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The Best Running Tights I’ve Ever Tried Have an Invisible Waist Pack

Photo: Courtesy of Tracksmith

It’s painfully obvious when running tights haven’t been designed by real runners. You get scratchy inner-thigh seams that scrape against the skin with every stride; pockets that don’t hold more than a few pieces of change; or material that’s so thin, you might as well be wearing shorts, or so thick that you’d overheat in the Antarctic. Surprisingly, there are more of these out there than you’d think, which is why it’s so refreshing to find a pair that gets everything right.

I was already a fan of Tracksmith’s shorts and base layers, so I had high expectations when I tried out the brand’s tights. I received a sample pair a few weeks ago, and this morning, with the temperature hovering around 40 degrees, it finally felt wintry enough to break them out. I wasn’t disappointed. The soft and smooth material has an inner fleecelike lining that’s warm yet lightweight, and the silky outer layer deflected the early morning wind. Instead of itchy seams, there’s a panel that extends along the inside of both legs — sort of like an extended gusset — that prevents any rubbing or chafing. They felt like a second, more weatherproof, skin.

One of the best features — one I’m already raving about to running friends — is the back pocket. From the outside, it looks like a small, unassuming zipper pocket, but it actually extends all along the back waistband. I was able to fit my keys and phone (in its case) with room to spare for gels on longer runs. Keeping your stuff flush against your back makes much more sense than having a narrow, deep pocket with room for everything to bounce around while you run. It has all of the easy access of a zipped running belt with none of those annoying jiggling.

And when I set off on my run, all of these details and features did what any runner would want them to do: seamlessly disappear, so I could enjoy my morning miles without any chafing, tugging, or adjusting.

Tracksmith Turnover Tights
$128 at Tracksmith

More Strategist-approved running tights

Sugoi Women’s SubZero Tight
$100 at Running Warehouse

For the coldest days of winter, these are an even warmer version of the cozy Midzero tights I wrote about here.

Physiclo Pro Resistance Tights for Women
$125 at Physiclo

Writer Crystal Martin tried out these muscle-activating compression tights for activities from running to ballet. She writes that they “turned my run day into an ab day.”

Under Armour ColdGear Leggings
$50 at Under Armour

Advertising executive — and ultramarathoner — Jill Smith says these leggings are “very warm; they stay dry and they don’t chafe my downstairs.”

Alala Captain Crop Tight
$108 at Bandier

For a cropped tight, CNN producer Elizabeth Landers called these leggings the “perfect three-quarter length for year-round wear.”

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The Best Running Tights I’ve Tried Have a Hidden Waist Pack