10 Best Running Trousers Rated & Compared
Running trousers are an important piece of apparel that every runner needs at least one of in his or her closet to have a complete running wardrobe. A good pair of running pants or trousers will allow the user to be comfortable in a variety of weather conditions. Depending on the temperature swings, some runners may need to buy some warmer pairs, and others in lighter weights. These pieces of equipment can go from the simple to the complex. Some have a tailored look, while others are designed to be looser fitting. The following is a list of pants and trousers for your consideration. Read on:
10 Best Running Trousers
Adidas Men's Tiro 15
These pants come in 11 colors and have the classic adidas triple stripe down the outside of each leg. They hit just below the ankle and hang loosely to optimize comfort.
Made of a soft breathable, moisture-wicking material that is designed to be ultra-comfortable and fashionable with a variety of colors.
Due to the reflective stripes running along the pants legs, these Adidas are an excellent choice if the user wants to run at night.
The Adidas Men's Tiro 15 Training Pants are a somewhat expensive option, but well worth it for the breathability, comfort, color options, and durability.
- Made of 100% breathable “climacool” knitted polyester
- Moisture Wicking
- Zippers for pockets & at ankles for easy removal
- Colorful & Fashionable
- Well-made, USA Manufactured
- Machine Washable
- Some shrinking may occur
- Not all users were happy about the quality/ fit
Adidas Condivo 14
With a trendy slim fit that isn't skin tight, you will look comfortable and sporty in these pants. The classic Adidas stripe adds a stylish and recognizable touch without being too flashy.
Made of polyester and engineered with Climacool technology, these pants are breathable and well ventilated.
An elastic waistband and ankle zippers allow for a comfortable and customizable fit that moves with you as you run.
These are slightly higher priced than other running pants, but the technology of the fabric justifies this price.
- Climacool polyester fabric
- Machine Washable
- Slim fit profile
- Elastic waistband
- Zipper Pockets
- Some users report an inconsistent fit
Puma Men's Training Pants
These pants come in three common colors, so they will match anything in your current running wardrobe. The polyester fabric is cut with a slim profile that tapers slightly to the ankles, yet allows you full flexibility to run naturally and freely. Contrasting details at the ankles and behind the knees add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral pant.
The elastic waistband has a drawstring closure which will keep these pants securely in place throughout your entire run. Side pockets offer a place to keep an energy gel or ID while on the go. Users report that these pants are extremely durable, but also to consider ordering a size larger than you normally wear, as they run a little tight in the legs.
Puma Men's Training Pants are an expensive choice in terms of cost, but well worth it for the durability that they provide.
- Made of 100% breathable polyester
- Machine washable
- Elastic & drawstring closure
- Zippered side pockets & ankle zippers
- Great quality/ durable
- Not many color choices
- Sizing may be tricky; user reviews suggest ordering a size larger than you think you’ll need
Champion Men's Cross Train Pant
This polyester knit pant has a slim profile, which fits the current fashion trends. The breathable knit fabric moves with your every stride, allowing your run to be natural and comfortable. These pants come in 3 neutral colors so they will fit right in with your current wardrobe. The Champion logo is very small, so these pants are great for runners that don't like flashy or overwhelming details. Users report that the legs of these pants are longer than average.
Champion Vapor Technology has been used to make the fabric of these pants moisture-wicking and quick drying. Ankle zippers make these quick to take off and put on, even while wearing your favorite running shoes. Side pockets offer storage for keys and gels.
These are a lower priced pair of running pants.
- Affordably priced
- Neutral colors and design
- Trendy slim fit
- Moisture managing
- Long leg length
Under Armour Men's Tech Pants
The tapered fit of these pants gives them a slim profile that is trendy on the track and around town. Thirteen color choices ensure that these pants will fit into any runner's wardrobe. Each different hue has a contrasting strip by the ankle. Tall users debate about the length of these pants, with some saying they are too short and other too long.
These pants are highly breathable and stay dry because the Under Armour Tech Fabric is engineered with a Moisture Transport System, which wicks sweat and moisture away from your body.
Mesh pockets not only give you a place to store your valuables, but they also provide extra ventilation and breathability.
These pants are about the average price of similar garments.
