When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.
- Alo Yoga exercise gear has gained respect among yogis and celebrities since its 2007 founding.
- The company makes flattering, trend-focused performance gear that can be worn from “studio to street.”
- To see how it stacks up in person, three reporters tested the popular Airlift leggings. The bottom line? We all loved them from the start, and we still swear by them after months of wear. Find our personal reviews below.
- Still looking? Read about the best feminine workout clothes you can buy.
If you’ve ever tapped on an Instagram post of a supermodel working out, aimlessly wondering where those cute leggings are from, I’d be willing to bet that, more often than not, said model will be sporting Alo Yoga, a relatively young LA brand with an outsized following.
Since its founding in 2007, the company has become a mainstay in both diehard yogi camps and the earth’s small but hyper-visible population of models and artists. Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Taylor Swift, Chrissy Teigen, Jenna Dewan, Olivia Culpo, Hailey Beiber … the list of high-profile patrons goes on.
So, what gives?
To see for ourselves, we tested a few pairs of Alo Yoga Airlift leggings in our own (very normal) lives. The verdict: flattering, silky, and buttery soft. Despite the fact that they’re trend- and fashion-focused, that shouldn’t translate to impracticality; these leggings manage to look good and perform during exercise.
A few things to note if you’re looking to buy: some reviews note sweat showing through lighter colors; the capris run slightly longer than average, and the site sells out quickly. So, if you find something you love, it may be better not to wait. The company also has a 30-day return policy for unworn gear in case the fit isn’t perfect in person.
Here’s what we thought after testing the Airlift leggings:
7/8 High-Waist Airlift Legging, $114, available at Alo and Carbon38
These leggings feel like a second skin, but one that’s so stretchy you could bend into a pretzel and you wouldn’t feel any pulling, digging, or resistance. Every time they come out of the wash, they’re the first pair I put on for a workout or day of running errands. The material is silky and soft, the stretch is just enough to hold them in place without digging, and they’re breathable without being sheer. They’re definitely best for anything that involves bending or stretching a lot (they were designed for doing yoga, obviously), but I’ve worn them running plenty of times and they held up really well.
The 7/8 version fits like full-length leggings on me, but the capri version is my favorite since they fit like ankle leggings on my five-foot frame.
UPDATE: It’s been ten months since I first tried these leggings and I’m still deeply obsessed. So much so that I’ve thrown out most of my other leggings and bought another pair of these.
The sheen has sort of faded in the wash after all this time, but that’s probably because I haven’t followed the hand-washing directions, nor do I ever remember to turn the leggings inside out before machine-washing. Kind of my own fault. Regardless, I still love them deeply and wear them all the time! —Sally Kaplan, senior editor
High-Waist Airlift Legging
High-Waist Airlift Legging, $118, available at Alo, Backcountry, and Carbon38
Looking at these leggings, you’d think they’re just like any other pair, but the difference is clear once you feel them. They’re buttery smooth and feel great on your legs, and they stretch very well. You can and should take advantage of the variety of color options because they’re a nice change from traditional black. Although I’m of average height (5-foot-6), my legs are on the shorter side, so I found with this legging length that some fabric did bunch up — I had to choose between my ankle or knee areas. If I could go back, I’d maybe do the Capri style instead. But the overall feel and performance of the leggings is awesome. I personally wear them for running and weight training. —Connie Chen, senior reporter
High-Waist Airlift Capri
I was surprised by how much I loved these leggings. Typically, when I see performance gear being billed as “studio-to-street,” I assume that’s code for athleisure rather than gear that’s actually compatible with hot, sweaty cardio sessions. But Alo’s High-Waist Airlift Capri ($114) impressed me — the four-way stretch fabric fits like a flexible, breathable second-skin during exercise, and I’ve used them far more frequently for HIIT than I have for streetwear.
They’re also, admittedly, pretty flattering. The creamy, silky material isn’t stuffy and compressive, but it still manages to lengthen the silhouette into a lean, seamless shape. Or, as Alo puts it, they’re “engineered to lift, sculpt, contour and smooth.” They’re not exactly Spanx, but when I put them on for the first time my first thought was, “Ah, I get why celebrities wear these so much now.”
The one thing I’d note is that the capris run a little long, meaning they’re still great for my 5’7 frame, but may end up being full-length for petites. And while I didn’t notice sweat showing through on the dark cherry color I tested, other reviews mentioned seeing the sweat in lighter colors.
The price is steep at $118, and I’ve found cheaper options that are just as breathable, but, if you’re thinking of getting them, I’d wager you’ll love them. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter