Best Running Tights

What you choose to wear while running can have a huge effect on how you perform. Selecting clothes that are both comfortable and functional is key to achieving success. The last thing you need as you clock miles are uncomfortable hot spots or chafing, and clothes that require constant attention as it falls down or gets in the way.

Running tights are a fantastic choice for running apparel. A quality pair of tights for running should cling to your body without being constricting. This means you don’t have to worry about bothersome chafing. The tight fit also means that everything stays where you put it, including extra body fat and curves. This can significantly improve the quality of a run for two reasons. The first is that there is no extra fabric to trip over or get in the way. The second is that feeling secure in one’s clothing can boost confidence, thereby boosting performance.

The two main types of tights for running on the market are compression tights and non-compression tights. Compression tights work by constricting the muscles in your legs throughout your run, which improves performance by increasing blood flow, reducing muscle vibration, and supporting joints. Compression tights can also improve post workout recovery. Non-compression tights are slightly looser, but still, hug your skin. Which style works better for you is a matter of preference, and this guide is here to provide you some insight as you think about what running tights to choose.

Nike Zonal Strength
  • Nike Zonal Strength
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Good fit
  • Comfortable
  • Price: See Here
OngaSoft Mesh Yoga
  • OngaSoft Mesh Yoga
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Attractive design
  • Breathable
  • Price: See Here
SKINS DNAmic Compression
  • SKINS DNAmic Compression
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Compression support
  • Breathable
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Tights

 

 

Nike Zonal Strength

Nike Zonal Strength
The Nike Zonal Strength Men’s Running Tights offer the compression fit while maintaining breathability and stretch. These attractive tights will have you feeling good during and after your run.
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Material

The fabric these tights are made from is a spandex and polyester mix. The material is comfortable and lightweight, meaning you’ll almost completely stop noticing these tights as you run.

Sizing and Fit

The compression fit of these tights helps you achieve optimal performance by reducing muscle vibration and enhancing blood flow. A draw string in the waistband allows you to customize the fit.

Extra Features

These running tights have a small, zippered back pocket that allows you to store small items and keeps them dry. A reflective pattern built into the pant helps vehicles see you in the dark, making it safer to run at night.

Price

With a price point that is consistent with other similar products, these quality running tights are a great deal.

Summary

These compression running tights will make you feel great as you run. With all the features you can ask for and a fit that is spot on, the Nike Zonal Strength Men’s Running Tights are a great choice. An attractive design with subtle details only sweetens the deal.
Pros
  • Good fit
  • Small zippered pocket
  • Comfortable material
Cons
  • A bit pricey
 

OngaSoft Mesh Yoga Leggings

OngaSoft Mesh Yoga Leggings
The OngaSoft Women’s Mesh Yoga & Workout Leggings are capris length running leggings that are thick enough to keep you warm as the temperatures dip into the 40s, but lightweight enough to stop you from overheating on balmy summer days.
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Material

The fabric these tights are made of is an 87% nylon and 13% spandex blend. It is sturdy while also staying stretchy and breathable. These tights are moisture wicking, which keeps you warm and comfortable throughout your run. Mesh opening in the pant legs also help to keep you cool.

Sizing and Fit

These running tights are sized slightly small, so buying a size larger than you normally do may be a good idea. However, if you are looking for a compression fit do not go up a size.

Extra Features

There is a small pocket in the waistband of these leggings that can hold items like your phone or keys.

Price

These leggings come at a great price and are much cheaper than most similar products.

Summary

Given the quality material, attractive design, and great price point on these leggings, the OngaSoft Women’s Mesh Yoga & Workout Leggings are the best deal on this list.
Pros
  • Breathable, sturdy material
  • Attractive design
  • Small pocket
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Run small
 

Skins Dnamic Compression

Skins Dnamic Compression
The SKINS Men’s DNAmic Compression Long Tights are a great choice if you want a compression fit during and after your runs. Offering more support to the joints and breathable material, these pants are extremely comfortable.
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Material

The 76% nylon and 24% elastane material that these running tights are made of is lightweight and breathable while also being tough.

Sizing and Fit

With a compression fit, these pants are tight, however once on they are very comfortable. The tightness of these pants works to create better joint support and blood flow while you run, as well as better muscle recovery after. Although most find that these tights fit well, some men do complain of uncomfortable constraint around the hips and groin.

Extra Features

These running tights do not come with any extra features.

