Black leggings have been elevated to a closet staple over the past decade. In my years as an editor, I have tested hundreds of different leggings, in a variety of settings from Pilates to training with Hollywood stuntmen to lounging on my couch and irresponsibly texting exes. And I have found that Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Workout Leggings ($100) are the best black leggings. Full stop. They are the Chris-Pine-buying-books of leggings. The sartorial equivalent of the Lady Gaga "HAAAA AH AH AHHHH" moment when she sings Shallow. They are perfection. But of course, there are many other black leggings that are deserving of a Lady Gaga chorus moment, too—and we're here to share those with you, too (just keep scrolling).
The best black leggings, period.
One of the most important qualities in any legging is that they are not see-through. They could be the softest, comfiest leggings ever, but if they are sheer, then that’s a no from me. These leggings pass the squat test—my butt crack does not show through when I bend over or squat down. (Yes, butt crack and not underwear, because wearing underwear with leggings makes zero sense to me.) The fabric itself is soft and lightweight, and it manages to be very stretchy while retaining its shape.
These leggings are also incredibly comfortable. When you slip into them they conform to your body like they’re giving you a hug. You know the feeling when you leave a hot yoga class, when the first blast of cool air hits you? It’s refreshing for a second until the chill on your legs makes you acutely aware of how soggy and damp your leggings are? Well, these leggings don’t get that feeling, and I am a person who sweats a lot. Another leg up they have on the competition: They don’t get covered in lint and/or dog hair 30 seconds after I put them on. Leggings that attract dog hair make me sad.
The fit is where they really shine. The rise features a wide band that doesn’t dig in or roll down, regardless of the activity that I’m doing, and it hits right above my belly button. I’m 5’3″ and these are the perfect length, hitting right above my ankle. If you’re taller, the brand also makes a full length as well. There’s also some strategically placed seaming and “bum-sculpting technology,” which sounds like it’s just marketing speech but isn’t—out of every pair of leggings I have, my booty looks the best in these ones. They’re the leggings you’d wear when you knew you were going to run into your crush, even if it meant you had to scrounge up some quarters and do an extra load of laundry to get them clean. It is not hyperbole to say that the way my butt looks in these leggings was instrumental in seducing a hot Australian man last year when I was in Brisbane. With great power comes great responsibility.
Best thick black leggings
Remember what I said about leggings being see-through? You don’t have to worry about that with these. Designed by Venus Williams, who is ostensibly always on the court, they’re thick enough to block out anything unsightly, whether that’s while playing tennis, pickleball, or another court-sport.
Not only are these leggings thick, they’re also super sculpting, sucking you in and smoothing you out in the best way possible. They’re plenty thick enough to wear on their own, keeping you covered and feeling like a million bucks.
Want thick leggings as in, warm? Add the Frary tight to your cart. Their brushed with a dreamy plush lining that will keep you roasty toasy on winter hikes, snowy strolls, and other cold-weather activities (including bundling up under blankets to stream your favorite show.)
Softest black leggings
I dare you to find a softer legging than Beyond Yoga’s cloud-like leggings. Like, if satin had a baby with a chinchilla, they would be these leggings. Buyers beware—you won’t want to take them off.
What do these leggings feel like? Hint: it’s in the name—a cloud. Light and breathable, slip them on for your next Netflix sesh or yoga flow—they can do both. The crossover waist will stay put whatever you do.
Best for working out
Leggings that make you feel like a graceful gazelle, leaping and bounding across the Serengeti? These will do that. Whether you’re out for a 1-mile jog or are pounding the pavement, these running leggings keep you comfy stride after stride. And don’t even worry about them falling down—the high-waist stays right where it belongs.
Lightweight, move-with-you fit, pockets—what more could you want? These black leggings feel like a second skin in the best way possible, sculpting and stretching while you sprint. And they’re made from recycled plastics, so extra points to Gryffindor for sustainability.
If shavasana was a legging, these would be it. The Prana Electa is ridiculously soft yet still durable enough to flow with you in the studio. They’re also designed with sun protection built in, so if you’re practice takes you outside, you won’t “feel the burn.”
Carbon38’s compressive leggings are crafted to withstand your sweatiest, most exhausting HIIT workouts and training sessions. Between the sculpting, sustainable fabric, thick waistband, and sweat-wicking materials, meet your new fave workout buddy.
Best black maternity leggings
Give your belly and baby the best with these organic cotton leggings from Pact. Made in a Fair Trade factory, they’re crafted from 100 percent organic cotton that feels so good, you’ll never put on “hard pants” again. And for $40? Add ’em to your cart, N O W.
Bye bye, chafing. Hello, next-level comfort. These seamless leggings are stretchy, seamless, and sustainable, made from recycled fishing nets (but you would never know it.) Expect a supportive belly band, extra-flexible feel, and next-to-nothing lightness.
True to their name, these leggings can be worn at all stages of your motherhood cycle. The super stretch material cradles your body (and belly) in all the right places without stretching out too much. Rolled up or down, prepare to meet your new favorite pair of pants.
You don’t have to drain your wallet on expensive maternity clothing. Motherhood makes maternity staples that are so good, like these flexy, fun leggings. They’re made with the brands “secret belly” band that can be folded up or down depending on what you want or need. And for $18, you might as well get two or three pairs.
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