Workout clothes are akin to sushi in my mind: I’m extremely wary of a deal or discount. And so, I often admittedly question just how good a pair of inexpensive workout leggings that cost under $50 could possibly be. Now, before you start rolling your eyes at my choice to continually spend more on workout leggings than many pay for actual real-life everyday wears, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you’ve never been in a heated yoga class, sweating it out 110-degrees, trying to balance on a single toe while your top rides up and bottoms slip down.
The thing is, I tend to go to so many sweaty hot yoga classes these days that I can’t possibly keep up with the laundry. So I’ve started buying more. And more. And more. All that money spent on leggings, though, has had me on the hunt for more affordable options that actually work. And guess what? I’ve found not one, but seven that have passed my test for performance wear. And spoiler: I’m pickier than most. From Danskin, Adidas, Target, and more, find my favorite workout leggings under $50…that are actually awesome, price tag aside.
These were actually my first legging loves back in the day before I turned to other trendier (… and pricier) options. But honestly, maybe I should have just stuck to the classics. The tights I’ve been wearing since sixth grade ballet are these babies from Danskin and they’ve (quite literally) never let me down.
I first discovered these 90 Degree by Reflex leggings when doing research for an article on the best leggings for hot yoga. And, if they are good enough for a hot room, it’s safe to say they can probably hold up anywhere. Plus, they have been majorly crowd-sourced, with more than 5,000 reviews on Amazon and a solid 4.5-star rating across the board. they come in dozens of colors for your every workout mood.
Straight from Target’s in-house workout line, these leggings definitely stand up against their competition. The waistband is perfectly snug without cutting off your circulation, and they won’t budge during even the most intense of workouts. Plus, my fear of the fabric being too thin was totally squashed once I tested out the workout-approved weight of this sleek style.
Urban Outfitter’s Out From Under leggings are a little bit thicker than the rest, but that’s not altogether unpleasant, considering we are entering a season that will definitely be bringing with it cooler temperatures. I’m also a sucker for an understated graphic accent that makes me feel as though I’m branching out when, in reality, I’m still sitting comfortably in my all-black everything comfort zone.
What I loved most about these New Balance selects was that they have that pro-athlete tight waistband that prevents as slippage, but it’s designed in a way that won’t cut uncomfortably at your hips. With a backed interior and hidden drawstring, I might even go out on a limb to say that these are the best of the bunch for staying put at your waist.
A sportswear OG, it’s refreshing that brands like Adidas still lend their activewear expertise to lower price points, clocking in a great selection of leggings under $50. One of my favorites of the moment, however, is the Aplhaskin Sport Tights. They boast mesh panels at each calf, which helps with breathability, but still looks which I love because my personal pet peeve is random sheer panels in my workout tights. Consider these the best of both worlds.
Coming from a non-sportswear focused brand, I was admittedly wary of ASOS’s take on performance wear, though I love everything else the brand offers. But to my surprise, I might have just found a new go-to if these leggings have anything to say for it. They’re made out of the most incredible activewear spandex which has given way to the Goldilocks of leggings: not uncomfortably heavy, but not so thin that you feel like you’re naked; a high rise that stays in place, but doesn’t act like a girdle; and compression that makes you feel slim and sleek while still allowing for the utmost of movement and stretch.
Here’s how to wash your leggings so they never, ever get saggy. Not a leggings person? Try this season’s brightest bike shorts trend, instead.
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