Being a 6’1″ tall woman has its advantages. For example, I can reach pretty much every top shelf I encounter, I’ve been tall enough to ride every roller coaster at Cedar Point (bonus points if you know where that is!) since I was about 8 years old, and being long-limbed was definitely an advantage in the pool when I swam competitively. That said, tallness also has its disadvantages, and one of the more annoying ones is how difficult it can be to find clothes that fit properly. Luckily, in terms of casual clothes, the options are starting to expand, with more companies offering Tall or Long versions of their clothes in recent years. Unfortunately, though, workout clothing is more of niche market, so the options remain much more limited. Because I’ve been running for a couple of years now, I’ve had the opportunity to try on (and purchase) running clothes from quite a few brands, and wanted to share my recommendations of those that are the best for tall women. The list below represents the best of what I’ve found so far, and is focused on brands that offer longer inseams on pants, longer torso and sleeve lengths, and longer inseams on shorts (because 3-inch inseams look more like underwear when you’re 6’1″ with a 36″ inseam). I will be sure to update it as I discover more brands!
Update: Since I wrote this post several years ago, a lot of these items have been discontinued or there are new versions. I still recommend these brands, but for a more current list (with working links), check out my new post, Running Tall: Even More Gear for Tall Women!
1. Athleta: Athleta carries tall sizes in many of their running tops and bottoms, and often has great sales. Of note here are their running leggings, which are often particularly hard to find in tall-specific sizes. Check out their selection of running clothes here and look for the Tall size option.
2. Under Armour: Under Armour doesn’t offer tall sizes in their clothing, but I’ve found that their leggings and long-sleeve tops are actually long enough for tall women, so they are a good option if you’re looking for cold weather running gear. I used the ColdGear Fitted Leggings as a base layer or on their own all winter.
3. Skins Compression Clothing: While I love the idea of compression wear, it seems like most quality compression-wear companies have size charts for women that do not extend up to, and definitely not beyond, 6’0″ tall (or above 175 lbs, which can also be very limiting). The Skins size chart actually goes up to 6’1″ tall and goes above 200 lbs. They also offer shorts with >5 inch inseams, which, unlike the 3-inch inseam on many compression shorts, feels much more comfortable (and appropriate) for someone like me who gets most of her height from her legs.
4. Lululemon: Although Lululemon charges an arm and a leg for their clothes, they do have some really great options for tall ladies (and often have great sales). They offer tall sizes in many of their pants, but also have many “regular” options that work just as well for tall women. Their regular length leggings are actually long enough for me. My favorite item from Lululemon, though, is the Run Swiftly Tech shirt, which is available in long-sleeve, short-sleeve, and tank top versions. The torso is cut extra long on these tops, and the sleeves also run long on the long-sleeve version. In addition, they are made with Lululemon’s Silverescent fabric, which is darn near magical with its ability to stay non-stinky even after multiple runs.
5. Skirt Sports: If you are uncomfortable with the idea of wearing just compression shorts, you should check out the running skirts at Skirt Sports. They offer skirts with built-in semi-compression shorties that are 1-3 inches longer than their competitors, so you get more coverage (or, a regular amount of coverage if you are extra tall). The Gym Girl Ultra skirt comes down to almost mid-thigh for me (the shorties have a 5-inch inseam), and is also super cute! Other skirts have shorties with up to a 7-inch inseam.
6. Title 9: While Title 9 offers clothes from many different brands, I actually want to give a shout-out to the Title 9 brand Eureka Pant, which is a good loose-fitting pant for chilly fall weather. It is offered in long sizes, and although it is not the most attractive running pant out there, it is very comfortable and functional. Note that you may want to buy a size down from what you normally wear since they run quite large.
Meagan is a geochemistry research lab manager, runner, Netflix binge-watcher, and Mom to a rescue dog, a bunny, and a human child. She started running in May 2011 and ran her first half marathon in October 2012, followed by her first marathon in October 2013. In July 2018, she joined the triathlon world and completed an Olympic-distance race. After an extended break (pregnancy/maternity leave), she is making a long-overdue return to running and is preparing for a high-elevation half marathon at Crater Lake National Park in August 2020.