10 Best Running Leggings Tested
Leggings have always had their place in athletic wear in some form or another, and for good reason. Leggings have many strengths that people look for in athletic clothing. They are both lightweight and protective, which is a rare combination. They also have great temperature management whether you need them for both hot and cold weather. Plus they have the capability to aid in compression. With all these great attributes its no surprise that you often see runners sporting leggings during their run.
Tights aren’t just convenient, they are a smart choice both in terms of performance and fashion. A good pair of tights can even help with shorting the recovery time of an exercise injury. Regardless if you are a short distance runner, long distance runner, or any other sort of athlete you will certainly find that a good pair of leggings can bring all sorts of benefits to your routine.
Leggings are also convenient athletic wear for other activities as well as fashionably popular, so the market is full of choices that might be less than ideal for your active runner. Telling everything apart is enough to mix up anyone, but you can relax. Runnerclick has a list of the very best athletic leggings perfect for running and with such a wide selection on display here we are positive that there is something here for everyone.
- Compressionz Base Layer Leggings
- Max Temperature Regulation
- DrSkin DABB11
- Optimized Blood Flow
- Tesla Thermal P33
- Great Pressure Point Reliever
10 Best Running Leggings
Compressionz Base Layer
Promotes circulation for increased endurance performance, reduces friction and decreases the chances of injury. The fabric is comprised of a four way 85% nylon, 15% spandex stretch technology retains its shape and can hold up to even the most toughest of wash cycles. Taylor made for tough and extreme sports and marathon running with both an anti odor and anti itch material.
An increase in oxygen base for a smoother and faster recovery from soreness, injury and swelling. A productive increase in muscle performance and support. They can be worn as a base layer for an array of sports and fitness routines. There also give great support to active individuals who are on there feet at work or for long distance travelers who are flying.
Cost or value :
Good moderate price for not just new runners and athletes but also for all who are looking for a great value. Buy in multiples to fit your personality and mood
- Amazing compression;
- Max temperature regulated for both coolness and warmth;
- Non see through;
- Seams are well fabricated;
- Best running tights on the market
- Size up for close to perfect fit;
- Too tight for some with larger quads;
- Not unisex compatible;
Moisture Control for all seasons is a valuable assets to tough competitors. The moisture sensing and quick dry time. The washability on this legging is incredible and holds up to numerous washes. The size variance is vast with four different extra small to choose from and three types of extra larges.
Special UVA/UVB protection from environmental elements is a plus, especially in year round warmer climates. The flex and mobility are impeccable, they are both breathable and soft. What is also great about Dr. Skin’s compression tight pant is that they are unisex and were made to fit all body types.
Not at all on the expensive side and worth buying several pairs just for the style and comfort.
- Compression is absolutely amazing;
- Stays in place;
- Better blood flow for a quicker cooldown and recovery;
- Good quality fabric;
- Fit nice and snug;
- Runs small;
- Must hang dry
- Ultra sheer and thin material
Tesla Thermal Compression P33
Tesla leggings are versatile and have moderate elasticity with a high performance air circulation that draws moisture away from the skin and dries the fabric quickly. They also have a high UPF 50 plus guard from UVA rays that shades up to 99%.
Moisture barrier and quick drying time for long distance runners and high intensity workouts. There is a build in odor barrier within the fabric to guard against sweat. Elastic waistband is comfortable and stylish. They are all around comfortable and can be worn for working out, lounging and running errands
Cost or Value:
Very affordable for the price. Buy in multiples just for the selection of fun and funky colors and patterns
- Fleece Lining for Warmth but breathable;
- Reflective for night runners;
- Increased circulation;
- Great fit and youth sizes for both boys and girls;
- Great pressure point reliever.
- Size up for perfect fit;
- Length varies on height;
One of the most important aspects of the CRX Stabilyx leggings is its support on specific areas for minimum injury and maximum performance and a reduction in post workout soreness and swelling.
Seasonal fabrics supported with an overall 80% in Coolmax fabrics keeps you cool in the summer and even warmer in the winter months. An added reflective material on the logo makes it a buy for safe and easy evening runs.
Above average pricing, but worth the cost for what you get.
- Outstanding two way stretch support;
- Wide array of styles and colors;
- Chafe resistant
- Non see-through;
- Sizing is inconsistent;
- Length varies.
