Best Running Leggings
Are you the type of person who scoffs at someone when you see them wear leggings? Chances are, you have seen mostly women wearing them in public. While they can be used as a fashion statement, oftentimes revealing a little too much and bordering on inappropriate, their designed purpose is more than just to accent the wearer’s buttocks. Instead, most running leggings will actually offer performance enhancements due to their compression and can even offer aerodynamic advantages. Each pair you see will be different and you need to ensure that the model you select will live up to your standards. In order to accomplish this, you need to be fully aware of what you need to look for. Indeed, that is why you are here today but, first, let’s take an in-depth look at some of the best brands currently on the market.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 3.25 hrs of research
Made of tough and lightweight fabric
Features a four-way stretch construction
Adequate ventilation is not an issue
- UNDER ARMOUR HEATGEAR
- TSLA COMPRESSION PANTS
- ADIDAS RUNNING RESPONSE TIGHTS
- UNDER ARMOUR COLDGEAR
- COLUMBIA HEAVYWEIGHT II
- COMPRESSIONZ LEGGINGS
- CW-X STABILYX TIGHTS
- BALEAF CYCLING TIGHTS
- NEONYSWEETS TIGHTS
- DUOFOLD THERMAL LEGGINGS
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Frequently Asked Questions
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST RUNNING LEGGINGS
1. UNDER ARMOUR HEATGEAR
Made of tough and lightweight fabric
Features a four-way stretch construction
Adequate ventilation is not an issue
One user noted that the material was a bit thin
At the end of the day, can you really go wrong with Under Armour? When it comes to tight-fitting and compression clothing, they are a top-end brand and it shows with the design of their HeatGear leggings.Read more
One user did note that the material used for the HeatGear tights was thin. However, it offers a second-skin fit feel and is ultra-tight for compression performance.
In addition to the four-way stretch construction that enhances the flexibility, these tights are also designed with updated ergonomics that keep the seams off high abrasion areas.
Both the inseam panels and the stretch-mesh gusset deliver ventilation in certain areas to vastly increase the breathability.
The same updated ergonomic design that was alluded to earlier also enhances the durability. In addition, the fabric has been made to both lightweight and tough.
All sorts of color options are available for you to choose from. From both light colors to dark colors, there really is a vast array of choices.
For all men out there seeking running leggings that offer compression performance, it will not get much better than this. They can be used as an excellent base layer during colder climates.
2. TSLA COMPRESSION PANTS
They are designed for all seasons
The material is made of non-abrasion fabric
Will safeguard your skin against UV rays
Several buyers claim the fit is extremely tight
These compression pants, which are known as the MUP19 pants, are a bit more affordable than other options but are still extremely high in quality. That can be a rare combination, ladies and gentlemen.Read more
There are two types of fits. You have the regular fit and the extreme compression fit. The manufacturer recommends ordering one size up for the regular fit and your normal size for the extreme compression fit. Many buyers have noted these are very tight.
Thanks to the combination of the fabric blend of polyester and spandex, there is an excellent amount of elasticity and comfort. Also, these deliver a seamless feel.
Without question, the MUP19 tights are designed for all seasons. This is because they will release heat and will wick away moisture. Also, the two-way air circulation enhances the breathability.
Not only is the fabric utilized both flexible and comfortable, but it is also durable as it is a non-abrasion type of material.
TSLA offers so many variations of their leggings that it would be insane for anyone to not find a color and style that suits them best. There literally are that many options available to choose from.
Once again, you need to find the right size as many buyers have noted these can run really tight. They are designed to be tight for compression performance but you still want your legs to breathe.
3. ADIDAS RUNNING RESPONSE TIGHTS
Designed with mesh side panels
It is complete with a drawcord waistband
Features reflective detailing
One user noted that the length was too short
The same claim that was just made for Under Armour could be made for this next designer, Adidas. Their model is comfortable, breathable and holds up well. Could you ask for much more?Read more
As usual, the sizes of these response tights are deliberately made to be a bit smaller. The drawcord waistband is also really nice as this can allow you to maximize your comfort and fit.
