Running leggings are perfect for keeping you warm throughout the winter, and the breathable fabric with moisture-wicking technology can actually keep you feeling cooler than you would with bare legs during summer.
You can’t underestimate the importance of running leggings. If you don’t have a pair of high quality running leggings, chafing can occur which can lead to discomfort as you run and can affect the whole experience in a negative way.
In this article, I will cover the best running leggings. So, next time you’re headed out for your run, you’re prepared whatever the season!
Keep reading to find out more.
List of Best Running Leggings
The Nike Women’s Victory Training Capris helps you feel locked in and cool as you run.
These leggings are made out of high quality materials, including 83% polyester and 17% elastane for a super comfortable fit.
The Nike Training Capris leggings deliver the sweat-wicking power of Dri-FIT technology in a body-hugging silhouette that is flattering and hugs your body in all of the right places.
- Breathable fabric – These leggings feature mesh panels at the lower legs for maximum breathability as you run and work out.
- Thick waistband – The wide elastic waistband is designed for your comfort and stretches for a snug feel.
- Stylish Nike branding – The Nike Swoosh logo is on the leg while the Nike branding is on the waistband for an authentic style!
- One customer claimed that the material of these particular running leggings was tighter than they were expecting.
- Nike Pro fabric helps you feel locked in and cool
- Mesh panels at the lower legs for breathability
- Wide elastic waistband stretches for a snug feel
- Tight fit for a body-hugging feel
The Under Armour Women’s HeatGear High Waisted Pocketed Leggings are made out of 100% polyester.
The 4-way stretch construction allows you to move better and more comfortably in every direction.
The soft fabric delivers support and superior coverage without weighing you down as you exercise.
- Moisture-wicking fabric – The material of these leggings works to wick sweat and dries super quickly for your comfort.
- Anti-odor technology – These running leggings are made with anti-odor technology to help prevent nasty odors.
- Flat lock seams – The ergonomic flatlock seams deliver a comfortable, chafe-free fit as you work out and run.
- A couple of customers noted that these running leggings were wider than they were expecting.
- Compression: Ultra-tight, second-skin fit
- Our Most Legendary: Super-light HeatGear fabric delivers superior coverage without weighing you down
- Material wicks sweat & dries really fast
- 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction
- Ergonomic flatlock seams deliver a comfortable, chafe-free fit
The Nike Women’s Fast Crop’s body is made out of 83% polyester and 17% spandex, while the breathable mesh material is made out of 81% nylon and 19% spandex for your comfort.
These women’s compression pants are made with Dri-FIT technology that helps you stay dry, comfortable and focused.
The Nike Women’s Fast Crop leggings are made of a blend of spandex and polyester fabrics that gives you plenty of stretch, while the tight fit gives a secure, compressive feel.
- Breathable – The 7/8 cropped length leggings hit above the ankle, while the mesh back panel enhances breathability.
- Machine washable – Maintaining these leggings couldn’t be simpler, as you can machine wash them for your convenience.
- Secure fit – These workout leggings for women have a wide, high waistband that helps you to feel supported with every movement and exercise.
- One customer claimed that these leggings were too shiny for their usual style.
- STRETCH FOR THE SPRINT: These Nike leggings are made of a blend of spandex and polyester fabrics that gives you plenty of stretch, while the tight fit gives a secure, compressive feel.
- DRI-FIT TECHNOLOGY: These women's compression pants are made of Dri-FIT technology helps you stay dry, comfortable and focused.
- BREATHABLE COMFORT: 7/8 cropped length leggings hit above the ankle, while mesh back panel enhances breathability.
- SECURE FIT: These workout pants for women have a wide, high waistband help you feel supported with every move.
- NIKE WOMEN'S LEGGINGS: Imported, machine wash, fabric: body: 83% polyester/17% spandex, mesh: 81% nylon/19% spandex, gusset lining: 100% recycled polyester.
The adidas Women’s Training Alphaskin Sport Long Tights are designed to fit like a second skin!
These women’s running leggings are designed to give you freedom of movement, so whatever exercise you’re doing, you’re comfortable!
These adidas tights are designed to be body-hugging for a stylish and flattering fit.
- Light compression – These running leggings feature light compression for a supportive feel as you run and exercise.
