A bright, bold pair of running leggings that are surprisingly comfortable and keep you dry in all conditions
Good mix of comfort and compression
Breathable and quick-drying
Lined waistband with adjustable cord
Small hidden waistband pocket
No thigh pockets
Massive logo on thigh isn’t for everyone
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The North Face Women's Flex Mid Rise Tight: first impressions
These sleek running leggings may look like they’re just for show, but they do pack some persuasive performance into a fun and bold design, making them worthy for trail and road runs in just about all conditions. Rapid-drying, breathable fabric means you stay dry even on sweaty days, which keeps you from getting clammy and chilled when you slow down, and helps these pants stay fresh over multiple runs without needing washed. There’s enough stretch to keep them comfortable, but not so much that they lose their support, which is ideal when you pick up the pace on interval days.
• List price: £50
• Gender specification: Women’s
• Weight: 7oz / 198g
• Sizes available: XS - XL
• Materials: Polyester 91%, Elastane 9%
• Colors: Black and white, Wild ginger glacier dye, Shady blue, Lavender fog glacier dye
• Best use: Road running, trail running
A wide, mid-rise waistband adds extra support and comfort and comes with a drawcord to make sure you get the perfect fit, plus it’s lined which means no digging in, even when you have these on for a couple of hours. There is one hidden small pocket in the waistband, but no thigh pockets so you’ll need a running armband if you like to run with your phone. The fun, bright pattern is appealing to those who like a splash of flair, however the massive logo on the thigh may not be for everyone. But for a fair price, you’ll be really comfortable wearing these pants for long runs in most conditions.
The North Face Women's Flex Mid Rise Tight: in the field
I must admit that when I received these running leggings, my first impressions were that they are a bit more visually bold and colorful than I usually go for, but I’ve been mostly pleased with their performance so I’ve just about forgiven the added flair. These leggings are definitely a lot more comfortable than I thought they'd be, and really perform by keeping me dry in both warm and cold weather, even on long runs. I’ve purposefully worn them for several runs without washing them, and for synthetic gear they stay unusually fresh. Not everyone will love the giant logo on their leg, but I totally get why The North Face want it there and while I’d prefer more storage for my phone, I like the performance of these enough that I’m willing to find alternative options when needed.
Here’s how they performed:
Breathability and temperature regulation
I first wore these leggings out in quite warm weather and while I expected the shiny fabric to be less breathable, based on other leggings that look and feel similar, I was surprised that I stayed cool and dry for the whole run. More recently, the weather has cooled off considerably and been fairly consistently wet, but their breathability and fast-drying means they keep me from getting chilled, too.
Comfort and stretch
I wasn’t sure these would be very comfortable. The wide waistband looks like it will dig in and leave marks, and they have about half the stretch content of some of my other leggings. However, the waistband is lined and doesn't leach any marks, plus it’s nice and high which is really comfortable. They have enough stretch to move but they’re also quite supportive and they really stay in place when I run even though I thought they might slip down due to the lesser stretch content.
Sizing and fit
These fit true to size, and as I’ve said, they’re less stretchy than your typical yoga/workout leggings, so I don’t recommend sizing down. The drawcord in the waistband is a little unorthodox, but I actually think it’s a great idea since proportions vary so much from body to body.
I do like to run with my phone for various reasons – safety, podcasts and GPS tracking – and where these pants lose major points for me is the lack of a thigh pocket to stash mine in. If I’m running with an armband or running backpack, it’s no problem, but I really would love these to have a little more storage.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.