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Article updated on Jan 17, 2024

Best Workout Leggings in 2024

Workout leggings should be comfortable and supportive, while letting you move around freely. Here are our favorite pairs to workout in style.

Our Experts

Written by 
Mercey Livingston,
Nasha Addarich Martínez
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
mercey-livingston
Mercey Livingston CNET Contributor
Mercey Livingston is a health and wellness writer and certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She's written about fitness and wellness for Well+Good, Women's Health, Business Insider, and Prevention.com among others. When not writing, she enjoys reading and trying out workout classes all over New York City.
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Amanda Capritto
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Nasha Addarich Martínez Managing Editor
Nasha is a Senior Editor for health and wellness at CNET. She is a nutrition, mental health and sleep science enthusiast. Her passion for mindful and holistic practices transcends her personal life and profoundly influences her editorial approach, as she weaves evidence-based insights with practical advice to inspire readers to lead healthier, more balanced lives. Throughout her career, she's covered various topics including financial services, technology, travel and wellness.
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Our Picks

$98 at Lululemon
lululemon-wunder-under
Best overall workout leggings
Lululemon Wunder Under Leggings
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$128 at Reformer
portrait of the ribbed leggings from Reformer.
Best leggings for pilates
Reformer Ribbed Leggings
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$80 at Athleta
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Best studio leggings
Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket II Tight
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$108 at Sweaty Betty
sweaty-betty-compression-leggings
Best soft and supportive leggings
Sweaty Betty Power Workout Leggings
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$59 at Nordstrom
zella-live-in-leggings
Best leggings for yoga
Zella Live In High Waist Leggings
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$78 at Girlfriend Collective
girlfriend-collective-marigold-compressive-high-rise-leggings
Best plus-size leggings
Girlfriend Compressive High-Rise Leggings
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$97 at Beyond Yoga
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Best lounge leggings for comfort
Beyond Yoga Spacedye Caught in the Midi Leggings
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Leggings are a staple of the work-from-home life, and are equal parts comfortable and convenient. Many of us have developed something of a love-hate relationship with them. Finding the perfect pair can feel like winning the jackpot, but tracking them down can be a serious challenge. Trying on endless pairs with no success can make you feel like an oddly shaped piece of Play-Doh the world just isn't made for, and sometimes it can feel like the best leggings for your body just don't exist.

As hard as it may be to believe after that try-on, pull-off, try-on cycle, that's just not the case -- the best leggings for your unique shape are out there. You can find a pair that will work for your body and its working out (or lounging) needs. From bold colors, to fun patterns, to some good basic black leggings, from crop to full length, from lycra and spandex to polyester and everything in between, there's a pair you'll love just waiting to be discovered. More and more companies these days are keeping the utility of a pocket or two in mind, and you can even find ones that focus on tummy flattening or breathability. To that end, we've rounded up the best leggings available today. From gym leggings to yoga leggings, stylish leggings to everyday and under-skirt types, you're sure to find a good pair that's just perfect for your needs.

Read more: The Best Sports Bras to Buy in 2023 

The best leggings for working out in 2024

$98 at Lululemon

Best overall workout leggings

Lululemon Wunder Under Leggings

The Wunder Under leggings were one of the first items I ever purchased from Lululemon over five years ago. And -- I kid you not -- they still look and feel great, and I've worn these Lululemon leggings probably more than any other legging option in my collection. I love these leggings because they are so versatile -- I've worn them for everything from yoga to boxing to dance cardio. 

The super breathable fabric feels supportive and soft, and it's not hot. I love the high waist, too, and it does not squeeze you in too much -- just enough to stay comfortable on your waist. The Wunder Under leggings are a favorite legging option among the CNET Health and Wellness team because they are durable and versatile. Even better, these Lululemon leggings come in a huge array of colors, sizes and lengths,

$128 at Reformer

Best leggings for pilates

Reformer Ribbed Leggings

The ribbed leggings from Reformer are the epitome of great performance and comfort -- they're buttery soft and don't slip down as you work out. These leggings are made from high-quality materials and offer exceptional breathability, ensuring you stay cool during your pilates session. The leggings are also super stretchy, providing the flexibility needed while moving.

I would say the compression for these pair of leggings is a true medium. They're designed for pilates, but are great for everyday activities, yoga and other low-intensity workouts. I wear mine at least twice a week, they've become my go-to pair for running errands and afternoon walks.

Reformer designs and makes all of their pieces here in the USA (in Los Angeles).

