Best Running Pants
Putting on a proper running outfit just makes you feel more productive, right? Each piece of your kit is important, from the shoes to the shirt, and down to the pants. Depending on the where you live, pants may be a preferable option for you all year round, or possibly just the winter. No matter what, investing in a great pair is vital. A great running pant will be comfortable, breathable, and show your personal style. You don’t need to waste any more time searching, as we have rounded up the top 10 best running pants for you here.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research
Top 10 Picks
1. Saucony Siberius Tights
These pants are built to be unique. The Siberius logo is usually white, but when temperatures plummet below zero, it changes to blue. This is not the only feature you will love about these pants. Check out the features below.Read more
From what we have found, these tights are only available in black. But don’t worry, you won’t slide under the radar in these. As mentioned before, the logo changes color when it becomes freezing outside. These are tights, so they fit very close to your skin. However, because they are made of spandex, they will still offer you flexibility and freedom of movement.
The pants are made of a blend of spandex and polyester. Since they are tights, the main player of the two fabrics is spandex.
There are zippers on the lower legs, a zippered back pocket for storage, and an elastic waist with an inner drawstring.
The Saucony Men’s Siberius Tight is a great option for runners that want tights with extra features, such as a storage pocket, weather indicating logo, and fantastic sweat-wicking capabilities. If you do start to get warm as you run, this pant allows you to increase ventilation by opening the zippers at the bottom. The versatility of this pant makes it worth purchasing despite the high price tag.
2. Nike Gym Vintage Capris
Comfortable, slim fit
Not very warm
The Nike Women’s Gym Vintage Capris are a stylish choice for women’s running pants. Thin, but sturdy material allows them to keep you cool without s sacrificing the quality of the material. However, this thin material and the cropped pant leg make these pants chilly, and they are recommended for mild weather temperatures only.Read more
These Vintage Nikes offer a nice in-between option from running tights and track pants. They are slightly loose, but not baggy. They are available in more than five colors, allowing you to express your personal style. These slim-fitting pants still give you all the mobility you need. A wide waistband and drawstring allow for a customizable fit. Most customers report that these pants are true to size.
The Nike Women’s Gym Vintage Capris are a sustainably made pant, created from a blend of 60% organic cotton and 40% recycled polyester. Not only will you look great in these pants but you can feel good about having bought a more environmentally sound product.
They feature a drawstring waist, allowing you to adjust the fit. Additionally, these pants have large pockets that can fit essentials like your phone or iPod.
In the spring or fall, the Nike Women’s Gym Vintage Capris are an excellent choice for a women’s running pant, however, they will be too cold when the temperatures drop more. The cotton material offers decent breathability. With great reviews across the board, an attractive and comfortable design, and a variety of colors to choose from these pants do come highly recommended.
3. U Elite MCS Compression Tights
Legs run long
The 2XU Elite MCS Compression Tights are slim fitting to give you a great compressive feel that will work well for fall and spring runs. However, these pants are lightweight meaning they are a bit too cold for winter.Read more
These compression tights apply compression to your calves and quads, decreasing fatigue and increasing stability. As a base color, they are only available in black. However, depending on where you shop, you will find the accent markings in silver or gold. Mostly straight-legged, these pants are cut with a very flattering look. They do run long though, so a size small is recommended for most customers under 6’.
Made from PWX Weight (105) fabric panels for excellent compression to protect your glutes and hamstrings. They're also made from Invista LYCRA for a great fit, support, and recovery.
The 2XU Elite MCS Compression Tights also come with a drawstring waistband, internal pocket for storage, flatlock seams to reduce chafing, antibacterial treatment, and UPF50+ for sun protection.
The 2XU Elite MCS Compression Tights are of high quality and stylish. They are a great choice for a comfortable fit for those long runs. They will also keep you warm on fall days while staying cool enough that you can wear them in the summer without overheating. The built-in breathability keeps you from sitting in a pile of your own sweat.
4. Compression Z Women's Leggings
Fantastic wicking capabilities
Muscle support through compression
100% money-back guarantee
They tend to run small in the waist area
The Compression Z Women's Leggings have so many benefits to offer an avid runner. First of all, the company that makes these don't muck around; they specialize, particularly, in compression clothing. So you can trust that the Compression pant will provide, well, compression, of course. Not only this, but they will help with your recovery for the longer runs, and they come in a plethora of colors and patterns. Let's check out why these pants are worth your time.Read more
These tights look great in every color and design. They are available in over ten different color and design choices. You’ll truly be able to show off your personal style. If you are worried about these pants losing shape, that won't be a problem. Yes, they are stretchy, but the fabric retains its shape to keep them and you looking great on the trails.
