Best Running Pants Reviewed

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It’s that time of the year to switch from shorts to pants for your run. Check out our guide on the best running pants to help find your pair.

The best type of clothing is the type that is comfortable, functional and looks good as well. This trifecta of attributes can be hard to achieve. But when you find a piece of clothing that meets this, it’s great and you don’t want to let it go. The type of shirt, pants or hat that you look forward to throwing on is the idea here.

A good pair of running pants are an integral part of any runner’s kit. Your legs are obviously a pretty key part of your anatomy when it comes to running, so ensuring your legs are protected in all forms of weather is important. Runners often wear tights on their lower extremities for some of the compressive benefits and to keep warm, but running pants are not limited to tights only. If you prefer a breezier option, its available.

Our Top 3 Picks
Brooks Vapor Dry 2
  • Brooks Vapor Dry 2
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Excellent breathability
  • Price: See Here
Nike Dri-fit Otc65
  • Nike Dri-fit Otc65
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Moisture wicking Dri-Fit
  • Price: See Here
Nike Zoom
  • Nike Zoom
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Two zippered pockets
  • Price: See Here

 

One challenge consumers face when it comes to selecting a pair of running pants is the shear number of options. Like so many things the market for these type of pants has become saturated these days. This is where we come in. We’ve done the leg work (pardon the terrible joke) and found some of the best running pants currently available. From warm-up pants, to well ventilated mesh pants for warmer temperatures, to thermals to a few pairs of tights — it’s all here. Enjoy!


1. Brooks Women’s Vapor Dry 2

1. Brooks Women’s Vapor Dry 2
We finish out our list with another dependable choice for ladies. These pants are a hybrid between tights and regular fitness pants, offering a little bit of compression but quite a bit of flexibility as well. These pants have a fleecy feel, and moisture transfer properties within to keep you dry. If staying thermally balanced (not too hot or too cold) is a challenge for you, these pants can certainly offer a bit of help. Backed with Brooks quality and reasonable pricing it isn’t at all hard to run happy.
Pros
  • Sophisticated all black look
  • Mesh behind the knees adds in a nice touch of breathability
  • Thicker material in the backside, added warmth
  • Fit is relatively true to size
Cons
  • No real negatives to mention


2. Nike Men’s Dri-fit Otc65

2. Nike Men’s Dri-fit Otc65
Sticking with Nike for a moment, another pair of pants worth mentioning is the Oct65 Tracks. These are a great option for runners who like a slim pair of pants but are not a fan of wearing tights. They also have a cool bit of trivia behind their name. Otc stands for Oregon Track Club and 65 for 1965 the year it was founded. These are old school jogging pants with new school performance. With quick drying, Dri-Fit fabric and a tailored cut these pants are a great ally at the track.
Pros
  • Features Nike’s flagship Dri-FIT fabric, which  wicks sweat away leaving your skin dry and comfortable
  • The construction/cut of of these track pants is designed to maintain your freedom of movement
  • They run a bit loose through the thigh and more tightly in the knee ankle area — making sure there isn’t excess fabric flapping around
  • Zippers at the leg hems offer easy on and off over shoes and custom ventilation when you need it.
  • Pocket has vapor barrier so it’s okay for electronics
Cons
  • Inseam runs long


3. Nike Women’s Zoom

3. Nike Women’s Zoom
A lot of the pants on this list are offered for both men and women, in this case Nike has produced a quality pair of gender specific (women’s) running pants. These pants are lightweight nylon so you will never overheat — great for warm up or to wear for the duration of your run. The zooms also have a contoured cut so they fit neatly. Overall these are a great alternative to heavier running pants.
Pros
  • An internal drawcord and elastic waist provide a firm and adjustable fit
  • Two zippered pockets, located on the side seams, store essentials without worrying
  • 100% high performing nylon construction
Cons
  • Material is thinner than expected

4. Sugoi Titan

4. Sugoi Titan
A core feature of any good training get up, the Sugoi Titan Track Pants are built to perform and provide a customized feel. Built from SUGOI’s legendary performance stretch fabrics the Titan’s are water/sweat resistant, highly comfortable and will not impede your ease of movement in any way. To the touch, these pants feel like tights, sans the compression (obviously) and have well placed mesh panels to keep the ventilation going. If you’re looking for a pant which will back you up every step of the way, these are it.
Pros
  • Helix heavy material is a blend of breathable, moisture wicking properties and relaxed comfort
  • Elastic waist band with a low profile inner drawcord, easy to cinch up
  • Two zippered front (hand height) for easy storage
  • Improved breathability, has side inserted mesh panels
Cons
  • A bit expensive

5. Asics Aptitude 2

5. Asics Aptitude 2
Anima Sana in Corpore Sano or sound mind in a sound body or ASICS (to use the well known acronym), is one of our favorite brands. And their Aptitude 2 Run Pants are unquestionably one of their best products. These are a great medium pair of pants for moderate temperatures. They have a semi-fitted tapered design that fits tightly in some places and has slack in others. Comfortable, high performing and durable for the long haul — turn leave it to ASICS to produce premium quality running pants.
Pros
  • Made from 87% Polyester 13% Spandex, a strong  and smooth stretch fabric
  • Two ergonomic side-seam zippers
  • Has gripper elastic at the leg opening, snug fit
  • Hydrology fabric construction
Cons
  • The waist seems a little tight for some

