The 8 best pairs to buy now, tested by 5ft1 editors

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  • Looking for a pair of petite gym leggings? Keep scrolling…

    Ah, gym leggings. As a petite girl (I’m talking 5ft1), I’ve always struggled to find the best gym leggings that don’t bunch up around my ankles or hang around my waist. If you’re also on the shorter side, then you definitely know what I’m talking about.

    Luckily, many of my favorite brands have started fitting shorter leg lengths, and here at MC, we couldn’t be happier about it. After discovering my first pair of petite gym leggings and realizing how much easier it was to work out in sportswear that actually suit me, I had to test.

    Knowing where to start was the hardest part. Rather, testing for the best high-waisted or patterned gym leggings, I focused on options designed specifically for shorter legs — meaning 5ft4 and under — and tried a range of high-waisted, low-waisted, patterned and plain styles.

    I also typed in help from Marie Claire UKs health editor, Ally Head. Although we may be the same height, when it comes to training Ally and I have very different approaches. While Ally loves nothing more than a long run and some strength training for fun, you’ll find me at home doing a quick 20-minute HIIT workout before heading to the office.

    Keep browsing for our top picks of petite gym leggings for all types of workouts, and say goodbye to baggy leggings forever…

    Test process

    So, what did we look for when testing the best petite gym leggings? The fit was the most important thing. We wanted leggings that weren’t too long on the leg, but still supported us during our workouts. As above, when it comes to fit and general clothing, petite is classed as 5ft4 or less, so we made sure to take this into account.

    Of course, we also looked at things like how sweat-wicking they were, and whether they were comfortable enough to wear from the gym to the local coffee shop (just like our favorites in our matching gym set edit).

    What was I looking for when testing petite gym leggings?

    • Are the leggings the right length?
    • Are they normal in size?
    • Are they sweat wicking?
    • Are they non-transparent?
    • How was the material washed?
    • Is the product a reasonable price?

    Health editor Ally Head and e-commerce writer Grace Lindsay in some of the leggings featured in this article

    8 of the best petite gym leggings to buy now:

    1. Nike 7/8 leggings

    Women’s Sportswear Essential 7/8 Mid-Rise Leggings, £27.95 | Nike
    “I’ve had these leggings for over five years now (yes, really) and they still look as good as new. I bought them on a whim when I was looking for a new pair of plain black leggings and these seemed like good value for money , and I was right. The length is perfect for me (if you’re over 5ft1 they can be a bit cropped), and the mid-waist is super supportive. Thanks to the color and material, they never show sweat, and in my opinion, they’re wearable for all kinds of workouts.” Grace Lindsay, E-Commerce Writer

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    2. SEFI 7/8 leggings

    Timeless Leggings 7/8 Goldstone, £50 | SEFI
    “These leggings are from SEFI, the activewear brand created by fitness influencer Stef Williams. When I first put them on, I knew I was going to love them. First of all, the brown color is beautiful for fall, and the material is super thick and supportive. The length was perfect, and in my opinion would work for any petite lady under 5ft4. I did a very sweaty HIIT session in these, and you couldn’t see a single spot of moisture. An absolute winner.” Grace Lindsay, E-Commerce Writer

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    3. LNDR 7/8 leggings

    The Limitless 7/8 Leggings, SEK 98 | LNDR
    “If you don’t own any kit from LNDR, this is your sign. The female-founded kit company promises to produce durable, high-quality training leggings here in the UK, offering not only a two small options. So what did I think when I tested? I tried on the 7/8 ankle grazing petite – you can also get a 6/8 cropped length – and they felt like butter and fit like a glove and sat just above my ankle with no creased knees. They are super light and sweat quickly too. An investment but worth the price tag as you will be wearing them for years to come (I’ve had mine for yonks now).” Ally Head, Health Editor

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    4. Adanola 7/8 leggings

    Ultimate Leggings – Olive 7/8 length, £39.99 | Adanola
    “I thought Adanola was more of a fashion brand than an activewear brand, but I was wrong. Not only are these the softest leggings I’ve ever worn, they’re great for working out too. The 7/8 length makes them perfect for petites, and can definitely be worn both to the gym and to brunch with the girls. I love this color for fall, but if you’re doing a really intense sweat session, black might be better. You’ve been warned.” Grace Lindsay, E-Commerce Writer

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    5. Sweaty Betty 7/8 Gym Leggings

    Power 7/8 Gym Leggings, £80 | Sweaty Betty
    “Sweaty Betty has been my favorite sportswear brand for a while now. Although the leggings are a little more on the expensive side, they will last you for years to come. The brand offers a wide range of 7/8 lengths, and the ‘Power leggings are my favorite. When I tried them on, I found that the stretchy fabric made them comfortable no matter what your workout, plus they sweat well. What more could you ask for?” Grace Lindsay, E-Commerce Writer

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    6. ASOS 4505 petite leggings

    ASOS 4505 Petite Icon Run Tie Waist Leggings with Pocket, £18 | ASOS
    “The ASOS 4505 range is, in my opinion, one of the best budget gym leggings options out there. They have a range of colors and custom fits – for example slightly different designs for running and gym sessions – and petite options for us short girls too. I have tried both the gym and run the 4505 design and both wick away sweat well, when testing for this article I also thought they offered a surprising amount of compression for a lower priced legging, plus at 5ft2, sat just above my ankle – the perfect petite length. That said, note that mine started to droop and retain the old PE putty smell after about six months.” Ally Head, Health Editor

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    7. Lululemon 21″ / 23″ / 25″ Leggings

    Lululemon Align High-Rise Crop with Pockets 23″, £88 | Lululemon
    “These leggings are another great investment that will last you for years to come. Align leggings are designed for more gentle workouts like yoga, and I’m not ashamed to say that I wear mine almost every day. Even though they are advertised as a cropped style, the 23″ leg is perfect for me, and I could also get away with the 21″ leg. (Note that Ally wears a 25″ at 5ft2, so it’s worth trying to see what fits you.) When I tested I found them to be true to size, fit comfortably and not see through either. They also came out of the wash looking good as new. Nothing bad to say here.” Grace Lindsay, eCommerce Writer

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    8. adidas 7/8 tights

    Training Essentials 7/8 High Waist Tights, £35 | Adidas
    “Adidas has long been one of my favorites for budget yet high quality training tights. I’ve always found them to be both affordable and really good to work out in – meaning they wick away sweat, compress and flatter too. Although their essential tights are only £35, I’ve had mine for years now and they’ve never stretched or smelled. On the small front they have a 7/8 design which meant the legging sits just above my 5ft2 ankle.” Ally Head, Health Editor

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