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By now, you’ll likely have guessed that, as a Health Editor, I like working out. It makes my mind feel good and my body feel strong.
That said, working out in the wrong kit sucks. It distracts you from the task at hand, can be uncomfortable, and can knock your confidence, too. I would know – I once ran a 37 ultra marathon in the wrong shoes and yep, it was brutal both physically and mentally. Ever been in a high intensity interval training session where your leggings fall down, sag at the bum, or crinkle at the knees? Then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I bought you my guide to the best gym leggings of all time and similarly, edits of the petite gym leggings, patterned gym leggings, and high waisted gym leggings. Next up? The only gym leggings with pockets that I actually rate – because a surprising high percentage of the designs currently on offer will hold your phone / keys / bank card while you’re standing but rocketlaunch them into incoming traffic the second you move.
So why is having pockets so key? Whether you’re a runner or gym-goer, it’s always handy having somewhere to store your essentials. If you’ve never tried a pair, trust me on this one – they’re a game-changer.
All have been tested by me, Ally Head, Health Editor here at Marie Claire UK. I run marathons for fun and test workout kit for a living so yep, I’m pretty fussy about what kit I feature. Know that whatever leggings, sports bras or running shorts you see on this site come with my personal stamp of approval. Keep scrolling – and happy sweating.
You’ve likely seen loads of edits of the best leggings, but likely haven’t seen many where every single item has been personally tested by the in-house team.
That’s where ours comes in. We make an active effort to make sure we’re not recommending wellness products to you that we haven’t tried ourselves. For more on how we test, read our guide.
What did I look for when testing?
What did we look for – aka, what qualifies the below to rank as the best gym leggings with pockets?
Well, the most important thing for me was a. the leggings themselves were flattering, sweat-wicking and supportive, and b. that the pockets actually worked. In other words, they were spacious enough to hold my essentials and nothing fell out when I ran or moved.
Plus, I considered the following:
- Did they fit well? Aka, did they sag, crinkle, or fall down?
- Did they sweat-wick and support me through my workout?
- Did they wash well or smell after a few uses?
- How many pockets were there and did they work at holding your items in?
- Did the pockets hold one, two, three essentials, or more?
- Were they good value for money and worth the price tag?
Gym leggings with pockets: the only 6 worth your £££
Power Gym Leggings – £80 | Sweaty Betty
If you’ve seen these Power leggings raved about, it’s for good reason. They’re SB’s go-to legging design and sweat-wick and support like a dream. I’ve had mine for a few years now and love that they have not one, but two pockets – one on your left thigh and a further one at the base of your back which has a zip, to boot. This means you can carry your phone, card, and keys comfortably – I can also squeeze my headphone case in, when I use them.
Go Move High Waisted Gym Leggings – £27.50 | M&S
Similar to the SB design, the Go Move leggings from M&S have a pocket on your left thigh and a zipped option at the bottom of your back, too. I’ve written a Go Move standalone review for a reason – M&S do some of the best budget gym kit on the market, and these leggings are no different. That said, when I’ve tested, I’ve found that leggings from brands like SB or lulu retain their quality for longer (they don’t sag or smell after a few washes).
Wunder Train High-Rise Tight with Pockets – £118 | lululemon
Thoughts when testing the lululemon Wunder Train tights? I get the hype. They have not one, not two, but three pockets – a hidden pocket in the waistband that holds your card and keys, and a drop-in pocket on either thigh that fit your phone. They feel like butter yet never leave you with sweat patches and are soft to the touch yet still hold your phone and keys in place. Mine still look the same three years on, too, showing they’re worth the investment.
Fitness leggings with phone pocket – £15.99 | Decathlon
Workout gear needn’t cost the earth, as these gym leggings from Decathlon prove. When testing, I found them comfortable and thought that they washed fairly well, considering the price tag. Plus, the pocket help my phone during a five-mile run home. Do note, though: they only have that one pocket, which sits on your left thigh. You can fit a phone and perhaps card in, but not much else.
Claude Pocket Legging in Sage – £55 | Pocket Sport
I’m a big fan of Pocket Sport. They’re the first legging brand I’ve ever found that’s managed to design bright, fun colours that don’t leave you with a crotch sweat patch (true story). Plus, they’re comfortable, never budge thanks to the innovative waistband grip, and have a phone-sized pocket (that also holds things like cards, keys, etc) on either thigh. One thing I did notice when testing: smaller items are more likely to fly out, as the pockets don’t have a zip, but if you make sure they’re packed with other items (eg a card and a phone as opposed to just a card), they’re less likely to move.
The Lightspeed 8/8 legging in black – £98 | LNDR
Last but by no means least, meet the LNDR Lightspeed design – and yes, you will feel lightspeed fast when running in them. When I tested, I loved working out in them. I found them to be light, breathable, and with plenty of pocket space, too. As per the Claude Pocket Sport design, there is a pocket on each thigh.
Why am I best qualified to test the leggings in this piece?
Good question. Well, asides from the fact I’m the Health Editor here at Marie Claire UK, I’m a keen runner (fun fact: runners love gym leggings with pockets). I’ve run seven marathons in my time and countless halves, running the London Marathon last year in a Boston Qualifying time of 3 hours and 26 minutes.
I started my career at Women’s Health magazine and have worked with the likes of The Running Channel since. So yep, it’s safe to say I enjoy working out, so really do know what to look for in a good piece of kit.