The black gym leggings you need to add to your workout wardrobe

If you want to add black gym leggings to your fitness fit, these are the best pairs you can buy right now

Our favorite black gym leggings
(Image credit: Future)

While we all have our own sportswear style, there’s one item that’s likely to be in every single gym-goer’s wardrobe: a pair of black gym leggings.

For most people, they're a pivotal part of their best workout clothes arsenal, alongside trusted activewear accessories. To pay homage to the sportswear staple, we've tested pairs from some of the best fitness brands around. Whatever your activity of choice—be it yoga or running—we found the best pair of black gym leggings for the job, so you don’t have to spend hours browsing.

Black gym leggings to add to your fitness fit

Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity High Waisted Running Leggings

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

1. Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity High Waisted Running Leggings

Reasons to buy
+Bum sculpting+Pockets+Flattering on the waist
Reasons to avoid
-Not plain black 

These Sweaty Betty leggings do an incredible job sculpting your bum. They're not entirely plain, as they feature some small grey print, but they're super sleek and have a high waist, which is very flattering.

One of the main things we worry about when shopping for leggings is how stretchy they can be without becoming baggy. Well, these leggings have mastered that—they fit like a second skin and are flexible enough to do even the deepest of lunges in without altering the size. They're also super lightweight, giving you an extra spring in your step during cardio days. 

Nike Pro Tights

(Image credit: Nike)

2. Nike Pro Women's Tights

Fabric: polyester/17% elastane
Style: mesh panels
Reasons to buy
+Mesh panels for breathability+Nike Pro fabric is cooling and sweat-wicking+Supportive elastic waistband
Reasons to avoid
-No compression support-Can thin over time

Perfect for HIIT or running, these supportive black gym leggings are made with a fast-drying fabric so sweat doesn’t stick around for very long. Nike knows its stuff when it comes to sportswear and these leggings have additional mesh panels for extra ventilation, to ensure you’re kept as cool and comfortable as possible while training.

These slim-fitting tights also have a wide elastic waistband, to give a smooth, supportive feel. Final flourishes include the Nike Pro branding on the waistband, as well as the Swoosh logo printed on the thigh.

Nike Victory Women's Training Leggings

(Image credit: Nike)

3. Nike Victory Women's Training Leggings

Fabric: 83% polyester/17% elastane
Style: high rise
Reasons to buy
+Dri-FIT technology+Graduated compression provides sculpting and support+Made from sustainable materials
Reasons to avoid
-Very tight fitting-Seams come apart easily-Can thin over time

Made with graduated compression that targets key muscle groups, these high-waisted black leggings may be designed to sculpt and support, but they also move with you and stretch to your movement. 

They’ve been designed with Nike’s bespoke Dri-FIT Technology as well as high stretch fibers, which means they're ideal for getting into all kinds of yoga holds or pilates positions. Not to mention, they’re better for the planet, too, as they’re made up of 50-percent recycled polyester fabric. You can’t really argue with that, now can you?

Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Workout Leggings

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

4. Sweaty Betty Power Mesh 7/8 Workout Leggings

Fabric: 62% polyamide, 38% elastane
Style: high waist
Reasons to buy
+Sweat-wicking+Bum sculpting+Pockets
Reasons to avoid
-Snug fit-Not flattering on the waist

Customers have been incredibly impressed with these power leggings, with many noting their high quality and durability across more intense activities such as HIIT & running—not just yoga and pilates. 

What’s more, the sweat-wicking fabric makes sure they are cool as well as comfortable. They’re also made to flatter a figure with a bum-sculpting, supportive high-waist design. The brand adds that the leggings are 90-percent squat proof, so you can stay rest assured that your underwear won’t be on display while you're working out.

These leggings are on the slightly more expensive end of the spectrum, but you’re paying for quality, after all.

Adidas Believe This 2.0 3-Stripes Mesh Long Leggings

(Image credit: Adidas)

5. Adidas Believe This 2.0 3-Stripes Mesh Long Leggings

Fabric: 64% nylon, 36% elastane interlock
Style: High rise, non sheer material
Reasons to buy
+Non-sheer material+AEROREADY fabric+Inner waist pocket
Reasons to avoid
-Comes up small-Can become loose

These leggings are all about breathability and are designed to keep your workout as dry as possible. This is ultimately down to the lightweight, moisture-absorbing AEROREADY fabric, which is also stretchy and soft for maximum comfort. 

The non-sheer material also means there’s no need to worry about transparency—so these will no doubt pass the telling squat test with flying colors.

These classic black gym leggings feature the signature Adidas stripes down the side, as a nod to the brand’s heritage. In terms of price, they are mid-to-high range, but it seems you pay for the impressive sporty features, which can make your workout a more pleasant experience.

Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise

(Image credit: Lululemon)

6. Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise

Fabric: Full-On® Luon
Style: High-rise
Reasons to buy
+Four-way stretch+Waistband storage pocket+Added Lycra® fibre for shape retention
Reasons to avoid
-Not designed for high-intensity sports-No mention of compression/support

Perfect for yoga bunnies and pilates lovers, these high-rise leggings are made with the brand’s Full-On Luon® soft, sweat-wicking fabric, which is designed to feel like a “second skin,” with a cottony-soft feel.

There’s also no need to worry about the leggings restricting movement as these are equipped with four-way stretch, which means a piece of fabric stretches and recovers both width and lengthwise when it’s pulled in all directions. As a result, this pair passes the all-important squat test.

