- Welcome to Another Mother Runner Gears Up: Our new gear testing column! We are going to have #motherrunners put key running gear—capris, headlamps, socks, bras, etc.—to the test, and deliver the results to you so that you can grab the gear that works best for your running and body.
- Today, we’re starting with the best running capris; we realize that, if you live above the Mason Dixon line, full-on tights weather might be upon you, but our southern readers + gym goers are still pulling on capris daily.
- Tighten your drawstrings, because the top pairs of capris are…
- Saucony Bullet Capri 2.0
- Brooks Greenlight Capri
- Oiselle Pocket Jogger Capris
- Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capri
- Under Armour Fly Fast
- Best women’s running leggings 2019
- Oysho Shapewear Leggings
- Lululemon Fast and Free 7/8 Tight
- M&S Quick Dry Performance Leggings
- Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity High Waisted Leggings
- Adidas Own the Run Speed Splits 7/8 Tights
- Nike Epic Lux 7/8 Running Tights
- Free People You’re A Peach Leggings
- CW-X Women’s Stabilyx Tights
- The Best Running Leggings For Women
Welcome to Another Mother Runner Gears Up: Our new gear testing column! We are going to have #motherrunners put key running gear—capris, headlamps, socks, bras, etc.—to the test, and deliver the results to you so that you can grab the gear that works best for your running and body.
Today, we’re starting with the best running capris; we realize that, if you live above the Mason Dixon line, full-on tights weather might be upon you, but our southern readers + gym goers are still pulling on capris daily.
Besides shoes and a good fitting bra, capris are a female runner’s best friend. The right pair keeps you warm, but not hot; prevents your thighs from talking to each other; and perhaps most importantly? They aren’t going to cause mortal embarrassment for your children when you make the most of half time at their game logging a mile or two.
Whether you prefer just below the knee knickers or mid-calf length, the trick comes down to finding your perfect fit. Thankfully, six AMR testers did the hard work for you during some recently runs. We asked testers to consider fit, comfort, style, how the capris worked on the run, and whether or not they would recommend them to a friend.
Tighten your drawstrings, because the top pairs of capris are…
Saucony Bullet Capri 2.0
Testers could not stop raving about all of the pockets in these soft capris: Pockets for dayyysss and You could pack a lunch in them. The pockets even held a larger phone, no prob. The just below the knee length was also a big hit, especially with those running in warmer temperatures. They may run a bit looser in the legs or knees, so be sure to try them on for size. Even with that caveat, one tester declared them her new favorites!
Number of pockets: 3
Perfect for: #motherrunners who: leave no gadget behind on the run.
Grab ‘em at: saucony.com
Brooks Greenlight Capri
The buttery, compressive material, high waist, and wide waist band of these three-quarter length Greenlights received strong #motherrunner high fives; one tester wanted to hang out in these all day! (Go for it: No judgment here!) Another, in limbo between a small and a medium at the moment, wore the small and said they hugged everything from her calves to her booty beautifully.
Number of pockets: 2
Perfect for BAMRS who: Like a little more length in the leg and a waist band keeps things in place.
Grab ‘em at: brooksrunning.com
Lululemon Speed Up Crop 21”
One #BAMR called these beauties PR pants; their sleek, smooth, and compressive made her gush with gratitude. Fair warning: the compression can contribute to—or perhaps cause—a muffin top. Nevertheless, the thicker fabric is a W. “My upper thighs, which definitely touch, glided by one another like a gold-medal bobsledder on the luge,” waxed one #motherrunner. (Do bobsledders pass each other on the luge? We’re not sure, but we we’re sliding with the smooth image.) The lighter colors showcase crotch sweat, so choose a darker color for a good post-race (and PR victory?) photo.
Sizes: 2 to 14
Number of pockets: “multiple” according to the website
Best for BAMRS who: Want to splurge on some sweet-fitting capris for so that potential PR feels as good as you look.
Grab ‘em at: lululemon.com
Oiselle Pocket Jogger Capris
You know how some clothes instantly flatter your body? These Oiselle capris? Check and check. “They were a perfect fit,” said one #motherrunner about the Joggers, which come in a rainbow of colors, “Wearing them made me feel comfortable; not just as an article of clothing comfortable, but in-my-own-body comfortable.” Another #motherrunner (who would abso-freaking-lutely recommend these to a friend) loved them for all of the pockets, even a secret one where she plans to put #foundchange. She also totally dug the breathable mesh over the calves.
Sizes: 2 to 14
Number of pockets: 4
Best for BAMRS who: Like a high waist and ventilation in the back. (Business up front, party in the back? Kind of.)
