In recent months, leggings have seen a sharp rise in popularity, making them an undeniable wardrobe staple. As a result, terms like “workout leggings,” “yoga pants,” and “leggings” have become nearly interchangeable in their usage.
We’re not here to judge. We get it! We’re just glad leggings are here to stay, but it’s important to note when you’re shopping that workout leggings, yoga pants, and leggings are not actually interchangeable. Leggings are not all created equal.
Workout leggings and regular leggings are not the same thing. There are several distinguishing features.
Here are 7 common differences between workout leggings and regular leggings.
While there is a wide range of options for both workout leggings and regular leggings—and while both are intended to be tighter than traditional pants—leggings are usually tighter than workout pants. In fact, regular leggings are often compared to tights in the way that they feel and fit. The main difference between tights and regular leggings is the fact that leggings don’t cover the feet.
Workout pants, on the other hand, are traditionally thicker and looser fitting—with more room to breathe—compared to regular leggings.
Workout leggings and regular leggings come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, but workout leggings usually have more options for length than regular leggings. Workout leggings can be long, cropped, or short, depending on what you need.
Regular leggings, with very little exception, are long and sit above or at the ankles.
Again, because workout leggings are made with physical activity in mind, workout leggings are typically thicker than regular leggings and are made to be more supportive and flexible.
Because of this, a high-quality pair of workout leggings can cost more than a pair of regular leggings, but they are worth every penny in the benefits that they offer. Workout leggings are typically made of fabric that is moisture-wicking—which helps regulate body temperature—and they stretch with you and never slide or slip. If you’re working out, you want to know that your leggings aren’t going to let you down!
When it comes to workout leggings, a good spandex/polyester blend offers the comfort and flexibility that are ideal for working out or running errands. With the right material, you never need to worry that you’ll rip your leggings when you lunge or squat … which means you can focus on what’s most important to you.
Regular leggings come in a variety of materials from denim to fleece to cotton. Most regular leggings are thinner, made of Spandex or other stretchy material, and are not supportive enough for exercise.
The most obvious difference between workout leggings and regular leggings is performance.
To see this difference for yourself, wear a pair of workout leggings and then wear a pair of regular leggings during a workout session. It likely won’t take you long to discover that workout leggings are more supportive, more flexible, and more secure.
Regular leggings are thinner and tend to slip.
Because they are made for exercise, workout leggings are also built with specific anti-chafing properties.
That said, the right pair of designer leggings won’t tug or pull at your skin while you walk. And they’re incredibly comfortable. Whether you are going for an early morning jog or sitting behind your desk, a pair of high-quality leggings will be comfortable for years to come and will be functional in all kinds of environments.
While you can definitely enjoy wearing workout leggings without actually working out, the difference in purpose is simple: Workout leggings are primarily made to be worn while working out and leggings are made for comfort and warmth.
One reason they have become so popular in the past couple of years is that the stretchable fabric offers an unbeatable amount of comfort and flexibility. The perfect pair of regular leggings offer the right amount of elasticity and compression.
When everything else in the world is spinning out of control, the right pair of leggings really can make things a little better.
Workout leggings typically have a thicker, more supportive waistband. In fact, many pairs of high-quality workout leggings have a thick enough band that it’s possible to fold the band over and still enjoy a good amount of support at half the coverage.
Regular leggings are intended to be lighter and less durable. Because of this, they aren’t usually meant to last as long as workout leggings. But that said, leggings made with the finest materials available can and should stand the test of time.
The right pair of workout or regular leggings will sit on the waist instead of the hips, offering a gentle tummy tuck that provides an added boost of confidence and control.
One major difference between a workout and regular leggings is the transparency of the material used to make them. Workout leggings are typically meant to be worn as pants, and regular leggings are meant to be layered.
Because of the stretch in regular leggings, sometimes they become see-through once they are being worn. Because workout leggings are made with thicker, more durable fabric, they tend to be less transparent when stretched.
You can also get to know more about workouts and fitness.
A fervent champion for holistic well-being, graces this community with her expertise in health and fitness. With a solid educational foundation in physical fitness and a commitment to empowering others, Sara distills her extensive knowledge and experience into actionable insights. Her writing, firmly grounded in evidence-based practices, aims to demystify health complexities and inspire readers to cultivate sustainable habits for a balanced life. As a certified fitness trainer, Sara offers a well-rounded perspective on wellness. Join Sara on this transformative journey towards a happier, healthier, and more vibrant you.