Active Clothing

Runners and Coaches Say These Are the 12 Very Best Running Leggings That’ll Go the Distance

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There's no feeling quite like preparing for a run: Adrenaline is kicking in, your heart is pumping, and you're overcome by euphoria. All is good until you find yourself in sweat-drenched, sagging running apparel. Just like a supportive sports bra and a comfortable pair of running shoes, running leggings are a worthy investment and having a good pair (by good, we mean moisture-wicking, compressive-yet-stretchy, and breathable leggings) can prevent your workout from turning sour.

When looking for leggings, runners say that the best pairs are breathable, made of moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester and nylon, and have a little bit of stretch. Whether you're training for your fifth marathon or are a running novice, there is a pair out there that'll meet every budget, running need, and style preference.

Best running leggings, at a glance:

We tapped three runners, and they gave us their recommendations on the best leggings for running. Here are 12 pairs that will have you ready to hit the pavement.

The best leggings to rack up your miles

Best Overall

Lululemon Align High-Rise Pant — $128.00

Despite being named as a yoga legging, Lululemon’s Align leggings are comfortable, form-fitting, and flexible, making them ideal for running, says Kate Cherichello, a runner based in New York. Made of a nylon, lycra, and elastane blend, the Align leggings are buttery soft, moisture-wicking, and move with you during each stride. Plus, it comes with a side pocket, ideal for storing keys or your phone.

Sizes available: 0-20

Colors and patterns available: 16

Pros:

  • Buttery soft
  • Has pockets
  • Wicks away moisture

Cons:

  • Expensive

 

 

Best Budget

running leggings
Colorfulkoala High-Waisted Leggings — $25.00

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly buy, consider Colofulkoala’s high-waisted leggings. For just $25, you can score these multi-use legging that are “not too thin and not too thick,” says Cherichello, who has worn the leggings for runs, walks, and other fitness activities. One caveat to note is that they’re not as breathable as other options, but the polyester and spandex blend give the leggings its stretchiness.

Sizes available: XS-XL

Colors and patterns available: 42

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Has pockets
  • Stretchy

Cons:

  • Not as breathable

Best Durable

running leggings
Fabletics Powerhold High-Waist Leggings — $70.00

Wear and tear is a real thing, especially if you’re running daily. For a pair that holds up, runners recommend Fabletics PowerHold leggings, which are constructed out of polyester and elastane. The blend is chafe-resistant and offers stretch and UPF protection. “I love that the material is smooth and flattering, and they stay in place while you run,” says Stephanie Thomas, a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise.

Sizes available: XXS-4XL

Colors and patterns available: 15

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Compressive
  • Size inclusive

Cons:

  • May run small for some customers

Best Adjustable

best running leggings
Nike Epic Fast Mid-Rise Pocket Running Leggings — $62.00

What’s better than a good pair of leggings? Tailored ones! And Thomas recommends Nike’s Epic Fast leggings. “The waistband has a drawcord you can tighten to allow for an even better fit,” she says. The mesh paneling allows for ventilation and the stretchy polyester blend moves with you. What’s more, it has a few pockets, including a zippered pocket in the back of the legging for storing keys and other small essentials.

Sizes available: XS-2XL

Colors and patterns available: 2

Pros:

  • Has drawcord for adjustability and pockets
  • Breathable
  • Made of recycled fibers

Cons:

  • Waistband may be too restricting for some

 

Best Comfort

best running leggings
Athleta Ultra High Rise Elation Tight — $89.00

Athleta’s Elation tight feels just like second skin. The nylon and elastane blend offers a lightweight feel and wicks away moisture to keep you dry even during the most intense runs. The fabric doesn’t pinch the skin, so you can rest assured knowing you’ll be exercising in comfort. Even more, the leggings keep you protected from the sun’s rays thanks to the UPF 50+ protection. We love that it’s available in three heights-regular, tall, and petite-and 9 sizes.

