The 9 Best Plus Size Leggings of 2021

Feel good in your skin as you exercise with these fashion-forward picks

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No matter your size, finding the right pair of leggings is not an easy task. You want just the right amount of stretch that holds you in but still flaunts your shape without being too restrictive or loose. Not to mention, you want to build your collection with different cuts, colors, and prints that flatter your curves and pair well with your rotation of workout tops.

While brands have historically failed to include plus-size offerings in their collections, the plus-size apparel market is steadily growing. Major players like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and Athleta—all featured on this list—are finally making inclusive sizing a priority.

Here are the best plus size leggings on the market to sport during your next workout.

Our Top Picks
Made from recycled materials, the leggings fit to flatter and support you all day long without losing their hold or shape.
These ultra-light compression leggings are prime for layering under shorts or pants when the temperature drops.
Affordable without losing out on style, it features a flattering leg with a center back seam to elongate the body.
Complete with protective padding, they help create a more comfortable ride and may even help prevent nerve damage down the road.
The versatile leggings are complete with strategically placed pockets to keep your phone secured without adding bulk.
The flattering opaque material delivers a smooth appearance, helping conceal underwear during squats.
Best for Cold Weather:
Athleta Rainier Mesh Tight at Gap.com
They offer the optimal balance of warmth and breathability that's ideal for both indoor and outdoor workouts.
Designed to accommodate your growing belly, it allows for full range of motion without too much pressure or restriction.
These opaque, cropped leggings transition seamlessly between seasons and deliver a sculpted, second-skin fit.

Best Overall for Women: Girlfriend Compressive High-Rise Legging

Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging
Pros
  • High-rise, compression fit

  • Durable, long-lasting material

  • Wide range of colors and sizes

  • Three inseam options

  • Ethically made

Cons
  • Tend to run small

One of the hottest pairs of leggings on the market, Girlfriend Collective's Compressive High-Rise Legging delivers premium "hold you in" support and compression that keeps you smooth and sculpted. The sturdy, ultra-soft, and stretchy material lasts for years. No matter how many times you wash and wear these pants, don't expect to see any fading or signs of wear—they're in it for the long haul. 

Strategically-placed seams elongate the leg for an ultra-flattering fit. Offered in full length, 7/8, and Capri fit, this high-rise legging is a must-have for all your athletic and leisurely endeavors. The breathable, bendable four-way stretch fabric is fully opaque—in every color—keeping your undies under cover no matter how deep you squat.

Known for its sustainable, ethical, and size-inclusive clothing, Girlfriend Collective's famous leggings each start as 25 post-consumer water bottles, which are then pulverized into microscopic chips and spun into a soft, recycled yarn that’s then woven with spandex.

These supportive leggings will likely become your go-to pair. Luckily, they’re offered in a wide selection of both neutral and playful hues, so nobody will think you’re an outfit repeater. The Compressive High-Rise Legging comes in three inseam options in women's sizes XXS through 6XL.

Rise: High-rise | Length: 28.5 inch-inseam, 23.75 inch-inseam, and 9.5 inch-inseam | Sizes: XXS through 6XL | Care & Washability: Machine wash cold and line dry flat | Pockets: No

Best Overall for Men: Under Armour Men's ColdGear Leggings

Under Armour Men's ColdGear Leggings
Pros
  • Under Armour ColdGear keeps you warm in cold weather

  • Sweat-wicking, quick-drying material

  • Anti-odor technology

  • Regular and tall inseams offered

Cons
  • No fly

  • No drawstring

When the temperature drops, Under Armour ColdGear Leggings come to the rescue. No thicker than a T-shirt, these ultra-light compression leggings are prime for layering under shorts or pants in cooler temperatures. They feature a soft brushed interior to keep you warm with a sweat-wicking, quick-drying exterior.

A stretchy mesh gusset and inseam panels keep the boys comfortably in place while providing plenty of airflow. The flat-seam construction delivers a chafe-free fit with a sturdy, roll-free elastic waistband that sits at the hips. 

Under Armour Men's ColdGear Leggings are made of polyester and elastane, and are crafted with anti-odor technology to keep it fresh. These full-length, mid-rise leggings are offered in Charcoal Light Heather, Black, and White in sizes small through 4XL—in regular and tall options.

Rise: Mid-rise | Length: 28- and 30-inch inseam | Sizes: S through 4XL | Care & Washability: Machine wash cold and line or tumble dry low | Pockets: No

Best Budget: JUST MY SIZE Women's Plus Size Active Capri Leggings

JUST MY SIZE Women's Plus Size Active Capri Leggings
Pros
  • Silky-smooth material

  • Stays put during workouts

  • Sweat-wicking

  • Affordable

Cons
  • No drawstring

  • Only one length option

If you’re one who likes to try all the trends—from colorblock and neutrals to cutouts and camo—a budget-friendly pick might just be what the doctor ordered. Hitting mid-calf, these 20-inch capris suit your year-round workout needs while keeping you comfortable and confident.

