Buying new workout gear is a great way to keep motivated and stick to your fitness regime but you don’t want anything that will restrict your movement or itch, especially with yoga. Most leggings look great in the shop, so it’s hard to tell which ones will be comfortable, flattering and let your skin breathe during your workout or when holding poses like downward dog or doing shavasana. The hardest part is knowing which ones will stand the test of time without stretching or going see through.
We wanted to find yoga pants that did all of the above and look good too. And although we tested a wide range, only the best made our list. You can be sure you’ll enjoy your workout with any of these and afterwards you’ll probably want to lounge around the house in them too.
1. Asquith Heavenly Harem Pants: £62, Yogamatters
Asquith produces yoga and Pilates gear out of ethical, eco-friendly fabrics, with these harem pants made mostly of bamboo. The fun leopard print detail on the pockets make this pair subtly different from classic black yoga pants. And as well as being comfortable, when you rest your foot on them the fabric isn’t slippy, making holding poses easier. The elasticated cuffs at the bottom stay put too, so you can enjoy your class without having to rearrange your trousers. They’re a great pair for yogis or beginners (or for anyone who wants a comfy pair of trousers to wear around the house).
2. Lululemon Wunder Under Pant III: £82, Lululemon
Canadian active wear expert Lululemon has a range of Wunder Unders in funky designs but our favourite is this red sapphire and blue splatter design. Not only will you look good wearing them, they’re super comfy and will withstand the trickiest of yoga poses, without feeling like you’re stretching them. They weren’t see through either. If you’re not a hardcore yogi though, they’re also great to wear to the gym or on a walk. There’s a hidden waistband pocket for your essentials too.
3. Under Armour Women’s UA HeatGear Armour Sport Capri: £30, Under Armour
These capri pants are a great alternative to full-length leggings and fit like a second skin, meaning you can move around freely. The fabric builds in Under Armour’s HeatGear technology so as you get hotter the breathable material wicks sweat and keeps you cool – ideal if you’re into Bikram.
4. Sweaty Betty Chandrasana Reversible Yoga Leggings: £75, Sweaty Betty
If you get bored of gym kit easily and like a splash of colour, then Sweaty Betty has got you covered. This reversible pair switches from opaque to their “fireombre” design depending on which way you fancy wearing them and the snug fit means they won’t restrict movement. They’re surprisingly flattering too and don’t go see through after stretching. Most importantly, the fabric is breathable, so you won’t get too hot and sweaty in class. If you’re not keen on this style they also have “ice gravel ombre” which is a blue-patterned design.
5. M&S Digital Wave Panel Leggings: £25, M&S
The double layer of fabric gives these sports leggings a high-quality feel and the splash of colour down the sides won’t distract your attention while doing the downward dog. They are a little too thick for hot yoga classes but if you’re doing yoga at home or like to go to the odd class, for the price, these are a good option. There’s also a handy zip pocket for your coins.
6. Vie Active Rockwell 7/8 Compression Leggings: £85, Active In Style
Australian brand Vie Active has by far the silkiest and softest leggings we tested; you barely notice you’re wearing them, even in difficult poses. They also give good support and the waistband doesn’t feel too tight around the stomach. Although we love them for yoga sessions, they’re also suitable to wear in the gym. The subtle design means they go with lots of things too.
7. Manuka Life Awakening Yoga Capris Yoga Pants: £36, John Lewis
These Manuka Life leggings are incredibly comfortable and the material is perfect for hot Bikram sessions. They’re loose, which allows air to flow but also tight at the bottom for ease and flexibility in poses. They’re so comfy we loved lounging round the house in them too.
8. Move Your Frame Gede Side Stripe Leggings: £60, Frame
Frame is best known for its reasonably priced workout classes but has recently developed its own workout range. These leggings cling comfortably to your figure (not as tight as others we tested) and allow you to get on with your workout without worrying they'll slip down or shift out of place, whether you’re in a handstand or just stretching. Unlike some leggings that are more fashion statement than gym get-up, the understated pink and navy design is simply enough to wear to the shops or your Pilates session without feeling daft. The soft polyamide fabric means they're warm yet breathable, too.
9. Nike Power Legendary Women’s Mid-rise Training Capris: £60, Nike
These super stretchy leggings are great for yoga because you hardly feel like you’re wearing them. They stick like a second skin, so you can move comfortably between positions, while still feeling supported. You can also fold over the waistband for more support and the Capris length and sweat-wicking fabric means you stay cool, even in Bikram yoga. They’re great to wear to the gym or on a run too.
The Verdict: Yoga pants
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