The warm embrace of summer running is falling behind us, and that means Winter GRIT is just around the corner. It also means that it’s just about time to put away the short-shorts and break out your running pants and tights. If you haven’t upgraded your wardrobe in a little while, we’re here to help. These are our picks for the best running pants and tights you can buy.
You could technically run in long underwear or grow out your leg hair into a new pair of pants, but these options pack plenty of the latest and greatest technology. While we may not have reviews for every single pair, we trust all of these brands and you’ll find many of them in our closets.
We’ve picked nine of our favorites, so there’s bound to be something that catches your eye. Let’s get caught with our pants on.
Janji Groundwork Flyby Tights (Men’s)
Best for: Tights with extra storage
If there’s ever a problem to be had with tights, it’s the lack of storage space. Now, we’re not advocating for cargo tights — though it’s not the worst idea we’ve ever had. Until that day comes, we’ll be pulling on our Groundwork Flyby tights from Janji. The brilliant minds at Janji managed to pack four stretch pockets into each pair of tights: One on each thigh, and another on each cheek.
As for colors, the Flybys come in Midnight and Astral, and each pair is made of durable nylon with a double-layer front panel. The extra panel is a must-have in cold weather situations, both for wind-resistance and for (insert George Constanza voice here) “the shrinkage factor.” If you plan to run in the 5 p.m. darkness, Janji’s Flyby tights also feature reflective tape down each seam.
PRICE: $88Shop Groundwork Tight – Men
Nike Fast Warm Runway Tights (Women’s)
Best for: Straightforward comfort and utility
If you want simple, straightforward tights to keep you warm and comfortable on the run, Nike’s Fast Warm Runway tights are a pretty surefire bet. Nike’s classic Dri-FIT technology wicks away moisture while allowing for breathability. An interior brushed fleece fabric makes them wonderfully soft against the skin.
As far as storage, you have a back zippered pocket, waistband key pocket, and a left-hand pocket to stash small items. It’s basically everything you need to get out on the run without breaking the bank.
PRICE: $70Shop Runway Tights – Women
rabbit Tightz 2.0 (Men’s)
Best for: Great comfort below 40 degrees
Any time you spell tights with a “z”, you know you’re in for a good time. This comfy pair from Rabbit is called the Tightz 2.0, and we do love a good sequel. You’ve only got one rear pocket to work with though, so you’ll have to choose your accessories carefully. The Rabbit Tightz 2.0 also come in any color you want, so long as it’s black.
Rabbit chose a medium-weight 87% polyester, 13% spandex blend for the Tightz 2.0, so you should feel just as snuggly as a baby bunny. Reflective piping runs down the sides, and reflective zippers make for some easy on, easy off tights.
PRICE: $100Shop rabbit Tightz – Men
Tracksmith Turnover Tights (Men’s and Women’s)
Best for: Luxurious fit and feel
It’s rare you actually look forward to wearing running tights. The Turnover Tights are exactly that. Anything you buy from Tracksmith is guaranteed for two things: Luxurious materials and classic performance. Tracksmith’s full-length tights are made from its signature Inverno blend, which is specially made in Italy to stay light and wick moisture.
Perhaps the best part of all is that the Turnover Tights come in a (New England-inspired) rainbow of hues. You won’t find hot pinks or bright blues, but the collegiate shades of Navy, Plum, and Forest are perfect for pounding through fall miles.
Truth be told, these are our favorite running tights on the list and – in our opinion – worth every penny.
PRICE: $128Shop Turnover Tight – Men Shop Turnover Tight – Women
Brooks Run Visible Carbonite (Men’s and Women’s)
Best for: High visibility
If Freddie Mercury had written a song about these tights, the lyrics would have been something like “Incredible how you *can’t* see right through me.” The Carbonite Tights are the bottom half of the 3M-powered Carbonite set, and the Scotchlite Carbon Black tape is perfect as the days get shorter.
These, along with the Carbonite Jacket, are some of Meaghan’s favorite tights for dark winter running.
PRICE: $130Shop Run Visible – Men Shop Run Visible – Women
Vuori Ponto Performance Pant (Men’s)
Best for: Looking good both on and off the run
If you’re gonna go for pants rather than tights, you may as well try to get some mileage out of them in your everyday life. Vuori’s Ponto Performance Pants may be an absolute mouthful to say, but they’re a stylish eyeful to look at too. You probably haven’t worn real pants since the whole pandemic mess started, and the Ponto Pants look good enough that you could probably say goodbye to your jeans altogether.
Right now, Running Warehouse has the blackened heather green pair, and they look just about perfect for winter. You should be able to run with a complete range of motion, but don’t forget to take them off and wash them occasionally.
PRICE: $84Shop Vuori Ponto – Men
GORE R5 GORE-TEX Infinium Pant/Tight (Men’s and Women’s)
Best for: The real cold
Oh, you’re serious serious about running in the cold. Well, the Gore R5 Infinium Pants/Tights are just right for that, and certain varieties offer just enough neon to keep you visible without looking like a middle school kid. Or you can just opt for the “Norwegian death-metal” black colorway. Speaking of Norwegian metal, how intense of a name is Infinium?
On a serious note, the Infinium tights are great against the wind thanks to three layers of Windstopper laminate. They even rival the Janji Groundwork Flyby tights thanks to three total pockets, so feel free to bring your hand warmers. The Infinium pants version is slightly less hardcore, but still has that water-resistance and comfort-mapping construction that will prep you for pretty much any run.
PRICE: $140/$150Shop Infinium Pant – Men Shop Infinium Tight – Women
Adidas Own The Run Tight (Women’s)
Best for: Runners on a budget
Last, but certainly not least, is the Adidas Core Own The Run tight. They’re a pretty low-fuss tight overall, and the mesh panels are just right for some added airflow without freezing you out. Unfortunately, black is your only color option and you only get one pocket to stash your GU, but just look at that price.
Adidas’ Own The Run tights are snug, thin, and should keep you on the move down to around 40 degrees. You can feel safe in the dark too with a reflective Three Stripes logo and piping on the seams. The tights are made from 55% recycled polyester, 28% new polyester, and 17% spandex.
PRICE: $50Shop adidas – Women
Well, there you go: Our picks for the best running tights and pants you can buy. Make sure to order now so you’re ready for the holidays and, more importantly, winter GRiT! Sign-ups are starting, so stay tuned.