The fabric blend of polyester and elastane enhances both the flexibility and the comfort of these tights. Due to the higher percentage of polyester, though, they remain soft to the touch.
With the combination of the side mesh paneling and the Climacool technology that will wick away moisture, it is safe to say that the breathability is not going to be much of an issue here.
As a few buyers have reported, these tend to hold up pretty well in the wash. But, you may want to stick to a delicate cycle with cold water as you do not want to risk anything.
There really are not a ton of colors to choose from. The options that are available (black and white or black and ray blue), though, will satisfy most buyers.
When you are looking to buy any type of athletic wear, it really is hard to go wrong with Adidas. With all the craftsmanship and technology integrated here, it shows off some of their greatness.
4. UNDER ARMOUR COLDGEAR
Will wick away sweat and will dry fast
The encased waist delivers a smoother silhouette
Features welded seams
One user felt the craftsmanship was cheap
They do not handle the wind well
In a way, this is almost the women’s version of the HeatGear tights that headlined this list. As can be concluded, though, the ColdGear tights are not quite as riveting.Read more
The few issues with the ColdGear tights have nothing to do with the size. Most users agree that the sizes run true and most have raved about the length and the wide waistband.
Thanks to the addition of the welded seams, the chance for chafing is pretty much eliminated.
The ColdGear tights do sport two layers of fabric and the exterior layer is fast-drying. Plus, the material itself will wick away moisture from your skin to prevent buildup.
One buyer did go out of their way to claim that they felt the ColdGear tights were a bit cheap. Other than that, however, the reception seems to be good.
If you are looking for a vast array of color selections, you are not going to find it here. Then again, the few color choices that are there will suit most people.
As mentioned earlier, Under Armour is Under Armour and they really know how to design athletic wear and compression wear. Their ColdGear leggings are for women and are superb.
5. COLUMBIA HEAVYWEIGHT II
Features Omni-Heat reflective dots
They hold their shape very well
The material is light
There are very few flaws to speak of
Columbia is yet another top-name brand to make an appearance on this list. Are you noticing a theme? As for the Heavyweight II leggings, they are about as good as it gets with virtually no flaws.Read more
The Heavyweight II bottoms not only provide good coverage but they also hold their shape well. This is according to some previous buyers, that is.
Due to the combination of the ergonomic seaming and the four-way stretch fabric, it is safe to say that you are going to remain comfortable in the Heavyweight II bottoms.
Yes, these do provide an ample amount of warmth but they are also breathable at the same time. How is this achieved? It is easy because the fabric is also designed to wick away sweat.
For the price of admission, these better be durable and they most certainly are. They are going to hold their shape well over time that much is for sure.
At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with black and that is what Columbia presents with their Heavyweight II bottoms.
Truth be told, there is very little wrong with the design of the Heavyweight II bottoms. A lot of you will not be willing to spend so much money on a pair of tights and that is fair.
6. COMPRESSIONZ LEGGINGS
Will wick away moisture
Backed by a 100 percent money-back guarantee
Features the performance benefits of compression gear
Most agree that these run small
One user noted the durability was a concern
Although both Adidas and Under Armour are mightily popular, perhaps no other pair of leggings are more popular and more renowned than these. That is quite a compliment for CompressionZ.Read more
Most users agree that these leggings do tend to run a bit small. With that said, they do offer compression performance and will increase the effectiveness of your morning runs.
To ensure no irritation, chafing, and itching is present, these tights have been designed of four-way stretchable fabric that has been expertly and carefully engineered.
Not only is the fabric that has been implemented incredibly comfortable but it will also wick away sweat from your body to prevent that awful clammy feeling.
There was one reviewer who reported that when they used soft fabric sleeve-style knee pads with these tights, it damaged the threads on the inner leg seams. So, you need to be careful a bit with the durability.
Let’s just say that there are some mightily interesting color options available. If you prefer outlandish designs then you will find quite a few here.