Price

Depending on which style you choose, these tights vary in price. However, in general, expect to spend a bit more for this product.

Summary

The SKINS Men’s DNAmic Compression Long Tights are a great option for quality running tights that offer support in all the right places.
Pros
  • Compression supports joints
  • Breathable and lightweight
Cons
  • A bit expensive
  • Can be tight around hips and groin
 

CompressionZ

CompressionZ
The CompressionZ Women’s Leggings are a well built and affordable option if you are looking for compression tights. They come in a variety of cute designs, so you will look stylish while you run.
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Material

The blend of spandex and polyester that these tights are made from is designed to be tight yet incredibly stretchy. They also dry quickly by wicking moisture away from your body. Some customers have reported that these pants are stiff, but most feel that they have good movement while you run.

Sizing and Fit

These tights are designed to have a compression fit, which means they are very tight. However, they do run a bit small, especially in the waist, so buying a size larger than you normally do is recommended. Some customers have also found that these tights are too lose in the thighs and calves, reducing the effectiveness of the compression fit.

Extra Features

These running tights do not have any extra features.

Price

These tights are very inexpensive compared to other compression running tights.

Summary

The CompressionZ Women’s Leggings are an excellent compression tights option for those on a budget. They are stylish, comfortable, and do a great job of retaining their shape all for a price that won’t break the bank. However, there are some issues with the make, particularly how small these tights run.
Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Comfortable
  • Comes in a variety of styles
Cons
  • Run small
  • Too loose in thighs and calves

Under Armour ColdGear Authentic

Under Armour ColdGear Authentic
The Under Armour ColdGear Authentic running tights are compression tights designed to keep you warm during the winter. Although they don’t work in super frigid temperatures, they are quite comfortable in temperatures that dip into the low 30s Fahrenheit. In temperatures lower than this they can work well as a base layer.
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Material

These pants are made of dual layer material that works to wick moisture and dry quickly outside the tight, while trapping heat to keep you warm inside. The materials these tights are made of does pill easily, sometimes after just one wash.

Sizing and Fit

Overall the fit of these running tights is consistent with standard sizing. As they are designed with a compression fit, these pants are tight. The waist does sit high, which is uncomfortable for some.

Extra Features

These running tights do not have any extra features.

Price

These tights are sold for a price that is consistent with the prices found for similar products.

Summary

Perfect for chilly fall and spring runs or to go under your sweatpants during your mid-winter jogs, the Under Armour ColdGear Authentic running tights are a great choice for comfortable compression tights that will keep you warm.
Pros
  • Warm
  • Comfortable material
Cons
  • Pill quickly
  • Not suitable for sub 30 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Waist sits high

CW-X Endurance Generator

CW-X Endurance Generator
The CW-X Men’s Endurance Generator Tights are a quality option when it comes to compression tights. Coming in a few attractive yet subtle styles, these running tights will have you looking and feeling great.
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Material

These tights are made of thick, sturdy material that helps keep you cool by pulling moisture from inside the pant to the outside. The fabric, which is a polyester and spandex blend, regulates temperature well, although it can get hot in the groin area on especially warm days.

Sizing and Fit

These pants are tight, when is ideal for a compression running tight. Some customers did report however that these running tights are too tight, but most are happy with the fit. There is a drawstring inside the waistband, which helps customize the fit and keep the tights in place.

Extra Features

These running tights feature a unique pattern that not only looks great but gives added support to the hips, pelvis, and knees.

Price

With a price point that is much higher than what one would pay for similar products, these running tights are out of most people’s budgets. However, if you can pay these are a great choice for compression running tights.

Summary

The CW-X Men’s Endurance Generator Tights are a great option for short and long runs alike. These compression tights will keep you feeling fit and nimble on the go, and help you optimize your recovery once you have returned home.
Pros
  • Attractive design
  • Compression supports joints
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Can get hot
  • Fit may run small

Nike Power Speed Tight

Nike Power Speed Tight
The Nike Women’s Power Speed Tight is a high-quality compression tight. It comes in many different colors and styles, all of which are attractive. Many customers report loving these tights so much that they own more than one pair.
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Material

The polyester material that these leggings are made of wicks moisture well, but once they get wet it does take them some time to dry out.

Sizing and Fit

The fit of these tights is exceptional. Designed to put the appropriate amount of pressure on muscles so as to optimize your performance, the compression fit of these tights does its job well. They are also very true to size.

