10 Best Nike Running Tights Compared & Tested

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Nike is pretty much synonymous with sports. With Nike running tights, you know you are going to get good quality and comfort. There are so many different types of tights, that no matter what you are looking for, they have an awesome option for you. Some will keep you warm in cold weather, while others cool you down in hot weather. Most offer some degree of compression, whether you need just a snug fit, or serious muscle-mapped oscillation control. Check out our list of the best Nike tights, and find your fit.

Nike Power Essential
  • Nike Power Essential
  • 5 out of 5
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  • Back Knee Mesh Ventilation
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Nike Pro Cool
  • Nike Pro Cool
  • 4.7 out of 5
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  • Flat Elastic Waistband
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Nike Stay Warm Long
  • Nike Stay Warm Long
  • 4.5 out of 5
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  • Flat-Seam Construction
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10 Best Nike Running Tights

 

1. Men's Power Essential Run

1. Men's Power Essential Run
Here is Nike’s best running tight for all around fit, comfort, and function. Not overly warm, and not oppressively tight, but still a great extra layer, and good squeeze to keep your muscles lovingly hugged.
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Fit/ Comfort
Most comfortable in cool but not too cold weather. For those of us who run especially hot though, they would be fine into freezing temperatures. The zippered bottom legs help to get these on easy, even before your morning coffee. For comfort, this is the top Nike running tight for men.

Performance/ design
Designed to vent extra heat, these won’t cause too much heat retention. You can use them for those crisp mornings, and not want to peel them off halfway through the run as the sun comes up. They still have the great Nike Dri-fit fabric that wicks moisture away to stop you from getting too wet, a perfect fabric in both comfort and function.

Cost/ Value
The price is low to mid range, because even though these are an awesome tight, they aren’t throwing technology at you every which way. They do what you would expect a tight to do, and they do it without all the fancy bells and whistles. Best option for the price, hands down.
Pros
  • Great quality

  • Huge value for price

     

Cons
  • Not for below freezing for most people
  • Not tons of compression

2. Women's Pro Cool Training

2. Women's Pro Cool Training
Just because you like to wear tights doesn’t mean you run in cold weather! These ones keep you cool in hot weather, but still offer that squeeze that your muscles love.
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Fit/ Comfort
Silky and thin, these running tights have a ventilated panel in the back of the calf to keep the heat moving out. They stretch with your body, and can be worn as the perfect base layer with shorts over them.

Performance/ design
The dry-fit material wicks moisture away from the skin, and the ventilated panels make sure no heat is held in. Your muscles won’t be vibrating or oscillating in these tights, which cuts down on the risk of injury. The blood will stay flowing with just enough squeeze without restricting movement.

Cost/ Value
With the middle of the road price and customer satisfaction, this is a great value, which makes them the best option for a Nike women’s running tight.
Pros
  • Keeps you cool and dry

  • Keeps blood flowing and muscles in place

Cons
  • Almost see through when stretched

3. Men's Power Speed Compression

3. Men's Power Speed Compression
The Nike Power Speed offers real support for the muscles while still delivering a comfortable flexible fit. It keeps the blood flowing without stopping you from flowing.
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Fit/ Comfort
These have a drawstring to make sure they fit as snug as you want, and a four way stretch fabric that lets your muscles move. The compression feels great for long runs, especially in the cold when your muscles already vulnerable. The comfort of the Dri-fit technology is hard to beat.

Performance/ design
Nike Dri-fit fabric wicks moisture away from the skin to dry quicker, so you won’t get wet and uncomfortable. The four way stretch fabric works with the compression to match to your muscles, and deliver that extra blood flow in the most important spots. The Nike Power Speed Compression even has a pocket in the back with a moisture barrier, so whatever you need to take with you won’t get wet.

