Kanye West

Kanye rocking running leggings in the New York snow

Rex

With a huge demand for fashionable sportwear, and sport/casual being the new smart/casual, women and men alike are upping the fitness style stakes in the gym and on the street. It may just be because the question has been on my mind for a few weeks now, but every day I am seeing more and more men running, working out in the gym and running through the park wearing running leggings. It has come up several times in conversation between friends and colleagues as to whether this is acceptable and sensible, or a heinous crime not only against fashion, but against the human race.

One thing I would like to point out right now is that it is most definitely not acceptable to wear fitness leggings without shorts on top. No one wants to see a man’s junk, crammed into a tiny Lycra cave, being swung around during exercise. So thank you, Lululemon for inventing running leggings with attached shorts, to give guys a helping hand styling them.

Mickey Rourke showing us how not to wear sports leggings

If I’m honest, I used to think men who wore sports leggings looked a bit ridiculous. Black is slimming, and emphasizing skinny chicken legs is not a good look on a man. Why do you need to wear leggings AND shorts when you could just wear tracksuit bottoms? Playing devil’s advocate, I got a pair of running leggings to try out myself… and I’ve never looked back. Here’s why.

First: I drag myself out of bed at 6am to trek through the cold (11 months of the year) to the gym. If I put on a pair of running leggings (with shorts on top), I can run to the gym, do my workout, and then run home without having to mess around changing into shorts and back again. I’ll always take the temperature controlled, lazy option at that time in the morning. Second: they cover you up! I’d much rather see a guy wearing sports leggings than spanx-like cycling shorts, or those baggy running shorts that cut just below the waist band. Third: us Brits can be quite a pasty lot and leggings help avoid that farmer’s-tan-for-the-legs issue if running around in the sun. Once you get those tan lines, you’ll have them all year.

Mark Wright doing it right

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And last but not least, most of the men I see wearing running leggings are very fit. They look like professional sportsmen – and I want to look like that too. So as long as men remember the shorts layer, I’m all for them.