These pants rock two great fabrics that keep your muscles feeling secure. With spandex and polyester being the fabrics of choice, some reviewers said that they were highly impressed by how compressive these pants really were. So much so, that they didn't need to wear any extra support.
You may wonder why it's so important to keep your muscles firmly supported while hitting the trails? And fair enough. But the benefits of wearing pants such as these will prevent muscle fatigue and aid in recovery time so that you stay in tip-top condition.
The fabric of these tights does feel a bit heavy but still manages to breathe well in tropic environments. Reviewers have been impressed with their breathability.
5. CW-X Stabilyx Tights
Wicks away sweat with Coolmax fabric
Seams are flat to prevent irritation
They can run long for some women
CW-X is a brand name that has blazed a path of extremely reliable and good-looking running tights and pants. This brand could and should have a list of its very own, but for now, we will stick with these tights, the CW-X Stabilyx Tights, as they are compressive, reliable, and for any fashion-forward runners out there, they come in a variety of colors and patterns for your choosing pleasure.Read more
These tights are available only in black and the strategically placed webbing is slightly lighter in color. They offer a tight compression fit. For the most part, they fit true to size, but sometimes on the small side.
The fabric in these pants offers maximum sweat-wicking capabilities thanks to the Coolmax technology. As far as the main fabrics are concerned, these pants are made with Polyester and Polyurethane, and they work together to offer you maximum compression and support so that your muscles are protected from fatigue.
These pants are very flexible and offer support to your hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and quads. Additionally, they are naturally antibacterial, meaning you won’t need to wash them after each use. They also boast a UPF rating of 50+.
Some may be surprised by the thicker nature of this fabric, but they do wick extremely well so that you stay cool. With these pants, they require special care when it comes to washing. However, provided you take care of them when washing, they will be with you for a long time offering stability and support on your runs.
6. Baleaf Thermal Fleece
Deep, zippered pockets
Pants run long
This fleece-lined pant is perfect for mid-winter runs. If you are looking for a sturdy pant that will keep you warm even when the temperatures reach below freezing than the Baleaf Women’s Running Thermal Fleece Pant is right for you.Read more
While there isn’t a lot of variation in the color options here, we appreciate the few options. You can choose from black on black, black with pink accents, or black with purple accents. These pants have a drawstring at the bottom of each leg, making it possible to wear them as either a straight-legged pant or synched around your ankle. Shorter women have found that these pants run long, however they have been able to solve this problem by wearing them synched. The synched style keeps the pants out of the way and makes them warmer. Furthermore, a drawstring at the waist allows for even greater precision in fit.
These pants are made of a 100% polyester blend, which allows for more effective moisture-wicking than cotton blends.
These pants have zipped pockets, which not only give you somewhere to put your things but also keep them secure so you don’t have to worry about losing them. The pockets on these pants are also very deep, which is uncommon for women’s pants.
The inside of the pants is lined with light and soft fleece layer that keeps heat in and moisture out. Some customers have reported issues in quality, however, most are very satisfied with this purchase.
7. CompressionZ Men's Compression Pants
Material is quality and not see through
Won't slip - they stay stable
Compression pant that doesn't feel too tight
Not the cheapest
We will let you in on a little secret; the CompressionZ Men's Compression Pants are definitely one of our favorites on the list. As shown before, this company provides supreme quality for the avid female runner but does the same for men who love to hit the pavement running. Let's find out what makes these pants so special.Read more
These pants offer fantastic movement capabilities, even though they are highly compressive, as the fabric is a four-way stretch technology. Hit those runs in confidence in these pants that come in various colors and sizes.
These pants are made from 85% Nylon and 15% Spandex. The fabric is very flexible and stretches four-ways.
These pants can be versatile, as the manufacturers say that they can be used as a base layer beneath pants like jeans. Along with this, they are also very durable and will retain their shape when washed correctly. With quality compression like these, your blood circulation is increased, and so is your recovery time from harder runs. While they are compressive, they are not too tight, as they are stretchy. As long as you are in the correct size for a good fit, you will feel great in these pants, and not to mention, you will be looking like a pro while running those miles.
