Lululemon Align High-Rise Jogger Review
These Lululemon Align joggers might be the best pair of pants I've ever worn
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I was once like you: Whenever I thought of Lululemon, visions of skin-tight leggings came to mind. And I was a convert. I spent over two years living in my Align Leggings—it was love at first wear. But sometimes I felt like needed something that made me feel a little less, well, exposed during in-studio yoga practices and trips to the grocery store. So I couldn’t be more thrilled to have added the Lululemon Align Jogger to my wardrobe. They're one of the company's core products known for a buttery-soft feel and looser-than-leggings fit. Here's why I think they're worth the $98 price tag for me—and could be for you, too.
What are the Lululemon Align Joggers?
The Lululemon Align joggers are not a far cry from the ever-popular Align Leggings in that they both use the same material that’s so soft it feels like you’re wearing nothing at all. If I died, went to heaven, and dreamed up my ideal clothing, the Align's material would come to mind. They're made of the brand’s Nulu fabric, a nylon and elastane blend.
While Lululemon says the Align Joggers designed for yoga, they’re also ideal for working from home or hanging out—simple, low-impact activities you’d do every day. Like the leggings from the same lineup, the joggers' wide waistband lies flat, creating a sleek silhouette, and includes a discrete pocket for your keys or cards. Its larger side pockets are what make them far more convenient to wear than leggings (though Align Leggings are also available with pockets). The joggers ring up at $98 apiece and come in sizes 0 to 20 and in a number of colors and patterns.
How I tested the Lululemon Align Joggers
I’ve been wearing my Align Joggers at least once a week for the last year. In that time, I’ve “wear-tested” them in many everyday activities like working from home, running errands, and even sleeping. I’ve long held onto the belief that these were all-day-every-day pants, but is there any truth to that? To see how they fared in some more "extreme" activities than lazing around, I spent a day subjecting the pants to a series of (non-scientific) tests.
As I own these pants in a couple of sizes (more on that coming), I opted to wear the largest of the lot for my trials since they’re more comfortable and practical with their relaxed fit.
Are the Align Joggers good for cardio workouts?
Though the joggers aren't specifically designed for high-intensity training, I wore them to practice choreography for my dance team. I normally don baggy cotton sweatpants for this type of cardio, which permit the mobility needed but can also lead to overheating as they trap in body heat and soak up sweat. These joggers impressed: They're the right combo of the looseness of sweatpants and the sweat-wicking of performance leggings. The relaxed fit kept me feeling modest (my preferred style of dressing), yet the fabric whisked the sweat off my skin and dried quickly, ensuring I didn’t have to wrap my sweater around my waist due to embarrassing sweat stains (which has happened more than once).
Are the Align Joggers insulating?
Even more amazing, I left my dance practice in pants that felt dry, catching far less of a chill in the Canadian winter on my walk to the car than I usually do in my cotton sweats. While they don’t claim to have insulating properties, I wanted to really see how they fared in that department. I went on a 30-minute walk in blustery 13°F weather with a considerable windchill. While my legs of course felt cold, it wasn’t a deal-breaker. Still, my conclusion is that the Align series fares best in the type of weather that requires nothing more than a light jacket.
Are the Align Joggers good for yoga?
Because my dance class only features pockets of high-intensity cardio—we usually pause for several minutes at a time to learn hip-hop theory or go over formations—I wanted to cap off the day with some guaranteed dripping sweat. I chose a 45-minute power yoga video to determine whether these joggers are as moisture-wicking as they claim to be—and they did not disappoint. I was surprised to not see a single stain on my butt—and that’s saying a lot given the option I chose was the solid color of navy blue. Your mileage may vary if you choose a lighter color though, like gray.
What's more, unlike typical wide-leg sweats, these joggers didn’t slide down my leg during inversions like one-legged downward dog or headstand thanks to the snug cuff at the ankle. The high waistband stayed put whether I was upside down or curled up in child’s pose, allowing me to feel more present and less self-conscious in my practice than I have previously felt while wearing too-tight leggings. If such tights have long been your go-to yoga bottoms, consider that these joggers similarly move with your body without getting in the way of poses, and offer that roomier fit should you wish to dress more modestly or let your skin breathe a little more freely.
How do Lululemon Align Joggers fit?
Like the Align Leggings, the Align Joggers’ wide waistband sits above the belly button, highlighting your waistline while keeping you feeling contained. Though its brushed material is intended to feel extra soft against the skin akin to a “naked” sensation, its high and snug waist creates the illusion of compression in the tummy. What separates them from the leggings pack is that they flare out along the calf for extra breathing room, and cinch up once again at the ankle via a wide banded cuff. These joggers are very much a sign of the times in that they do away with last year’s skin-tight pant style while giving you a chance to exhale in a pair of WFH-friendly joggers.
