Finding the best workout leggings for your particular form of exercise can take a lot of trial and error and often comes down to the features you need for your workout. The exact right detail can be the difference between having an excellent workout or a subpar one. Some people might need a buttery soft material in order to let go in yoga class. Others might only feel ready to sweat once they’ve donned their favorite pair of brightly colored capris. Others need a pair of workout shorts that don’t ride up during their kickboxing class. I’m always on the hunt for the perfect high-waisted, slightly compressive, 7/8-length leggings that have enough pockets to hold my keys, cards, and phone while I’m on a run—in all black, of course.
With so many choices (and personal preferences), it helps to know what works for others with similar tastes and workouts. That’s why we tasked 24 fitness professionals and influencers to be our testers alongside our editors for this year’s SELF Fitness Awards. We tested more than 250 products in a range of workouts—outdoor runs, yoga classes, the gym, the studio, and beyond. We also made sure that our reviewers were able to test a range of sizes, since what works on one body may not work so well on another. For the leggings category, for example, we only considered products that went up to at least a size XL, and made sure there were winning options in an extended range of sizes as well. All of the winners listed here are new, released between October 2018 and September 2019.
Below are the 22 best workout leggings, capris, and shorts that truly passed our high standards. No matter what your workout, you’ll find something that works for you. And make sure you check out the rest of our 2019 Fitness Awards right here.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Quotes have been condensed and edited for clarity.