Can (And Should) You Go Running in Yoga Pants?


If you do yoga and you run, you may be tempted to go running in your yoga pants. They’re very comfortable to wear while doing yoga poses. Why not wear them running too?

But can you go running in yoga pants safely and comfortably?

Let’s have a look at the difference between running in yoga pants and running tights so that you can decide which one would be better for you.

Can You Run In Yoga Pants or Leggings?

This depends on what kind of yoga pants you have. If they’re tight or fairly tight and can wick sweat away from your skin, you should be able to run comfortably in them.

However, if you favor yoga pants that are flowy and loose or are made out of thick, non-wicking fabric—like cotton—then no, don’t go running in them.

Let’s have a look at the differences between running tights and yoga pants so you can compare and decide on the best one for you.

Features of Running Tights

Running tights are designed with specific features that make them perfect for wearing while running, whether on the road, trail, or track.

Waist Length

Many leggings have a higher waist to prevent them from slipping down while you’re moving.

This isn’t true for every pair of running tights, but generally, the majority will have a higher-than-average waist for this reason.

Seamless Construction

Running tights are usually seamless, meaning they have visible seams where two pieces of fabric have been sewn together.

This helps to reduce any chance of chafing, which can lead to discomfort, pain, redness, broken skin, and blisters.


Running tights should be skin-tight to make you streamlined on the road and prevent drag or tripping hazards.

A compressive design will also help to support muscles and joints, which a looser type of material won’t offer.

Breathable and Moisture-Wicking Fabric

The fabric of running tights is light, breathable, and moisture-wicking. The material should not weigh you down as you’re moving, and it should allow for a good airflow through the fabric to keep you from overheating.

The material should also be moisture-wicking so that it gets rid of as much sweat as possible. This will help to keep you cool as the moisture evaporates from the surface of the material, and will prevent the fabric from becoming too saturated.

Features of Yoga Leggings

Yoga leggings are designed for comfort, but that comfort is geared towards keeping you comfortable while doing yoga – not necessarily while running.

Let’s look at why…

Soft, Comfortable Fabric

Yoga tights should be soft so that you can move freely through any pose without friction or discomfort. High-quality, soft fabric is important to keep you feeling at your best.

High Waist

As you move through the poses, you want your yoga leggings to stay in one place and not slip or slide down. A high waist—covering the lower abdomen—is common on yoga pants and helps the leggings to stay up.

Squat-Proof Fabric

Yoga often requires flexibility that running doesn’t. The fabric should be strong enough to resist tearing, no matter how much you move.

Your yoga leggings need to be able to handle movement, especially motions that could cause the pants to stretch, like squatting movements.

Breathable Fabric

Having breathable yoga leggings is important. Although yoga isn’t often very intense, it can still raise your core temperature. Staying cool is important, and breathable clothing is an important part of that.

Choose a pair of yoga leggings made from light material with good ventilation. Moisture-wicking properties are also always a good thing to have in yoga pants.

Pros of Running in Yoga Pants

If you want to run in your yoga leggings, they do offer some benefits. Make sure that your yoga leggings fulfill all of these points before choosing to run in them.

Durable Materials

Yoga leggings are often made of thick, durable material to accommodate stretching without tearing.

If you want to wear your yoga leggings on a run, they should be highly durable and resist tearing. If you want to wear them regularly when you run, they should last longer than regular running tights.


The high waistband of yoga pants not only prevents the leggings from slipping down while you’re running but also offers light support. The compressive waistband helps to support the abdomen as you run.


Although they are often thick and durable, yoga leggings are also often soft and comfortable. Choosing to wear these leggings while running will most likely be quite comfortable and shouldn’t lead to chafing.


If you’re wearing tight yoga pants, you’ll be safe while running. But if you’re wearing loose, flowy yoga pants, these can become a tripping hazard or catch on branches or debris as you run past.

Make sure to choose the right type of yoga leggings to run in, otherwise, you won’t reap this benefit.


Yoga pants are usually stretchy enough to move with you as you run, providing a high level of comfort and allowing for a full range of motion.

Cons of Running in Yoga Pants

There are also some cons to running in yoga leggings. They may not be for everyone, so make sure to consider these carefully before deciding to run in them.


Although yoga pants are usually soft and stretchy, in some cases they may feel uncomfortable when running. If you’re used to wearing different pants for yoga and running, you may feel uncomfortable doing one activity in the other’s gear.


Most often, yoga pants don’t have any pockets. Although most women’s running pants only have a small pocket or two, it’s extremely handy to have some space to carry your house key, some cash, or a phone.

It’s not common for yoga pants to have pockets. This could be a disadvantage if you’re used to carrying things with you, or if you want to carry nutrition or valuables.

Lack of Compression

Although many pairs of yoga pants are close to the skin, they don’t offer compression like running tights do. Because yoga uses slower, more controlled movements, compressive support isn’t needed.

But when it comes to running, compression can offer extra support for the muscle and joints. It protects from the vibration of impact on every foot strike. You may not get that from yoga pants.

This is especially true if you’re wearing the loose kind of yoga pants. These offer no extra support.

Fewer Material Options

When it comes to running tights, you will generally be able to choose from a variety of different materials to suit the climate or your own preference.

You can buy winter-specific running pants, which are designed to protect you from the elements. Or, you can choose summer apparel that is made to be extra breathable and cooling.

Because yoga is usually done indoors in a temperature-controlled space, there’s no need for this kind of apparel. Yoga pants aren’t designed to be in lower temperature settings, so if you run in a cold place, they may not provide adequate protection from the cold.

If you run in a warm place, yoga pants may not have adequate venting to allow moisture to escape and circulate.

Photo of author


Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.