The warm embrace of summer running is falling behind us, which 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.
Best for: Pants with plenty of storage
It’s tough to beat a pair of running pants that you can wear casually, isn’t it? Luckily, that’s precisely what Janji offers with the Transit Tech pant. These running pants pack three zippered pockets with plenty of space for your phone, wallet, keys, and more. Robbe got a chance to review them, and Janji is pretty good about dropping new colors with each passing season. He had plenty of praise for the DMR finish, which helps to shed light rain without giving you that wet yourself look.
The Transit Tech pants have elastic ankle cuffs, almost like joggers, and the slim cut is comfortable without sticking to you when you work up a sweat.
PRICE: $88Shop Transit Tech Pants – Men
Best for: Relaxed ultra run comfort
You probably recognize Path Projects for its impressive set of shorts. Now, the brand is reaching into running pants with the Killam PX for both road and trail adventures. Right now, it only comes in black, and most sizes are out of stock, but we have promises of a Dark Grey color coming in the new year.
The Killam PX packs a pair of front pockets for your hands with three types of pockets across the back. You can slot your phone into a central pocket and stuff gels or earbuds in smaller pockets. Finally, there’s an internal pocket to keep your key safe and secure. Path Projects chose its Toray Primeflex fabric, which is breathable, moisture-wicking, water repellant, and anti-microbial. Talk about a mouthful.
PRICE: $82Shop Killam PX
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 Pocket Tightz 2.0 also come in any color you want, so long as it’s black or Dress Blues.
Rabbit chose a medium-weight 87% polyester, 13% spandex blend for the Pocket 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 Pocket Tightz – Men
Best for: Luxurious fit and feel
It’s rare you 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, 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
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
Best for: The coldest days you can find
Oh, you’re serious about powering through Winter GRIT, aren’t you? Well, if you live anywhere north of Baltimore, you’re gonna want to invest in some heavy-duty winter tights. Daehlie is a new brand for us, and we’re not entirely sure how to pronounce it, but these running tights are legit. They blend a windproof front with reflective details to keep you visible in terrible conditions. You can also choose between green or orange contrast colors to break up the black Woolstretch fabric.
As with many European brands, the Daehlie winter tights are tricky to measure. You’ll have to switch to centimeters and be ready for sizes to run on the small side.
PRICE: $130Shop Winter Tights – Men Shop Winter Tights – Women
Best for: Running with some premium style
If you ask Meaghan, she’ll steer you right toward the Lululemon Swift Speed tight. You can choose from a few different lengths for starters to get either a cropped fit or some extra length, and Lululemon always comes correct with colorways. The color seen above is called Teal Lagoon, but you can also check out Wild Berry or Dark Red. Lululemon’s Luxtreme fabric is supportive with side and rear pockets, and you don’t even have to worry about losing the continuous drawstring in the wash.
Like many running pants and tights, the Swift Speed tights offer reflective details to keep you visible.
PRICE: $128Shop Lululemon Swift Speed – Women
Best for: Looser fit on rainy days
If you’re turning to running pants, it’s probably either going to be cold or wet. Maybe it’ll be a miserable combination of the two. In that case, why not OutRun The Storm with help from Under Armour? These pants are waterproof yet breathable, and they have no problems stretching through your range of motion. Under Armour added two zippered hand pockets and an interior media pocket where you can keep your phone with no bouncing or shaking around.
As with any good wet weather pant, the OutRun The Storm comes in black and only black.
PRICE: $90Shop OutRun The Storm – Men Shop OutRun The Storm – Women
Best for: Lightweight and windy days
ASICS keeps its naming convention pretty simple — the Windblock Tights will keep the breezy days at bay. This pair of running tights blends a brushed interior and H1 fabric for extra warmth. As always, there are reflective hits all around in the form of bars on the back and a reflective ASICS logo on the front. The Windblock Tights come in a fitted cut, and they fall into the moderate to cold temperature range with a medium weight.
Even though the Windblock tights only come in black, ASICS offers Thermopolis tights with more color options and a thinner fabric design.
PRICE: $110Shop Windblock Tight – Men
Best for: Rocking the Swoosh
You might recognize the Nike Shield name from its waterproof running shoes, but the premium fabric extends to pants, too. This pair of Run Division pants packs plenty of pockets, so you’re never at a loss for storage. You get side pockets and a back pocket, with more than enough room to carry your phone. Nike even added a full-length zipper so you can get the pants on and off over your shoes in case you eventually warm up to the elements. The extra knit material on the back of the leg allows for freer movement, and it should keep chafing to a minimum.
PRICE: $100Shop Nike Phenom Elite Shield – Men
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.