The best gym leggings for every shape and style

From high-waisted to cropped, size-inclusive to ‘leak-proof’, we’ve listed the best gym leggings to suit your needs.

Women at gym in leggings

by Eleanor Weaver |
Updated on

Gym leggings are a go-to not only for working out but for comfort too. When you’re working out at the gym, you want to feel your best so you can power through your session and achieve your fitness goals. But there’s nothing worse than wearing gym clothes that make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. The biggest culprit for this? Gym leggings.

Gym leggings that are see-through, fall down at the waist, lose their elasticity in the wash, or fit awkwardly to your body shape are the worst, especially considering most come with a higher price tag than your other workout clothes. While there are plenty of gym legging styles and brands on the market, sadly not all are created equal.

To help find the best gym leggings for you, we've pulled together a list of the best from top brands, reviewers’ favourites, and ones we’ve tried and tested ourselves.

At Yours, we want you to feel confident as you move, so we’ve found the best for every type of gym legging: high-waisted, cropped, sustainable, size-inclusive, squat-proof, ‘no-leak’, and more.

Best gym leggings

Best all-round gym leggings

From weightlifting to running a marathon on the treadmill, these Sweaty Betty gym leggings will help you cruise through any exercise. Available in 10 different flattering colours, their super-stretchy fabric takes the shape of your body, and the flattering seams at the back make for a pert, sculpted bum. The material is sweat-wicking and quick-drying for extra comfort, and the added side and back pockets are great for popping in your keys, phone, or locker key as you work out.

Review: "I'm a bit of a fan of power leggings. Have in multiple colours and patterns. Wash well. Don't sag at the knees... ever. Very flattering around legs and the derrière. Holds everything in nicely! Very comfortable for hiking or equally a weights session."

Sizing:XXS-XL
Material:62 per cent polyamide, 38 per cent elastane

Best affordable gym leggings

Ewedoos Yoga Pants with Pockets

Rrp: $27.99

Price: $25.99

At under £20, these Ewedoos Yoga Pants with Pockets are affordable without compromising on quality - just ask the 16,000 reviewers! Thanks to the non-see-through, four-way stretchy fabric material, that's both lightweight and breathable, you can squat, stretch, and jump for joy knowing this pair of leggings has got your back. Choose from a range of neutral colours and enjoy the built-in pockets and high-waist tummy control for compression and support.

Review: "I absolutely LOVE these! I bought these so last minute for a marathon I was doing for Cancer Research. They arrived the same day and were so comfortable, warm and well fitted! They stayed the same shape, no waistband folding on itself and the pockets held my phone in one side and map safely in the other without it riding out! I was apprehensive at point of purchase but am so glad I bit the bullet and purchased them. Purchasing another few pairs!"

Sizing:XS-XXL
Material:75 per cent polyester, 25 per cent elastane

Best no-leak gym leggings

If you're worried about your period or pesky bladder leaks, these gym leggings are the solution we've all been waiting for. Modibodi 7/8 Recycled Active Legging have a super-absorbent gusset and with built-in 3mm Modifier Technology, these are perfect for use even on the heaviest days of your cycle. You won't need to worry about an uncomfortable pad holding you back from working your hardest in the gym, and with a drawstring high waist, they'll provide stretchy, yet snug, support.

Review: "I can't believe how fantastic the garment really is. Highly recommend this garment. It is a life saver, I now can go to gyms without any worries of leakage."

Sizing:XS-2XL
Material:78 per cent pre-consumer recycled nylon, 22 per cent elastane

Best yoga leggings

The Goodmove Go Balance High Waisted Yoga Leggings are simply a dream. Expertly made to smooth, sculpt and lift, these were designed to flatter every size with a high waist and wrap front waistband. The breathable, blackout fabric is super-soft for extra comfort, and the 4-way stretch material will allow you to move freely as you do your yoga, Pilates, or any other workout routine at the gym.

Review: "Purchased two weeks ago, fabulously comfortable and flattering. Super soft fabric and lightweight material. Would definitely recommend, would be great in other colour ways too."

Sizing:6-24
Material:78 per cent polyester, 22 per cent elastane

Best running leggings

If you're a keen runner and want to invest in the best leggings for your endurance training at the gym, the Lululemon Fast and Free HR Tights 25" are made for you. 'Unrestricted movement' is what makes these leggings extra special, and designed specifically for running, these will give you the freedom you need with the weightless, quick-drying Nulux fabric. Plus you won't ever need to deal with your waistband sliding down (frustrating, we know!) thanks to the tighter waistband and continuous drawstring cord that'll keep your leggings firmly in place.

