Best Running Pants For Men & Women – 2021

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
CompressionZ High
Test Winner: CompressionZ High
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For training indoors or outdoors, you need fabrics that help manage sweat and moisture while keeping you cool. We wanted to select designs that come from trusted brands, and are composed of materials that are perfect for all seasons. Whether you like your gear to fit tight like a glove or prefer a looser fit, we selected designs for all types of runners. Above all else, we made sure to select pants with moisture management properties to wick moisture away from your skin where it quickly dries on the surface.

In this guide, we have selected the best running pants that will help you effectively train all year-round.

Standout Picks

These running leggings are a top choice for women since they're affordable, comfortable, and breathable. The compression tights are made of spandex - a wonderfully soft, moisture-wicking material that will keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.
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In a world dominated by tight-fitting leggings, this style from Nike is a breath of fresh air. It boasts a looser fit from waist to ankles and is designed to keep you cool and dry when you turn up the intensity. Not only do they boast an easy fit, but they are also incredibly flattering and stylish as well.
Amazon Link
Need something that offers a little extra support? What makes this design from CW-X great for running is that it provides users with a little extra compression that keeps those muscles warm and engaged to prevent injury and overall soreness. They fit tightly to your body but come equipped with stretchy panels that won’t hinder your full range of motion.
Amazon Link
It’s no wonder New Balance is a forerunning company for activewear and these Impact tights show just how much thought they put into their products. They are soft, move well and have a versatile temperature tolerance. The whole design is grade A and deserves some hype.
Amazon Link
You want to be comfortable while you are out for a run so naturally, you are going to look for running pants that fit well and feel good while you are out and about. The ODODOS High Waist pants are perfect for any and all activities and will serve you well for a long time to come.
Amazon Link
These are made of high-quality material and can function as a running pant as well as an all-around exercise option that you can wear doing anything 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.
Amazon Link
For cold weather running, the ColdGear design from Under Armour is an excellent choice. It provides users with slight compression to keep those muscles warm and engaged in chilly climates, yet still offers runners excellent movement without a lot of bulk. Plus, it boasts supportive properties that will help you stay light on your feet as well as dry when training this winter.
Amazon Link
These are a comfortably warm cotton pair of “tight” (albeit not advertised to be compression) running pants that just come in black. Users have found that the wicking of these pants isn't as good as some of the other brands out there on the market.
Amazon Link
What we liked most about the updated Adidas Tiro design is that it provides a looser fit than many compression garments while still keeping you cool and dry. This design is insanely lightweight and is composed of airy materials that wick sweat and heat away from your body where it evaporates on the surface. The best part? It comes in at a super affordable price point that won’t break the bank.
Amazon Link
When the temperatures are low, it’s good to have in your wardrobe a pair of warmer running pants. This option from ASICS will provide plenty of warmth and keep you comfortable.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

You are going to want to think about the comfort level of the running pants you buy. There is no point in spending money on pants that are not going to feel good and that will be uncomfortable while you are out and about.

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 includes excellent options. 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 information

Breathability

Your gear has to breathe. It just does. Wearing clothes that allow the sweat to increasingly build up inside is miserable to deal with during distance runs. Remember to make your choice appropriate to your environment, but also make sure your choice has the ability to "breathe" effectively.

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.

Durability

Runners put their gear through a lot each and every day so it is important to make sure the gear we use is durable and will hold up to that intensity of use.

We know how important it is to make a good investment when it comes to your running gear so we made sure to check every pair of trousers we listed here to ensure they are durable and made to last.

Where the material is concerned, durability comes into play and never fails to come with quality. Durability is a factor that you will not want to ignore while selecting a new pair of running pants. When you get the right material, that will mean you can be sure of the durability.

Fit

We made sure to find pants that have accurate sizing for you to go by!

When it comes to selecting pants do not go for ones that will be so tight you're uncomfortable. You need to get a pair with a snug fit as this will be the best way for you to avoid friction and chafing; also go for pants that have a band in their waist as this can be adjusted to the required fit.

There are lots of options when it comes to fit: from loose-fitting pants to semi-fitted and compression options, you have plenty of choices. Unlike tights, running pants are semi-fitted and much looser. While we do have a few tight options on our list, we do love semi-fitted running pants. These provide more breathability and are almost as good as wearing shorts.

Materials

All running gear is designed to be used while on the go. Motion is key to running and working out so the materials used in your gear, including any running trousers and pants you wear, needs to be designed to handle the wear and tear and use that you have planned!

Believe it or not, the material your pants are made of can make or break your run. For example, cotton and fleece will weigh you down, restrict movement, and cause friction and chafing. Cotton also retains moisture, so it will weigh you down the more you sweat and make you very uncomfortable.

Synthetic materials offer a more comfortable experience when it comes to running pants. Synthetic materials are made to wick away moisture and to stop it from wearing down your skin or weighing down your run.

