Best Compression Pants
If you’ve ever stepped foot in a gym, watched the Olympics, or been passed by a gang of cyclists, you may have noticed the ever-growing trend of compression garments. Aside from comfort and style, these garments can drastically improve your workout routine and even speed up the recovery process. Compression gear is very comfortable to exercise in and will not slide down or bunch up. Compression shorts are popular with both men and women for this reason. After working out, you can end up with very sore muscles. Another feature of compression clothing is to apply pressure to specific muscles. The twenty to forty millimeters of mercury help to enhance blood flow and kick the muscle recovery process into action. An added bonus is compression clothing’s ability to keep your body at a near perfect temperature.
Compression gear is terrific for athletes, gym rats or anyone that is recovering from a serious injury. Of course, they are also nice for people who simply want an amazing base layer for working out. But, compression gear, and for this purpose pants, do so much more than that. Depending on the specific pair of compression pants, they can also be extremely comfortable against your skin and a solution to clammy legs. Most will feature proper ventilation and moisture-wicking technology, which you will find to appreciate very quickly. However, there can only be a select few that garner the label of “the best”. To help you squeeze into the best pair of compression pants even faster, we have done the research and listed the best of the best below.
- Saxx Underwear
- Designed for marathons
- CW-X Stabilyx
- Reinforced waistband
- Fast recovery
- Nike Hyperwarm
- Reduce irritation
- Thermal mesh
10 Best Compression Pants
Saxx uses nine panels of fabric to create the foundation of their compression pants. The result is support for your hamstrings, quads, thighs and glutes.
Two key design features are present to increase the breathability as much as possible. The first are mesh panels that will deliver ventilation to your legs. Second is the moisture-wicking technology that will prevent perspiration from building up.
Comfort is clearly of the essence here and it is obvious once you analyze the design. First off, Saxx only uses Flat Out Seams for their compression pants and this results in smoother contact against your skin. Also, the softer side of the seam is placed inward for further comfort.
There is a unique blend of fabrics in these tights and it includes polyester, modal, nylon, merino wool and viscose.
Sizing and Fitting
All size options from small to XX-large are available to select from. However, a few consumers have noted that they ran small on them; you may want to go a size up.
Granted you get the right size for you, again, you may want to consider sizing up, these are the best compression pants out there. Past the performance, the amazing combination of comfort and breathability is unparalleled.
- Designed for marathon training sessions and extremely hot days
- Overall, very comfortable against your skin
- The pants do not ride up and stay in place very well
- Some reviewers have noted that they do run a little small
These tights harness the midsection, band together the muscles and ligaments to stabilize the knee, support your lower abdominals, and provide targeted support for both your knees and your cores.
The material blend is ideal for breathability as it manages to wick away moisture from your body. In the end, you are left feeling cooler and drier throughout the day.
Thanks to the flat seam construction, the bulkiness of the seams is kept to a minimum. In turn, this increases the comfort as your legs will not feel the seams as much.
CW-X utilizes a blend of 80 percent CoolMax with 20 percent Lycra, and because it is also a four-way stretch fabric, this gives you the properties of flexibility and breathability.
Sizing and Fitting
These tights are designed to better fit women but various users have claimed that they fit tighter than the size indicates. Also, several report it is difficult to take them on and off due to the tightness.
When it comes to pure performance and compression, for women, it is hard to argue with the results. Add to this excellent comfortability due to the flat seam construction and a material that will wick away moisture, and you get a winner.
- The waistband is double reinforced
- Minimizes lactic acid build-up to allow you to recover faster from injuries
- Utterly excellent when it comes to performance
- Can be a hassle to get on and off
- Tend to run tight and small
During your average workout, you will really notice the difference that these tights make for you. Overall, they are what you would expect from a pair of high-quality compression pants.
In areas where you need it the most (such as the lower back leg), thermal mesh has been integrated. In addition to this, the Dri-FIT fabric will pull moisture away from your body and the material itself.
Due to the flatlock seams that knit the fabric together, which reduces the overall amount of chafing that you will experience, you are left with a feel that hugs your skin without irritating it.
The main body of the Hyperwarm Tights is made from a blend of polyester (88 percent) and spandex. Meanwhile, the mesh insets are also made of polyester and spandex, with a little more polyester (92 percent).