Cost/ Value
They are expensive. But you get what you pay for with these. Comfort, performance, and longevity: they are all there. This is a tight you can invest in.
Pros
  • Moisture wicking

  • Targeted compression

     

Cons
  • Expensive

4. Women's Dri-Fit Elemental Thermal Run

4. Women's Dri-Fit Elemental Thermal Run
Perfect for the winter time, these will keep you warm and dry while running, while being surprisingly breathable. Flat seams also mean no chaffing!
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Fit/ Comfort
Very comfortable for the wintertime. These tights are form fitting but still enough stretch to let you move around. The seams are designed, so they don’t rub. And the elastic waist with drawstring ensures a snug fit.

Performance/ design
Ergonomic flat seam design means it doesn’t rub or chafe on the seams. Extra side and front panels further cushion and support the knees. The Dri-Fit technology wicks moisture and evaporates it quickly to keep you dry.

Cost/ Value
These are a more affordable tight which go right up against other brands. They won’t break the bank, but still give you the quality Nike product you expect.
Pros
  • Anti-chafe design

  • Very warm

Cons
  • Only for cold weather

5. Women's Pro Hyperwarm Limitless Waffle

5. Women's Pro Hyperwarm Limitless Waffle
Another warm option from Nike, these are designed to retain more heat where you want it, without holding onto more sweat, and venting areas that would otherwise get too hot.
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Fit/ Comfort
The design of the waffle fabric gives you full range of motion as you stride forward for those wintertime runs. The waist fit can’t be beat, with elasticity but not restrictive. The Hyperwarm Limitless is one of the best Nike tights for comfort because of the specific design to hold onto heat where you need it, and let it go where you don’t

Performance/ design
The waffle design of the fabric helps them keep the heat in, while the perforated section behind the knee vents extra heat buildup. Also, the Dri-fit tech wicks the sweat away.

Cost/ Value
Expect to pay a little more for these since it is a cold weather tight and offers all the best technology to make sure you will be comfortable for those long winter runs. But don’t worry about the price, the value is there, and they will last.
Pros
  • Advanced design for heat and airflow

Cons
  • More expensive
  • Limited availability

6. Men's Stay Warm Long Running

6. Men's Stay Warm Long Running
From the name, would you believe that these help you stay warm? It’s true. If you need a warm tight, go to the Nike Stay Warm running tight.
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Fit/ Comfort
A lovingly warm embrace, these Nike tights make your legs feel cozy on those brutal winter days. The bottom legs zipper for easy on and off, so you can steer your energy towards the workout instead of towards putting on your workout clothes.

Performance/ design
These keep you warm, and that is the most important part of the design. While keeping you warm with the mostly polyester fabric, they also hug nicely to your skin, and wick that sweat away to make it dry quicker. Wet tights mean cold runs, and these do the job to prevent that.

Cost/ Value
These are pretty typically priced for a cold weather tight. With that extra fabric and nice stretch, they are worth the slightly higher price than some of the thinner options.
Pros
  • Nice and warm

  • Very comfy

Cons
  • Limited Availability

7. Women's Pro Core Compression

7. Women's Pro Core Compression
They are listed as compression, and they do offer some great squeeze. But these are going to end up being your favorite go-to tight for comfort and casual wear as well!
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Fit/ Comfort
Everyone loves wearing these! They are very versatile with casual to intense activity being fine in them. They are not oppressively tight, but still hold in place while being very flexible. All the usual aspects of moisture wicking dry-fit fabric and stretch make these a great comfortable option.

Performance/ design
These tights are on the thinner side, and form the perfect base layer for working out and running. Alone, they won’t keep you warm enough for the winter runs, but they can be added under anything to give you that extra layer. Ergonomic construction means it fits where it should, and doesn’t rub.

