Best Workout Leggings: 14 to buy now for sweat-wicking, squat proof sessions

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  • On the hunt for a new pair of workout leggings that won't fall apart after two uses? Look no further: these are the best buys of 2020.

    Looking for the best workout leggings but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry—you’re far from alone.

    With 97,900,000 results for ‘best workout leggings’ on Google alone, finding a pair can feel like a minefield. And that’s before you even start filtering the good, from the not-so-good… you know, the high-waisted, sweat-wicking, smell-banishing wonder tights that don’t go see through every time you squat, from, well, the opposite.

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    Your workout legging buying guide: What to look for in a good pair

    FYI, when you’re on the hunt for a new pair of workout leggings, it’s worth going for a pair that are:

    • sweat-wicking
    • non-see-through
    • supportive
    • designed for working out (cotton leggings won’t make the cut here).

    That way, you can know you’re spending wisely and investing in leggings that won’t end up going to Oxfam a year later.

    We’re aware that not everyone wants to drop hundreds on a pair, especially right now, so have ordered our recommendations from cheapest to priciest. Do bear in mind, generally speaking, that cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean best. Base your buy on your usage. After all, workout leggings are a bit like household appliances: if you’re using them often, it may be wiser to opt for a mid-range price point to guarantee you’ve made a good investment.

    That being said, there are some great bargains to be had, too, which is why we’ve included a range of options, from the best cheap workout leggings to kit for those with a slightly higher budget, too.

    And thanks to Black Friday, there are some incredible deals on offer RN:

    Whether you’re purchasing said leggings for a super sweaty Joe Wicks YouTube workout from home, to vinyasa your way through your next yoga flow or to don on your next staycay (scroll the best UK walking routes, here), there’s something for every need.

    Without further ado, scroll our picks of the best workout leggings, available to buy now, from Gymshark, Nike, Sweaty Betty and more. Happy shopping—and squatting.

    14 best workout leggings to shop now

    1. H&M Shaping Sports Tights

    H&M have long been known for their functional, bargain gym wear, taking extra steps this year to make the kit sustainable, too.

    Pros: These high-waisted leggings are a steal—promising to be both shaping and supportive, they also have a handy pocket in the waistband at your lower back, for when you’re headed out for a run and no one’s home.

    Cons: Although they’re ‘fast-drying’, the material isn’t strictly sweat-wicking, meaning you may get a little chilly if your session involves sweatier bursts followed by rest periods.

    Best Workout Leggings: H&M

    £17.99, handm.com/en

    2. ASOS 4505 Icon Leggings

    Launched in 2018, the ASOS 4505 range offers workout kit at affordable prices that actually deliver on quality, too. Their latest addition to the family are their icon leggings, available in tall, petite, maternity and plus sizes.

    Pros: The icon leggings are bum sculpting and have an elasticated waist for extra comfort, with a pocket to stash your essentials, too. Plus you can *add to basket* in a whole range of colours, including grey, black, khaki and baby blue.

    Cons: While the elasticated waist will likely be dreamy for your first few wears, at just £18, we wonder whether they’ll stay as supportive wash after wash. Plus, the leggings are 21% elastane, which has been known to be prone to pilling and bubbling.

    Best Workout Leggings: ASOS

    £18.00, asos.com

    3. M&S Go Move Leggings

    With over 100 reviews averaging a 4.2/5 ranking, it certainly looks like M&S’ ‘Go Move’ workout leggings don’t disappoint.

    Pros: They’ve got blackout opaque coverage to ensure against the dreaded see-through squat, an adjustable waistband and a pocket on the outer leg for your phone, which always comes in handy, even if you think you don’t need one. Plus, they come in black, grey and a whole range of funky prints. Winner, winner.

    Cons: Be wary that several customers noted that these workout leggings come up a touch on the small side. Our advice? Order a size up, to be safe.

    Best Workout Leggings: M&S

    £25.00, marksandspencer.com

    4. Nike One Luxe

    When it comes to workout leggings, Nike knows how to do them the right way. They’re worn by most of the top athletes, and if it’s good enough for the pros, it’s good enough for us.

    Pros: Their One Luxe prove this to a tee: made from sustainable, non-see-through, “silky soft fibres” (we’re in), they’re affordable and actually legit. Want to feel confident from the start to finish of your sweat sesh? You can’t go wrong investing in a pair of Nikes. Buy for comfy, lightweight leggings that feel like a second skin.

