Tights, leggings, “meggings,” base layers, or whatever you’d like to call them, not only add a bit of variety to a workout wardrobe, they’re also chock full of benefits. Besides adding extra warmth for a hike, run, or bike ride (particularly moving into the cooler months in most of the Northern Hemisphere), the best leggings for men should be tight enough to add compression, promoting blood flow and oxygen to leg muscles. That can not only enhance performance during exercise but also help with recovery afterward.
Running tights are super comfortable for lounging around and are a great layered look worn under shorts of all sorts. We also think they’re kind of sexy when worn on their own, assuming, of course, you’ve got the superhero physique required to pull that off. There’s also a pretty fine line between tights and long underwear, so why not grab a pair of these to wear for your workout now, knowing that you’ll be able to layer them for extra warmth come winter’s chill. Finally, tights are available across a wide price range, but, for the most part, you’ll get what you pay for: although we’re all for being budget-conscious, trust us on this one: you don’t want to find out about failure in the midst of a deep squat in front of the whole gym.
From sweat-wicking technology to winter-proof material guaranteed to keep you toasty warm on the coldest days, here are the best running tights for men.
At $16 a pop, these are some of the cheapest leggings we’ve found. Buy ‘em in a three-pack and save even more. The fabric is a classic poly/spandex blend that offers circulation and moisture management to keep you cool in summer, warm in winter, and dry all year long. They’re also available in a variety of colors, as well as red and gray camouflage designs.
Check out the Satori Stylez shop on Amazon for an awesome range of patterns, all cut, sewn, and printed in the USA or Mexico. This dragon print is one of our favorites, featuring 18% Spandex for extra stretch to get you through your longest run or your most challenging yoga class. One of our favorite features: they’re “Squats Approved,“ meaning the fabric is thick enough and strong enough that you won’t be mooning anyone during even your deepest squat. No fears, though: it’s also lightweight enough to keep you dry throughout the workout.
Ruskin makes clothes for guys who do not skip a workout. Ever. They also probably don’t know what a donut tastes like. The quality is amazing, so it’s worth it for the rest of us to check out the collection now and again, too. These leggings, for example, have been designed to complement the physique so if you’re in reasonably good shape, they add a little extra wow factor. They’re also made in California from a premium nylon-spandex blend fabric that is super comfortable to wear, and also happen to be in one of the best colors of the season.
Vuori maintains a super-comfortable approach to workout clothes that also happen to be great-looking enough you could really wear them anywhere. These compression tights, for example, include a brushed waistband and a hidden pocket to stash keys or maybe a small audio device. They also feature a zippered ankle which makes them a heck of a lot easier to put on. The compressive fit is great for muscles and circulation, while the quick-dry soft interlock fabric feels good and offers moisture-wicking.
Merino wool is the original performance fiber, naturally offering wicking, cooling, and odor-protection properties to keep our bodies comfortable and dry during an intense workout. Perfect for a run, or to wear as a layering piece for winter skiing, the 175 offers a perfect weight for most activities, made from a fine ribbed knit fabric that’s lighter than some traditional jersey knit versions. Because they’re so light, they are a little see-through so you might want to wear these under at least a pair of workout shorts. The Icebreaker Cool-Lite version — a blend of Merino, Tencel, Nylon, and Elastane — offers more opaque coverage, and can be worn comfortably on its own.
Matador has so many great patterns it’s hard to say which one to pick. We like this on-trend tie-dye pattern that brings a little bit of a hippy groove to your wardrobe. Matador also puts a lot of thought into their product, offering a soft crotch cup which may make some guys feel a little more comfortable wearing leggings without a pair of shorts. They also feature streamlined pockets to stash a phone and valuables, and a T-shirt loop. They’re also made from a lightweight sweat-wicking stretch fabric. These are great for wearing way beyond the gym or for a run.