Cost/ Value
You might find these a bit thin for the price, but don’t be fooled by the light fabric. They are durable and will last you a long time. That being said, they are not the least expensive choice for something that seems to fit a more casual category.
Pros
  •  Comfortable

  • Great stretchy fit

Cons
  •  A bit pricey

8. Pro Core Combat 2.0 Compression

8. Pro Core Combat 2.0 Compression
More for the compression than for warmth, the men’s Pro Core Combat Compression tights increase blood flow, getting much needed oxygen to the muscles to prevent injury, and repair muscles.
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Fit/ Comfort
The tight fit on these feels great with the thin fabric that still wicks moisture to keep you dry. The thin stretchy fabric gives you full range of motion, so go ahead and do those karate kick or can-can dancing - whatever you’re into.

Performance/ design
Perfect base layer that won’t let your muscles vibrate, and that is what prevents injury. The compression also keeps the blood flowing which gets oxygen where it’s needed. Too tight for knots to form in the muscles, but not restrictive, so you can move free.

Cost/ Value
There is a pretty large range of prices on these depending on size and style. The fabric and functionality can’t be matched, but some people might not like paying so much for something so thin. But if you can get your mind past how thin they are, you will the design and strong fabric is worth the cost.
Pros
  • Great compression

  • Unsurpassed comfort for this style

Cons
  • A bit pricey
  • Base layer only

9. Men's Dri-Fit

9. Men's Dri-Fit
The Dri-Fit tech tight is a versatile tight option which absorbs tons of moisture, and can be used indoors or outdoors. Yes, it will give you some extra warmth, but no, it won’t overheat you either.
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Fit/ Comfort
Everyone loves the fit and comfort of the Nike Dri-Fit tech tights. They keep you so dry, because they are able to absorb so much moisture while transferring to the outer layers to evaporate quicker.

Performance/ design
Here you have tons of movement while still giving you compression in targeted zones to keep your muscles happy and healthy. They can keep you warm, or take that extra sweat and wick it away.

Cost/ Value
Maybe these seem basic, but don’t confuse that for low quality. These will feel like new for a long time, and for the price, you will quickly realize the value.
Pros
  • Can be worn in almost any weather

  • Tons of absorption

Cons
  • Somewhat loose at ankles


10. Women's Legend 2.0

10. Women's Legend 2.0
These are a cotton blend, which is why they are on the bottom of the list. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t for runners. Even though it’s not the best moisture wicking fabric, it can still work as a great tight for short runs or less strenuous activity.
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Fit/ Comfort
Don’t expect the same form fit as the polyester spandex blends, but do expect some great comfort and stretch. They come up a little higher on the stomach for a great fit that doesn’t slide down.

Performance/ design
No bells and whistles, but still great performance for those active wearers. They will move with your body, and are perfect for someone who doesn’t like too tight of a fit.

Cost/ Value
The price does vary, but only because there are so many options for different sizing. Mid range for the typical sizes, and more expensive for specific styles which offer longer legs for a better fit.
Pros
  • Not too tight

Cons
  • Cotton blend
  • Lose shape quicker

So what is it going to be? This should let you know which one to use for the gym, which tight will get the blood flowing, and which Nike tights are just overall super comfy! Or go ahead and get them all, then you will have the right tight for every occasion and weather.

Criteria for Picking Out the Best Nike Running Tights.

Technically, an athlete can run wearing anything that they see provides them the needed comfort to enjoy a good run. Most of the buying guides available to buyers are not meant to dictate to you what running pants to have, but instead they are supposed to prevent you from repeating or making mistakes that many buyers have made or are still making when looking for new running pants. Many beginner buyers assume that it’s not a hard task getting the perfect running tights, furthermore they only need to get the right size. Well getting the perfect pants go a long way than just getting a good waist fit.

The winter weather prevents every runner from enjoying a good run in those sexy running shorts or the brief like running tights. Well the cold seems to prevent quite a number of sports and that’s why it’s important to make sure you have a good pair of running pants to keep you warm. And also to give the opportunity to continue enjoying your workout sessions. But then a single look at the wide collection of pants can be overwhelming and most of the time very disorienting. You are overburdened by the brand names, designs and styles, colors and not to mention their fit.

