The North Face Perfect Core High-Rise legging cultivates the perfect core with a tight power-mesh waistband that does a great job of sucking everything in and keeping it tight. This design shapes well and keeps the leggings securely in place, doing exactly what the title indicates, creating the "perfect core". That being said, the waistband is constricting and uncomfortable, and while we could handle these tights for a couple of hours, they are not for all-day wear. With the waistband being so tight, every time we would assume a forward fold or try to move through chaturanga, the position on our hips would shift a little and start to squeeze our love handles and had us constantly readjusting throughout practice.We aren't the biggest fans of these tights for yoga practice, but they will do well for a day out hiking or running. If you're looking for something that is ultra-soft and comfortable, the Beyond Yoga Caught in the Midi High-Waist is an excellent choice, and we loved our Editors' Choice winner, the Lululemon Align II, for its combination of good support, breathability, comfort, and great ease of movement. If you are looking for the best option for tummy control though, the Perfect Core is where it's at.
The North Face Perfect Core High-Rise Review
Cons: Uncomfortable, constricting, limited ease of movement
Manufacturer: The North Face
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The North Face Perfect Core High-Rise are made with an 89% Supplex nylon and 11% Lycra Black spandex blend. They currently come in limited color choices (Black, Navy, and Blue), and no patterns. The current sizing options are XS to XL in short and regular inseams.
We scored this pair on the lower end for breathability. Normally when we think of breathability in yoga pants, we are considering the way the material breathes and vents our sweat, but this pair actually impeded our bodies' ability to breathe! The waist is so tight that it can be challenging to take a deep breath when wearing them.
As for the material's ability to breathe, it was just okay. The current material formulation feels thick, and we got a little sweaty in this pair. However, it was moisture-wicking and dried quickly while wearing. Since we tested the black color, you couldn't see if the leggings were wet or not. This pair currently also comes in a Navy and "Dazzling Blue" option; since we didn't test these colors, we can't confirm whether they darken considerably when wet or not.
Ease of Movement
There's virtually no stretch in the mesh waistband, and when you are twisting or bending, you can feel the pants holding you back. When you try to move through chaturanga and the pants move a little out of place, they suddenly feel like they are squeezing in all of the wrong places and we found ourselves adjusting the waistline quite a bit throughout practice to make sure our love handles were not being squished.
The rest of the legging was not particularly stretchy either, and when trying to get into splits or lotus, we noticed a lot of resistance. This is where our Editors' Choice winner, the Lululemon Align II excelled, allowing us to move easily into any pose we tried without holding us back.
Comfort and Fit
If you couldn't tell already, we thought this was the least comfortable pair in this review. TNF states alternately that the mesh panel offers "core support" and "helps you engage your core."
Those are two different things. In our opinion, the waist offers more of the former. It keeps everything sucked in tight, but we didn't find that it made us activate our core more than any other pair. While these might do the trick for a quick workout, we certainly didn't find that they're comfortable enough for errands or lounging.
Overall, the durability of these pants was comparable to most of the others in the review. After a handful of wears and washes, we noticed some piling - but overall, the seams stayed woven together. These pants are on the thicker side, and our testers agreed they would make an excellent hiking or running pant, especially over some of the models with thinner fabric.
While this pair of leggings didn't score very high in any of the other categories, we were happy to give it a high mark for style. The high-waist and compression panel minimize the dreaded "muffin-top," and the leggings have a long and lean look to them.
The Perfect Core High-Rise wasn't our favorite pair to practice yoga in. The fabric is a little on the heavy side, and the compression waist felt constricting, and they limited our ease of movement. But, they might be just what you're looking for if you're after a pair for hiking or running. Or, if you are looking for a pair of leggings to pair with a tunic, these will suck everything in and provide decent shaping.
These leggings retail for $99 which is at the top of the price bracket for this category. If you can't see yourself spending quite that much, the Best Buy 90 Degree by Reflex High Waist Powerflex, our Best Buy winner offers decent compression at a fraction of the price.
The North Face Perfect Core High-Rise are not for everyone. Anyone looking for extra support in the tummy area will appreciate this pair, but you may not find them to be incredibly comfortable, nor might you want to wear them all day. They also aren't the greatest pair for practicing yoga in due to what we found to be a limited ease of movement, but they could work well for other activities like hiking, running, or climbing.
— Hannah Hall & Cam McKenzie Ring