Your choice of running attire can make a big difference in your comfort and ability to reach your short and long term fitness goals. Since running constantly engages your legs, choosing the right pair of pants can be especially crucial.
Running pants differ greatly in their construction and material. Take some time to consider your typical running conditions, and look for features that meet your particular needs best.
If you run outdoors and your area tends to be wet or rainy, a waterproof outer layer can be a good idea. If you need to carry small items like your keys, pants with smart and secure pocket construction can accommodate the necessities while reducing or eliminating the risk of them falling out. Alternatively, a slim fit that reduces air resistance might be a great choice if you run competitively.
There is no shortage of options to choose from, but the right running pants for you will meet the greatest number of your individual needs and also fit your style preference.
One thing to note is that some of these pants only come in men’s options. This is mostly due to the running industry’s bias towards women wearing tights. Women’s running pants just aren’t that common. While men are just as likely to wear tights as they are pants.
Here are some of the details of our top picks for the best running pants.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Saucony Boston Pant
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ASICS Aptitude 2 Run Pant
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GORE R3 Windstopper Pant
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1. Saucony Boston Pant
The Boston’s thin, flexible material has great stretch and also quickly wicks moisture away. The brushed interior feels soft against your skin and provides some additional warmth on chilly days. While the material is comfortable in a wide range of temperatures and allows for a great range of motion, strong winds or water may penetrate the fabric and make their way to your skin.
Two pockets set in the side seams zip closed, so you won’t lose any of your gear even on a hard or long run.
The Boston has a relaxed fit that gives you a sleek look while allowing for unrestricted motion, and the rear ankle zippers make it fast and easy to get your socks or shoes on and adjust your cuffs just the way you like them.
The elastic waistband is narrow and shouldn’t restrict bending over, and an internal drawstring lets you fine-tune your preferred fit.
- Superior stretch material offers great performance
- The loose, relaxed is comfortable but not bulky
- Moisture-wicking material keeps you dry
- Material isn’t wind- or water-resistant
2. Craft Eaze Jersey Training Pants
Featuring a contemporary fit, the Eaze is loose enough to allow you to move freely while also having a slim-fitting modern look. Snug-fitting ankle cuffs help you stay warm and dry in cool or wet weather, and they can also help keep your pants from riding up your leg.
The dual-sided polyester fabric helps keep you comfortable in a variety of warm or cold environments. Brushed fabric on the interior feels soft and warm on your skin, and the quick-drying material wicks moisture away to help keep you dry even during intense workouts or on hot days. The exterior of the Eaze has a tighter weave that repels both wind and water, so you don’t have to skip your run on days when the weather is less than ideal.
The smooth elastic waistband and flat front reduce bulk around your waist while still providing a comfortably snug fit. The side-seam pockets are deep enough to hold small items, but they lack a zipper. However, the rear pocket does zip closed.
- The outer shell resists wind and water
- Snug ankle cuffs prevent riding up
- Secure back pocket
- Side pockets don’t have zippers
3. Sporthill Voyage Pants
Thanks to a combination of four materials, the Voyage pants manage to be lightweight, breathable and warm all at the same time. These pants are ideal for running or outdoor activities in moderately cold weather, but they are also light enough for indoor workouts.
The Voyage can withstand winds up to 20 mph, and they are ideal for temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the fabric is not waterproof, so the Voyage is best suited to dry activities.
These pants sit at your natural waist. The wide elastic waistband resists slipping or rolling, and you can also use the drawstring to fine-tune the fit to your individual needs.
Overall, the fit is slim but still loose enough to prevent movement restriction or binding. The lower cuffs fit closely around your ankles for a bit of extra warmth, but the Voyage is still easy to pull on or off thanks to 7-inch spring-locked ankle zippers.
Two side-seam pockets hold small essentials, but they do not have a zipper closure.
