If you have ever come dangerously close to exposing your bum in Downward-Facing Dog position or gone for a long run only to be put off by how wet and clammy your legs feel after a few miles, then you know that all leggings are not created equal. It doesn't necessarily help that there are countless options on the market—everything from fabric type to the length and cut can make all the difference (and that's not even considering the design).
But while a lot of it ultimately comes down to personal preference, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind when matching your leggings to your workout for optimal comfort, whether you're a devoted yogi or never miss a barre class. Keep scrolling for our suggestions for the best leggings for every workout.
What to skip: low-rise styles, stiff fabric, and excess decorations. Ties and zippers are cool in theory, but when you're trying to manipulate yourself into a Bird of Paradise with a bind, they can get in the way. And unless your waistband is extremely secure, low-rise styles generally lead to constant tugging and adjusting, lest you flash your classmates.
Your best bet: high-waisted leggings in a soft, ultra-flexible fabric. The high cut means you won't even have to think about any potential wardrobe malfunctions, and a fabric that moves with you should be a given.
What to skip: cotton and other thin, absorbent fabrics. They're more likely to chafe and will leave you feeling damp by mile two.
Your best bet: a sweat-wicking fabric blend (almost anything with polyester) that's built to last. Choosing something that can withstand considerable wear and tear (heavy mileage) is never a bad idea, but you'll also want to coordinate with your current weather conditions.
What to skip: pieces that are flimsy or absorbent. As with running, sweat-wicking fabrics are your big priority here.
Your best bet: performance-driven, moisture-wicking styles. With dynamic workouts, you want something that fits well, stays put as you cycle through a tough round of burpees, and simultaneously keeps you dry.
What to skip: fabrics that are flimsy or don't breathe. Depending on how rugged or extensive your route is, you should probably aim for something sturdy that will still feel comfortable in a couple of hours.
Your best bet: breathable styles that are tough but comfortable. Better yet, find something with a pocket so that you're not lugging your keys and phone the entire time.
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. See our full health disclaimer here.