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Most of us are familiar with sweatpants and leggings. When it comes to loungewear, these two styles are among the most important (and popular). But joggers are a little more complicated. Not quite sweatpants but not leggings, either, joggers are a very particular type of loungewear that can be dressed up or down. It can be intimidating to know just how to style them, let alone know where to find the best joggers on the market. Still, if you can find a pair that works for you, they can be one of the most useful wardrobe staples.
“When you pair joggers with a matching crewneck or hoodie, it instantly makes your outfit look more cohesive and put together,” says Chloe Claus, Director of Brand Partnerships for Brunette The Label. “Add an oversized blazer or trench coat over top. Then throw on some New Balance sneakers and a cap for a look you can wear to brunch, the grocery store, or even the office.”
If all those ideas sound great to you, but you’re still confused about fit, Claus says the ultimate jogger, in her opinion, is a pair that strikes the perfect balance of fitted and baggy. If you’re looking for a pair that you can adjust to your body, look for a waist drawstring to keep the joggers fitted to your body and a full-length leg with a tapered ankle.
Read on to discover our favorite options.
Best Overall: Vuori Performance Jogger
When a pair of joggers has almost 13,500 (mostly) positive reviews...you start to believe the hype. These full-length, mid-rise joggers are moisture-wicking, sustainable, and feature an elastic waistband with a drawcord. This makes them a good combination of a lot of things people are looking for in joggers. Though, it’s the customer reviews that make the product stand out. As one customer wrote, “I basically haven't taken these joggers off since they arrived. I miss them on laundry day. In fact, I'm wearing them now. Supremely comfortable and cute.”
Fabric: 89% recycled polyester, 11% elastane | Fit: Runs large | Size Range: XXS-XXL
Best Budget: Leggings Depot Women’s Joggers
With a decent size range and dozens of patterns, these affordable joggers offer a lot of different options. Plus, they have 77,000+ reviews and an average rating of 4.4 stars. It’s the material that customers seem to be drawn to, though. As one person wrote in their review: “Imagine microfiber, how it's light and has a smooth texture, and then imagine if microfiber and velvet had a baby. This is that baby! It's light and smooth like microfiber, but also has some of the warmth and texture (not quite fuzzy, but holds warmth still). VERY comparable to suede.”
Fabric: 92% polyester, 2% spandex | Fit: Runs large | Size Range: S-3X
Best Faux Leather: Spanx Leather-Like Jogger
You may have heard about the customer-favorite Spanx faux leather leggings, but what about the leather joggers? These joggers strike a good balance between relaxed and fitted and are designed to sit below your belly button on your hips. If high-waisted is more your style, these won’t work for you, but if you prefer pants with a smoother front (no elastic or drawstring) and a more tailored look, these would be perfect. Plus: Functional pockets.
Fabric: 96% rayon, 4% elastane with polyurethane coating; 80% polyester, 20% elastane lining | Fit: True to size | Size Range: XS-3X
Best Cargo: GapFit Recycled Runaround Cargo Joggers
Offering both tall and petite options, these joggers from GapFit strike a great balance between activewear, loungewear, and everyday wear. Featuring an elastic waist (but no drawstring), these joggers have moisture-wicking fabric and four-way stretch but are designed to have more of a fitted feel and sit at your natural waist. Wear them to a long walk in the park (paired with a hoodie) or to a date night (paired with a crop top).
Fabric: 86% polyester, 14% spandex | Fit: Runs large | Size Range: XS-XXL (plus tall and petite)
Best Slim-Fit: Madewell Breeze Slim Joggers
These slim-fit joggers are fitted enough to look decidedly not like sweatpants, but they’re just as comfortable thanks to the Tencel cotton blend (and a hint of spandex for comfortable stretch). If you’re in search of an everyday pair of joggers that don’t have any pockets or creases (AKA an ultra-slim fit), these would be a good option. A bonus: One reviewer notes that these are lightweight enough for warmer days.
