Charlotte Grainger

Yoga Leggings vs. Running Leggings: What’s the Difference?

yoga leggings vs running leggings

Shopping for the right sportswear can be heaven or hell. When you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s nothing short of a pleasure. However, if you’re feeling a tad muddled or confused, finding the ideal gear for your workout can feel entirely daunting. When it comes to leggings, there’s one major conundrum. Do you need yoga leggings or running leggings? And, crucially, what on earth is the difference? Worry not, as we have all the answers you’ve been craving. Within our guide, we will also take a brief look at some of the best yoga leggings and running leggings. Here’s everything that you need to know.


Before you hit your next yoga class, getting the right yoga pants for the job is essential. This type of sports gear has a specific style that supports your body and offers comfort while you’re doing your asanas. Finding the best yoga leggings for your needs doesn’t have to be difficult. You should simply ensure you know what you’re looking for first.

What to look for in yoga leggings

Don’t be baffled by the array of choice. From hot yoga leggings to yoga leggings with pockets, there’s a wide selection of options. Ahead of diving in and buying a pair, you need to understand what to look for. Regardless of the style you buy, the best yoga leggings all have a handful of core features in common. Here’s a breakdown of must-have styles.

yoga leggings

High Waist

“How do I keep my leggings from falling down?” It’s a question that we’ve all asked ourselves at times. Moving from pose-to-pose takes flexibility and practice. However, if your yoga leggings are constantly sliding down, it’s a sure-fire way to ruin your flow.

For that reason, high waisted yoga leggings tend to be a vastly popular choice. The beauty of these leggings is that they cover your lower abdomen and don’t slip down when you move. What’s more, this type of sportswear can work for any occasion too. If you’re looking for some yoga leggings for work, you may find that these fit the bill. Perfect.

Soft, comfortable fabric

Comfort is king! When you’re practicing yoga, you need to feel comfortable and supported at all times. Investing in the best yoga leggings with high-quality fabric is the way to go. Often enough that means choosing a blend of materials. Of course, some brands have their own style of ultra-cosy material. For instance, Alo Yoga boasts Alosoft fabric and Beyond Yoga has their famous Spacedye fabric.

Breathable fabric

Let’s not beat around the bush, yoga can be hot work. Ensuring that your yoga leggings feature breathable fabric is an absolute must. When you’re in the midst of a session, the last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable or sweaty. Choosing a light and perhaps even moisture-wicking style of material will mean that this is never a problem.

alo yoga leggings

Squat proof fabric

Flexibility is a big part of practicing yoga. That means that your yoga leggings need to be entirely squat proof. You’re going to need to bend, flex and move around freely. Before you buy a pair of leggings, make sure that you read the description. Some of the best yoga leggings have unique four-way stretch material which is a huge bonus.

Can you run in yoga leggings?

If you’ve already got a trusty pair of yoga leggings, you may be wondering if they can do double-duty. The age-old question comes up time and time again: Can you run in yoga leggings? The answer is that it depends on the fabric and design. If your yoga leggings are compressive and has moisture-wicking properties, such as Alo Yoga Airlift Legging or the Girlfriend Collective Compressive High Rise Leggings, you can run in them comfortably. Please note that the leggings need to be tight enough to stay up when you’re running.


Now that you understand what you should be looking for in the best yoga leggings, let’s take a look at some options. If you’re hunting for some divine inspiration, you’ve got it. Here are three of the snazziest and most durable yoga leggings you can get right now.

alo yoga alosoft lounge leggings

Alo Yoga High Waisted Lounge Leggings

First up, the stunning Alo Yoga High Waisted Lounge Leggings are an excellent choice. Featuring the signature Alosoft fabric, four-way stretch and moisture-wicking technology, you can’t go wrong with these women’s yoga leggings. Aside from offering comfort and support when you’re in class, the Alo Yoga line of leggings are ideal for everyday wear. Coming in a subtle Blue Haze Heather tone, you can pair these with other athleisure essentials to create a cool on-the-go look.


beyond yoga spacedye

Beyond Yoga Spacedye Caught in the Midi Leggings

With a fantastic fitted design, high rise and 7/8 length, the Beyond Yoga Spacedye Caught in the Midi Leggings could be the ideal addition to your wardrobe. The black yoga leggings are made of comfortable Spacedye Performance fabric, which is super soft. Add that to the fact that these are fast-drying and wick away moisture and you’ve got a recipe for success.


