The 12 Best Black Leggings of 2022

We like the Old Navy High-Waisted PowerSoft 7/8-Length Side-Pocket Leggings because they’ll work for both exercising and lounging.

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Best Black Leggings of 2022

Old Navy

Everyone needs at least one pair of black leggings in their wardrobe. Whether you wear them to exercise, lounge at home, or both, the best pairs seamlessly fuse comfort and style.

To determine the best black leggings, we spent hours researching the most popular options on the market. We considered factors like price, material, and size range to narrow down our list to only the best styles. We also spoke with Vivian Lee, the director of styling at Dailylook, and Paige Perez, lead designer of activewear at Adore Me, for expert advice on choosing the best black leggings for you. 

“Black leggings are popular for their comfort, versatility, and clean silhouette,” says Lee. “They tend to look more put together than sweatpants and can sculpt your figure in a flattering way.”

Our top recommendation for black leggings is the

Find all our black leggings recommendations below.

Best Overall Black Leggings: Old Navy High-Waisted PowerSoft 7/8-Length Side-Pocket Leggings

4.8

Who it’s for: People who want leggings with a lightweight compression that’s ideal for both working out and lounging. 

Who it isn’t for: People looking for maximum-strength compression.

Taking the top spot is this highly-rated pair of leggings from Old Navy. They feature an elasticized waistband that stays in place during your workout, deep pockets big enough to store your phone and other on-person essentials, and lightweight compression that comfortably sculpts your shape. 

That’s not all: They also feature the retailer’s Go-Dry moisture-wicking technology, designed to keep you dry, no matter how sweaty your workout gets. Plus, these black leggings are tag-free, a small yet important detail that adds to their overall comfort. They're inexpensive too (especially when they go on sale), so you can stock up and get them in a few different colors to complete your collection.

Price at time of publish: From $40

Product Details:  

  • Material: 77 percent polyester, 23 percent spandex
  • Inseam: 23, 25, or 29 inches
  • Size Range: XS-4X

Best Budget Black Leggings: Crz Yoga Nakedfeel Leggings

Crz Yoga Nakedfeel Leggings

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a pair of black leggings for low-intensity workouts.

Who it isn’t for: Runners or people whose workouts may cause the leggings to roll down. 

Just as their name implies, the Crz Yoga Nakedfeel Leggings feel weightless and won't interfere with your workout. They're buttery soft and stretchy with slight compression, making them ideal for everything from yoga practice to long walks and cycling. They're best for low-impact exercise though, as they may roll down slightly during higher-intensity workouts.  

If you love pockets, you might be bummed to hear that these don't have any on the sides, but they do have a hidden inner compartment for storing a credit card, keys, or other small essentials. If you fall in love with the first pair, you may want a second pair in another color. You have a whopping 43 others to choose from. 

Price at time of publish: $26

Product Details:  

  • Material: 71 percent polyamide, 29 percent spandex
  • Inseam: 25 inches
  • Size Range: XXS-XXL

Best Splurge Black Leggings: Alo Yoga 7/8 High-Waist Airlift Legging

Alo Yoga 7/8 High-Waist Airlift Legging

Alo Yoga

Who it’s for: People willing to spend on a pair of high-end black leggings.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t have the patience to hand wash leggings separately from their other garments. 

This celeb-loved activewear brand isn't cheap, but you can rest assured that the brand's products will last. The double-knit Airlift fabric, in particular, is loved for its lightweight and silky-smooth feel with a hint of shine that's great for everything from yoga to high-intensity activities like running, spin class, or HIIT workouts.

One of the most compelling details about this pair is the 7/8 length, which fits like a dream if you're petite or average in height. Those on the taller side should stick to the brand's equally popular full-length High-Waist Airlift Legging. But do keep in mind that the manufacturer suggests hand washing the leggings separately and laying them flat to dry for best results. 