Delivering a high-rise, supportive waistband, these JMS leggings stay put through both low- and high-impact activities without rolling down. Made from moisture-wicking polyester and spandex, the athletic material keeps you dry and comfortable, even during the hottest summer workouts.

These Capri leggings feature a flattering leg with a center-back seam to elongate the body. Whether you favor prints or solids, the JMS Capri leggings come in Black, Granite Heather, Wingspan Grey, Wingspan Odyssey, and Wingspan Plum Dream in women's sizes 1X through 5X.

Rise: High-rise | Length: 20 inch-inseam | Sizes: 1X through 5X | Care & Washability: Machine wash cold and tumble dry low | Pockets: No

Best for Cycling: Spoear Sports Women's Cycling Pants 3D Padded Compression Tight

Spoear Sports Women's Cycling Pants 3D Padded Compression Tight
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Silicone gel 3D padded seat

  • Lightweight, moisture-wicking material

  • Reflective details

  • Wide waistband

Cons
  • May need to layer in the winter months

  • If you’re in between sizes, you may need to size down

For road warriors and Peloton fanatics, investing in padded cycling bottoms can make your ride far more comfortable. A quality chamois legging can help reduce pressure, vibration, and prevent chafing. 

While sitting on a bike seat for extended periods of time may not be the most comfortable activity—and in rare cases can even cause nerve damage—there are easy ways to make your ride and bike seat more comfortable. For starters, these leggings feature silicone gel 3D padding to protect and cushion your bum and groin area from soreness, numbness, and discomfort. This delicate design helps improve circulation and reduce vibration for a gentle, comfortable ride.

These padded cycling leggings offer 360-degree coverage and support. Made from breathable, sweat-wicking spandex and polyester, these leggings provide a full range of motion while keeping you cool, comfy, and held in tight. The lightweight, opaque fabric supplies the ideal level of compression with a flattering high waistband complete with an inner drawstring for a secure, stable fit. 

These full-length leggings—hovering around the ankle bone—feature 7-inch reflective ankle zippers with grips that keep the pants in place. A zipper back pocket conveniently accommodates tiny valuables, like a locker room key or ID. Choose from a multitude of solid black with numerous colored detail combinations in sizes XS through 4XL.

Rise: Mid-rise | Length: Full length | Sizes: XS through 4XL | Care & Washability: Machine wash and air dry | Pockets: Yes—in waistband

Best with Pockets: Torrid Active Legging with Pockets

Torrid Black Wicking Full Length Active Legging with Pockets
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Compression

  • Opaque fabric is squat-proof

  • Deep discreet pockets that fit a phone

  • Moisture-wicking material

Cons
  • Tends to run small

  • May be short on taller frames

  • Only comes in black

You know when you find that magical piece of clothing that not only fits like a glove but makes you look amazing? These leggings are it. Once you try them on, you'll rush to order a pair for every day of the week.

Torrid's full-length black leggings are thick and durable, yielding a held-in, sculpted silhouette with a high-rise, smoothing waistband. Made from moisture-wicking nylon and spandex, these breathable, stretchy leggings keep you cool and comfy all workout long. Best of all, you can ditch your purse or fanny pack, thanks to discreet dual side pockets that are deep enough to stow a phone without adding bulk.

These form-flattering black leggings pass all the tests—from jumping jacks to squats. They don’t sheer when you bend down and stay in place when you jump, twist, run, body roll, you name it. They also won't dig into your belly or slip down. The Black Wicking Full-Length Active Leggings with Pockets feature a 26-inch inseam and come in sizes M through 6X.

Rise: High-rise | Length: Full length—26 inch-inseam | Sizes: M through 6X | Care & Washability: Wash cold and dry low | Pockets: Yes

Best Squat-Proof: Nike One Women's Mid-Rise Leggings

Nike One Women's Mid-Rise Leggings
Pros
  • Nike Dri-FIT material

  • Variety of color options

  • Fabric passes the squat test

  • V-contoured waistband

  • Compression

Cons
  • May be slightly cropped on long legs

  • Too generous in the calves for some

From power hours in the gym to cranking out work from your home office, the Nike One Leggings keep your booty looking cute and covered. The ultra sweat-wicking Dri-FIT material—made of recycled polyester and spandex—keeps you dry and comfortable through your sweatiest workouts. The flattering opaque material delivers a smooth appearance, helping conceal underwear during squats.

