10 Best Running Leggings Tested & Reviewed
The best running leggings should be lightweight, comfortable, and durable. While there are some for cold weather and others that can be worn in the hot summer months, one thing holds true for both—they should be breathable, moisture-wicking, and ensure you can push yourself to the limit. Whether you are a long or short distance runner, the best running leggings will boost your performance without sacrificing comfort or style—some will even offer compression which speeds up recovery!
Check out our list of the top 10 best running leggings below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research
Max temperature regulated for both coolness and warmth
Non see through
Seams are well fabricated
Best running tights on the market
- Tesla Emboss
- CW-X Stabilyx
- Under Armour ColdGear
- New Balance Transform
- Nike Pro
- Under Armour HeatGear
- Adidas Performer
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Running Leggings
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
Compressionz pants are the most comfortable, breathable and easy to maintain best running leggings on the market. These best running leggings are highly recommended by both long and short distance runners and hold up to the most extreme elements.Read more
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 toughest of wash cycles. It's tailor-made for tough and extreme sports and marathon running with both an anti-odor and anti itch material.
Six different colors and one camouflage design are available for purchase and come in sizes X small to an XXX-large.
Compression Z pants have a top-notch compression technology that provides fast recovery and an increase in blood circulation for a maximum workout. The flatlock stitch helps with impeccable motion and flexibility and prevents any chafing.
While these leggings offer reflective features, it is minimal. However, they are available in bright colors and patterns that will allow you to be more visible while you are out on your runs.
Compression is absolutely amazing
Stays in place
Better blood flow for a quicker cooldown and recovery
Good quality fabric
Fit nice and snug
Must hang dry
Ultra sheer and thin material
These best running leggings are made of 92% polyester and 8% spandex which make them long-lasting and do their job in the moisture control department with Aerocool fabric. Not only are they great for running and everyday fitness; they can be used as a base layer for winter sports and competitive and extreme obstacle sports.Read more
These running leggings are made from a combination of Polyester and Spandex--which makes them flexible and comfortable. They are designed to be ultra soft and also offer protection from UV rays, which is essential to runners. They are incredibly moisture-wicking and able to prevent heat prevention.
While these leggings are pretty minimalistic in design, they are still sleek and available in tons of colors to choose from--so you can have a different pair for every day if you wish!
They also range in sizes from extra small to extra large and since they are unisex, anyone can wear them!
One of the best features these running leggings have to offer is that they will provide you with moisture-wicking capabilities that are effective year round. you can run in these in the summer and stay cool and dry and you can also wear these as a base layer in the winter to stay warm and dry. Not only are these a great option for runners--but they literally will work for all athletes. So, whether you are an avid weightlifter, CrossFit athlete, or whatever it may be, these will work!
If you like compression leggings then you will love these! They offer enough compression to increase recovery without decreasing your comfort or range of motion.
For those of you who want some reflective features, you will find these offer some reflectivity. More importantly, however, these leggings come in lots of colors--many of which are really bright and capable of increasing your visibility.
3. Tesla Emboss
Fleece Lining for Warmth but breathable
Reflective for night runners
Great fit and youth sizes for both boys and girls
Great pressure point reliever.
Size up for a perfect fit
Length varies on height
Just in time for the cooler fall and even colder winter months comes the Tesla Thermal Winter Compression Baselayer pants leggings and tights. They hold up to their name in both price and durability and come in a vast amount of colors from teal to deep red and fun prints that come in three different camouflage patterns and colors.Read more
They are fleece lined for some of the toughest winter elements and are 90% polyester with a 10% flex fabric.
If you are looking for a stylish pair of compression leggings, you will love these. They come in lots of color options are available for both men and women.
Tesla’s are designed for all activities that are for both indoor and outdoor workouts and excursions. 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.
These running leggings provide excellent compression and their fleece lining also ensures that they keep you warm. These will ensure that your muscles recover faster and increase your blood flow when you wear them.
If you want a pair of leggings that offer lots of reflective detail and increase your visibility, then you will love these. Not only do they have reflective details, but they also come in lots of bright, neon color options to make you more visible. when you are out on the run.
4. CW-X Stabilyx
Outstanding two-way stretch support
A wide array of styles and colors;
Sizing is inconsistent
The CW-X running tights are some of the best out there, which is why they are featured on our list of our top 10. Not only do these leggings look great, but they are also available in various lengths and styles--so you can look great running or working out in them. They are made of high-quality materials and strictly designed to be durable and built to last.Read more
These leggings are constructed with CoolMax fabric, which allows them to keep you nice and cool in the summer as well as nice and warm during the winter. They are constructed to be durable and built to last.
