We Tested A Bunch Of High-Waisted Leggings To Find The 10 Best Pairs

best high waisted leggings
These Leggings Have Thousands Of Five-Star ReviewsMariana Tuma

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High-waisted leggings have basically become the norm when it comes to comfortable pants. Sure, you might mix things up with the occasional mid-rise, but when high-waisted is an option, why wouldn't you opt for it? High-waisted leggings provide more support than low-rise options. In our experience, they're stylish and easier to pair with your favorite high-impact sports bras or long-line sports bras for workouts or t-shirts when you're on the go.

Since there are so. many. options. when it comes to the best leggings for women, it can be hard to sift through the multitude of high-waisted options out there. So, to determine the best high-waisted leggings,Women's Health editors spoke to a stylist and tested 20-plus popular styles for ourselves. We prioritized trying leggings that are breathable, squat-proof, sweat-wicking, comfortable, and sculpting. We also made sure to test them across a wide range of activities, from hot yoga to rock climbing (yup, we took this challenge seriously!). Some did not make the cut, but others garnered a full five stars on all fronts. Those are the leggings that are featured on this list.

Best High-Waisted Leggings

Whether you want compressive, supportive leggings to work out in or a super soft pair to lounge in, us editors have solidified the perfect pairs based on our own personal testing. But, before you get into our picks, read through our shopping tips to get an idea of what to look for.

What to consider

When shopping for a pair of high waisted leggings, you want the best possible option for you. That's why Allison Berlin, a stylist and founder of Style Made Simple, recommends purchasing five (or so) pairs to try on when shopping online. "Chase the magic and do a haul to find the best ones," she suggests. Still, here are a few details to keep in mind when placing your picks:


Berlin's one tip when it comes to fit? Consider your height. If you're on the shorter side, you should go for a pair of 7/8 length leggings, which typically have an inseam of about 23 to 25 inches. If you're on the taller side, full length leggings with an inseam of 26 inches and up will probably be better for you. However, note that you may have to scrunch them up a bit if you don't want them to be too long.

The size of your leggings also matters—you don't want them to be too loose, but you also don't want to feel like you're getting squeezed from the inside-out. Below, we make note of the pairs we feel run too big or too small, but most run pretty true-to-size, because who wants to buy a pair of leggings when they have no idea how they'll fit?


Material is really up to you, but it depends on when, and how, you will wear your high-waisted leggings. Berlin notes that leggings with more athletic material (think: moisture-wicking materials like nylon and elastane) also tend to have extra shine or seams. "The best advice is just to really note what you're buying, especially if you want something more classic-looking," Berlin says.

How we chose

For the last year, WH commerce editors have been vetting the best high-waisted leggings to shop online. The team took recommendations from editors on the wider team as well as stylist Allison Berlin for the best options in terms of fit, style, and comfort. Then, we personally tried every pair of leggings on this list, testing them across many different activities like high-impact workouts, yoga, rock climbing, running, walking, and everything in-between. During testing, we took notes on performance and compared our thoughts to narrow down a list of the 10 absolute best high-waisted leggings. These styles in particular made the cut across size, material, comfort, durability, breathability, and value.

So, are you ready to find a pair of leggings you'll never want to take off? We've got you covered.

Align Pant 28"

Out of all the leggings we tested, we were most impressed by the Lululemon Align Pant. WH senior deputy digital editor Maridel Reyes loves the sweat-wicking quality of these leggings. "I'm pretty sweaty in general, and these wick sweat really well while being super soft," she says, adding that they stay put unlike other leggings. While she typically wears the longer length, she's a fan of the cropped pair for spin classes. And, Reyes isn't alone in her preference. Nearly every Women's Health editor says these famous Aligns are their favorite after giving them a test.

While we tried a lot of great leggings, the Align Pant was the most flattering. The thick, high-waisted band hides any lumps and bumps, while the elastane blend provides compression and lift that looks great on just about every body.

Based on our testing, the Align Pant's lightweight, stretchy fabric was so comfortable that it felt like a second skin even during our deep squats. This pair comes in three inseam length options, so you can decide exactly how high-waisted you want these to be depending on your height.

If you're looking for a pair of leggings you'll want to live in, these are our favorite on this list. Beware: they sell out often—but currently are fully stocked in black!