Like we pointed out before, synthetic fabrics are the best way to go when choosing running pants. Always check the percentages of the different materials used.

Top 10 Running Pants

1. CompressionZ High

Where to buy
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CompressionZ High Waisted Women's Leggings
CompressionZ Women's Compression Pants
CompressionZ Women's Compression Pants
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These running leggings are a top choice for women since they're affordable, comfortable, and breathable. The compression tights are made of spandex - a wonderfully soft, moisture-wicking material that will keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.

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Comfort
On top of being a stylish and great fitting pair of running pants, these offer compression as well. They have a 4-way stretch, giving you plenty of flexibility while still granting coverage and comfort.

Breathability
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.

Style
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.

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2. Nike Swift

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Nike Swift Men's Running Pants
Nike Swift Men's Running Pants
Amazon Link

In a world dominated by tight-fitting leggings, this style from Nike is a breath of fresh air. It boasts a looser fit from waist to ankles and is designed to keep you cool and dry when you turn up the intensity. Not only do they boast an easy fit, but they are also incredibly flattering and stylish as well.

Read more

Comfort
Runners love the fit of this design. It has an elastic waistband with an internal drawcord for a secure yet easy fit. Plus, they fit a little loose on the legs to give you a full range of motions without tight fabric squeezing your legs. Plus, the looser fit is incredibly flattering for all body types.

Breathability
What makes this design stand out from the crowd is the addition of Dri-Fit fabric throughout the entire pant. This fabric quickly wicks sweat and moisture away from your body where it evaporates on the surface. It even comes equipped with mesh perforated panels in the knees and lower thighs to keep you cool on those hot days.

Style
If you hate tight-fitting workout gear, these pants from Nike are a great choice. They are accented with mesh panels to keep you cool and dry and are equipped with Nike’s Dri-Fit technology that wicks sweat away from your skin. The design of these pants is perfect for hot weather days and works well for easy runs or HIIT as well.

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3. CW-X Expert 2.0

Where to buy
Amazon Link
CW-X Expert 2.0 Insulator Joint Support Compression Tight
CW-X Expert 2.0 Insulator Joint Support Compression Tight
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Need something that offers a little extra support? What makes this design from CW-X great for running is that it provides users with a little extra compression that keeps those muscles warm and engaged to prevent injury and overall soreness. They fit tightly to your body but come equipped with stretchy panels that won’t hinder your full range of motion.

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Comfort
This design is composed of 70 percent nylon and 30 percent spandex that fits your body like a glove. While it boasts a tight fit, it is equipped with 2way stretch EXO-WEB panels in the knees and lower thighs that offer excellent movement and won’t restrict your full range of motion when engaging in CrossFit or Plyo on your off-days.

Breathability
If you are in the market for a great all-season pant that fits snugly and provides breathability and compression without hindering your full range of motion, this design from CW-X is a great choice.

Style
It boasts a sleek style that goes with just about anything and has features such as UV protection and reflective panels to keep you safe and protected.

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4. New Balance Impact

Where to buy
Amazon Link
New Balance Impact Tights
Amazon Link

It’s no wonder New Balance is a forerunning company for activewear and these Impact tights show just how much thought they put into their products. They are soft, move well and have a versatile temperature tolerance. The whole design is grade A and deserves some hype.

Read more

Comfort
The New Balance option is made to work with your body. The cinched waist is flat and gives a more customizable fit while the flat inner seams help prevent chafing and skin irritation in other areas. The soft material has an “already broken in” feel and Lightning Dry technology leaves you moisture-free on even the warmest days.

Breathability
Mobility and airflow are important factors and the Impact tights are built for this. Designed with a polyester/spandex blend, they dry rapidly. Air breezes through the mesh vents behind the knee caps keeping the internal temp of the legs regulated and enhancing blood flow.

Style
The tights have a few reflective spots for lower light and a hip pocket for keys or other small items. They are airy yet durable and the inset seams give them an extra smooth feel. The style is durable and active and that delivers.

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5. ODODOS High Waist

Where to buy
Amazon Link
ODODOS High Waist Pants
ODODOS High Waist Pants
Amazon Link

You want to be comfortable while you are out for a run so naturally, you are going to look for running pants that fit well and feel good while you are out and about. The ODODOS High Waist pants are perfect for any and all activities and will serve you well for a long time to come.

Read more

Comfort
These running pants are made to be comfortable and feel soft and gentle against the skin. The materials are durable and will feel as good when you take them off as when you first put them on. These are comfortable pants that will serve you well.

Breathability
If you are looking for running pants that are designed to keep you cool then this option is worth checking out. They are made to help draw moisture away from your skin and also have enhanced breathability features that keep you comfortable no matter the weather.

Style
Running pants need to fit well if they are going to be of any use to you and the ODODOS High Waist pants are designed specifically to offer a snug and supportive fit. They will stay in place and provide you with a comfortable fit that helps you get more out of your runs.

