Best Running Pants Reviewed
The clothes that you run in need to be specifically designed for the sport. This means that they’ll be made from durable and breathable materials. Running pants should increase your mobility, allow you to utilize your full range of motion, and fit appropriately. Trying to run in something that’s too loose can cause you to trip or get caught on something along the way. Even if you prefer the treadmill, it’s easy for loose fabric to get caught underneath the track.
A lot of people have a tendency to overlook running pants during the summer months. Even in warm weather, you need to make sure that you have a good pair at your disposal. If the temperature drops, or you just need a little extra coverage, running pants can come to the rescue. Many runners try not to completely cover their bodies in sunscreen when they head outdoors. Long lightweight running pants can protect you from UV rays without the need for a constant reapplication of lotions or sprays. Summer means additional sweat, and it’s easy to wear off your sunscreen of choice faster than expected. They can also help if you have frequent issues with moisture or excess sweat.
Finding a good pair of running pants with a moisture wicking material can keep you dry and comfortable longer. Running in the heat is uncomfortable enough without having to worry about the additional friction generated by moisture buildup. A layer of durable fabric can also help with chafing and other issues that you might experience when trying to run in shorts. Then, when the winter months roll around they’re perfect for layering and everyday use.
We considered the best brands and the best products we could find and created our review list to narrow down our results. These products are made with superior quality and promise to make you love running just a little bit more!
- CompressionZ High Waisted Women's Leggings
- Nike Otc65 Track pants
- NIKE Power Essential Dri-FIT Running Crops
- ASICS Aptitude 2
- Saucony Omni LX Tights
- Under Armour Launch
- Adidas Performance Tiro 17
- Brooks Rush
- ASICS Thermopolis
- Champion Open Bottom jersey Pants
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. CompressionZ High Waisted Women's Leggings
- Comes in varied style options
- Runs small
These leggings are a top choice for women--they're affordable, comfortable, and breathable. These compression tights are made of spandex and moisture-wicking material that will keep you cool and dry.Read more
On top of being stylish and great fitting running leggings, these offer compression as well giving you all the benefits of compression wear when you run. They have a 4-way stretch, giving you plenty of flexibility while still giving you coverage and comfort.
The fabric blend is both well-ventilated and moisture wicking so you can avoid overheating and a build-up of moisture. They're fitting for whatever sporty activities you have planned, from running to yoga.
These leggings come in a large variety of colors and patterns that are unique and fun. You can take your pick to color coordinate your workout outfits or find a style that you'll love so that you're motivated to put on your running pants and get that run in every day.
2. Nike Otc65 Track pants
Features Nike’s flagship Dri-FIT fabric, which wicks sweat away leaving your skin dry and comfortable
The construction/cut 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 a vapor barrier so it’s okay for electronics
Inseam runs long
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.Read more
The Dri-Fit fabric that is unique to Nike does an excellent job of wicking moisture while still being breathable. They are great for regulating temperature and will help keep you protected without sacrificing comfort. The legs are tapered for a great fit that will still give you a wide range of motion easily. They also have small side and back zippered pockets so you can take the essentials with you.
Although these pants don't feature any mesh features and the tapered leg gives a snug fit, the Dri-Fit fabric performs great and will keep you cool and dry.
These track runners have a classic look to them without feeling dated. They have super useful reflective details over the sleek black material.
3. NIKE Power Essential Dri-FIT Running Crops
Breathable Dri-FIT fabric
Zippered storage pocket
On the pricier side
These Nike are made of high-quality material and can function as a running pant as well as an all-around exercise pant--from yoga to cycling. They are highly comfortable and made of Dri-Fit material--and come with a zippered back pocket that is also waterproof.Read more
A polyester and spandex blend gives these just enough stretch, giving you a snug but flexible fit. A zippered pocket in the back with a waterproof lining means you can carry small essentials with you, like keys or energy gels. These also feature a drawcord and a comfortable, wide elastic band so you can get a good personalized fit in the waist. The seams are flat so they lay close and don't rub or fold.
The Dri-FIT fabric from Nike is highly breathable while wicking moisture, keeping you cool and dry on any run. The cropped cut is nice for warmer seasons, offering just a little less coverage.
These are pretty basic, only available in black. They are trendy without being flashy and won't clash with your wardrobe. Great for combining with jerseys or for clothing restrictive team uniforms and gyms.