The mid-rise compression fit leggings feature a V-contoured waistband that stays put during high-impact activities—or lounging—and provides a smooth, slimming silhouette. Additionally, the waistband features two hidden pockets for valuables—one large enough to store a phone.

Nike One Women's Mid-Rise Leggings hit just above the ankle and are offered in Fireberry, Black, Obsidian, and Cerulean in sizes 1 through 3X—spanning sizes 16 through 26W.

Rise: Mid-rise | Length: 25 inch-inseam | Sizes: 1 through 3X (16 through 26W) | Care & Washability: Machine wash and hang dry | Pockets: Yes—in waistband

Best for Cold Weather: Athleta Rainier Mesh Tight

Athleta Rainier Mesh Tight
Pros
  • Not bulky

  • Sweat-wicking, breathable material

  • Zipper pockets

  • Keeps you warm in cold weather

Cons
  • Can pill over time

  • Some prefer no mesh in the winter

If you're an athlete living in a cooler climate, you know you'll find every way possible to squeeze in a few more outdoor workouts when the temperature starts to drop. Fleece-lined leggings can either be a blessing or a curse. Sure, they'll buffer the bitter cold, but when there’s too much fleece, you can overheat mid-workout—especially if your workout moves indoors.

Athleta's Rainier Mesh Tight offers the optimal balance of warmth and breathability, ideal for both indoor and outdoor workouts. These leggings are made with a soft, brushed Plush SuperSonic interior and super subtle, non-sheer side mesh inserts along the outer leg for breathability. Made from recycled polyester and LYCRA, the material is ultra sweat-wicking and quick-drying for a comfortable fall or winter workout

Unlike the majority of fleece-lined leggings, the Rainier Mesh Tight is lightweight, sleek, and won't add bulk to the leg. These leggings come with two side zipper pockets to secure valuables and one drop-in back pocket for a phone.

The full-length, high-rise leggings also feature reflective details at the ankles for added safety at night. They come in black in sizes XXS through 3X, in petite or regular cuts.

Rise: High-rise | Length: Full length—27 inch-inseam | Sizes: XXS through 3X | Care & Washability: Machine wash and dry | Pockets: Yes

Best Maternity: Fabletics High-Waisted PureLuxe Maternity 7/8 Legging

Fabletics High-Waisted PureLuxe Maternity 7/8 Legging
Pros
  • Accommodates your growing belly

  • Barely there feel

  • Sweat-wicking material

Cons
  • Limited color options

  • No full-length options

For moms-to-be, a pair of comfy, flattering leggings are a maternity capsule wardrobe staple that transcends the gym and Pilates class. Our favorite pair is the Fabletics High-Waisted PureLuxe Maternity 7/8 Legging. 

These leggings are designed to accommodate your growing belly throughout your pregnancy. Supporting you in all the right places, the Fabletics leggings hit a couple of inches above the ankle for a versatile look.

Crafted from buttery-soft, feather-light fabric, these ultra high-rise leggings fit like a second skin, allowing for full range of motion without restriction or too much pressure on the belly.

The moisture-wicking, chafe-resistant material—made of polyester and elastane—keeps the body dry and comfortable while also shielding you from harmful rays. An external hip pocket conveniently stores a phone without adding volume. These leggings are offered in Abyss, Black, and Iron in sizes XXS through 4X.

Rise: High-rise | Length:  ⅞ length | Sizes: XXS through 4X | Care & Washability: Machine wash cold and hang dry | Pockets: Yes

Best Cropped: Adidas Believe This Solid 7/8 Tights​

adidas Believe This Solid 7/8 Tights​
Pros
  • Sweat-wicking AEROREADY technology

  • Soft and stretchy material

  • Waistband stays in place during workout

  • Compression

Cons
  • Tends to run slightly small

A cropped legging is a year-round activewear staple that all athletes should have in their closets. Enter: Adidas' Believe This Solid 7/8 Tights.

These leggings fit like a second skin, smoothing and sculpting the body for a supportive and flattering fit. They're made from nylon and elastane interlock, offering stretch with optimal recovery. Equipped with Adidas AEROREADY technology, the fabric zaps moisture on contact to keep you cool and dry throughout your sweat sesh. 

A wide, compressive high-rise waistband stays put without slipping, digging, or rolling down as you move. Work out with confidence in these cameltoe-free leggings complete with a breathable mesh gusset for a flattering fit and long-lasting comfort. Keep your valuables close with the inner pocket, which is perfect for your phone or keys.

These cropped leggings hit at the lower end of the calf and can easily transition between seasons. They come in three flattering colors—Semi Night Flash, Legacy Blue, and Black—in sizes 1 through 4X.