The smooth design and material make them comfortable for running and other athletic activities. Moisture-wicking management technology to keep you dry and cool in any season of the year and helps prevent the infamous chaffing.
Perfect for those who want less compression, but still want a tight fit. They have a elastic closure on the waist so that they don’t come down during those longer runs and workouts. They are both comfortable to wear for yoga, walking and gym workouts
Amazing value, highly affordable you can buy several in one trip, long lasting through washings.
- Moisture lock
- Very comfortable
- Elastic waist closure
- Sizing is on the unpredictable side
- not many colors or style to choose from.
ASICS Essentials Tights
On these leggings you will need to spend around 40 dollars. The price isn’t very low but when you consider the factors like quality, materials and comfort, you will be ready to pay this price.
Very breathable fabric
They’re not see through
Rear pocket for keeping your keys
These may be too tight for people who have a lot of muscles
American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey
Talking of size they fit so perfectly if you order the right size for yourself. The waist is made of an elastic material that means no lose hanging cloth all over you as you run, no adjustment needed as you have them on, it’s like they were made just for you honey.
It has an appealing design that makes you want to own them even if you won’t be using them, I mean you can easily convince yourself to buy them with nothing in mind of how to put them in use maybe just to fill your stock of many leggings.
With its comfortability reigning supreme the price is totally fair and reasonable.
- Being cotton it has comfort running through it, with no doubt makes you feel at home while in the field.
- It has a perfect fit if one gets their size. This has a lot to do with its design that is form fitting taking the form of any athlete to make you look super.
- The elastic waist band makes it have a tight grip on the waist thus avoiding the adjustment issues some have in the long run.
- Take good care of them as they tend to pill if not handled with care.
Nike Pro Training Tights
For every runner, it’s very annoying when the leggings slip down. Nike’s solution is elastic waistband. It stays in place during run and it also provide very smooth fit. There’s also triangular gusset which gives you the full range of motion.
These are available in 3 color options and usually in 5 sizes.
Let’s be clear- this is Nike. They offer high quality products and they’re one of the most popular brands so don’t expect the low price.
Even after many washes, they have the same shape
They’re a little bit see-through
Under Armour HeatGear
You will need to spend about 45 dollars on them, it’s a good investment in quality.
They’re not see-through
Perfect for every weather
Size runs small
Adidas Running Response
The Response Long Tights are also very well designed in terms of fit. Many of their wearers report them as being true to size, a difficult feat when it comes to athletic wear for sure. The Response also comes equipped with an adjustable tie waist, meaning the wearer can secure them as tight or as loose as is comfortable for them.
The Adidas Response Long Tights also wash well, which is always nice to hear about a piece of exercise clothing. Athletic wear that washes well tends to last longer since it doesn’t receive extra wear and tear from washing.
These leggings are admittedly pretty expensive, but we believe that their performance justifies their cost. If you are looking for a reliable pair of running leggings, then the Response Long Tights are worth their price tag.
- Very soft and comfortable
- Fits well
- Washes well
- Adjustable tie waist
All of these hold up to their names in durability and comfort. They increase blood circulation and compress those areas that need the extra support from soreness and injury. Most manufacturers focus not only on the comfort and fabric but back it up with engineered technology and science for optimum mobility, increased circulation, post injury support, and a rapid cooling and recovery phase.
Moisture technology will keep you dry from the most extreme sport and will help prevent chafing. A UVA barrier keeps the environmental elements away from the body and the fit on most keeps you in place and prevents waist slipping.
The variety of colors, graphics and patterns will get you excited to put them and use them for running, high impact workouts, yoga and everyday lounge wear. Prices vary from expensive to moderate to affordable, buying several pairs is not just affordable but can be addictive for those Joggers, Cyclists, Cross Trainers, Tough Mudders, Football Players, Workaholics and Yoga Seekers.
If you haven’t tried them, give compression leggings a try. Just remember to size up and have fun with the colors and patterns, they are worth every penny.
The Criteria Used when choosing the best running leggings
What material are they made from?
Equally as important, what are they NOT made from. Most people are surprised by the recommendation that cotton be avoided at all costs. Cotton and thick fleece can be heavy and even cause chaffing from the friction that comes with running.