Every single athlete need tights that will empower them, offer added strength, offer fast recovery from high intensity workout sessions, and prevent form muscles from getting fatigued and ultimately keep you warm during that freezing weather. If you run at dusk or dawn then you will want something that will be able to effectively illuminate you, hence make you more visible when there is minimal light. This will make sure you are always protected.

Each runner has a check list of features that they look for when shopping for a new pair of tights. It’s very helpful if you have an idea of what exactly you want as this makes your shopping experience much easier and less confusing. When looking at the best tights from Nike we looked at the following metrics that guided us in our selection.

What is the ideal coverage level?

One common problem that many athletes experience with running tights is that some can be too short. Especially those that are at shorts length. Of course there other options like the full length and the 3/4 length tights. Well the shorts ones won’t be a very big problem ( unless you are the kind of runner who is a bit reserved when it comes to showing skin, then you can pick the longer ones,) if you intend to run in a very hot climate. But in much more cold places runners must have total coverage so that they can be protected from the harsh weather this also applies to a wet climate. More extreme temperatures means that a runner will have to pick a running tight wit thermal features so that to avoid freezing their legs. Coverage is also determined by the level of opaqueness that is provided by the fabric. When buying the tights, look through the tights in a very strong light, make sure that on your posterior nothing is being seen through.

 

The Running Climate

The climate in which an athlete will be running in plays an important role when picking out the tight. Look for weather resistant features that are offered by the tights. Pick tights that are made from synthetic fabrics like polyester, Lycra and spandex especially when running in higher temperature climates, this is because they have moisture wicking abilities, keeping the runner cool and dry always. Cotton tights can also function well in hot climates. This feature in synthetic fabric help runners to regulate the body temperature hence making running more comfortable. These fabrics also have compression ability and very good material strength, this means their durability is guaranteed. For athletes in much colder running climate should look for tights that are made from a material that make sure the body is warm. These fabrics can be wool, or the fabrics blended with fleece. Also there are more advanced tights that have been designed for the cold season and have thermal features to keep the body always warm regardless of the existing temperature of the running environment.

What are the features to look for in running tights?

There are some basic features that buyers need to look for when shopping for Nike tights for running. Make sure the tights have layouts that are multi paneled, this is because they will provide you with maximum freedom when working out or when running. Some tights will be designed to offer support to specific parts of the legs especially the muscles. This means less tension experienced on the muscles during a training session. The other thin to look for is the rubber grips that are elastic and stop the tights from sliding down/ around or riding up. The men’s tights might also have zipped pockets for storage purposes (but limited to very small things like car key). Pockets need not be unobtrusive; that’s why the pocket location should be strategically on the hip or the waist. In case you don’t get a tight with a pocket you can just use a waist pack.

How visible is the compression tight?

When do you go for your run? Morning, evening, daytime, or at night? Visibility is determined by the amount of light present in the running environment. Since majority of the people who have active lifestyle are the working class that means there running schedules either fall very early in the morning or very late in the evening or at night.  Depending on what time of day you get out running will depend on how important visibility is to you. This means you will need to have running pants that are very visible even in the dark especially if you are run close to roads that have frequent traffic. Make sure you run on the foot paths and not on the main road. The visibility of your pant will help in keeping you safe, better be colorful and safe than be all black and in danger. You can also have other reflective sporting gears just to be double safe.

The Price

A very tricky metric but still very important. Sticking to one’s budget can be tricky especially if you are looking for comfort. But then when you start talking about price, this is one place where many people have it all wrong. Many tend to opt for a cheaper option of tights only to realize it doesn’t have all those nice features you wanted your tights to have, or they start wearing out faster than you had anticipated, hence sending you back to the stores to get a new pair. That’s why athletes are always advised to go for the best quality as it’s a long term investment, instead of going for quantity. This means that you will not only enjoy your running but also have a healthy lifestyle by getting the best tights.

