The best gym leggings can be hard to find at the best of times but throw in the fact that there are 160,000,000 results on Google and it doesn't get any easier.
You see, we know you want leggings that won’t fall down mid sweat, that’ll hold you in without digging in, and that won’t give your neighbour a flash of your underwear in the middle of a perfect-form squat. There’s nothing worse than investing in a new pair of leggings only to find they fall short when put to the test.
Don't worry, we’ve done the hard work and put together the ultimate gym leggings guide – including putting a bunch of styles through the squat test.
Perhaps you love strength training, adore a HIIT workout at home, or would rather sell a kidney than miss your Saturday morning circuits class – finding leggings that work as hard as you do without breaking the bank, is of paramount importance.
4 Things to Always Check When Buying Gym Leggings:
1. Check that they're squat proof
Nobody needs see-through kit in their life. Save yourself the anxiety of a bum display and try the squat test before you buy (or decide to keep). It’s as simple as watching yourself move in the leggings.
You might feel silly in the moment, but smug when you’re sweating it out, totally confident that your leggings aren’t exposing anything they shouldn’t be. Which is worth its weight in gold.
2. Check that they stay up
Another key factor, when considering what gym leggings to invest in, is whether or not they’re going to support you through 50 minutes of strength training or your very sweaty HIIT session. Low waisted leggings may work for some, but for many, the added worry of baring your midriff is another unwelcome distraction when you’re trying to focus on remembering how to deadlift properly. Choosing the best high-waisted gym leggings may be a better option for you if you'd rather focus on your session than your midsection.
3. Make sure they're tight enough but not too tight
And finally, invest in gym leggings that actually fit you. In other words, make sure they’re not going to rip come lunge twelve or fall down on burpee four. It’s a fine balance, but one thing to bear in mind is that they will stretch with wear, so sometimes choosing a more snug fit pays off.
4. Check what they're designed for
It may seem like you’re killing two birds with one stone by buying running leggings for the gym but you’ll seriously regret it when your zipper is digging into your back as you’re trying desperately to maintain focus (and form) on flutter kicks. As a general rule of thumb, running leggings need reflective panels and zips for energy gels, whereas gym leggings don’t need any fancy add-ons.
See Also: Women’s Health Lab Approved Styles
As well as sharing our favourite styles, we carried out a rigorous leggings test at the Women’s Health Lab, putting 30 pairs from leading brands through their paces and have crowned winners in these categories:
Best gym leggings: Pocket Sport Plein Air Legging
Best affordable gym leggings: Mountain Warehouse Power Patterned High-Waisted Womens Leggings
Best gym leggings for outside: Montane Women's Ineo Lite Capri Pants
Best leggings with pockets: My Protein Women's Power Ultra Sports Leggings
You’ll spot these below thanks to the Women’s Health Lab Approved logo, but what did the test involve? Some 121 people helped us by working out in one pair of gym leggings, with each pair tested by at least four people. After wearing the leggings for three high-impact workouts, the panel then told us how they found their design, fit, comfort and performance.
Plus, we looked at their sweat-wicking claims by assessing how long they took to dry, as well as measuring their moisture absorption in the lab.
Lastly, we did some wash tests to check they wouldn’t shrink after going through the washing machine.
Scroll on for the gym leggings we've tested plus the leggings we'd recommend to friends.
Best Amazon Prime Day Legging Deals
Amazon Fashion has a *whole* lot of Prime Day deals from big name fitness brands, like Under Armour. This particular pair are a whopping 44% off, which is a savings we can absolutely get behind. They're also the #1 Best Seller in the "women's activewear trousers" category, so they're pretty popular with customers to say the least. Lightweight HeatGear fabric keeps you covered without feeling heavy or cumbersome. Snag these in your size before they go.
Behold: the #2 ranked item in the "women's activewear" category, with a whopping 41,000 five star reviews and counting. That is a lot of happy customers. So, why is everyone such a fan? The wide, high-rise waistband provides tummy support, and they're soft and moisture-wicking. People love the hidden pocket, too.
New Balance's high-rise capri leggings have you covered during your sweat sesh. Sweat-wicking, quick-dry technology will keep you dry during any heatwave workouts, and buyers love that they aren't see-through.