- Resists winds up to 20 mph
- Ideal for moderately cold environments
- Stylish and comfortable slim fit
- No zippered pockets
- Not ideal for wet environments
4. Brooks Spartan Pants
Thin material and a slim fit make the Spartan a great choice for layering on cold mornings or in the winter months. Even on warmer days, the Spartan is lightweight and comfortable when worn alone. While these pants are ideal for a variety of temperatures, keep in mind that they do not have a wind or water barrier.
The combination of an elastic waistband and a stretchy drawstring let you adjust your rise exactly where you want it and keep it there throughout your run. Each side-seam pocket has a secure zipper closure.
Ankle zippers let you access your socks and shoes easily, and the slightly rear placement avoids rubbing on your ankle bone. Additionally, the Spartan’s ankle zippers are long enough to let you skip the hassle of having to remove your shoes when the temperature changes enough for you to add or subtract a layer.
The Spartan boasts the highest available ultraviolet protection factor rating of 50-plus, so even sunny lunchtime runs won’t result in sunburned legs.
- Versatile material works well in various temperatures
- Excellent UPF rating
- Convenient offset ankle zippers
- Not ideal for very wet or windy conditions
5. Under Armour WG Woven Pant
The WG from Under Armour combines sharp looks with smart, comfortable fabric to make these pants equally suited to outdoor running, indoor training or everyday casual wear.
Thanks to dual layers of polyester and elastane material, these pants have a durable outer shell and a mesh inner lining that feels dry and comfortable against your skin. The outer layer stretches in four directions for excellent range of motion, and the tight weave also repels water if you run in wet conditions.
Even if you have to carry multiple small items, four zippered pockets should be enough to hold all your essentials.
The elastic waistband is wide and resists rolling or slipping, and you can also customize the fit and secure your pants in place with the drawstring.
The tapered fit provides a nice balance between reduced bulk and enough space to prevent binding. Even though there are no ankle zippers or true cuffs, you can still get a snug fit around your ankles with an internal drawstring.
- Four zippered pockets keep your gear safe while you run
- Wide, secure elastic waistband with drawstring
- Light, stretchy material repels water and wicks away sweat
- No ankle zippers
6. Helly Hansen Dubliner Pant
Even if the weather turns windy or rainy, these waterproof and windproof pants from Helly Hansen let you avoid postponing your outdoor run or workout. Treated with Durable Water Repellency and featuring full seam sealing, the Dubliner pants keep you dry and warm in inclement conditions. These pants also feature mesh lining that feels soft against your skin while quickly wicking away moisture to keep you comfortable while you work out on a warmer day.
If a looser fit is your preferred style, the Dubliner delivers with a classic, relaxed athletic shape. For those moments when you want a tight ankle fit, a thick Velcro strip lets you get the perfect fit and keep your cuffs securely in place.
The front pocket has an angled opening and zip closure, and its placement on the front of your hip allows for easy access.
While the Dubliner is great for wet or windy environments, you may want to add a base layer for some extra insulation on cold days.
- Great for wet or windy weather
- Classic athletic loose fit
- Full mesh lining
- Adjustable ankle cuffs
- Only has one pocket
- Not ideal for harsh cold
7. ASICS Woven Track Pant
With a generous cut through the thigh area and a tapered ankle, these pants from ASICS give you room in the right places while still keeping your legs free to move without extra fabric getting in the way. The ankle cuffs fit snugly, and side ankle zippers let you adjust the cuff tightness to your preference.
Lightweight material stretches freely as you move, and the tight weave retains body heat more than you might expect from such light fabric. To strike a balance between keeping you warm without overheating, ASICS added small, laser-cut holes at the back of the knee area for extra airflow. The ankle zippers also give you the option of getting a little more ventilation.
The elastic waistband is a bit narrower than some other pants, so it shouldn’t feel overly tight or restrictive. A drawstring also lets you get a custom fit and prevents slipping.
Two side-seam pockets let you store a few small items, but they lack a zipper closure. A small interior pocket fits a credit or key card for secure storage and quick access.