Review: "Bought those a couple of months ago and haven't stopped wearing them. They are so comfortable and lightweight, stay put during running (and keep me cool!) and are perfect for long walks, having so many pockets is extra handy too."

Related: The best gym leggings that pass for Lululemon dupes

Sizing:US 0-26
Material:84 per cent nylon, 16 per cent Lycra elastane

Best scrunch bum gym leggings

Scrunch bum Slimbelle Seamless Leggings accentuate your cheeks with seam placement to give your bottom a well-rounded 'lift' - great if you're self-conscious about your derrière in tights. These ultra-flattering Amazon leggings are available in almost every colour and are both high-quality and squat-proof for all your gym exercises. The high-waisted, wide double-layered waistband provides supportive compression on the stomach without restriction and stops it from folding over. These will certainly have you feeling peachy!

Review: "These are extremely underrated! I’m obsessed, they’re so thick yet so lightweight and a dream to work out in. They are ruched at the bum (I didn’t notice) but it makes them look that much better! The waistband is thick probably a good 15cm which I’m in love with because it leaves no room for spilling. My friend put me on to these and I’ll never buy an expensive pair again! They are a tad long by like two cm but that doesn’t bother me."

Sizing:S-L
Material:90 per cent Nylon, 10 per cent elastane

Best gym leggings for style

Style is subjective, but we're pretty sure everyone will be a fan of these! Available in black and navy, these multi-sport gym Morisot leggings are opaque, non-slip, and are made from a long-lasting fabric so they'll never lose their shape, no matter how many times it goes through the wash! Great for every exercise, we also think they'll be great for travelling in style with too, thanks to the beautiful colourways, sleek athletic wear style, and with matching sweatshirts and sports bras available.

Review: "I love the unusual colour and style of these leggings. They are perfect to workout in but also just for casual wear as well."

Sizing:XXS-XL
Material:73 per cent polyester, 27 per cent Spandex

Best compression gym leggings

Alternative retailers
Under Armour$44.97View offer
Macy's$50.00View offer

Under Armour has a whole wealth of great leggings, and these compression leggings help to deliver a locked-in fit that works as a second skin for optimal coverage and support. The Under Armour HeatGear Armour High Waisted Leggings have ergonomic flatlock seams to prevent any risks of chafing, while the super-light HeatGear fabric delivers superior coverage without weighing you down. Worried a tighter fit will have you sweating like mad or restrict your movement? With these leggings, you'll have no issue with the four-way stretch material that'll wick away sweat and dry really fast.

Review: "I bought these for hiking in the Lake District and they didn't let me down, quite thin material which I like but very supportive and kept me warm when it was cold and cool when it was warmer."

Sizing:XS-XXL
Material:87 per cent polyester, 13 per cent elastane

Best high-waisted gym leggings

Available in a bunch of cool colours, these Gymshark gym Vital Seamless 2.0 leggings will mould to your body flawlessly as the seamless contours flatter you around all areas, ensuring confidence and support throughout your whole workout. The supportive ribbed waistband provides a high-waisted fit that won't budge and the breathable, sweat-wicking fabric will have you feeling cool and comfortable, no matter which way you move.

Tried and tested by Commercial Content Writer, Eleanor Weaver: "I've been wearing these leggings for years, and not only do they have amazing stretch, you can comfortably size down for more compression, but they've stood the test of time and haven't lost their shape in the wash. High-waisted leggings are an essential part of my gym wear, and I've found no matter if I'm running, cycling, or using weights in the gym, the waistband always stays put."

The best of Gymshark clothing and accessories to shop now

Sizing:XS-XXL
Material:93 per cent nylon, 7 per cent elastane

Best sustainable gym leggings

TALA has become a favourite on social media for its sustainable gym wear that's functional, flattering, and disrupting the world of fast fashion. Their Skin Luxe leggings are designed with movement in mind, and the buttery-smooth fabric fits beautifully like a second skin. Available in varying lengths and a choice of shadow black or tornado grey, the cinched-in waistband provides compression and comfort while the subtle, sweet-heart seam creates contouring, keeping everything looking perky.

Tried and tested by Commercial Content Writer, Eleanor Weaver: "While these are a little more expensive than I'd usually spend on gym wear, I can tell you now that they're definitely worth the price. They genuinely do feel like a second skin, luxuriously lightweight, fitting perfectly to your body shape from waist to ankle, and feeling ever so soft - I would happily wear these at the gym and as leisurewear (and have since!) With only an inner seam, I've experienced no discomfort from chafing, and they've kept their shape and quality after plenty of wear and wash. I've found them to be true-to-size, so you can be safe in the knowledge that buying your regular size will provide the flattering fit and support you need."

