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  • Writer's pictureCompression Athlete

The Best Warm Leggings for Cold Weather 2023

Fleece lined, thermal, and brushed interiors for extra warmth.

Athlete stretching in cold weather wearing warm leggings.

Dropping temperatures don’t have to stop you from enjoying your favorite outdoor activities and workouts.

With the right layering choices, most athletes find that they not only manage the cold just fine but can actually get out there and enjoy it.

A great pair of warm leggings comes in handy for a variety of cold weather activities.

Whether you’re going for a walk, working out, or enjoying snow sports like skiing, sledding, and so on, a toasty pair of leggings is the perfect mix of comfort, mobility, and warmth.

Cold weather leggings and compression tights have very similar designs to regular leggings and tights but also include certain cold weather specific features, such as fleece lining, thermal lining, or a brushed interior.

Here, we’ve collected the best warm leggings for cold weather. These picks feature extra warmth without the bulk to keep you active through the frigid winter months.

Note: Featured products are independently selected and reviewed by Compression Athlete. If you purchase through our links, we may earn commission.

1. Lululemon Keep the Heat Thermal High-Rise Tights

The Lululemon Keep the Heat Thermal Tights are insulated and sweat-wicking, so you’ll stay toasty through the bitterest of cold. These tights have ribbed texture mapped over your muscles for an extra supportive feel.

Athlete wearing Lululemon Keep the Heat Thermal Tights.

Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon Keep the Heat Thermal Tights

Lululemon’s Keep the Heat Thermal Tights have a high rise fit and a wool-blend fabric. The breathable and quick-drying SenseKnit technology helps to regulate your body temperature, so that you don’t overheat.

2. Lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Fleece Tights

The Lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Fleece Tights feature a water-repellent tech fleece fabric that’s brushed on the inside for warmth. These tights have a full-length design that sits at the ankle and four-way stretch for a full range of motion.

Athlete wearing Lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Fleece Tights.

Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon Fast and Free High-Rise Fleece Tights

Lululemon’s Fast and Free High-Rise Fleece Tights utilize a snug waistband with a continuous drawcord to eliminate constant adjustments. These tights have two side drop-in pockets and five drop-in pockets on the waistband for smaller items.

3. Nike Pro Therma-FIT Leggings

The Nike Pro Therma-FIT Leggings are a great mix of comfort, warmth, and performance. These leggings have soft and lightweight fleece that’s breathable and stretchy, as well as Therma-FIT technology to help manage your body’s natural heat.

Athlete wearing Nike Pro Therma-FIT Leggings.

Shop at Nike: Nike Pro Therma-FIT Leggings

Nike’s Pro Therma-FIT Leggings have mesh pockets at the hips and a back waist pocket with an invisible zipper. These leggings have a form-fitting design and elastic waistband to keep everything in place and offer superior support.

4. Nike Therma-FIT One Leggings

The Nike Therma-FIT One Leggings are an extra warm and versatile option great for workouts or everyday wear. The soft and stretchy Therma-FIT technology manages your body’s natural heat for warmth and wicks sweat to keep you dry.

Athlete wearing Nike Therma-FIT One Leggings.

Shop at Nike: Nike Therma-FIT One Leggings

Nike’s Therma-FIT One Leggings have a full-length design with non-sheer fabric for confident coverage. These leggings have seamless sides and a contoured v-shaped waistband with 2 hidden pockets.

5. Under Armour ColdGear Authentics Leggings

The Under Armour ColdGear Authentics Leggings feature an extra warm dual-layer fabric with a brushed interior and smooth exterior. These leggings provide non-bulky warmth with 4-way stretch and a distraction free fit.

Athlete wearing Under Armour ColdGear Authentics Leggings.

Shop at Under Armour: Under Armour ColdGear Authentics Leggings

Under Armour’s ColdGear Authentics Leggings utilize sweat-wicking material that dries very quickly, as well as an encased elastic waistband that stays put and sits comfortably on the hips.

6. Adidas Own the Run Winter Running Tights

The Adidas Own the Run Winter Running Tights feature a warm and stretchy performance fabric with moisture-absorbing AEROREADY technology. These tights utilize reflective details for improved visibility and a secure zip pocket.

Athlete wearing Adidas Own the Run Winter Running Tights.

Shop at Adidas: Adidas Own the Run Winter Running Tights

Adidas’ Own the Run Winter Running Tights feature a wide and supportive waistband with an adjustable drawcord for a locked-in fit.

7. 2XU Ignition Shield Compression Tights

The 2XU Ignition Shield Compression Tights feature advanced waterproof stretch panels to withstand rain and flexible thermal fabric to protect against chilly conditions. These tights utilize graduated compression to improve blood flow and overall performance and recovery.

Athlete wearing 2XU Ignition Shield Compression Tights.

Shop at 2XU: 2XU Ignition Shield Compression Tights

2XU’s Ignition Shield Compression Tights feature a soft brushed interior for warmth, flatlock seams to reduce chafing, and reflective logos for visibility in low-light conditions. These tights have a drawstring waistband and a rear zip pocket for secure storage.

8. 2XU Ignition Mid-Rise Compression Tights

The 2XU Ignition Mid-Rise Compression Tights feature a soft and warm brushed PWX Thermal fabric that traps in body heat while remaining lightweight and flexible. These tights are quick-drying, moisture-wicking, and provide squat proof coverage.

Athlete wearing 2XU Ignition Mid-Rise Compression Tights.