Trinity High-Waisted Utility Legging, Fabletics

(Image credit: Fabletics)

7. Fabletics Trinity High-Waisted Utility Legging

Fabric: Moisture-wicking Motion365
Style: Chafe-resistant, mesh pocket
Reasons to buy
+45-day guarantee+Pockets+Come in lots of different sizes
Reasons to avoid
-Some customers say zips can dig into skin-Made of a thick material which can be hotter-There are cheaper alternatives

The Fabletics Trinity High Waisted Utility leggings have a whole host of interesting features from the ankle zips and a hidden zip pocket in the back to mesh pockets and chafe-resistant properties. 

The brand's Motion365 fabric is designed to give you sculpting benefits with high compression but also maximum breathability. In addition to this, Fabletics offers a 45-day guarantee so if you’re not satisfied for any reason, you can get a refund or an exchange.

Gymshark training leggings

(Image credit: Gymshark)

8. Gymshark training leggings

Fabric: 78% polyester, 22% elastane
Style: High-rise fit
Reasons to buy
+Customers say they are true to size+Very soft+Cheaper option
Reasons to avoid
-No mention of fast-drying fabric-No mention of extra compression/support-Can come up long

The high-rise design and cropping above the ankles make these leggings super flattering, not to mention the thick waistband, which hugs your figure. What more could you really ask for in a pair of leggings?

Customers have noted their comfort and their squat-proof properties—they not only feel great but deliver on the essentials as well. The glowing reviews also show they are very true to size, so there’s no need to worry about them not fitting.

If you want a change from black leggings, these also come in four other colors!

Asos 4505 tie waist gym leggings

(Image credit: Asos)

9. ASOS 4505 icon run tie waist legging

Fabric: 79% polyester, 21% elastane
Style: High-rise waist, zip pocket at back
Reasons to buy
+Cheaper on market+Uses sweat-wicking technology to help keep you cool and dry+Antibacterial finish
Reasons to avoid
-No mention of compression/support-Can gather around the waist

These smooth and stretchy ASOS leggings are designed to keep you cool during a workout session. They’re made with sweat-wicking technology to make your workout as hassle-free as possible.

One of the standout features of these gym leggings is the fact that they have an antibacterial finish, which, in the current climate, is very appealing.

Adidas AlphaSkin Badge of Sport Leggings

(Image credit: Adidas)

10. adidas Heat Ready AlphaSkin Badge Of Sport Leggings

Fabric: 85% recycled polyester, 15% elastane interlock
Style: Mid-rise, mesh panels
Reasons to buy
+Made of moisture-absorbent AEROREADY fabric+Mesh panels for breathability and ventilation+Compression tight fit which supports
Reasons to avoid
-Mid-rise might not be as flattering as high-rise-Fit is on the looser side-Customers say they come up slightly longer

These versatile leggings are built with activity in mind,  whether it’s high-intensity training, gym workouts, or dance classes. They’re made up of the brand’s AEROREADY material, which absorbs moisture quickly, keeping sweat at bay. 

The mesh panels also offer breathability and extra ventilation, which is always welcome during a workout. 

In terms of price, they are a mid-range product and are slightly less than other Adidas leggings—despite being made with the same fabric. So they could be a great option for those looking to save the pennies.

H&M Sports Tights High Waist

(Image credit: H&M)

11. H&M Sports Tights High Waist

Fabric: Polyester 70%, elastane 30%
Style: High-waist style
Reasons to buy
+Spot on fit+Fast-drying fabric+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Not hugely supportive on stomach/hips-Material can roll up while working out-Waist can stretch out

If the reviews are anything to go by, it’s clear that customers are incredibly impressed with these H&M leggings. Out of 120 customer reviews, these leggings have scored a very respectable rating of 4.7 of out 5.

Made with a fast-drying functional fabric, flattering extra-high waist, and raw-edge hems, it’s not hard to see why these are a hit with customers. 

Reviewers have also ranked the leggings for their “true to size” nature and the results show the majority say that have a “spot-on” fit. This means there’s little risk of bagginess or the leggings coming up too small.

How to pick the best black gym leggings?

When it comes to picking a trusty pair of black gym leggings, there are a few things to consider:

When we work out, our bodies get hot and sweaty but a great pair of gym leggings are designed with this in mind—they're crafted with fast-drying, sweat-wicking fabrics to keep you as dry as possible. Some also come with additional features, such as mesh panels, for extra ventilation.

Squat test
The next thing to take note of is how transparent a pair of leggings are and do they pass the “squat test” —a.k.a. when you squat down, can you see your underwear through the garment as it stretches? The thinner the fabric, the more likely it’ll become transparent over time, and no one wants that. Some cheaper leggings are made with these thinner fabrics, so it might be worth spending a little more if you’re looking for your pair to last.

Support is another factor that’s vital to take into account—many leggings state whether they offer compression support for muscles. However, this will depend on the type of exercise you’ll need the support for. The more intense the activity, the more support you’ll need.

Of course, stretchiness is another key element, especially for yoga bunnies. Lots of leggings are designed to feel like a “second skin,” which means you barely notice you’re wearing them.

Lizzie Thomson
Lizzie Thomson

Lizzie is a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist who writes for titles such as, Evening Standard, Refinery29, Woman & Home, Ideal Home and Spectator Life. You'll find her looking up new restaurants and bars on Instagram or scrolling through cute dog videos. She also loves travelling, running, cooking and cross-stitching.