Extra Features

These tights have a small zippered pocket in the center back.

Price

With so many designs and styles, the price on these tights can vary significantly. In general, expect to pay in the middle to expensive range for a pair.

Summary

This incredibly popular running tight has such a good reputation for a reason. The Nike Women’s Power Speed Tight is a high-quality compression tight that keeps its shape after repetitive use. The fact that these tights come in so many styles and with a handy pocket only sweetens the deal.
Pros
  • Excellent compression fit
  • Zippered back pocket
  • Wide variety of styles
Cons
  • Some styles are expensive

Adidas Running Response

Adidas Running Response
The Adidas Women’s Running Response Long Tights are a great running pant for all year. Thick, high-quality material makes them warm, while breathability means you won’t overheat.
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Material

These tights are made of an 83% polyester and 17% elastane blend that stays tight yet stretchy and works to wick moisture away from the body.

Sizing and Fit

Although these are not compression tights, they do still hug the body and retain their shape over time. They can run a bit roomy in the waist, but come with a drawstring inside the waistband, making this problem easy to solve. If you are tall, be warned that these tights run short on some women.

Extra Features

A small pocket located in the waistband can store integral items such as your phone or keys. These tights also have zippers along the back of the leg, which can be opened to increase ventilation, and reflective details so that a car can spot you if your running at night.

Price

The price of these tights is consistent with that of other products of similar quality.

Summary

If you enjoy running outside all year round, the Adidas Women’s Running Response Long Tights are a great choice. Although they may not work for the coldest or hottest days, the thick but breathable material on these will keep you comfortable the rest of the time.
Pros
  • Sturdy yet breathable material
  • True to fit
  • Small Pocket
Cons
  • Waist can run loose
  • Too short for tall women

CW-X ¾ Length Stabilyx

CW-X ¾ Length Stabilyx
The CW-X Women’s Stabilyx Tights are compression running tights designed to offer extra support to your joints, especially the knees, hips, and pelvis. The capris style featured here is great for runs on hot summer days.
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Material

The high-quality material of these tights is a polyester and elastane mix that helps keep you dry as you run by pulling moisture away from the skin. The fabric is thin, which means these pants are cool but also that they tear easily. Some customers have also complained about the material being see through

Sizing and Fit

These tights are designed with a compression fit specifically to support the joints. People with knee and hip injuries have found that these pants help reduce pain while they work out. However, if you do not have joint problems these running tights can cut-off circulation and buying a size up may be a good idea.

Extra Features

These running tights do not have any extra features.

Price

These tights come in many different styles. The price depends on which style you choose, however in general expect to pay more than you would for similar products.

Summary

The CW-X Women’s Stabilyx Tights have changed running for many women dealing with knee injuries. These well-made compression tights will make your bad joints feel brand new, while keeping you comfortable and stylish.
Pros
  • Compression supports joints
  • High quality material
  • Cool and breathable
Cons
  • Rips easily
  • Too tight for some
  • See through material

Under Armour Fly-by

Under Armour Fly-by
The Under Armour Women’s Fly-by Printed Legging comes in a large variety of colors, making it easy to pick a style that is perfect for your look.
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Material

The polyester and elastane blend that these pants are made of wick moisture and regulate airflow to keep you cool as you run.

Sizing and Fit

These tights use a compression fit to keep your blood pumping as you run. Unfortunately, customers have found that these pants stretch easily, with some reporting as few as 12-15 uses before they start to lose their shape. Purchasing a size smaller than you normally do may help make these tights last longer.

Extra Features

A small zippered pocket is located on the back of these tights. Although it is not very large, this pocket has enough space to fit your phone or iPod and the key to your home.

Price

These leggings sell for a reasonable price compared to other similar items.

Summary

With a super handy pocket feature and a variety of styles, the Under Armour Women’s Fly-by Printed Legging is a stylish and utilitarian choice. However, the questionable quality of this product may mean it is not worth the price.
Pros
  • Zippered pocket
  • Many different styles
  • Moisture wicking
Cons
  • Runs large
  • Stretches quickly

Criteria Used For The Evaluation

How tight you want your tights to be

This is really a question of whether compression or non-compression tights are right for you, however, within the market for compression tights, there are varying degrees to how body constricting they can be. Compression tights should still be comfortable, as losing circulation while you run is definitely not ideal. They simply need to be tight enough to add a slight constriction to your muscles, which increases blood flow, helps keep your muscles remain still, and gives added support to your joints.

