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Regular running tights are not going to cut it outside in the winter — this is something you should acknowledge before you start lacing up. To stay warm, you’re going to need leggings specifically designed for cold weather. But which are the warmest, and how much do you need to spend? Through a combination of personal testing and trusted online reviews, we’ve narrowed it down to six options.
Nike Pro HyperWarm Women’s Leggings ($60): Nike's thermal-lined winter leggings are both the cheapest and the most size-inclusive on this list (they run up to a 26). They’re compression tights, so be prepared for a tight fit and consider sizing up.
Outdoor Research Women’s Radiant Hybrid Tights ($80): Next comes Outdoor Research’s tights, which are available in sizes XS through XL. It’s a fleece-lined tight that's billed as a base layer, but it can definitely be worn solo. And right now, it’s 20% off with code SNOW.
The North Face Winter Warm Tights ($85): Ninety-seven percent of the 72 people who have reviewed these leggings say they would recommend them to a friend, and Wirecutter listed them as its number-two option when it comes to the warmest tights out there. (Sugoi’s, which are below, came in at number one). Sizing starts at XS and caps off at XL.
Athleta Polartec Power Stretch Tights ($89): These leggings are as warm as they are comfortable, thanks to fleece lining and four-way stretch. You can find them in sizes XXS through 2X.
Smartwool PhD Tights ($110): Smartwool's running tights are composed of nylon (on the exterior), merino wool (on the interior), and elastane. The Merino brand is also known for its super warm socks. One big bummer: The brand doesn’t do any extended sizing, so these leggings cap off at an XL.
Sugoi Women’s Evolution MidZero Tight ($140): These are the priciest on the list but quite possibly the warmest — something to consider if you’re particularly sensitive to the cold or planning on being somewhere that’s extra frigid. Most of the brand’s leggings stop at a size XL, but this style includes XXL.