Sizing and Fitting
While some users have claimed the fit can be narrow, the waist does provide you with a wide stretch for a streamlined fit. For size options, select from small to XX-large.
The blend of polyester and spandex creates the foundation for the Hyperwarm Tights, and it does an admirable job doing so. This produces next-level comfort and overall, one of the best products out there.
- Due to the wide stretch waist, it is a streamlined fit
- Features thermal mesh on the lower back to enhance ventilation
- To reduce the overall irritation, flatlock seams are used
- Various users report that the fit can be narrow
From the calf all the way to the upper thigh muscles, there is compression. What this means for you is a more efficient workout and when it concludes, a faster recovery time for your legs.
Skins integrates Adaptive HEIQ Technology into their compression pants and it allows them to properly regulate your body temperature. When you begin to overheat, they will cool you down and vice versa.
All the major seams consist of A-Seams. Besides being very durable, this also makes the tights incredibly comfortable against your skin. In addition, the ankle cuffs feature bonded seams for additional comfort.
The main portion of the A400 Compression Pants is made from a blend of nylon and spandex, with the majority being nylon (76 percent).
Sizing and Fitting
To optimize the sizing as much as possible, Skins uses all measurements of the body (chest, limbs, weight and height). As far as selections go, you can choose from small to extra-large.
So, what exactly is that “embarrassing” issue? Various reviewers claim that the crotch area creates what is known as “camel toe”. In public, it may be necessary to wear something underneath to prevent this. But, it does not affect the performance in any way.
- They fit extremely comfortable on your hips
- There is a pocket in the back of the waistband for storage
- At night, the embedded design glows
- Users have taken issue with the crotch area, in general
2XU Elite MCS
The MCS in the name of these tights stands for Muscle Containment Stamping. The MCS adds even more targeted compression benefits to your quads and calves. All the benefits of compression, including special emphasis on your glutes, lower back, and calf muscles, are provided for you. For athletics and injury recovery, these are perfect.
Due to the high filament yarn that is utilized in these pants, they manage to disperse the moisture and heat produced by your body. All in all, they breathe well.
The specialized knit structure, which allows for multi-directional stretch, not only aids in breathability but because of the technically advanced patterns of the fabric, it also excels in comfort for long uses.
In addition to being an extremely well-crafted performance pant, the main fabric used in these compressions pants is a high-quality Invista lycra. This not only allows for all the benefits of comfortability and breathability, but it is also a very form flattering material.
Sizing and Fitting
While 2XU claims that the sizes are typical and true, some users have reported otherwise. Many reviewers have reported the waistband being very snug and they have had a better fit by sizing up from their normal size. Due to the design and desirable fabric return from the Invista lycra, the sizing up did not negatively affect the fit of the rest of the pants. No matter, you can select from extra-small to large.
Despite the sizing issues that seem to be present, these are a fantastic pair of compressions pants that every woman would be enthralled to own. At their core, they are comfortable, manage moisture efficiently, and provide all the performance benefits of compression.
MCS for extra compression
Great for long workouts
Sizes run small
These tights, as the name implies, are indeed tight fitting and this improves the blood circulation and will improve your recovery time when dealing with an injury. Plus, it will increase the efficiency of your workout and provide strong medical effects as a result.
In the winter, this will feature heat retention and in the summer, will prevent your legs from overheating. This is accomplished with their two-way air circulation and moisture-sensing technologies.
The fabric blend is smooth and soft against your skin and because of the materials and does not restrict your motion. However, due to the seam that runs straight down the front, it may be wise to wear underwear underneath to prevent chafing near the groin area.
92 percent of these pants are made from polyester and the other 8 percent belongs to spandex.
Sizing and Fitting
Even though it may seem minor, the amount of size options provided is incredible and will adapt to several people. Everything from XXXX-small to XXXXX-large is available.
Despite a few design flaws that are present, it is difficult to argue with the goods that are delivered here. As a huge bonus for those of you who struggle to find your size, there is an unfathomable amount of options.
- To keep you cooler and drier, these wick away moisture from your body
- The utilized material is highly-resistant to abrasions
- Can select between a wide range of color options
- If you need to use the restroom, you will need to pull the pants down completely
- A seam is present straight down the front and could lead to chafing in the groin area
Under Armour Pants
All the benefits of compression gear are present here and the locked-in feel provided only enhances it.
