Welcome to The/Thirty's Sweat Guide, a series devoted to the art of sweating smarter—no matter how hard you're working out (or how hot it is outside). Check back for advice on the best cooling, post-workout products, editor-approved natural deodorants, and more.
Illustration by Haobin Ye
Few things ruin the afterglow of a kick-ass workout like a swampy pair of leggings, am I right? It's a testament to the fact that not all "performance-driven" activewear is actually created equal. In reality, finding leggings that will wick moisture even during (and after) the toughest of workouts can come to trial and error, as well as personal preference.
But that's also why you have us. As a crew of editors who collectively enjoy a variety of different workouts and live in two cities that boast humidity levels on opposite ends of the spectrum, we can definitely vouch for the leggings that keep us dry and happy, no matter how (and how much) we're breaking a sweat. So without further ado, shop our favorites below—and stay cool out there.
"I'm obsessed with Gymshark workout clothes," says Byrdie managing editor Lindsey. "The material is often very thick, which sounds like it'll chafe and make you sweat, but instead it acts like shapewear that's super breathable and very flattering."
These leggings are definitely a departure from OV's signature structured fabric, but I fell in love with them the first time I wore them out on a long, sweaty hike. They're butter-soft and feel almost invisible—and most importantly, they always stay dry.
These ultra-flattering leggings are my go-to for just about everything—yoga, the farmers market, and cleaning my (AC-free) house. They're made from recycled materials and only get better with age—and yes, they're gloriously sweatproof.
Senior editor Hallie agrees: "Leggings can be tough because you want them to be fitted but not cutting off your circulation and high-waisted but not cut all the way up to your boobs," she says. (So true.) "It took me forever to find the perfect pair, and these, my friends, are it. They keep me cool because the fabric feels so light and easy (but keep me sucked in when I want to be too). They're all-around the perfect pair of pants for a yoga class, a hike, or coffee when I want to pretend that I'm active."
Social media editor Aimee is a huge fan of these leggings. "I have literally participated in super-sweaty workouts where everyone else had crotch and butt sweat and I didn't," she says.
Who What Wear editor Aemilia likes to wear these on long runs during the summer months (read: when humidity levels in New York are off the charts). "I'm obsessed with these leggings because they're basically 50% mesh, meaning they're super breathable," she says. "Which is key because things are pretty sweaty in NYC these days."
Aimee also gives this pair an A-plus. "I feel cool, dry, and happy before, during, and after the workout," she says.
"They're the only full-length leggings I can stand to work out in," says Byrdie assistant editor Erin. "They don't trap sweat or heat or make me feel claustrophobic while I work out. Plus, on a more superficial level, I've never gotten as many compliments (from total strangers!) on an item of workout clothing before."