11 best running tights

Pound the pavements in style in a pair of specialist leggings

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The Independent Online

Whether you’re a once-a-week jogger on a budget or a seasoned runner after the latest kit to aid technique, speed and recovery, we’ve put this seasons gear through its paces. We tested these leggings on road runs in spring temperatures, taking into account comfort before and during run, material, effectiveness of any extras – like pockets or technical features – as well as the overall look and value for money. Here’s our verdict.

1. Elite Tights: £40, reebok.co.uk



With sweat-wicking properties and an antimicrobial gusset treatment that banishes odours, you won’t need to wash these wonders every time. The edgy photographic print keeps you looking cool as well as feeling it.

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2. Sculpting Capris: £65, nike.com


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Strategically-placed compression in the waistband, inner thigh and calf offers extra support, and spandex material provides stretchy, flattering comfort. Nike have described it as ‘their best fit ever’- and we agree. They fit snugly to the skin, creating a slimming impression without being tight or uncomfortable. With a high waistband to minimise creasing when you stretch, it’s a classic you can’t go wrong with.

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3. Sports Tights: £19.99, hm.com



If you’re on a budget, try H&M for some affordable kit. With wide elastic at the waist and made from fast-drying material, these tights tick the functional boxes. But it’s the bright leopard print design that we love.

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4. Ebe Running Tights: £65, odlo.com


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Usefully, these tights from Odlo come in reversible grey and purple prints so it’s like have two pairs in one. They are also light and have a comfortable elastic waistband.

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5. Speed Tight III Running Tights: from £88, lululemon.co.uk


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It’s not cheap but Lululemon does stylish gear very well. These tights, which come in eight different designs, fit to your skin smoothly. With multiple pockets, heat-reducing panels and a reflective pull-up hem, these cover all bases. Our pick is the ‘mystic jungle’ print.

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6. Molly Leggings: £65, lexiesport.co.uk



If you’re a sporadic runner, the idea of buying a ton of gym wear that may just sit gathering dust isn’t a good one. Lexie Sport has the answer. These leggings have been designed for regular daywear, but combined with all the features you would expect in a robust pair of running tights. Four-way stretch mesh and a gusset cut allow for flexible movement, and an angled elasticated waistband offsets any uncomfortable chafing. With UV protecting fabric, they also guard off sunburn, whether you’re running a marathon, or relaxing in the summer sunshine.

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7. Scoot LX Capri: £40, saucony.co.uk



These have been made with thicker material than previous Saucony tights, creating a more flattering fit that prevents the ‘wobbling flesh’ moments, whilst giving your muscles added support. The waistband and gusseted crotch add the comfort factor, with a sturdy back pocket to keep your valuables safe.

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8. CW-X Stabilyx Tights: £103.49, fitness-cafe.co.uk


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When you’ve upped your running distance in preparation for a marathon, your body can really suffer for it, and knee injuries are one of the most common ailments. But these tights come with a special support band that merges muscles and ligaments together to increase stability and prevent injury. The fabric creates compression to boost your circulation, which can ward off stiffness. The multi-coloured square print gives this wonder-garment the extra edge.

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9. Shock Absorber Ultimate Body Support Tights: £55, lessbounce.com


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Shock Absorber is known for its award-winning sports bras. Now, the brand has turned its attention to legs, too. It’s come up with a pair of tights that uses a form of compression that wraps muscles to increase blood and lymphatic flow. They also reduce ‘body bounce’ by 20 per cent to make your run more comfortable.

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10. Black Contrast Print Panel Leggings: £22, southbeachofficial.com


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Perhaps, like us, you’re torn between the brightly-coloured tights around at the moment, and plain classics. But we think that the hot pink panels and neon printed waistband on these black tights are a good compromise. As well as being ultra-stretchy and comfortable, they feature a discreet back pocket to keep your keys in. 

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11. Adrenaline Run Capri: £80, sweatybetty.com


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Here’s another jazzy pair from the women’s sports specialists. As well as being made from a sweat-wicking fabric, these ones have mesh panels at the back of the knees for extra breathability. We found they kept us cool and comfortable during a 10k run on a warm spring day. They come is sizes XXS-XL but are snug so you might need to go up one from your usual size.

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The H&M print won us over on the visual front and they’re a great price. But for an ultra-supportive, flattering pair of tights, we’d go for the classic Nike capris for our marathon effort.

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