The thing about Lululemon is that, technically, many of us are every size the brand has to offer, thanks to the stretchability of the materials used. I can fit into a size 2 as well as I do a 12 in many items, and this rings true for many customers, a brand employee confirms. The website offers lots of sizing help, including measurements, captions stating the model's height and size, and even a chat function to consult with a fit specialist. I initially purchased the size 4, my normal size, but a few months ago, I started to notice they were beginning to fit more like leggings with an ankle cuff as opposed to the roomy joggers I wanted them to be because I gained a bit of weight during the pandemic and put on some muscle in my quads. If I wanted leggings with an ankle cuff, I would have just sewn them onto my existing Aligns, Wunder Unders, or Fast and Free tights.
For a whole new experience, I treated myself to a new pair of joggers, this time sizing up to size 8 in order to gain some extra room both in the thigh and calf area. The new pair fit snugly around my waist just like the size 4s, but offered the modesty in the leg I wanted. Because I no longer felt as worried about any potential cellulite appearances, I grabbed the solid-hued navy blue over my usual black, which adds both a pop of color to my wardrobe while also coordinating with everything I already own. In that vein, if you’re going to invest in a pair of Align joggers, I’d suggest you size up from what you normally wear in Lululemon leggings. This way, you get the full jogger experience without feeling too exposed.
Finally, I normally wouldn’t choose a 28-inch inseam because I have super short legs, but I have to work with what the brand offers, and these come in one pants' length and one "cropped" length (which at 23 inches, I worry would be too short). Thankfully, the inseam doesn’t matter as much in a jogger because the elastic ankle band prevents any material from dragging under my shoes, or in the case of leggings, looking overly bunched up at the ankle. I would have preferred a shorter inseam—ideally 25 inches—because I experienced a little more bunching at the bottom than I would have liked.
What I love about the Lululemon Align Joggers
Stitching isn’t normally an aspect of apparel I notice unless it’s done properly: The Align line features a lower back hem that dips down into an elongated triangular pattern, which sits in stark contrast to the convex hem of the Ready to Rulu Joggers. The Align's minute hemming detail drastically contributes to its flattering qualities, creating an influencer-esque backside—no filter required.
Additionally, the drapey thin material makes it ideal for those who love doing yoga without feeling overexposed in leggings. During my Day-of-Mindful-Align-Jogger wearing, I thought about all the other ways I’ve successfully incorporated them into my life: As a sweat-wicking base layer under snow pants without constricting range of motion during figure skating; for wearing around the house with slippers and my favorite fuzzy socks; for a night out on the town in a pair of boots or flats.
Because the newfound bagginess in my size 8s was so dream-worthy, I decided to put these joggers to the ultimate test: to wear them to sleep. I took mental stock of where I had been that day (they had since completely dried since my yoga workout), so I allowed myself to drift off to sleep while wearing them. The result was one of those deep, REM-rich sleeps where I didn’t awake for a single moment due to overheating. I can safely say they were infinitely more comfortable than actual pajamas I normally wear to bed. For the price tag, however, I wouldn’t buy them strictly for sleeping. If you happen to fall asleep while wearing them, however, you’re in for a treat.
What I don’t like about the Lululemon Align Joggers
The few complaints I have about the Align Joggers are highly subjective. Because my torso is on the longer side, I need to hike up my joggers a little higher than usual in order for them to fully cover my belly button. This can create an uncomfortable front and back wedgie situation—no matter the size. Said wedgie does not relent as the day goes on because the joggers retain their shape so well, which in a roundabout way is one of the joggers’ strengths.
While I love the feeling of working out in these joggers, I feel restricted to doing low-impact workouts while wearing them—not because of comfort, but out of fear of ruining them. An in-store Lululemon associate told me that one of the reasons they’re not recommended for high-intensity exercise or strength-training sessions is because they are likely to pill and snag—their soft, brushed fibers are more raised than the ones in sleeker fabrics like the slick and lightweight Luxtreme one used in the Wunder Under Joggers.
Additionally, the Aligns are not as “technical” as Lululemon's other joggers, from a fabric and accessory perspective. For example, they don’t have a mesh lining to secure your phone or an infinite waistband drawcord like the Ready to Rulus. At $98 for a pair, these joggers are not as financially accessible as I think they should be—which I can say about most gear from Lululemon.
Are the Lululemon Align Joggers worth it?
If you want a no-frills, casual pant to throw on at the beginning of the day and keep you comfy all day long, these are absolutely a must-have. Due to the price tag, I hesitate to suggest you need them if you already own and wear a pair of joggers you love from another brand. But if, like me, you browse the Lululemon website regularly daydreaming of trying something new, add these to your cart before they sell out in your preferred size and color. They're worth the splurge.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.