The best high-waisted leggings for the gym, as recommended by the Strong Women team.
High-waisted leggings changed the workout game. Not only are they universally flattering (and hey, who doesn’t want to feel their best in the gym?), they’re also comfy, keeping everything in place while you squat, skip and run.
If you come from a background of tight elasticated trousers and sweat-soaking cotton, high-waisted gym bottoms are a revelation. But that’s only when you find the right type. So many high waisted versions out there end up digging up, going see-through or just aren’t the right fit for you.
The Strong Women team have gone through our fair share of leggings in our time. From petite versions for the short girls to the best high waisted leggings for yogis, these are the pairs they wear, love and rate.
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Lorna Jane Amy phone pocket full length tight, £88
These lightweight leggings, made of super-breathable fabric, are loved by Strong Women editor Meriam. “The high waist – which I love in any style of trouser – is the best of its kind with a thick waistband and no annoying gap at the top,” she says. “Most importantly, I’ve never had to pull them up because they’ve fallen down! My favourite feature? The pockets that securely hold your mobile phone or keys when you’re out running, but generally even if you’re just couch-surfing on a rest day these get my vote.”
Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket Cinch Leggings, £108
These Athleta leggings, exclusive to John Lewis in the UK, are from one of the softest materials we’ve ever felt (and we’ve felt our fair share of buttery leggings). But unlike others, these also have strong staying power, making us feel a little more secure during yoga flows. The cut-outs on the back aren’t just a cute design – they help you stay cool during tough workouts too.
Nike Plus Training Sculpt Victory leggings, £38
“This might be super basic but I live by these Nike leggings,” says Billie Bhatia, fashion editor and Stylist columnist. “In fact, all Nike Curve leggings hold and support my body but also don’t make me feel like I’m constricted. I wear them for everything: the gym, home workouts, squash, brunch, dog walks.”
Fabletics PowerHold full length tight, £44
These manage to hold everything in without making you feel constricted and are so comfortable that we wear them for Netflix as much as we do for working out in. Plus, there’s a great size and length range, from XXS to 4X as well as 7/8 lengths, which we love.
P.E Nation Free Throw leggings, £96.91
Shannon Peter, Stylist’s beauty director, has long been a fan of P.E Nation thanks to the quality of the kit. “They are a bit pricier, but you get what you pay for. I got these leggings in a size S, which is my normal size, but when I held them up they looked tiny! Luckily they’re really stretchy, while still having a lot of hold, and they’re really comfortable. I’m obsessed with the fact they didn’t roll down on the stomach, go baggy at the knee or crotch, and are super supportive. I just want to wear them all day,” she says.
Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity Leggings, £95
The internal cord in these Sweaty Betty leggings is a game-changer, allowing you to add as much extra hold to the legging as suits you. These high-waisted leggings are designed for intense workouts, so will withstand your deep squats, HIIT or running without falling down – and that’s without mentioning how much we love the variety of patterns.
Adidas Design2Move Legging, £30.40
Sometimes you can’t go wrong with a classic, so why buy anything other than Adidas three-stripe leggings? The title of these tights says it all, with these leggings being specially created to support you through whatever training you take on without slipping, rolling or chafing.
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Images: Getty / Stylist team
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