Sizing:XS-XL
Material:76 per cent recycled nylon, 24 per cent Lycra Sport

Best gym leggings for comfort

CRZ YOGA Women’s Naked Feeling High Waist Leggings
Price: $26.00

Speaking of comfortable leggings, these CRZ YOGA Women's Naked Feeling High Waist Leggings also have that second-skin feel with the material more like a bathing suit than traditional leggings. Ideal for yoga, running, or just lounging, the elastic high waist means they don't budge at all, though it's worth keeping in mind that these aren't fully squat-proof. They come in a massive range of colours and patterns so with a few in your wardrobe, these will easily become daily favourites.

Review: "I very rarely take the time to review a product, however, I am so pleased with these leggings that I felt I had to review them. These leggings are incredibly soft and comfortable, and they do not restrict your movement. The size comes up well, I am a 12-14 and bought the size M(12) and these fit perfectly.
"I was unsure what to expect from these leggings, as for someone who works out 4-5 times per week, I have worked through a lot of leggings (Nike, Adidas, Gymshark). This time, I couldn't find anything from these brands that I liked and decided to try the CRZ Yoga leggings as an Amazon suggestion, and I am so glad that I did. These leggings are now by far my favourite, and I will be purchasing more. The leggings are not fully squat proof, you can see through just ever so slightly, however, this is not something that bothers me."

Sizing:6-18
Material:71 per cent polyamide, 29 per cent elastane

Best maternity gym leggings

If you're pregnant, these comfortable Nike One Women's Maternity Leggings will fit snuggly over your bump – all the way over – and will grow as you grow thanks to the zonal fabric. They're super soft and breathable as well as supportive; when it's time to relax, you can fold the tummy panel over. They're squat-proof and ideal for workouts and yoga sessions, but can equally just be worn every day as a comfy pair of body-hugging pregnancy leggings.

Review: "These are great! I was hesitant to buy them since when I found them, I was 6.5 months pregnant. I’m so glad I did. They really grow with you. Now at 9 months, it’s one of the only pants I can still wear. Extremely happy with this purchase. As another reviewer mentioned, there are no pockets. It would be nice to have a small pocket for a key. Pre-pregnancy, I would buy XS or S. I got these in S and they are perfect!"

Sizing:XS-XL
Material:75 per cent recycled polyester fibres

Best gym leggings for recovery support

As well as offering comfort, support, and style, these high-waist Kymira Sport Infrared leggings are made from their KYnergy infrared fabric, technology that claims to boost your performance and recovery. The infrared reaction produces greater levels of nitric oxide that primes your muscles to be more elastic, allowing you to perform better, protect you from injury, and help reduce post-workout muscle fatigue.

Tried and tested by Commercial Content Writer, Eleanor Weaver: "I was really intrigued by the benefits of these leggings and decided to put them to the test. Despite glowing reviews from others who found that these leggings noticeably aided in their recovery, I found it harder to determine whether my lack of muscle fatigue after my workouts was a result of my workout or the actual leggings. However, the fact I didn't have any post-workout aches is definitely a good sign nonetheless! Alongside this, I found the leggings to be comfortably high-waisted, breathable, and lightweight. They were a little long in the leg for me, which may prove an issue if you're petite, and I also found they weren't completely squat-proof. For this and the benefits combined, I'd definitely recommend these leggings more for cardio-intensive gym workouts."

Sizing:XS-XL
Material:50 per cent KYnergy polyester, 30 per cent polyester, 20 per cent elastane

Best gym leggings with pockets

Pour Moi Energy Mesh Panel Sports Leggings
Price: £27 (was £32)

www.pourmoi.co.uk

Perfect for running, spinning, HIIT, yoga, and more, these Pour Moi Energy Mesh Panel Sports Leggings are perfectly soft with moisture-wicking properties that'll help keep you dry and comfortable. As well as having a gorgeous pattern, we love the mesh detailing including two, deep mesh pockets as well as the standard hidden key pocket. They're squat-proof, don't budge at the waist, and look great - what more could you need! If you find you are usually between sizes, they recommend that you size up on this style.

Review: "Absolutely gorgeous and the best fit I've ever found in leggings. People keep asking me where I got them. Will be buying more in different colours and prints."

Sizing:8-18
Material:75 per cent polyester, 25 per cent elastane

Best gym leggings for inclusive sizing

Thankfully more and more brands are becoming size-inclusive, and so we're glad to see gym wear brands like Nike taking a lead too. With sizing up to a UK 32, the Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh Run Womenu's Mid-Rise 7/8 Running Leggings feel stretchy and smooth so you won't feel uncomfortable or restricted. They have a hidden pocket great for storing keys, and come in black or this fun 'Amethyst Smoke'. For more leggings in lengths and colours, check out their other plus-size leggings available online.