The Ideal Fit

If you feel that the running tights are not feeling right when you try them on, pick another option because the situation will be worse when you wear them to your workout sessions. If they don’t offer a good fit while still new, they will definitely fail in holding up when you are training. Tights that have been poorly constructed, their seams do not follow any muscles in the body and it might lead to skin chaff and skin irritation. Go for tights that are specifically for your sporting activity as they will not only be very comfortable but will offer the needed muscle support and free muscle movement when you are in your training sessions.

Remember most tights for running have been designed to have a fit that is snug, however not tight enough to limit your blood circulation in the body. They are supposed to feel like your second skin. This means they ought to offer comfortability and allow for the body muscles to have free natural movement.

What about the Opaqueness of the Running Tights

Tights are meant to cover the legs, but then when you stand against light do they actually offer the coverage that you want. Some tights can seem opaque while you are in the changing room but when you bend over or stretch outdoors, they might be showing more than they are supposed to cover. Opaqueness not only dictates decency it also dictates all factors related to being comfortable and making those around you comfortable, hence being able to enjoy the whole workout session. To be on the safe side, always go for the tights that remain opaque regardless of being stretched on change in lighting conditions.

Other Factors that were considered were:

The Color of the Tight, Is it really important?

Colors in running tights go beyond looking stylish and all fashionable in your running gear. The most popular color in running tights is black, though this preferred color is not suitable for all lighting conditions. Runners who do their work out sessions at dusk or at dawn or in environments that have low lighting conditions will need much brighter colors. Though a popular choice, black does not suit all light conditions. Brighter coloring options you can pick neon or grey colors. But then when you look at the running tights for the female athletes they have a wide collection of colors to choose from. Another safety measure for late night runners is to make sure your running pants have reflective stripes.

 

How long should the tights be?

Many of the tights being offered in stores for sale tend to be long and reach just the ankle of the foot. However there are the shorter versions like the ¾ tights or the short like tights. The long tights tend to have elastic hooks that are strapped around ones foot arch hence hindering any form of riding up of the pants. Ideal for runners who run in terrains that are rough. They are also preferred by runners who want maximum coverage but still want to enjoy the compression feel offered by running tights. They also offer protection from any form of harsh weather running condition. The shorter tights are suitable for warmer running climatic conditions.

The Waistband

When you are running, you tend to have plenty of things to focus (especially when doing an outdoor run). These things range from what direction to take, breathing, avoiding that stone on your path. That’s why it’s very frustrating when you have to keep on checking that your pants are not slowly falling off. Not to mention the constant yanking up after a few miles, will not only distract your running but will also attract unnecessary attention to yourself. Make sure your tights have fastening system that is very secure, opt for an elastic band around the waist that is wide enough. This means your tights won’t be falling down. Most of the gym tights have been designed with spandex waistbands hence not suitable for running. Your running tights should have a waistband that is adjustable, hence you can easily adjust it when you feel that it might be slipping down your waist.

Planning the pockets of your running tights?

When running or doing any form of workout, athletes tend to make sure they can achieve being lightweight as much as possible. Carrying close to nothing in their pockets. You won’t find an athlete with a backpack full of gears when going for a run. That’s why when picking out your tights, make sure they have pockets that can only store the most important but basic things that you relay need during the workout. Also they should store the items without distracting you or poking your skin. Most pockets in tights can only store small things like cards, energy chews or car keys. Though some can store even mobile phones. To make sure your valuables don’t run the risk of dropping make sure the pockets have zippers for enhanced safety.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most asked questions with regards to Nike running pants.

Q. How do I keep my spandex tight from falling down?

A. First don’t try pulling the elasticized string out. Instead make sure that the draw strings are trimmed instead of pulling it out. The other tip to avoid such a scenario is to make sure you get a waist width that is suitable for you and of the right size.