It is hard not to be impressed with the sheer amount of positive feedback that this model has garnered. Though they tend to run really small, if you get the right size then you should be thrilled with the performance.
7. CW-X STABILYX TIGHTS
Helps improve your speed and your endurance
It was designed to mimic kinesiology tape
Has the performance benefits of compression fabric
These are really tight
Some users felt these were too thin
There is no debating the fact that these tights were designed with the mindset of delivering optimal performance. With just some of the features, you can conclude that right away.Read more
If the words of past buyers are any indication, you may want to order a size up. Many buyers have alluded to the fact that these are crazy tight. Although, they do offer superb performance with their EXO-WEB technology.
As these are skin tight, the most comfortable aspect of them is their performance as they facilitate circulation and will reduce the soreness in your muscles.
Admittedly, these tights right here are not the best for breathability. They are a bit too tight and may actually constrict you when you sweat, which is a bit of a poor design.
Though one buyer did feel that the fabric utilized here was cheap, these have been designed with a double-reinforced waistband that sports a flat drawcord.
CW-X definitely was not shy when they designed their compression leggings. Let’s just say that there are some vastly outlandish designs that are available.
In regard to the performance, it may not get much better than this. The thing is, though, they could be more breathable and that is a major selling point, admittedly.
8. BALEAF CYCLING TIGHTS
Designed with reflective elements
The soft fleece enhances the comfort
It is ideal for running, cycling and various other sports
Not optimized for normal body types
They do not provide that much warmth
What is very interesting to note about Baleaf’s design is they seemed to optimize it for athletic users. Due to the design of the waist, these may feel uncomfortable for anyone else.Read more
For the most part, it seems that these run true to size. At the same time, though, as they are leggings, they will still fit you snugly.
For whatever reason, Baleaf deemed it necessary to integrate tight elastic around the waist. While these feature a soft fleece design and are comfortable, this feature is better suited to athletic body types.
The fabric utilized here will wick away sweat and this means that it is indeed breathable.
Even with all of the customer feedback, it is rare to find anyone with negative remarks in regard to the durability. You better believe that is a good sign.
Black is the common color with all of the options but there are different styles to choose from. Each of them integrates different types of colors mixed with black.
This is not meant to call any of you out but these pair of running leggings are suited for athletic body types. Due to the design of the waist, they may provide discomfort for some of you.
9. NEONYSWEETS TIGHTS
Ideal for all types of workouts
Made of four-way stretch fabric
The fabric is also quick-drying
The material is on the thin side
Fitting has been an issue for some users
Though hundreds of buyers on Amazon have praised the design of this last pair of tights, they tend to slip under the radar when compared to top-end designs. It is understandable but it is also a bit unfair to toss these under the rug so quickly.Read more
When someone who is barely five-foot in height finds these short, you better believe that they are. They also are designed for women, for the record.
What really makes these comfortable is the four-way stretch fabric and the triangle crotch gussets. Both offers improved movement and support.
The best designs are those that remove moisture from your body and these running leggings do just that.
Part of the reason that these are cheaper is due to the thinner material. They will not rip and tear after the first use but if you use them extensively, they may not last as long as other options.
Good luck not finding a color that suits your style here. If you do, then you most certainly have a very particular style.
For sure, these are a great selection for you women out there. They may not hold up to a rigorous amount of abuse but they are suitable for all types of workouts (not just for running).
10. DUOFOLD THERMAL LEGGINGS
Features flatlock seaming
Designed to control moisture
The fabric blend is cotton and polyester
They are not fleece lined
Sizing can be an issue
When it comes down to it, you can end up spending quite a bit of money on a pair of running leggings. Duofold did their consumer base a solace with their design, however.Read more
Oddly, there have been buyers who have suggested ordering a size down and ordering a size up. This makes it difficult to gauge what you need to do, to be honest.
The combination of the cotton and the polyester fabric blend ensure a two-protection barrier that is soft and comfortable. Also, these sports flatlock seaming to avoid any irritation.
Duofold integrated moisture-control properties into their tights. This means that they will breathe well even when your legs begin sweating profusely.