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6. NIKE Power Essential Dri-FIT

Where to buy
Amazon Link
NIKE Power Essential Dri-FIT Running Crops
NIKE Women's Power Essential Dri-FIT Running Crops
Amazon Link

These are made of high-quality material and can function as a running pant as well as an all-around exercise option that you can wear doing anything 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

Comfort
A polyester and spandex blend gives just enough stretch and 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.

Breathability
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.

Style
These are pretty basic, only available in black.

Amazon Link

7. Under Armour ColdGear

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Under Armour Men's ColdGear Armour Compression Leggings
Under Armour Men's ColdGear Armour Compression Leggings
Amazon Link

For cold weather running, the ColdGear design from Under Armour is an excellent choice. It provides users with slight compression to keep those muscles warm and engaged in chilly climates, yet still offers runners excellent movement without a lot of bulk. Plus, it boasts supportive properties that will help you stay light on your feet as well as dry when training this winter.

Read more

Comfort
If you are gearing up for some cold-weather running, this design from Under Armour is a great choice. It works well to keep you warm and dry, and boasts flexible panels and gussets that won’t hinder your full range of motion in the slightest. Plus, it comes in at an affordable price point that won’t break the bank.

Breathability
The brushed interior of this design feels soft against the skin and works overtime to hold in heat. The exterior shell is composed of moisture-wicking properties that draw sweat away from the skin where it quickly dries on the surface. Plus, it has anti-odor technology that kills bacteria and squashes bar odors so you don’t need to wash them as often.

Style
What we lost most about this design is that it is composed of tight-fitting materials that offer subtle compression to your muscles to prevent injury when running in cold weather. It is composed of 87 percent polyester and 13 elastane for a comfortable fit that washes up easily without losing its shape.

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8. Asics Aptitude 2

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Champion Open Bottom jersey Pants
ASICS Men's Aptitude 2 Run Pant
Amazon Link

These are a comfortably warm cotton pair of “tight” (albeit not advertised to be compression) running pants that just come in black. Users have found that the wicking of these pants isn't as good as some of the other brands out there on the market.

Read more

Comfort
The materials used are super soft for an all-day comfortable feel. Plus, the tapered design fits without being too restrictive and granting full movement.

Breathability
Made of warm fabric which is handy for those cold days when users want to go out for a run. The material provides the perfect amount of tightness without providing compression. Ankle zippers allow for ease of dressing and undressing, even while wearing shoes.

Style
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. The pants are priced slightly above the average for running pants.

Amazon Link

9. Adidas Tiro 19

Where to buy
Amazon Link
adidas Men's Tiro 19 Training Soccer Pants
adidas Men's Tiro 19 Training Soccer Pants
Amazon Link

What we liked most about the updated Adidas Tiro design is that it provides a looser fit than many compression garments while still keeping you cool and dry. This design is insanely lightweight and is composed of airy materials that wick sweat and heat away from your body where it evaporates on the surface. The best part? It comes in at a super affordable price point that won’t break the bank.

Read more

Comfort
The very first thing that we noticed about the Tiro is the fit. It provides runners with a loose fit at the waist and the knees and has a tapered fit around the ankles for quick footwork. It’s composed of 100 percent polyester, which feels lightweight and comfortable and is a cinch to toss into the washing machine as needed.

Breathability
What we also love about this design is that it is composed of ClimaCool technology. This fabric works to wick away sweat and moisture to keep your legs warm and dry. It even helps to shield your legs against the wind, which is ideal when running in cooler climates. Strategically placed mesh panels help to lift hot air away from your body as well as improve your full range of motion.

Style
If you are in the market for a loose-fitting all-weather pant, you can’t go wrong with the Tiro 19 from Adidas. It is composed of lightweight materials that protect your legs from the elements, and it is super lightweight and comfortable. Plus, it comes in at an affordable price point that makes it an excellent value.

Amazon Link

10. ASICS Thermopolis

Where to buy
Amazon Link
ASICS Thermopolis
ASICS Men's Thermopolis Pants
Amazon Link

When the temperatures are low, it’s good to have in your wardrobe a pair of warmer running pants. This option from ASICS will provide plenty of warmth and keep you comfortable.

Read more

Comfort
Because of good fabric that provides warmth, these pants are suitable for all weather conditions. The blend of polyester and spandex is soft and does a good job of wicking moisture and keeping the shape over time. The fabric is brushed for an ultra soft and cozy feel.

Breathability
The polyester blend helps to ventilate these pants, preventing overheating.

Style
There aren’t any colors to choose from, but there’s a wider choice of sizes compared to other brands. Asics features 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.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. MARNIE KUNZ , The Best Kinds of Pants to Wear for Running, Sports Fitness
  2. CALVY CLICK, A Complete Guide to Men's Running Pants, Fashion and Sports
  3. MELANIE REMBRANDT, How to Choose the Right Workout Pants, Running Gear

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Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.