Fabric: 57% Supima cotton, 38% Tencel modal, 5% spandex | Fit: True to size | Size Range: XXS-XXL
Best for Running: Lululemon Adapted State High-Rise Jogger
The best part of these joggers is that they are specifically designed for running—not hiking or lounging or weight-lifting, but running in particular. Complete with a secure zippered pocket to store your phone or keys, a continuous drawcord that won’t get lost in the wash, and cuff zippers that allow you to get them on and off quickly, these joggers are a runner's dream.
Fabric: 79% recycled nylon, 21% Lycra elastane | Fit: True to size | Size Range: 0-14
Best for Travel: Athleta Venture Pant
The perfect travel pant combines functionality, comfort, and just a little bit of activewear. Why activewear? Well, running to catch planes can be kind of a sweaty business. (Who among us hasn’t broken a sweat taking on and off sweaters and shoes while going through security?) Not only do these Athleta joggers come in a variety of sizes, making them one of the more inclusive pairs on the market, but they also offer seven (yes, seven) pockets for easy travel storage. The Featherweight Stretch fabric made with recycled polyester that “feels silky sleek and light as air” is only a bonus.
Fabric: Recycled polyester and spandex | Fit: Runs large | Size Range: 0-26 (plus tall)
Best Everyday: Girlfriend Reset Joggers
It’s rare to find a jogger that combines size inclusivity, sustainability, and everyday wearability—but Girlfriend’s Reset Joggers do it. These are definitely more sweatpants than work pants, but they’re easy enough to dress up. What makes them so great for everyday wear, in particular, is how lightweight they are. There’s nothing worse than putting on a pair of joggers and feeling immediately sweaty. Being able to wear these year-round makes them an ideal everyday item. As one reviewer wrote, “Great for relaxing at home...feel soft and sturdy (not too thin). I can also pop out for errands in these and still feel like I'm reasonably dressed.”
Fabric: 91% recycled plastic bottles (RPET), 9% spandex | Fit: True to size | Size Range: XXS-6X
Best for Work: Lululemon Warpstreme High-Rise Jogger 7/8 Length
Meet the ideal work-appropriate jogger. Coming in three neutral shades, a button closure, and front pleats, these joggers are versatile and comfortable while still looking tailored enough to be professional. As the positive reviews point out, they also have quite a bit of stretch in them, making them feel more like your favorite sweatpants while looking nothing like them.
Fabric: Nylon and spandex | Fit: Runs slightly large | Size Range: XS-XL
Best for Hiking: Athleta Trekkie North Jogger
These super-size inclusive joggers are made with abrasion-resistant material specifically developed to “resist snags and tears on the trail.” Plus, they’re made with sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and breathable fabric for those hot, sweaty hikes. It also has three secure (zipped) pockets for storing anything small you can’t hold during your hike.
Fabric: Recycled nylon, nylon, and spandex | Fit: Runs slightly large | Size Range: 0-26 (plus tall and petite)
Best Quick-Dry: Under Armour Vanish Joggers
Built with UA Microthread fabric, these joggers are specifically built to wick away sweat and dry as quickly as possible. Plus, they also feature four-way stretch so the pants are moving with you, no matter what type of exercise you’re doing. With more than 150 reviews and an average of 4.5 stars on the Under Armour website, these pants have a lot of loyal fans.
Fabric: 60% polyester, 40% elasterell | Fit: Runs slightly large | Size Range: XS-XXL
Best Fleece: Stars Above Beautifully Soft Fleece Lounge Jogger Pants
If you’re looking for a full-fleece pair of joggers (as opposed to fleece-lined), these fan-favorite joggers from Target’s Stars Above brand are a great option. Stars Above are known for having the coziest, buttery-soft loungewear, and these joggers are no different according to the hundreds of positive reviews.
Fabric: 48% polyester, 48% rayon, 4% spandex | Fit: True to size | Size Range: XS-XXL
Best High-Waisted: Old Navy High-Waisted Power Soft Joggers
Of the 3,406 reviews of these high-waisted joggers on the Old Navy website, nearly 2,900 of them are 5-stars. Multiple customers reviewed them and wrote that they were ordering another pair immediately. The PowerSoft fabric is described as a compression material with a “ridiculously smooth, peachy-soft feel.” Plus, the sizing options mean that there are tons of comfortable and versatile options to choose from, no matter your size or body type.
