The Best Winter Leggings to Stay Chic and Warm in 2021

  • 5562

Remember hygge? And cuffing season? January used to be the time to hibernate at home on your couch, a welcome reprieve after the holiday clod-hopping and a fall spent skittering around town to new theater productions and dining at recently-opened restaurants with friends. But as 2021 howls in, it marks almost a year that we have been shackled to our sofas. No one is craving cozy—we’re all desperate to get outside, and no wintry mix will stop us.

In addition to the obvious cold weather essentials, the one staple that is proving indispensable is a good winter legging, whether fleece-lined, cashmere, suede or merino wool, and either layered under a second pair of pants or worn solo. After sampling a handful of options, I quickly learned that different winter legwear suit different activities better than others. L.L.Bean’s fleece-lined ThermaStretch tights were the winner, thick enough to wear on their own for long winter walks but cozy enough to work from home in. Another top scorer? Uniqlo’s classic Heattech leggings, which were perfect under my TorySport track pants for lounging by the fire pit in a friend’s backyard.

Here, find your guide to the best winter leggings for every hyperborean activity this season.

For the weekend hike: 

L.L.Bean women's Primaloft ThermaStretch fleece tights



For mulled wine in your friend’s backyard:

Uniqlo women HeatTech ultra-warm leggings



For playground chaperoning:

Athleta Altitude Tight in Polartec Power Stretch



For your Prospect Park boxing session:

Sweaty Betty Thermodynamic 7/8 running leggings



For runs along the West Side Highway:

Nike Pro Therma womens tights



For waiting in line to get your vaccine:  

Theory legging in wool-cashmere



For snowshoeing at your Vermont rental: 

Old Navy high-waisted cozy-lined leggings



For a walk with a friend in Central Park:

Icebreaker women's Merino 260 Tech thermal leggings



For the sidewalk dinner at your favorite neighborhood restaurant that doesn’t have heaters:

Offtrack leggings in moss suede



For the morning coffee run:

Gobi silk cashmere leggings