- Elastic waistband – The elastic waistband of these leggings is stretchy and allows for comfortable movement during your workout.
- Machine washable – Chuck your workout leggings in the washing machine with no fear of them being ruined!
- A few customers noted that these particular running leggings took longer than they were anticipating to arrive in the mail.
- Tight fit wears next to skin
- Light compression for a supportive feel
- Elastic waist allows comfortable movement
The CARE OF by PUMA Women’s High Waisted Full Length Active Leggings are designed with high quality materials.
This collaboration between Amazon and PUMA delivers a comfort-first athleisure collection with PUMA’s expertise.
Whether you’re running or hitting the gym, these leggings are the perfect way to take on exercise comfortably!
- Secret pocket – These running leggings feature a secret pocket on the waistband that can hold important items such as your card or keys, so your possessions are safe while you exercise.
- Breathable – These leggings are designed with a bio-based wicking finish for breathability.
- Machine washable – Whatever your laundry routine, these running leggings will fit right into your dark clothes and can be machine washed!
- One customer claimed that these particular running leggings were too short for their legs.
- Amazon partnered with PUMA to deliver a new comfort-first athleisure collection, matching Amazonâ€s customer knowledge with PUMA's product expertise
- These Full Length leggings have a bio-based wicking finish for breathability.
- We've added a secret pocket on the waistband that holds a card or keys, so you can stay comfortable on the go.
- An Amazon Brand
- Designed in Europe - please refer to size chart for specific measurements to achieve the perfect fit
There’s a few factors to consider when purchasing running leggings, but it mainly comes down to size, brand, and material.
You will also want to make sure that you are investing in a high quality pair of running leggings. Gym and running gear doesn’t come cheap, and you will want to ensure that you are choosing a pair that are sure to withstand frequent exercise and the test of time.
Keep reading the following factors before going ahead with your purchase.
An important factor to consider when purchasing running leggings is the size. Running leggings are designed to be tight and come with varying degrees of compression to offer you support as you exercise.
The size is important to get right to ensure your leggings feel comfortable and look flattering. When choosing your legging size, your normal pant size is a good place to start. That being said, sizes can vary between different brands, so you should always make sure that you measure yourself beforehand.
Firstly, you will need to measure your waist by looping a tape measure around the smallest part of your waist. Measure your hips by standing with your feet together and wrap the tape measure around the fullest part of your hips. Finally, measure your inseam, by running the tape measure along the inside of your thigh, starting from where your crotch ends to the bottom of your ankle bone.
If you’re unsure whether your leggings are the right fit, a good indication is to try the squat test. If you can see your skin through them when you stretch, squat, or bend, then the material is too tight. Leggings should be completely opaque, so you will need to opt for the size up or try a pair made of a different fabric or material if you can see your skin through the material.
When choosing running leggings, you will also need to consider the material. When researching running leggings, you will want to ensure that the material is as comfortable as possible for the type of running that you intend to be doing.
Common running leggings materials include:
Polyester – Polyester is a plastic based fabric that is renowned for being durable, lightweight, breathable. It is also non-absorbent, and works to keep you warm when it gets wet which makes it great for a high intensity workout such as running.
Polypropylene – Polypropylene fabric is is one of the lightest synthetic fibers in existence. It is also water-resistant, making it a great choice for running leggings. This means that it works to keep you dry and warm when you sweat, ensuring that you don’t get cold when you’re working out.
Nylon – Nylon is a super popular fabric for running leggings as it is a moisture-wicking and breathable fabric.
It is also worth mentioning that different brands use a variety of different types of fabrics that are specific to their brand. For instance, Nike Dri-FIT is a type of polyester fabric that is designed to move sweat, heat and moisture away from the skin to the outside of the garment where it evaporates. This, in turn, works to keep you dry and comfortable throughout your entire run!
You will also want to consider opting for compression style leggings. Running is a high-impact exercise, so compression leggings can help to support your muscles and keep them warm throughout the duration of your workout. As a result, this will help you to prevent injuring yourself, meaning that you’re able to stick to a routine more easily.
Color & visibility
Another factor you will want to bear in mind is the color and visibility of your leggings, particularly when it comes to running at night or during the dark winter months.
There are a variety of different colored running leggings available on the market that are sure to suit your style. From plain shades such as white and black, to muted grays, pastels, and neon colors, activewear is hugely varied and comes down to personal preference.
