These Cheap and Durable Leggings Are Great for Challenging Hikes—and Lazy Lounging

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As a clumsy hiker, I’m no stranger to scraped palms, bruised knees, and ripped pants. Hitting the ground at least once an outing is almost always guaranteed, even when I’m on the easiest trails.

Over the last few years, these frequent falls and stumbles have resulted in a graveyard of torn, battered yoga pants. So on a recent hike, as I started my trek to the bottom of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado, down a steep trail composed mostly of loose gravel and rocks, I had already made peace with the likelihood that my cheap leggings would be reduced to tatters.

Soft and comfortable, these cheap leggings fit and feel better than any other pair we tried at this price, but the cut wasn’t perfect for some testers. They also have functional, convenient pockets, and they’re available in over 40 colors and patterns.

The inexpensive leggings that endured

To my amazement, my IUGA High Waist Yoga Pants, a pick in our guide to leggings, survived the hike unscathed—a miracle, considering I spent more time on my butt than I did my feet while scooting my way down to the bottom of the canyon over jagged rocks and sharp twigs. They were also easy to wear on a five-hour hike, wicking away sweat and offering support without any sagging or bunching. They were as comfortable as they were durable.

I hadn’t expected my cheapie leggings to survive their (literal) brush with wilderness. Typically, I reserve my IUGA leggings for running errands and doing chores around the house, rarely ever donning them for onerous outings; thanks to poor planning, they were the only pair I packed for my trip. But since that hike, they’ve become the only leggings I want to wear, whether I’m grocery shopping, going to the gym, or sliding down the side of a canyon on my butt. Here’s why.

They’re (seemingly) indestructible

On my way down into the canyon, I tripped over rocks, scraped against thorny brush, climbed rocks on my knees, and slid on my butt down the steepest parts of the trail. My leggings also got caught on the bushes alongside the Gunnison River. I knew the IUGA leggings were durable—I’ve had my pair for almost two years and they show no sign of wear and tear—but I never expected such an inexpensive pair of leggings to survive such punishment. I threw them in the wash after my hike, and you’d never know the extent of the abuse I’d put them through.

They stay in place during vigorous exercise

Stumbling down a mountain and gasping for breath is embarrassing enough—you shouldn’t also have to suffer the indignity of having to pull up and readjust your pants every few steps. The IUGA leggings offer a gentle compression that keeps them from sagging as you move—a rare quality in cheaper leggings. I’ve never had to worry if they’ll slip down my hips, even with my phone weighing down my pockets.

They wick away sweat

I don’t think there was any point during my mid-July hike when I wasn’t sweating. At the end of my grueling hike, almost everything I wore, from my shirt to my undergarments, was soaked through with sweat. But my leggings remained dry—not a mortifying sweat mark in sight—something that can not be said for the other cheap leggings in my closet. And to my immense relief, these leggings wick away enough moisture that I rarely leave behind sweaty butt prints when I sit down after working out in them. This also makes the IUGA leggings ideal for group fitness classes, solo workouts, summertime subway rides, and any other situations in which you’d want to keep your sweatiness to yourself.

They have deep pockets

The IUGA leggings have convenient, roomy pockets, which are perfect for keeping essentials within reach. They’re snug enough to keep my iPhone from slipping out, even during vigorous exercise. On hikes, I can also fit a tube of face sunscreen (along with a half-eaten granola bar) in the other pocket. I’m a firm believer that leggings can be your everyday pants, so I find the pockets to be extremely useful even off the trail for holding keys, some cash, and my Airpods case when I’m out running errands or strolling around the neighborhood.

They’re very flattering

Call me vain, but I love the way my IUGA leggings fit me. Seams down the the sides and across the booty of the pants give the leggings a nice shape, and the substantial material holds its stretch well, never sagging or bunching no matter how long you wear them. And as mentioned earlier, these pants don’t show sweat stains, which removes that unsightly possibility from the equation.

The IUGA High Waist Yoga Pants are the only leggings I plan to wear on future hikes, strenuous and easy alike. Not only will they survive the trek, but they’ll make me look better than anyone should after hours in the woods.

This article was edited by Alex Aciman and Annemarie Conte.