    Cons: Petite girls, it might be best to opt for another pair in a specific 3/4 or 7/8 style. Buyers report that the One Luxe run slightly long.

    Best Workout Leggings: Nike

    £38.97, nike.com

    5. MP Power Ultra Leggings

    One of the biggest global health, wellness and athleisurewear brands, MyProtein originally carved its niche in–yep, you guessed it—protein powders. Fast forward 16 years and they stock own-brand versions of gym kit, food and supplements. Basically, MP is your fitness go-to.

    Pros: Having worn them personally for years, I can attest to the MP workout gear being good—and this is coming from someone who works in the fitness industry. Their leggings are consistently quick-drying, soft, breathable and supportive, thanks to the reinforced stitching. Their new Power Ultra leggings look set to be the same, but with an additional gusset for maximum comfort and a better fit around your vagina. Because nobody—and I repeat, nobody—enjoys a mid-burpee cameltoe.

    Cons: The pocket, albeit large, comes sans zip, which means if you’re planning to run in these, you won’t be able to take much.

    Best Workout Leggings: MP

    £40.00, mp.com

    6. COS Seamless Performance Leggings

    They’re long loved for their innovative and contemporary fashion designs, and this year, COS launched their first-ever fit kit range. As you can likely imagine, it’s gorgeous and functional. What’s not to love?

    Pros: Seamless, slim fit and with a comfy elasticated waistband, the fashion brands first leggings offering is made entirely from a recycled nylon mix. Cosy and sustainable? Impressive.

    Cons: Yep, crotch sweat patches are a thing and could come in to play here, depending on what colour you opt for and how much you sweat. You were warned.

    Best Workout Leggings: Cos

    £49, cosstores.com

    7. Gymshark Adapt Leggings

    Gymshark owner Ben Francis made headlines earlier this year when The Sunday Times featured him on their ‘Rich List’ and reported the company is worth a whopping £138 million. Not bad for a relatively new company which launched only 8 years ago.

    Pros: You can tell why Gymshark is so loved from a quick glance at their new Adapt leggings. The workout tights are seamless, cut into the brand’s trademark supportive shape and available in ombre, animal, camo and marl. Their tag line for the Adapts? “Because when you know you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you perform better”. We’re sold.

    Cons: Again, dependent on levels of sweat and colour chosen, poses the potential to be sweat patch problematic.

    Best Workout Leggings: Gymshark

    £50, gymshark.com

    8. Pocket Sport Claude Legging

    Owned and run by Louise Thompson of Made in Chelsea fame, you can be confident that the Pocket Sport leggings are put through their paces by Louise herself who seems to be constantly active with PT fiance Ryan.

    Pros: They’re made from breathable and quick-drying fabric with a flattering high waist and squat proof fabric. Fun fact; the elasticated waistband even has an inner rubber grip so that they don’t move. Neat.

    Cons: If you’re not a fan of, well, mega bright workout leggings, you probs won’t be a fan of the newest Pocket Sport collection. We, on the other hand, love it.

    Best Workout Leggings: Pocket Sport

    £50.00, pocket-sport.co.uk

    9. New Balance Q Speed Fuel 7/8 Tight

    We bet you didn’t know that New Balance was founded in 1908. Fast forward 112 years and the brand is now the official shoe and kit sponsor of the Virgin Money London Marathon. We’ll put good money on them knowing a trick or two about workout leggings.

    Pros: These aren’t your typical athleisure leggings. Inspired by speed, the Q Speed Fuel 7/8 Tight is made with an innovative fabric that’s ultra-soft and lightweight, plus moisture-wicking. Let’s be honest—workout leggings pull sweat away from your body so you can focus on your run = a big winner. Another great thing about these NB tights: the leggings are decked out with reflective branding to make sure you’re clearly visible, whatever time you train.

    Cons: If you’re purely a gym-workout-kinda-person, the reflective branding may not be totally necessary. Having said that, it’s still good to be seen, even if that’s only while you’re walking to your car post-gym to drive home.

    Best Workout Leggings: New Balance

    £60.00, newbalance.com

    10. Nimble High Rise 7/8 Tights

    Nimble’s workout bottoms come with the promise of maximum flexibility and movement combined with support in all the right places: there’s a style to flatter every body shape.