Price at time of publish: $128

Product Details:  

  • Material: 84 percent polyester, 16 percent spandex
  • Inseam: 24.25 or 24.75 inches
  • Size Range: XXS-XL

Best Plus-Size Black Leggings: Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging

5
Girlfriend Collective Black Compressive High-Rise Legging

Girlfriend Collective

Who it’s for: People who want black leggings with a high level of compression and an extensive size range. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want black leggings with pockets.

These black leggings from Girlfriend Collective have it all (assuming high compression is your jam). If you're new to the brand, you'll be happy to hear they're made from 79 percent recycled plastic bottles (RPET) and 21 percent spandex. But to be clear, they feel nothing like a water bottle's rigid, plastic material. They're soft yet sturdy, with four-way stretch perfect for high-impact activities like running and HIIT. 

Another notable detail is, of course, the brand's diverse size range, which is the most extensive on our list by far—it's not exclusive to the brand's leggings. For example, you can scoop up the brand's matching—and equally popular—Black Paloma Racerback Bra in the same range. 

Price at time of publish: $78 

Product Details:  

  • Material: 79 percent recycled plastic bottles (RPET), 21 percent spandex
  • Inseam: 19.5, 23.75, or 28.5 inches
  • Size Range: XXS-6XL

Best Flared Black Leggings: Athleta Elation Flare Pant

4.8

Who it’s for: People who want flared black leggings for working out or lounging.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a bootcut style and not a statement flare.

Flared leggings are back in style, and there's no pair better than this versatile high-waist silhouette from Athleta. They're soft to the touch, powered by the brand's buttery-soft Powervita fabric, with a three-layer waistband that won't budge no matter how fast you move. They're designed for yoga and other types of studio practice, but plenty of people dress them up as well. (No judgment if you wear them to the office with a blazer.)

They don't have side pockets, but they do have a large waistband pocket on the back that's spacious enough to hold your phone and maybe even your keys, too. 

Price at time of publish: $99

Product Details:  

  • Material: Nylon and lycra
  • Inseam: 29.5, 31.5, or 34.5 inches
  • Size Range: XXS-3X

Best High-Waisted Black Leggings: Lululemon Align High-Rise Pant

4.8

Who it’s for: People who want black leggings for low-impact workouts or day-to-day casualwear. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a more affordable pair of black leggings. 

We can't talk about black leggings without spotlighting Lululemon Align leggings, which have been a staple since the brand launched them in 2015. They're undeniably on the pricier side, but they're practically famous in the leggings world, and beloved for how weightless and stretchy they are. They're made of the brand's signature Nulu fabric, and since they're made to feel like a second skin, they don't offer much compression.

They're designed for yoga, but there's no doubt you'll find yourself wearing them day-to-day, be it to walk the dog or binge-watch Netflix. These black leggings don't have side pockets, but they do have an "invisible" pocket perfect for storing your must-have cards or keys.

Price at time of publish: From $98

Product Details:  

  • Material: 81 percent nylon, 19 percent lycra elastane
  • Inseam: 25, 28, or 31 inches 
  • Size Range: 0-14

Best Faux Leather Black Leggings: Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

4.8
Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a pair of stylish, squat-proof leggings that can be easily dressed up.

Who it isn’t for: People who don't want compressive leggings. 

These faux leather leggings from Spanx are a bestseller thanks to their style and versatility. They're thick (yes, they're squat-proof), and they look and feel like genuine leather but aren't. These high-waist black leggings can be dressed up or down for a night out with friends or a workout class; either way, they're bound to garner compliments. 

In typical Spanx fashion, these leggings double as shapewear; because of that, they're tighter than a lot of options on our list (so you might want to size up). They have a thick, contoured waistband that smooths your core sans suffocation and stays put no matter your workout. But don't worry; moving around won't be an issue because they're still really stretchy. 

Price at time of publish: $98

Product Details:  

  • Material: 87 percent nylon, 13 percent elastane with polyurethane coating 
  • Inseam: 28, 30, or 32 inches
  • Size Range: XS-3X

Best Lightweight Black Leggings: Offline by Aerie Real Me High Waisted Legging

Real Me High Waisted Legging

Aerie

Who it’s for: People who want a versatile pair of lightweight black leggings for the warmer months. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want black leggings for high-intensity workouts or cold weather. 

