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, 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.
These cropped leggings have mesh panels at the side for even more breathability (you'll be thankful during that sweaty hot yoga session or summer hike). It has Nike's signature moisture-wicking Dri-FIT technology so you won't feel too gross after an especially tough workout. There's also a hidden pocket at the waistband and side pockets.
Zella leggings are one of the most-purchased items on THE/THIRTY, and we can totally see why. They hug your body just right and feel so comfortable. This pair has moisture-wicking fabric so you can dry off quickly after class, and there's a hidden pocket for cash or a key.
These leggings have a cool moto detail, which will make a statement in your hot yoga class (or the gym or other studio class). Since the pair is high-waisted (with a five-inch waistband) you won't have to worry about pulling up your leggings while you're working out. The fabric also has moisture-wicking antimicrobial technology.
The price really can't be beat for JoyLab's leggings. These leggings are soft and comfortable to move around in, but they also do a good job of keeping you dry (or as dry as you can get). Plus, the design brings some personality to a workout.
Gap is known for its dependable activewear, and these leggings don't disappoint. They're made of breathable material to keep you dry during your workout. The high-compression fabric supports and smooths, so you can go for that personal record without feeling uncomfortable.
Amazon has its own brand of activewear gear, and the reviews are pretty positive. This pair of leggings can be customized—choose from a high or low waist, and regular, short, and long inseams. The moisture-wicking, medium-weight pair has side pockets and mesh panels.
"They're the only full-length leggings I can stand to work out in," says Who What Wear's Assistant Beauty Editor Erin Jahns. "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."
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 sweat-proof.
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.
This post was updated by Sarah Yang.