4. ASICS Aptitude 2
Polyester and spandex fabric blend
Two ergonomic side-seam zippers
Has gripper elastic at the leg opening for a snug fit
Hydrology fabric construction
The waist seems a little tight for some
ASICS 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 running trousers 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 — leave it to ASICS to produce premium quality running pants.Read more
Tapered legs and a grip elastic on the bottom of the legs will give these pants a close fit. Polyester blend fabric is soft and functional and works great with the hand pockets that provide a little coverage as well as some storage.
Side zippers on each leg allow for extra ventilation while the polyester blend fabric lets the pants breathe. They'll keep you cool and wick sweat easily while running.
Asics delivers a functional, standard running pant that isn't super stylish but that isn't out of step either. This is a sleek, basic look that goes great with any gear you want to pair it with.
5. Saucony Omni LX Tights
Crafted chafe-free seams down the length of the legs ensure 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 drawcord
Sizing is a bit off
The Saucony Omni LX tights are special in that they 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.Read more
A combination of polyester and spandex gives these tights some stretch so they'll do a good job of keeping their shape over time while also giving you a snug fit. They have a nearly seamless feel with anti-chafe welded seams and feature a waistband drawcord. The zippered back pocket has a waterproof lining and lets you take small essentials with you when you're out on a run.
The leg openings are fitted with zippers for some optional ventilation and the polyester and spandex blend is also good for breathability. These leggings will keep you cozy in chilly weather while also letting your legs breathe while running.
Featuring several different color stripes over a sleek black shape, these leggings are functional and stylish.
6. Under Armour Launch
- 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
- The pockets don't seem to hold much
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.Read more
These pants are super lightweight, stretch woven using a blend of polyester and elastane. The 4-way stretch means you don't sacrifice any mobility while wearing these, and they'll keep their shape over time. The material is great at wicking moisture to keep you dry and they deflect odor as well.
Incorporated mesh panels give great ventilation to these running pants on top of the already breathable polyester blend.
These pants aren't as snug as leggings, but they are fitted. They have a flattering and snug cut without being restricting and they come in several different neutral color combinations.
7. Adidas Performance Tiro 17
Front zippered pockets
Mesh inserts for breathability
Available in different colors
Good price for the quality
Slim fit doesn't suit everyone
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.Read more
The polyester doubleknit in these running pants is super comfortable and will keep you warm when the weather starts to turn or if you're getting your miles done in some intense air conditioning. They have a tapered fit with ribbing on the leg cuffs to keep them snug, and the drawcord on the waistband lets you change the fit around your waist. The front pockets are great for taking along little extras like house keys, a wallet, or some energy gels and have zipper closures to keep your belongings safe.
Adidas' unique climacool fabric does a good job of keeping you cool and dry and ventilating these running pants. There is also a mesh insert in the back that adds even more breathability.
These throw a great tapered look on what would otherwise be a classic cut and are available in a large number of colors. It's easy to customize with so many options to choose from.
8. Brooks Rush
Polyester and spandex Drilayer® material
Elastic closure, firm and doesn’t slip
Rear flap, zip pocket for essentials
Reflective elements for low light running
A bit plain for those who like more flash
Ideal for colder weather, these bottoms have a warm 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.Read more
When the months get colder, you can count on the polyester and spandex blend as well as a fleecy liner to keep you cozy. You won't feel constricted with the semi-fitted cut and they come up to about a mid-rise fit. The waistband has an elastic fit and a drawcord so you can choose how tight or how loose they sit on your waist. The zippered pocket in the back lets you take along a few small belongings.
The patented Drilayer material wicks moisture to keep you dry and ventilates well, preventing overheating. Although you can count on these running pants to keep you cozy and warm, you don't have to worry about overheating and accumulating sweat.
These are pretty basic running pants, the semi-fitted cut making them look a little more like lounge pants. They're great for casual running and going to and from the gym. They also have nice reflective elements for safety while running at night.
9. ASICS Thermopolis
Polyester and spandex blend
Breathable and warm
Large range of sizes
May get a little pricey
When the temperatures are low, it’s good to have in your wardrobe a pair of warmer running pants. These pants from ASICS will provide plenty of warmth and will keep you comfortable. ASICS is a brand that provides high-quality products so the price is relatively high but it’s a good investment.Read more
Because of good fabric and providing warmth, these pants are suitable for most type of weathers for running. The blend of polyester and spandex will be soft as well as do a good job of wicking moisture and keeping their shape over time. The fabric is brushed for an ultra soft and cozy feel.
