I wrote my original Running Tall posts quite a few years ago and while most of the brands I included still offer options for tall women (and I still own and use many of those pieces), several items are no longer available or there’s a new version. So, I wanted to publish an updated list of brands/gear that I currently rely on and/or would recommend. For those of you joining us for the first time – Hello! I’m Meagan; I’m 6’1″ and a size 12-14 (L-XL depending on the brand). Safe to say, I am definitely not your average-sized runner/triathlete, meaning that in the last 8+ years, I’ve spent a lot of time searching for gear that works for someone my height/size (and when I do find it, you better believe I buy multiples). Here are the brands I recommend:
1. Old Navy: I own my fair share of expensive pieces of running clothing, and yes, most times pricier brands do mean better quality, but I generally spend most of my time wearing (and loving) the cheapest gear I own*, several items of which are from Old Navy. They make athletic wear in tall sizes (and I mean actually cut for tall women, not just for average height women with somewhat long legs/torsos) and I have a couple of running tops and leggings from them that I bought a couple of years ago and continue to use frequently. The only annoying thing about Old Navy’s options (and Athleta and Fabletics, which are included below), is that they seem to have the most variety in the 7/8 length leggings, which I don’t understand, because I’ve spent my entire life avoiding buying pants that expose several inches of my ankles by not quite being long enough. 🤷🏼♀️ Did I miss a memo, here? Anyway, moving on…
*Shout out to the $25 Champion capris from Target that I’ve been running in for 5+ years and are STILL in great shape.
2. Athleta: In the same vein as Old Navy, Athleta, which I’ve included before in my Running Tall lists, is a staple of my tall girl’s running wardrobe. In fact, they’re owned by the same parent company, so no big suprise their stuff also fits well. Athleta often offers very similar styles to those available at Old Navy, but the quality is noticeably better. I will note that I’ve been disappointed in the Athleta sports bras, as the straps are not cut quite long enough (even when adjustable) for longer torsos, but their running shirts and leggings are top notch, and honestly I would spend all of my money there if I could. I’ve found that even their regular long-sleeve running tops are cut plenty long in the torso and sleeves for someone my height. My favorite piece from them right now is an older version of the Foresthill Merino Wool Ascent top.
3. Fabletics: I’ve recommended the Fabletics leggings before, because they offer them in tall sizes (and I still stand by that recommendation), but sports bras can also be tricky for tall ladies. Turns out most straps aren’t long enough for tall torsos! Additionally, if you’re like me and recently had a baby, your boobs are probably bigger than before and/or have migrated a bit to the south, and Fabletics bras the only ones I’ve found that provide enough coverage that I would actually consider running in public in them without a shirt. I also just bought a pair of their Mila High-waisted Leggings and I absolutely love them and am planning to buy the shorts version (that features a 9 inch inseam!) as soon as warmer weather rolls around.
If you sign up for a Fabletic’s VIP membership you get reduced prices – there’s no monthly fee, you just have to remember to log in to “Skip” before the 5th of each month, or they’ll charge $50 of store credit to your account. I’ve forgotten a couple of times, so I had to set myself a recurring reminder on my phone. This is my referral link, if you’re so inclined: Fabletics VIP sign-up.
4. SheBeest: I got turned onto SheBeest while we were training for our triathlon in 2018. I’ve found that the majority of triathlon gear was not created for larger than average-size women (either in height or weight). Maybe it’s just that triathlon clothing companies haven’t succumbed to vanity sizing as much as others, but at a size 12-14 and 6’1″, I’m at or above the largest size for most tri gear. Zoot tri shorts, for example, come in a 7 inch inseam, but the rise is lower than I’d like, so they hit me in a weird place on my waist. I’m over 30 and had a baby 8 months ago – high-waisted is the only type of waist I’ll tolerate anymore. The SheBeest Petunia tri shorts are high-waisted, have a not-too-short, not-too-long inseam, and have become my go-to for running shorts (and for triathlon training/races), and they come in sizes all the way up to 3X with fun patterns!
5. Under Armour: I’ve recommended the Under Armour Cold Gear leggings in the past, which were long enough despite the fact that they didn’t offer tall sizes, but lo and behold, now they do make leggings, pants, and tops in tall! Full disclosure, I haven’t tried these on, and a couple of the inseams are listed as 34-35″ for the pants, so I’m slightly skeptical that they would be quite long enough on me, but for those of you 6’0″ and under, I think they’d be fine. If you end up purchasing some, please leave a comment or hit us up on social media to let me know how they fit!
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.