What the reviews say: Many buyers comment that these leggings nail it on comfort. “These are the most comfortable leggings I have found,” says one reviewer. “They’re very durable and not see-thru like some of the others out there. One problem I had with other brands is groin chafing and these do not do that.”


  • No seams on inner thighs
  • Deep side pockets


  • Not as compressive as other styles
  • Some users say they run a little large

Best No-Fuss Workout Leggings

Zella: A Go-To Pair

Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colors: Grey | Materials: 88% polyester, 12% spandex

Made from a lightweight, polyester and spandex blend that will hug your legs without adding much compression, these legging are good option for low-impact workouts.

What the reviews say: Reviewers (7,000 and counting) love that the high waist doesn’t bunch, slide or flip while you’re working out.


  • Not-too-tight fit for low impact
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • More affordable price point than many other brands


  • Some have issues with quick wear and tear

Best Workout Leggings With Pockets

Bandier: Sleek Leggings With Room For Essentials

Sizes: XXS-3X | Colors: Black, yellow, grey, green, navy, tan, camo | Materials: 50% nylon, 50% spandex

When it comes to leggings with pockets, the storage size tends to vary. Some pockets are shallow, with only enough room for storing your earbuds or locker key, while others are constructed to hold larger items like a cell phone, for example. If you prefer the latter, try this quick-drying pair.

What the reviews say: Overall, buyers love these for comfort and an amazing fit. According to one reviewer, “They stay in place, have just enough compression, and the fabric is high quality.” Another says, “These have great compression without being uncomfortable.”


  • Lots of color options
  • Roomy pockets
  • Soft fabric that washes well


  • May not work for petite frames
  • Some say runs large in the waist

What To Consider When Buying Workout Leggings


For the most part, people choose leggings based on what they’ll be wearing them for, whether for low-impact activity like walking, yoga or Pilates, or for higher impact options such as running or cross-fit. In general, look for leggings with equal parts support and movement. This combination can easily transition from errands to high-intensity interval training, or leggings that can be just as comfortable in a work from home setting as in barre class. Workout leggings that can be useful in a variety of scenarios tend to score big with reviewers.


Legging fabric composition is perhaps the most important—and polarizing—factor when it comes to choosing styles. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to fabric thickness, compression, stretch and moisture-wicking properties. In general, those who enjoy running and high-intensity workouts seek out more compressive, snug fabrics, and people who spend time doing yoga, walking, hiking, Pilates or barre often gravitate toward less compressive, softer brushed fabrics that allow for lots of movement. Fabric thickness is another key consideration, because you want something that’s thick enough not to be see through when bending or squatting, but also breathable and not suffocating.


Legging length is also highly personal. In cooler temperatures, many exercisers prefer full-length, and others will opt for capri lengths in warmer climates or during summer. Many retailers offer leggings at short, regular and tall lengths, or inseams come in capri, 7/8 or full-length styles.


Before buying leggings, think about seam placement. Many people don’t like it if there are seams running down the inside of their legs because the seams can cause chafing during activities like long runs. Similarly, pants with more intricate stitching can cause irritation after a long sweat session.


The best waistbands are those that offer the coverage you want and have a strong enough elastic that they don’t roll down or need to be constantly tugged back up. High waistbands are typically popular for yoga and Pilates where stretching and certain movements have the potential to expose your stomach.


If you need a place to store keys, a phone, credit card or cash, you’ll want pockets. Often designers will include a zip pocket in the lumbar area of leggings and a small interior pocket in the front, but many people love having roomier side pockets for stashing their phone and other essentials on the go.

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