Favorite workout/general wear leggings?
March 10, 2023 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I find myself in need of more leggings, both solids and prints! Tell me all about your favorites. Details below the fold.

Currently I find myself wearing leggings under dresses every day because they fit much better with my ExoSym than pants. I also wear them for weightlifting. So... I need more leggings!

I historically wear this kind of Icebreaker merino wool leggings, but they keep getting holes or rips (especially in the crotch) within 4 months just in the course of normal wear, which is... not super acceptable for leggings that cost $100. I tried sizing up to XL from my usual L in that brand, thinking maybe I was wearing leggings that were too snug, but this pair just got holes in the same place faster, all while being a bit baggier than I'd prefer. Maybe I need to try a different kind of Icebreakers? Or maybe I need a different brand altogether?

Requirements: the leggings need to come in XL (or L if they run big). They need to be sturdy and comfortable for regular wear. I also need some that are good for working out. The workout leggings need to be appropriate for barbell weightlifting and squats (translation: they can't become magically see-through when I squat). I could also use some warmer lined leggings for winter biking. Style-wise: I'd like to get some in black and gray, and some in fun/funky colored prints. I'd also like to try some leggings with pocket(s)!
posted by cnidaria to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
So, I have a two pairs of these leggings: 90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings - the first pair I got at TJ Maxx or something and I liked them enough that I sought out more and found them at Amazon. I only have the two pairs and I've worn them 3-4 days a week for the last 2-3 years (though not necessarily all day, and not in high summer) and they're in great shape. And FWIW (there is no delicate way to say this) I have wrecked a lot of other crotches during that time period.

I had low expectations for these, but they've been great! No funky prints, but lots of colors. Only one phone-sized waistband pocket. (Also although they say "tummy control" I would call it more like, "welcome tummy support.")
posted by mskyle at 11:55 AM on March 10

I am a big fan of Grrrl leggings. Pretty long lasting and I find the design of having a bit of room around the hips, but the waist nipped in helps to keep them up, so that you're not have to scooch them up after a squat.
posted by Kurichina at 11:55 AM on March 10

Merino leggins are notorious for giving out in the crotch, it's a fabric that doesn't do well with friction and wear. If you really want merino next to your skin you could try mens boxer briefs with another layer over top, but I've given up on it for bottoms.

I find that with my proportions (thick thighs/hips, narrow waist) it's hard to find leggings that fit just right for exercise and casual wear. So I get <$20 options at costco that are high-waisted and they work 80% of the time. The other 20% I hand them off to a friend, and they usually last for several years of weekly wear.
posted by Narrow Harbor at 12:05 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]

Snag makes leggings! The sizing is so individual and inclusive. They are a great company and the stuff is very high quality.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:07 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]

Felina Sueded Athletic Leggings are my absolute FAVORITE leggings and I will recommend them to anyone. Available in sizes up to 2X. They're inexpensive, completely opaque (at least in black), comfortable, and hold up well over time. I've had my oldest pairs for at least 3 years, and aside from some very mild pilling they look almost new. They work equally well for everyday wear and exercise.

The Felina "Lightweight Leggings" are not quite as nice -- they're fine but the fabric is a bit thinner so they feel more revealing and don't last as long.

Disclaimer that I can only vouch for the opacity of the black ones -- it's possible that the lighter colors are more see-through.

You may be able to buy them at Costco; that's where I first found them.
posted by mekily at 12:29 PM on March 10

I don't have a recommendation for every-day leggings, but I love Athleta leggings for getting sweaty. The Rainiers are good for cool weather (above freezing but below, say, 50F). I like the ultimate stash variety for general working out. These fit my particular shape (lots o' butt) well, but they have other high rise styles too. Eddie Bauer winter trail leggings might also work for your cool weather rides. I've been wearing them in the same above freezing but below 50F range as the Athleta tights and they are of similar warmth, though much less compressive. All of these have pockets, of course!
posted by esoterrica at 1:47 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]

I've been happy with the durability of Woolx leggings (although I don't wear them every day) but I am sad that they've discontinued their base layer women's style (so! cozy!) in favor of a style that's more like "normal" leggings lined with wool. (I find them a little scratchy. Not intolerable.) But maybe the smoother exterior helps with wear at friction points? For non-wool everyday leggings, I've been happy with Boden and Universal Standard - comfortable and have held up well (slight edge to US for a waistband that has never rolled on me).

And while I don't have personal experience with Grrrrl, a friend who lifts absolutely swears by them.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:47 PM on March 10

I don't have a recommendation for every-day leggings, but I love Athleta leggings for getting sweaty. The Rainiers are good for cool weather (above freezing but below, say, 50F).

and the unlined or 7/8 ones are great too for slightly warmer. I've taken the standard lined ones to wind chill of 10 or so
posted by TravellingCari at 2:22 PM on March 10

I also love the Athleta Rainier leggings for cool weather - I typically wear them from around 25F to 50F when moving around outdoors, but I can comfortably wear them all day indoors too. I also love the Athleta Altitude Polartec leggings, which are much warmer - best for below 40F I’d say. Mine did get a little hole after just a few wears, but I sewed it up and haven’t had a problem since. I would note that though Polartec is super comfortable, warm, and cozy, it doesn’t have the same stretch and snap back that I find in most leggings.
posted by maleficent at 3:07 PM on March 10

Girlfriend Collective makes tough leggings from recycled plastic bottles. An inclusive company and a fantastic product.
posted by smb0626 at 3:57 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]

Prana Becksa 7/8 leggings are the absolute bomb. I get them on Poshmark, have found them on sale at REI, as well as Sierra Trading Post, Zappos, etc. They come in XL and wash beautifully (I wash them inside out and dry on low). And they have a pocket on the side!

I've got them in probably six different colors, but they're all kind of muted. I've never seen them in prints (they're fine ribbed). I've gotten them as cheap as $20 on Poshmark, but as much as $60 on sale. They're about $99 full price, but I refuse to pay that much when I know I can wait it out.
posted by dancinglamb at 4:42 PM on March 10

Everlane leggings! So comfy and transparent production. They also last a long time and have nice colors and differing lengths.
posted by erattacorrige at 7:23 PM on March 10

Seconding Girlfriend Collective! They are great.
posted by bijoubijou at 7:46 PM on March 10

I know that people have feelings about the company and the founder, but Lululemon is legit for leggings. I have a coworker who is XL and various leggings from there are the only bottoms she ever wears at work (a wet biology lab).
posted by porpoise at 2:49 PM on March 11

Response by poster: So excited to check out all these leggings! Thank you <3
posted by cnidaria at 6:22 AM on March 12

These Champion C9 leggings are hella durable. I wear them 3-5x/week for vigorous sweaty workouts. I also wear them as clothing, under dresses and tunics. Ever since the start of the pandemic when I mostly gave up hard pants, I’m in a pair of these at least 6 out of 7 days a week. They don’t shrink in the dryer. The last time I bought a new pair was December 2021. I don’t need to replace any of them anytime soon.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 10:31 AM on March 12

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