6. Saucony Omni LX Tights

6. Saucony Omni LX Tights
Tights are such an important piece of clothing for runners we’ve got an entire post about it here(insert link). But there are so many good running tights we thought we’d squeeze a few more onto our pants list. The Saucony Omni LX tights are special in that the fit like a second skin, and while many products claim this, Saucony delivers. These tights have a basic black base but come with multiple color stripe options that makes them stand out without going over the top. Stay warm, dry and comfortable in Saucony’s premiere tight offering.
Pros
  • Crafted chafe-free seams down the length of the legs ensures a good air seal
  • Reflective trims on the front and back, be seen at night
  • Has a handy zippered back storage pouch (waterproof) for easy and secure storage
  • Zippers at leg openings help for an easy on/off
  • Has a snug, adjustable fit, plus an interior draw cord
Cons
  • Sizing is a bit off

7. Under Armour Launch

7. Under Armour Launch
A good pick for slightly warmer weather or as warm ups that you strip off once its game time, the Launch Run pants from Under Armour are meshy and extremely comfortable. These pants are ultralight with mesh panels providing a superior level of ventilation compared with most bottoms. These are also extremely versatile. We’ve found them to so comfortable as to qualify as good lounge wear around the house. Overall these pants are an excellent choice.
Pros
  • Stretch-woven fabric delivers fantastic range of motion
  • Airy mesh panels are ultra-durable & deliver great breathability
  • 4-way stretch material construction
  • Moisture transport system wicks sweat and is quick drying
Cons
  • The pockets don't seem to hold much

8. Salomon Momentum Softshell FZ

8. Salomon Momentum Softshell FZ
If you need a real heavy hitter when it comes to cold weather conditions check out the Salomon Momentum Softshell pants. These pants are also marketed to cross country skiers (as well as runners) so you can imagine what that says about them. These pants have a soft shell exterior and protect you from frigid gusts of wind and they don’t constrict your range of motion as you might think. The only downside is the price runs a little bit higher. But the truth is you get what you pay for, and the Momentum softshells are still a great value.
Pros
  • Advanced skin shield, repels the cold like no other
  • Has zippered leg opening, lower leg stripe grip for safety
  • 2 hand pockets, also have zippers
  • Reflective details front and rear
Cons
  • Sizing runs a bit large

9. Adidas Performance Tiro 15

9. Adidas Performance Tiro 15
Another option that excels in cold conditions is the Tiro 15 from adidas. A thin layer of Climacool microfiber does a surprisingly solid job of keeping your legs warm. These pants also do not feel bulky which is often times the trade off for added warmth. They also have zippered ankles which allows for a nice degree of flexibility. Built to cross train, these pants can handle plyometrics, crossfit, soccer and any run you want to throw at them. Highly recommended.
Pros
  • Contains ClimaCool Polyester blend
  • Tapered-leg pant in double-knit polyester, no excess material hanging about
  • Featuring zippered cuffs (ankle) and pockets
  • Breathable, ventilated ClimaCool fabric does an excellent job wicking moisture
Cons
  • Men's sizing seems to run small

10. Brooks Rush

10. Brooks Rush
If we’re pressed on the issue of “which are the best pair of running pants” it’s hard to give one answer, but the Brooks Rush Pants definitely come close. Ideal for colder weather, these bottoms have a warm fleecy lining but also won’t make your legs feel as if they are in an oven. Semi-fitted to nicely contour to your body and well ventilated these, are a smartly designed pair of pants. Add in a classic, yet simple Brooks design ethic and you’ve got a great combination of factors.
Pros

 

  • Made from 84% polyester, 16% spandex, patented Drilayer® material,  moisture-wicking fabric
  • Elastic closure, firm and doesn’t slip
  • Rear flap, zip pocket for essentials
  • Reflective elements for low light running

 

Cons
  • A bit plain for those who like more flash

 

 

When it comes to the material of your running pants, it’s wise to choose something synthetic. Sure an old pair of sweats (a la Jr High) will work, but you will likely end up bogged down with a wet pair of pants. Synthetic materials work to wick moisture away from your body, this keeps sweat from accumulating near the surface of your skin thus helping you stay dry and warm when you run. Polyester and Spandex are two of the most common materials running pants are made from. Both of them feature moisture-wicking properties.

Although this list is by no means comprehensive, we do believe it is the cream of the crop. Some great cold weather pants, some tights, some soft shells, some mesh some gender specific options, some classics and some unique technology — it’s all here. At the end of the day we know there is a good deal of subjectivity in play here, but we hope this is a useful informational resource. Motivating yourself to run in the cold months can sometimes be as simple as a reliable pair of running pants.

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