Searching for the best leggings can feel like a mission in itself – here are my thoughts on what makes a winning pair.
In the past I have bought specific leggings for each type of exercise that I do: one pair for running, another for yoga, and something else for weight training. This is an expensive and unnecessary way to take up space in your wardrobe – so I think I’ve found a pair that ticks all of the boxes!
Over the years, through lots of trial and error, I have learnt the most important things to look for when purchasing leggings for exercise:
1. High rise: A legging with a high rise fit means you are held in (you know what I mean!), and if you get the right ones, they are much less likely to fall down during more high impact exercise such as running.
2. Pockets: Personally, I’m a fan of pockets on the sides of your legs. You can fit so much in these (phones, keys, bank cards), plus with the pocket being on your leg, rather than the back of your leggings waistband, the additional weight of the contents doesn’t cause your leggings to slip down when walking or running.
3. Soft material: For me, this is less about the functionality of the leggings, but honestly it makes such a difference to have leggings that feel great against your skin.
4. Right fit: The biggest problem area for me is the hips and inner leg seam area: the amount of leggings that I’ve bought which have excess material around the crotch area, which means you end up with a saggy bum!
5. Classic, over “fashion“: This again really is personal preference, but I’ve bought leggings that I thought were cool because they were something new, something different. For example, reversible leggings, or leggings with mesh panelling. If I’m going to spend money on leggings, I want it to be something that will last, and that I wont tire of.
6. Not too thick, not too thin: I went through a phase of wanting really thick leggings, I think after seeing more than I had bargained for in a gym class (not all leggings are “squat-proof”!), but if they are too thick then movement can be restricted.
Lululemon: There is a reason why Lululemon is as popular as it is! For me, these leggings are everything I am looking for. Yes, they are expensive, but I’ve had pairs that have lasted over 5 years including being used once or twice a week, every week.
If you’ve ever been into a Lululemon store you will know that there are so many types of leggings it can be a bit intimidating, but my favourites are the All the Right Places High Rise Pant. They have a secure, high rise waist band, great pockets, just the right stretchy fit, and they wash and last really well.
I use these for running, yoga and gym classes and I even think they look smart enough for weekend brunch trips!
While I really rate these particular leggings, I have also bought leggings from Lululemon in the past which weren’t as good, so I think it really is worth finding out which particular style works for you.
Lululemon All the Right Places High Rise Pant
While the Lululemon pants above would be my one pick if I had to only wear one pair of leggings for the rest of my life, there are other pants which I really like, including:
- Sweaty Betty: I think their legging selection has really improved over the last few years. I’ve owned pairs in the past which haven’t lasted well, or are too thin and don’t offer much support. A recent purchase that I am enjoying is the Power Gym Leggings, which have many of the same features as the Lululemon above.
- Lorna Jane: These were a fairly recent find for me in the UK, and while I dont reach for them as often as my Lululemon pair, they are just so soft! I’m loving them for yoga and my daily “Covid lockdown” walks.
Hopefully my thoughts on fitness leggings can help save you some time in your quest to find your perfect pair! Let me know below if you have any other suggestions of pairs that I should try?