$80 at Athleta

Best studio leggings

Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket II Tight

Everyone has a pair of go-to leggings, and these have been mine for years. I'm obsessed with the Powervita fabric from Athleta, which feels super soft and buttery, yet supportive. What I've found with trying many leggings over the years is that you usually get soft or supportive -- not both.

This is how I saw things until I found a similar pair of leggings to these from Athleta. While I have not tried this specific legging style (the ones I purchased are from years ago) these are super close in style and the fabric is the same. I love that these have a convenient pocket on the side, and the high waistband is wide and supportive. 

My Athleta leggings have held up through all kinds of workouts -- from studio and spin classes, to running, dance cardio and more. Even with the countless washes, this workout legging still looks new years later. I know the price tag is not cheap, but to me Athleta's leggings are well worth the workout wardrobe investment.

$108 at Sweaty Betty

Best soft and supportive leggings

Sweaty Betty Power Workout Leggings

Sweaty Betty is one of my favorite leggings brands because they make so many different legging styles, and the colors and printed leggings are always super-cute. They are also made from sweat and moisture wicking fabric. I've owned a pair of the Power Workout leggings for a few years now, and they are one of my favorite pairs when I need more support, like for a run or high-impact class. 

I love that they are compression leggings, but don't feel stiff or uncomfortable. The fabric is super-smooth and soft, and it looks flattering.

$59 at Nordstrom

Best leggings for yoga

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings

These full-length, no-slip leggings will stay put from sun salutations to savasana. I ordered this moisture-wicking yoga leggings after seeing them become popular on social media, and they didn't disappoint in the slightest. The front-rise-to-back-rise ratio is perfect, so there's no discrepancy in the waistband height when they're on. 

And, the Zella Leggings are 88% polyester and 12% spandex -- in other words, impressively moisture-wicking -- so you can comfortably wear these as yoga pants for a hot yoga or outdoor yoga session. 

$78 at Girlfriend Collective

Best plus-size leggings

Girlfriend Compressive High-Rise Leggings

What I love most about these leggings is that Girlfriend Collective doesn't actually label them "plus-size" -- they're just legging sizes (this something I think needs to happen all around, but that's another story). These Girlfriend Collective leggings go up from size XXS to 6XL, plus there are options for inseam length: You can choose from 19.25 inches (capri), 23.75 inches (7/8) or 28.5 inches (full length).

Made of 75% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET, aka recycled water bottles) and 25% spandex, these Girlfriend leggings offer the perfect amount of compression and stretch. I have these leggings in a medium, so although I can't vouch for other sizes, I can imagine that the pant legging fit would feel just as perfect on everyone, largely because of Girlfriend's emphasis on body inclusivity. 

$97 at Beyond Yoga

Best lounge leggings for comfort

Beyond Yoga Spacedye Caught in the Midi Leggings

Although you can totally work out or do yoga in these comfy leggings, I usually wear them all day. Beyond Yoga's spacedye fabric is some of the softest and most comfortable material I've found across many, many activewear brands I've tried, making it a great lounge legging. 

These leggings move with you, but aren't too tight or baggy. I have these high-waist leggings in two different colors and love them so much I purchased a similar style (high waist, space-dye fabric), except in biker shorts. If I could only keep one pair of leggings, it would be these. 

What to look for in a pair of leggings

What you should look for in a pair of leggings depends on what exactly you'll be doing in them. Theoretically, you can wear the same leggings for every activity, but you might not have the best experience. For example, wearing lounge leggings to an Orangetheory class could end in awkward sweat stains and stretched-out fabric. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for your next pair of leggings: 

  • Fit: Do you want them to be compressive or loose? Low-rise or high-rise? Do you want tummy control?
  • Fabric: You'll want to look for breathable fabric, moisture-wicking fabrics for any sweaty activities, but fabrics like cotton and wool are OK for lounging. 
  • Stretch: For high-intensity activities or activities that require full range of motion, definitely look for a stretchy fabric workout legging.
  • Temperature: Most leggings are OK year-round, but you might want to consider a special pair for cold winter weather. 
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How we chose these leggings

We have been trying out leggings for various activities for years. We've been avid exercisers for a while now and we've tried just about every type of mainstream exercise there is: CrossFit, long-distance running, dance cardio workouts, HIITyogaPilates, hiking -- you name it, we've probably done it (and probably while wearing leggings).  

We used our personal experience with various activewear brands to bring you the best of the best. Our hope is that we can point you in the right direction for your favorite activity and save you some time.

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