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It was 1 p.m. on a Monday afternoon, midway through an adult ballet class, trying desperately to plié and rond de jambe in time, when I discovered that not all leggings are made the same way. The week before, my so-far trusty, albeit five-year-old Lululemon Aligns had failed me on a hike, splitting at the crotch and causing a world of inner-thigh chafing pain (you can read about how I literally saved my skin here). And so, in the market for a new pair, I allowed myself to be swayed by my most gym-living, endorphin-loving, Sweaty Betty cult-like adoring friend. I bit the bullet and dropped £98 on a pair of the brand’s bestselling Power Pro leggings (what can I say, it was a moment of legging-less weakness, and the chafing pain still fresh in my mind). At this price, I half-jokingly warned her that these better be the best pieces of stretchy fabric to grace my legs, or else.
Luckily, she — and Sweaty Betty — proved me wrong. They really are the best leggings I’ve ever tried, mostly because of the fabric. It’s the thickest that I’ve found on the market, akin to the thermal-lined tights that I swear by every winter. This means that for perhaps the first time in an exercise class, I wasn’t worried about a VPL (even on day one of my cycle wearing my granny panty-like, padded period pants. Say that five times fast!). The thick material also has an inbuilt compression, so it hugs and sculpts your curves, feeling supportive where it really matters (your bum and thighs) and keeping the leggings firmly in place, no matter how intense your workout is. I especially love the extra thickness around the waistband. I do wish this was cut as a high waist, but the extra thick bonded material here makes me feel extra confident to be out and about in gym leggings (something I struggle with). Saying this, even though I did pair the leggings with the equally supportive Power Pro Running Bra, £65, I did cover up with a large, baggy T-shirt for extra security.
This thickness doesn’t compromise on comfort, however. I’ve since worn these leggings to ballet class, out on more hikes, to travel in and — most importantly — at home curled up on the sofa when I’ve been too lazy to change once back from the gym. I’ve even fallen asleep in them and napped very happily. They’re as lightweight to wear and buttery to touch as my OG lululemons; they feel like a second skin that keeps everything tucked in place safely and securely.
I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet… These leggings come with not one, not two, but five pockets: two deep sets on each side that can comfortably fit my iPhone 11, keys, purse and pack of tissues, and a zippered one at the back for extra security while on run or working out.
Final thoughts on the Power Pro 7/8 Leggings
All in all, I’m so glad that I bit the bullet with Sweaty Betty. I’m not sure how, but they have worked some sort of confidence-inducing magic, whereby I’m dropping into those pliés without a second thought. However, the price does still sting. If you’re a dedicated cardio lover after that one do-it-all pair of leggings that you can trust to not fail you, then these will be a non-brainer purchase. If you’re more of a casual exerciser and legging-wearer, or if you’re after something better suited for low-impact workouts (like yoga), then these may be a pass. For me? I might even treat myself to a second pair (if they go on sale, that is).