If you want a pair of leggings that offer lots of stylish patterns to choose from you will love these. While they have less color and pattern options to choose from, they offer a lot more reflective detail.
These leggings offer added support in certain areas to help you prevent injury, reduce soreness, and speed up recovery. They are great for all runners and athletes alike--so they are also really versatile.
CW-X back up their apparel with science. They provide overall maximum support to almost every muscle group on the lower legs and core by using Kinesiology techniques for added accelerated circulation, maximum endurance, and a fast lower leg cooldown. If you favor a high style, a high-quality product backed by engineered technology, then this legging is for you.
Since these leggings feature lots of reflective features--many incorporate these reflective features in their patterns--then you can count on these to keep you really visible when you are out on your runs.
5. Under Armour ColdGear
Doesn't have many reflective features
Best for cold weather
Further down our list we also feature the Under Armour HeatGear--these are just the winter version. The ColdGear leggings are really comfortable and will definitely keep you both warm and dry while you are running--so although they keep you nice and toasty they also don't retain enough heat to make you sweat.Read more
These running leggings are made of Polyester and Elestane and feature a dual-layer construction that will ensure you will stay nice and warm. They also feature mesh material for added breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities.
If you want something super stylish, these aren't really it. They are actually really minimalistic and aren't available in tons of colors--but they still look great.
If you want versatility in a pair of leggings, these are it. They are perfect for those of you who want a base layer option for when it is cold out as well as a great pair of leggings to run or workout with when the temperature starts dropping.
These leggings offer excellent compression and will help increase your blood flow while you are working out. They also offer 4-way stretch and will help reduce your recovery time and help prevent soreness.
Some options feature additional reflective materials for added visibility. However, they are not available in visible colors that will make you more visible--so these are not the way to go if added visibility is a priority.
6. New Balance Transform
Has 2 side hip pockets for you to store your belongings
Minimal reflective material
These stylish running leggings offer pockets to store your valuables and are also really comfortable. They are breathable, machine washable, and offer additional breathability features that will ensure you stay cool and dry while you are out on your runs.Read more
Made of Nylon and Lycra, these leggings are designed to be durable, comfortable, and breathable. They also feature Nylon and Spandex and knit fabric as well as the brand's sweat-wicking fabric formula to ensure you stay cool and dry.
In terms of style, these leggings offer lots of colors and patterns to choose from--so you can look great every time you wear them. They feature mesh material for added breathability and ventilation, but they also offer additional stylish touches to the leggings as well.
These running leggings are perfect for runners as well as other athletes. They offer enough stretch to allow for maximum range of motion and their high wasted design will ensure they don't slip off all of the time. They also offer pockets for those of you who need a place to store your belongings.
If you are looking for compression, these running leggings don’t offer much of that. They do fit snuggly and securely, but they don’t offer any compression capabilities.
These leggings don't offer too much additional reflective features and they don't offer any bright colors or patterns to choose from.
100% money back guarantee
They run small
These Asics high waisted running leggings are really comfortable and slimming. They are also available in additional patterns and colors to choose from--so you will look great whenever you workout.Read more
Made of moisture-wicking and fast drying material, these are constructed to be durable and built to last--so you can rely on them for the long run.
These leggings are pretty simplistic in design but also offer several patterns for you to choose from.
These are perfect for runners and all other athletes. They are pretty versatile and can be worn for more than just running.
Although these running leggings by Asics do not offer a lot of compression, they do still offer a secure fit. However, it is important to note here that if you specificially want compression leggings, these won't be it.
While these leggings do offer some reflective features, they don't offer
8. Nike Pro
Breathable and moisture wicking
Front stitching looks like underwear
This option comes from one of the biggest and most trusted brands of athletic apparel in the world. Users liked these for their durability and breathability, and the fit is excellent. Some people didn't like the stitching in the front which makes them look a bit like underwear, but others didn't mind it or wore shorts over these. Either way, it's a good product at a good price from a well-known brand.Read more
These are made of Nike's well-known DRI-FIT fabric which is very breathable and wicks sweat away from your body to the air where it can dry naturally. They are 90% polyester and 10% spandex and users reported the fabric to be soft and durable.
These lose style points for the front stitching which makes them look like underwear or long johns. Some don't mind, but others felt the need to wear shorts over them which unfortunately affects the breathability a bit.