The materials of these pants are naturally moisture-wicking and will keep you feeling cool and comfortable throughout your run. They are both highly absorbent and quick drying.
8. Nike Epic Lux Flash
Front and back pocket
Legs run long
The Epic Lux Flash is a great choice for people who like to run when the sun isn't out. They are highly reflective and flexible. While finding the right size or your favorite color or design won't be difficult, the length of these pants is ideal for tall people.Read more
These running tights from Nike bring a lot of style to this list. They are available in many different colors and designs. The design on the pant is usually reflective, making them not only stylish but functional. They are available in sizes Extra Small to Extra Large, fitting sizes 2-16. The length is great for tall people, but they may run a couple of inches too long for shorties.
Made from 78% Nylon and 22% Spandex, these pants are incredibly soft to the touch! On top of that, they feature four-way stretch, allowing you to stretch, move, and flex in any position. Not only for running, but these pants are also a great choice for yoga or the gym.
The best and most prominent feature of these pants is their reflectivity. If you prefer to run in the early morning or late at night when there isn’t much natural light, these are perfect. The design of each style is reflective and loud. They are also constructed with flatlock seams, to help avoid chaffing. There is an inner drawstring for a great fit. Additionally, there is a small key pocket in the front band of the pants, and a large zippered pocket on the back band.
The Dri-Fit body and the materials used in these pants make them naturally moisture-wicking and quick drying. With such a great combination of features, you don’t need to worry about overheating with these pants.
9. Asics Aptitude 2
Lightweight and cool
Fit runs large
The Asics Men’s Aptitude 2 Pant are tight while remaining just shy of being running leggings. The soft material allows for more maneuverability than a tight pair of leggings would, but still stay snug to the body, which helps avoid uncomfortable chafing.Read more
These pants have a casual look and there’s not much to brag about in terms of style. They are only available in black. The legs on the pants run long, so it is recommended that anyone under 5’10’ buy the size small. The proportions of the thighs to the calf in these Asics also fit some men strangely, with too much fabric in the crouch and not enough around the ankle. Larger men report a great fit, but if you’re a smaller person these probably aren’t the pants for you. The fit itself has a tapered leg and a cuff around the ankle.
The polyester material these pants are made of is lightweight, but warm enough to be comfortable in temperatures as low as 30 degrees. These are a perfect fall pant, but they won’t keep you warm on winter runs.
The Asics Men’s Aptitude 2 Pant is a great first running pant, as it is not too tight or too loose. Handy pockets add to this the utility of this pant, which is perfect for fall and spring runs.
Zippers at the bottom of each leg add to the versatility of this pant by allowing more airflow if needed.
10. Adidas Performance Sequencials
Will keep you warm without overheating
Soft and comfortable
Only available in black
Designed for running in cold weather, the Adidas Performance Sequencials Tights are warm, comfortable, and flexible. They have a looser fit than most tights and have ankle zippers for easy on and off.Read more
These are a nice in-between option of a track pant and compression tights. They are slightly fitted but loose in the calf area. They are very comfortable. Along the elastic waist, there is a drawcord closure that allows you to get the perfect fit. Currently, they are only available in black.
These running pants are meant to keep you warm. They are made from 100% Polyester and have Climaheat insulation. This insulation is inspired by fur. It traps heat easily and also dries quickly. Reviewers like the fleece-like material that lines the inside of the pants and rave about their warmth.
For all-around flexibility, these pants are made with Formotion technology. The flatlock seams help to prevent chafing. For ease of taking the pants on and off, there are zippers at the ankles. These are also great for putting on high socks after you’re already dressed. Additionally, there is one small zippered pocket.
The overall fabrics provide decent breathability. It might look a little strange, but if you really needed a little extra ventilation, you could unzip the ankles. These are made for cold weather but won’t make you sweat as you heat up in them.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The style of a running pant can make a difference in the way your legs move and the confidence that you feel while running. Some people prefer running tights, while others prefer a looser fit. As long as the pant isn't too loose around your ankles and feet, you should wear whichever is more comfortable for you. If the pant is too loose around your feet, it could trip you while you are exercising. If you are training to improve your speed or break a personal record, a loose-fitting pant may slow you down. However, if you're just running for the health benefits or simply for joy, a loose-fitting pant is actually quite comfortable.