Additionally, it can hold in moisture like sweat and become heavier. This is why you want to steer clear of those old sweatpants and look for something made for running. Blended fibers such as spandex, nylon, or polyester are the selection of choice in terms of material. You’re going to get a moister wicking, stretchy feel that will be comfortable in both short and long runs alike
Style and a size that is true
Of course, we all want a flattering overall look to our running apparel and selecting running leggings is no different from what we normally look for. Gender specific styles not only look better, but they also tend to fit better as well.
The best possible options will be ones that are specifically designed to contour and form in the right places. Sizing can be tough because it will involve you checking a number of boxes, including length, waistband, and tightness or compression. If your ankles are bare, look for sizes labeled “tall” or “long” (for taller runners). Likewise, you don’t want your waist to be too tight.
Although you’re not going for a loose fit with leggings, you should make sure that your waist feels comfortable, especially if you have a shorter torso. Compression doesn’t just show off your glutes and gams, but they serve the functional purposes of keeping you dry while providing for unrestricted movement. It’s ok for running leggings to feel a little tight as long as the length and waist are comfortable.
Choosing a run-specific function
Keep in mind what type of runs and the climate when considering which running leggings to select. Runners in a cold climate should look for a thermal weight or lined construction. Testers agreed that running leggings with fleece lining will be your best friend in cold environments.
Furthermore, if you frequently run in snow or rain it’s essential that waterproof or water resistant running leggings are part of your arsenal. In fact, you should pick out several pair if you run several times a week to ensure that you always have a dry pair.
How much compression is offered?
Compression got its start in the medical field and runners have since then embraced it with open arms. The running leggings featured in our buying guide that have compression have been found by runners to offer great stability to their knees and reduce muscle vibration.
Choosing a legging with adequate compression will provide you with increased circulation and even increased efficiency. You may be thinking that compression is a pseudo science that doesn’t apply to the running world, but you may want to reconsider, especially if you suffer from swelling or edema. Runners praise the ability of compression leggings to minimize their swelling while improving their performance and recovery times.
How much protection is offered?
Aside from protection against the climate and running conditions, runner safety is another form of protection that is crucial when considering running leggings. Manufactures offer a variety of options that have reflective panels in strategic places to help runners remain visible in low lighting conditions.
While this is something that is easily overlooked, it’s very important and can make a world of difference. Additionally, leggings offer protection from injuries when they have higher compression in problematic areas. Running leggings with tough compression around the knees are a frequently looked for feature by runners.
Quite simply, runners tend to run more and run longer the easier the entire process is. Small conveniences like a key pocket can make the overall experience less of a burden and more of a joy. Not to mention eliminate the need to bring additional equipment with you while you are out on the run. Just grab your key and go.
Important Things to Consider When Buying Leggings For Running
Selecting the right pair is essentially an investment. After all, picking the right shoes takes a considerable amount of time and the same should be true for your running apparel. That being said, we have put together a brief list of things that you should consider when selecting the right pair of running leggings for you.
You will find that matching material to your personal body composition will give you the most efficient and comfortable run possible. We know that picking leggings that offer both style and function can be tricky; especially with the flattering styles that have made our list.
Shopping for running leggings with your environment in mind will also serve as an educated basis for your selection. Let’s take a little time and go over the most important considerations that you should be making.
If you live somewhere that experiences hot summers and cold winters, you’re going to want to select different running leggings for different seasons.
For the colder months, look for options that offer fleece lined interiors that will keep you warm and snug while you are out in the elements. There are also a variety of thermal constructed leggings and tights that provide a more tailored amount of warmth when it gets cold outside.
For those summer months, the ideal way to go are synthetic fabrics that are designed to keep sweat away from your skin and allow it to evaporate more freely. Additionally, leggings with a strong moisture barrier tend to help runners increase their endurance one run at a time because of their added comfort levels.
Your individual comfort needs
Every body is different. It’s important to make a selection that best matches your individual needs. Most runners experience chaffing in different regions of their bodies, and the right pair of leggings or tights can significantly help.
If you’re like the majority of runners with chaffing issues and experience thigh discomfort, there’s great news! This can be easily eliminated by selecting leggings that offer compression to the thighs (tighter around the entire thigh). Once you run in compression leggings, you won’t run in standard shorts ever again.
Additionally, if you tend to sweat more than the average runner, look for added moisture wicking materials. When shopping for your running leggings, ventilated materials will offer you a much cooler run. This is another example of how important a careful selection can be; if you don’t need insulation, don’t pick leggings that have offer it. Your comfort levels should be one of your top priorities and will help make your runs more productive and therapeutic.
