The best black leggings

  • Absolutely every woman needs a good pair of black leggings in her closet - after all, what other piece in your wardrobe is as versatile?
  • The best black leggings can be worn under a dress, with a sweater, to the gym, or on a plane.
  • ADAY makes our favorite black leggings, but 2XU, Tommy John, Spanx, Girlfriend Collective, Uniqlo, and Athleta also make great ones.

It seems like there's always a different color trying to be the new black, but try as stylists might, no shade of ochre or crimson or teal will ever truly replace black. Even if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, there's no way to imitate the sleek, simple, timeless aesthetic of the queen of all colors. And that's particularly the case when it comes to your favorite pair of leggings.

While you may occasionally want to spice up your leggings collection with some grays or blues or, yes, perhaps even hot pink, it seems difficult to imagine a world in which black leggings don't reign supreme.

When it comes to picking a great pair of black leggings, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. First and foremost, durability ought to sit at top of your list of priorities. A good pair of black leggings will be worn several times a month (if not week), and as such, will need to be able to stand up to both daily wear and tear as well as several cycles in the washing machine.
You'll also want to ensure that your leggings are easy to care for and won't lose their color. Nothing is sadder than a formerly black pair of leggings, so you'll want to find tights that can maintain their color.

And finally, the price point should be taken into consideration. While great leggings don't have to cost an arm and a leg, you may be willing to pay a bit more for black leggings that will last you more than a few months at a time.

Here are the best black leggings you can buy:

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The best black leggings overall

The best black leggings overall
ADAY has a wide range of leggings that are great under skirts and dresses or as a standalone pair of pants.

ADAY is all about simplicity and seeks to create fabrics and clothing that are multipurpose, long-lasting, and sustainable. And that's incredibly evident in the brand's leggings. I've always been a fan of the Throw & Roll leggings.

Most of ADAY's leggings are made of a material that is quick-drying, sweating-wicking, and sunscreen- and oil-resistant. Plus, they have an elastic waistband that's comfortable yet snug, so they always stay in place. The leggings also have pockets so you can store your phone, cards, and other small necessities.

While many leggings are, at their core, gym clothes that just so happen to look good as streetwear, too, ADAY takes the opposite approach. These leggings are first and foremost meant to make you look absolutely excellent, and just so happen to be extremely comfortable and versatile as well.

ADAY leggings still aren't necessarily cheap at $125, but that's more in line with high-end athleisure lines like Lululemon or Sweaty Betty who will charge similar prices for workout-only gear. —Lulu Chang

Pros: Durable, incredibly comfortable, extremely form-flattering, warm for winter months

Cons: Expensive

The best black exercise leggings

The best black exercise leggings
2XU makes smart workout leggings that feel like a thin second-skin for maximum breathability and minimal interference.

2XU is the performance athletic wear brand founded by former professional triathlete Jamie Hunt, and it's well-known for its quality and tech. The company says its clothes are proven by independent, scientific research to deliver real physiological benefits to athletes. (2XU is tested using the Salzmann pressure measurement device to ensure the right pressure is achieved in compression and the Instron tensile strength tenser to measure strength and resistance.) Either way you slice it, you'll see plenty of professional athletes decked out in the gear — from the NBA to the US Navy SEALs.

2XU uses a proprietary PWX compression fabric. It's flexible, incredibly lightweight, and durable so you can put it through plenty of tough workouts. The company also uses graduated compression, so your waistband will lay flat without causing discomfort, and targeted compression works to increase blood flow, reduce blood lactate, and increase lymphatic drainage to help you be more efficient in the workout and during recovery.

I've worn dozens of workout leggings over the last six years as a runner and over the last three as a product reviewer. 2XU leggings are the best intersection of fit, comfort, breathability, flexibility, and durability that I've encountered.

I swear by the company's MCS Run Compression Tights (from $118.68) for their anatomical compression mapping. The MCS tights are sports-specific, so this pair has strategic internal compression that targets your calves and quads to reduce muscle fatigue as you run. For cross-training, check out this pair (from $104.13).