Aside from the shape and draping of a pant, the style also includes the color selections and designs that are offered. Feeling confident in your running gear has proven to increase results. Many running pants are offered in multiple colors, allowing you to create an exercise outfit that shows your personal style. Additionally, we noted in this section how the pants generally fit. It's always good to know ahead of time if you should size up or down, depending on the manufacturer.
The material a running pant is made from can tell you a lot about how this pant is going to perform. Although they can be very comfortable, cotton pants are not ideal for running since cotton does not dry quickly. This means if you get wet, either from rain or sweat, while clocking miles in cotton pants you will stay wet until the end of your run. This is both uncomfortable and dangerous to your health.
Synthetic materials are the best for wicking moisture away from the body as you run. These materials are often also quick drying and treated so that they repel moisture. This is all very helpful for optimizing your performance.
Polyester is the most common material that pants for running are made from. This synthetic fabric is very adaptable and is used to create both thick and thin materials. This means that you must look closely at the product specs to truly understand how a certain polyester pant will perform. Still, pants made from this material generally tend to be comfortable and utilitarian.
If you see “fleece” in the name or product description of a running pant, you can be certain that this is a cold-weather pant Most fleece pants are typically lined with a polyester-based cloth, for the same reasons outlined above.
Natural fibers are more difficult to work with and to make useful in athletic gear. Although you may love cotton for your work shirts, you are better off looking for pants for running made from polyester or other synthetic cloth.
Although running pants for running can’t accommodate much in their pockets, these pockets can be crucial for carrying items such as your wallet, keys, phone, or iPod. It is, of course, possible to also put these things in a backpack, however, when heading out on a short run not carrying any extra, cumbersome gear can greatly improve the experience. Pockets, especially ones that zip shut, allow you to bring the little things without carrying more than you need. Think about what you like to have with you when you run, and whether or not pockets are integral to you being able to comfortably bring these things along. If they are, make sure to double-check that the pants you are purchasing definitely have them, since its always a bummer to have to return something just because you didn’t read the fine print.
We also paid attention to if the pants were in any way reflective. If you run in the early morning, or late evening, or even at night time, it can be difficult for oncoming traffic, be it cars or other runners, to see you. A reflective logo, design, or stitching can be a lifesaver.
A final way to reduce overheating while pants for running are ventilation zippers that can be opened as you begin to become too hot. Many of the pants on this list feature zippers at the bottom of the pant legs that when opened create more airflow in the pants. This is a great option because of the versatility it offers – pants with ventilation zippers can go from being cool weather perfect to ideal in hot weather in a matter of seconds. Also, as mentioned earlier, the materials of the pants can make a big difference in the breathability. Having a light, breathable, and quick-drying material will keep you cooler and more comfortable on every run.
Even if you don’t sweat a lot, having a pair of pants for running that will keep you cool when the temperature starts to go up is crucial. Over-heating in the middle of a run has tremendously negative effects on performance. It is also quite simply uncomfortable. Make sure your pants regulate temperature by looking for the features listed above. The perfect pant for keeping you cool will have all of these qualities, however for most of us, one or two of these features will do the job.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Cold weather pants for running are by far the most specialized. These pants will often have two layers of fabric, with an outer layer designed to keep the cold, wind, and moisture out, and an inner layer designed to keep your body heat in. If you plan on running outside in below-freezing temperatures, then a pair of these warm pants for running a must-have.
Pants designed for more mild temperatures should not be as thin as those that are ideal for summer, however, ventilation zippers are still a handy feature when running in the spring and fall. In chilly but not freezing weather it can be easy to heat up quickly, and it is very important that you don’t end up sweating too much. Excess sweat can cause your clothes to get wet, which is not just uncomfortable but also dangerous while you run, especially if the temperature is somewhat chilly.
Other Factors to Consider
If you are someone who sweats profusely when hot, how hot your pants for running will make you and how well they wick moisture needs to be something you consider while searching for the product that is right for you. Some pants have a tendency to stay wet when they become wet, while others will dry in a matter of seconds. Dry clothes are not just a matter of comfort, but also help keep you safe as you run since exercises in wet clothes increases your chances of catching a cold and can even lead to a larger problem like pneumonia. Look in depth not just at how well the producer of a product says it wicks moisture, but also at the customer reviews. It is here that you are most likely to get the information you are after, since customers, especially those who had a bad experience, are more likely, to be honest.
