Gym tights and leggings are a staple of every active woman's wardrobe. These versatile bottoms can enhance your performance, keep you warm in winter, cool in summer and flatter your figure all year round, so it’s essential to find a pair that’s right for you. This is Sundried's handy guide to women's fitness tights and leggings.
Women's Tights Fit
Full Length: Full length gym tights are best for winter workouts, keeping you warmer in the cold and protecting all of your bottom half. These are also better for floor workouts such as yoga, where you may drag your legs across the floor and graze your skin. For heavy lifts such as the deadlift, opt for full length bottoms to protect your calves from getting scraped and bruised by the bar.
Cropped Leggings: Cropped leggings, also known as Capri pants or three-quarter length tights help the skin to remain cool. ¾ lengths also work well for women with shorter legs who find full length tights are too long and baggy.
High Waist: High- waisted gym tights or running leggings are great for multi-functional workouts where your body needs the freedom to be able to move in multiple planes of motion. These types of womens gym leggings are also perfect for slimming your figure and hiding any problem areas. They give extra coverage and protection for when you raise your arms and your top inevitably raises up, or for if you wish to wear a crop top or sports bra without showing too much flesh.
Low Waist: A low waist sits comfortably and suits a larger figure or workouts of lower intensity.
Elastic: An elasticated waistline helps to ensure a personalised fit and will adapt naturally to your body. An elastic waistline offers the greatest flexibility and is also good at keeping you comfortable and staying up!
Wide waistband: A wide waistband ensures maximum comfort and leaves a smooth silhouette, holding you in all the right places. It is also less likely to dig in when you move and will be more comfortable than a narrower waistband.
Drawstring: Drawstrings are great for a personalised fit and are customisable to your exact size. Drawstrings also offer a fit which stays true, whereas elasticated bands can sometimes stretch out of shape.
Tights for your body type
Women come in all shapes and sizes and we’re self conscious at the best of times, so when it comes to compromising positions in the gym, we want to feel comfortable and look our best. Fortunately, women's fitness clothing can be flattering and there is a shape and style which will suit almost everyone.
Straight Up Straight Down
If your figure is basically straight up and down, you’ll have narrow hips and a small bust. Opt for fitness tights which provide shape with defining seams and clever contouring. Seams which line the curves provide shape to define your figure. The Sundried Ruinette tights have curve-enhancing reflective strips which define your quads and hamstrings and flatter your figure, as well as enhancing your visibility when running at night. Seams around the seat of your tights will also add curves to a flat bottom, whilst you work on that with your squats!
Hourglass or Pear Shape
Women with curvier legs should opt for tights which downplay thicker thighs, a wide supportive waistband will help keep everything tucked in and a ¾ leg will draw attention to your ankle and the thinner part of your calves.
For petite women, the first battle is always finding tights with bottoms which don’t drag along the floor behind you. Combine this with a higher waist which provides the illusion of lengthier pins and you're onto a winner. Women's tights made with spandex are easy to mould to a shorter leg due to the material's stretch properties, whereas cotton would need to be tailored.
Gym Tight Materials
Nylon is thin and lightweight, it wicks sweat away quickly and dries fast. Nylon can also have rip-resisting properties, making it a strong and durable material. Nylon dries quickly, making it a good choice for high intensity workout tights.
Cotton is often picked for gym tights as it is the most comfortable against the skin. It is particularly good for resistance training where there won't be lots of chafing or perspiration risk and comfort is prioritised over function, however cotton loses its shape after continuous wear.
Cotton blends combine the comfort and feel of cotton with the technical function of other materials. Combining cotton and spandex allows cotton to retain its shape and elasticity.
Spandex has 4 way stretch properties and is often used in compression tights and much of our gym wardrobes. Spandex is great for keeping you covered in compromising positions such as yoga or gymnastics. It is less likely to ride up you legs and moulds to your shape.
Microfibers are small synthetic fibres woven into cloth. Microfiber fabrics are lightweight and fast drying, making them an increasingly popular choice.
Top Tips For Buying Women’s Tights
- Look for high quality materials which will not turn see through when stretched, otherwise known as squat-proof leggings!
- Buy drawstring leggings which are guaranteed to not fall down thanks to a personalised fit.
- Opt for tights with a pocket if you’re training outside so that you can safely store your valuables such as keys.
- Confidence in your clothing will give you confidence in your workout, make sure you buy a pair which will make you feel good about yourself.
- Look for flatlock seams, particularly important in gym tights as chaffed thighs can be incredibly painful.