Whether you’re a regular at your local SoulCycle or you spin in your living room on your Peloton, there’s one thing that’s essential for your ride: a good pair of leggings. If you’ve ever powered through a 45-minute class in short shorts, you know this to be especially true (read: the dreaded inner-thigh chafing). Of course, there is a wide breadth of options available, so navigating which are the best leggings for spin class requires a bit of research. To save you time, TZR chatted with a few spin instructors on what makes for the ideal legging when it comes to getting your sweat on while you cycle.
No matter if you’re a beginner or you’ve been spinning for years, always prioritize your own comfort when you're headed to the studio (or, living room). The fit and fabric both play an important role in how good your body feels while you ride. Sweat-wicking materials are essential to keep your skin healthy, and a high waistband can help ensure you aren’t stressing about your pants sliding up or down during class. Choosing the right leggings can actually help not just during class, but also after. "Compression tights are great for spinning because they hold your muscles in tighter and increase blood flow, which is thought to improve your performance as well as recover more quickly," Emma Lovewell, a spinning instructor at Peloton, tells TZR. Therefore, finding a pair that combines these elements is key.
Below, find the best leggings to get your sweat on. From good compression to high-waisted silhouettes, your workout is about to get a lot more comfortable.
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First things first — look out for leggings that have a second-skin feel. Lovewell recommends a pair that are compressive and super lightweight. For this, consider scooping up Girlfriend’s Black Compressive High-Rise Leggings. These stretchy bottoms are made from recycled water bottles and are ultra-high-rise for comfort. Instructor Christine Kryzwosz, formerly of Cyc Fitness, also looks for leggings that are sweat-proof and have a tight fit that hugs the body. She recommends Lululemon's All The Right Places leggings, telling TZR that they have "just the right amount of compression." Another option: Alala’s Compression 7/8 Captain Tight.
Finding the right level of stretch can vary from person to person, but is also important for staying comfortable in class, which is why Apple Fitness+ trainer Emily Fayette looks for styles that have compression, yet won’t cut off your circulation or feel too constricting. Outdoor Voices’ Springs 7/8 Legging is an excellent choice here as they aren’t too tight.
Best For Fighting Sweat
Studios can get pretty steamy and will only get warmer as you start to really pedal, so finding a legging that'll fight sweat is key, especially when it comes to preventing unwanted rubbing and irritation (or dreaded butt acne). For this, Lovewell personally wears a high-waisted style with anti-chafe seams (see: Flex Seamless Leggings and Spanx Active’s Look At Me Now), which are also necessary to provide comfort when sitting on a bicycle seat for an hour.
As for material, look for one that will wick sweat and dry fast, such as polyester or nylon. Two options: P.E. NATION’s Steady Run Zip-Detailed Recycled Stretch Leggings, which are created using recycled polyester, or Commando’s Perfect Control Leggings, made with nylon. Post-class make sure to change quickly to keep your skin healthy and minimize time in dripping-wet spandex — try stirrup pants for a post-class alternative.
According to Abramo, high-waisted leggings are perfect for when you’re out of the saddle during your spin class. “You never need to pull up mid-jumps," she explains. With the rising popularity of high-waisted silhouettes (more specifically, high-waisted denim), locating a pair for spinning these days is a breeze. In fact, you have a lot of fashion-favorite athletic brands to turn to for high-rise leggings, such as All Access, Alo Yoga, Eleven, or Carbon38. You can’t go wrong with any of the styles below.
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