Another way your pants can help regulate your temperature when it gets too hot is light, breathable fabric. Heavy fabrics will weigh you down as you run, and cause you to overheat more quickly due to your overexertion from carrying extra, bulky weight. These fabrics then create a vicious cycle as the additional heat becomes trapped inside the pants. Look for pants with materials the allows for some airflow. These pants tend to be made of lighter weight material, which reduces the effort that you must put in, while also regulating your temperature in real-time.
When thinking about what you should be looking for in pair of pants for running, a great place to start is what temperatures you will be utilizing these pants in. Another way to say this is what seasons you plan to run during. Framing this parameter with temperature as opposed to the season is more useful though since winter in Florida looks very different than it does in New England.
If you are looking for a pant that you can use in the summer as well as the fall and spring, pay close attention to how well these pants will work to stop you from getting too hot. Good ventilation is integral to this and can be found in two places. The first is the material. Lighter and thinner materials will ventilate more easily than thicker ones. The second place to find good ventilation is via handy features such as zippers at the bottom of the pant leg. These zippers can be undone to help increase airflow, keeping you cooler on the go.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why spend more on a pair of running pants?
Although there are plenty of inexpensive pants for running on the market, there are reasons to spend a bit more. First and foremost is that the price of a product is typically a reflection of its quality. More expensive pants for running may withstand general wear and tear better. They may also be made of superior material that is better able to regulate body temperature and moisture as you run.
Another reason to spend more is that more expensive pants often look and fit better. The price point of a product is a reflection of the money put into it, so it is likely that the design and fit on an expensive pant will be more thoroughly thought out than that of a cheap pant. Finally, if you are looking for a specific feature, spending a bit more can ensure that you get exactly what you are looking for. The best example of this is cold weather pants, which cost more across the board. Even if you are on a tight budget, if this is the type of pant you need then you are better off putting the money into something that will keep you warm than spending the winter freezing in a cheaper pant.
q: What are the benefits of choosing running tights?
Many runners love a good pair of running tights, because of the compression that they offer. The compression means that your muscles are supported, blood circulation is increased, and that you will have a decrease in the time it takes to recover. Furthermore, a huge benefit of running tights is the fact that they remain close to your body and offer you a full range of motion. You may think that they would be colder in the winter months, but running tights range in a variety of thicknesses. So if you are interested in a pair for winter you can opt for a pair of heavier running tights.
q: Is there a style or fit that works best for running?
As the list of products above demonstrates, there are consistencies in the fit of most pants for running. While running, it is important to not be wearing anything that flaps or gets in the way. Most pants for running are designed to minimize extra material with a slim fit that contours the body without restricting any movement. There are two primary styles of pants for running. The first is the tapered leg style. This fit starts wider up top and gets skinnier as they move down the body, toward the ankle. These pants frequently have a cuff at the ankle that secures the slim fit in place. The other style is the straight leg running pant. This style of running pant is typically a bit looser than tapered pants, but are never baggy. A straight-legged fit works better for winter pants for running, which you may want to layer with long johns in the bitter cold.
q: What are the most important extra features on running pants?
Often taken for granted, a drawstring on the waistband is the most important feature that a pair of running pants can have. This is because runners do not use belts and a drawstring is the easiest way to ensure that your pants won’t fall down as you move. There is nothing worse for morale during a run than having to constantly tug your pants back up. Make sure the pants you choose have this feature before buying them.
Pockets are another integral feature that pants for running can have. Most runners want to be able to minimize what they bring with them while they are working out, but there are a few things, such as keys and a device for listening to music or tracking mileage, that always need to come along. Pockets, especially ones that zipper shut, are a great way to bring these things with you, and something else that you should look for when searching for the perfect running pant.
Another great feature that some pants for running have are reflectors on the legs that make you more visible to a passerby in the evening or at night. Although not an integral feature for most runners, if you like to clock mileage after dark this is definitely something you should look for. Being able to be seen by a passing biker or vehicle may make all the difference in keeping you safe.
q: What is the best material for running pants?
There are a ton of selections to choose when it comes to running pants, and many come in various materials. Surprisingly, cotton is not the best choice to go for when you are choosing your pants — at least not 100 percent cotton, that is. So what is the best fabric to choose? For starters, you will want to opt for a pair of pants that have some synthetic materials in them, as pure cotton doesn’t do a good job of wicking moisture. Whereas materials like spandex and polyester can help move sweat away from your body, so you stay dry.
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