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Photo: We Wore What
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Cardio boxing is the it-girl workout of the moment. (Right, Gigi?) And with supermodels stepping into the ring, as well as boutique studios like Shadowbox and Rumble on the rise, it was only a matter of time before fight-club culture began to influence fitness fashion, too.

Last year, it was all about boxer braids. This year? Lace-up leggings have become a real contender for the coolest athleisure trend.

“The lace-up detail is something typically seen in ready-to-wear, so it gives the legging more functionality,” says  fitness-fashion maven (and founder of influential activewear boutique Bandier) Jennifer Bandier. “People love activewear they can wear throughout the day.” Katerina Patouhas, a spokesperson for Free People (where the brand’s tie-accented On Tour legging is a current bestseller), agrees: “Customers enjoy the style aspect of the leggings, as well as their practicality.”

“Lace-up leggings are a way to make our movement items both breathable and stylish.”

At Bandier, the recently launched We Wore What and Strut-This capsule collection featured not one, but two different takes on the trend—and it still flew off racks. “The [McGuire] lace-up legging has been one of our best sellers since the collection launched,” notes Bandier, adding that it sold out within 24 hours and quickly developed a waiting list in the hundreds.

While not all options are performance-driven (hello, Fenty Puma x Rihanna), the ones that are serve a dual purpose. “Lace-up leggings are a way to make our movement items both breathable and stylish,” explains Patouhas.

But does this trend have what it takes to go 12 rounds? She doesn’t hesitate to make the call: “I think lace-up leggings will be a style highlight for seasons to come.”

Here are 12 pairs that guarantee a knockout look.

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If you could use more room in your closet for new lace-ups, here are the five activewear items you need to get rid of ASAP—and an easy hack to help organize your leggings