AMR Gears Up: Best Running Capris

Welcome to Another Mother Runner Gears Up: Our new gear testing column! We are going to have #motherrunners put key running gear—capris, headlamps, socks, bras, etc.—to the test, and deliver the results to you so that you can grab the gear that works best for your running and body. 

Today, we're starting with the best running capris; we realize that, if you live above the Mason Dixon line, full-on tights weather might be upon you, but our southern readers + gym goers are still pulling on capris daily. 

Besides shoes and a good fitting bra, capris are a female runner’s best friend. The right pair keeps you warm, but not hot; prevents your thighs from talking to each other; and perhaps most importantly? They aren’t going to cause mortal embarrassment for your children when you make the most of half time at their game logging a mile or two.

Whether you prefer just below the knee knickers or mid-calf length, the trick comes down to finding your perfect fit. Thankfully, six AMR testers did the hard work for you during some recently runs. We asked testers to consider fit, comfort, style, how the capris worked on the run, and whether or not they would recommend them to a friend.

Tighten your drawstrings, because the top pairs of capris are...

Best Running Capris

Saucony Bullet Capri 2.0

Testers could not stop raving about all of the pockets in these soft capris: Pockets for dayyysss and You could pack a lunch in them. The pockets even held a larger phone, no prob. The just below the knee length was also a big hit, especially with those running in warmer temperatures. They may run a bit looser in the legs or knees, so be sure to try them on for size. Even with that caveat, one tester declared them her new favorites!
Sizes: XS-XL
Price $70
Number of pockets: 3
Perfect for: #motherrunners who: leave no gadget behind on the run.
Grab ‘em at:

Best Running Capris

Brooks Greenlight Capri

The buttery, compressive material, high waist, and wide waist band of these three-quarter length Greenlights received strong #motherrunner high fives; one tester wanted to hang out in these all day! (Go for it: No judgment here!) Another, in limbo between a small and a medium at the moment, wore the small and said they hugged everything from her calves to her booty beautifully.

Sizes: XS-XXL
Price: $70
Number of pockets: 2
Perfect for BAMRS who: Like a little more length in the leg and a waist band keeps things in place.
Grab ‘em at: 

Best Running Capris Lululemon Speed Up Crop 21”

One #BAMR called these beauties PR pants; their sleek, smooth, and compressive made her gush with gratitude. Fair warning: the compression can contribute to—or perhaps cause—a muffin top. Nevertheless, the thicker fabric is a W. “My upper thighs, which definitely touch, glided by one another like a gold-medal bobsledder on the luge,” waxed one #motherrunner. (Do bobsledders pass each other on the luge? We’re not sure, but we we're sliding with the smooth image.) The lighter colors showcase crotch sweat, so choose a darker color for a good post-race (and PR victory?) photo.
Sizes: 2 to 14
Price: $88
Number of pockets: “multiple” according to the website
Best for BAMRS who: Want to splurge on some sweet-fitting capris for so that potential PR feels as good as you look.
Grab ‘em at:

Best Running Capris

Oiselle Pocket Jogger Capris

You know how some clothes instantly flatter your body? These Oiselle capris? Check and check. “They were a perfect fit,” said one #motherrunner about the Joggers, which come in a rainbow of colors, “Wearing them made me feel comfortable; not just as an article of clothing comfortable, but in-my-own-body comfortable.” Another #motherrunner (who would abso-freaking-lutely recommend these to a friend) loved them for all of the pockets, even a secret one where she plans to put #foundchange. She also totally dug the breathable mesh over the calves.
Sizes: 2 to 14
Price: $78
Number of pockets: 4
Best for BAMRS who: Like a high waist and ventilation in the back. (Business up front, party in the back? Kind of.)
Grab ‘em at:

Best Running CaprisThe North Face Motivation High-Rise Crop

How’s this for kudos? One #motherrunner recommended them to friends while she was on a test run, saying she loved the fabric and the way the three-quarter length capris stayed put as the duo put in the miles. One con? The front pocket is great for keys, but there’s no storage beyond that.  Also, one #motherrunner tried the beautiful Botanical Garden Green Heather color, but suggested moms consider choosing a darker color unless they want to broadcast their high density sweat areas; they also in come black and dark grey.
Sizes: XS to XXL
Price: $65
Number of pockets: 1
Best for BAMRS who: Travel light (or workout at a gym) and love a longer length.
Grab ‘em at:

Best Running Capris Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capri

Losing the skirt and focusing on function, Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capri lived up to their name: four pockets hold phone, ID, key, snacks, your emotional baggage from the day (kidding on tha last one). The comfortable, light fabric earned high marks as well. Our tester said these made her, “feel like I could go all day.” Plus, a range of busy, colorful prints—Temper Tantrum Print (above), anybody?—fit a variety of personal styles and match with nearly anything your wardrobe throws at you.
Sizes: XS to XXL
Price: $78
Number of pockets: 4
Best for BAMRs who: like to be prepared with a pocket and print for everything.
Grab ‘em at:

Best Running Capris

Under Armour Fly Fast

The Fly Fasts are described, on the UA website, as “ultra-tight, second-skin fit for a locked-in feel"—and that’s absolutely accurate according to our (locked-in) testers. “They are a bit challenging to get on,” says one tester, but once on, the lightweight capris stayed put and allowed her to, um, fly fast. Actually, they upper her interal fierce, my-legs-are-wheels factoron double-digit runs. The one zippered pocket does its job, but in a world of pockets galore, it feels a bit meager.
Sizes: XS-XL
Price $55
Number of pockets: 1
Best for BAMRs who: burpee almost as often as they run; these capris aren’t going anywhere!
Grab ‘em at:


Did we miss a pair of your favorites?
Disagree or agree with the reviews?
Let us know in the comments below; it takes a #motherrunner village to find the perfect pair!

