The best black leggings

  • A classic pair of black leggings are a closet staple, and with more folks working from home, there's never been a better time to stock up. 
  • When buying a pair of black leggings, you want to consider price, comfort, and how easy they are to care for. 
  • ADAY makes our favorite black leggings, but 2XU, Tommy John, Girlfriend Collective, Uniqlo, and Athleta also make great ones.

While you may occasionally want to spice up your leggings collection with some grays or blues, it seems difficult to imagine a world in which black leggings don't reign supreme. And for folks working from home, a good pair of leggings provide a comfortable alternative to jeans. Some styles even look similar to pants, which makes it easy to take your look from the couch to running errands. 

When it comes to picking a great pair of black leggings, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. Durability ought to sit at top of your list of priorities. A good pair of black leggings will be worn several times a month (if not week), and as such, will need to be able to stand up to both daily wear and tear.

You'll also want to ensure that your leggings are easy to care for and won't lose their color. Most leggings are made out of some type of synthetic stretch material that can be super delicate. To help them last, wash your leggings by hand or in cold water with similar fabrics in your washing machine. Stretch material can break down in the heat, so it's important to skip the dryer. Instead, hang-dry your leggings to help them maintain their shape. 

When it comes to price, leggings can really run the gamut. Performance leggings that are made for working out are usually made of high-tech, sturdy, sweat-wicking material. So you can expect to pay more for your typical lounge-around-the-house pair. But if you're hoping to stock up on a budget, there are plenty of affordable, yet durable, styles to choose from. 

Here are the best black leggings you can buy:

  • Best black leggings overall: ADAY Throw It Higher Leggings
  • Best black exercise leggings: 2XU MCS Run Compression Tights
  • Best black lounge leggings: Tommy John Go Anywhere Leggings
  • Best size-inclusive black leggings: Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging
  • Best affordable black leggings: Uniqlo Ultra Stretch Leggings Pants
  • Best black leggings for petite women: Athleta's 7/8 Contender Tights

Updated on 9/15/2020 by Maria Del Russo: Updated copy, links, and care instructions. Removed our "best shaping leggings" category. We're in the process of testing new leggings for this guide, however, we still recommend these options.

The best black leggings overall

ADAY's Throw It Higher Leggings are stylish, incredibly comfortable, and have zip pockets to stash all of your small belongings. 

ADAY is all about simplicity and seeks to create fabrics and clothing that are multipurpose, long-lasting, and sustainable. And that's incredibly evident in the brand's leggings, especially its Throw It Higher style.

Most of ADAY's leggings are made of a material that is quick-drying, sweating-wicking, and sunscreen- and oil-resistant. Plus, they have an elastic waistband that's comfortable yet snug, so they always stay in place. The Throw It Higher leggings are high-waisted, but absolutely not uncomfortable. They also have pockets so you can store your phone, cards, and other small necessities.

While many leggings are, at their core, gym clothes that just so happen to look good as streetwear, ADAY takes the opposite approach. These leggings are first and foremost meant to make you look absolutely excellent, and just so happen to be extremely comfortable and versatile as well. 

ADAY leggings are expensive, but that's more in line with high-end athleisure lines like Lululemon or Sweaty Betty who will charge similar prices for workout-only gear. — Lulu Chang

Pros: Durable, incredibly comfortable, made with zip pockets for storage

Cons: They're on the thicker side, so they may be too warm for the spring and summer

The best black exercise leggings

2XU 's MCS Run Compression Tights feel like a thin second-skin for maximum breathability and minimal interference.

2XU is the performance athletic wear brand founded by former professional triathlete Jamie Hunt, and it's well-known for its quality and tech. The company says its clothes are proven by independent, scientific research to deliver real physiological benefits to athletes.

I swear by the company's MCS Run Compression Tights for their anatomical compression mapping. 2XU uses a proprietary PWX compression fabric. It's flexible, incredibly lightweight, and durable so you can put it through plenty of tough workouts. The leggings also utilize graduated compression, so your waistband will lay flat without causing discomfort. Targeted compression works to increase blood flow, reduce blood lactate, and increase lymphatic drainage to help you be more efficient in your workout and during recovery.

The leggings typically come in dark colors and patterns and range in size from XXS to XXL. If you're between sizes, the brand suggests size up for physical activity and down for recovery use. 

The MCS tights are sports-specific, so this pair has strategic internal compression that targets your calves and quads to reduce muscle fatigue as you run. For cross-training, check out this pair of Cross Training Compression Tights. —Mara Leighton

Pros: Graduated compression, extremely breathable, flexible, durable

Cons: Complaints of sheerness

The best black lounge leggings

Tommy John makes the best loungewear available online, and their Go Anywhere leggings are soft, versatile, flattering, and extremely comfortable. 