- Roomy fit through the thighs
- Ankle zippers
- Extra ventilation behind the knees
- Interior and exterior pockets
- Exterior pockets do not have zippers
8. GORE R3 Windstopper Pant
GORE’s signature Windstopper technology makes these pants completely windproof, so you can stay warm no matter which direction the wind blows. Even though the R3 effectively keeps out even strong winds, the material is still breathable enough to avoid overheating. Additionally, while these pants are not totally waterproof, they do a good job of repelling moderate amounts of water or rain.
The Windstopper material does reduce the R3’s level of flexibility somewhat, but GORE compensated for this by pre-forming the knee area to allow for easy running and movement.
Two side-seam pockets zip securely closed, and the comfort waistband lies flat against your skin to resist rolling or slipping.
The R3 fits very close to the body and has closely tapered ankles. The side ankle zippers reach nearly to the knee, so you have plenty of room to adjust the lower cuff tightness to your liking.
- Ideal for outdoor activities in cold, windy weather
- Extra-tall ankle zippers
- Pre-shaped knees make moving easy
- Material is not as flexible as some others
9. Salomon Bonatti Race WP Pant
Salomon designed the Bonatti Race pants with intense racing in mind. These pants have no pockets, a tapered fit to reduce resistance and sealed seams to prevent moisture from seeping through to your skin.
The Bonatti Race pants have a partially elasticized waist. The elastic portion reaches across the back of the pants, and the front lies flat and smooth for less bulk.
Weighing in at just 120 grams, you’ll probably be hard-pressed to find a lighter pair of pants. Even if you only carry a small traveling bag, these pants fold down to mere inches and are easy to pack.
The Bonatti Race pants are fully waterproof, and the elasticized ankle cuffs also help keep water out. While these pants are a great option for wet conditions, you’ll likely need an additional base layer on cold days since the Bonatti Race has no insulation.
Thanks to a fully reflective surface, you’ll be more readily visible to drivers when running near a road in low light.
- Extremely lightweight and easy to pack
- Great as a waterproof outer layer
- Reflective surface
- Meets ultra race requirements
- You’ll need additional layers in cold weather
10. Sugoi ZeroPlus Pant
With smart details concealed in a sleek design, the ZeroPlus pants deliver comfortable athletic performance that can also double as a casual bottom.
Featuring Sugoi’s ZeroPlus fabric, these pants have great stretch in all directions and quickly wick moisture away from your skin. A brushed interior is soft and warm, and it also reduces the chances of rubbing or irritation.
Each of the two generous side pockets is deep enough to fit plenty of small items. The pockets sit a bit lower than most styles, and hidden zippers maintain a minimal look while keeping your gear from jostling loose.
The ZeroPlus pants fit fairly close to the body and have snugly tapered ankles. Ankle cuffs help keep your pant legs in place and provide extra warmth, but the fixed cuffs do not have zippers.
The wide elastic waistband has a smooth look and resists rolling or sliding downwards. An internal drawstring also lets you lock in the exact fit you want.
- Slim fit looks sharp for working out or casual wear
- The soft interior feels great on your skin
- Wide waistband stays comfortably in place
- Large zippered side pockets
- No ankle zippers
11. ASICS Aptitude 2 Run Pant
The Aptitude 2 features a combination of polyester and stretchy French terrycloth fabrics that is somewhat reminiscent of traditional sweatpants. The material is flexible and soft, and the ASICS Dry Motion technology wicks moisture away.
These pants fit about midway between relaxed and slim styles. You have a little extra room in the hip and thigh area to allow for easy movement, and the legs are tapered for a snug fit at the ankles.
These pants have two side-seam pockets that are deep and easy to access, but they do not have zipper closures.
The side ankle zippers are a bit longer than most, so you won’t need to take your shoes off to pull the Aptitude 2 on or off. The legs also have rubberized elastic cuffs that prevent your pant legs from riding up or twisting.
The Aptitude 2 has a fully elasticized waist with a drawstring for a custom and comfortable fit, but the waistband does not lie completely flat and adds a slight amount of bulk.
- Tall ankle zippers
- Elasticized grips keep your cuffs in place
- Comfortable feel similar to classic sweats
- No zippered pockets
- The waistband is a bit bulky