Spring Cleaning: The Best & Worst Exercise Capris

This week is flying by! I think it’s partially due to the fact that spring is actually here! The sun is out, the temperatures are rising and I am in weather heaven.

This amazing weather actually has me a bit bummed though because I want nothing more than to get outside to run and workout but my body is still dead from the race. Who knew that running 24 miles would put you out of commission! And yes, you know me… I had to learned this the hard way by filming a workout only to find myself practically in tears just half way through.

Yea, if you’re a FitWomensWeekly member, you’re going to get a kick out of next week’s workout video!

So instead of talking about spring workouts, I thought it would be helpful to talk about spring wardrobes.

Workout wardrobes of course!

It’s time to do a spring clean… toss out the overwashed and stretched out capris and shorts to start slowing building up a new collection just in time for the workout season.

If there was a “workout season” this would definitely be it.

Below you’ll find my favorite and least favorite workout capris. I would like to think that over the years I have tried a ton of different brands/styles. There have been some awesome wins and there have been some really big loses. I don’t want you to have to go through that this year!

What makes a pair of workout capris bad

–>Does the crotch slide down after just 30 seconds of running? Or even after 30 minutes of running?

–>After a single wash do they look as if they’re 5 years old?

–> Are they comfortable?

–>Do they change colors in sweaty areas? Basically, do you look like you peed your pants by the end of a workout?

–> Do they stay up for moves like jumping, squatting, burpeeing (yes, that’s a word… the act of doing burpees).

The Best And Worst Workout Capris 

These are my personal discoveries from my personal wardrobe. I am aware that there are tons of other great brands but I am sharing what I know with you today.

The Worst: 

Ellie Workout Capris

ellie fitness

When I first got these Ellie running capris, I loved them. They seemed to stay up during runs and appeared to wash well. This remained true for about 1 month. Since then these have refused to stay up during workouts or runs. They faded quite quickly, the true black is now more of a dark grey and even the seams are starting to unravel.

I know what you might be thinking… but I don’t put any of my workout clothes in the drier. All fitness clothes get air dried to help extend their shelf life.

Under Armour Design Capris

I bought this particular pair of capris at the outlet right before going to San Francisco. You can’t see in the picture but they have an awesome design of black octagons. I tried to find them at the website, but came up empty. But the shapes are a pretty good identifier.

They look great and feel great but they don’t stay up great.

Even walking is enough to pull them down. When I wear these I feel like I spend far too much time trying to keep them up than a person should.

LuluLemon Reversible Capris


This was my first pair of LuluLemons back in the day. I was so excited about these capris. Black on one side, purple on the other. If I was going to spend so much money on a pair of workout pants, at least I was getting 2 out of the deal!

They felt great, were great to workout in but then I realized something…

At the end of a good, hard workout I looked down to find that it looked as if I had peed my pants. People in the gym were even looking at my crotch. It was bad. Really bad.

This was the first lesson I learned about colored pants. I’ve had other colored capris since (see below) but these are by far the worst.

The Best: 



I have loved these Puma capris since day one. Every single time I get a new pair of capris, Dan asked “Do you like them as much as your Pumas?”

There really are my favorites. They are comfortable, they don’t restrict around the waist or cause bad love handles, they stay up, and because of the side pocket, it’s cool to do moves on your back! Have you ever ended a workout with a back bruise because of the zipper at the top of many bottoms? <– Not cool!

These are definitely awesome! They’ve made some changes to their line, so I’m thinking of ordering these!

Nike Legendary Printed Capris


Thick but not too think. High wasted but not too high wasted. A pouch but no zipper…

These capris are just about perfect! Aside from my long Under Armour running tights, I think these are the only pair of capris I really love that don’t have a drawstring.

They stay up when running and doing my boot camp workouts. And they wash really really well! I’ve had them for over 6 months and I think they look just as good as they did back then!

They are a bit expensive, $95 at Dicks but I just saw that on Nike.com they are on sale for $69.

Nike Filament Capris


I ordered these because I loved the ones above so much I decided to give Nike another shot.

I love the color options and for just $48 I couldn’t pass it up.

So far, I love them! I have a green pair and a purple pair. Running, jumping, weight lifting, and handstanding works really well. No slip ups.

I took the green pair with me on the Palmetto 200 (and my Pumas). I was nervous at first because it would be their first long run, but to no surprise they did really well.

I’ve learned that capris with a drawstring is a great thing!

I could go on and on about workout bottoms as I have learned that a good pair is rather hard to find. And being that they are not cheap, I want to make good decisions! I’ve tried many many many others that are not listed here so if you have any questions feel free to let me know!

>>> What’s your favorite workout capri brand? <<< 

I used to be a die hard UA fan, but recently I have had more success with Nike. I LOVE my Pumas of course but Nikes are a bit more accessible to me since we have a killer outlet right down the street! But they aren’t cheap either! Some pairs are over $100 and I can’t bring myself to get them not matter how awesome they look.

