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 11 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.
"I've been hooked on my Girlfriend leggings since the moment the brand launched. I love the message of sustainability (they're made from recycled bottles!) and inclusivity—its designs are made for all body types and its lookbook highlights that, which is novel (even if it shouldn't be). But above all else, these leggings are so comfortable and flattering and maintain their shape even after more than a year of regular use. I highly recommend picking them up in all colors (and snagging some matching sports bras to boot)." — Victoria
2. Varley Huntley Marble-Print Performance Leggings With Mesh
"I'm very open about my addiction to cycling. My week isn't complete without going to Flywheel—I haven't found an outlet that relieves my stress the way riding all my worries out on these bikes does. With that being said, I need sturdy leggings that can outlast a high-intensity workout. For one, I love the way these marble-print leggings look. I'll still feel cute and presentable grabbing a smoothie after my workout because you can easily repurpose these into your wardrobe. More importantly, I can move around in them, and they're fast-absorbing, so I can avoid that sticky sweat aftermath." — Maya
Loved by: Kaitlyn McLintock, news writer, and Amanda Montell, features editor
Available in sizes XS to XL.
"They're high-waisted, which means two things. The first is that they look amazing with a crop top. The second is that they stay fitted and secure around the waist without any of that annoying readjusting that so many workout leggings require. They also have a stripe down the side the elongates the legs. Most importantly, though, they're the most comfortable pair of leggings I've ever worn. They fit like a second skin and never stretch out, no matter how far you run, jump, stretch, or brunch. I'm obsessed." — Kaitlyn
"These tights are incredible. They're sweat-wicking, high-waisted, and they have pockets! It took me a while to try this popular mall brand, but now that I've tried Athleta, I seriously want to buy five more pairs of its leggings. If you love to exercise, you need to add these to your closet ASAP." — Aimee
"Mott50's leggings are top tier for so many reasons: First of all, they're UPF 50, so you can wear them doing rooftop yoga and know your skin is being protected. Second, they're quick-drying, so you can wear them SUP'ing. And third, they are ultra-high-waisted and shockingly slimming, which never hurts. Pair them with the brand's matching long-sleeved Stella Crop Top ($78), and your athleisure 'fit will be so good, it would be a crime not to Instagram it." — Amanda
"I love Outdoor Voices—the leggings are super flattering and comfortable (and I like that the bras are slightly longer than an average sports bra). Plus, I've got a soft spot for matching sets." — Faith
"The glory of Lulu leggings is hardly breaking news, but I couldn't put together a list of the most flattering leggings and not include this tried-and-true, must-have treasure. I don't know what kind of Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants black magic these things are working, but every time I put on these leggings, my legs look long and lean and my booty lifted. And yet, they're still incredibly comfortable? Mind-blowing. Also, for petite women like me, the 25-inch length is absolutely prefect." — Amanda
"If you were to take a peek into my activewear drawer, you'd find a sea of black leggings. I typically don't attempt to make a fashion statement at the gym, which can probably be attributed to the fact that I'm slowly working my way into being a 'gym person,' so I'd rather blend in than stick out. But when I saw Whitney Simmons wearing a pair of these ombre Chalk Pink/Beet Gymshark leggings at a Tula event, I immediately Googled them, took a screenshot, and saved them to purchase later. The color, though very anti–blending in, is universally flattering, and they're incredibly soft, super high-waisted, and compress toward the top (like athletic Spanx), which highlights the gains I've made thus far. I look forward to wearing them, which makes working out less of a drag, and if I happen to stand out, I'm okay with that." — Lindsey
"Cashmere leggings sound like something reserved for an Equinox member (which I'm certainly not), but I find myself still feeling fancy—and comfy—each time I wear these Reebok Nature X leggings. As mentioned before, I'm a big fan of high-waisted leggings and love the surprise mesh panels on the side for an unexpected fishnet look." — Lindsey
"For how stylish and leg-lengthening these leggings are, you'd think they'd feel mega-tight and hard to breathe in, but instead, they are so soft and comfortable. If I'm mindlessly reaching into my drawer of workout clothes to grab a pair of leggings, I always default to these."
"Okay, so yes, $105 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
"I love fun workout outfits, so my activewear drawer is a rainbow of options. I'm not shy about wearing colorful or printed activewear in any way. These tie-dye leggings (with matching sports bra) fit right in with the usual suspects. I love the cotton candy sunset vibe, especially for spring." — Michaela
Loved by: Drew Elovitz, director of content strategy
Available in sizes XS to XL.
"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." — Drew
14. Adidas by Stella McCartney Train Bt Tight Leggings
“You might automatically think of sneakers when you hear Adidas, but it’s the legging selection that deserves a shoutout, too. The new line uses recycled plastic found on beaches in an effort to reduce ocean waste, and as weird as it sounds to wear leggings woven with plastic, let me tell you—it makes them ultra-breathable and perfect for intense workouts.” — Anna
15. Fp Movement High-Rise 7/8 You're a Peach Leggings
"Free People's leggings from its FP Movement category are stellar. They fit extremely well, don't move while you're working out, and always have some little detail that makes them feel really special."
"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
None of the leggings on this list will do you wrong. Happy fitnessing!
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.