- Moisture wicking
- Tapered fit
- Generous pockets
- Many colors
- Length debated by tall reviewers
Mission VaporActive Atmosphere Jogger Pants
Jogger-style pants are all the rage right now in the fashion world, but they don't have to be limited to the street. The Mission VaporActive Atmosphere Jogger Pants will let you be trendy on the track, trail, gym, or wherever you run! In addition to being offered in three neutral, match anything colors, these pants have a contrasting strip behind the right knee to add a unique style element.
VaporActive technology has been engineered into the polyester fabric of these pants to wick moisture away from your body and speed up its evaporation to keep you cool and dry.
A full-size side leg pocket give you a secure place to store your valuables on your run.
The elastic waist also has a drawstring to ensure a secure and snug fit.
These are a higher priced pair of running pants.
- VaporActive fabric
- Body temperature regulation
- Trendy fit
- Secure side pocket
- Run large, according to reviewers
Nike Mens Dri-Fit Track Pants
The tapered leg of these pants gives them a slim, traditional track pant look that leaves enough room in your legs to run comfortably and with ease. A small Nike Swoosh decorates the left thigh and doesn't overwhelm the design of the pants. These are only available in one color, however- black.
Users will want to know that the Nike Mens Dri-Fit Running Track Pants are imported, as sizing sometimes is different from other countries.
Users will also want to know that the pants leg design is a “straight-leg” design in that it doesn’t taper or to cause them to be more form-fitting
The Nike Mens Dri-Fit Running Track Pants is an expensive choice in terms of cost, although the product quality and Nike name recognition is well worth it, though a few more color choices would be a nice.
- Made of soft cotton
- Drawcord waistband
- Open bottom hem
- Straight leg design
- Wicks away moisture
- Sizing may be tricky/ may not fit all users
- Lack of color choices
- No back pocket (despite pictures to the contrary)
Salomon Trail Runner Warm Pant
These pants, available in black, offer a classic tapered track pant fit. A reflective strip on the rear right calf helps keep you visible without being too flashy, and back leg zippers allow you to customize the fit of the pants as well as take them off and put them on with ease. Users like that these pants don't have any extra "frills" and are very versatile.
These pants offer runners the protection of WindStopper Softshell polyester fabric, which works in conjunction with the Actitherm Stretch polyknit to keep you warm on cold winter trail runs. Users comment that these pants keep you warm, but not so warm that you feel overheated.
Two zippered pockets offer runners a place to store valuables and running accessories, like gels.
An adjustable waistband helps create a customized and comfortable fit.
These are priced slightly above average.
- Secure pockets
- Adjustable waist
- Some users question if they are really windproof
Nike Team Club Fleece Pants
Available in 10 color choices, these pants offer a simple Swoosh logo at the hip. These have the cut of an average pants leg, so they aren't too slim or too baggy. Users report that these pants are extremely long.
The Nike Team Club Fleece Pants are made of 100% cotton, which some users may prefer to polyester or cotton blends. They are very soft as a result.
Despite having an open leg design (i.e. no ankle zippers), the pants legs are still slightly tapered.
Side welt pockets offer a place to store a gel or keys while you run, but do not close securely.
The Nike Team Club Fleece Pants are an expensive choice, but for the quality and name brand recognition of Nike, they’re well worth the cost.
- 100% warm cotton fleece
- Offers a few colors
- Well made
- Sizing may be a bit tricky
- No back pocket
Asics Men's Aptitude 2 Run Pants
These pants come in exactly one color: Black with white branding. They have a slim profile, which fits with current fashion trends, and, in spite of this, they are very flexible so they aren't constricting in any way.
Made of warm fabric which is handy for those cold days when users want to go out for a run.
Material provides the perfect amount of tightness without providing compression.
Ankle zippers allow for ease of dressing and undressing, even while wearing shoes.
These are priced slightly above the average for running pants.
- Made of a soft, stretchy fabric
- Warm, but not too warm
- Built in ankle zippers for easy removal
- Provides the perfect amount of tightness
- Only one color available
- According to users, these don’t ‘wick’ effectively in areas that have multiple layers
- Logo washes off
Criteria for choosing 10 Best Running Trousers.
Running trousers are important gears that most, if not all runners should possess. A trouser covers the legs of the runner protecting him or her from many external issues like dangerous sun rays and keeps the runner warm too when running during cold seasons. In the market today, there are varieties of running trousers from different brands. Making a runner not have an easy time to choose from which could be the best for him or her. This guide is to simplify what are the factors to consider when choosing the best running pants.