While placing these in the washing machine will not ruin them, one user did note that they shrunk. It is not comprised of 100 percent cotton but it does feature a cotton blend.
Duofold does not sell their model in a vast array of color options. With that said, you should still be able to find a suitable option.
It can be really tricky to gauge how good this design is. The craftsmanship and quality are superb but the sizing can be an issue. Getting the right size could be more work than it is worth for some of you.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Though these types of tights are designed to fit snug, they still need to fit you in a certain way in other areas.
In general, finding clothes that fit you correctly should be priority number one. However, this need is so much greater when you are purchasing running leggings. The main reason why is these are designed to deliver optimal performance and they are not merely a fashion statement or a random article of clothing that you wear. To provide all the performance and athletic benefits of compression gear, these tights will be designed to fit snug. This much you should expect but, at the same time, they should not be so tight that they begin to restrict your circulation.
Additionally, though, you need to pay attention to the length. Most of the time, you will not be able to directly select a length and it will be fixed. If you invest in a pair that is too long, you can get away with it a bit with a gather at the bottom. However, if they are too short then you may be left with exposed ankles. Also, do not forget about the design of the fastening system. To ensure a personalized fit, look for an elastic waistband that sports a drawstring or drawcord.
Most users prefer wearing leggings because of their comfort but not all models will be equal in this area.
It goes without saying that the comfort is going to be a game changer here. With any type of article of clothing, it is going to be and here it is no different. The good news is there are some very specific features that you can look for that will enhance the comfort of any pair of leggings. To begin, you pretty much want to make it mandatory to select tights with flatlock seams. Without these types of seams, chaffing and irritation can result. Oh, and speaking of chaffing and irritation, it is also important to look for models that implement four-way stretch fabric. Not only is this going to enhance the comfort but it is also going to increase the flexibility and your overall range of motion.
Of course, you can also not forget about the blend of fabrics. Typically, you will see a blend of elastane (or spandex) and common materials such as polyester. In this case, the elastane delivers the stretchiness while the polyester delivers the durability and comfort.
Nothing is worse than clothing that absorbs moisture so look to avoid that here.
Though this is the third criterion that is going to be documented, you can easily make the claim that it is the most important. It may end up barely losing out to both the fitting and the comfortability but the breathability is not to be underestimated. It is only natural that when your body begins to move at a frantic pace for extended periods of time, it will begin to sweat. This is going to happen when you run, even if the conditions are colder, and it means the leggings you wear need to be breathable.
The question then becomes, how can you ensure the option you select is breathable? There are two main design features to look out for and the first is side mesh paneling. With this implemented, airflow will be allowed to play a role. Secondly, the fabric that is utilized should be able to wick away moisture from your skin. This is essential because if moisture is allowed to build up, the article of clothing you are wearing will become drenched in sweat.
This one is simple; do you really want to buy a pair of tights that will last a few weeks?
It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that consumers prefer to invest in products that are going to be designed to last. So, why should running leggings be any different? The simple answer is they are not and they should be designed with high-quality materials. You typically need to analyze the denier count when attempting to assess the durability of any types of fabric. In this case, though, the material is not typically engineered to be thick. That being said, there are models out there that sports fabrics that are a little bit too thin, admittedly. There is a fine line between too thick and too thin and the best designers will find that happy medium.
You can also use the price to gauge the durability, but that is not always a telling factor. The best step you can take is to read through user feedback. If several previous buyers have commented on longevity issues, it may be the red flag you need to pass on that particular pair of tights.
As simple as it may seem, the color can change your entire perspective about the model you are currently looking into.
At this point, you are probably pondering yourself an interesting question. That question is probably, more or less, how important can the color really be? In regard to performance benefits and enhanced comfortability, no, the color is not going to change much. With that being said, no one can deny that it will always come to the forefront with garments of any kind. It is best when manufacturers design their tights in multiple colors. This gives you more of a variety and it allows the model to appeal to more consumers. It is a brilliant marketing strategy when you think about it.