Ermm, no big deal, but at the time of publishing, Amazon is selling these leggings for just £5.87. Talk about a steal. They've racked up over 200 five-star reviews from customers, and one buyer commented, "Everything you could need in running leggings at a fantastic price." Other reviewers like the handy phone pocket and the fact that they stay up while you exercise.
Take your pick from 11 colours in these lightweight, 7/8 length leggings by Under Armour. They're sweat wicking, made from HeatGear fabric, and have a drop-in pocket on the side. With four-way stretch and a high rise waist, they'll move with you through any workout.
Oh hellooo. These classic Reebok logo leggings are mid-rise, cotton-rich, and great for yoga and active recovery days.
Best Squat Proof Gym Leggings
1. Pocket Sport Plein Air Legging
Why? Our top-scoring leggings for getting a sweat on, testers’ rave reviews showed exactly why this is one of Pocket Sport’s best-selling designs. They fitted well, with no gathering, gaping or slipping, while the high waist was supportive and provided just the right compression for high-impact workouts. They also smashed our sweat-wicking lab tests, making them a breathable buy for pretty much every sort of exercise. Bonus points for the dreamy colourways, too.
How much? £65.00
Best Shaping Gym Leggings
2. Decathlon Domyos Fitness High-Waisted Shaping Leggings
Why? 84% of reviewers think that these gym leggings are four-star-and-above worthy which, at only £19.99, is great value-for-money. Something less surprising once you realise the amount of testing that went into their production. The fabric was exposed to “torture tests” and the users, testing them out afterwards, were thankfully spared the same such tests but still put through their paces. The result? A pair of figure-flattering, movement-enhancing, opaque, chafe-free, quick-drying and breathable gym leggings. We have to say, we think that 84% were right...
How much? £19.99
Best Non See Through Gym Leggings
3. Lorna Jane Marble Print Ankle Biter Leggings
Why? Marble is all the rage in the activewear world of late, and this mesmerising number is a great way to get on board the trend train and get exactly what you need from a pair of gym leggings. Deadlift your way to stronger glutes without giving your bottom a second thought, thanks to the light-blocking tech providing maximum coverage. Feel respite from any heat you build with breathable, moisture-wicking fabric. Enjoy the freedom of movement that comes with 4-way stretch material as you lift, lower, lunge and leap. Plus, if you like what you see, you’re only one click away from fully coordinating your look with a matching sports bra.
£86.00 £47.50 (44% off)
Best 7/8 Gym Leggings
4. Nike Pro 365 Women's High-Rise 7/8 Leggings
Why? If you've had your beloved black Nike Pro's for as long as you can remember and can't bear to part ways with them or brave the big bad world of gym leggings and branch out, now might be the perfect time to get yourself a pair that is just as reliable but that comes in a snazzy hibiscus colourway. The extra motivation to get moving and put that statement shade on display only adds to their greatness.
How much? £44.95
Best Gym Leggings with Pockets
5. MyProtein MP Power Ultra Leggings
Why? Jump, squat and burpee your way through your workout with these reliable, snug-fitting leggings that didn’t become see-through or chafe during testers’ workouts. They’re stretchy too, and with their high waistband, everyone felt well-supported. While the mesh pockets look nice, most testers couldn’t fit their phones in. The design performed well in our lab tests though, so you shouldn’t feel too sweaty as the intensity rises.
How much? Was
£44.00, now £36.99
Best Comfortable Gym Leggings
6. Everlane The Perform 24/7 Legging
Why? This just in! Everlane has gone and done the impossible. They have taken their original best-seller Perform leggings with their lightweight compressive fit and sweat-wicking abilities and after two years of hard work, have managed to turn them into something even greater. A Perform legging to provide ultimate comfort 24/7 whether you're WFH or WOFH (working out from home). Mic drop.
How much? £69.00
Best Printed Gym Leggings
7. Lilybod Lara Legging
Why? Stunning print aside, these high waisted leggings are here to see you through your next stint at the gym. Sculpting fabric and a high rise waistband both provide a supportive, flattering fit while the quick-drying, moisture-wicking fabric works to keep you comfy, and the handy waistband pocket makes sure whatever you have on you remains right where you want it. Still, thinking about the print? Same. Our eyes may not be sure what they're looking at, but they're all for it.
