Active Clothing

12 of the Best Compression Leggings That Won’t Flatten Your Butt

Allie Flinn

Photo: Getty/Carol Yepes
When I'm trying on leggings, my brain pulls a Tina Belcher and immediately goes to "butts" because A) do they pass the squat test? and B) how does my butt look? While I prefer leggings with medium-to-high compression for my HIIT workouts because they feel very secure, I've found that many of them smoosh and flatten my butt.

Ahem: Excuse me, I do not do deadlifts and squats multiple times a week to have my backside disrespected like that. Compression leggings also tout a variety of benefits; they purportedly can help increase blood flow to your muscles and reduce lactic acid buildup (aka what makes you sore after a workout). Here are 12 pairs of the best compression leggings that make your butt look good.

1. Koral Drive High Rise Blackout Legging, $95

Koral Blackout Compression Leggings
Photo: Koral

There are times when I want to inject a little sexiness into my activewear look—like if my crush invites me to do a beach workout or if I'm promenading for a husband while walking my dog—and Koral always has what I need. Their new compression leggings are part of their first sustainable collection. The slippery-smooth fabric is quite compressive without being uncomfortable, and these leggings, of course, make my butt look really good.

Shop Now: Koral Drive High Rise Blackout Legging, $95

2. Alala Heroine Tight, $110

Alala compression leggings
Photo: Alala

These leggings won me over the moment I slipped them on because they feel like they hold everything in place without being restrictive. The fabric is 100 percent recycled Italian compression fabric that, by some miracle, doesn't pill.

Shop Now: Alala Heroine Tight, $110

3. Carbon38 High Rise 7/8 Legging With Pockets in Cloud Compression, $95

Carbon38 compression leggings
Photo: Carbon38

Leggings with pockets > dresses with pockets.

Shop Now: Carbon38 High Rise 7/8 Legging With Pockets in Cloud Compression, $95

4. Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging, $68

Girlfriend Collective compression leggings
Photo: Shopbop

Girlfriend Collective launched in 2016 by giving away pairs of their ethical, sustainable leggings via Facebook ads (you just paid the cost of shipping). 2021 Allie would never, but I was less jaded in 2016 so I happily gave the brand my credit card info. And I'm glad that I did because when my leggings arrived I was impressed by the quality, the compression, and the fact that the waistband didn't roll down. Since then they've expanded beyond leggings, but these ones will always be a classic and now they come in a rainbow of colors.

Shop Now: Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging, $68

5. Alo Airtech Leggings, $98

Alo compression leggings
Photo: Alo

I typically don't reach for compression leggings when I practice yoga, because something about the slick fabric and tight waist just doesn't feel right to me when I'm getting into crow's pose or what have you. However, these are the exception because the thick, breathable fabric is supportive but very flexible.

Shop Now: Alo Airtech Leggings, $98

6. Koral Black and Hale Pista Infinity High Rise Leggings, $74

Koral shiny compression leggings
Photo: Koral

These lightly-compressive leggings were designed for high-impact activities, like HIIT or throwing your phone across the room after sending a risky text. Also, they're shiny and they have pockets.

Shop Now: Koral Black and Hale Pista Infinity High Rise Leggings, $74

7. Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Workout Leggings, $100

Sweaty Betty compression leggings
Photo: Sweaty Betty

I wrote a love letter to these leggings last year in which I said they are the "Chris Pine buying books of leggings," and I'm not going to try to top that description now.

Shop Now: Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Workout Leggings, $100

8. Good American Active Essential Ribbed Legging, $78

Good American compression leggings
Photo: Good American

These leggings offer a medium amount of compression and come in one of my favorite textures: ribbed. (There's a condom joke there somewhere.)

Shop Now: Good American Active Essential Ribbed Legging, $78

9. Port De Bras Arrow Legging, $175

Port De Bras compression leggings
Photo: Shopbop

These leggings were designed for running with high compression and a comfortable, wide waistband that you don't have to hike up every few minutes. Plus, just look at them—they're just so pretty.

Shop Now: Port De Bras Arrow Legging, $175

10. Twenty Montreal Flames 3D Activewear High Waist Active Legging, $135

Twenty Montreal compression leggings
Photo: Carbon38

My trust issues likely started in middle school when my favorite pajamas, a pair of black velour bottoms that were covered in orange and yellow flames, went missing and my mom told me they "got lost," but I am 99 percent sure she just hated them and threw them away. So when I saw these leggings, embossed with subtle flames and with pockets, they had to be mine.

Shop Now: Twenty Montreal Flames 3D Activewear High Waist Active Legging, $135

11. Gymshark Energy + Seamless Leggings, $55

Gymshark compression
Photo: Gymshark

Gymshark is known for their look at that booty leggings, and this allover compression style lives up to expectations.

Shop Now: Gymshark Energy + Seamless Leggings, $55

12. 2XU Women's Refresh Recovery Compression, $82

2XU compression tights
Photo: Amazon

I prefer these for recovery, not training because the lightweight material can get a little see-through. If you're looking for a pair of ultra-high compression leggings these are one of your best bets.

Shop Now: 2XU Women's Refresh Recovery Compression, $82

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