Not to sound melodramatic, but when I mysteriously misplaced my favorite pair of Lululemon leggings last year, I felt a small piece of myself die. That's because when you find a pair of comfy, flattering workout leggings that make you look like you go to one or two Pilates classes a week more than you actually do, you hold on for dear life.
As editors, we have strong feelings about which pieces we think are the most flattering workout leggings on the market: In such a saturated athleisure scene, you can trust that these 18 picks are mad comfortable, will last year years without stretching out, and (importantly) make you look like you have lower abs, long lean legs, and the ass of an angel.
Looking to drop a little cash on the best workout leggings you can get your booty into? We got you. Keep scrolling to discover our faves.
1. Yunoga Ultra Soft High Waisted Seamless Leggings
"I won't act like I've worked out that many times in these leggings (or at all in the last year), but I can tell that they would hold up. I love how comfortable they are, how they stay put without riding up or rolling down, and how flattering they look. Oh, and the $26 price tag doesn't hurt either." —Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour, Senior Market Editor, Who What Wear
2. Alo 7/8 High-Waist Airlift Legging
"When I'm in a groove of working out a lot, I wear these leggings at least three times a week. Even though my activewear drawer is overflowing with black leggings, these are still the pair that I always reach for first and force myself to do laundry more often so they're always fresh and ready to go. There's just nothing better than the way they sculpt and hold you in while also being lightweight. And I know they're super durable because they've held up throughout the most intense workouts from Rumble to Barry's." —Anna LaPlaca, Editor, Who What Wear
3. Emma Lou Nixie Sculpt & Sweat Yogas
"These may look like a pair of average leggings, but they're far from it. They're lined with a sweat-enhancing waistband that maximizes any workout. According to the brand, whose first-of-its-kind technology is patent-pending, the waistband is also good for reducing bloating, revving up your metabolism, and releasing toxins. It's a tall order for a humble pair of leggings, but I can honestly say that after working out in them a few times, it feels as though I worked that much harder (and definitely have the extra sweat to show for it)." —LaPlaca
4. Outdoor Voices Core 7/8 Legging
"Outdoor Voices leggings are always a win. They're so supportive and comfortable—I feel like they always hold me in during my toughest workouts." —Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY
5. Nike One Dri-FIT Leggings
"These are the best workout leggings I've ever worn—and I've gone through a lot of leggings. I have everything from fancy Lululemons to basic Zellas, and this Nike Dri-Fit style is my favorite. Funny enough, a former model turned me onto these—she's 5'10" and slim, and I'm 5'2" with curves. Somehow, they work for both of our bodies. They do not slip down or ride up. They wash and wear really easily—they're not too delicate or precious to put in the dryer. I've even worn them on a cross-country flight, so really, these might just be my favorite lazy day pants‚ they just happen to be great workout leggings." —Drew Elovitz, Director of Content Strategy & Senior Managing Editor
6. Onzie High-Rise Leggings
"I have several pairs of high-waisted black leggings but recently decided to branch out into prints. I purchased this pair in the summer and got them hemmed to fall right above my ankle. They are breathable, lightweight, and fit snugly at the waist, which makes them perfect for both exercising and weekend errands." —Elovitz
7. Alo 7/8 High-Waist Airbrush Legging
"I really love Alo's 7/8 Airbrush leggings. Aside from being the perfect length, they are comfortable and have the perfect amount of compression. I'm always sad when they're dirty and I think it's high time I start adding to my collection." —Allyson Payer, Senior Editor, Who What Wear
8. Le Ore Corso Crossover Legging
"I detest most athleisure clothing, to be honest, as I find most designs vanilla, and I will always pick dressing up over comfort. But when it comes to working out, I love to pick a unique ensemble to make the thought of leggings more bearable. I love these crossover Bandier leggings because they're cute enough to make a statement, and they last well in a serious sweat session." —Jasmine Fox-Suliaman, Audience Engagement Editor
9. Beyond Yoga At Your Leisure High Waist Leggings
"I first discovered Beyond Yoga in a Corepower studio years ago and instantly fell in love with the ultra-soft fabric. I have quite a few pieces from the brand but my favorite is easily this pair of leggings (I have both grey and black because, duh). What sold me is the high-rise v-shaped waistband because it makes me feel super confident about my body even on the days when I may not be feeling myself. I don't know if I'll ever be able to go back to a straight-across waistband again." —Michaela Bushkin, Senior Fashion Editor, Branded Content
10. Year of Ours Ribbed Veronica Legging
"My second but equally beloved leggings pick is from Year of Ours. The pair features the same waistband style I love so much but in a stretchy ribbed material. I should probably mention the brand makes the exact same style in a biker short. —Bushkin
11. Splits59 Raquel High Waist Flared Legging
"So I originally wanted these because of the flare style (sometimes you've got to switch it up!) but, oh my god this material is unbelievable. I've never met a pair of softer leggings—they fit like a glove and literally feel like butter. Run, don't walk." —Anneliese Dominguez, Fashion Editor, Branded Content
12. Zella Live In High Waist Leggings
"Zella's leggings are great for any type of workout. I even love wearing them when I'm lounging around or running errands. They're supportive, flattering, and so easy to move in." —Yang
13. Fp Movement High-Rise You're a Peach Leggings
"These are one of my favorite leggings because they're a step above your average pair, thanks to the fun details like piping and ruching at the ankle. They're so soft, yet still have the right amount of compression. And they have a handy pocket at the back." —Yang
14. Girlfriend Collective Compressive Rib High-Rise Legging
"There are so many things to love about Girlfriend Collective's leggings. One, they're supportive and compressive. Two, they're comfy as heck. And three, they're made from recycled water bottles." —Yang
15. Core 10 Nearly Naked Yoga High Waist 7/8 Crop Legging
16. Athleta Ultimate Stash Pocket Tight
"Athleta's Ultimate Stash leggings are so perfect for any medium to high-impact workout, like HIIT classes or cardio. The fabric is sleek, supportive, and best of all, moisture-wicking, which you need during those sweaty workouts." —Yang
17. Sweaty Betty Power Leggings
"Okay, so yes, $100 isn't anything to sneeze at when it comes to the likes of leggings, but these are by far the best I've ever had. (And considering I wore leggings nearly every day in high school—and okay, maybe college too—I feel vetted in the arena.) They're lightweight and stretchy enough so I can actually wear them while working out without nearing suffocation, yet opaque enough so they're 100% safe to wear around in public. And honestly, I do more of the latter than the former. Plus, they're just super flattering. They keep everything feeling pretty svelte and hit my waist in the perfect place (too high gives me acid reflux, and too low is just a no-go.) They're sleek, comfy, and I definitely plan on buying a few more pairs." —Erin Jahns, Senior Beauty Editor, Who What Wear
18. Lululemon Athletica In Movement 7/8 Tights
"My Lululemon leggings are the most comfortable pair I own. It's easier for me to stick to the classic brands where I know my size and exactly which styles to stock up on." —Erin Fitzpatrick, Senior News Editor, Who What Wear
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.
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