Often, it’s not easy to know which are the best gym leggings to buy. The ideal pair should be barely noticeable, should fit comfortably, not dig in anywhere and never need adjusting while you work out. They should keep you cool and dry, so breathable or moisture-wicking material is essential, so you don’t end up overheating.
It’s worth considering the way you prefer to exercise before you buy. Runners or those who like high-impact classes may be better off with a lightweight pair, while yoga devotees will love looser or softer styles that don’t interfere with movement. Some prefer leggings with more compression, to hold everything in place and give a more streamlined silhouette, but bear in mind these styles can be a little warmer.
A high waistband offers extra support, while an inner drawstring provides the closest possible fit. A deep pocket may also be essential if you want to carry your phone while working out, although, the pockets on many leggings are far too small for the average smartphone.
Finally, remember it may not pay to choose the cheapest pair. It’s important for leggings to feature premium material that won’t sag or fall down and will stay looking just as good after endless washes – as all the ones we’ve highlighted below will.
How we tested
We worked up a sweat to judge the best gym leggings by wearing every single pair to work out in. We wore them running outside and on the treadmill, in high-impact classes and even while hiking and horse riding. Most importantly, we squatted in every pair to make sure they were completely opaque, to save any embarrassment.
For each pair, we considered the fit and comfort, the sizes and colours available and if they were flattering. We judged how easy they were to move in and wash, their value for money and if we liked them so much we’d be happy to wear them while out for coffee after the gym.
The best gym leggings for 2023 are:
- Best gym leggings overall – Gymshark vital seamless 2.0 leggings: £45, Gymshark.com
- Best budget gym leggings – Marks and Spencer Go Move cropped gym leggings: £22.50, Marksandspencer.com
- Best gym leggings for size range – Fabletics oasis pureluxe high-waisted leggings: From £33.60, Fabletics.co.uk
- Best eco-friendly gym leggings – Nike zenvy women’s gentle support high-waisted full-length leggings: £89.95, Nike.com