Rise: High-rise | Length: ⅞ length | Sizes: 1 through 4X | Care & Washability: Machine wash cold separately on delicate cycle and hang dry | Pockets: Yes

Final Verdict

If leggings are your daily uniform for both workout and day-to-day attire, you’ll love the Torrid Active Legging with Pockets (view on Torrid). Not only is the material breathable and sweat-wicking, but it’s also totally opaque and squat-proof. 

For a year-round style, Adidas Believe This Solid 7/8 Tights (view on Dick's Sporting Goods) provide a sculpted, smooth fit made from an opaque, squat-proof material. Hitting a couple of inches above the ankle, these high-rise leggings stay secured throughout your workout and keep their shape, wear after wear.

What to Look for in Leggings 

Length

Leggings typically come in three length options:

Full length: This cut extends to the bottom of the leg for a fully covered fit. This style is popular among runners and people living in cooler climates. If you’re on the taller side, be aware that a standard full-length legging may fit more like an ankle-length legging.

7/8 length: This cropped style extends to the lower part of the calf, hovering a few inches above the ankle.

Capri length: Flaunting more skin, Capri leggings extend below the knee, hovering around mid-calf. This style is popular for summer and warmer climates as it offers more coverage than shorts, but provides far more breathability than longer cuts. 

Fabrics

LYCRA, Spandex, and Elastane are the magical fibers that make leggings so amazingly comfortable. The synthetic elastic fibers not only provide stretch and recovery but also allow the garment to mold to your body.

On their own, spandex and its counterparts are not very breathable, but when combined with other materials—like nylon and polyester—they can make for the perfect cocktail of softness, stretch, breathability, moisture management, and comfort. 

Nylon is a lightweight synthetic fiber that adds a silky-smooth texture to apparel. It's highly durable and abrasion-resistant, meaning it's not likely to pill like other fabrics. Along with spandex, elastane, and LYCRA, nylon is stretchy, but unlike the others, it repels water and dries efficiently. High concentrations of nylon may add shine to leggings.

Polyester also possesses the high elasticity that's essential for athletic gear, while snapping back and retaining its shape and color after continuous wash and wear. It also provides excellent moisture management.  

Leggings with high concentrations of cotton should be reserved solely for lounging. While cotton is super lightweight, comfy, and breathable; if you’re planning on sweating, the material will absorb the moisture and weigh you down. Stick to cotton in smaller doses or save it for your downtime.

Care and Washability

The number one rule when it comes to caring for your leggings is to avoid heat. This includes heat from the wash cycle and dryer. Heat breaks down the elasticity of the garment, making it lose its compression and recovery.

Wash your leggings separately or with activewear made of the same fabrics. Avoid opposing materials like towels, jeans, or sheets. Be sure to wash your gear on delicate with cold water and use minimal detergent. Also, do not use any fabric softener as this can damage the performance features of the fabric. Once washed, air dry your leggings.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are leggings and yoga pants the same thing?

    Leggings and yoga pants may not be the same thing. Leggings are made from a variety of fabrics and generally tight-fitting from waist to ankle. Yoga pants tend to be roomier and come in flared or bootcut designs. However, you can find tight-fitting yoga pants, or wear leggings for yoga.

    Most importantly, when looking for athletic-style leggings, whether for yoga or your morning jog, you want breathable, comfortable fabric that moves with you and can withstand the wear-and-tear of your physical activity and regular washings.

    Fashion or loungewear leggings are made from a thinner, stretchy fabric that may be too sheer to wear without a longer top.

  • Can you wear leggings to the office?

    Check your office dress code to see if you can wear leggings to the office. Your employer sets a dress code based on the type of image they want to convey. Dress codes may be formal, requiring you to wear business attire like suits and covered shoes, or casual, allowing you to wear everyday clothes like jeans and athletic footwear.

    Leggings may be considered casual or athletic wear. So, whether your office allows leggings or not depends on your employer’s dress code. Talk to your human resources manager for insight.

  • What should you wear with leggings?

    What you wear with your leggings may depend on the type of leggings you’re wearing, and what you'll be wearing them for. Long shirts, sweaters, and jackets work best with fashion leggings. Or, you may wear shorts or a skirt over the thinner-style leggings.  

    A sports bra, t-shirt, or tank top looks good with yoga pants and athletic leggings. 

  • How do you wash leggings?

    Check the label of your leggings for washing instructions. Most leggings are machine washable. However, heat affects the stretchy fabric in your leggings.

    When washing, use your preferred laundry detergent, set the wash and rinse cycle to cold, and select the permanent press or regular wash setting. After washing, let your leggings air dry.

Why Trust Verywell Fit? 


Emily Stone
is a Chicago-based journalist specializing in fitness and lifestyle content. As an athlete and fitness lover, Emily practically lives in leggings. Her favorite brands include Nike, Athleta, and Lululemon for the long inseams, technical fabrics, and city-inspired styles.

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