You might choose to opt for bright, funky patterned workout attire, or opt for block colors that are more wearable and easier to style with your day-to-day wardrobe. The options are truly endless!
That being said, when it comes to running at night, selecting the color of your leggings goes beyond styling preferences. You will want to make sure that you are opting for a bright color or leggings that have reflective parts, such as reflective seams or neon, bright colors when it comes to running around traffic in the dark. This will ensure that you are more visible to oncoming traffic in the winter months when the days are shorter, and will provide a level of reassurance that you will be seen.
It’s essential that you take road safety seriously when running in the dark. You will want to ensure that you avoid wearing black, as this will make you fade into the background.
Another important factor to consider when purchasing running leggings is the brand.
You might think that you don’t mind which brand of running leggings that you buy. However, when it comes to gym gear, you usually get what you pay for.
Sports brands have been making activewear for years and tend to use quality, long-lasting, sweat-wicking materials that are designed to withstand frequent exercise. While leggings from brands such as Nike or Adidas are typically a bigger investment, the quality of their products speaks for itself.
That being said, activewear is notorious for being expensive. So, if you’re on a stricter budget, there are plenty of brands that offer affordable options, too.
However, it’s much better to invest in a good quality pair of running leggings that will last you for years to come, than a pair that you’ll need to throw away as soon as a hole appears in the crotch.
The brand of running leggings that you opt for is a personal choice, but make sure that you do your own research and go from there.
A factor you will need to take into consideration when looking for running leggings is durability. You will want to invest in high quality leggings that are able to withstand frequent exercise to get the most use out of your purchase.
It can be tricky to gauge whether a product is durable or not without trying it out yourself. However, a good indication of whether a product is going to survive the test of time is the product reviews section.
The customer reviews section is where you will find feedback, good or bad, from customers of that specific product. If a customer has experienced a fault or an issue with a product, they are likely to let you know in the product reviews section. This is a super helpful tool to help you gauge a better understanding of the product and whether you want to invest in it based on their recommendation.
In addition to this, the product reviews section also gives you a better idea of a brand and their customer service. Although problems occur on a daily basis that are outside of a company’s control, such as products being lost or damaged during transit, the way that they resolve said issues reveal a lot about them as a brand. If it seems like a recurring issue that customers have experienced bad customer service, then it is likely that the company has an inherent problem that they need to address.
Always make sure that you do your own research and check the product reviews section before making your purchase.
Breathability is another essential factor that comes into play when choosing running leggings.
I don’t need to tell you that running is an intense workout! You can become sweaty and hot very quickly if you aren’t wearing leggings that are made out of breathable material. Bearing this in mind, you will need to make sure that you are opting for a breathable fabric that isn’t going to make you sweat even more during your run.
Cotton, for example, is not a good material for running. Not only does cotton absorb the moisture on your body, but it also traps it against your skin, making you feel damp and hot as you sweat.
Many running leggings have mesh panels on the backs of your calves to accommodate for this, which in turn allows your legs to breathe and keeps you dry and comfortable.
Always make sure that you are opting for breathable fabric to aid your running experience!
When purchasing running leggings, you will also need to think about the length that you want.
There are a variety of different lengths that you can choose from depending on your preferences. For instance, you could opt for a capris style legging that ends just below the knee. Alternatively, if you like all of your legs to be covered, you could opt for a full length legging that goes all the way to your ankles.
Whichever option you choose, make sure that you take your activity level and the temperature into account. If you live somewhere that is home to much harsher weather conditions, then it is likely that you will benefit more from full length running leggings. On the other hand, if you live somewhere that is always sunny and hot, you might decide on a ¾ length style.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should running leggings be tight?
Running leggings should be tight, but not so tight that they cut off your circulation. Running leggings that are too tight are not only restricting, but can also be easily torn if they are forced beyond their capacity.
To make sure that your leggings are comfortable, you should always make sure that you measure yourself before committing to buying a pair. This is especially important if you’re shopping online for your running leggings!
What is the difference between running tights and leggings?
Running leggings are made of thick opaque material and can be worn without over shorts. On the other hand, while running tights are very similar to leggings, they are more translucent. It is also necessary to wear shorts or another layer over the top of them.