Compression tights are an integral part of many athletes’ wardrobes. Why? Because of the many benefits they offer.
The spandex-like fabric presses tightly against the legs, improving the circulation of oxygen in the blood, supporting muscle movements and reducing vibrations, which in turn leads to less fatigue and muscle soreness. All of which can greatly improve performance.
If you’re looking to add a quality pair of compression tights to your arsenal of athletic gear, keep reading for a list of our favourite tights and how to pick the ones that will suit you best.
2XU Elite Compression Tights
If you’re a runner, you absolutely need these compression tights in your closet. The MCS mapping targets the quad and calf to reduce muscle strain and soreness.
The lightweight multi-stretch fabric offers unbeatable comfort and fit—so you can run for hours without stopping to readjust. Plus, 2XU went even further by making their tights antibacterial and sun protected! Talk about the ultimate find.
- Anatomically mapped muscle support
- Lightweight fabric
- Multi-directional stretch
- Antibacterial technology
- UPF50+ sun protection
- Pricey, no reflective tech
2XU Hi-Rise Women’s Compression Tights
Finally, a compression tight that meets all of your exercise needs. These tights are perfect for running, core work, athletics, or a hard gym session.
The graduated compression relieves sore over-worked muscles and the extra-wide waistband and multi-directional stretch provide the perfect fit. Plus, there’s hidden storage in the waistband, meaning you don’t need to carry your phone or keys around in your hands.
Whatever your performance goals are, these tights are sure to help you meet them.
- High-waisted cut offers core support and comfort
- Extra-wide waistband for the ultimate fit
- Graduated compression
- Multi-directional stretch
- Not available in all sizes
- Some people may not love the high-waistband
Author’s Note: High-waisted pants are perfect for high-intensity training because they slide down a lot less than other cuts. Plus, the added support and compression to your core is perfect for weight training and abdominal workouts.
Skins A400 Series Compression Tights
These tights offer compression in all the right places, reducing fatigue and increasing oxygen flow to active muscles. Moisture wicking fabric keeps you dry and comfortable, while warp knit fabric keeps a constant controlled compression on the legs.
- Made with 5 different technical fabrics
- A-seams to prevent chafe
- Dynamic gradient compression increases oxygen delivery to muscle
- Moisture wicking fabric
- High price point, may be harder to size correctly
2XU Reflect Run Tights With Storage
2XU has crafted the ultimate runner’s dream—a pair of effective compression tights that keep them illuminated and safe from dusk till dawn.
The powerful compression fabric offers rapid recovery, helping you reach your goals (and the finish line) faster.
A large back pocket offers the perfect place to stash your phone or keys so you can run hands-free. These tights are the perfect combo of safety and effectiveness.
- 360 reflective technology
- Powerful compression
- Large back pocket for convenient storage
- Personalised fit from waistband and drawcord
- A bit pricey
Under Armour Perpetual Powerprint Leggings
Under Armour have packed a serious amount of tech into these leggings to ensure you get the most out of your workouts. The standout feature is the UA Perpetual Powerprint strips, designed to help support and guide your muscles.
These leggings are a tight fit to provide full compression benefits, and are constructed with smooth, free-cut fabric. Stretch-mesh panels help with ventilation, moisture wicking fabric assists when you sweat, and 4-way stretch construction ensures these move well in whichever direction you need them to.
To top it off, these leggings have a comfortable elastic waistband with an internal pocket.
- Ultra-tight compression
- Smooth, free-cut fabric
- 4-way stretch construction
- Material wicks sweat & dries fast
- Strategically placed powerprint taping
- Internal pocket
- Quite expensive
What to look for
There’s a big difference between “really tight pants” and true compression tights.
To reap the benefits of compression wear, you’ll need to be picky when choosing a brand. Important things to note include:
- Look for brands that have proven track records for quality and results.
- Only buy compression tights with graduated compression throughout—getting tighter (more compressed) as they move further from the heart.
- Buy the proper size and fit your body and needs.
Finding Your Size
A lot of times, when people try on their first pair of compression tights, they assume they need to go up in size.
However, that’s usually not the case. Compression tights should be tight. A lot tighter than any other pants you own.
The size you choose should be based on your height and weight, not necessarily your typical pant size. For a helpful article on finding your right size, click here.
To Compress Or Not To Compress
Deciding if compression tights are right for you depends on your goals and activities. The obvious sports people wear compression tights for are running and other high-intensity activities like CrossFit.
However, brands like 2XU are always upping their compression technology to be more sport specific.
If you find yourself running a lot (especially in extreme temperatures), biking, hiking, or participating in other high-intensity activities—you’d probably benefit from a quality pair of compression tights.
Or, if your legs are often sore and fatigued after exercise, you might consider giving compression tights a try.
Compression tights offer support and relief to fatigued sore muscles, and they can help you run further and workout longer.
If you don’t already own a pair, you can’t go wrong with one of the above.
Cheers, and happy running!