In the past, there have been complaints that 2XU tights could be see-through. In response, the company added extra paneling in strategic places for greater security. I never experienced an issue in the older iteration, nor in the next generation.

The leggings typically come in dark colors and patterns and range in size from XXS to XXL. If you're curious about sizing, check out the sizing chart offered on products on Amazon, and if between sizes, size up for a physical activity and down for recovery use.

Paying upwards of $100 isn't ideal for exercise leggings, but if you're looking for the best option overall, that would be these. If you have the budget, they'll perform better than their competitors and stay fresh for longer than an inferior pair. Otherwise, look into Girlfriend Collective's LITE leggings for flattering, under-$80 leggings that are nearly as breathable as 2XU for less money and the added perk of sustainable materials. —Mara Leighton

Pros: Graduated compression, extremely breathable, flexible, durable

Cons: Expensive, complaints of sheerness


The best black lounge leggings

The best black lounge leggings
Tommy John makes the best loungewear available online, and their Go Anywhere leggings are soft, versatile, flattering, and extremely comfortable.

Tommy John, the startup that makes the best loungewear overall on the internet unsurprisingly makes its most comfortable lounge leggings as well.

Tommy John has expanded from being a cult-favorite men's underwear label to include women's offerings (courtesy of customers lobbying for it on the brand's Facebook page) and loungewear. We've been fans of most of what they've made: both the men's and women's underwear as well as its loungewear.

Its singular pair of leggings are extremely comfortable, flattering, and versatile. There are no side seams, so there's minimal opportunity for chafing, and the midrise waistband is double layered for extra support and noticeable but unobtrusive compression. The four-way stretch material bends with you, and the dark black has outlasted quite a few washes thus far. The midrise and slight compression is also pretty figure-flattering. You can pick them up in black and in sizes 0-14.

Despite being cozy enough to warrant the crown for the best black leggings for lounging, they're flattering and luxe-looking enough to be a good choice for activities outside the house. So, if you're planning on wearing leggings on the plane and on a trip, skip doubling up and just buy these.

If a cozy pair of leggings that you can wear just as easily on an airplane or apple picking is worth $78 to you, you won't be disappointed. And if you are disappointed, you can return or exchange them within 30 days of delivery. —Mara Leighton

Pros: Comfortable, versatile, stretchy, no side seams, double layer waistband, mild compression

Cons: The material will likely be too thick for cardio exercise

The best black shaping leggings

The best black shaping leggings
Black leggings are already slimming, but with Spanx black leggings, you'll be able to look your absolute best.

Spanx leggings are always high on Business Insider's list of favorites, and its black offerings are certainly no exception to the rule. I'm a huge fan of the brand's Faux Leather leggings, and so is the Insider Picks team.

My Spanx leggings are a frequent flier throughout the year, but I've never had issues with these leggings thinning out or otherwise ripping. They hold up extremely well season after season, and while you may think that faux leather is exclusively a fall or winter look, they're surprisingly useful for a night out on the town no matter what the temperature may be outside.

I love that the faux leather design comes with Spanx's signature Power Waistband, which means that it hugs you in all the right places, but won't suck you in to an uncomfortable degree.

Of course, if faux leather isn't your cup of tea, Spanx has plenty of other black leggings for you to choose from as well. The Every Wear leggings are also a fan favorite, utilizing Spanx performance fabric and thinfused shaping technology for a waistband-free design. Plus, these leggings are breathable and feature an antimicrobial finish for all-day performance wear perfect for long travel days. —Lulu Chang

Pros: Extremely flattering, super opaque and slimming, durable and long-lasting

Cons: Some women report that Spanx are a bit constricting


The best size-inclusive black leggings

The best size-inclusive black leggings
You'll look good and feel good for the planet once you don a pair of Girlfriend Collective's black leggings.

Wearing black makes you look good, and wearing black leggings from Girlfriend Collective can be good for the planet, too. Girlfriend Collective's leggings are made from 25% recycled water bottles, and while that doesn't sound all that comfortable, you'll be shocked by just how dreamy these bottoms really are.