Sizing:Plus size 1X-3X
Material:50 per cent recycled polyester fibres

Best petite gym leggings

These Adidas Techfit Long Leggings come in a range of petite sizes so you'll be sure to find your perfect fit. They feature mesh panels behind the knees to keep you feeling cool, are moisture-wicking, and are made from recycled polyester, for those looking for sustainability in their gym wear too. Along with Nike, Adidas also has a great size-inclusive range for plus size and tall too - more of the same please gym brands! If these don't tickle your fancy, it would definitely be worth checking out the other petite gym leggings in their range.

Review: "These are the best leggings I own. So comfortable but durable. And breathable. They are perfect. I wear them all the time."

Sizing:2XS-2XL
Material:85 per cent recycled polyester, 15 per cent elastane interlock

Best squat-proof leggings

Gymshark Flex High Waisted Leggings
Price: £32 (was £40)

uk.gymshark.com

These Gymshark Flex High Waisted Leggings, available in a host of beautiful pastel colours as well as standard black, are a well-celebrated part of the brand on social media with the sweat-wicking, seamless fabric, flattering high-rise fit, and figure-enhancing contouring shading. The opaque material will keep you covered no matter which exercises you do, providing you with the comfort and security to perform your best.

Tried and tested by Commercial Content Writer, Eleanor Weaver: "Another favourite in my book, these leggings are really flattering with the seamless contour shading which also helps to make them extra breathable as your work out, and the super high waist which is comfortable and form-fitting. I've found these to be great performance leggings for all sorts of gym exercises, especially for squats and the stair-climber where I'd rather not have my underwear on show! They haven't let me down yet."

Sizing:XS-XL
Material:93 per cent polyamide, 7 per cent elastane

Best cropped gym leggings

Another pick from Marks & Spencer, these Goodmove Go Move Cropped Gym Leggings are perfect if you're petite or prefer to have your calves fabric-free for optimal breathability. They're super-soft and will fit like a second skin with superb hold and support, while the high-rise waist and blackout fabric will give you all the necessary coverage you need. They come with both a handy secure phone and waistband pocket for keeping a hold of your essentials as you hop from one gym machine to another, and come at an amazing price.

Review: "I have purchased sportswear from M&S before. Especially the tracks that I bought before this lasted for 5 years. I am hoping that this one would go long and go far too. For now, I am very happy with the breathable material. It's light on the skin. It holds my body together. I can't be thankful enough."

Sizing:6-24
Material:91 per cent polyester, 9 per cent elastane

Best gym leggings for sculpting

Spanx Active Booty Boost High-Rise Stretch-Jersey Leggings
Price: $88

These Spanx Active Booty Boost High-Rise Stretch-Jersey Leggings from SPANX are perfect for sculpting your legs and bum, and they're completely squat-proof too. Going beyond its foundation in flattering shapewear, the brand has created these lovely, high-waist, and lightweight leggings that are nice enough to wear outside of the gym, too. You can also get a matching super supportive sports bra with criss-cross strap detailing for the full set.

Sizing:XS-XXXL
Material:60 per cent nylon, 40 per cent elastane

How do I choose gym leggings?

If you don’t already have a style or certain requirements in mind, there are some key factors that will help to narrow down to exactly what you want.

Size

Most importantly, you need your gym leggings to fit! Check the brand’s size guidelines before buying as sizes can differ across brands (infuriating, we know). We’d also recommend checking the reviews of customers, as this will give you an indication if you need to size up or down.

Material

Most workout leggings are made from synthetic fibres like polyester and nylon, due to their sweat-wicking properties and ability to stretch. They dry out quickly, aren't susceptible to over-stretching, and are lightweight. You may also see the addition of Spandex, Lycra, or elastane, which puts the stretch into your workout gear.

For lighter activities like yoga, you could probably get away with cotton leggings, which are breathable and comfortable. However, as they do absorb moisture, they aren't really suited to heavy workouts.

Workout class in leggings
©Getty Images

Style

This is completely down to preference with so many choices available. From experience and exploring the market, high-waisted leggings are the most popular and are more supportive. If you’re petite or have shorter legs, you may want to either opt for petite gym leggings, or leggings 7/8 in length.

Budget

Leggings can really vary in price, so if you have a budget, try to stick to it! We've included leggings from a range of price points, with prices between £9.99 and £108.

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