Courtesy of Merchant
I've worked as an editor in the fashion and fitness space for a while, so it goes without saying that I've put my fair share of active leggings to the test. While there are brands I really gravitate toward for specific workouts (for example, I love Sweaty Betty for high-impact workouts, Alo Yoga is one of my go-to picks for Vinyasa flows, and I lean on Athleta for hikes), I've discovered that I'm a legging groupie for one brand above all else: Gymshark.
When I moved all of my belongings from my New York City apartment into a storage unit at the end of last year and came down south to quarantine during the COVID pandemic, I'll admit, I packed in haste. While a few bikinis and casual jumpsuits made it into my suitcase, I mostly grabbed sports bras, leggings for the vigorous workout schedule I optimistically envisioned (TBD on that) and sweatshirts for all the lounging I would no doubt be doing (check). Upon unpacking, I realized I had brought just five pairs of leggings to see me through the next several months, and I had tossed in all my favorite pairs from Gymshark. (Related: Gymshark Has Officially Gone from Instagram-Favorite to Celeb-Favorite Brand)
If you're unfamiliar with Gymshark, the UK's top-selling fitness brand, it first gained popularity years ago through social media by way of fitness influencers and ambassadors. It now has a collective 8 million followers between its two Instagram accounts (here and here), and has become so beloved that it's basically the unofficial uniform of TikTokers around the globe. Not to mention, Gymshark has a cult-following of celebrities, including Vanessa Hudgens, Alessandra Ambrosio, Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Garner, Hailey Bieber, and Sarah Hyland.
But what makes the brand's leggings so great? Here's the highlight reel IMO: The seamless fit is incredibly comfortable and flattering, and the fabric is form-hugging while being stretchy enough to comfortably move in. They're available in a ton of high-waisted styles, come in bright, bold colors that fly off the shelves, and they're famous for their butt-accentuating design (I can attest to this). Also nice? Gymshark leggings might look expensive, but they're surprisingly affordable, (prices range from $25 to $65) in comparison to other pairs in my collection that cost upward of $128. The bad news? They're almost always sold out. (Related: Hilary Duff Once Called These Leggings the "Good Booty Pants"—and Now They Come In 30 Colors)
The first pair that had me hooked on Gymshark was the Camo Seamless Legging in berry red (more like a heathered burgundy). Red was a far departure from the basic black leggings I usually reached for, but after slipping on these tights, you couldn't have pried them off my body if you tried. I wore them multiple times the same week. The ultra-high waistband had me feeling secure, the seamless fabric was smooth and comfy, the ruched detailing on the backside made my butt look quite "peachy," and the camouflage print was forgiving when it came to sweat stains. I should also mention that I'm not particularly tall or long-limbed, and the Gymshark leggings hit just above my ankles for a flattering length. I was officially a convert and found myself bummed on laundry day when I couldn't wear my favorite new bottoms.
So I snapped up more Gymshark gear, choosing the Studio Legging in teal, Ultra-Seamless Legging in black, Energy + Seamless Legging in berry red (a muddy wine color perfect for winter), and Flex High-Waisted Legging in charcoal with pink accents. I really wanted a wide range of styles and colors so I'd always have something to suit my mood. Plus, I love a cohesive athleisure look, and Gymshark offers a variety of coordinating sports bras so I always feel put together — even in quarantine. (Related: WFH-Approved Loungewear That Doesn't Make You Feel Like a Hot Mess)
As with children (I'm not a parent myself, but I swear I've heard this so many times — moms, back me up), it's impossible to pick a favorite. However, I have to say I love my Energy + Seamless Legging (Buy It, $55, gymshark.com) and my Flex High-Waisted Legging (Buy It, $50, gymshark.com) because they both offer something different. The Energy + Seamless tight is designed with compressive fabric that keeps me supported on virtual kickboxing days. The high waistband doesn't slide down, and the eyelet details offer breathability and airflow to keep me cool as I start to sweat. The high-rise Flex legging is seamless, moisture-wicking, and features shape-enhancing shading, which has become celebrated as part of the Gymshark DNA. I love how the contoured shading really accentuates my curves and makes me feel more confident whether I'm lifting weights or cycling.
It's hard to believe that one brand of leggings has become such a staple in my workout wardrobe, but it's true. I credit that to how comfortable, flattering, and affordable the Gymshark brand is — their styles are truly a triple threat. And believe it or not, I actually have my eye on another pair: the Adapt Animal Seamless Legging (Buy It, $60, gymshark.com). Now that I'm out of my all-black tight rut, I really can't say no to sporting a purple zebra print bottom. And if not during quarantine, then when? (Related: The 7 Best Gymshark Dupes You Can Score On Amazon)
Shop some of my favorites below.