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Q. I am a beginner runner and would like to shop for a running tight but then I don’t know how tight the running tights should feel?

A. Many runners are faced with this dilemma. In case you are not sure about the level of tightness offered by your running tights then you definitely need to get a new pair that will offer you the needed compression feel. Your running sessions must be comfortable and that’s why it’s important you get the tights that will offer you, your preferred compression feel. Remember comfortability is the main aspect of looking for any clothing apparel. Also another challenge with tightness of the pants can be when they are extra tight or they just do not lay right on the body. Literally the seams that are on the pants are always designed so that they can be aligned with the runner’s body muscles: hence offer support to the leg muscles like the hamstrings. That’s why the tights must align carefully with the muscles so that the seams do not interfere with your running experience and interrupt your session, because each time you will be adjusting your running tights.

 

Q. Are pockets really necessary in running tights?

A. Most of the running tights are designed with mini pockets that are located along the waistband. The pockets are ideal for keeping keys since they are very small and are located on the waistband. The other option you can get is having the zipped pocket just below the hip bone. The pockets are very useful for runners who are not fond of the waist packs. But the only challenge with the pockets is that the type and number of things of things are limited by storage size and space. Runners who don’t have the running gears that offer small additional storage options should look for tights that have pockets. Do not worry the things you store in the pockets will not be heavy enough to pull your tights down during a running session.

 

Q. Is it appropriate to wear both running pants and running shorts together?

A. Honestly speaking that a little too much layering of clothes. It’s recommended that you pick one, either have on your tights or just pick a running tight. No need to wear both of them. In case you are body conscious then it is better you go for a much looser running pants that are tapered.

 

Q. How much should I be prepared to spend in purchasing a good running pant and is it worth it?

A. These running pants/ tights are more or similar to the swimsuits. When a tight is very cheap then it means that its lifespan will be shorter and the tights will soon be saggy, have a see through disadvantage and on worse cases even both. Do not be afraid to make a good investment in a running tight, go for something that is not only comfortable but also very durable in the long run. The thicker a tight is the more expensive it will be (not to mention the additional features that tights have), so be prepared to part with around $40 to $80 on a reliable pair.

 

Q. Why is it important for a runner or an active athlete to have a running tight?

A. Running tights make up a great part in the wardrobe of any active athlete, especially the type of athletes who love doing their workout sessions outdoors. These sporting apparel offer the athletes with needed warmth when running in a cold season and cooing effect when running in a very hot environment. Part form that they also offer good protection to the legs and allow the natural movement of the body especially the legs when running. There are running tights that are considered to be very high performing, the extra features in theses tights give them the capabilities of enhancing blood circulation and offering both joint and muscle support during any sporting activity.

 

Conclusion

Running compression tights form a large part of important sporting apparel. They are designed and purposed to be used by the serious athletes in sporting activities. The pants over the years have been used by people who have specific health conditions or issues. The tights not only increase the performance of an athlete but they also delay any form of fatigue during training. They contribute to more blood circulation in the body, fasten the recovery time and finally they reduce the total amount of lactate burned in a workout session. Most athletes who have used the tights say that there is also reduced risk of getting any leg injury when you wear the tights, others have noted that the compression feel reduces vibrations and shock.

 

 

Sources

  1. Run Janji, The 8 Best Men's Running Pants , Consumer Website,
  2. NY Mag, What Are the Best Workout Leggings?, Lifestyle Website,
  3. Independent, 11 best running tights, Consumer Website,
  4. Mens Running UK, Five of the best winter running tights, Sporting Website,
  5. Run Blogger, Winter Running Apparel Review: GORE and Sporthill Windproof Running Pants and Tights, Sporting Website,
  6. Best Running Tips, Running Pants for Men - Reviews, Sporting Website,
  7. Runner Click, Best Running Pants Reviewed, Sporting Website,
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