As promised by their name, these leggings are so lightweight they feel like you have nothing on. They offer light support (and don't promise to be squat-proof) and are best for low-impact activities like walking the dog or gentle yoga. But honestly, they're equally great for lounging around the house and working from home. 

They're one of Aerie's bestsellers—the brand also sells the same legging with a flattering crossover waistband, which is great to wear with crop tops. No matter what, the light material will keep you cool and comfortable, especially during the warmer months.

Price at time of publish: $45

Product Details:  

  • Material: 88 percent nylon, 12 percent elastane 
  • Inseam: 23, 25, or 27 inches 
  • Size Range: XXS-XXL

Best Black Leggings With Pockets: Fengbay High Waist Yoga Pants

Fengbay High Waist Yoga Pants

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want leggings with spacious pockets for storing their phone, keys, and other essentials.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a pair of black leggings with brand recognition. 

These high-waist yoga pants from Fengbay have garnered somewhat of a cult following. They feature a spacious outer pocket that can fit your phone, as well as one in the inner waistband for smaller items like a key. In addition to these traditional black leggings, the brand also offers a fleece-lined option if you have any chilly outdoor workouts planned—as well as a bunch of bright colors should you choose to expand your collection in the future.

Price at time of publish: From $16

Product Details:  

  • Material: 87 percent polyester, 13 percent polyurethane
  • Inseam: Not specified 
  • Size Range: XS-XXL

Best Seamless Black Leggings: Gymshark Vital Seamless 2.0 Leggings

Who it’s for: People who want breathable compression leggings free of stitch lines.

Who it isn’t for: People who want leggings with pockets. 

Gymshark has mastered the seamless legging game, evidenced by this high-waist style that fuses style and function. The Vital Seamless 2.0 leggings feature a supportive ribbed waistband, sweat-wicking fabric, head-turn-worthy details like seamless shading contouring patterns, and the brand’s heat seal logo on the left hip. Complete the look with the matching Vital Seamless 2.0 Long Sleeve Crop Top

Price at time of publish: $54

Product Details:  

  • Material: 93 percent nylon, 7 percent elastane
  • Inseam: Not listed 
  • Size Range: XS-XXL

Best Cropped Black Leggings: Zella Studio Lite Crop Leggings

Zella Studio Lite Crop Leggings

Nordstrom

Who it’s for: People who wear petite sizes or people who prefer the look of a cropped legging. 

Who it isn’t for: People who struggle to find leggings that are long enough. 

If full-length black leggings aren’t your thing, this cropped style from the Nordstrom-made brand Zella might be the perfect match. They land at the mid-calf and feature smooth flatlock seaming that won’t rub or irritate, as well as moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry. Plus, they come with a hidden waistband pocket to stash small items like cash or keys. And the four-way-stretch fabric offers maximum flexibility for all kinds of movement. 

Price at time of publish: $55

Product Details:  

  • Material: 79 percent polyester, 21 percent spandex
  • Inseam: 21 inches
  • Size Range: XXS-XL

Best Fleece-Lined Black Leggings: 90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Fleece-Lined Leggings

5
90-degree-by-reflex-high-waist-fleece-lined-leggings

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who work out in cold conditions, like the ice rink, or outdoors in the winter. 

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer seamless leggings.

Perfect for skiers, ice skaters, and outdoor runners, among other cold-weather sports, these fleece-lined leggings from 90 Degree By Reflex will keep you warm without being unkind to your bank account. The high-waist design comes in over 30 different colors and even comes in options with and without pockets, so you can choose which option you like best. Although they're fleece-lined, they're not heavy, giving you the same flexibility to move with ease.

