10 Best Nike Running Pants Compared
Finding the perfect running pants can be a task, but it doesn’t have to be. Nike has a good selection of running pants for all ages that have the features you’ve been looking for. Whether you are striving for comfort, wind/water resistant, something that keeps the sweat away, or extra pockets for storing your running essentials you’re sure to find what you’re looking for with Nike.
10 Best Nike Running Pants
1. Nike Zoom Running
These Nike women's Zoom running pants feature an elastic waist, but also come with a drawcord. That's perfect so you can tighten them so they don't slide while you run.
If you like running pants with an elastic waist but have a hard time with them slipping down, you'll want to give these a try. You'll enjoy that extra support with the adjustable cord that allows you to tighten the pants just the way you need them on your run.
If you are looking for a women's lightweight running pant you'll want to check these out. They seem to meet the basic needs of runners providing adjustable waist, zippered pockets, and a small ventilation down the side seam. You'll find these quite comfortable.
- Elastic waist with Drawcord
- Side Zip Pockets
- Ventilated strip on side seams
- Not lined
2. Nike Dri-Fit Woven
They provide some ventilation on your run which is great to help keep sweat away. Nike has used their Dri-Fit fabric that will keep sweat away allowing you to breathe more easily.
If you are looking for a running pant that provides some extra storage this one is worth taking a look at. It has 2 zippered side pockets. You will be able to breathe during your run as it provides ventilation. Lastly, it provides reflective components on select colors that will make it easier for others to see you when you are out on your run.
- Side Zip Pockets
- Ankle Zippers
- Reflective (in select colors)
- Can be seen as pricey
- Leg of pants may run short in size
- Mesh material is a preference
3. Nike OTC65
My favorite thing about these pants is all the pockets. Runners who are always looking for those small extra places to store things will want to give these pants a try. They have 2 side pockets that zip, and a back hip pocket that zips as well. While you are out running you'll stay dry in the rain & warm in the wind. They will provide an adequate amount of ventilation with Nike's Dri-Fit fabric that helps keep sweat away.
This seems to be the perfect running pant for ventilation & storage. If you've had difficulty finding running pants that provide extra storage take a look at these. They offer 2 side zip pockets, and a back hip zippered pocket for storage.
- Zippers at bottom of legs
- Zip side pockets
- Zip pocket on back hip
- Water & Wind Resistant
- May be big in the pant leg for those with smaller legs
4. Nike Flash Boys' Hyperspeed Fleece Training
These pants are an elastic waist but they do have a drawcord so you can tighten them to your liking. They come with a pocket on each side, and some speckles on the bottom cuffs of the pant leg which provide reflectivity so others can spot them when they are running in low lit areas.
This is a great boys running pant that is comfortable, durable, and will keep them warm & dry. It comes equipped with Nike's Therma-Fit, and Dri-Fit fabrics that are composed to keep sweat away, and keep you warm. You'll get a proper fit with the elastic waist and drawcord. The reflective speckles will provide some visibility for others to see them when they run.
- Water & Wind Resistant
- Reflective speckles on cuffs
- Side pockets
- Drawcord for waist
- Machine washable
- May be considered pricey
5. Nike Power Epic Lux Running Crop
You'll help to keep the sweat away with Nike's Dri-FIT fabric that provides ventilation while you run. It has a see-through mesh material that starts behind the knees and wraps around to the front of the leg to keep sweat away and allow your skin to breathe freely.
This is a flattering women's running pant that is cropped just above the ankle. It's durable, comfortable and will hold everything right where you want it to. You won't be a sweaty mess when you return home from your run because the ventilation that wraps around from behind your knees will help keep the sweat away.
- Stetchy Spandex
- Keeps sweat away
- slash pocket
- Zip pocket in back
- Reflective features
- The mesh ventilation is a preference
- Legs may be longer for shorter persons
6. Nike Dri-Fit Shield Running
Worried about being warm but also having the proper ventilation? These pants have Nike's Dri-FIT material that helps keep sweat away and allowing your body to breathe while you run.