To prevent moisture from building up over time and causing your body to overheat, these pants do feature moisture-wicking technology. Plus, as odor can be an issue, also integrated is anti-odor technology to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
For all-day workouts and adventures, these will stay comfortable for the extent of it. This is thanks to the ultralight feel, in conjunction with the second-skin fit that is delivered.
The blend of fabrics here is polyester and elastane (which is another word for spandex) with a majority of it being polyester (84 percent). The knitting is also done in such a way that allows for four-way stretch fabrication.
Sizing and Fitting
The choice is yours and you have the options from small to XXXX-large.
When you are contemplating investing in a piece of apparel made from Under Armour, it is never a bad idea. They consistently produce high-quality gear and while their compression pants may have some concerns about longevity, they show why the manufacturer is so well-known in the world today.
- The four-way stretch fabric allows for freedom of motion
- Implements anti-odor technology
- Comes in various sizes from small all the way to XXXX-large
- Some users have taken issue with the durability
2XU Perform Tights
Indeed, the benefits here are nearly endless and enough to keep you coming back for more. This includes support for your quads, hamstrings, abductors, IT band, and glutes, muscle containment which results in reduced vibrations and minimized fatigue, and increased circulation for an improvement in recovery time.
Overall, the material is very lightweight and breathable. Furthermore, it is also antibacterial. As such, the build-up of potentially harmful bacteria to create potent odors will be thwarted.
In terms of freedom of movement, these pants are not restrictive and allow for motion. However, some buyers have taken issue with the groin area; stating that it is the least comfortable area of the tights.
These are crafted from 100 percent Lycra spandex. Thus, providing you with all the great benefits of spandex with the most obvious being its stretchy appeal.
Sizing and Fitting
A wide range of sizes are available for you including everything from extra-small to XX-large. Again, sizing can slightly vary, leading to some users recommending a size up.
Word of advice, if you are going to invest in these (which is not a bad decision on your part), you may want to wear underwear underneath of them. Despite the small problem in the groin area, these truly are a fantastic investment.
- Are very beneficial when recovering from an injury
- Includes a drawstring closure for a custom fit
- Provide ample support when working out
- When it comes to fitting in the groin area, these can be unsettling
No matter the training or exercise regimen that you are partaking in, the compression fit of these tights will provide freedom of movement and long-lasting support for your muscles.
Nike implements advanced cooling technology into their Hypercool Tights that makes them more breathable than their predecessors. What significantly aids in this is the mesh that is designed throughout the back and sides of the pants.
Because Nike went with flat seams, there is virtually no skin irritation associated with the Hypercool Compression Pants.
As opposed to some of the others, the polyester and spandex blend features a touch more spandex (14 percent). As for the mesh panels, it is nearly identical (88 percent polyester and 12 percent spandex).
Sizing and Fitting
These are not full-length tights. Instead, they are only ¾-length and this can add a bit of versatility to your workout. Furthermore, you can select from small to XX-large, in terms of sizes.
Again, the durability and integrity of the fabric do come into question here from various users. As such, be cautious when washing and wearing these pants. Erring on the side of caution, you will notice the benefits right away.
- Integrates mesh throughout the back to keep you cool
- The waistband is both snug and smooth against your skin
- Features flat seams for enhanced comfort
- A number of users have stated the fabric tears too easily
Dragon Fit Compression Yoga Pants
Overall, these are yoga pants with added compression to provide additional support for vascular system all while tucking and smoothing your bumps into curves. The fabric is very thick and stretchy, allowing you to buy your regular size or even size down for more of a compression effect, all while still being comfortable and without the fabric becoming sheer from stretching.
These pants were designed with hot yoga in mind. No more worrying about swimming in your sweat! The nylon/spandex/cotton material blend effectively wicks moisture away as it occurs. This quick drying material helps to keep you dry and comfortable.
Dragon Fit created a seamless product to help prevent chaffing during an active workout, or even from all day casual wear. Reviewers repeatedly mention how thick and comfortable the fabric blend is on these pants, praising them as not only their favorite workout pants but favorite pants in general!
These pants are crafted from a nylon/spandex/cotton material blend. This soft fabric offers a low-friction performance and a perfect amount of stretch.
Sizing and Fitting
Most reviewers claim that the pants run true to size according to the sizing chart provided by Dragon Fit. A wide selection of sizes is offered, ranging from small to XXL. If you want more of a compression effect, it is suggested to buy a size down.