The best running trouser for a runner will depend on what distance the runner is into mostly. If the runner runs on short distances, the running trouser has to have features that favor short distance running. For long distance running, the same applies. Weather condition of the time of running also is a determinant factor. A good runner should have running trousers for all weather conditions. Cold weather running trousers are a bit heavier than hot weather condition running trousers. Breathability, wicking ability, personal preference of the runner and the fabric used in making the running trousers are some more of the running trousers factors that one should consider when choosing a running trouser that is best for him or her.
Technically, you can run in whatever you want—combat fatigues, a tutu, or a gorilla suit. But running-specific pants are popular among runners for a reason: they work. Today’s technical pants really do make running more comfortable and enjoyable. Plus, with as many choices as breakfast beverages at your local café, you can suit your own taste.
You need tights that are going to empower you. Strengthen you. Keep your muscles from fatigue. Help you recover after an intense workout. Save you from freezing in the cold weather. You need something to illuminate you, make you visible, and keep the dangers of the road at bay. In other words, you need a hero. A hero to help you be the best runner you can be, no matter the conditions.
At the end of the day, the personal preference of the runner on the running trouser is what counts. The running trouser of the runner should please the runner such that he or she cannot have had time wearing the running trouser. The best personal preference is comfortable.
Factors to consider when choosing 10 Best Running Trousers
Before buying running pants or tights, consider these four important factors—from weather to form-fitting style—to determine which features matter most to you. Then you can find the pair that will become your daily go-to.
- Trouser Fabric
Chose the right fabric to make the most of your run
Most importantly, pant material can make or break a run. For example, cotton and thick fleece are heavy, bulky, restrictive, and tend to cause chaffing with repeated friction, an inevitable force when you run. Cotton also holds moisture and becomes heavier as you sweat. So although cotton sweatpants are wonderful weekend companions, wearing them running is like rolling rocks uphill—it’s possible, but awfully cumbersome.
Modern technical running pants, on the other hand, remedy friction and manage moisture for all runners—regardless of ability, distance, or location. The key? Sweat-wicking, breathable fabrics.
That’s why apparel-makers blend hydrophobic fibers, such as spandex, polyester, and nylon. Although the ‘80s gave spandex (an anagram of the word “expands”) a bad rap, today’s spandex remains extremely elastic, and essential to running apparel. The stretchy fiber is blended with other improved and new fibers for softer, silkier, better wicking, less stinky and even less shiny fabrics. Stretch is crucial in running tights as well as in looser-fitting track pants.
Lightweight, synthetic fabrics that move your sweat away from your skin so it can evaporate are the most comfortable for workouts. In addition to keeping your skin from getting clammy and irritated, synthetics move more freely with your body in motion, and dry quickly.
Higher quality fabrics hold their shape and support longer than cheaper ones. A pair of high quality running pants should last for years. Retire those that sag, slip, are see-through, or let the elements in.
- Pant construction
Find the design that serves running-specific functions
Some running pants serve specific functions. Runners in cold climates, for example, need additional protection from the elements.
Cold, wind, rain, and snow aren’t a good excuse for skipping your run, but they do warrant additions to your running wardrobe. To combat cold, look for thermal-weight or lined tights. Warm and cozy micro-fleece interiors snuggle your skin while a tighter-weaved exterior braves the cold. Slimmer silhouettes will keep you warmer than loose-fitting styles. Again, for all adverse conditions, be sure your pants are made from wicking synthetic fabrics to prevent chills, even potential hypothermia.
Halt bitter wind in its track with lightweight wind-blocking pants. Luckily, the newest wind pants are much quieter than old-school nylon windbreakers, so the competition won’t hear you coming from a mile away. Plus, they’re breathable. Some styles feature full-leg wind protection, while others include strategically-placed wind proofing materials on the front panel with breathable or mesh back panels.
If the rain or snow won’t go away, go running anyway. Just choose, depending on the conditions, waterproof or water resistant running pants. Pants with DWR (durable water repellent) coating are as soft, comfortable, and quiet as your regular pants—but keep you drier and warmer. Although new technology has rendered waterproof materials more breathable, waterproof pants will still be less breathable than regular, non-treated fabrics, so they tend to work best in chilly to cold wet weather.