These are a great pair of men's running pants that will shield you from the rain and windy weather with their specialized zoned shield fabric. Additionally, while you are warm you'll want to make sure your skin can breathe and these running pants will provide that ventilation with their Dri-Fit fabric that is intended to keep sweat away from your body.
- Wind & Water Resistant
- Stretch cuffs
- Zip vent cuffs
- Reflective components
- Zip pockets
- Thermal insulation
- Sizes may run small
- Limited colors
7. Nike Dri-Fit Legend Skinny Fit Training
Aren't you always searching for running pants that have the sweat away feature? These running pants will help keep sweat away and allow you to concentrate on your run as they have Nike's Dri-Fit material in them which is designed to do so.
These will be a flattering slim fit yoga style running pant that you will be quite comfortable in. The wide leg in the pant will make it easier for you to slide your shoes on and off. Although not ventilated, they do have a Dri-Fit material that will help to keep the sweat away while you are running. You may even find yourself wanting to wear these when you're not running.
- Dri-Fit material helps keep sweat away
- Wide Leg
- Not ventilated
8. Nike Dri-Fit Thermal Running
Pockets that zip - you can count me in. Finding that pair of running pants that has zip pockets so you can store your additional items is a must for runners.
These men's Dri-Fit thermal running pants will make for a comfortable run. You'll stay warm while benefiting from the Dri-Fit material that will detour sweat from your body. You'll have zip side pockets that will allow you to store your running necessities and reflective strips on the legs that will make you more visible in low lit areas so others will be able to easily see you while you run.
- Keeps sweat away
- Reflective features
- Side zip pockets
- Tapered Knees
- May be considered pricey
9. Nike Epic Training
You'll be comfortable when you run in these 100% polyester running pants that have easy access side pockets to give you that extra comfy feeling. They have an elastic waist, but you won't need to worry about them sliding down because they also come with a drawstring so if you need to pull them tighter you can. Best of all you'll be able to let your body breathe easily with the ventilated mesh panels located on the sides.
These men's running pants are epically comfortable and easy to slide on and off. You'll get 2 pockets that you can store your running necessities in, and an elastic waist that comes with a drawstring that you can pull tighter if need be.
- Drawstring for elastic waist
- sizing may vary
10. Nike Pro Flex Compression
Speaking of ventilation, this running pant provides a Dri-Fit fabric by Nike that helps to keep the sweat away. You'll also find a mesh ventilated area on the back waist allowing your body to breathe more easily.
These are a great lightweight men's running pant that will breathe easily. You'll find a mesh ventilated area on the back waist so that your body can breathe while you run. You'll also find easy access to take your shoes on and off quickly with the featured zip hems at the legs. You'll get the storage you need for your running accessories with the side zip pockets. The drawcord will allow you to pull the elastic waist tighter for a better fit if needed. The reflective features will allow others to see you in areas that do not provide adequate amounts of light.
- Zip Hems
- Ventilation on back waist
- Keeps sweat away
- Reflective features
- Zip side pockets
- Drawcord elastic waist
- lightweight thin pant is a preference
Finding the right pair doesn’t have to be hard. You’ll get comfortable and durable pants that you won’t need to worry about on your run. The hardest part will be decided which amazing features you want on your Nike pants. Are you looking for comfort, looking to keep sweat away, or perhaps you want something that’s going to keep you warm in inclement weather conditions. Whatever your choice it’s a sure bet you won’t go wrong with Nike.
Criteria for Picking Out the Best Nike Running Pants
Nike has an impressive collection of running pants that are available in the market. On this list we focus on the best Nike running pants and why they are the best in the market. Before buying running pants or tights, consider these five important factors—from weather to form-fitting style—to determine which features matter most to you. Then you can find the pair that will become your daily go-to.The below factors were considered in picking out the best Nike running pants.
Material: Chose the right fabric to make the most of your run
Most importantly, pant material can make or break a run. For example, cotton and thick fleece are heavy, bulky, restrictive, and tend to cause chaffing with repeated friction, an inevitable force when you run. Cotton also holds moisture and becomes heavier as you sweat. So although cotton sweatpants are wonderful weekend companions, wearing them running is like rolling rocks uphill—it’s possible, but awfully cumbersome.