Sizes available: XXS-3XL

Colors and patterns available: 2

Pros:

  • Moisture-wicking
  • Offers UPF 50+ protection
  • Different lengths offered

Cons:

  • Expensive

Best Seamless

best running leggings
Gymshark Vital Seamless 2.0 Leggings — $54.00

Fashionable yet high-performing, Gymshark’s Vital leggings are a must-wear for any run. They feature a seamless design (goodbye, cameltoe) and a high-waisted fit. Runners like the compressive nylon and elastane blend, which is engineered to hold you in each time you hit the pavement. The leggings come in 14 classic and electric color ways, from bright orange to brown marl.

Sizes available: XS-2XL

Colors and patterns available: 2

Pros:

  • Seamless
  • Breathable
  • Moisture-wicking

Cons:

  • May slide down

Best Value

best running leggings
Old Navy High-Waisted PowerSoft 7/8 Leggings — $20.00

Old Navy is a tried-and-true brand, and its athletic wear collection is all the rave, especially its PowerSoft leggings. They’re flattering, compressive, and fit high-waisted, making them the best leggings for the value. “They are nice and fitted with breathable fabric,” says Jen Steele, a certified running coach.

Sizes available: XS-4XL

Colors and patterns available: 8

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Compressive
  • Different lengths offered

Cons:

  • Front seam

Best for Marathon Training

best running leggings
Lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Tight — $128.00

Runners, including Steele, enjoy training in the Fast and Free tight for marathon training. “These have a super comfortable waistband and all the pockets, so you can carry all the gear you need on long runs,” she says. In total, there are seven pockets: five pockets on the waist, perfect for gel packs, and two side pockets for a phone. Made of a nylon and elastane mix, the leggings are stretchy, breathable, and comfortable. Need us to say more?

Sizes available: 0-20

Colors and patterns available: 11

Pros:

  • Has seven pockets
  • Breathable
  • Moisture-wicking

Cons:

  • Expensive

Best Sun Protection

best running leggings
Prana Electa Legging II — $45.00

Stay protected from the sun with Prana’s Electa Legging II. The blend of recycled nylon and elastane give this pair its four-way stretch, and it has UPF 50+ to stay protected against environmental elements like the sun’s UV rays. Use the two side pockets to store your phone, keys, or credit cards. All in all, “the fabric of these leggings is lightweight, moisture-wicking, stretchy, and supportive,” explains Thomas. “It doesn’t get more comfortable than this!”

Sizes available: XS-XL

Colors and patterns available: 7

Pros:

  • UPF 50+
  • Made of recycled fibers
  • Has side pockets

Cons:

  • Not as many sizes offered

Best for Warmer Weather

best running leggings
Brooks Method 7/8 Tight — $88.00

For warmer weather, Steele recommends Brooks Method Tight. They have small breathable holes—a design and functional element—for airing things out when temps get toasty. Additional perks? It has four built-in pockets for all of your essentials. “These are flattering, breathable, lightweight tight that is super moisture-wicking,” Steele says.

Sizes available: XS-2XL

Colors and patterns available: 8

Pros:

  • Quick drying
  • Has four pockets
  • Compressive

Cons:

  • Requires machine wash before wear

Best for Colder Weather

best running leggings
Oiselle Bad Weather Flyout Tights — $142.00

Freezing rain or snow, you don’t have to sacrifice working out just because the weather is bad, and this Oiselle pair will get you through the autumnal and wintry temperatures. It’s made of nylon, polyester, and spandex, which simultaneously repels wind and keeps you warm and dry. “These are my go-to recommendation for athletes that live in cold weather—they are water resistant and lined so good for cold, wet, gross winter weather,” says Steele.

Sizes available: 2-12

Colors and patterns available: 2

Pros:

  • Windproof and water-resistant fabric
  • Has side zippered pockets
  • Compressive

Cons:

  • Expensive

Best for Outdoor Runs

best running leggings
Under Armour Mileage Run Leggings — $50.00

Under Armour’s Mileage Run leggings will help you take your running outdoors. It’s engineered with a featherweight fabric that doesn’t weigh you down, and the polyester and elastane keep things warm and stretchy. Who doesn’t love storage? This one comes with a right, drop-in pocket, ideal for keys or a phone.

Sizes available: XS-XL

Colors and patterns available: 4

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Quick drying
  • Has drop-in pocket

Cons:

  • Not as many sizes offered

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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