*This is not a promotional post, no company contacted me. I am strictly sharing my thoughts about my own workout fashion experience.


  • Useful reviews! I only own one pair of capris, and they are New Balance. They fit pretty snugly, but I’ve never had any problems with them.

    • Thanks! I’ve heard good things about NB, but haven’t tried them. Perhaps it’s time!

  • Kathryn

    You know I love my old navy compression capris!!

    • So many people rave about Old Navy, I have got to try them!!

  • I like the reviews and will keep those in mind if I buy more capris. I currently own 2 pairs… one is from Old Navy and the others are American Eagle. I really like the Old Navy ones- they don’t slide down and are perfect- solid black and I’ve had em for about 3 years and they work great. I think if I lifted more I’d wear more capris but usually I with shorts (and yoga pants from AE). I found some new shorts I really like at the Nike Outlet, the ones with the wide waistband that are slightly shorter (3 inch inseam).

    • I’ve seen your AE ones and like then a lot! I am a huge fan of the Nike shorts, sporting a pair today actually! My favs.

      • The AE ones are good. However, I bought some shorts from them and they are horrible. In fact, the dies ran so bad they got all in my washer. I’m glad I washed them alone. There is purple dye all over the pink shorts. I have debated taking them back to AE or contacting them company bc I don’t know what to do. But my AE yoga pants (black) and capris (plum colored) are great though.

    • I LOVE my old navy capris, they have quite a few styles, so I always buy in the store to make sure I’m getting the kind I like, but they are amazing. Not see through and hold up really really well! Also, if you want Nike, sign up for their emails. A few times a year they put an extra % off sale items. And that’s when I stock up!

  • Love this post! I actually love my Ellies- they stay up well on me. However, I have a pair of UAs that wont stay up at ALL. I wear them when I’m going for walks or to the park with Kay.

    • I remember you saying you love your Ellies, not sure what’s up with mine. And boo for pants falling down!

  • I haven’t tried nearly enough exercise capris to know which would be my favorite but it’s good to now that nike has some pretty good ones, I might have to invest in some next time I get new workout clothes.

    • Just like normal clothes, it’s important to update from time to time! I’ve learned a typical pair last around a year for me since I have to wear them so often!

  • I have Nike capris from 2006 that are still good as new. I have compression shorts and tights from UA that are wonderful but have never tried UA capris. The lulu capris I have are super. I do watch the colors I pick for sweat-thru reasons. Ha! Who knew capri shopping would be such an art?

    • Wow 8 years old! Now that is the sign for a good pair of pants! I LOVE my UA tights they are actually my fav and some of the capris are great. It has a lot to do with the material they choose. It is an art! Takes years of practice!

  • Great post idea and nice shares! It’s true – I hang on to some that I put on and then half way through the day go, “Oh man…WHY do I keep wearing these if they fall down/sag/show sweat/etc?!” 😉 I LOVE my new tights from YogaSmoga – have you seen me post or link to them? Awesome company and they make me feel great, don’t move, no love handles…Actually I reviewed them on my blog Monday. 🙂 Def recommend. Gotta try more Puma and Nike!

    • Yes, I did see the review! I def need to try them! Any workout pants that don’t accent the handles is a big plus!! Are they true to size?

  • Rebecca

    I LOVE these kinds of reviews! Thank you!

    The Lucy Perfect Core capri pants are amazing – they do. not. budge. I have 3 pairs and they are fabulous.

    Also, the CW-X compression capris are great, as they provide support, don’t fall down, and are really flattering.

    I’m also a fan of the Nike printed tights – they feel great, look great and perform well.

    • I have a lot of clients that swear by the CW-X, I definitely need to them a go! Nikes rock!

  • Kim

    I hate that capris (and even the full pants for that matter) don’t always stay in place – what is the deal?!
    I’m going to have to try some Puma ones. My number one thing I look for is that they aren’t super thin – something about the thin ones makes my widish hips look worse!!!

    • I know, don’t they know that we don’t want to have plumbers butt!? I bet you look fab in all!

  • So I must admit I’ve been looking for a new pair of capris and haven’t had much luck. I absolutely love my Under Armor ones (I think they are heat gear…) but after years of service they are getting a little thin. While at the gym I noticed my neon rainbow underwear were quite visible while squatting! I ended up getting a pair of Nike’s because I couldn’t find the Under Armor ones I wanted but I dislike the horrible muffin top they give me! I’m going to hunt down a pair of Puma’s because I have yet to try any of their clothing!

    • Oh no! I am sure the guys at the gym loved the rainbow show! 🙁 Def. give the pumas a try! Let me know what you think. I’ve also heard a ton of good stuff about the Old Navy ones though I haven’t tried them yet.

  • I honestly am so afraid of the colored workout pants because I definitely have experienced the looking like I peed my pants by the end of a workout. I’m glad to know there are some good ones out there though!

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