These almost seem like a perfect pair of yoga pants due to the compression factor. However, some users have reported that the compression seems to be concentrated in the tummy area where the pants are smoothing and tucking. While it has been recommended to size down to get more of a universal compression effect, this is a drawback for some people.
Hidden pocket for storage
Variety of different color options
Thick fabric with tummy contouring
Users have questioned the overall compression throughout the pants
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
The Performance Benefits They Provide
So, what is the craze with compression pants or gear in general? For those who really do not understand what pants with compression are, they are more than just a legging to keep your legs warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Instead, they offer nearly endless benefits when you are exercising. This can include reduced muscle fatigue, a lower risk of muscle soreness during a workout, improved recovery when you are dealing with an injury, and an overall easier time of recovering immediately after a workout regimen.
For your muscles, these can be lifesavers. Typically, when you complete your exercising for the day, your muscles will be unbelievably sore and this type of pants will significantly aid in reducing this soreness. Also, they will allow your muscles to breathe better by improving the oxygenation of the muscle tissue. But, these type of pants or tights can be essential for people recovering from a serious injury. Due to the nature and design of them, they boost your muscle strength and hence, the recovery.
So, in turn, when buying a pair of pants, ensure that they actually provide these benefits for you.
Anyone who has spent extensive time researching this type of gear should know a thing or two about breathability. However, for specific apparel that is designed to be used when you are active, it is borderline mandatory. No matter who you are, when you begin to work out you will eventually perspire. If your apparel is not breathable, you will begin to feel clammy and for lack of better words, gross. There are two key factors that contribute to how breathable these pants are. The first is moisture-wicking.
You do not need Da Vinci’s code to crack this one as moisture-wicking does exactly what you would think it would, pull the excess moisture away from your body. With this technology, your skin will be drier and the clamminess feeling will never be prevalent. Secondly is the ventilation which is garnered by mesh. With this integrated, airflow will be allowed to come in through the mesh paneling.
Also, another side feature that is nice is when they are antibacterial. In this instance, they will prevent the build-up of bacteria that will cause potent odors.
How Comfortable They Are
It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this one out as this is a no-brainer. At the end of the day, you can throw all the benefits of any type of clothing aside. If it is not comfortable to wear, then why would you want to wear it? Stupidly simple question, right? But, comfort truly is everything and if you are going to wear something for an extended period of time, it need not provide discomfort.
Thankfully, manufacturers around the world are not clueless about this fact and do everything in their power to develop comfortable clothes. Besides the fabrics being utilized, which can make a big difference, many designers will implement Flat Out Seams in their pants. Oftentimes, the reason why clothing is so uncomfortable is that of the bulky seams that are present. With this specific type of seam design, this will never be an issue and as a result, it tends to feel smooth and soft against your skin. Of course, comfortability can also be a preference and if you have a specific preference of one seam design over another, prioritize it. As long as you are content with it, that is all that matters.
The Fabrics Utilized
When it comes down to it, there are typically two main fabrics that you will see in this type of pants (or gear in general). The main portion will either be, most of the time, polyester or nylon. At this point, if you have been paying attention to the fabrics of the listed pants, you are probably scratching your head as nylon did not appear too much on this list. Yeah, that is not a coincidence as polyester is simply a superior fiber when it comes to compression. Why, so, though?
Basically, it aids in all the aforementioned vital design factors. Indeed, polyester is a highly breathable material that has a natural tendency to wick away moisture, is able to regulate the moisture to prevent overheating, and is an overall comfortable fabric. But, this type of pants is also oftentimes made with a small blend of spandex. Because of its nature, this is what creates the stretchiness and flexibility of the pants. Keep in mind, when you are looking through various pants, spandex, Lycra, and elastane are all the same synthetic fiber.
The Sizing and Fitting
When it comes to compression pants, the fit you are looking for is going to be different than any other piece of clothing you shop for. Oftentimes, when an article of clothing is too tight, you believe this is an issue and want something looser. However, do not fall into this trap as they are designed to be tight. This is what provides the benefits of compression and if you aim for a looser feel, you are undermining the point of the technology.
But, it is still not a bad idea to advise by prior user’s experiences. If the majority of people claim that they are too tight and you should go up one size, do so. Another important note, when selecting your size, you should do so according to your height and weight. If ever unsure, always reference the sizing charts provided for you by the manufacturer.