Although researchers remain divided on whether compression tights enhance runners’ performance, super-tight compression tights got their start in the medical realm, where the style of construction was used to alleviate conditions like edema, or swelling. Designed to strategically bind the muscles and ligaments of the lower leg to stabilize the knee and reduce muscle vibration for increased efficiency, compression gear is purported to facilitate circulation and minimize lactic acid build-up for longer performance and quicker recovery.
Some research suggest that compression gear may help endurance runners recover. Many runners, including elite athletes, report anecdotal gains in both performance and recovery. It’s best to see what feels right for your body.
People carrying more weight may appreciate the beefier support that compression tights offer. The “girdle effect” means less jiggling—and a smoother feeling stride—for larger runners.
- Pant style
Pick the fit that feels good (and flatters)
Running pants are like jeans: gender-specific styles fit better, and are more comfortable and flattering. Whether you wear tights or track pants, there’s a style that’ll fit.
Yes, they’re tight, but don’t worry: No one will mistake you for a Renaissance re-enactment character unless you run with a foam sword (Though running tights for men do date back to the Renaissance). Running tights, made from stretchy fabric, fit your body snugly. While the fringe benefit may be showing off your finely sculpted glutes and gams, they’re tight for functional reasons.
Stretch fabrics provide unrestricted movement without rubbing you the wrong way. Bulky pants are more likely to chafe between your legs and in your groin when the fabric shifts and rubs against your skin with each stride. Slick, form-fitting pants ease the friction. Excess fabric, like in traditional sweatpants, is heavy, bulky and contributes to wind drag—all of which inhibit your mobility, comfort, and even speed. (This is why most sprinters wear tights or bodysuits.) A tighter fit also offers a feeling of muscle compression and warmth.
Running tights should be snug but not restrictive, and support key muscles but not constrict flesh or muscles anywhere. If you’re popping a muffin top, your pants are too tight, too short in the torso, or you need a wider or looser waistband. If your tights are stretched so tight that we can see your tattoo underneath them, they’re too tight. If your ankles are bare, try “long” or “tall” sizes for extra length, or wear higher socks to keep warm in cold weather.
Pants: Semi-fitted performance
A far cry from the heavyweight sweats Rocky donned or the thick nylon track suits of junior high, modern running pull-on pants make running a breeze with light, breathable, and wicking fabrics. Looser than tights but slimmer than sweats, running pants these semi-fitted pants are comfortable for most recreational and shorter distance runners—physically as well as psychologically, if you feel self-conscious in tights. More versatile than tights, these double as casual pants for running errands as well as on neighborhoods and trails. A tapered leg and cinched ankle will keep you warmer in cold weather than looser styles. Beyond that, personal preference and terrain determine whether tapered leg, cinched ankle, straight leg, or boot cut is right for you.
Capris, sometimes called knickers for men or ¾ tights, are tights that are cropped at or just below the knee. Capris are a good choice for runners who like the sleekness and slim-fit of tights but run in warmer weather. They’re often the perfect pants during spring and fall. Half tights sit mid-thigh or just above the knee, and bode well for spring, summer, and fall runs—or running in mild climates year-round.
Runners with thicker thighs tend to appreciate the reduced friction of the slick fabric between their legs. Also, tights of these lengths provide an alternative to shorts, which when ill-fitting can bunch or ride uncomfortably. For runners who cross-train with activities such as yoga and Pilates, shorter-than-full-length tights are particularly versatile. These styles are available in technical fabrics as well as compression models.
- Running Trouser features
Look at the little details
Reputable manufacturers design running pants specifically for running, so the pants you run in shouldn’t have any tags, seams, zippers, fasteners, or drawstrings that will cause abrasions during your run. But because each runner’s body is different, only choose features that you need and you’ll minimize potential irritations and maximize comfort.
Three common types of waistbands exist so your pants will stay up. Loose-fitting pants tend to have gathered elastic waistbands, often with a tie. Tights tend to have either a flat band or slightly gathered band. These often have a string that can be tied for a more secure hold. Some tights are made of fabric that’s too slick to stay up without the waist tie. If the cinch-tie annoys you, be sure your tights stay up without it while running before you yank out. Inspired by yoga pants, many running pants, tights and capris now come in a flattering and comfortable wide, flat waistband. If you carry extra padding around your middle, wider waistbands won’t dig in or pinch where ties or narrower bands might. These lower and wider waistbands are also more fashion-oriented for wearing beyond your run.
