Listen, I don't mind being a little bit on the short side. But at 5'3," I find there are some instances where I wonder why I didn't get my dad's tall genes and got my mom's petite ones instead. One: when I have to reach something on a high shelf. And two: when I'm trying to find pants.
Oh, pants—what a love-hate relationship I've had with you. When I was a preteen and teen, I found it tough to find jeans that didn't need to be hemmed. Some had shorter inseams, but for some options, I was out of luck. Anything "ankle" length fit me like full-length pants. While there are a lot more inseam options out there now, trying to find my new favorite jeans or pair of pants can still be a long search, even to this day.
The same predicament could be applied to workout leggings. Most brands don't even have inseam options. And while you want your bottoms to fit all the time, it's especially important for your activewear to fit so that you can feel comfortable during workouts and so that the extra fabric doesn't really get in the way.
If you're reading this and nodding and saying "same," I got your back. As a wellness editor who has recently upped her workout game, I've tried out quite a few workout leggings lately, and I'm happy to say that there are some gems out there that will fit short girls perfectly. No bunching up, just a sleek look—all without having to pull them up to your chest in order for the hem to hit correctly.
Take a look at some of my favorite options and others I've found through scouring online reviews below.
Thank you, Athleta, for having petite sizing for people 5'4" and under! They're the exact same styles but are about two inches shorter in length. I like this comfy pair for yoga and barre classes. They also have convenient pockets.
With Girlfriend Collective's leggings, you get two inseam options—28 inches and 23 ¾ inches. It's one of my favorite brands. The leggings are buttery soft yet supportive, and it's really cool that they're made from recycled water bottles.
Alo is another activewear brand I love. It has so many interesting colors and silhouettes; it definitely makes working out really fun. I find its 7/8 Leggings are the perfect length for me—they hit right at my ankles. The Airlift Leggings are super supportive, lifting, and sculpting. I've worn them for all kinds of workouts, from yoga to indoor cycling.
Zella leggings are a cult favorite with our readers because they're easy to move in yet are sweat wicking for intense workouts. This is a lightweight, high-waisted option.
One of my favorite pair of leggings in my activewear collection is from Outdoor Voices. The fabric is thick enough to provide so much support without weighing me down. I always feel confident when I'm wearing them. Plus, the 7/8 Leggings hit my ankle so perfectly.
I have these leggings in my closet, and they are just so good. First, they're soft and comfortable, yet I've worn them for HIIT and barre classes. Second, the details are so fun, from the piping to the ruched detail at the ankle.
These leggings hit right at the ankle, so they'll probably fit perfectly on shorter people. The moisture-wicking pair has four-way stretch, a high waist, and pockets that are big enough to stash your credit cards and phone.
Nike designed this pair of tights to "lock into the muscles of key regions," so you know they will give you the perfect amount of support to do your thing during workouts. The mid-rise leggings have hidden pockets at the front and back.
Made for the yoga studio and the street, these leggings are the kind that you can also wear while lounging around the house or running errands. They're super comfortable, but they also smooth and sculpt.
Lululemon has so many length options in its inventory, from 17 inches to 31 inches. The Align Pant was designed for yoga classes, but I find that you can wear these lightweight and soft leggings for barre and Pilates, too.
These leggings work for low-impact and high-impact workouts equally. There's also a hidden back pocket and reflective details.
Another option from Athleta, this super-soft pair of leggings is best for yoga and studio classes. They have a three-layer waistband, so they will support and won't ride down.
I have about five pairs of Old Navy leggings. I just love them so much because they're so affordable and really get the job done. I can wear them for HIIT classes and restorative yoga classes and feel good in both.
Under Armour's Meridian Leggings come in short, regular, and tall, so everyone's covered here. The performance fabric is durable and soft and has four-way stretch. They also have anti-odor technology, which prevents the growth of microbes.
This lightweight pair is 7/8 length and has a sculpted fit. The ombré design is just really cool and unique, too.