But, there could be a little more too it. If you intend to run in the morning or during the evening, you may want a pair of tights that allows you to be visible. This can be achieved with reflective zones but it can also be assisted with bright colors.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
There are certain articles of clothing that are specifically engineered to fit snug. Well, it is safe to say that running rights are much like this. Indeed, they need to fit snugly in order for you to reap the benefits of the compression performance. However, they should still not fit too tightly and should also be an optimal length. Without question, this should be your top priority right here.
Even if a certain model fits you perfectly, it still may not be comfortable. Typically, sizing and comfort go hand-in-hand and that is present here, admittedly. Yet, still, there are other factors beyond the fitting that will enhance the comfort. For example, you want flatlock seams and four-way stretch fabrics. Both of which will significantly eliminate the chance of irritation and chaffing. And, clearly, this is only going to make the experience all that much better for you.
Oh boy, now you want to talk about a true game changer? If you are not a fan of clothing that absorbs moisture instead of wicking it away from your skin and clothing that does not have ample airflow, then you need to ensure that the pair of tights you invest in are breathable. During your running regimens, you are going to sweat. There is no way to get around this and when you sweat, it means your clothing can quickly become overbearing if it is not breathable.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: When should you use compression?
Most would simply assume that you should only wear compression gear when you are actually working out. Well, while that is an ideal time to wear it, you can also wear it beforehand. What this can do is prepare your muscles for a big race, for example. Without going into full detail, compression tights can accelerate the warm-up process and reduce your risk of injury. Of course, as mentioned, wearing them during your workouts and runs will be beneficial. One of the main things they will do is reduce your muscular vibrations while you run and this will lessen the chance of injury and increase your overall performance.
q: Should you wear underwear under compression?
In regard to if wearing underwear will limit the performance of your running leggings, no it is not going to. You do need to remember that this article of clothing can be a little revealing. However, it is really up to you and if you do not feel the need to wear undergarments underneath your tights, then do not. On the contrary, if you do feel the need, you may want to invest in some sports underwear. With normal cotton underwear, the ability to wick away moisture will not be present. Ensuring that each and every one of your layers wicks away moisture will only enhance the comfortability of your runs.
q: How do you put leggings on correctly?
Does this seem like a completely ludicrous question to ask? For some of you, the answer may be yes. Here is the deal, though; running leggings are not ordinary pants that you simply put on. In order for you to achieve maximum support and comfort, you need to ensure you use them correctly. Some experts will even suggest sitting down while you are putting them on. What you really need to focus on are the support lines. Using both hands, slowly begin to roll the leggings up your legs. When doing so, ensure that the support lines are aligned symmetrically on both sides. Also look at the kneecaps as if there are too many wrinkles, the tights are not fitting you correctly. To wrap it up, you can adjust the waistband as you see fit.
q: Any wash and care instructions?
Anytime you are dealing with performance gear and athletic wear, you need to be a little wary on how you wash them. In this case, you want to do so carefully in order to protect the fabric. That does not mean that you can’t use a washing machine as you can. However, if you do, then you should use warm water and like colors. Also, avoid using bleach when you wash them. In regard to how you should dry them off, it is better to allow them to air dry. Oh yeah, and avoid ironing them.
q: Will washing these less prolong their usefulness?
In a weird way, the philosophy that is alluded to in this question can make sense. After all, it would make sense that the fewer times you wash your tights in a rigorous washing machine, the less likely that they would become damaged in some way. You need to throw this philosophy right out the window. The reality is the compression profile of any pair of running tights can be negatively affected by both body oils and dirt. So, it is recommended to wash them as often as you use them. Additionally, they will begin to give off a potent odor if you do not.
q: How long can compression tights be worn?
If you are thinking that there is some detailed duration of how long you should be wearing compression gear of any kind, really, then think again. The reality is, this type of athletic wear can be worn for as long as you wish. That is, granted it remains comfortable then you can keep on wearing them. Now, if the compression is very extreme (exceeding 30mmHg) then you may not want to wear them casually (unless you have chronic circulatory problems).