Tommy John, the startup that makes the best loungewear overall on the internet, unsurprisingly makes its most comfortable lounge leggings as well. 

Its Go Anywhere leggings are extremely comfortable, flattering, and versatile. They don't have side seams, so there's minimal opportunity for chafing. And the mid-rise waistband is double layered for extra support, while still being super comfortable. The four-way stretch material bends with you, and the dark black has outlasted quite a few washes for me thus far. You can pick them up in black and in sizes 0-14. 

Despite being cozy, the Go Anywhere leggings are luxe-looking enough to be a good choice for activities outside the house. So, if you're planning on wearing leggings for travel, these should be your go-to. —Mara Leighton

Pros: Comfortable, versatile, stretchy, no side seams, double layer waistband, mild compression

Cons: The material will likely be too thick for cardio exercise

The best size-inclusive black leggings

With their eco-friendly design and radically inclusive sizing, Girlfriend Collective's Compressive High-Rise Leggings are an internet-favorite for a reason.

These Girlfriend Collective leggings win top marks for how thoughtful their design is. The company manufactures each pair of leggings from exactly 25 recycled plastic bottles, making them one of the more eco-conscious brands out there. Girlfriend Collective's leggings are also one of the most size-inclusive styles on the market, with three different inseam lengths and sizes that range from XXS (000) to 3XL (24).

That's not even mentioning how comfortable these leggings are. Girlfriend Collective utilizes a compression-like fabric that makes them great for both high- and low-impact activities. It also makes them comfortable enough for everyday wear, especially since they look just as good with one of the brand's crop top sports bras as they do with a sweater. I can't tell you how many times my Girlfriend Collective leggings have taken me from Pilates class to brunch to errands. They are incredibly soft, making them a fantastic option for lounging, too.

They are a little heavier than most knock-around leggings, so they might be a little too warm for the summer months or an intense hot yoga session. And while I love the higher-waisted silhouette, especially since it's incredibly flexible and doesn't bunch, some may prefer something that sits on the hip. 

And in case you were still on the fence, Girlfriend Collective's leggings are also one of the more affordable options out there. Supportive and stylish, you can't go wrong with this inclusive pair. — Maria Del Russo

Pros: Ethically and sustainably made, affordable, long-lasting, versatile

Cons: Because of the relatively thick material, some may find them a bit too warm

The best affordable black leggings

These Uniqlo Ultra Stretch Leggings Pants are the perfect leggings/pant hybrid for your closet. 

For the most pants-looking leggings on the market, opt for Uniqlo's Ultra Stretch Leggings Pants. Sleek, stylish, and supremely comfortable, thanks to two-way stretch and moderately thick construction, these are my go-to leggings for just about any occasion. The addition of a waist button (which is purely cosmetic) gives these leggings the look of pants.

Uniqlo also has a wide range of other black leggings to choose from, like the AIRism Soft legging. These quick-drying leggings are thick enough to be worn on their own, with a matte surface that makes them look a bit more elevated than your typical gym pair. 

Of course, the real winning attribute of Uniqlo leggings is the price point. Both pairs of tights are extremely affordable, which means you could get both (or multiple pairs of both!) without feeling any kind of financial guilt. —Lulu Chang

Pros: Leggings that look like pants, super affordable, extremely comfortable 

Cons: Some customers have remarked on sizing issues

The best black leggings for petite women

Athleta's 7/8 Contender Tights come in a wide range of styles, most of which come in petite lengths.

If you're a petite woman, finding leggings that are the right length can be challenging. Athleta is one of our favorite brands because it sells a variety of leggings in petite and 7/8 lengths.

Several members of the Insider Reviews team tested out the 7/8 Contender Tights, which come with two zippered pockets on the sides and an adjustable drawstring waistband on the interior. We really liked the soft, thick material and found the zippered pockets to be super handy for carrying our phones, keys, credit cards, and any other small essentials. I personally love my pair for travel because of these pockets.

Depending on which pair you get, Athleta's leggings can transition easily from workout gear to a great pair of pants for running errands or going out.

Athleta is also a B-Corp that's invested in improving production standards, so some of its leggings are certified Fair Trade or made from sustainable materials. —Malarie Gokey

Pros: Comfortable, come in petite lengths, variety of styles, some have pockets, some fair trade options

Cons: Not all of Athleta's leggings are Fair Trade, so it's important to check the description if that's something you want in you

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