1. Introduction: Leggings vs Shorts

You know you need to hit the gym today for your workout, but you can't decide whether to wear shorts, leggings, or both. This debate rages on in gyms and fitness studios everywhere. As someone who's torn between wanting maximum mobility and not wanting your thighs to stick together during squats, you get the struggle. 

Leggings vs shorts is a real conundrum, but you need to make a choice so you can get your sweat on already. Well, worry not - we've got the lowdown on whether leggings, shorts, or the best of both worlds is right for your workout. Time to free yourself from wardrobe indecision and focus on getting fit! 

This article will give you the pros and cons so you can make the call once and for all on the best bottoms for your gym bag

2. Leggings vs Shorts: The Pros and Cons

Leggings vs Shorts

When it comes to activewear for women, the age-old debate is leggings vs shorts. Which one should you choose for your workout? Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Comfortable and stretchy. Leggings are perfect for activities like yoga or spin class, where you need maximum flexibility.
  • Provide coverage. If you prefer to keep your legs covered for modesty reasons, leggings are the way to go.
  • It can be layered. When it's chilly out, you can easily throw on a pair of sweatpants or joggers over your leggings.


  • More breathable. Shorts allow for better airflow and will keep you cooler during intense cardio workouts or on hot summer days.
  • Show off your hard work. If you've been hitting the squat rack, a pair of gym shorts is ideal for displaying the results of all that hard work.

At the end of the day, the choice comes down to personal preference and what you feel most comfortable in. Don't be afraid to switch it up - you can wear shorts one day and leggings the next. With SEFI, there is always something perfect for your workout, mood and style. So treat yourself to a new pair of leggings or some cute gym shorts women, and get moving!

3. Best Gym Leggings for Workouts: Top Picks for Every Budget

When it comes to leggings vs shorts for your workout, it really comes down to personal preference and the type of exercise you're doing. Both options have their pros and cons, so consider these factors to determine what's right for you:

Leggings, like SEFI's popular seamless leggings, are form-fitting and moisture-wicking, keeping you cool and comfortable during any activity. They provide coverage for those who prefer it and layer well undershorts. However, some find leggings too warm for high-intensity workouts. If that's you, workout shorts may be a better choice.

Gym shorts, like SEFI's versatile jogger shorts, offer more breathability and freedom of movement. They're ideal for cardio, HIIT training, and outdoor activities in warm weather. The downside is that shorts provide less coverage and aren't as versatile for layering. Some women also find that shorts ride up or chafe during exercise.

Also Read: Best Leggings for Women

4. Essentials Joggers and Shorts: Stylish and Functional Options for the Gym

Joggers and Shorts

When it comes to your workout wardrobe, you want pieces that are comfortable, breathable and help you move freely. Two essential options to consider are joggers and shorts. Essential Joggers, also known as sweatpants, are loose-fitting pants typically made of cotton or a cotton blend. They're extremely cosy yet lightweight, perfect for cardio, strength training or yoga. 

For high-intensity workouts or hot weather, shorts are ideal. Gym shorts, like running shorts, are loose, lightweight and often made of polyester or nylon to keep you cool and dry. Bike shorts, on the other hand, are form-fitting, stretchy shorts that provide extra support for cycling or other activities. 

Look for shorts with a liner for extra coverage and comfort. Consider the inseam length - shorter shorts around 2 to 3 inches are best for maximum mobility, while 5 to 7-inch inseams offer a bit more coverage.

When deciding between leggings or shorts, think about the activity and temperature. Leggings may be better for yoga or cold-weather workouts, while shorts are great for cardio, HIIT or summer exercise. You can also layer shorts over leggings for extra style and versatility. 

Focus on high-quality, breathable fabrics and pieces designed specifically for exercise. With options like joggers, shorts, leggings and more, you can build an active wardrobe tailored to your needs. Staying stylish and comfortable at the gym has never been easier!

Also Read: Best Sports Bras for Summer

5. Should You Layer Shorts Over Leggings or Wear Them Separately?

Should you layer shorts over leggings or wear them separately? This debate comes down to personal preference, but here are some factors to consider.


For maximum comfort during your workout, leggings alone may be your best bet. Leggings are designed to move with your body, wicking away sweat while providing coverage and support. Adding shorts on top can feel bulky and restrictive. However, if you prefer the extra coverage shorts provide, a loose-fitting pair won't hamper your movement too much.