Free People Movement Good Karma Leggings

FP Movement Good Karma Leggings

Looking for the perfect fit when it comes to your yoga leggings? The FP Movement Good Karma Leggings are certainly the way to go. Boasting a form-flattering high, ribbed waist and breathable material, there’s so much to love about this legging.

The soft construction means that you will always feel cosy while the stretchable fabric offers an optimal level of movement. As though that weren’t enough, there’s a fashion-forward pinhole design that sets these yoga leggings apart from the crowd.


Whether you’re sprinting 10K or simply out for a morning jog, getting the right running leggings is essential. This high-endurance activity demands the right gear. When you’re mid-run, you need to know that your leggings will stay up, keep you cool and feel comfortable. It’s a tall order. However, investing in quality running leggings will help.

What to look for in running leggings

Before you rush to buy some running leggings, you need to know what you’re looking for. While there are many great options out there, ensuring that yours have some key features is a smart move. With that in mind, here are the important traits every pair should have.

High Waist

From the moment you start running in high waisted leggings, you will never wear anything else. These are real game-changers. One of the major complaints, when people are jogging, is that their leggings start to slide down and, ultimately, slow them down. Avoid this issue by choosing a pair of quality leggings that are either high rise or high waisted.

Seamless construction

Looking for the epitome of comfort? You might want to opt for a seamless construction design. Doing so means that you will be less aware of your leggings when you’re running, i.e. they won’t cause any discomfort or unnecessary irritation. Look for a seamless legging that offers both compression and breathability in one little package. Simple.

seamless leggings


Here’s the golden rule: Running leggings should be tight. You need a compressive pair of leggings when you’re out for a sprint. The main reason that this style works so well is that it stops the leggings from moving too much when you’re running. What’s more, you will find that the compressive design also supports the muscles, which are working hard.

Breathable fabric

Whether you’re running al-fresco or on a machine, your heart-rate is set to rise and so is your temperature. To keep you going, you need to choose a breathable legging fabric. This style of gear will help you stay cool and comfortable. You might even choose a pair of running leggings that have a chic mesh design, which also offers breathability.

Moisture-wicking fabric

The final thing you should look for when choosing the best running leggings is moisture-wicking fabric. Needless to say, when you’re running, you may sweat. The last thing you need is to feel uncomfortable because the fabric of your leggings is damp. Opting for a pair that offers supreme wicking means that you never have to face that issue.

How tight should running leggings be?

The issue of how tight running leggings should be is always a hot topic. The ideal pair of leggings need to be quite tight. Since you will be moving fast when you run, there’s the danger of your leggings slipping down, if they are slightly lax. Instead, when you’re choosing your sportswear, ensure that they have a high level of compression and tight fit.

The compressive feature in running leggings offers warmth, but that’s by no means its only benefit. The compression offers pressure on the legs, which positively affects your blood-flow. Rather than all of the blood rushing to your legs as you move, the tightness causes it to flow back to the heart and increases your capacity to keep running fast.

Read our guide to Compression Leggings >


Looking to buy the perfect running leggings for your next session? Fortunately, we’ve got some inspiration that will help you along the way. While there are many fantastic options out there, let’s take a look at three of the best running leggings you may consider.

under armours womens rush leggings

Under Armour Rush Vent Leggings

Featuring stylish Jacquard panels and a wide, flat waistband, the Under Armour Rush Vent Leggings will always be a popular choice. The advanced seam placement means that these are super comfortable and supportive. In basic terms, they tick two of the main boxes you need. The leggings also help your performance with mineral-infused fabric.

