Of all the trends to make a comeback over the past few years—the ‘90s claw clip, cargo jeans, and platform shoes—the return of the stirrup legging was one we truly didn’t see coming.
Unlike the aforementioned trends, though, stirrup leggings actually go as far back as the ‘20s, when female equestrians wore stirrup pants while horse riding. Fast forward to the ‘80s and ‘90s, and the stirrup legging became a key piece of Jazzercise attire—the strap that loops around the foot or heel was designed to stay in place during movement (which might explain why we still associate the garment with dance-culture).
During the fall and winter months, stirrup leggings have ebbed and flowed as a functional fashion choice, as they can be worn with high boots without riding up like traditional ankle-cut legging styles. All of this is to say that stirrup leggings, surprisingly, have never really left us, but we’re glad they’re having a moment. Our only gripe with most of the stirrup leggings on the market, however….is that few of them actually stay up. We did our due diligence to find the ones that do—read on for our findings.
Stirrup leggings that actually stay in place
Available sizes: XXS-3X
These stirrup leggings by Athleta are perfect for lounging and yoga-ing alike. The material, a nylon and lycra blend, offers supreme all-around stretch for maximum comfort and even more refreshingly, moves with you—which means you can count on the stirrups to stay in place whether you’re doing crow pose or sprawling out on the couch. What’s more, is that they’re moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and have a UPF of 50+.
Colors: Black and Rustic Beige
Available sizes: XS-3XL
Made of a polyester and spandex blend, these stirrup leggings have a stretchy, ultra-high waisted fit that’s perfect for workouts and are warm enough for cozying up at home. The extra wide stirrup strap helps keep them in place even throughout more intense workouts. Even better, they’re totally opaque, so you never have to worry about giving strangers a free show during a group fitness class. “The legs are nice and long, come down to the ankle, and the stirrups hold the legs securely in place while you stretch and exercise,” wrote one happy Amazon customer in a 5-star review.
Originally $128, now $99
Available sizes: 0-20
These Lululemon stirrup leggings feature cool, mesh panels that add a touch of edginess and enhanced breathability. They’re made of the brand’s Nulu fabric—a nylon, lycra, and elastane blend—which is one of its softest and most lightweight materials available (translation: you’ll never want to take them off). Plus, the stirrups can be worn across your arches, or flipped up across your ankle—just make sure you get the right size to ensure they don’t slip.
“I loooove these leggings,” gushed one happy Lulu shopper. “They are amazing for hot yoga, AND they stay up too even while in certain positions.” Sold!
Colors: Bronze Green and Black
Originally $40, now $11
Available sizes: XS-4X
If you wanna get in on the stirrup style for less cash, this Old Navy pair is a great option. The polyester and spandex blend delivers on stretch and ultra-soft coziness, making them a smart choice for the colder months that can be worn casually with flats and an oversized sweater, or during hikes and workouts. “These are the best stirrup leggings I’ve bought…and I’ve bought quite a few more expensive brands,” wrote one Old Navy shopper in a 5-star review. “They are a perfect length so that I don’t have to constantly pull up the waist.”
Originally $88, now $44
Available sizes: XS-XL
These Express stirrup leggings have it all—the stretch of a legging, the coziness of a sweater, and the ability to be dressed up with ease. The form fitting, super high waisted silhouette offers so much stress that you’ll feel like you’re wearing pajamas. But thanks to the thick, sweater-like material, you can get away with wearing these with a blazer or fancy, oversized cardigan and heels. Reviewers recommend sizing down for the best fit.
Color: Pitch Black
Originally $25, now $23
Available sizes: XS/S-XL
For an extra warm option that’s perfect for winter layering, these fleece lined stirrup leggings are a budget-friendly buy. The nylon and spandex leggings are lined with a cozy, plush fleece and feature a high, elasticated waistband that’s body hugging but not constrictive. Amazon reviewers say they’re super comfortable and warm, and that they look great under skirts and dresses. Plus, they have over 1,000 5-star ratings!
Colors: Black and Beige
Available sizes: 4XS-4XL
These super supportive stirrup leggings by Universal Standard feature ultra-wide stirrup straps on the feet keep them from slipping throughout the day. They’re made of a nylon and lycra blend that’s antimicrobial and moisture-wicking—making them perfect for the gym. And the stretchy—but secure—fit is comfortable enough to wear while running errands or hanging out around the house. You can even choose between a style with or without pockets. “They’re both very comfortable and secure around my feet and ankles,” wrote one shopper. “They move well with my body no matter what I’m doing.”
Available sizes: XS-XL
The perfect boot-friendly stirrup legging, the Carbon38 Pointe Leggings tuck seamlessly into your favorite winter boots and stay in place all day long. The thick, high waistband hugs your core without feeling uncomfortable, and the material is truly opaque—so you can forego a skirt altogether and spot them with your favorite winter fleece, for a super cozy and casual look.