    Pros: Featuring their signature sustainable Compresslite fabrics and flatlock seams for zero chaffing, you’ll love these leggings. They’ll be your go-to’s for HIIT, runs and just relaxing around the house. Plus, every garment in Nimble Activewear’s Compresslite and MoveLite ranges has been created with recycled plastic bottles, which means the brand has saved over 1,000,000 plastic bottles from going into landfill.

    Cons: They don’t have a zip-locked pocket, so make sure you’ve got a running pack to hand, if you’re taking essentials like keys and phone out with you on your jog.

    £75.00, nimble.co.uk

    11. Sweaty Betty Power Gym Leggings

    Team Sweaty Betty have been adapting their designs to create the perfect workout legging for over 20 years now. Enter stage right, the Power tight.

    Pros: If you’re a yoga, pilates, or weights bum, you’ll live in these. Actually, even if you just love wearing leggings around the house (guilty) or for brunch at the weekend, these are worth the investment. Think high waisted, bum-sculpting, supportive and flattering in all the right places, the Power leggings are SB’s best selling for a reason. Oh, and did we mention they’re ultra-lightweight and sweat-wicking with compression technology to ease next day DOMS, too?

    Cons: It’s hard to fault them, other than the price point. But with 3,901 reviews averaging a 4.6/5 score, we’d say it’s worth the payday splurge.

    Best Workout Leggings: Sweaty Betty

    £75.00, sweatybetty.com

    12. Lululemon Wunder Train HR Tight 25

    All hail Lululemon workout leggings, the holy grail of fit kit.

    Pros: Their signature quick-drying Everlux material really is a game-changer when it comes to sweaty workouts. When they say quick-drying, they mean it. You can hardly even notice you’re sweating. Promising to be sweat-patch proof, too, the material is designed to thrive in hot, humid, and low airflow studio environments, meaning whatever your sweat sesh, it’ll dry ultra-fast, remain breathable and still feel silky soft and cool to the touch. And that’s before we even get started on the fact their leggings have four-way stretch material, which is highly rated in workout kit world as it means your kit will support you both crosswise and lengthwise.

    Cons: Do make sure you get your head around the sizing pre-ordering: they stock American sizing, so for a UK size 8, you’d need a lulu size 4, UK size 10, lulu size 6, and so on. (If you’re still confused, there’s a handy UK size guide here). Plus, to keep your lulu’s in tip-top shape, be sure to respect the material and care rules: machine wash cold, tumble dry low and don’t iron or dry clean.

    Best Workout Leggings: Lululemon

    £88, lululemon.com

    13. ON Long Tights

    Runners, these ones are for you. ON’s kit is top tier: made with high-quality materials and designed by runners, for runners, they’ve been working on their workout clothes for years and you can tell.

    Pros: The ON long tights are no exception: they’re insulating to keep the cold out but breathable, too, making them your ideal running buddy for chillier temps. They’re super light at only 223g and, fun fact, ideal for those of you with sensitive tendons. How so? Well, the embossed insulating panel above the knee provides extra warmth. Worth the price tag to avoid injury? Almost certainly.

    Cons: One customer said that they weren’t warm enough, but they were running in temperatures of -1…. We think you’ll be good (unless you live in Antarctica).

    Best Workout Leggings: ON

    £95, on-running.com

    14. LNDR Limitless Leggings

    LNDR believe in quality over quantity: producing better quality products and less of them. Their website shares: ‘We believe the day of fast fashion is over – for state of mind and the planet. We don’t want a new outfit every month. We want hands-down great products that we don’t have to think about.’ Plus, fascinating fact: it can take factories up to 20 times longer to knit LNDR seamless leggings, for instance, compared to other brands. Hence the price tag.

    Pros: They’re called the limitless leggings for a reason and that’s because you will be truly limitless wearing them. Yoga, pilates, barre, HIIT, weights, running, you name it, these LNDR beauties are your friend. They’re softer than soft, supportive and moisture-wicking capabilities, as well as being flattering and practical (thanks zip pocket).

    Cons: Again, a sizeable price tag, plus they are only available in three sizes – S, M, L and XL – despite the length range.

    Best Workout Leggings: LNDR

    £98, lndr.com

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