A good pair of leggings can make you feel thankful. Thankful that you’re not in skinny jeans that cut into your waist, temporary tattooing the pattern of the seams into your skin. Thankful that you’re not wearing shorts that ride up, causing your thighs to chafe. But an honest-to-God great pair of leggings doesn’t make you feel thankful — they make you forget that you’re wearing pants at all. They make you forget that pants exist. In a pair of great leggings, you are your truest self, both naked and styled at the same time.
For me, the pinnacle of pants existed in a pair of black Lululemon leggings I got in college. I wore them everywhere: To class, to the gym, at work, in yoga, during half marathons, to family functions. It’s possible I went overboard. So I was shocked to my core when a Lululemon salesperson told me last summer that my favorite leggings — the pair of leggings I’d run hundreds of miles in — were actually more suited for yoga than running. It was as if I’d paired dark chocolate with a white wine instead of a red. It was a mistake.
As it turns out, you can make the most out of your Lululemon leggings if you pair them with the right kind of fitness. Some are better for lower or higher impact activities. But when you go into the store and you’re surrounded by a sea of leggings, it can be intimidating to know which pair to go with for yoga or for HIIT class. In an effort to sniff out the differences, I tested a few different varieties of leggings at different exercise classes. Here’s what I discovered.