Best lululemon Leggings Reviewed for Every Workout
How to find the pair that’ll make you feel amazing.
When it comes to working out, the laundry list of annoyances one encounters is endless. Firstly, just finding the motivation to get to the gym is a Herculean task. No matter how consistent I’ve been or how good I know I’ll feel afterward, the struggle to find the drive is real. Then there are all the…quirks of your fellow gym rats who misunderstand etiquette: They’re either hogging a treadmill, swimming in the fast lane at a snail’s pace, or somehow forgetting to wipe down their sweat-soaked machine. (Straight to jail for the last one.)
Despite leading a very active lifestyle, I still get a pang of anxiety whenever I enter a new class or I’m about to start a workout on an “off” day. It’s normal to feel self-conscious about health and fitness whether or not you’re rocking a six-pack, but your outfit shouldn’t add to the stress.
That’s why having a pair of emotional-support leggings can be a lifesaver. We all know the power a great outfit can have on your mood, and that same logic applies to the gym, where a cute matching set can inspire you to endure a 7 a.m. Pilates class. But unfortunately, not all leggings are created equal.
Some roll down your waist as you’re mid-squat, or even worse, pinch and constrict you. Just because leggings are tight doesn’t mean they always fit properly; that’s where lululemon comes in. The athleisure brand pretty much nailed its approach, easily balancing the delicate balance between apparel that’s supportive yet unrestrictive. One of the best features of all lululemon leggings is the exclusive scope of sizes and lengths: Some pants are offered in inseams ranging from 17” to 31”, so most leg lengths are covered. (As someone who stands at a whopping 5’2’’, finding leggings that didn’t bunch at my ankles was a godsend.) And it may not be the most important consideration, but lululemon leggings make your butt look great.
Lululemon offers a vast array of styles, so the main problem you’ll bump into is choosing the right pair to suit your needs. To save you that trouble, we personally tested a ton of options, to help you narrow down your search and find the one that’ll make each of your workouts more productive and even more fun.
Align™ is one of the brand’s top-selling leggings, thanks to their versatility. I’ve owned multiple pairs for over eight years, so to say I’m an Align™ advocate is an understatement. I reach for these leggings on a weekly basis, wearing them to everything from yoga to vegetating on my bed mid-winter. They’re made of lululemon’s buttery soft Nulu™ fabric, which is so light and smooth it feels better than being naked, but still hugs you in all the right places. The Align™ leggings are designed specifically for yoga, but in my experience, they’re sturdy enough to withstand a cycling class, too.
For pumping iron, you’re going to want to grab a pair of Wunder Train. These leggings are thicker than the Align™ and made with lululemon’s proprietary fabric, Everlux™, a fast-drying fabric that wicks away sweat to keep you cool. The Wunder Train leggings are specifically designed for dynamic movement, so they’re more supportive in the mid-waist. In other words, you won’t have to fuss with the waistband after each deadlift ever again.
While the Align™ leggings are technically lululemon’s top-selling yoga pants, the InStill line is my personal favorite. These leggings move a little easier with a sweaty body and dry faster, which is much appreciated after you’ve spent 90 minutes in a hot yoga studio.
These leggings are so sleek, they make me, a non-runner, think I can do a marathon. They’re created with a material called Luxtreme™ that has a four-way stretch, so they’re strong but pliable. Luxtreme™ also has “low-friction support,” meaning you don’t need to worry about the fabric rubbing together at your thighs and pilling over time (an unfortunate downfall of most other activewear leggings). The Swift Speed leggings have another bonus: The material is slightly reflective, so it’s ideal for night walkers.
If you prefer a more weightless, barely-there feel for high-intensity cardio, let me recommend the Fast and Free. They’re much lighter weight than the Swift Speed — a great option for summer workouts, or days when you want your skin to breathe a little more. The best part about these leggings is just how fast they dry: I wore them to a power yoga class in a room heated to 110 degrees, and by the time we reached shavasana, me and my leggings were completely soaked. But 10 minutes after class, my pants were magically dry as a bone.
When it comes to dressing for a hike, you need to be mindful of your terrain: Shorts aren’t the best idea if the trail is covered in poison oak or mosquitoes are running amok, and most thin leggings can’t withstand tears if rogue branches are swiping at them. Loose hiking pants are typically recommended, but some of us prefer moving in leggings (guilty as charged). That’s why lululemon’s Cargo style is my top choice for scaling peaks: They’re outfitted with multiple pockets, a D-ring loop to clip on a carabiner, and other features that look and perform like true “gorpcore” gear, and their abrasion-resistant fabric makes them ideal for trailblazing. The compression level is tighter than most typical hiking pants, so they can easily support you on your next backpacking trip (or a “hike” to brunch).
Gone are the days when wearing Hard Pants was necessary for a quick trip to the grocery store or grabbing a morning coffee. (I’ll find any excuse to wear leggings out and about.) But you can still look chic in your activewear while running errands. That’s where lululemon’s Groove leggings come in: They’re made of the same material as the Align™ and cut in a flared style that’s universally flattering. Feel free to wear them to your next barre class, but if you style these right, they can easily pass for chic trousers, too.
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