Fabric: 77% polyester, 23% spandex | Fit: True to size | Size Range: XS-4X (plus tall and petite)
Best for Lounging: Beyond Yoga Featherweight Lounge Around Jogger
Beyond Yoga is known for their fan-favorite Spacedye material in their compression yoga pants and bike shorts, and these joggers are made of the same material—minus the compression. Featuring an ultra-soft feel, 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking material, and UV protection, these joggers will take you from the coffee shop to the couch to the fridge. One reviewer even said they loved these joggers so much that they ordered four pairs.
Fabric: 94% polyester, 6% spandex | Fit: True to size | Size Range: XS-XL
Best for Winter: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Flex Lined Jogger Pants
These stretchy joggers feature an elastic waist and are lined with polyester fleece, making them a perfect, ultra-comfortable combination for cold-weather activity or camping in particular. “These pants are incredibly comfortable for outdoor activities and lounging around the house. They're so cozy and kept me nice and warm on a long winter hike,” one reviewer wrote on the Eddie Bauer site.
Fabric: 94% nylon, 6% spandex shell; 100% polyester fleece lining | Fit: True to Size | Size Range: 0-16 (plus tall)
Best Tie Dye: Brunette The Label Best Friend Jogger In Cloud Dye
These tie-dye joggers are great for a variety of reasons. One: They’re 100 percent cotton french terry, which gives them a luxuriously soft finish (and makes them stand out from other jogger options). Two: They’re a tie-dye that's subtle enough to go from season to season, year to year. Even if tie-dye goes out of style anytime soon, these joggers would still function as a neutral in your wardrobe.
Fabric: 100% cotton French terry | Fit: True to size | Size Range: XS-3X
What to Look for When Buying Joggers
The Perfect Fit
Like any item of clothing, finding perfectly fitted joggers are more a matter of personal preference than anything else. Some people might like more tailored joggers, while others prefer a baggier fit. Some might want them to hit around the shin, while others prefer ankle-length. For Claus, the perfect jogger is “the perfect balance of fitted and baggy. I don't want my joggers falling...drawstring to cinch things in is ideal.”
Fabric and Construction
You'll need to look at the material of the jogger to ensure that it aligns with your intended use. For example, if the jogger is mostly for lounging or sleeping, you'll want something soft and cozy, like a cotton or polyester blend, as well as something less form-fitting. If you intend to sweat in them (whether that be hiking, running, or walking), opt for a material that's breathable and also offers some stretch.
Joggers are usually made with a mix of pockets, zippers, and drawstrings, which all provide some utility. For example, zipper pockets could be helpful if you're looking for a pair of joggers for running or hiking, so you can keep your keys and phone from falling out. If you're wanting a pair for lounging, a drawstring waist provides felxibility since you can make them more or less tighter for the most comfortable fit.
Are Joggers Sweatpants? What’s The Difference?
According to a blog post from giant retail brand Uniqlo, the main difference between joggers and sweatpants is that “joggers are thin, lightweight, and flexible activewear.” In other words, you might lounge or be active in joggers, but you wouldn’t work out in sweatpants.
Plus, as Claus points out, joggers tend to have a bit more shape—more tapered through the leg and ankle, plus cinched at the waist via a drawstring, elastic, or both. Additionally, joggers are dressed up more often—seeing faux leather, or work-appropriate joggers is more common than seeing faux leather or work-appropriate sweatpants.
How Do You Dress Up Joggers?
Arguably, the best part of joggers is that they go with almost anything. As Claus suggested, you could easily pair joggers with an oversized blazer and T-shirt, sneakers, or a trench coat. For more styling ideas, try searching YouTube for some easy-to-replicate examples, like these ideas from vlogger Sinead Crowe.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Olivia Muenter is a fashion commerce contributor for Byrdie, and she has been published in Refinery29, Bustle, Fashionista, Glamour, and Woman’s Day, among others. Her search for this piece covered joggers in all types of styles, fabrics, and price points. For criteria, she evaluated customer reviews, aesthetic details, material construction, and overall value to find the best picks.