Certain activities are better suited for one option over the other. High-intensity interval training or cardio kickboxing classes may be more comfortable in leggings only. The flexibility and range of motion leggings allow will make exercises like burpees, jumping jacks, and kickboxing combos easier to do. 

For weight training, walks or hikes, shorts over leggings can be a practical choice. The extra layer provides some protection, and the loose fit won't bind or cause discomfort when using gym equipment.


From a fashion perspective, layering shorts over patterned or colourful leggings are an easy way to create a stylish workout outfit. The combination of fitted leggings underneath loose shorts gives you an athleisure look that's on-trend. 

Leggings in basic black or grey and tailored shorts in a complementary colour are a simple, sleek option. Of course, wearing just leggings or just gym shorts can also be fashionable, depending on the style, cut, and pattern.

In the end, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident in what you're wearing for your workout. Try out both options and see which you prefer based on the factors of comfort, practicality, and style. 

And remember, as with any workout gear, high-quality, breathable fabrics are essential for keeping you cool and supported through all your fitness activities.

Also Read: Best Cycling Shorts for Women

7. Other Essentials: Sports Bras, Tanks and More for a Complete Workout Wardrobe

shorts over leggings

Once you have your leggings or shorts picked out, you'll want to complete your workout outfit with a few other essential pieces. Sports bras, tanks, and more—having options for every part of your workout wardrobe means you can mix and match to suit your needs and mood each day.

Sports Bras

A good sports bra is key for any workout. Look for ones that offer plenty of support for high-impact activities like running, HIIT classes, and circuit training. Padded straps, moulded cups, and breathable mesh panels will keep you comfortable for your whole routine. For larger bust sizes, an encapsulating sports bra may be better than a compression style.

Tanks and Tees

On warmer days, a loose tank or tee will let your skin breathe. Racerback and muscle tanks are stylish and won't restrict your arm movements. For chillier workouts or if you prefer more coverage, a lightweight tee or long-sleeve top works great. Moisture-wicking, stretchy fabrics are ideal for staying dry and allowing a full range of motion.

  • Yoga tanks: loose, flowy styles perfect for stretching and bending
  • Running tees: lightweight, fitted tees ideal for high-intensity cardio


For outdoor workouts or in cooler weather, a jacket is useful for warming up and staying comfortable. Lightweight windbreakers and track jackets are good for higher temperatures. Thermal and fleece jackets provide more insulation when it's very cold out. Some jackets have extra features like thumbholes, zippered pockets, and reflective details for nighttime visibility.


On a bad hair day or for extra sun protection, headwear comes in handy. Headbands, hats, and visors wick away sweat and keep hair out of your face. In winter, thermal headbands, earmuffs or beanies will prevent heat loss.

With the right sports bra, top, jacket and headwear to complete your look, you'll be ready to work out in style and comfort no matter what the weather. Mix and match your favourites from SEFI's wide selection of high-quality womens activewear essentials. Our breathable, flexible fabrics and flattering cuts are designed to move with you during any activity.

Also Read: Different Types of Sports Bras

8. Conclusion

At the end of the day, you have to go with what makes you feel the most comfortable and confident during your workout. Leggings vs shorts is a debate that will continue as new athletic fabrics and styles emerge, but you can't go wrong with either option. Focus on finding high-quality, breathable pieces that move with you - not against you. 

Treat yourself to a few staple pairs of each so you have variety and choice based on the type of exercise you're doing that day. The best option is what you feel most confident and comfortable in. Don't be afraid to try different styles to find your perfect match. You may even want to mix it up, wearing leggings for yoga and shorts for your kickboxing class. At SEFI, we have affordable, high-quality options for all your athletic needs. Check out our full line of women's activewear and find what fuels your fitness passion!


Are leggings better than shorts for workouts? 

It depends on your preferences and workout type. Leggings offer muscle support, while shorts provide ventilation and freedom of movement.

Can I wear leggings in hot weather? 

Yes, choose lightweight, moisture-wicking leggings. Shorts may be more breathable, but well-designed leggings can still offer comfort during hot workouts.

Are shorts suitable for high-intensity workouts? 

Absolutely! Shorts allow better airflow, keeping you cool during intense activities, making them a great choice for high-intensity workouts.

Do leggings cause chafing? 

Properly fitted leggings with flat seams typically won't cause chafing. Look for moisture-wicking fabric to reduce friction during exercise.

Are leggings versatile enough for casual wear? 

Yes, many leggings are stylish enough for everyday wear. They can be paired with various outfits, offering comfort and fashion beyond the gym.

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