Modern technical running pants, on the other hand, remedy friction and manage moisture for all runners—regardless of ability, distance, or location. The key? Sweat-wicking, breathable fabrics.
That’s why apparel-makers blend hydrophobic fibers, such as spandex, polyester, and nylon. Although the ‘80s gave spandex (an anagram of the word “expands”) a bad rap, today’s spandex remains extremely elastic, and essential to running apparel. The stretchy fiber is blended with other improved and new fibers for softer, silkier, better wicking, less stinky and even less shiny fabrics. Stretch is crucial in running tights as well as in looser-fitting track pants.
Lightweight, synthetic fabrics that move your sweat away from your skin so it can evaporate are the most comfortable for workouts. In addition to keeping your skin from getting clammy and irritated, synthetics move more freely with your body in motion, and dry quickly.
Higher quality fabrics hold their shape and support longer than cheaper ones. A pair of high quality running pants should last for years. Retire those that sag, slip, are see-through, or let the elements in.
Construction: Find the design that serves running-specific functions
Some running pants serve specific functions. Runners in cold climates, for example, need additional protection from the elements.
Cold, wind, rain, and snow aren’t a good excuse for skipping your run, but they do warrant additions to your running wardrobe. To combat cold, look for thermal-weight or lined tights. Warm and cosy micro-fleece interiors snuggle your skin while a tighter-weaved exterior braves the cold. Slimmer silhouettes will keep you warmer than loose-fitting styles. Again, for all adverse conditions, be sure your pants are made from wicking synthetic fabrics to prevent chills, even potential hypothermia.
Halt bitter wind in its track with lightweight wind-blocking pants. Luckily, the newest wind pants are much quieter than old-school nylon windbreakers, so the competition won’t hear you coming from a mile away. Plus, they’re breathable. Some styles feature full-leg wind protection, while others include strategically-placed wind proofing materials on the front panel with breathable or mesh back panels.
If the rain or snow won’t go away, go running anyway. Just choose, depending on the conditions, waterproof or water resistant running pants. Pants with DWR (durable water repellent) coating are as soft, comfortable, and quiet as your regular pants—but keep you drier and warmer. Although new technology has rendered waterproof materials more breathable, waterproof pants will still be less breathable than regular, non-treated fabrics, so they tend to work best in chilly to cold wet weather.
Although researchers remain divided on whether compression tights enhance runners’ performance, super-tight compression tights got their start in the medical realm, where the style of construction was used to alleviate conditions like edema, or swelling. Designed to strategically bind the muscles and ligaments of the lower leg to stabilize the knee and reduce muscle vibration for increased efficiency, compression gear is purported to facilitate circulation and minimize lactic acid build-up for longer performance and quicker recovery.
Some research suggest that compression gear may help endurance runners recover. Many runners, including elite athletes, report anecdotal gains in both performance and recovery. It’s best to see what feels right for your body.
People carrying more weight may appreciate the beefier support that compression tights offer. The “girdle effect” means less jiggling—and a smoother feeling stride—for larger runners.
Style: Pick the fit that feels good (and flatters)
Running pants are like jeans: gender-specific styles fit better, and are more comfortable and flattering. Whether you wear tights or track pants, there’s a style that’ll fit.
Tights: Like leggings, but better
Yes, they’re tight, but don’t worry: No one will mistake you for a Renaissance re-enactment character unless you run with a foam sword (Though running tights for men do date back to the Renaissance). Running tights, made from stretchy fabric, fit your body snugly. While the fringe benefit may be showing off your finely sculpted glutes and gams, they’re tight for functional reasons.
Stretch fabrics provide unrestricted movement without rubbing you the wrong way. Bulky pants are more likely to chafe between your legs and in your groin when the fabric shifts and rubs against your skin with each stride. Slick, form-fitting pants ease the friction. Excess fabric, like in traditional sweatpants, is heavy, bulky and contributes to wind drag—all of which inhibit your mobility, comfort, and even speed. (This is why most sprinters wear tights or bodysuits.) A tighter fit also offers a feeling of muscle compression and warmth.