How much? £59.00
Best Colourful Gym Leggings
8. Gymshark WTFlex Seamless High Waisted Leggings
Why? While we'd like our leggings to mean business, we're also hoping to have a good time wearing them and if you think we've set our standards too high, take a look at these babies. Gymshark has taken their signature Flex leggings and brightened them up to provide us with just the mood-boosting bottoms we were looking for. The tough part will come in deciding which head-turning hue to go with.
How much? £50.00
Best Compression Gym Leggings
9. Adidas TLRD HIIT Lux 7/8 Tights
Why? You may find yourself inspired to bring the heat whilst wearing these pretty purple numbers, but at least you won’t have to worry about feeling it if you do. Made, as the name would suggest, for your hot and heavy HIIT plan, this pair of gym leggings will keep you cool even as you give it your all, thanks to Heat.RDY technology and mesh inserts at the back of your legs. With a compressive fit designed specifically around muscle positions, you’ll also be given the freedom to move through as many reps as fast as you can, if that's your thing.
How much? Was
£90.00, now £63.00
Best Funky Gym Leggings
10. Marks and Spencer GOODMOVE Go Move Printed Gym Leggings
Why? A pocket to store your phone so you can focus on the set at hand? Check. An inner waistband tie to keep your pants in place as you take on the treadmill? Why, of course. All the fabric tech you need to keep cool, dry and fresh when things get fiery? Naturally. Another zippered pocket for when the intensity and speed start to rise? Yes, siree. Some leggings really do have it all. And that's before mentioning the statement print, near five-star rating and ever-so appealing price. Don't let these be the ones that got away.
How much? £25.00
Best High Waisted Gym Leggings
11. Reebok Lux High-Waisted Leggings
Why? These flattering gym leggings will do what few others like them can; make leg day more bearable. "How?" you ask? Well, they’ve been designed with flatlock curved seams and a wide waistband to take on lunges with as much comfort as burning quads will allow for, and speedwick fabric will keep your perspiration down as your heart rate rises during dumbbell thrusters. After putting in all that work, you can bet your legs will look just as good out of these leggings as they will in them.
Best Leopard Print Gym Leggings
12. The Upside Leopard-Print Stretch Leggings
Why? We're not quite sure what goes on across the ocean but somehow Australia manages to consistently create activewear that is just as good-looking as it is high-quality. Give these leopard print leggings a once over and we think you'll agree. The ultrasoft, breathable, quick-drying fabric makes them perfect for low-intensity sessions and when it comes to their appearance, gorgeous doesn't quite cut it. We can see it now. You sporting them with a class behind you and a coffee in hand. Bliss.
How much? £129.00
Best Green Gym Leggings
13. WIT High Rise 7/8 Leggings
Why? Sourcing the best in training products since 2015, it makes sense WIT Fitness would be able to produce high-quality items of their own. Made to match your most intense sessions, this pair of gym leggings ain’t budging nor are they exposing your undies at any squat depth. You may be lifting heavy but your leggings will be refreshingly light, coming in a super fine knit with bonded hems and if you find that perspiration goes hand in hand with a strong performance, you’ll be sure to appreciate the quick-drying, sweat-wicking, ultra-breathable fabric.
How much? £85.00
Best Bum Enhancing Gym Leggings
14. Sweaty Betty Power Gym Leggings
Why? SB's power gym leggings are well known for their tip-top gym-creds and fashionably functional details. We're talking bum-sculpting, 4-way stretch, quick-drying and sweat-wicking fabric for your most sweaty cardio workouts. What makes them even better? The adjustable drawcord, presence of pockets and the fact that the abstract leaf print looks just as good when it comes to squats as it does when it comes to snapping selfies on the sly.