The polyester blend material will do a good job of ventilating these pants, preventing overheating.
There aren’t any colors to choose from, but there’s a wider choice of sizes compared to other brands. This brand has sizes from small to XX-large. Two zippered pockets at the front are also very useful. The reflective logo on the pants will definitely help you to be safer especially during running in the evening or at night.
10. Champion Open Bottom jersey Pants
The weight of the product was appreciated by many users
The material is very soft in touch and comfortable for longer runs
Good price for the quality
The sizing is tricky
Champion is the next brand on our list. They offer athletic apparel and workout clothes and have become a common go-to brand for runners over the years. These lightweight pants are incredibly comfortable and will be perfect for every season in the year.Read more
A combination of cotton and polyester makes these pants ultra comfortable. They are a good standard running pant to have several pairs of because of their affordability, great for throwing over a pair of compression tights or for lounging around in. The waistband is wide and comfortable with a drawcord so you can adjust their fit.
These pants are a cotton jersey material which ventilates pretty well. However, they don't feature any other extras that might make them a little more breathable.
There are also side pockets where you can store your keys and etc. There are 4 different color options so you can match them to the rest of your running outfit. There are 6 different sizes to choose from.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Comfort is what helps you stay in the zone to do all you do in life, and makes you wake up in the morning to go run as you need a healthy and comfortable life. The same applies to the running pants.
Synthetic materials offer a more comfortable experience when it comes to running pants. You may love your old pair of high school sweats but wearing these on a humid day can be disastrous. As soon as that material gets wet, it absorbs the moisture and gets exponentially heavier. If you get caught out in the rain, you may not be able to keep running at all. Not to mention the issues you can have keeping your pants up as they get weighed down. Synthetic materials are made to wick away moisture and to stop it from wearing down your skin or weighing down your run. When it’s cold outside, sweat sitting on the exterior skin can actually make you colder. This can cause your muscles to bunch up and impact your mobility. Staying dry is important no matter what season it is! Look for running pants that have a polyester or spandex base. These have excellent moisture wicking properties and hold their shape longer.
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.
Running pants with no breathability may sound like something right out of a nightmare for runners who are familiar with overheating, excess sweating, and heat blisters. We've packed our list with pants that are well-ventilated so that you don't have to beat the heat while running.
A large part of the breathability of a pair of running pants relies on the materials the pants are made of. Synthetic fabrics, polyester blends, and cotton will all be fairly breathable and help to keep you from getting too warm or uncomfortable while running. Many brands have specialized fabrics that they use to balance breathability, moisture-wicking, and softness like Nike's Dri-FIT fabric or adidas' Climacool material.
There are also certain features that can help with the breathability of a pair of running pants, like mesh inserts or leg zippers. We tried to fill our selection with pants that had a variety of aspects that contributed to their breathability and not just well-ventilated fabrics.
When you hit your fifth or 6th mile, you may not care what you look like to anyone else. But, we chose running pants that will keep you fashionable long after you’re too tired to worry about it.
A lot of runners like to use their clothing to express themselves outwardly. Many of the running pants that we’ve reviewed come in a large range of prints and colors. Whether you’re someone who enjoys coordinating your outfits or you prefer to wear whatever’s handy, these products will make sure you look great doing it. The style of your pants actually matter and can act as a motivator. If you like the look of your running gear it can help make you feel confident and get you out the door every day to run.
In the world of running, you will come to realize that you need to be more careful than you might think. This is where reflective items come in. If you are a runner who often runs at night, early in the morning, or in low-visibility areas this applies to you most. Have this in mind anytime you are looking for good running pants.
Frequently Asked Questions
The main difference between men and women's sizings and styles is the fit, mainly affecting the length, hip width, and tapering of the legs. Don't be afraid to buy whatever style and size will fit you the best, even if it's not a size or style you typically buy in.
If you have a pair of running tights that have a snug fit and are moisture absorbant and comfortable then go for it! The breathable and moisture-wicking fabric of the tights should be enough coverage and multiple layers of fabric could potentially cause chafing. Pants with a looser fit may not be the best for going commando, but it's about your personal preference as well.