In case you weren't aware, there's a legging hierarchy. At the bottom, you have your laundry-day leggings, reserved only for those few hours everything else is in the wash. In the middle are your workout leggings — the several pairs you wear from the gym to the grocery store.
But at the very top sit the leggings.
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That one pair of black workout leggings that make everything right in the world. They move with your body like a second skin. They go with every workout top in your closet and hide all your sweat marks. And you know that when their last day comes, it'll be the end of an era.
And while we're well aware that finding your next pair of top-tier tights is no small feat, the LIVESTRONG.com team wants to offer a little help. Never managed to find your perfect pair? We've got you, too.
Browse our team's favorite black leggings and get ready to fall in love.
How We Chose
We polled our staff about what qualities make for the best workout leggings for different body shapes and sizes. We made these picks based on those features and other criteria, including:
- Quality of fabrics and materials
- Inclusive size range and fit
- Comfort and durability
A Quick Language Note
We make deliberate choices about the language we use when it comes to gender. While more brands now carry gender-neutral workout clothes, you’ll still typically see clothing brands market their products to men or women.
The main difference between most women's and men's clothing is the fit: Men's versions tend to be longer in length and roomier, and women's versions tend to be shorter in length and tighter. However, fabrics, quality and comfort should be the same between gender-labeled pairs. We encourage everyone to purchase the products that feel right for them.
Best Black Workout Leggings
1. Athleta Elation 7/8 Tight
- Inner pocket for keys
- Cropped length for extra cooling
- Comes in sizes XXS to 3X
"I have three pairs of the Elation tight, all in black — they are that comfortable," says K. Aleisha Fetters, CSCS, former senior fitness editor and certified strength and conditioning specialist. "Yes, 'buttery soft' has become an it term when it comes to leggings, but I honestly have never felt a pair of great quality leggings that feel this good.
Buy it: Athleta.com; Price: $89
2. Lululemon Align High-Rise Pant 28"
- Two inseams to prevent movement while training
- Lightweight fabric
- Ankle length
- Comes in sizes 0 to 20
"I'm not a big legging person when I train — usually I go with shorts," says Bojana Galic, CPT, associate fitness editor and certified personal trainer. "But these leggings honestly feel like they're not even there. The high waist isn't restricting and they don't bunch up around the crotch when I'm doing squats or lunges."
Buy it: Lululemon.com; Price: $98 to $118
3. Matty M Ladies' Wear Everywhere Leggings
- Long-lasting fabric
- Affordable price point
- Wide waistband
- Comes in sizes XS to XXL
"I can't recommend these enough. I bought two pairs at Costco on a whim years ago and only just replaced one of them [recently]. Tthe other pair is still going strong," says former associate health editor Kathleen Ferraro. "They are so durable and truly last for years."
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $26.50
4. Fabletics Define High-Waisted Leggings
- Inclusive sizing for all bodies
- Chafe-resistant fabric
- Comes in sizes XXS to 4X
"The fabric is soft yet firm; they don't sag or bunch up, whether I'm working out or lounging around," says Sarah Klein, CPT, editorial director and certified personal trainer. "They're thick enough not to be transparent in any contorted position."
Buy it: Fabletics.com; Price: $69.95
5. 90 Degree By Reflex Womens Power Flex Yoga Pants
- Side pockets
- Squat-proof fabric
- Quick shipping
- Comes in sizes XS to 3XL
"I love the pockets, they're the perfect size for my iPhone," says senior wellbeing editor Kaitlin Ahern. "They're also high-waisted but not constrictive, which makes them comfortable to wear all day, not just for workouts."
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $26.99
6. Sweaty Betty High-Waisted 7/8 Workout Leggings
- Super high rise (above the belly button)
- Side pocket that fits smartphones
- Sculpting design
- Comes in sizes XXS to XXL
"I love the Sweaty Betty leggings because they dry very quickly even with the most intense workouts," says Tiffany Ayuda, CPT, contributing fitness editor and certified personal trainer. "I've used them to run, do HIIT and hot yoga, and they don't leave me a sticky mess after a workout. I hate having to peel leggings off of me."
Buy it: Sweatybetty.com; Price: $100
7. Lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Tight
- Five waistband pockets
- Drawcord waist
- Comes in sizes 0 to 20
"This is the first pair of leggings I've owned with pockets," says April Benshosan, senior nutrition editor. "For someone who doesn't really like carrying around a purse, this is a serious life-changer."
Buy it: Lululemon.com; Price: $128 to $138