Love them or hate them, sports leggings are a staple in the wardrobe of any active person – so having a leggings size guide is super helpful.
This year Intersport Elverys is delighted to partner the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon for 2022 and like the last 18 years, we;re committed to offering the best advice and the leading products to all participants.
So whether you’re going to run, walk or jog the marathon.
Or if you’re not taking part at all and are just committed to a sport, training for your own fitness journey or simply wanting to look good, feel good and perform good, then this guide will help you.
Because we know leggings aren’t all about sporting performance, they are a great way of expressing your personality thanks to all the unique styles.
Leggings Size Guide: Where do I start looking?
There are a few things to consider when trying to find a great pair of sports leggings.
Don’t forget, every sport and every body has its own individual needs, so deciding on a few main factors before you start your search will help pin down the perfect leggings for you.
Choosing the best leggings for your sport
If you’re dedicated to one sport and looking to invest in the perfect pair of leggings to improve performance, our quick guide will point you in the right direction.
Many running leggings offer higher compression, designed to help reduce muscle fatigue and speed up recovery.
They usually use temperature-regulating fabric technologies and tend to have a lower waist band to avoid any chafing.
The Nike Dri-Fit Fast Leggings in Black are great.
Generally speaking, training leggings tend to offer medium compression and have a higher waist band to support controlled movements.
For high impact training like HIIT, seamless high waisted gym leggings will provide great support and ensure comfort throughout your workout.
Try the Puma Logo Eversculpt Women’s Training High-Wasted 7/8 Tights are a great option.
Yoga leggings tend to have a lighter compression, wider waist bands and fabric that allows for maximum stretch so you can easily slide from downward-facing dog to baby cobra.
They can come in tight and flared styles, with features like drawstring waists.
The new and amazing Casall Seamless High Waist Yoga Tights are amazing.
Will you be committed to one type of training, or are you more of a jack of all sports?
This decision will help determine your first step on the treadmill to finding the best leggings for you.
Consider your own style – do you want colourful or black gym leggings?
The cherry on top of the best gym leggings is of course style.
Modern gym and yoga leggings come in a myriad of colours and styles, from solid prints to mesh panelling.
If you’re not sure what to go for, black gym leggings are a fail-safe option that slim and streamline every body shape. Hone in on your favourite shades to wear and take it from there.
Leggings Size Guide: Choose your rise
Where the waist of your leggings sits is just as important as your leg length:
• Low rise sports leggings: Low rise gym leggings sit well below the waist, across the middle of the hips.
• Mid rise sports leggings: Mid rise leggings usually sit somewhere between the belly button and the top of the hips.
• High rise sports leggings: High waisted gym leggings sit at the belly button or slightly above it.
The waist of your leggings will be determined by how much support you want, as well as the kind of look you’re going for.
High waisted gym leggings provide the most support and will help streamline any wobbly bits in the tummy area.
The Nike Pro Mid-Rise above are proving very popular.
Low-rise gym leggings, in contrast, provide virtually no tummy support, but can be much more comfortable for those that don’t like feeling constricted. They’re particularly great for running, as they won’t chafe your midriff.
Unsurprisingly, mid rise leggings are a great middle ground, and the best bet if you’re really not sure which fit you’ll find most comfortable.
Leggings Size Guide: Choose your leg
There are a few different lengths to choose from for your gym leggings:
• Full length leggings: These gym leggings cover the entire leg, ending just under the ankle.
• 7/8 leggings: Very slightly cropped, 7/8 leggings cover most of the leg, ending just above the ankle.
• Capri leggings: Capri leggings end just below the knee, covering the entire upper thigh.
A great place to start when choosing leg length is by examining your workout environment.
Outdoor workouts like running will often benefit from full length gym leggings to keep you warm throughout the seasons, whereas something indoors and sweat-inducing like HIIT will be more comfortable in capri leggings.
7/8 leggings are great all-rounders for all sports and environments.
Leggings Size Guide: Consider material
Leggings or pants made for sport will offer breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you cool and dry, which is what sets them apart from the everyday leggings you might use as loungewear.
When it comes to leggings, fit is everything.
Whatever the workout, you want to be able to give it every ounce of your energy and attention; you definitely do not want flapping legs or sagging waistbands ruining your performance.
A well-fitted pair of leggings can go beyond the gym, too – you might find you’re so comfortable in them, you just can’t take them off!
High compression vs low compression gym leggings
The compression level of your leggings is the biggest contributing factor to how supportive they’ll be.
Compression basically refers to how thick and tight gym leggings are, so they usually come in high compression or low compression options.
High compression gym leggings are thicker, tighter and generally best suited for sports with a lot of movement, like running, pilates or HIIT, as they don’t tend to shift as you move.
High compression leggings can also be used for lower impact sports like yoga, but if you find a looser fit more comfortable, low compression works well too.
When choosing low compression, go for a sports leggings with a drawstring waistband to avoid any sagging or twisting while you work out.
Leggings Size Guide FAQs
Can you run in normal leggings?
Running in normal leggings isn’t advised, as they don’t offer the same support and benefits as running leggings and can cause chafing and other discomforts.
Running leggings are made from specially designed fabric that wicks sweat away from the body and allows skin to breathe during long runs, which will help keep your body at a comfortable temperature and avoid chafing.
Running leggings are also usually made of high compression fabrics to provide maximum support.
Should I wash my gym clothes everyday?
Yes, it’s best to wash gym clothes after each use. Your gym leggings are constantly absorbing sweat while you work out, so can harbour all sorts of bacteria and other nasties.
If you need to deep clean a pair of sports leggings after a particularly hot and sweaty session, try adding some anti-bacterial detergent to your normal washing detergent and wash your leggings on the highest temperature setting stated on the care label.
How tight should gym leggings be?
This really depends on what you want to use them for.
Yoga benefits from lightweight, low compression leggings to allow for bending and stretching, whereas high impact training and running will be much more comfortable in tighter, high compression leggings that give you the best support possible.
As a rule of thumb, if your leggings are too tight on the waist and causing bulging, size up. If they’re saggy at the crotch, size down.
Why do my leggings roll down at the waist?
This can happen for a few different reasons.
First, your leggings could simply be the wrong size. If your leggings are a little loose all over, then sizing down should fix your problem.
Your leggings might also sag if they’re not the right fit for your body shape. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, so finding a pair of gym leggings to fit waists, bums and tums can take some trial and error.
Try out different rises to see which one prevents your leggings falling down at the waist.
Finally, it could simply be that the elastic has worn out in your leggings. Invest in a new pair, and make sure to follow the care instructions to the letter to make sure they last as long as possible.
No matter what you wear, the most important thing is staying active, and feeling comfortable doing so.
To help stay motivated, connect with us on social media where we’ll offer daily advice and content to support your workouts at home.
Intersport Elverys is one of the biggest supporters of Irish sport in the country and we’re at the heart of sport.
Make sure to check out our amazing full range of leggings below.