Grab ‘em at: oiselle.com
The North Face Motivation High-Rise Crop
How’s this for kudos? One #motherrunner recommended them to friends while she was on a test run, saying she loved the fabric and the way the three-quarter length capris stayed put as the duo put in the miles. One con? The front pocket is great for keys, but there’s no storage beyond that. Also, one #motherrunner tried the beautiful Botanical Garden Green Heather color, but suggested moms consider choosing a darker color unless they want to broadcast their high density sweat areas; they also in come black and dark grey.
Sizes: XS to XXL
Number of pockets: 1
Best for BAMRS who: Travel light (or workout at a gym) and love a longer length.
Grab ‘em at: thenorthface.com
Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capri
Losing the skirt and focusing on function, Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capri lived up to their name: four pockets hold phone, ID, key, snacks, your emotional baggage from the day (kidding on tha last one). The comfortable, light fabric earned high marks as well. Our tester said these made her, “feel like I could go all day.” Plus, a range of busy, colorful prints—Temper Tantrum Print (above), anybody?—fit a variety of personal styles and match with nearly anything your wardrobe throws at you.
Sizes: XS to XXL
Number of pockets: 4
Best for BAMRs who: like to be prepared with a pocket and print for everything.
Grab ‘em at: skirtsports.com
Under Armour Fly Fast
The Fly Fasts are described, on the UA website, as “ultra-tight, second-skin fit for a locked-in feel”—and that’s absolutely accurate according to our (locked-in) testers. “They are a bit challenging to get on,” says one tester, but once on, the lightweight capris stayed put and allowed her to, um, fly fast. Actually, they upper her interal fierce, my-legs-are-wheels factoron double-digit runs. The one zippered pocket does its job, but in a world of pockets galore, it feels a bit meager.
Number of pockets: 1
Best for BAMRs who: burpee almost as often as they run; these capris aren’t going anywhere!
Grab ‘em at: underarmour.com
Best women’s running leggings 2019
Whether you’re running a marathon or just going for a quick morning jog, it only takes one outing wearing the wrong attire to realise the importance of having the right kit.
This starts with the legging – get these right and your run will feel smoother, faster and much more comfortable. Whatever your style, there are certain things everyone should look out for when buying their next pair of running leggings.
Shorter women will rejoice that there are now plenty of options that are cropped enough to not bunch at the ankles.
If you’re under 5’5, look out for those labelled as 7/8s – the slightly shorter length is perfect for petite statures and even works for taller women, too – you’ll just be showing a little more ankle. There are also some high quality cropped styles, which usually come in just below the knee and are a real asset in warmer months when you’ll want to peel back the layers.
No longer just made from simple lycra, most of today’s running leggings offer some seriously high tech specifications in their material. Temperature regulating and sweat wicking properties seem to be the most common, although some also come with UPF protection to guard your skin against the sun.
Pockets are an absolute must if you’re heading out for a long run and need a place to stash your phone, keys or emergency cash. Though most claim to be big enough to hold a smart phone, it’s worth testing this out before you set off, as those without secure fastenings can be a little unreliable if you move at speed or are doing high impact training.
Whatever your style and preference, rest assured that each of these pairs stood up to a literal test run, making them all great options to consider.
Oysho Shapewear Leggings
Oysho remains one of the best kept secrets in sports and loungewear. Minimal designs, sleek silhouettes and neutral colours make them look and feel way more expensive than they actually are.
These Shapewear leggings tick all the boxes for running – made from compressive, sculpting fabric, they sit snugly against the skin and thanks to a large elastic waistband, don’t ride up or down.
The fabric feels velvety soft and with UPF 50+, 98 per cent of UV rays will be blocked out, making them a good choice for when the summer sun is beating down. Given their length, they work as a full length pair for petite women and as ankle grazers for women over 5’6.
£39.99 | Oysho | Buy it now
Lululemon Fast and Free 7/8 Tight
Though Lululemon sits undeniably at the luxury end of the sportswear spectrum, it’s a brand that consistently delivers high quality products.
The new incarnation of the Fast and Free leggings – a firm favourite amongst Lululemon fans – have incorporated Nulux fabric, which wicks away sweat and drys quickly.
Aside from the beautiful colours available here (there are 12 in all) what makes these so great is the feel of the material – it’s silky soft, lightweight, yet sturdy and opaque. As with most Lulu leggings, there are both 7/8 and full length options to choose from.
