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How Much Should We Pay For Workout Leggings?

Exercise is such an important part of our lives, that most of us now have a whole drawer full of activewear.

Gone are the days when you’d workout in a pair of old joggers and a band T-shirt. We now encase ourselves in body-sculpting Lycra, flashy brands and mood-boosting colours, and I – for one – am very happy about it. Anything that makes exercising more of a joy can only be a good thing, right?

But if your activewear drawer could do with a refresh (anyone else unable to part with well-loved holey tops and leggings that bare you belly as you bust some moves?) – look no further.

I’ve tested out some lovely new leggings to see if they fit as perfectly as they feel. Because fitness leggings can cost a lot of money – and it’s good to know if they’re really worth splashing out on before parting with your cash.

1. Love Leggings

I tried the Energise Shadow Grey 7/8 Sports Leggings, available in sizes 4-20, priced £28, so a good price point compared to a lot of the higher-end brands.

The fabric is incredibly cold when you slide your legs into them, but they’re really comfy and stayed in place throughout my workout. They go in the tumble dryer as well, which is always a bonus.

They don’t really suck you in, have any ‘bum-sculpting’ benefits or any handy pockets, but I feel good them and they look nice.

2. Lululemon

I tested the Align High Rise Pant, which costs a whopping £88 and is available in US sizes 0-14 (4-18 in the UK).

They are hugely expensive – but they feel like silk when you put them on, fit at the waistband perfectly, and have handy hidden pockets for keys or headphones. The fabric is also sweat-wicking, buttery soft and they go in the tumble dryer.

They stayed in place for the whole workout and felt great. I tried them in a gorgeously springy pale blue, which is possibly more flattering on smaller frames, but it’s nice to wear a flash of colour all the same.

3. Contur

Contur isn’t a brand I’d heard of before, but they tick all the sustainable boxes. Using repurposed nylons, ocean plastics and recycled cotton to create sustainable sports fabrics for products providing muscular compression, breathability, shape retention, abrasion resistance and strong UV protection.

At £80, their Hi-definition Leggings (available in sizes XS, S, M and L) don’t come cheap, but they’re easily the most shape-enhancing of the three. When I look at them initially, they do seem a bit small, but once they’re on, they suck you in where you want it (hello bum-shaping and tummy-flattening) and feel fabulous.

They don’t budge when you run or workout, and there’s a small, handy pocket in the waistband. The downsides are they can’t go in the tumble dryer and I noticed some of the stitching seemed to be unravelling after wearing them for the second time. It wasn’t enough to make a hole, and after inspecting other pairs, it was a one-off, but it’s a good reminder to check any clothing over thoroughly when you’re buying it online.

Overall verdict

Generally, I’d say it is worth spending more money on leggings. All of these passed the ‘bum test’ (I’ll spare you the pictures) – so when you bend over, there’s no sign of any underwear as the fabric stretches and turns see-through. And after chatting to friends, the general consensus seems to be that it’s worth spending a bit extra on a pair of leggings that are going to keep their shape and make you feel good.

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