Apart from being durable and effective, the Under Armour leggings also come in an eye-catching Hushed Turquoise. You can wear these sports leggings when you’re running errands, hitting the shops or, of course, out for your daily morning run.


lndr limitless leggings

LNDR Limitless Leggings

Next up, the LNDR Limitless Leggings effortlessly combine high fashion and functionality in one design. The fitted style of these running leggings means that they will never slide down when you’re mid-workout. Featuring a 360-degree stretch, pro moisture-wicking technology, and even built-in pockets, these are sure to be a winning combination.


lilybod leggings harper tarmac

Lilybod Harper Tarmac Black Leggings

With a screen print mesh design and cool look, the Lilybod Harper Tarmac Black Leggings are simply beautiful. The anti-pilling fabric is also moisture-wicking and offers a fantastic four-way stretch system. You can move and run without resistance. As an added bonus, these leggings also have a flawless fitted design with vibrant shiny detailing to boot.


While we’ve looked at the best yoga leggings and running leggings, it’s also important to understand what the key differences are. You may be forgiven for thinking that they are one and the same. However, while you can wear some yoga leggings for running, the two styles of sportswear are different. Here’s what you need to know.


One of the major differences between yoga leggings and running leggings is in compression. Typically, the latter tend to be tighter than the former. As we have already mentioned, the two major reasons for this is that they stay up and support the natural form of your body. When choosing running leggings, you should always go for a slightly tight fit.

Nature of fabric

Of course, the nature of the fabric differs here too. Yoga leggings tend to be ultra-soft, breathable and stretchable. On the other hand, running leggings are soft, breathable, and stretchable but also have moisture-wicking features and extras such as mesh panelling. Much of the time, they will be seamless or have seams that are understated for comfort.

When you’re running, it’s crucial that your muscles are supported and can move freely. For that reason, the fabric that you choose for your leggings is vital. Selecting running leggings with a seamless design, high level of breathability and elasticity is the right way to go.


While the two styles of leggings are often different, there is some crossover here. If you’re hunting for a two-in-one style of leggings, there are plenty of options out there. Here are four examples of leggings, suitable for any yoga flow that you can also wear when you’re out running.

girlfriend collective leggings

Girlfriend Collective High Waisted Compressive Leggings

The Girlfriend Collective High Waisted Compressive Leggings have it all. These are some of the best workout leggings that serve two purposes. Showcasing a compressive fit that’s perfect for either running or yoga sessions, these leggings will suit most occasions. The high waisted design also means that the leggings stay in place whatever you’re doing.

When it comes to the fabric, there’s a lot to shout about. The material is sweat-wicking, offering a four-way stretch system and is also breathable. Of course, we all have a duty to become more sustainable. Believe it or not, the ultra-soft fabric utilises recycled water bottles, which means that they are eco-friendly! Good for your workouts and the planet.


varley leggings

Varley Figueroa Leggings

If you’re looking for yoga leggings with pockets, look no further. Complete with handy side pockets, the Varley Figueroa Leggings are made from the revolutionary Letelux fabric. These leggings have moisture-wicking and a four-way stretch, which means that you can always perform at your best. Plus, with a high level of flexibility, these leggings can also be worn for running or any other type of workout.


lilybod leggings fleur

Lilybod Fleur High Waisted 7/8 Leggings

With micro dot accents and a sharp Blue Burst tone, it’s plain to see why the Lilybod Fleur High Waisted 7/8 Leggings are such a hit. The 7/8 design means that these are ideal yoga leggings for short legs. If you’re looking for comfort, you will fall head-over-heels in love with these. The silky finish is super cosy and will also keep you cool when working out.

The performance-oriented design also offers sweat-wicking and an ideal stretch. Whether you’re out for a jog or hitting your next yoga class, you can certainly rely on these effortlessly fashionable leggings to do the job. Add them to your next wish-list.


LNDR Blackout leggings

LNDR Blackout Leggings

As a final pick, the LNDR Blackout Leggings are a savvy choice for both runners and avid yogis. Offering a sculpted and supportive fit, these leggings are also entirely seamless. That means that working out in them is easy and always remarkably comfortable. You might say that it’s a win-win. The fabric also offers antibacterial and anti-odour technology, breathable panelling and a quick-dry feature too, which is perfect for sweaty runs or hot yoga sessions. You can’t go wrong with these.


Ready to find your perfect pair of leggings? Within this guide, we’ve covered all you need to know to make an informed choice. Finding the right sports gear for your workouts is the best way to support your performance and make training a pleasure. Get started now!