The best way to figure out how tight you want your tights for running to be is to try some out. Go to a local retailer where you can find a variety of different styles and brands, and try as many as you can on. Take your time and really move around in each pair of tights. You want to be sure that you feel comfortable and unrestricted. For some, this means no compression at all, while others prefer a high level of constriction. Again, this is a preference and really comes down to what will make you feel the best as you clock mileage.

 

What extra features are important to you

Running tights can come with a few extra features that for some may not be extra at all. These features can make a pair of tights more utilitarian, comfortable, or even safe.

Pockets are an incredibly helpful feature that is being built into many modern tights for running. They can be found on either the back or in the waistband of a tight. Back pockets tend to be larger and often can be zippered shut, which makes them a safe place to put important belongings as you run. The size and position can make them bulky though, and if you are going to use it frequently, make sure the pocket is made of sturdy material that won’t pull your tights down when filled. Waistband pockets are typically quite small, with the ability to fit only one or two tiny items. They are also usually open, but this is less of a problem since they are normally placed in the front of the tights, meaning it is easy to notice if an item comes dislodged. Runners usually need to bring things like their keys and an audio device with them as the run, and pockets make this possible without having to wear a backpack or extra waistband. If you know that you will have to carry belongings such as these with you as you run, make sure to look for a pair of tights for running that includes a pocket.

Drawstrings are another great feature that many tights for running have. At first, it may seem unnecessary to have a drawstring in tights, which are designed to stay tight against the body. However, like any other piece of clothing, tights for running can stretch over time, especially cheaper ones that are made of lower quality material. Drawstrings can help make tights for running last longer as they stretch, since securing the drawstring before heading out ensures that your tights will stay put. Skinnier people should also look for running pants with drawstrings as the drawstrings ensure the tights will fit even if the waist is a bit too large. In general, drawstrings can only help performance and are definitely an addition you should look for.

The final extra feature that you may want your running pants to have is a reflective fabric that can be seen by passing vehicles at night. Although this quality is only integral for runners who plant to exercise in the evening or at night, this is another feature that can’t hinder performance. Furthermore, if you are someone who loves to run at night, reflective pants can greatly increase your safety. Night runners should make sure the tights for running they buy have this feature, while other runners should not be discouraged from purchasing a pair of tights that have reflective fabric.

These are some of the most important extra features that can be found on tights for running. Think carefully about what your needs are before purchasing a pair, and decide if any of these additions are integral to the quality of your experience.

 

The material that a pair of running tights is made from

Running tights are typically made of synthetic fibers. The fabrics made from these materials tend to be well suited for this style of pants, since they are stretchy without losing their shape. While cotton and other natural fibers can also be quite stretchy, they become baggy much more quickly, thereby making them an inferior choice for athletic gear. Synthetic materials can also be easily treated to be moisture wicking, quick drying, and water repellent. Most running tights are made from a blend of polyester and one other synthetic fiber. Common choices are nylon, elastane, and spandex. All three of these materials offer a tight-fitting stretch that will bounce right back into place.

The material of your tights for running should also be thick enough to be sturdy and offer adequate coverage. Thin material can rip easily. It can also be see through, which is not something you want to discover after having used your new running tights a few times. When purchasing a pair of running tights make sure to take a close look at buttocks to ensure that the tights are not translucent. The thickness of the material that running tights are made from can also clue you into how well the tights will hold their shape. Thinner, weaker material can start to get baggy sooner, while the thicker material is more likely to bounce back to its original form once you take the tights off.

 

The temperatures at which you will primarily be running

If you are going to primarily use your tights for running in hot weather, you will probably want a cooler pant. Cropped length pant legs, and lightweight, breathable material are two things to look for if summer running is your goal. Anyone who plans to run in cooler temperatures though should avoid capris. Bare ankles in chilly weather can make for a miserable experience, especially if there is any wind. Winter runners should make sure that whichever running tights they choose offer full leg coverage. Thicker material will also help keep you warm during runs on frigid days.

 

Knee, hip, or pelvis injuries that need support as you run

If you are dealing with injuries in any of these areas than compression tights are probably a good idea. Running creates repetitive shock force that can be quite damaging to joints, especially joints that have been injured in the past. Many runners with these types of problems experience constant pain during their workouts. Not only is this a nuisance that makes it difficult to continue, but the consistent pain is a sign that you are halting the healing process and possibly causing more damage, and could mean that you are in danger of reinjuring your bad joint.