Since these don't have a lining for warmth and the fabric is thin they're best used in warmer conditions.
These only have a light amount of compression, which is fine as they're not advertised as a compression tight.
These don't have any reflective properties or features.
9. Under Armour HeatGear
They’re not see-through
Perfect for every weather
Available in different colors
Size runs small
Our list also features the cold weather counterpart of these leggings. The Under Armour HeatGear leggings are really comfortable and fit extra tight for those of you who like some compression. They are really stylish and they will ensure you look great and get the most out of your workout.Read more
The first thing that you can notice while wearing these, it’s definitely the weight. The material is extra light so you can forget that you’re wearing the best running leggings. But don’t be worried because they’re not see-through, they provide enough coverage for your legs.
. Flatlock seams provide a very good fit without any chaffing. These are mostly available in black options with colorful elements.
Special Signature Moisture Transport System manages very well with the sweat and moisture. Staying dry while run isn’t a problem. The construction is a 4-way stretch so it means the bigger ability even in leggings. The best running leggings expose your curves and even after many washes, they still retain the original shape.
These running leggings offer some compression--which will help them decrease your recovery time and increase your blood flow.
Thanks to the small reflective details these leggings have, they make you a little more visible.
10. Adidas Performer
16 different colors/patterns to choose from
No reflective elements
These best running leggings get high marks from reviewers for being high-quality and comfortable. The women's version is a high-rise cut that comes well above the belly button so they're great for containing love handles and the dreaded muffin top. Several users were so happy they ordered several pairs and the material is thick so they're not see-through even when doing squats or another bent over exercises.Read more
This option is made of a high-quality fabric that is 93% polyester for moisture wicking and 7% elastane for form-fitting comfort. A big plus is that these are a bit thicker than a lot of other options which keeps them from being see-through at times, which is a big complaint about a lot of tights.
These are available in 16 different colors and patterns so you can customize them to the rest of your running gear.
These best running leggings aren't insulated or lined so they're best for use in warm weather or for working out indoors. Since they're not see-through and can be had in a ton of different colors and patterns a lot of users also enjoyed wearing them around town running errands.
These best running leggings only have a light amount of compression but the fit is excellent and quite tight, so if that's a concern you may want to order a size up.
Several of the colors/patterns offered are very loud and bright which will increase your visibility, but none have additional reflective elements.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
In order to find the best running leggings, we took a look at several different factors—and the materials they are made of is one of the most important ones to keep in mind. Before purchasing any new running gear—leggings included—you need to make sure you are happy with the material they are made of as well as ensure that their construction will work for the terrain and weather you will be running in. When we took a look at the materials of each of the leggings, we took several factors into consideration.
First and foremost, we eliminated all cotton and thick fleece leggings. While some of the warmer options may incorporate fleece for additional warmth, we made sure to avoid cotton altogether because it is heavy, causes chafing and friction, and does not have any moisture-wicking properties—so they will get soaked and weigh you down.
Next, we took a look at the materials we wanted to our leggings to be made of. You will find many of the choices on our list are made of Polyester, spandex, and/or nylon materials. These are all moisture-wicking, lightweight, and breathable—and on top of that, they are durable and built to last. We also took a look at how well each of our choices was constructed. This meant also checking out what actual reviewers had to say about how their construction stood up to the test of time. When shopping for your perfect pair of leggings, we encourage you to take a look at the at what reviewers have to say for yourself and compare it to the terrain and uses you will be using your leggings for as well.
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 the best running leggings 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 the best running leggings to feel a little tight as long as the length and waist are comfortable.
Like all running gear, it is important that you prioritize what you will be using it for before making your final decision—and this is no different when it comes to the best running leggings. While we took a close look at the overall use of each of these leggings, we encourage you to apply your own personal needs and wants during your search. That being said, there are several things to look for before making your final decision.
It is important that you take a look at the climate you will be running in. If you know that you will be running in the heat, you will need to ensure you find leggings that are moisture-wicking, breathable and lightweight. On the other hand, if you know you will mainly need these leggings for running in cold weather, you will want to check out the options that offer additional heating options—such as fleece lining. And, on the other hand, if you need a pair of leggings that are versatile, you will be happy to hear there are plenty of multi-functional for you to choose from—you just have to be on the lookout for them.