These come with their usual hidden integrated pockets as well as handy reflective strips for the evening (though don’t rely solely on these if you’re in a particularly dark area). These ones really do feel like a second skin, so if you’re the kind of runner who likes to feel as light as possible, these will be right up your street.
£108 | Lululemon | Buy it now
M&S Quick Dry Performance Leggings
If you’re not in the market for a pricey pair, these M&S leggings are affordable and still deliver on the tech front.
Made from moisture wicking fabric, they’ll keep the sweat at bay and the high waistband will offer support. The large zip pocket built into the waistband — big enough even to fit the iPhone X at a push — was a particular asset, offering a secure and sizeable place to stash your phone in a spot that won’t drag the leggings down or make you feel lopsided.
£19.50 | M&S | Buy it now
Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity High Waisted Leggings
Zero Gravity leggings have been a firm favourite of the Sweaty Betty tribe for almost 20 years and this year they’re back with jazzier prints and even harder working fabric.
Promising to sculpt the bum, their sturdy seams, sleek cut and tight fabric make them seriously flattering – particularly on the behind, as they claim. Aside from the aesthetics, they come with some really useful features, too.
Reflective, ultra lightweight and sweat wicking, the fabric is designed to endure even the toughest of runs and the added compression technology makes them particularly useful for long distance running. They wash well – pinging back into shape once dry – and feel high quality.
Thanks to the tight fit, the integrated pockets actually do keep your phone firmly in place, despite not having any zips. A great all-round investment for a summer of running.
£98 | Sweaty Betty | Buy it now
Adidas Own the Run Speed Splits 7/8 Tights
The name of these leggings says it all, really. These are made to help you feel in control – of your pace, your stride and your temperature – as you run.
Of course, they can’t do the running for you but they can handle certain issues so that you don’t have to think about them – temperature control being one of them. Fitted with Adidas’ patented Climacool, they’ll regulate your temperature and wick away sweat – both of which will help you keep up the pace and remain focused.
Reflective strips make them easy to see in the dark and the wide waist band, though a struggle to get on, feels comfortably secure. The hidden zip pockets at the back are just the right size to fit a bank card or set of keys, though anything bulkier and you might struggle to fasten them.
Ideal for hot summer runs, they get an extra thumbs up from us for their use of recycled polyester.
£42.95 | Adidas | Buy it now
Nike Epic Lux 7/8 Running Tights
These modern day candy stripers have been designed by artist Eva Magill-Oliver, helping runners stand out from the crowds whether racing in the London Marathon or taking part in the Saturday morning Park Run.
The Nike Power fabric feels like satin against the skin, helping to minimise chafing and giving you maximum freedom of movement. With a 7/8 length, these are perfect if you have short legs or just like to show a bit of ankle.
Apparently the outside seam has been removed for the sole purpose of not interrupting the pretty design but a fortunate byproduct of this is that they won’t leave marks on your legs, meaning you can go out for a run and be ready to slip into a dress or skirt immediately, without having to wait for unsightly grooves to fade.
£89.95 | Nike | Buy it now
Free People You’re A Peach Leggings
With reflective strips running all the way down the seams both front and back, this is a great pair to invest in if you do a lot of night time running – particularly in areas without many street lamps.
A thick, elasticated band sits right on the waist, holding you in and supporting your back, lending added stability against the impact of each stride. One of the best things about this pair is the fabric – thick and sturdy, it feels hardwearing and is opaque enough not to show off your underwear in harsh light – just one less thing to worry about as you stride for that PB.
£68 | Free People | Buy it now
Those who prefer a cropped legging will find it easy to get on board with the Saucony Bullet Capri 2.0. Made with Saucony’s very own Powertight fabric – a material that promises to tuck you in tight and keep you cool in the process – they’re perfect for practising interval training, when you need to pick up speed and want a legging that’ll support your efforts.
What’s more, this pair comes with genuinely useful pockets – two side cargo pockets about the right size for a set of keys and a bank card and a waterproof back pocket that you can stash your phone in. Saucony’s something of a running institution too, so you know you’re in good hands with these.
£60 | Saucony | Buy it now
CW-X Women’s Stabilyx Tights
Injury prone runners, pay attention: these CW-X tights offer the best compression of any on the list, giving extra support in the areas you need it most.
The quad, hip and the IT band areas are all reinforced and whilst these won’t prevent injury, they’ll certainly help you get into the correct stride and posture.
Despite the tight fit, which can make them a little cumbersome to pull on, once in place these offer free range of motion and feel surprisingly free. Added bonuses include Coolmax fabric to help regulate your temperature and flat inseams to reduce the possibility of chafing on long distance runs.