26 responses to “AMR Gears Up: Best Running Capris

  1. I really, really, really wish someone would make loose fit running capris. This whole compression thing is really discouraging me from going out there. Regardless of how good they feel on, I pass one window and see a stuffed sausage in those tights. I would be so happy if Nike would bring their older loose fit running capris. Those were functional and flattering.

  2. Can we talk crotches? Which spandex tight has the least obnoxious crotch? Like, real gussets, with soft stitching, no clit seam?

  3. Any suggestions for non-transparent capris? I like to run and go to the gym. Need a pair that won’t show a full moon when stretching or squatting.

  4. Yes! A winter-running special would be amazing – gloves that are warm enough, solutions for a freezing booty, socks that work in snow, etc. etc. Thank you!

  5. I’m a weirdo I HATE Capri and Tights. I will grudgingly wear an old pair of $5 wal mart fleece pants when it gets below 30 but living in Florida means I NEVER HAVE TO WEAR THESE EVER. Shorts. Always Shorts even in Yoga class (there is my rant why can’t I find LONGER shorts like the men have? Actually I have bought xs mens shorts just for my yoga classes), XO

  6. Great column! I have recently discovered Reflex by 90 Degrees, sold at TJMax and Amazon, and I now have multiple pairs I have purchased for around $25. The quality is great and you can find pairs with lots of pockets!

  7. Great recommendations, but I would love to see a few options for those of us on a tighter budget. The cheapest option at $55 is still pretty high for some. I know you get what you pay for, but surely there must be a few options.

  8. I’m also a fan of Athleta. Found my new favorites this summer. Love the pockets and the drawstring to keep things up. My husband always compliments how they look. 🙂

  9. I tested the Lululemons and Under Armour capris. While both were great, Oiselle still has my heart (and legs)! Carrie Peeples, my BRF has a build you describe, and she swears by Just Live capris. I’m built pretty straight up-and-down with a bit of a tummy, and the Just Live don’t stay up for me. I’d also advise you to look into capris/tights with a drawstring, which can really help with the falling down issues, no matter what your build is!

  10. To Carrie Peeples: I have that problem, too! The best I’ve found are UnderArmour Heat Gear Armour Capris. They seem to fit my small waist/full hips/full thighs/no butt figure better than anything else. They are very firm with nice compression and IME fit true to size (as a curvy size 8-10, the mediums work well). The full-length pants, however, definitely don’t stay up nearly as well! As a bonus, the price has dropped a lot recently. I used to spend around $50-60 a pair, but you can find them on Amazon for less. I’m a light-distance runner (~10-12 miles/week), and I’m still wearing the first pair I bought 5 years ago. HTH!

  11. Megan, my favorite is also the relay capris from Athleta! I love the Athleta workout clothes–I love that they have XXS sizes for a small woman. Not all brands are small enough for me.

  12. Which ones would you suggest for those of us with great hips than waist? Most capris slide down on me. I didn’t see a style that seemed to address that motherunner body challenge 🙂

  13. I’m a HUGE fan of the Lululemon pocket capris, and leggings. The fabric has more substance than many other brands (holds you better) but not to the point of real ‘compression’ like 2XU. They are pricey though you can often find them on the ‘we made too much’ page on their website. The pockets on the Brooks are nice, though the fabric for me is too thin. Will be giving Oiselle a try this fall.

  14. Love this article! Please do more gear tests like this one. It’s informative and fun to read. I’ve wanted to buy the Speed Up crops for a while. Now I think I need too! My favorite capris are from Lululemon, Reebok, New Balance and Oiselle. In Québec, capris and tights are a must come Spring and Fall. I mostly run on the treadmill during the winter.

  15. I love the article! Can you do compression shorts next season? One thing that gets me about bottoms these days is the lack of a drawstring! No matter how wide and tight the waistband is, gravity, friction, and sweat pulls them right down.

  16. Great column Idea!! I love chatting running gear!! Lululemon for the win every single time for me on my favorite running bottoms (and bras and tops, for that matter!) I really like the numbered sizing the best as I typically fall between a medium and a large in every brand. Getting my standard size 10 makes a huge difference in fit. As a group fitness instructor, i also get a discount so that helps make the price a bit lower!

  17. Love this series and can’t wait for the other product tests! My favorite capris are the Relay Capri 2.0 from Athleta!

  18. I love my Oiselle pocket capris for all the reasons listed above (altho’ I’d give them 5 stars!). I also love the mission behind the company. It was founded by a woman and is totally woman-oriented. They also sponsor some of my favorite athletes – Kara Goucher, Allie Kieffer at the top of my list. My drawers are full of Oiselle pieces, and during the Cape Cod weekend, I noticed Oiselle capris on several attendees!

  19. BAMR tested and approved gear; I love it! I’m so glad you tested skirtsports because I never see them in the running magazines and they are my favorite capris. I would absolutely live in them if I could. One thing that would be helpful is if the same tester took a photo with each of the pairs of capris. That way we can best judge what looks best in addition to what performs best.

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