We also took a look at waterproofing and water-resistant capabilities. If you like to hit your rain or shine, you will need to make sure that you have options for the days the water takes you by surprise. While very few running leggings offer optimal waterproofing capabilities, many of them are fast drying—so you don’t have to stay soaked if you get caught in a storm. At the end of the day, all of this really depends on your own specific needs and not just at our individual ratings.
Although we know that not everyone is a huge fan of compression, we also know that many runners solely depend on compression leggings—which is why we took compression into consideration when choosing our top choices for this list. That being said, it is important to note that not all of the leggings on our list are compression leggings, so there are options for everyone—no matter what your preference is.
Compression offers a lot of additional benefits that can help runners perform better, recover faster, and get the most out of every training session. Many workout clothes feature compression in their design because it will provide the wearer with additional support and stability—some of the leggings on our list offer additional support in specific areas to ensure that you can stay comfortable during all of your runs and workouts.
We also prioritized compression because it will increase your blood flow, which in turn will increase your responsiveness and efficiency—so you can react perfectly with every stride. Another great reason to consider compression is that it will speed up your recovery and reduce your soreness—compression will even minimize your swelling and prevent and reduce injury.
While not all running leggings will be really visible or offer a lot of reflective detail, some of them do. First and foremost, a good pair of running leggings should provide you with the protection that you need and ensure you can take on the weather and terrain that you will be running in. While this type of protection is crucial, there are many other factors that will decrease your safety while you are out on a run—such as cars and motorist that will be out there with you.
If you want added safety, you will want to take a look at the running leggings that offer additional reflective panels, overlays, or patterns. While sifting through the leggings on our list, you will find that some offer more reflective features than others—so, make sure to prioritize your wants and needs. Aside from reflective materials, many leggings are also available in bright neon colors as well—which will make you more visible as well.
Overall, visibility is an important is a concern everyone should take into account—especially if you know you will be out running in high-risk areas where there are a lot of cars or motorists. Either way, while we rated each of our running leggings based on the overall visibility options they provide, it is important that you consider your own specific needs and wants before making a choice.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
In order for leggings, tights, or any other compression gear to continue providing their therapeutic properties over a long period of time, specific actions must be taken when it comes to cleaning and storing them. In addition to observing proper hygienic practices according to its tag, you should store these products in a cool and dry place. Too much moisture or exposure to sunlight and/or heat can lead to damage and a shorter lifespan.
It's an unfortunate fact of life that wearing compression clothing is going to attract attention; the skintight nature of these products tends to stand out in comparison to more casual forms of apparel. As a result, try not to be unnerved by any extra attention you receive while wearing these products. It's important that no one make you feel unsafe when wearing any apparel, so don't be afraid to say something if you do end up feeling this way!
Other Factors to Consider
Simply put, comfort is something we need to consider when it comes to anything we are going to wear. And, when it comes to running leggings, you will need to sit down and make a list of comfort needs you know that you will need in your leggings. We recommend you consider whether or not you want a pair that offers compression or just a secure a fit as well as what materials it is made of.
If you prefer specific fits or have a sensory issue, you will want to check out their waist—some people may prefer high waisted leggings while others may be completely turned off by those options. If you want something that is flattering but comfortable, make sure you take a look about what users have to say—are the leggings actually flattering? Or, more importantly, is this feature worth it?
When we took a look at comfort, we considered the moisture-wicking capabilities each one has to offer—this is especially important because you want to prevent chafing, irritation, and blisters. Several of the leggings we chose is also odor-resistant and anti-microbial—if you want to comfortably use your leggings for an extended period of time then you will want to think about both of these properties.
Before making your final choice, make sure you check out the sizing chart and make sure that you order the right size for yourself. Take a look at what reviewers have to say and note whether or not they fit true to size, too small, or too big. If you are able to, we encourage you to go into a store and try them on if you have a chance. Either way, at the end of the day, comfort depends solely on your specific needs—so make sure to put your needs at the top of the list.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can I wear shorts over my running leggings?
We advise that you avoid wearing shorts or similar things over your best running leggings. The extra layer can cause some friction issues and discomfort and undermine the point of wearing leggings. If you are looking for 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 essential gear should I consider getting?
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 it's 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?
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 you 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!
q: Should I get a pair with a lot of compression?
If you haven't tried compression gear yet we highly recommend it. It really is amazing how much it helps runners. Your muscles don't get as sore and you recover faster. Some people however just don't like it for whatever reason and it's definitely a personal choice. All of the best running leggings on this list are first and foremost running tights, some with more compression for the others. If you're looking for the best compression running tights we've got you covered.