Read More: Best Lululemon Leggings

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fshop.lululemon.com%2Fp%2Fwomen-pants%2FAlign-Pant-Full-Length-28%2F_%2Fprod8780551%3Fcolor%3D35977&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.womenshealthmag.com%2Ffitness%2Fg19182248%2Fbest-high-waisted-leggings%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Align Pant 28"</p><p>lululemon.com</p><p>$98.00</p>

High-Waisted Leggings With Pockets

If there was any feature that would make a good pair of high-rise leggings utterly incredible, it’s pockets—and, these have three of them. Plus, each pocket is six inches deep, which means you can store everything from snacks to credit cards in them. They also come in handy when you're at the gym and you want to put your phone away while you lift or use the machines. Just when you thought they couldn't get any better, they have the addition of interior pockets for smaller belongings like earbuds.

A few of us editors have purchased these in different colors because, well, they're affordable, but they don't slack on quality either. First of all, we found that the waistband never slides or rolls down. In addition, these are suuuper stretchy and have a thick fabric so they're never see-through, which is great if you're using these for squatting or stretching. Lastly, they have a gusset crotch to maximize movement and make them super breathable.

While we liked that the thicker fabric was not see-through, we wished it was a bit more lightweight for summer. If we were going on a warm weather run, these wouldn't be the first pair we'd reach for.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HQG8X8P?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2140.g.19182248%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>High-Waisted Leggings With Pockets</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$19.99</p>

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High-Waisted Leggings With Pockets



Essent High-Rise Legging

If you're the outdoorsy type, look no further than these high-rise leggings. "Arcteryx Essent High-Rise Leggings with pockets are my new fave for hiking," says contributor Jennifer Nied. After testing them on a rock climbing and hiking trip, she told us she loves how the fabric is soft and smooth, but never rips or tears during scrambling or rock climbing. According to her, it's one of the most durable pairs of leggings she's tried.

"Plus, they're cute enough to wear to lunch afterward," she adds. With a next-to-skin fit and moisture-wicking material, these bottoms will become your new go-to for any occasion.

One note Nied did have, though, was that the leggings run a bit snug, so she recommends sizing up. However, she did enjoy that they were snug, especially when doing an activity like climbing that involves a lot of movement.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Arcteryx-Legging-Versatile-Durable-High-Stretch/dp/B09QLG6X3G?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2140.g.19182248%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Essent High-Rise Legging</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$120.00</p>

Ribbed Seamless High-Waisted Leggings

These ribbed leggings are not only stylish and functional, but they're also one of the most affordable options on this list. For under $20, you're getting a solid pair of soft compression leggings that hugs your body like nothing else we've seen.

Featuring a wide waistband, the Suukess leggings cover a solid portion of your stomach, making them ultra flattering. And, they're super high-waisted, which only adds to their figure-flattering shape.

One of our testers notes that these are awesome for plus-sized women, as they "hold everything together" and smooth the body so well. This is thanks to their thicker fabric, but it's not so heavy that they feel too constricting. In fact, our tester says this is one of the most breathable pairs of high-waisted leggings on this entire list.

If you want a matching set, don’t sleep on the matching sports bra for a full look worthy of a mirror selfie.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08YF1JND6?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2140.g.19182248%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Ribbed Seamless High-Waisted Leggings</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$15.96</p>

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Ribbed Seamless High-Waisted Leggings



High-Rise Compressive Leggings

Girlfriend Collective leggings are a go-to for contributor Naydeline Mejia, and a win for Mother Earth. They're made with 79 percent recycled plastic water bottles, so they're a win on the sustainability front. Aside from their waste-saving properties, Meija says they're also super comfortable.

We love that the Girlfriend leggings have many different size options—it offers sizes up to 6X (!!) and three inseam options for different length preferences. No matter which size us editors tried, all of us agreed that the leggings made us feel super confident, especially because of the four-way stretch. They never made us feel too constricted, but still offered some flattering contour.

The sheer-proof construction also makes these leggings a must, as they're a great gym option on days where you're bending over or squatting. To prove it, one of our testers wore them to the gym and said that they passed the squat test with flying colors. They've even worn these leggings to yoga a few times and noted they were stretchy enough to do the poses without worrying about sheerness.

One note us editors did have, though, was that the quality is not as good as some of the other options on this list (hi, Lululemon Align Pants!). After a few washes, some of us noticed that the leggings started to pill and a few threads were coming loose.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgirlfriend.com%2Fproducts%2Fterrace-compressive-high-rise-legging&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.womenshealthmag.com%2Ffitness%2Fg19182248%2Fbest-high-waisted-leggings%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>High-Rise Compressive Leggings</p><p>girlfriend.com </p><p>$88.00</p>

Live In High Waist Leggings

Stylist Allison Berlin is very loyal to Alo leggings, but also recommends this Zella Live In pair as an affordable, but quality option. "They fit so true-to-size and the fabrics are very quality," she says. Plus, the thick, slip-free waistband provides a comfortable, but snug fit around the stomach.

