Active Clothing

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

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.

Best compression leggings at a glance

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 the best pairs of the best compression leggings that make your butt look good.

Best compression leggings

Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging
Best plus-size: Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging — $78.00

Not only are these leggings recycled and recyclable, they’re designed for high-impact workouts. Supportive, stretchy, and squat-proof, these Girlfriend Collective leggings are just what your closet needs. They come in several colors and sizes XXS-6XL.

Sweaty Betty Power 7:8 Workout Leggings
Best colors: Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Workout Leggings — $100.00

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. They’re stretchy and sweat-wicking, and there’s a side pocket and back zip pocket. You can get them in solid colors as well as a number of fun prints if you feel like mixing up your black legging collection.

2XU Women's Refresh Recovery Compression
Best recovery: 2XU Women's Refresh Recovery Compression — $90.00

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. They’re made of a moisture-wicking fabric with graduated compression, and they have UPF 50+ sun protection.

Koral Lustrous Max Infinity High Rise Legging
Best with shine: Koral Lustrous Max Infinity High Rise Legging — $105.00

With high compression and a lustrous shine, these leggings will have you looking and feeling good during your next sweat session. The leggings are made with a quick-dry, LYCRA sport fibers to keep up with everything from running to the store to a HIIT class.

Under Armour HeatGear High Waisted Leggings
Best for warm weather: Under Armour HeatGear High Waisted Leggings — $32.00

Say goodbye to overly sweaty legs. These Under Armour leggings are made of a HearGear fabric that’s lightweight, stretchy, and super fast drying. There’s high compression and a high waistband to support you from waist to toe.

Spanx Look at Me Now Leggings
Best support: Spanx Look at Me Now Seamless Leggings — $38.00

You’ve worn Spanx under your outfits to smooth everything out, now get the same shaping effect in the form of leggings. They have compression, a contoured waistband for tummy control (while also keeping your butt looking perky), and seamless construction so you won’t have any chafing.

Athleta Ultimate Stash II 7:8 Tight
Best sustainable: Athleta Ultimate Stash II 7/8 Tight — $109.00

Sleek and supportive, these compression leggings have a waist band that will stay put no matter how much you move. The fabric is breathable, quick-drying, and sustainable, too — it’s made from recycled polyester sourced from consumer plastic bottles.

alo Airlift High Waist Leggings
Best for yoga: alo Airlift High Waist Leggings — $118.00

You won’t have to worry about constantly pulling up your leggings throughout the day; these alo leggings have a high waistband, and the Airlift fabric is both stretchy and sculpting. They’re available in several core and limited edition colors, so feel free to pick up a pair and a few spares.

CEP Compression Run Tights 3.0
Best for running: CEP Compression Run Tights 3.0 — $125.00

For runners, or anyone looking to help improve circulation in their legs, these CEP leggings have compression panels around the thighs and calf muscles to support your hardworking legs. There’s a wide waistband, key pocket on the back and small side pockets on each side, and reflective details so you can stay visible during low-light conditions.

CompressionZ High Waist Leggings
Best budget: CompressionZ High Waist Leggings — $28.00

These leggings have everything you love — compression, a super high waist, chafe-free stitching, moisture-wicking capability —at a super affordable price. And the fabric is non-see through, so you can bend and squat worry-free.

Good American The Icon Legging
Best matte: Good American The Icon Legging — $89.00

The Good American Icon leggings have a super soft, four-way stretch fabric that has matte compression to lift and support you in all the right places. They’re quick dry and have UV protection so you can wear them out all year-round.

lululemon Invigorate High-Rise Tight
Best for training: lululemon Invigorate High-Rise Tight — $128.00

These lululemon can handle the heat — they’re supportive, breathable, and have a super fast drying fabric so you can focus on your workout or day instead of your sweaty legs. There’s a hidden waistband pocket, side pockets, and a continuous drawcord so you can adjust your fit. You can get them in three different lengths (25″, 28″, and 31″)

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