What’s the Best Pair of Leggings for Fitness Gear?

leggings - fitness gear

Ultimate Guide for the Best Leggings Fitness Gear

When you workout, you need to have the complete ideal fitness gear. It’s a must to give you comfort while working out and also prevents injury. Most of us might be asking these questions. Capris or full-length? Patterns or solid colors? Which is best for workout?

We gathered up some opinions from experts on what is best for workout fitness gear. Here are the comparison:

Capri vs. Full-Length

Capri: Shorties tend to gravitate to an abbreviated length. “I find capris to be more flattering for my body because I am so short,” says Newport Beach, California resident Calee Brean Killion. “Flashing some ankle is always a good call,” adds Sweaty Betty creative director and founder, Tamara Hill-Norton. And some ladies feel like they can perform better in shorter styles. “In Pilates and yoga class, there is nothing worse than when you are trying to do a move and your foot is sliding off the fabric of your full-length leggings,” says Miami resident Megan Kat Williams, who says she feels like a “legit fitness goddess” in her Athleta Quest Chataranga capris.

black leggings as running gear
Black Capri Leggings
Fitness Gear
Full length Patterned Leggings

Full-Length: “I think longer styles are definitely more flattering,” says SLT founder Amanda Freeman, and taller women were in agreement: “I would never wear capris,” says Julie Russell, who regularly hikes and does yoga in her trusted Gap exercise pants. “For a tall girls, this is like being chopped in half. Full-length makes everything looks longer.” In addition, others have chimed in that the longer style actually helps prevent slips during yoga class—the fabric absorbs sweat so you’re not trying to balance on slippery skin.


Solid vs. Patterns

Solid: Classic black goes with everything and doesn’t show sweat or dirt. “I will always prefer a dark color to a light one,” says avid cyclist Cristina Goyanes. “Darker shades are more flattering on my curves. Also, I dislike how in lighter colors you can see sweat marks.” Darker tones also transition easily from workout to errands, brunch, and happy hour, says Bukola Ekundayo, a Seattle yoga and Jillian Michaels DVD enthusiast. It’s all about balance, you know…barre-to-bar.

Patterns: “Prints make working out a bit more fun,” says Brooklyn indoor cycling devotee Lark-Marie Anton Menchini. “The Onzie capri pants in Jamaica mesh print just makes me happy, and when I look down while on my bike it reminds me I need to push myself harder.” Tracy Anderson‘s director of training, Maria Kelling, also gravitates to prints, specifically those with a mix of dark and light colors. “Usually I tend to have leggings that have the pattern or color going down the sides of the legs.” Kelling’s not alone: Freeman estimates that 4 out of 10 of her clients currently wear printed leggings to class. “Patterns can be surprisingly flattering and are crazy trendy right now,” she says. “Some of the best include camouflage, animal prints, snake skin, and loud, wild prints.” Brooklyn resident Isabel Vigil says that for her, the key to wearing patterns is finding the right style and fit. “If the leggings are too small, the pattern can look stretched and distorted…like on your booty.”

Second Skin vs. Slightly Loose

Second Skin: “I wear my Adidas high-rise tights when I know I’m going to get a butt kicking at the gym and will be doing a lot of jumping and sweating,” says Vigil. “They keep everything in place through the torture. Not only do I have more confidence in the way I look, but also feel stronger and go harder.” But there is such thing as too much compression—anything that restricts movement or breathing was a no-no among the women polled. “Overly snug can be an issue,” adds Killion. Another performance benefit of a snug fit is that during barre classes—where some exercises involving only moving a few inches—tighter clothes allow your instructor to keep tabs on your form. And better form = better results.

Slightly Loose: “The idea of wearing snug clothing scares me!” says Menchini. And Russell swears by her yoga pants, which have a roomier fit than most leggings on the market. “I love that they have flare legs—seems kind of out of style, but I think it’s flattering!” Of course you have to take performance into consideration, too. If you’re doing a lot of lateral exercises or jumping, any extra fabric may get in your way.

Low Rise vs. High Waist

Low Rise: Out of all the details—seams, ruching, pockets—the feature that was brought up again and again was waistband placement. “I can rock any pair of leggings with the right waistband,” says Kelling. “I prefer my waistband rolled over and my pants low. This accentuates my lower abdominals and gives a great perky look to the butt.” And sometimes this style helps prevent the waistband from rolling over during inversions in yoga class.

Fitness Gear
Low Rise Leggings

High Waist: A higher, thicker waistband can feel more secure during boot camp classes so you don’t have to constantly stop and tug tights up. Molly Leibowitz wears her Zella Live In leggings to group fitness classes—and even got her former roommate hooked on them. “They have a wider waistband that helps everything look smoother,” she says.

High Waisted Leggings - fitness gear
High Waisted Leggings

Now you have the different opinions from experts. In conclusion, there is no rules for fitness gear. Ultimately, you want to rock a pair of leggings that make you feel happy and confident. Sometimes feeling good, may be just the kick (or lift) in the butt you need to help you push harder. Whatever fitness gear you are in. Comfort is the number 1 priority.