Look for pockets that are appropriately shaped and secured for whatever you run with: keys, a music player, identification, cell phone, money, or credit cards. Zippered pockets offer more security for your belongings, but add weight and seams that can irritate, and aren’t as easy to access. Flap pockets work for small and relatively flat items, such as one key but not a ring of them, or an ID but not your whole wallet. A center back pocket is balanced on your body, and keeps earphone cords out of the way of your arms. Front and on-leg pockets provide convenient to access. Side-seam slat pockets tend to be roomier and convenient when you aren’t running—but items stored there tend to jingle and jangle with high risk of them falling out if the pocket isn’t zippered.
After material, the most important difference between cheap athletic gear and performance gear is the seaming—where the separate pieces of fabric that make up clothing meet. Technical apparel takes seams—and how traditionally sewn seams chafe the body when it’s in motion—into consideration, and offer remedies. Ergonomic seams follow the natural contours of the body for reduced irritation, better range of motion, and a comfortable fit with less bulk. Welded, or bonded, seams use high-tech glue instead of thread to hold fabric together. Strong and durable, they prevent chafing because there is no stitching or fabric cinched or gathered at the seam—and they look cool. Flatlokjhhck seams essentially lock pieces of fabric together, and are less likely to cause chafing because the fabric lies flat against your skin. In sensitive places, running pants use gusseted crotch to eliminate irritating seams. Instead, a seam-free splice of wicking fabric is inserted in the area between your legs instead.
Running pants may include zippers at the ankles and on pockets. Ankle zippers make getting tight pants on and off a little easier, but be sure they don’t rub or bounce against your leg, ankle, or Achilles tendon. Lock-down zipper pulls, zipper “garages,” and flaps of protective fabric can help. For carrying valuables like your cell phone while running, a zippered pocket may be the most secure option—as long as you remember to close it before you take off running. But don’t forget to unzip and remove your goods after your run: My iPod shuffle didn’t fare well in that oh-so-secure zippered back pocket when it went through the washing machine.
If you run anywhere near traffic or other people before or after daylight hours, reflectivity is essential. The more reflectivity you wear, the more likely you are to be seen—so wear running pants and other gear with 360 degrees of reflectivity. Look for tights with reflective coating or reflective strips for enhanced visibility. Often tights have reflective strips that wrap around the calves and ankles.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Do you wear shorts over running tight trousers?
A. Let’s put it this way: just because you can wear a belt and suspenders at the same time doesn’t mean you should. Wearing shorts over tights increase the friction between your legs, adds bulk, and causes bunching as you run. (That draws far more attention to your derriere than just tights and sticks you with twice as much laundry.) Pick one and wear it with confidence. When worn in the correct size for your body, running tights are perfectly appropriate to wear while running no matter what size you are.
Q. Do you wear underwear under running trousers?
A. Running tights are designed so both men and women can run comfortably in them without underwear. Especially for long runs, avoid underwear to prevent chafing (and spending time extricating that underwear from where it inevitably creeps mid-stride). However, some runners who prefer to spend their time running rather than doing laundry admit to wearing undies to extend the life of their tights between washings. If you do choose to wear underwear, opt for synthetic sports briefs or panties that will wick moisture and stay put while you’re running.
Q. Are there special trousers that function as sort of an all-in-one pant, like running shorts that have built-in underwear?
A. Not that I’m aware of. If you wear loose-fitting track-style pants, briefs, boxer shorts, half-tights, and other undies made with a wicking material are your best choice for an under layer. For men, half-tights and briefs will provide more support than boxer shorts. If you wear running tights, they provide the support you need without an under layer. However, some people choose to wear technical underwear under tights for extra support or so they don’t have to wash their tights with each wear. To prevent chafing on long runs, go commando.
There are a wide variety of running pants / trousers on the market, all of which have different features. Some have pockets, whereas others have no pockets. Others have zipper or reflective details, or even fabric that offers UPF protection. The pair of pants you choose should offer the features that will offer you the right support for your running environment. Be sure to refer to this list before shopping for your next pair of running pants!