Q: How to Care for Compression Pants?
You probably already came to this realization but you will need to wash your pants regularly. Now, the manner in which you should wash them all depends on the specific pants. One method may not be applicable to each set of pants and as such, always reference the care label and manufacturer’s recommendations for their pants. However, here is an example and what 2XU recommends for their garment. They insist that if you do machine wash them, do so in cold water and to never use bleach or fabric softeners (simply using your standard laundry detergent should suffice just fine).
Also, they suggest that you should not tumble dry it or iron it; simply hang it up to dry them. Finally, they recommend storing the pants in a protective bag away from direct sunlight.
Q: Do Compression Pants Make you a Better Runner?
This is an age-old question that every runner seems to want to know. Thankfully, Ajit Chaudhari and his team of colleagues aimed to answer the question of if compression pants indeed make you a superior runner. Their results may disappoint you, though. In conjunction with Nike, Chaudhari (a physical therapist at the Ohio State University) and his team tested two separate compression tights provided by the manufacturer.
To quote Chaudhari (paraphrasing a bit), their team concluded that the tights had no real effect on the runner’s height or strength when running. “When we tested them after a 30-minute high-intensity run, we did not see any real effects of the tights”, he claimed. It did not matter which tights the runners wore (between high compression tights, low compression tights or general running shorts), it made no difference at all. You may believe that you are an improved runner, but that is probably a false assumption.
Q: What is the Best Way to Put on Compression Pants?
For any other garment, this question would probably be disregarded as completely foolish and painfully obvious. But, you need to remember what the designed purpose of this type of pants is; to be as tight as physically possible to deliver all the benefits that compression provide. However, on the other hand, this can make them a major hassle to get on and off. They will not fit or go on like a normal pair of pants or tights, that is for sure. As such, here are a few pointers that you can abide by that will hopefully ease the hassle of the process.
First off, if you are struggling, take them off and begin to pull them up past the midway point of each of your legs. From there, bring up each pant leg individually and hold the waistband while you do it. You may have to wiggle them around and such, but this should help. As a side note, if they are still uncomfortable try taking them off and putting them on again (they tend to fit better the second time).
Q: Will Compression Pants Make You More Tired?
This could be a reason why one would not want to wear this type of pants. They may feel that the workout will be too intense and that they could not take it. As Physiclo points out, a manufacturer of such pants, these types of pants or tights are going to work out your body harder and as such, you may feel more tired as a result. But, there really is no harm in this as the only factor you may need to adjust is the timeframe of your workout regimen. However, also remember that with this type of pants, the recovery time is greatly enhanced and your body may feel ready to go quicker than you think.
Q: Can Compression Pants Cause Damage?
This guide has been praising compression pants left and right, and rightfully so. Yet, there is always a flipside to everything and there is some caution that must be taken when wearing this type of pants. In particular, when you wear them too long. Many doctors warn that this can cause issues with your body including Orly Avitzur, who is a medical advisor to Consumer Reports. There is a specific type of nerve pain that can be caused by wearing tight clothing for extended periods of time and Avitzur notes how she sees it with patients.
The condition, which is not important to you, is known as meralgia paresthetica. What happens when you have this ailment is you will notice painful burning and tingling in your thighs. It persists when there is too much pressure on the nerves that run through your groin. While it is more common for other reasons, Avitzur states that she sees it because of shapewear around once a month.
Q: Would Not Working Out Longer Have the Same Effect?
This is a very intriguing question and while this time we are not pointing to scientific evidence to back it up, if you think about it logically you will know the effect will not be the same. A perfect example is to assess the difference between lifting 10 pounds 10 times or 20 pounds 5 times. It all comes down to anaerobic exercise vs aerobic exercise. Let’s say you go on a long-distance run and then a short sprint. In one instance, you are improving your body’s use of oxygen and in the other, you are increasing the strength of your muscles.
While it works, in theory, when you look at it mathematically. If you look at it scientifically, it does not work out quite the same.
Compression pants are so significant for athletes and anyone who is physically active as they provide you with so many performance enhancements. Always remember, they are designed to be very tight to your body so do not fall into the trap of believing you need a looser fit. Granted, these are not for everyone but you will never know unless you try.