For many runners with these problems, compression tights are a life saver. The tight material of these pants holds joints in place as you move and reduces the impact vibrations that are what cause the majority of the repetitive damage. Although tightly restricting an injury may sound counterproductive at first, it is in fact often the best thing that you can do. Make sure to ice any injured area after a run, since exercise can cause dangerous inflammation. Also, pay attention to your body and stop running if pain persists or worsens. As great as compression pants can be for getting you back out there post injury, they are not fail safe and cannot top taking it easy when something is truly wrong.

 

FAQs

Q:   How do compression tights work?

Throughout a run, compression tights constrict a runner’s legs as they run. This helps move blood more quickly and consistently throughout the leg, which helps the runner warm up faster and experience fewer cramps. Compression tights also hold muscles in place, thereby reducing the harmful effects of the repetitive impact on joints that running can cause. Finally, these types of tights give support to the hips, pelvis, and knees. This can be a game changer for runners recovering from injury. Some even find that compression tights reduce pain so significantly that running goes from something they can barely do to a daily activity.

Compression tights are also very useful for post run recovery. Most important to this is the fact the running tights increase blood flow. After a run, your muscles have to rebuild themselves, and the faster they receive nutrients the more quickly they are able to do this. Compression on these muscles sends blood to them at a higher rate. Instead of taking your tights off as soon as you get home keep them on for a half hour to an hour and you will most likely experience a quicker and more comfortable recovery.

 

Q:  Do running tights work as base layers?

Although tights for running are made to be worn by themselves in any kind of weather, they can also make great base layers when the temperature dips way down. Wearing them under a pair of running pant or sweatpants can be an excellent way to stay warm. Furthermore, if you prefer compression tights, layering these tights in the winter will allow you to continue utilizing their benefits even when they would be chilly on their own. The most important thing to consider when pairing tights for running as a base layer under pants is breathability. You want there to be some space in between the two layers, as this allows the cold air to escape. The extra space will then be filled with your warm body heat, creating greater insulation. When the two layers sit tightly against each other the cold air becomes trapped. This can actually be colder than having one layer alone. Before going for a run in multiple layers of pants, also make sure that your movement and comfort are not impeded.

 

Q:  How does one avoid chafing while wearing running tights?

The most important factor in avoiding chafing is making sure that your apparel and gear fit snuggly against your body. Since tights for running are designed to be close fitting, chafing is typically not a problem. Still, look for any potential problem areas before a run. Bunching fabric at the hips or knees, and loose seams are what you should be looking for most closely. Running tights are often designed to sit very specifically against the body, with seams that are supposed to follow the contours of your muscles. If the seams don’t lay correctly on your body it is likely that hotspots and chafing will occur. This can be avoided by picking tights that move with you but not on you, i.e. tights do not shift across your body as your run.

 

Q:  How can one be sure they are picking the right size?

Experience is the best way to be sure you are picking a pair of tights that will fit you well. Although most brands use the same sizing standards, a small Under Armour tight may be completely different form a Nike tight of the same size. A great way to ensure the tights you buy will always fit is to find a brand you love and continuously shop there. However, if you are looking to buy your first pair of running tights, start by thinking about how much compression you want or if you want any at all. Before purchasing anything read the specs and product reviews thoroughly. This will tell you if you should size down or up. Of course, you can never truly be sure that a pair of running tights will fit until you try them on, but following this advice will at least help to stop you from buying something in the wrong size.

 

Q:  Why should I spend more on running tights?

Forking over a large amount of money for one piece of clothing can be painful, but is worth it when it comes to tights for running. Although there are cheap products on the market, the price of a pair of tights for running tends to be a reflection of the quality of the material. Cheaper tights typically lose their shape more quickly, tear more easily, and are made of thinner, more translucent material. Furthermore, quality extra features are more common on pricier tights. It may seem like a good idea to buy the cheapest tights you can find, but chances are you are going to have to spend that money again once the tights fall apart after a few months. Spending a bit more on a quality pair of tights for running will therefore not only make you look and feel better, but it could save you money in the long run.

 

Final Thoughts

Running tights are the preferred pants style for many runners. If you have yet to try them I highly recommend buying a pair. While pants can sometimes feel bulky, the streamlined style of a running tight helps you move with ease. The added benefits of compression fit tights make purchasing a pair even more appealing.