Your personal recovery times
Are you like most runners and experience long calf recovery times? Are you about to embark on a goal of achieving higher levels of distance or time that will take a toll on your muscles? Then strongly consider where the compression is found on your next pair of leggings and how strong that compression is.
For years elite athletes have counted on the ability of compression materials to minimize the lactic acid build up in their muscles to achieve faster recovery times. You should give yourself the same advantage, so keep in mind what muscle groups will be getting the highest work out on your runs or training regime and select a pair of leggings that match you best.
How tight is too tight?
We all know that tight leggings can give runners a very visually flattering and athletic shape, but it’s important to not go too tight. Selecting the right size for you can be challenging because leggings should be snug and supportive.
Most runners agree that leggings and tights should be secure enough to prevent excessive bouncing and offer compression in the places where it’s needed the most. However, you should be comfortable and have proper circulation throughout your waist and legs.
It’s important to note that stretchy materials loose a little of their elasticity over time, so your waistband should fit a little snug without going full on muffin top. Additionally, check your self out in a mirror with high lighting conditions before you head out. Thin materials have a tendency of being quite opaque when they stretch, and you wouldn’t want to show off too much of your assets while you’re out on you run.
We know that there are a lot of confusing things about making the right selection, and many of those things are tied to your unique needs as a runner. There is no way we can address everything, but we can cover a lot of our bases. Down below we have our FAQ to address the concerns that runners commonly have.
Q: Should I wear underwear with my running leggings?
A: Most leggings are typically designed to be used without underwear so we don’t generally recommend wearing them. Wearing underwear with leggings typically causes too much friction and often results in painful chaffing. If you are concerned with modesty, comfort, or support and you think the leggings themselves just won’t be enough there are leggings with liners to offer coverage or additional support that you can seek out.
Q: Can I wear shorts over my running leggings?
A:We advise that you avoid wearing shorts or similar things over your leggings. The extra layer can cause some friction issues and discomfort and undermine the point of wearing leggings.
If you are looking for a coverage there are shorts available that could work but we recommend that you look carefully for information on their compatibility with leggings and hold onto your receipt in case they don’t work out.
Q: What other type of clothing should I consider wearing with my running leggings?
A:Nothing is essential when it comes to just running. If you want to run, dress comfortably and run. That being said there is a reason we favor certain articles of clothing and gear. Wearing the right things prevents infection and injury as well as boosts your performance to make for an overall better experience while running.
Things we recommend looking into to make running an overall better experience: Running visor or hats can block the harsh sun. Supportive bras can limit unnecessary or impeding motion. Compression or especially breathable tops are also a great addition. Socks are another thing that you should choose carefully, a reliable breathable sock can make all the difference while running.
Shoes are obviously important too, but we have so much to say on that topic its better to look for yourself.
Q: I’ve noticed that there are several different leg lengths when it comes to running pants; how do I choose the right one for me?
A: Well first off, we want to dispel any qualms you have about running in full-length pants. Some runners may be tempted to pick a shorter pair, assuming that the less coverage the better, but the reason to wear leggings is the coverage. Covering up can help better regulate your temperature, both hot and cold, as well as regulate your moisture. Fully covering your legs will also save your dealing with issues like wind and sun damage.
If all and all you’d still prefer something shorter we recommend looking into shorts or capris rather than choosing an improper length of pants. If you need assistance with an exact measurement we always recommend checking the sizing guide for help.
This was how we choose our top 10 list of the best running leggings. Remember size and fit vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so be sure to check the brand’s measurements in order to find your perfect fit. Also, consider what weather conditions you will be running in before choosing the right pair for you.
We hope we were able to provide you with all the information you need so you can make the choice that’s best for you. Thanks for reading! Now get out there, and take on the road!
Here are some of the sources we used while conducting research for this guide:
We made sure to use a variety of sources in order to provide you, the reader, with the most accurate information available. We utilized both clinical sources and manufacture’s information in order to compile the above list. We also made sure to account for everyday users who had valuable information about the products discussed in this guide. The below sources helped us to research and write this guide:
- The Best Guide to Compression Pants/Compression Leggings, Website focused on compression wear, Apr 24, 2016 ,
- Outdoor sports retailer, ,
- Running and Chafing: 5 Tips To Ward Off Unwelcome Irritation, Running website, Jan 18, 2016 ,