#Health & Fitness

We Asked 10 Fitness Trainers The Best Leggings For Actually Working Out

by Taylor Borde and Caroline Harris

We Asked 10 Fitness Trainers The Best Leggings For Actually Working Out
Shop Story

We found the best leggings to wear, whether you’re a yogi or a weightlifter, according to 10 of the chicest yoga, barre, HIIT, and personal fitness instructors across the country.

 

With so many workout leggings on the market and new indie brands popping up every day, it’s hard to determine which pairs are worth the investment. Depending on how you like to exercise, your leggings need to follow suit and perform a certain way, too. We turned to some of the coolest trainers from California, New York, Texas, and elsewhere to find the best leggings for working out.

 

It can be challenging to work up the motivation to go to the gym, but cute clothing always helps. That’s why we’re turning to fitness icons like Amanda Asaro for outfit inspiration. The Barry's Bootcamp Instructor, Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach embodies the “sporty chic” aesthetic — and we’re so here for it.

 

With workout clothes this fabulous, the gym may become your new favorite place. The trainers we found live and breathe athleisure, so they’re pros when it comes to picking out the best gear. Whether you’re a yogi, barre ballerina, runner or weightlifter, we’re bringing you pairs of stretchy pants that will truly upgrade your gym kit.

 

Image Credits: CARBON38

Best Leggings For Pilates & Yoga

Carbon 38 Takara Leggings

Price:$98.00

“I am in love with the Carbon38 Takara leggings for most of my workouts because they aren’t see-through and their high-waist, black ones are easy for me to go from class to teaching or a meeting should I have to. I never have to pull them up, they don’t ride up, and they make every curve of your leg look amazing!”—Lesley Logan, Pilates Instructor

Image Credits: Lululemon

Best Leggings For Pilates & Yoga

Align Pant II 25”

Price:$98.00

“I'm a big fan of Lululemon pants. I’ve been buying their pants for over five years now and haven't had any issues. I love the cut, design, and feeling of the fabrics, and they stay in place and have various fabrics that will fit your different workouts. The Align pant is my favorite for a light yoga session, designed for a smooth flow through your entire practice.

I think most of [Lululemon’s] pants are worth the price (not all), but it just depends on your preference of fit and feeling. I always recommend trying everything on—a size up or down—just to make sure you're getting the right fit for you.”—Kathryn Manigross, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and TRX Instructor

Image Credits: Athleta

Best Leggings For Pilates & Yoga

Athleta Elation Ultra High Rise Misty Lace Tight

Price:$79.99

"I'm definitely an Athleta fan. My faves are the Elation Misty Lace Tight and the Classic Navy Blue Pinstripe. The lace tight has that subtle edge without being too flashy, which is perfect for teaching. Plus, the fabric feels amazing." –Kristina Erikson, Yoga Instructor and Actress

Image Credits: Sweaty Betty

Best Leggings For Barre

Power Workout Leggings

Price:$100.00

“My favorite leggings are Sweaty Betty's Power Leggings. They are high-waisted, super flattering, and fit so wonderfully. They are light, but feel substantial on my body, too. They are opaque so I don't need to worry about bending over. Sweaty Betty often releases these pants in different patterns, and they're always so adorable. They dry quick, too! These leggings are my go-to for all the classes I teach. I've been wearing the brand religiously for three years.”—Lauren Chiarello, Barre Teacher

Image Credits: Revolve

Best Leggings For Barre

Onzie High Rise Stirrup Legging

Price:$72.00

“As the Operations Director at Fitness on the Water and an instructor of many different class formats including Pilates, barre, spinning, and rebounding, my collection of leggings is vast! It’s crucial that my leggings are comfortable, flattering, functional, and transition well from barefoot in the studio to boots on the street!