How much? £80.00
Best Bright Gym Leggings
15. H&M High Waist Sports Tights
Why? You may think of H&M as the brand you can always rely on to provide you with attractive yet cheap sportswear and while you wouldn’t be wrong, their many highly-rated pieces prove that there is more to them than just supplying you with gym leggings for under £20. This pair, made from fast-drying functional fabric, will ensure you’re cool, dry and committed to the task at hand. High waisted, long-legged and very purple, you'll also be sure to stand out no matter where you wear them.
How much? £17.99
Best Black Gym Leggings
16. Under Armour Women's HeatGear® No-Slip Waistband Ankle Leggings
Why? Under Armour is known for its clever tech, and these sleek leggings are no exception. Not only do they make use of UA's signature HeatGear® fabric to ensure you stay cool and dry without being weighed down, but they also have anti-odour technology that will fight off unwanted smells and a No-Slip waistband to prevent your pants from slipping out of position. As for how they look? Well, you really can't go wrong with black gym leggings, and we're loving the bright yellow hi-vis seams that give them that little something extra.
How much? £42.00
Best Lilac Gym Leggings
17. Year of Ours Football Lace-Up Ribbed Stretch Leggings
Why? If you love weekend Pilates classes for their ability to turn into a whole day event, you'll love these lavender gym leggings. With just the right amount of stretch and a high secure waist, you'll be able to tackle your class in confidence and be equally as prepared for what comes after. Brunch? Coffee? Both? It won't matter thanks to their gorg colour, ribbed fabric and lace detailing.
How much? £110.00
Best Sustainable Gym Leggings
18. Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Compression Leggings
Why? We’re always quick to recommend Girlfriend Collective when it comes to leggings, whether it be for yoga, to meet all your pocket requirements or for performing at your best in the gym. Understandable when they have so much going for them. Firstly, their leggings are made of recycled water bottles; secondly, they are extra-high rise and thirdly, they are more than attractive in their many colourways. As aesthetically pleasing as they are technical, when it comes to all things gym, the GC compressive high-rise leggings are the perfect stretchy companion to your next lower or upper body day.
How much? £65.00
Best Seamless Gym Leggings
19. Bamford Long Leggings
Why? Bamford was founded by Caroline Bamford, who has been championing sustainable and mindful living for more than 40 years and as such, the brand has a strong focus on natural materials that are ethically and responsibly sourced. These seamless gym leggings are made from a mix of recycled materials and organic cotton to give you the freedom to move as you please. In other words? They're begging to be put through all manner of poses the next time you find yourself on your yoga mat.
How much? £65.00
Best Cropped Gym Leggings
20. Lululemon Wunder Train High-Rise Crop 23"
Why? Lulu's staple training tight, the Wunder Train, is packed with their USP – robust functional add-ons that make working out that bit sweeter. Engineered with their super-sweat-wicking 'Everlux' fabric, these Lululemon gym leggings will keep you feeling supported during heavy lifts, hinges and snatches. They also have a waistband pocket for your essentials.
How much? £78.00
Best Flattering Gym Leggings
21. STAX Premium Seamless V5 Full Length Tights
Why? Had one too many encounters with unflattering fits in your lifetime? Not to worry. These celebrity-approved gym leggings have been designed to complement your curves with specially positioned panels, a seamless design and a high waisted cut. They also come in six soft shades so you'll have little trouble finding the right one for you.
How much? £51.00
Best Affordable Gym Leggings
22. Mountain Warehouse Power Patterned High-Waisted Womens Leggings
Why? These eye-catching leggings won’t make as much of a dent in your bank balance as some, but they still proved a great investment when tested. The fabric was soft and the waistband secure – in fact, they were so comfortable testers said they’d wear them all day. If you have shorter legs you may find they gather around the ankles or at the back of the knee due to their full-length design but their sweat-wicking creds stood up to our lab test, making them a reliable gym kit addition.
How much? £18.99
Best Gym Leggings For Outside
23. Montane Women's Ineo Lite Capri Pants
Why? After a pair of leggings to take you from the gym to the trails? Then these should fit the bill; they’ve got well-placed pockets – on the leg and the waistband – so you can stash all your essentials when running. They also fitted our testers comfortably while the soft fabric was flexible enough for everything from CrossFit workouts to cycling. Our only niggle: visible sweat patches due to their grey colour.
How much? £50.00
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