Shop at 2XU: 2XU Ignition Mid-Rise Compression Tights

2XU’s Ignition Mid-Rise Compression Tights offer a performance 360-degree stretch circular knit fabric and flatlock seams to reduce chafing. These tights have a wide mesh waistband for a secure and body sculpting fit.

9. New Balance Impact Run Heat Tights

The New Balance Impact Run Heat Tights are constructed using NB HEAT fabric technology to wick sweat and keep you toasty. The fabric is a comfortable fleece knit that’s soft, snug, flexible.

Athlete wearing New Balance Impact Run Heat Tights.

Shop at New Balance: New Balance Impact Run Heat Tights

Shop at New Balance: New Balance Impact Run Heat Tights (Reflective)

New Balance’s Impact Run Heat Tights have a back slide pocket and side hip pockets, as well as a drawstring waistband. These tights provide a full range of motion in a form-fitting design.

10. Baleaf Laureate Thermal Zipper Pocket Leggings

The Baleaf Laureate Thermal Leggings feature a water-resistant performance outside with soft brushed fleece lining for an extra warm and cozy feel. These leggings have a non-see-through design and a gusseted crotch to eliminate camel toe.

Athlete wearing Baleaf Laureate Thermal Leggings.

Shop at Baleaf: Baleaf Laureate Thermal Leggings

Baleaf’s Laureate Thermal Leggings feature flattering body-contouring flatlock seams to eliminate chafing and maximize comfort. These leggings have a wide waistband for superior coverage and a zipper back pocket for secure storage.

11. Saucony Solstice Tights

The Saucony Solstice Tights are a high-performance option with a brushed inside for a warm and cozy fit. These tights have versatile style and function, making them great for warming-up, running, and post-run recovery.

Athlete wearing Saucony Solstice Tights.

Shop at Saucony: Saucony Solstice Tights

Saucony’s Solstice Tights utilize a recycled polyester and spandex fabric blend that features reflective logos and ankle stripes for increased visibility. These tights have a classic mid-rise waistband with an internal drawcord.

12. Athleta Altitude Tights

The Athleta Altitude Tights feature Polartec Power Stretch fabric with thermal insulation for extra warmth against the cold. These tights are designed to handle medium to high impact workouts.

Athlete wearing Athleta Altitude Tights.

Shop at Athleta: Athleta Altitude Tights

Athleta’s Altitude Tights have a comfortable wide waistband with an adjustable internal drawcord. These tights utilize sweat-wicking fabric, a back zip pocket for secure storage, and are also available with side Stash Pockets.

13. Columbia Titan Pass Helix Leggings

The Columbia Titan Pass Helix Leggings feature warm and breathable Omni-Heat Helix insulation cells in a lightweight and comfortable fabric.

Athlete wearing Columbia Titan Pass Helix Leggings.

Shop at Columbia: Columbia Titan Pass Helix Leggings

Columbia’s Titan Pass Helix Leggings have zippered hand pockets and a functional side leg pocket for convenient storage, as well as odor neutralizing technology for long-lasting freshness.

What’s the Best Cold Weather Baselayer for Athletes?

Cold weather can create a tough predicament for athletes.

On the one hand, you want to fight off the cold, which means layering up. But on the other hand, you want to maintain full mobility so that you can perform at a high level, which usually means minimizing layers.

The key here is body temperature regulation. Compression garments create a breathable shell that helps to trap body heat without overheating.

Without the breathability that compression allows, you might be surprised at how quickly your body can overheat during activity—even in cold conditions!

Athletes running in cold weather wearing compression gear.

Another helpful factor is the compressive pressure applied to your muscles, which stabilizes and reduces excess vibration and shivering.

This otherwise lost energy can be used to keep your body warm and lengthen your endurance.

Additionally, many compression garments designed to combat cold weather will have a brushed or thermal interior.

This provides a toasty interior in both performance and feel, which is a great way to keep you going in damp and chilly conditions.

Benefits of Wearing Compression During Cold Weather Activity

Everyone knows that stiff and rigid feeling you get in your muscles when the cold takes over. And if you’re an athlete, this feeling can greatly hamper your overall performance.

For many, the natural inclination to combat this is by adding multiple insulating layers, but this often results in sacrificing mobility for warmth.

Compression garments offer a perfect solution by providing both warmth and mobility in a stretchy and snug baselayer.

The compressive pressure of these garments also improves blood flow to keep your muscles warm and provides muscle stability for energy conservation.

Athlete working out in cold weather wearing compression gear..

One of the most overlooked factors of athletic performance in cold weather conditions is the prospect of overheating. This might even sound absurd at first: overheating in cold weather?

But the truth is that when we layer up to fight off the cold, many athletes don’t take into account their body’s natural heat production.

So, as you start to move, increase your heart rate, and emit body heat, suddenly you can find yourself breathing heavy and drenched in sweat.

Fabrics and materials that keep you warm but lack breathability create a shell that blocks in all of the heat your body emits.

Compression fabric, on the other hand, provides a great combination of breathability and warmth that won’t bog you down.

Additionally, the sweat-wicking capability of compression gear is a well-known benefit.

While many people associate this benefit as strictly an important one in warmer conditions, it’s actually just as important in cooler conditions.

In cold weather, wicking sweat away from your body helps you maintain comfortable warmth by removing moisture to keep you dry, light, and mobile.

Be sure to also check out our top picks for the Best Cold Weather Running Tights for 2023.

And for more on picking out a great pair of compression tights, check out our Comprehensive Guide to Compression Tights. We cover all the most common questions surrounding wear, fit, and use.

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