We found that these leggings have a bit of a tighter fit, but we like that it keeps things in place and makes our booty look higher (um, need I say more?). Some editors noted they prefer to wear these leggings with a cropped top because of the leggings' lifting effect. One tester also noted that they hug the legs and provide a nice compression.

Although they're made with polyester and Spandex, we felt that they fit like a cotton pair. Translation: they're super lightweight, breathable, and comfortable.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nordstrom.com%2Fs%2F4312529&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.womenshealthmag.com%2Ffitness%2Fg19182248%2Fbest-high-waisted-leggings%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Live In High Waist Leggings </p><p>nordstrom.com</p><p>$59.00</p>

Seamless Leggings

We found that these seamless leggings form to the body—they move with you through every step, and you don't have to constantly adjust them. This means they're awesome for strength training, hot yoga, dance cardio, and the list goes on. Plus, their quick-drying fabric (thanks, nylon!) means they'll rarely show sweat stains when your workouts get extra sweaty.

We also loved that these have a booty-framing design with their tighter compression. Another pro? They fit true-to-size and they're long enough on even our tallest testers. One of our testers, who sized up in these leggings, wishes she bought her normal size, as they're a bit large in the crotch area.

We did find that these leggings aren't super thick, which means they're probs not the most suitable option for the colder weather. Because they're a bit more lightweight, we approve of wearing them on hotter days.

Read more: Best Leggings On Amazon

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MRGJG7L?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2140.g.19182248%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Seamless Leggings </p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$23.99</p>

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Seamless Leggings



Seamless Leggings

High-rise leggings are great at providing extra support and coverage, but sometimes they can get a little uncomfortable if they have too much compression. Enter: Spanx's seamless, moisture-wicking leggings. Their fit is smooth, comfortable, and totes dig-free.

They're not the most affordable leggings out there, but they're also not the priciest on this list, and you'll be getting really high quality for the value when you wear them. Nied can attest to this statement, as these are one of her favorite pairs of high-waisted leggings. She even told us that she wears them on repeat and they're one of her all-time faves.

The quality comes in with their durability—we found that no matter how many times we washed these over the past few months, they always look brand new.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01K9FYWUY?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2140.g.19182248%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Seamless Leggings</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$53.99</p>

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Seamless Leggings



High-Rise Over-The-Heel Leggings

Over-the-heel leggings are popular for yoga because they provide non-constricting support while stretching. But, tall women on our team love these for the length, too. This high-waisted version offers that support from your upper waist to your toes. They look hilariously long at first, but it all makes sense once you try them on, and since they're so long, they're great for pairing with boots and a skirt in the winter time, too.

Aside from their length, we also love how high these are on the waist. Plus, the weight of them makes them feel super high-quality. We recommend Yogipace leggings to anyone who has trouble finding yoga leggings that don’t creep up your leg.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072HSC219?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2140.g.19182248%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>High-Rise Over-The-Heel Leggings </p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$30.99</p>

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High-Rise Over-The-Heel Leggings



Sculpt+ Legging

Mejia also loves Forme's new and improved leggings for exercising. "They really hug the body, they're sculpting, and they're engineered to activate key muscle groups," she says. "I do actually feel like they help with my posture when i'm doing yoga, pilates or strength training."

How do they work, you may ask? The leggings, which are designed by an orthopedic surgeon, have a multi-panel waistband, which includes tensile materials that engage muscle memory in the core, glutes, and spine to help with alignment and mobility. The leggings keep your back straight and your hips neutral, training your body to stay in alignment and improve posture over time sans any discomfort.

Aside from their posture-correcting abilities, the leggings might be able to help with back pain and stiffness. One of our testers even said that her chronic back pain was significantly improved after one hour of wearing these leggings. Now, she can't go a day without wearing them to the gym (btw, she has 'em in every color!). Another plus? They don't roll down.

And, if you need any more convincing, Taylor Swift is a fan of the brand. She wears the Forme Power Bra while training for her shows to make sure her posture is straight and her form looks flawless.

Read More: Taylor Swift's Posture Correcting Sports Bra

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fforme.science%2Fproducts%2Fsculpt-plus-legging%3Fvariant%3D42742951280871&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.womenshealthmag.com%2Ffitness%2Fg19182248%2Fbest-high-waisted-leggings%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Sculpt+ Legging</p><p>Forme</p><p>$185.00</p>

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