£89.99 | My Triathlon | Buy it now
For style, comfort, ergonomics and price, the Oysho Shapewear leggings are an all-round winner.
As it’s not a hugely well known brand in the UK, you’re unlikely to bump into anyone wearing the same ones either, if that’s a concern for you. If you’re keen to splash out on a luxury pair, Lululemon never fails to please and the new version of the Fast and Free leggings are a joy to run around in.
ESBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
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The Best Running Leggings For Women
Running leggings are perhaps not the most exciting bit of kit to buy, but whatever you do don’t overlook their importance. Running tights cover a large surface area of your body, so the right pair are potentially really helpful for cooling you down when you’re sweating hard or keeping you warm on chilly morning runs.
Make sure to try them on to check the fit before you buy: too loose and they’ll chafe, too tight and they’ll be restrictive and uncomfortable. Three-quarter-length tights (capris) will keep you cooler, and full-length thicker tights will ensure you’re toasty on a winter’s day. Opt for compression tights for (possibly) faster muscle recovery and fewer aches after running.
Here’s our selection of some of the best running leggings out there.
Nike Epic Lux
The smooth, form-fitting fabric of the Nike Epic Lux has great sweat-wicking properties and offers lots of support. The soft, stretchy fabric keeps you cool and there’s a laser-cut slash of fabric on the lower legs for extra airflow. The design is pretty plain, which could be a welcome respite from the garish patterns and flashy logos that adorn many leggings, but they do come in a few different colours if you want to stray from the standard black. However, beware the lighter colours if you get embarrassed by sweat patches.
Buy from Nike | £74.95
Lululemon Fast And Free Crop II
Quick-drying Nulux fabric ensures you’re always cool and comfy in these high-waisted ¾-length running tights. The side pockets allow you to run with your phone without it flapping around all over the place, and there are a variety of colours and prints available: some dark and subtle, and some more eye-catching.
Buy from Lululemon | £64-£108
2XU Mid Rise Compression Tights
The OG of compression gear, Australian brand 2XU offers a range of engineered compression tights. These ones sit nicely thanks to the wide waistband and there are tall sizes available, too. The fit is pretty snug – that’s the idea with compression after all – but go for the next size up if they feel a bit restrictive. A word to the wise: you won’t find any pockets in these.
Buy from 2XU | £80
Brooks Threshold Tights
This pair will keep you snug as a bug on chillier days. The DriLayer fabric is breathable and excellent at wicking away sweat, ensuring you’re kept dry and warm. The waistband is wide and comfy, and there are several pockets to stash your belongings in.
Buy from Brooks | £65 (currently reduced to £45.50)
New Balance Printed Evolve Tights
If you’re bored to death with black leggings, try one of the nine funky and colourful designs from New Balance. The tights are made from moisture-wicking fabrics and feature mesh panels for extra breathability, and there’s a simple waist pocket. They’re not the most technical piece of running kit, but jazzing up your legs with fab prints could be just the motivation you need to get out and run!
Buy from New Balance | £60 (currently reduced to £30-£49)
Adidas Response ¾ Length Tights
These capris will keep you cool on even your most intense runs, as the Climacool fabric is exceptionally good at wicking away sweat. The wide waistband ensures a comfy fit and flat seams reduce the chances that they’ll rub. A zip pocket at the back keeps your phone safe and there’s a stash pocket tucked into the front waistband for your keys.
Buy from Adidas | £37.95 (currently reduced to £26.57)
Gore R3 Women Partial Gore Windstopper Tights
Ideal for blustery days spent running in the hills, these leggings will keep the wind and rain at bay without making you feel weighed down as you tackle those trails. With their slim fit and drawstring waist, there shouldn’t be any danger of them being pulled out of shape.
Buy from Wiggle | £89.99 (currently reduced to £67.01-£67.49)
Inov-8 Race Elite Tight
For maximum freedom of movement without sacrificing full coverage and support, go for these new race leggings from Inov-8. They tick all the boxes, including a zip pocket with key loop, a mesh pocket for your energy gels, ankle zips and a snug high waistband with a stay-put strip that grips.
Buy from Inov-8 | £80
Saucony Bullet Capri
These may look basic, but they are very possibly the perfect running leggings. The supportive yet lightweight fabric is breathable and wicks sweat away efficiently. Large side pockets are ideally-sized for storing energy gels, and there’s a zip-up back pocket for your valuables. The wide waistband ensures they sit comfortably at the waist and don’t slip down or ride up.
Buy from Saucony | £60