Price at time of publish: $28

Product Details:  

  • Material: 88 percent polyester, 12 percent spandex
  • Inseam: 28 inches 
  • Size Range: XS-3X

Final Verdict 

Overall, we recommend the Old Navy High-Waisted PowerSoft 7/8-Length Side-Pocket Leggings, an option that stands out for its affordable price point, high-quality materials, and versatility. If you're looking for a low-priced alternative, the Crz Yoga Nakedfeel Leggings are frequently compared to high-end options and can land on your doorstep in two days with Prime.

How to Shop for Black Leggings Like a Pro

Material

It's important to consider the material(s) your black leggings are made of because different materials lend themselves to different activities. “The most common materials used for leggings are natural fibers such as cotton and viscose, and synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, spandex/elastane, or a mix of both,” says Lee. 

For lounging or low-impact activities, Lee recommends a mix of natural and synthetic fibers. “Pure cotton leggings can sometimes be susceptible to pilling and may lose shape over time. If you prefer leggings made of natural fibers like cotton, look for a pair with elastane, as this will help them keep their shape better.”

If you’re looking for black leggings for exercise, Lee recommends looking at compressive performance fabrics like polyester and spandex,” which “offer good stretch and have a snug fit. They also have moisture-wicking properties and are more durable than cotton ones.”

Length

Depending on your activity of choice or personal style preference, you may want to consider all the different legging lengths before adding a pair to your cart. “The most common lengths for leggings are full-length, 7/8, and capri-length,” says Perez. “Full-length leggings extend to the bottom of your leg and end just below the ankles, while 7/8-length leggings stop just above the ankle. Capri-length leggings end mid-calf or below the knee.”

“There are also boot-cut or flared leggings,” adds Lee, “which are a bit longer than regular leggings and have a wider leg opening.”

Compression

When talking compression, we’re usually referring to athletic leggings made of moisture-wicking performance fabrics to fit snugly and support the muscles during exercise. “There are different compression levels, from light to firm,” says Perez. “Firm compression leggings are designed for more intense activities such as running or weightlifting and can help to improve performance by reducing muscle fatigue and improving blood circulation.” In contrast, light compression is best for low-impact activities like walking or yoga.

Versatility 

“All black leggings are versatile in their own way, but plain black leggings made of good quality fabric(s) are the most versatile,” says Lee. “Leggings must be thick enough to dress them up or down and to wear them for many seasons. Also, if leggings are made of great material, you can take them straight from the gym to running errands to a night out. The least versatile black leggings would be ones with a lot of print or detailing. This will limit what kind of tops you can wear with them.” In short, the simpler, the better. 

Questions You Might Ask

What can you wear with black leggings? 


The short answer: everything! “You can wear black leggings with any athletic, sweat-wicking tops for working out,” says Lee. “To wear black leggings casually, pair them with a tee or sweatshirt and sneakers. I also love wearing black leggings with a blouse and a coat to dress them up. You can also style them with a tunic top and boots for an easy go-to outfit. The possibilities are endless!”

What length leggings are most flattering?

“Leggings that hit just at or just below the ankle bone flatter everyone,” says Lee. (Just note that is a different length for each person depending on your height.) “When black leggings hit at or right below the ankle bone, they elongate your frame,” and simultaneously makes them “more versatile to dress up or down,” explains the expert. 

What type of leggings can you wear as pants?

The secret to wearing leggings as pants is to “make sure that the material is thick enough, so they are not opaque,” cautions Lee. “Ponte material is stretchy yet durable and perfect to wear as pants, even in a legging form. Also, there are leggings with details that make them look like pants, such as pockets, zippers, or even a subtle print.”

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Marisa Petrarca, a contributing writer for Real Simple. She has over five years of editorial experience, and her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, POPSUGAR, SELF, and more. To write this article on the best black leggings, she considered the factors like price, materials, and size range. For expert advice on choosing the best black leggings, she spoke with Vivian Lee, director of styling at Dailylook, an online personal styling service, as well as Paige Perez, lead designer of activewear at Adore Me

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