The best leggings for running by Nike
Use this as your personal guide to find functional, high-quality running leggings.
High-performance running clothing, such as compressive sports bras and moisture-wicking socks, can not only help you feel more comfortable during your workout, but they can also make your run more enjoyable. Style and fit play a big role in this. After all, feeling confident in what you wear can boost motivation, right? This is just one reason why having quality running leggings is key for all runners, whether they are seasoned athletes or 5K newbies.
From finding your preferred fit to discovering the right material for the weather, it might take a few trial runs to pin down your go-to pairs. Heading out for a long run? You might want to test out compression leggings, which should feel a bit snug around the waist to avoid slipping mid-run, but not so much that they cause discomfort or limit your movement. Another factor to bear in mind? Pockets. Gels, keys and your phone are just a few examples of the essentials you'll probably need to keep handy when going out for a jog.
And don't forget about the temperature—wearing fleece-lined leggings, for example, may not be the right choice for late spring or early summer training, but they can be just what you need come the colder months. To help you find the right leggings for your needs, check out this quick run-down on the best Nike leggings for running.
Best running leggings for staying cool
On warmer days, you may want cropped running leggings, like the Universa Women's Medium-Support High-Waisted Cropped Leggings with Pockets. Cropped at the lower calf, these medium-support leggings have a tight, body-hugging fit. They're an optimal choice on hot days thanks to the Nike InfinaSmooth fabric that's smoothing, lifting and cool to the touch.
Other features include an extra-wide waistband to help keep them from rolling down and a side pocket for a phone. (Bonus: Wear this versatile pair to the gym on strength days, too—pair with a cute longline or V-neck sports bra for a deadlift-ready look.)
For a full-length running leggings option that helps to prevent overheating, try the Epic Fast Women's Mid-Rise Pocket Running Leggings. The mesh panels on the back of the knees offer ventilation to help keep you cool on hot runs.
Best running leggings for keeping toasty
If you're looking for running leggings for the colder autumn and winter months, there are several warm, full-length options. For instance, the Nike One Women's Mid-Rise Leggings are made from sweat-wicking fabric that helps keep you dry so you stay warm on chilly, potentially wet, runs. The trousers' innate form-fitting structure helps provide compression to keep your muscles warm, which is a vital clothing feature for cold-weather running.
To finish off the look, search for pieces made from Nike Therma-FIT fabric. The Women's Long-Sleeved Half-Zip Top, for example, pairs soft fleece with sweat-wicking capabilities to help capture heat while wicking away any moisture.
Best running leggings for storage opportunities
For days when you want to leave your go-to running hip pack at home, opt for leggings from the Nike Go line. Equipped with several pockets, these trousers can carry your phone, credit cards, keys, energy gels and other must-have items.
The InfinaLock fabric provides firm support so you feel fully locked in on your runs. The hidden drawcord built into the extra-wide waistband adds snugness to keep the trousers in place as you engage in high-impact activity. Nike Go leggings are available in mid- and high-rise options, so you can find a fit that feels tailored to your preferences.
Best compression shorts for running
On hot days, you can get all of the same perks of the Nike Go leggings—compression, pockets and a high-waist fit—in biker shorts form. Pair them with a matching sports bra for a slick monochromatic look.
For a slightly shorter but equally supportive option, try other Nike biker shorts out for size, such as the Women's Tight Mid-Rise Ribbed-Panel Running Shorts With Pockets. At 18cm (approx.), these shorts are made from signature Nike Dri-FIT fabric that wicks away sweat to help keep your body cool during sweltering workouts.
If you're going after a personal record and want to keep race attire as bulk-free as possible, go for the lightest option: the Nike Dri-FIT ADV Women's Tight Running Shorts. The advanced sweat-wicking technology is designed to keep you cool, regardless of the distance or temperature.
Words by Kylie Gilbert