We Put 5 Pairs Of Gym Leggings Through A Squat-Heavy Workout To See If They Held Up
Does a high price really guarantee a perfect fit? Maybe not.
Like jeans shopping, choosing the right pair of workout leggings can be a total pain.
Not only do you need to find a pair that you feel comfortable in, the waistband needs to fit like a glove, and ideally you’ll like how you look in them too. The only true way to know if you’ve done well with your shopping, of course, is to put your new gear through an actual workout, but by that stage it’s too late to double back on your decision.
Luckily Team STELLAR.ie have taken some of the uncertainty out of your next shopping trip, by putting five pairs of workout leggings to the test on your behalf.
Our chosen pants ranged in price from €8 right up to triple figures, and we wore each pair for at least one 45-minute lifting/HIIT session, because if your leggings can’t withstand a squat/burpee superset then you’re going nowhere.
Here’s how we got on…
If it’s cosy workout gear you’re after, these are perfection. They’re lightly fleece lined all the way down to the ankles, and I wore them on a morning run in freezing fog AND a 10km hike in the Wicklow Mountains without feeling the chill once. Squat-wise, they did the job but that fleecy waistband got a little uncomfortable during my sweaty HIIT session. I’ll be keeping these for winter cardio.
Verdict: 7/10 – a great price for outdoor winter workouts.
Body Science Lux Mesh Compression Leggings, €112, ElleBelle Fit
At €112, I had high expectations for these Australian-made leggings, and oh boy did they deliver. These feel expensive when you put them on and maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I’m convinced they make me look slimmer. My only criticism? They sit on your hips, not your waist, so I missed the tummy-flattering action that I’d normally get from a high-waisted pair. Plus they’re €112, so, um, just a tad out of budget.
Verdict: 7/10 – incredible quality, but not the perfect fit for me.
Lorna Jane Max Core Compression Leggings, €89, ElleBelle Fit
This price is definitely at the highest end of what I’d ever spend on workout gear, but the price is 100% worth it if you’re looking for leggings that will see you through strength training in the long term. These fit me like a glove and didn’t fall down once through two heavy lifting sessions with copious amounts of squats. Those Aussies know their stuff when it comes to workout gear.
Verdict: 9/10 – the only thumbs down is the high price, but as technical leggings go they’re relatively affordable.
While the wet look design is cool, these leggings felt a bit too baggy for a workout, so I’d definitely go for a smaller size. I could feel them slipping off my waist mid-squat, which obvs isn’t ideal. That said, my wardrobe is chocker with other leggings from Penneys that I’m a big fan of, so I wouldn’t write off their full fitness collection. I’ll probably regulate this pair to the days I’m focusing on upper body training.
Verdict: 4/10 – I’d go one size down in future.
New Look Leggings, €24.99
I had big love for these leggings and they’re well within my budget. They felt snug and gave me a full range of motion. Plus the patterned detail on the bottom ties in perfectly with white runners and the high-waisted band gave me all the tummy-shaping I wanted. These will be a leg day staple for me, for sure.
Verdict: 8/10 – great price, great fit.
Thanks to Amy and Niamh at Lift Training Studios in Smithfield, Dublin 7 for allowing us to snap post-workout pics in their brilliant gym!
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