The Nobull collection is made for and by athletes that take their workouts pretty seriously and who want clothes that can take the pressure. These 3/4-length tights are made from a nylon/spandex blend, offering an oxygenating compression fit with a shaped front basket with an antimicrobial lining. The interior panel is made from a breathable mesh to keep things cooler, while the exposed jacquard waistband does a great job of keeping the tights in place even during deep squats. We also like the no-nonsense neutral palette of black, charcoal, navy, and olive.
The Aloe legging offers an almost sweatpants-like comfort. It’s full-length, offering moisture-wicking and mobility (perfect for those warrior poses), with both an elastic waistband and a drawstring closure. the four-way stretch fabric offers moisture-wicking and odor resistance, while a lined gusset running up the inside of the leg adds further fit, stretch, and comfort.
These clean, modern 3/4-length tights feature bonded construction to create smooth, flat, comfortable seams, and come in Lululemon’s Luxtreme sweat-wicking fabric with lots of stretch. There’s an interior pocket to stash valuables and a printed branded graphic that looks as though it’s stepped out of a utopian sci-fi fantasy. They’re perfect for your workout, but the clean styling is a great layering look to extend shorts season further into fall.
Most leggings are thin, stretchy, and way too tight. Inspired by the leggings worn by male bullfighters in Spain, Matador Meggings are made from moisture-wicking lycra fabric that keeps you dry throughout your workout. The best part about these leggings is the thoughtfully designed contoured crotch, which is removable for easy cleaning and sits snugly in a small sleeve at the front of the pants.
These breathable, sweat-wicking leggings from high-performance activewear brand Rhone are the perfect lightweight layer underneath running shorts. Designed to keep their shape whether you’re on your first mile or your fifth, these tights keep your run comfortable with a built-in media pocket, reflective details, and flat-lock seams.
Not only does the stretch performance fabric feel like a second skin, but it also carries real benefits that improve your training and performance. The compression promotes blood flow and keeps muscles warm to minimize fatigue. The V-shaped crotch panel construction keeps the goods comfortably tucked away without restricting movement.
Made with NB DRY fast-drying technology, the innovative fabric pulls moisture away from your body during your workouts. With a fit that’s snug at the hip and thigh, these tights fully support you while you sweat. Drop-in pockets keep your phone and keys safe and on your person during your run, along with a secure zipper back pocket for added storage with no bounce or water damage.
In colder weather, reach for these Gore R3 leggings. Designed for cross-country skiing and running, these leggings are made from water-resistant, windproof nylon-elastane to keep you warm and dry even though the toughest winter conditions. The soft inside material makes cold-weather training not just bearable, but enjoyable.
Lightweight and built for speed, these tights allow you to fly down the track. Minimal seaming allows for comfortable long strides without chafing. The flat waistband sits comfortably against your body for streamlined comfort, while two generously sized pockets keep your gear safely tucked away.
These tights from Nike are lightweight and provide just the right amount of compression, making them ideal for everyday running or a sweaty gym sesh. The perfect mix between joggers and full-on tights, these leggings are loose up top and transition to full-on tights at the knee. Mesh at the back of the knees allows for superior breathability and ventilation.
Under Armour keeps innovating, and their leggings feature the latest in performance-enhancing technology. The brand uses a mineral-infused fabric to reflect the energy you expend during your workout back into your muscles, improving endurance and strength. Mesh panels provide strategic ventilation and contribute to a comfortable, dry fit throughout the entirety of your workout.
These climate-controlled leggings are made from a quick-drying fabric that wicks away moisture and dries quickly, while also resisting abrasion and tearing. Run freely without constraint with these stretchy leggings made for day-long wearability, including at night — The North Face logo is reflective for low-light safety.
At first glance, all running tights look the same: made from a soft, stretchy synthetic fabric, tight, and usually featuring a pocket or two. But depending on where you live and the common weather conditions in your area, investing in a specialized pair of running tights will help ensure the most pleasurable and comfortable outdoor runs across all four seasons. The best men’s workout brands are consistently trying to outdo one another with the latest in quality and innovative technology, and when they compete, the consumer wins.
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