Running tights should be snug but not restrictive, and support key muscles but not constrict flesh or muscles anywhere. If you’re popping a muffin top, your pants are too tight, too short in the torso, or you need a wider or looser waistband. If your tights are stretched so tight that we can see your tattoo underneath them, they’re too tight. If your ankles are bare, try “long” or “tall” sizes for extra length, or wear higher socks to keep warm in cold weather.
Pants: Semi-fitted performance
A far cry from the heavyweight sweats Rocky donned or the thick nylon track suits of junior high, modern running pull-on pants make running a breeze with light, breathable, and wicking fabrics. Looser than tights but slimmer than sweats, running pants these semi-fitted pants are comfortable for most recreational and shorter distance runners—physically as well as psychologically, if you feel self-conscious in tights. More versatile than tights, these double as casual pants for running errands as well as on neighborhoods and trails. A tapered leg and cinched ankle will keep you warmer in cold weather than looser styles. Beyond that, personal preference and terrain determine whether tapered leg, cinched ankle, straight leg, or boot cut is right for you.
Capris, ¾ Tights, and Half Tights
Capris, sometimes called knickers for men or ¾ tights, are tights that are cropped at or just below the knee. Capris are a good choice for runners who like the sleekness and slim-fit of tights but run in warmer weather. They’re often the perfect pants during spring and fall. Half tights sit mid-thigh or just above the knee, and bode well for spring, summer, and fall runs—or running in mild climates year-round.
Runners with thicker thighs tend to appreciate the reduced friction of the slick fabric between their legs. Also, tights of these lengths provide an alternative to shorts, which when ill-fitting can bunch or ride uncomfortably. For runners who cross-train with activities such as yoga and Pilates, shorter-than-full-length tights are particularly versatile. These styles are available in technical fabrics as well as compression models.
Other Important Factors To Consider When Shopping Around
Overall features: Look at the little details
Reputable manufacturers design running pants specifically for running, so the pants you run in shouldn’t have any tags, seams, zippers, fasteners, or drawstrings that will cause abrasions during your run. But because each runner’s body is different, only choose features that you need and you’ll minimize potential irritations and maximize comfort.
Three common types of waistbands exist so your pants will stay up. Loose-fitting pants tend to have gathered elastic waistbands, often with a tie. Tights tend to have either a flat band or slightly gathered band. These often have a string that can be tied for a more secure hold. Some tights are made of fabric that’s too slick to stay up without the waist tie. If the cinch-tie annoys you, be sure your tights stay up without it while running before you yank out. Inspired by yoga pants, many running pants, tights and capris now come in a flattering and comfortable wide, flat waistband. If you carry extra padding around your middle, wider waistbands won’t dig in or pinch where ties or narrower bands might. These lower and wider waistbands are also more fashion-oriented for wearing beyond your run.
Look for pockets that are appropriately shaped and secured for whatever you run with: keys, a music player, identification, cell phone, money, or credit cards. Zippered pockets offer more security for your belongings, but add weight and seams that can irritate, and aren’t as easy to access. Flap pockets work for small and relatively flat items, such as one key but not a ring of them, or an ID but not your whole wallet. A center back pocket is balanced on your body, and keeps earphone cords out of the way of your arms. Front and on-leg pockets provide convenient to access. Side-seam slat pockets tend to be roomier and convenient when you aren’t running—but items stored there tend to jingle and jangle with high risk of them falling out if the pocket isn’t zippered.
After material, the most important difference between cheap athletic gear and performance gear is the seaming—where the separate pieces of fabric that make up clothing meet. Technical apparel takes seams—and how traditionally sewn seams chafe the body when it’s in motion—into consideration, and offer remedies. Ergonomic seams follow the natural contours of the body for reduced irritation, better range of motion, and a comfortable fit with less bulk. Welded, or bonded, seams use high-tech glue instead of thread to hold fabric together. Strong and durable, they prevent chafing because there is no stitching or fabric cinched or gathered at the seam—and they look cool. Flatlock seams essentially lock pieces of fabric together, and are less likely to cause chafing because the fabric lies flat against your skin. In sensitive places, running pants use a gusseted crotch to eliminate irritating seams. Instead, a seam-free splice of wicking fabric is inserted in the area between your legs instead.
