• Compression Athlete

The Best Warm Leggings for Cold Weather 2022

Fleece lined, thermal, and brushed interior options for extra warmth.

Female athlete wearing warm leggings in cold weather.

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 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 and outdoors 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. Columbia Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights II

The Columbia Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights are a heat-generating baselayer that provides all the warmth without the bulk. These leggings utilize Omni-Heat technology for thermal-reflective heat in a breathable design.

Athlete wearing Columbia Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights.

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Columbia’s Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights are a versatile option that works great whether you’re out for a stroll or skiing down a mountain. These leggings provide 4-way stretch, as well as moisture-wicking properties.

2. Columbia Heavyweight II Baselayer Tights

The Columbia Heavyweight Baselayer Tights are a super-warm compression baselayer option that utilizes thermal-reflective lining to retain your body’s heat. These leggings feature comfortable 4-way stretch and flat seam construction.

Athlete wearing Columbia Heavyweight II Baselayer Tights.

Shop at Columbia: Columbia Heavyweight II Baselayer Tights

Columbia’s Heavyweight Baselayer Tights keep you dry and comfortable with an ultra-wicking stretch jersey fabric that quickly moves sweat away from your skin. These leggings have a performance fit design and ergonomic seaming.

3. Lululemon Base Pace High-Rise Fleece Tights

The Lululemon Base Pace Fleece Tights feature a tech fleece fabric designed for cold weather and a brushed inside for warmth. The fabric is also water repellent and eliminates the inseam for smooth movements.

Athlete wearing Lululemon Base Pace High-Rise Fleece Tights.

Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon Base Pace High-Rise Fleece Tights

Lululemon’s Base Pace Fleece Tights have a high-rise fit and full-length design intended to sit at your ankle. These tights also feature four-way stretch, a continuous drawcord, and a back pocket.

4. Lululemon Keep the Heat 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.

5. 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.

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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.

6. 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.

7. Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Leggings

The Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Leggings feature ultra-warm dual-layer fabric with a brushed interior and smooth and quick-drying exterior. Its infrared technology holds in your body heat with a soft thermo-conductive coating.

Athlete wearing Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Leggings.

Shop at Under Armour: UA ColdGear Infrared Leggings

Under Armour’s ColdGear Infrared Leggings utilize 4-way stretch and sweat-wicking material. These leggings have a wide, flat waistband with a built-in back pocket and keep you warm without adding any weight or bulk.

8. Adidas Techfit COLD.RDY Long Tights

The Adidas Techfit COLD.RDY Tights have a comfortable cold-weather workout design with a cozy feel and snug fit. These tights utilize Techfit technology that focuses your muscle energy for endurance and warmth.

Athlete wearing Adidas Techfit COLD.RDY Tights.

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Adidas’ Techfit COLD.RDY Tights feature a long length design and high-rise elastic waist. These tights utilize a 360-degree kinetic construction for flexibility and a side pocket for storage.

9. Saucony Solstice 2.0 Tights

The Saucony Solstice 2.0 Tights are a stylish and versatile performance option great for activity, recovery, running errands, and more. These tights have a brushed inside for a cozy feel and warm fit.

Athlete wearing Saucony Solstice 2.0 Tights.

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Saucony’s Solstice 2.0 Tights feature a mid-rise drawcord waistband, side pocket storage, and reflective logos and ankle stripe detail for increased visibility in low light conditions.

10. 2XU Wind Defence Compression Tights

The 2XU Wind Defence Compression Tights have waterproof stretch membrane panels specifically designed to protect against water and wind chill. They also have soft brushed thermal panels for warmth and muscle support.

Athlete wearing 2XU Wind Defence Compression Tights.

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2XU’s Wind Defence Compression Tights utilize graduated compression, optimizing blood flow to your muscles and improving your warm up and recovery time. These tights feature 360-degree reflective detailing and a drawstring waistband with a rear pocket.

11. New Balance Impact Run Heat Tights

The New Balance Impact Run Heat Tights are constructed using New Balance’s NB HEAT fabric technology that wicks sweat and keeps you toasty. The fabric is a comfortable polyknit that’s snug, flexible, and dons a reflective NB logo.

Athlete wearing New Balance Impact Run Heat Tights.

Shop at New Balance: New Balance Impact Run Heat Tights

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

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.

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

13. Asics Thermopolis Winter Tights

The Asics Thermopolis Winter Tights bring warmth on cold weather training days with a brushed mid-weight fabric that helps retain your body’s heat. These tights have a wide contoured waistband and are finished with a branded interior.

Athlete wearing Asics Thermopolis Winter Tights.

Shop at Asics: Asics Thermopolis Winter Tights

Asics’s Thermopolis Winter Tights feature a comfortable polyester and spandex fabric blend in a classic and versatile fit. These tights have stylish seams that run along the legs and side hip pockets for storage.

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!

Two female athletes running in compression tights.

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.

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 an important one strictly 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.

If you’re looking specifically for running tights to wear this winter, check out our top picks for the best cold weather running tights 2022.

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

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