I have unreasonable workout pant expectations. My first pair of Nike running capri pants were purchased at the Nike outlet store in mid 2006. They were black with a purple swoosh and lasted me until I washed them with a sports bra that snagged them and put a huge hole in the ass last month or I would still be wearing them. 8 years later. Soak that up for a minute. Yup, these are the pants that took me through two pregnancies, a 100 pound weight fluctuation in both directions, and their death came after 8 good years as a result of my own laundering stupidity. These were the workout pant equivalent of a Mercedes Benz that made it to 500,000 miles. After a chat with my seamstress in which she explained that no level of sewing magic could repair my beloved workout pants, it was off to the local Sports Authority to find a replacement pair.

Let’s start with my measurements and preferences, I am a solid size Large/XLarge with a 38 inch waist, thick hips, and a big old booty that I am quite proud of. I need a full coverage pant that will get me through the occasional yoga class, my frequent intense weight lifting sessions, and won’t spontaneously combust as I fat girl shuffle (AKA: jog) to the gym. My thighs rub, I sweat like a raining lady beast, and I prefer a capri, so I don’t get hot. I’ve tried workout shorts, which are fine for lifting, but for cardio they leave me feeling like a bon fire happened between my thighs. Also, I don’t want to spend $100 on a pair of workout pants and I want them to last for years. Hey, I warned you: I have unreasonable workout pant expectations.

At the sales rack at my local Sports Authority they had a really good selection of size Large and XLarge pants. Frankly, I was surprised. Perhaps this is the opposite of every other store’s sale rack? The first pair I decided on are the Nike Tech Women’s Running Capris. I prefer running gear because they tend to have a tie at the waist in addition to heavy duty spandex and, well, I need it. Nothing is worse than pants that fall or roll down as I work out. Regularly priced at $65, these were on sale, so I snagged them at $40. You can find the dirty details from Nike here.


 

Granted, after my 8 year love affair with my previous Nike capri running pant, I was biased. I knew I loved the technology behind Nike’s fabric and cut, but I wasn’t so sure about the new features. There is a zippered pocket at the back waist, which I found useless since I run with a running waist belt to hold my water, keys, and lip balm. While working out they stay put. No movement, no shifting, and they hold everything in that I don’t need flashed to the strangers at the gym. Even in my deepest squats, the bum doesn’t get exposed and all of my girly bits are covered. Over the last month I have worked out daily and these pants have made it through numerous washes, even accidentally found their way into my hot dryer, with no sign of wear or tear. If anything they look and feel the same way they did on the day I purchased them. No pilling in the thighs, no wear in the booty, just a great fit that makes them perfect for every workout I have managed to put them through.  Overall, if they make it as long as my first pair they would have been well worth paying full price.

 

The second pair I purchased was the Under Armour Power in Pink- Fly By Compression Capri’s for women.  Regularly priced at $49.99, I snagged mine on sale for $29.99 and they were a special item for breast cancer awareness, so they aren’t on the Under Armour site anymore.  You can get your own pair from Gliks here. I found the size large was perfect for me- snug and comfortable without being saggy anywhere. This was my first pair of Under Armour workout pants and these have been awesome.  I like the length- they are shorter than the Nike running pant- and they sit a bit higher on the waist. With a thick tie around the waist, once they are on, they aren’t going anywhere and I found they washed up well after the Color Run, where they were coated (as you can see) in color dust. Before I purchased these I had always admired the Under Armour products on brand ambassador Shauna Harrison on Instagram and these pants deliver.

Overall, if you are looking for a new workout pant I would recommend Nike or Under Armour, but most of all I would recommend investing in one really great pair rather than a bunch of cheaper pairs that won’t last. Your health is an investment and you want to be comfortable while you are investing the time and sweat that it takes to keep you in the best shape of your life.

*Disclosure: I paid for my own pants and I put them on one leg at a time, just like everybody else. 

WORKOUT PANTS: REAL LIFE THICK THIGH REVIEWS