Running pants may include zippers at the ankles and on pockets. Ankle zippers make getting tight pants on and off a little easier, but be sure they don’t rub or bounce against your leg, ankle, or Achilles tendon. Lock-down zipper pulls, zipper “garages,” and flaps of protective fabric can help. For carrying valuables like your cell phone while running, a zippered pocket may be the most secure option—as long as you remember to close it before you take off running. But don’t forget to unzip and remove your goods after your run: My iPod shuffle didn’t fare well in that oh-so-secure zippered back pocket when it went through the washing machine.
If you run anywhere near traffic or other people before or after daylight hours, reflectivity is essential. The more reflectiveness you wear, the more likely you are to be seen—so wear running pants and other gear with 360 degrees of reflectivity. Look for tights with reflective coating or reflective strips for enhanced visibility. Often tights have reflective strips that wrap around the calves and ankles.
Other Factors that were considered were:
Total coverage is key
Total coverage is important when you are considering the weather patterns during your running sessions. Cold weather will require full coverage while hot weather will require minimal coverage. But the coverage should also take into consideration the sense of fashion to others and a degree of decency. Another, less obvious problem is opaqueness. You really should take a look – in strong light – at your posterior in the tights to see if anything is shining through.
Below are some of the frequently asked questions with regards to Nike running pants. Hopefully they will serve to answer some questions you might have, or even answer some you haven’t thought of.
Q. How tightly should running pants fit?
A. Nike has different running pants that fit differently. For instance, loosely fitting Nike running pants are like the Nike Men’s Zoom Lightweight Running Pants while fitting running pants are like the Nike Men’s Dri-Fit Pro Combat Hyperwarm Flex Compression Tights. Therefore, one is open to pick either a tight pant or a loosely fitting pant depending on their personal preference.
Q. I wear 32/30, but most sizes are labeled small, medium, large, extra large, etc. What size should I get?
A. Get a medium size, it will fit perfectly and not baggy. Note that they are “wind breaker pants” meaning that although they will shield you from the biting effects of the wind, they are thin and won’t keep you warm. Your body will have to do that while you exercise. If you are doing a physical purchase, then you can try the pants at the store till you find the perfect fit. But then for fitting pants this should not be a big deal.
Q. Do most pants have a lining?
A. Not all the pants have linings on them. This really depends on the season or use for which the particular model is intended.
Q. Do you wear underwear under running tights?
A. Running tights are designed so both men and women can run comfortably in them without underwear. Especially for long runs, avoid underwear to prevent chafing (and spending time extricating that underwear from where it inevitably creeps mid-stride). However, some runners who prefer to spend their time running rather than doing laundry admit to wearing undies to extend the life of their tights between washings. If you do choose to wear underwear, opt for synthetic sports briefs or panties that will wick moisture and stay put while you’re running.
Q. How do I know my Size?
A. Nike provides a size chart that guides all buyers in getting the best size of their pants or leggings. You can also visit an Adidas store physically and consult with the sales people. The sizing guide will walk you through the process of measuring your body to find the best fit. But then the lose fitting pants and the tight fitting pants have different size charts, so it’s good to consult.
Q. How tight should my tights/ leggings be?
A.This one is totally dependent on personal preference whether you want a tight fit or a loose fit. Your brace should support you firmly but not be so tight that it feels like its interfering with circulation. You should not feel squeezing discomfort while you are wearing the tights/leggings.
Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:
- Review: Running Tights and Pants, Sporting Website, ,
- What Are the Best Workout Leggings?, Lifestyle Website, ,
- 11 best running tights, Consumer Website, ,
- Five of the best winter running tights, Sporting Website, ,
- Winter Running Apparel Review: GORE and Sporthill Windproof Running Pants and Tights, Sporting Website, ,
- Running Pants for Men - Reviews, Sporting Website, ,