Fila addresses the long-standing debate over leggings rages on. Are they pants? Are they Not? Can I wear them every day?
Though I long-ago decided I was squarely on the side of “I’ll wear these comfy stretchy things whenever and wherever I darn well please,” I’ve never been totally stoked on wearing them on the trail, and particularly not on overnight trips. They hold sweat and smell, they’re prone to snagging and ripping when subjected to rugged terrain, and they offer little to no protection from wind or rain.
But they were also my only full-length active pants that were even remotely appropriate for hiking. I have pants for winter conditions, ski pants, long johns, and…shorts. Women’s hiking pants tend to be baggy and unflattering (though companies like Prana and Stio have some great, stylish options), and as a rule, I don’t love wearing super futuristic gear on something as low-key as a day hike or an overnighter.
Then I got my hands on a pair of Fila Herringbone Leggings which somehow capitalize on everything that’s awesome about leggings—they’re reliably breathable, stretchy and super-comfortable, and built to really move with you—while remedying everything that makes spandex more at home at a yoga class or on a run than on an epic hike.
Made of a lightweight, durable, quick-drying, and breathable fabric, the Fila Herringbone is much more at home in the backcountry than my Lululemons. They’re cut like a legging with just a little extra room—so, tapered at the ankle, slim through the leg, and rising to just below my bellybutton, but without the total body-hugging suction of a good pair of spandex. Thoughtful design including articulated knees and tons of secure pocket space means they don’t sacrifice movement or function for a trim fit. The minimalism extends to the waistband, which lays flat and holds snug without any buttons, zippers, buckles, or unnecessary bulk, meaning they’re a great match for hip-belts and harnesses. However, the fixed waistband did have me doing a little dance to get them on and off.
Most importantly, the price tag—only $46 on Shopping Blitz. isn’t going to leave you broke, particularly in comparison to gear by other brands. Perhaps less important, they’re super flattering. I wouldn’t necessarily wear them to work, but the versatile deep purple and black are a far cry from your standard safari-pant khaki, and I’d wear ’em around town—cuffed with sandals, at the climbing gym, just about wherever—without hesitation.