One day three years ago, I arrived home from the gym with a frantic urge to strip my leggings off and burn them on a pyre. I had just suffered through another infuriating cardio session where I had to endlessly hoist my women’s Nike Pro 365 leggings up to prevent them from rolling below my hips. At the time, I was working out four to five times a week, doing a combination of cardio and strength training, and it seemed like I couldn’t win: No matter how much I spent on leggings, within a few months they lost elasticity and fell down — and friction caused holes to appear on the inside seam.
Luckily, I knew who to ask for advice: my housemate, a black belt in kickboxing and frequent gymgoer. I told her I needed leggings that were squat-proof, didn’t fall down when running, and, if possible, weren’t too expensive — around £40 was my ideal limit. Her recommendation was instant: Gymshark. She owned four pairs of its leggings (two of the Glow Seamless Tights and two of the Vital Seamless leggings), all of which she praised for their high-compression fit, durability, and aesthetic colour selection. I was sold by her review, so I tried on a pair of her Vital Seamless Leggings (I wasn’t keen on the holes in the Glow Tights) for the fit. My decision to purchase was finalized when I spotted the Seamless leggings in a gorgeous pastel sky-blue colour, right on budget at £40.
The Vital Seamless leggings are truly high-waisted — I’m five-foot-eight and they go up to the middle of my waist. The supportive ribbed waistband hugs my figure, but not too tightly — they feel comfortable, but not restrictive. Despite the fact that my leggings are in a soft-hued blue, they’ve never gone even slightly see-through. As they’re made out of a sweat-wicking material, which draws moisture away from the body, the leggings feel super-breathable, which definitely helps if you’ve had a sweaty gym session or you’re working out in summer (or both). Even after three years of washing-machine cycles and gym sessions, my original pair has retained its shape and elasticity. I found that when I had to switch up my workout routine in lockdown — which, like so many others, consisted of Joe Wicks and Yoga With Adriene classes on YouTube — my Gymshark leggings never fell down, no matter the workout.
A few months after buying my first pair, I bought a second pair of Vital Seamless leggings in purple, and last month I purchased them again in black. And when I go on holiday, at least one pair of my Gymshark leggings has a reserved space in my carry-on. In 2019, my housemate (the same one who put me onto Gymshark) and I backpacked through Central America, and spotting my bright-blue Gymshark leggings in group photographs is like playing the world’s easiest game of Where’s Wally? From 4,000-metre volcano hikes in Guatemala, to volcano boarding in Nicaragua, my Gymshark leggings withstood (and continue to withstand) endless wear-and-tear challenges. This year, I took my black pair with me on a trip to Swedish Lapland. While I’m not saying they’re warm enough to withstand minus-20-degree temperatures without an additional layer — that would truly be impressive — they did provide much-needed flexibility on hilly treks through the snow. While writing this, I noticed Gymshark has added more colours to its Vital Seamless 2.0 collection; is it too soon to buy pair No. 4? Probably.
The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.