The company also offers a more inclusive sizing than many competitors. You can shop sizes XXS (000) to 3xL (24), and typically three inseams (28.5-inches, 23 3/4-inches, or 19.5-inches).

The company uses a compression-esque fabric that is well-suited for workouts or for everyday wear, and the leggings are actually surprisingly warm. That makes them fantastic options for standalone wear to the office or to a night out, even if temperatures are falling. Thanks for the soft material, you'll be more than happy to wear these black leggings all the livelong day.

If you're not looking for warmth or compression, the company's Girlfriend Collective's LITE leggings are also an exceptional option for their breathability, stretch, price, and color options. They're the pair you'd want to take into hot yoga, and they're made from recycled fishing nets.

While you may expect such a pair of leggings to set you back an arm and a leg, Girlfriend Collective is actually quite reasonable when it comes to pricing. Remember, this is the company that once gave its leggings away for free (you just had to pay for shipping). Today, they'll cost you just a bit more, but not a ton — you can get a pair of full-length tights for $68.

The full-length option is extra-high rise, and comes with flattering seam details that you won't want to cover up with a dress or a long skirt (though you could if you wanted to). Plus, these leggings are super supportive and feature four-way stretch, so you couldn't possibly be more comfortable. —Lulu Chang

Pros: Ethically and sustainably made; affordable; long-lasting; versatile; LITE version is very breathable

Cons: Because of the relatively thick material, some may find the classic leggings a bit too warm

The best affordable black leggings

The best affordable black leggings
Even if you've sworn off fast fashion, the black leggings at Uniqlo are exactly what you need to stock up on in your closet.

You don't need to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks, and no one knows this better than Uniqlo (or Uniqlo's shoppers, to be more precise). When I know I should be wearing pants but don't want to be wearing pants, I always turn to their black Ultra Stretch Print Leggings Pants. Thanks to the ultra-stretchy material and DRY technology, these "pants" feel like leggings, or rather, these leggings look like pants.

Sleek, stylish, and supremely comfortable thanks to two-way stretch and moderately thick construction, these are my go-to leggings for just about any occasion. Thanks to the addition of a waist button (which doesn't actually serve any functional purpose), these leggings look more like real pants than most of the other leggings in your closet. Plus, the form-fitting skinny cut creates feminine, flattering lines, and the striped pattern is ultra slimming. I prefer these leggings in black, but you could also get them in off-white.

Uniqlo also has a wide range of other black leggings to choose from, like the Airism Soft legging. More of your standard legging offering, these quick-drying leggings are thick enough to be worn on their own, with a matte surface that makes them look a bit more elevated than your typical gym wear.

Of course, the real winning attribute of Uniqlo leggings lies in its price point. Both pairs of tights will cost you just $20 each, which means you could get both (or multiple pairs of both!) without feeling any kind of financial guilt. —Lulu Chang

Pros: Leggings that look like pants, super affordable, extremely comfortable

Cons: Some customers have remarked on sizing issues


The best black leggings for petite women

The best black leggings for petite women
Athleta's leggings come in a wide range of styles, most of which come in petite lengths.

If you're a petite woman, finding leggings that are the right length can be challenging. Athleta is one of our favorite brands that sells a variety of leggings in petite and 7/8 lengths. Whether you want black leggings with zippered pockets, ones with mesh inserts, or cute cropped ones, Athleta has a pair for you.

Several members of the Insider Picks team tested out the 7/8 Contender tights, which come with two zippered pockets on the sides and an adjustable drawstring waistband on the interior.

We really liked the soft, thick material and found the zippered pockets to be super handy for carrying our phones, keys, credit cards, and any other small essentials we needed. I personally love my pair for travel because of the great pockets.

Depending on which pair you get, Athleta's leggings can transition easily from workout gear to a great pair of pants for running errands or going out.

Athleta is also a B-Corp that's invested in improving production standards, so some of its leggings are certified Fair Trade or made from sustainable materials. —Malarie Gokey

Pros: Comfortable, come in petite lengths, variety of styles, some have pockets, some fair trade options

Cons: Pricey