I’ve recently discovered Onzie. Their leggings are high-waisted, compress everything in a highly-flattering way, and wash and dry like regular clothes. As the high waist helps them stay up, these pants are perfect for yoga and barre classes.”—Dana Brown, Barre, Yoga, and Spin Instructor

Image Credits: Lululemon

Best Leggings For HIIT & CrossFit

Fast and Free Tight II 25

Price:$128.00

"My absolute favorite workout tight is the Fast and Free Tight II 25" from Lululemon. They have a naked sensation so they don't feel super compressive but they are fitted to the skin just as a second layer. I also love the ankle length. No worries here of excess bunching for my fellow petite gals. These tights have tons of pockets for my phone, long run fuel and gloves when I'm ready to shed layers. The Fast and Frees are sporty, performative tights with flattering seams and practical features to support you and your toughest workouts." –Amanda Asaro, Barry's Bootcamp Instructor, Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach

Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best Leggings For HIIT & CrossFit

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings (Plus-Size)

Price:$59.00

“Zella leggings are a staple. They’re moisture-wicking and stay in place whatever the workout, from a light lift to TRX training. I also love that these leggings are available in plus-sizes, in addition to sizes small through extra-large, so anyone can find their perfect pair.

Target’s Kathryn Manigross, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and TRX Instructor

Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best Leggings For HIIT & CrossFit

Girlfriend High-Rise ¾ Legging

Price:$68.00

“I recommend Girlfriend Collective leggings because they look beautiful, don't ride up, and aren't see-through. I also wear these aside from working out because they look great with any outfit. They're great because they stay in place for the high-intensity interval training portions of my class, but are also soft and smooth and help with the fluidity of motion in Pilates—the perfect combination for the classes I teach.—Melanie Kotcher, HIIT Pilates Instructor

Image Credits: Lululemon

Best Leggings For Weightlifting

Wunder Under Crop (Hi-Rise) Full-On Luon 21

Price:$88.00

“With my clients, I primarily focus on weight training and cardio-based exercises. The Wunder Under Crop is my favorite legging for lifting weights and squatting and is runner-up in my entire legging collection behind Alo’s Airbrush Capri. The thicker fabric means I won’t be caught in a compromising position when deadlifting or putting down weights (every woman’s worst nightmare). The high rise fit also ensures a comfortable, flattering fit for your gym session.”—Deborah Lynn Irmas, Personal Trainer

Image Credits: Athleta

Best Leggings For Weightlifting

Salutation Stash Pocket II Colorblock 7/8 Tight

Price:$98.00

“Here’s what I look for in a good-fitting legging:

1. Does the legging fit your waist properly? Can you wear them comfortably without having to strategically select a shirt long enough to cover your plumbers crack or a shirt loose enough to make sure your muffin top isn’t bulging?
2. Breathability is something we overlook because they are cute, but—let’s face it—if you’re too hot and run around all day in something not allowing air after or while you sweat, that moisture will not allow your down there area to dry out, causing potential yeast infections.
3. Lastly, functionality. What type of workout are you doing? Sometimes this matters because if you need stability, a stability compression legging vs. a yoga legging could help with performance while a compression legging would be too tight for yoga." —Nikki Walter, a Bodybuilding.comTEAM Athlete

Image Credits: Alo Yoga

Best Leggings For Running

Airbrush Capri

Price:$68.00

“I also do a lot of running on my own and while training clients. Alo Yoga’s Airbrush Capri is my number one, go-to pant for running—or anything really! It’s simple in design and tight to the skin like it is your skin, exactly what you want while running outside. Since I live in Santa Monica, these are perfect for medium-to-light weather, but the full-length Airbrush Legging is better for long runs in the cold without being uncomfortable.” —Deborah Lynn Irmas, ACE-Certified Personal Trainer

Image Credits: Lululemon

Best Leggings For Running

Lululemon Zoned In Tight 27

Price:$148.00

"I'm a total Lululemon guru and also love the Zoned In Tight 27". They are designed for running with a seamless, carefree construction. They have extra compress right where you need it most and less where you are looking for more ventilation, like behind the knees." –Amanda Asaro, Barry's Bootcamp Instructor, Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach

Image Credits: Shopbop

Best Leggings For Running

Michi Stardust Crop Legging

Price:$125.00

“In addition to teaching Pilates for over 10 years, I’m also a runner and train once a week. I love my Michi leggings because the lines are very flattering and great for all my workouts. The mesh sides are also great for airing out and the high waistband makes sure they won’t fall down during a run, not to mention they look great with everything.” —Lesley Logan, Pilates Instructor