The humble women's running legging should offer a perfect blend of performance and comfort. Running leggings are designed to provide support and flexibility during runs of any intensity or distance. In this article, we've gathered run tights from the best brands in the biz, bringing you our honest recommendations for running.
A staple in any woman's wardrobe, a good pair of running leggings, along with running shorts, will also double-up as your go-to tights for hikes, that early-morning yoga class, and even popping to the shops. Of course, running leggings should above all be primed for a run, with sublime breathability and no-budge features. But the best leggings will also be versatile.
Montane Slipstream Trail Running Tights – Best in Test
Decathlon Emboss Trail Running Long Leggings – Best Value
BAM Flexa Seamless Running Leggings – Best for sustainability
Under Armour Rush SmartForm Ankle Leggings – Most comfortable
On Running Performance Tight – Most versatile option
Badass Mother Runner Leggings – Most colourful
Ronhill Tech X-Tights – Recommended for weather protection
Rab Talus Tights – Recommended
Hoka Performance Tight – Recommended
Let's not also forget the need to look good! Yes, feeling stylish does make you run faster, it's proven. That's why we've rounded up our favourite running tights that are flattering yet comfortable, while remaining practical for multi-activity use.
Best women's running leggings
The running equivalent of a high-end sports car, you can see that Montane has paid real attention
- High waistband with drawstring
- Loads of storage
- Made from eco-friendly re-generated nylon
- Zips and anti-slip hem at the ankles
- Minimal reflective details
- Come up a tiny bit large
We were thoroughly impressed by the Decathlon Emboss leggings, especially considering their
- Exceptional value
- Pockets galore
- Ankle zips
- Uses recycled material
- Less breathable than some
On first view, we wondered if these BAM Flexa leggings were actually a base layer, as the soft
- Made from sustainable, degradable materials
- Super soft and comfy
- Good for sensitive skin
- Minimal seams
- No pockets
- Retain water
- Sizing comes up large
Sliding on the Under Armour (UA) Rush SmartForm Ankle Leggings, we were immediately struck by
- Lightweight and breathable
- Super comfy waistband
- Phone pocket that stays up!
- Could use more secure pockets
- No eco credentials
The On Running Performance Tights are some of the more versatile running leggings we've come
- Made from 75% recycled polyester
- Secure phone pocket and rear zip
- Silky smooth and versatile design
- Less affordable than others
These Tech X Tights from Ronhill provide a good fit with generous leg length. A high, thin
- High-waisted with added security of a drawstring
- Cosy, breathable material that holds its shape and stays in place
- Reflective detail
- One pocket that doesnt fit a phone
- Gets wet and stays wet
- Bobbling after one wear
A brand designed by a mum struggling with her mental health, the print alone of these Badass
- Great value for money
- Great fit
- Attractive fun and design
- Thick, high waist band
- Loads of pockets
- The design may not be everyone's style
The Rab Talus leggings are true to size, flattering, and contour the body perfectly. They form a
- Effective moisture-wicking
- Reinforced material
- carbon-neutral company
- Label rubs
The Hoka Performance Tights are attractive, blissfully soft, smooth, and thick, making them
- Super soft and form-fitting fabric
- Made from 75% recycled materials
- Three useful pockets
- Slightly thicker than others
Key features to look out for in women's running leggings
Leg length: Running leggings come in full, 7/8, and 3/4 lengths. Full-length is generally best for winter because it provides more coverage. By contrast, 3/4-length is better in milder conditions. And 7/8-length occupies a happy mid-ground, angling towards versatility. They are often a good option for those of shorter stature too.
Materials: Polyamide or polyester fibres intertwined with a stretchy material like Lycra is what the vast majority of running leggings are made of. Given this widespread use of synthetic material, buying leggings that use recycled fabric is always better.
Sweat-wicking: Running leggings are typically made from moisture-wicking fabrics, such as polyester or nylon blends, which efficiently draw sweat away from the skin to keep you dry and comfortable when running.
Compression: Many running leggings provide graduated compression, which aims to improve blood circulation and reduce muscle fatigue. Compressive material also provides support and reduce bounce as you run.
Breathability: The fabrics used in running leggings are often designed with breathable panels or mesh inserts, typically behind the knees or along the sides. These promote airflow to regulate body temperature during particularly hot runs.
Flexibility: Running leggings are normally designed with four-way stretch capabilities, allowing for unrestricted movement. This ensures full range of movement when you run, which is key.
Waistband design: Wide and elastic waistbands with drawstrings are common in running leggings, providing a secure fit and preventing them from slipping down during exercise. Women in particular tend to prefer a high-waisted and wide waistband, which should add support and comfort to your run.
Pockets: Some running leggings feature discreet pockets, strategically placed to hold small essentials like keys, energy gels, or a smartphone. Many also have larger pockets situated on the leg, or at the rear, to slide in your smartphone. We would advise the more pockets the better!
Anti-odour technology: Certain leggings, and indeed general sportswear, incorporate anti-odour treatments to fend off bacteria and keep the leggings fresh even after sweaty runs.
Reflective elements: Safety is a priority in running gear. Many leggings incorporate reflective elements, such as strips or logos, to enhance visibility during low-light conditions.