10 Best Nike Running Tights Compared & Tested

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Nearly every experienced runner understands the advantage of owning a good pair of compression tights. The gear that you choose when running will determine comfort, mobility, and your performance. This means that industry leaders are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve on their products. Running tights are no exception.

Nike is one of these industry leaders that have gone above and beyond competitors when developing gear specifically for athletes. This is a brand that’s built a global reputation on quality and high-tech products. Yes, even running gear can be considered “high-tech.” The development of styles, fabrics, materials, and shoes requires serious research and an understanding of how the human body moves. The products designed by Nike do all of this and more. They’ve studied athletes for decades, learning what they enjoy doing, and creating products that allow them to do it.

Compression tights are for more than just keeping you warm. They support your muscles, increase circulation, and help to keep you dry regardless of sweat or precipitation. They also work great as a way t layer clothing against inclement weather. They provide an extra layer of insulation that holds heat close to the body while wicking away moisture. Nike uses synthetic materials that can withstand multiple washes without losing elasticity or wearing thin. This is a huge pus for runners who find a product that they love only to see it fall apart after one wash.

When researching the best Nike running tights, we looked at the way that runners reviewed the products and the information that could be found online. This gave us a pretty good idea of what our readers are looking for. We’re passionate about running, and sharing these products is a great way to share that with other athletes.

Last Updated: August 31, 2018
By Patricia Howard:

We updated our info and looked at the way that these products can help runners to improve their performances. Check out the additional research included in our review criteria to get a better idea of what type of running tights you need!

Nike Power Essential Running Tights
  • Nike Power Essential Running Tights
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Back Knee Mesh Ventilation
  • Price: See Here
Nike Pro Cool Training Tights
  • Nike Pro Cool Training Tights
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Flat Elastic Waistband
  • Price: See Here
Nike Power Speed Compression Tights
  • Nike Power Speed Compression Tights
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Drawstring for comfort and a custom fit
  • Price: See Here

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. Nike Women's Pro Warm 8 Bit Tights

6. Nike Women's Pro Warm 8 Bit Tights
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.

7. Nike’s Epic Lux running tights

7. Nike’s Epic Lux running tights
The Lux running tights are a favorite among female runners--they improve your performance, provide adequate coverage, and wick away sweat and moisture to keep you cool and dry during your runs.
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Fit/ Comfort
These tights are form-fitting and provide some compression for increased blood circulation. They are stretchy and breathable and offer full coverage. Some even have mesh incorporated to provide you with even more breathability! They also have and adjustable waistband, for a more custom fit.

Performance/ design
These tights utilize Dri FIt technology to provide moisture wicking properties. This keeps you cool and dry during your runs, so you remain comfortable and able to perform. They also have so come in many color and print options--and are even available in plus size options. Their storage pockets allow you to store your phone and/or keys, for hands-free running.

Cost/ Value
These tights are a bit pricey but they come in lots of color and style options--and are well-worth the cost given their features and benefits.

8. Pro Core Compression

8. Pro Core Compression
More for the compression than for warmth, the Pro Core 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. Nike Men’s Tech Running Tights

9. Nike Men’s Tech Running Tights
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

If you see more than one product that appeals to you, consider purchasing multiple pairs. Variety is the spice of life, and you can’t ever have enough running tights!

Criteria for Picking Out the Best Nike Running Tights.

As a runner, you need to choose the best athletic wear for your specific needs. Running tights are more than just a fashion statement, though. They provide much needed support for your muscles and keep them warm in colder temperatures. Nike Running tights also work to improve circulation which oxygenates your muscles and improves your performance. When we put together our review lists, we look at more than just online claims. We look at a huge number of criteria that can determine quality, durability, fit, and the usability of the tights over time. In reality, there are so many different brands and options out there, that it’s difficult to know where to start. Nike is probably one of the most reliable sources for athletic products anywhere—making their running tights a pretty safe bet.

Buying a quality pair of running tights is important whether you’ve just started running or have years and miles of experience behind you. They can be used for any high impact sport and have the potential to increase muscle response and to prevent injury. Before choosing a pair, consider the features that are important to you. Do you prefer high-waisted or low-rise? Do you care about the color and design? How tight is too tight? Do you have a sensitivity to certain materials?

Our criteria can answer these questions and more, making the shopping process simple and relatively stress free.

What is the ideal coverage level?

When we talk about coverage, we’re talking about the areas of the body that the running tights cover. Some runners can’t stand tights that ride up as the take a stride, while others prefer that their tights cut off mid-calf. Climate can dictate how much coverage you need during certain times of the year, but comfort will really determine the rest. Opaqueness is an issue for certain brands, and no one wants to realize that their undies are showing miles from their house. Whether your modest, or just cold, we’ve found Nike running tights that can impress even the pickiest buyers.

The Running Climate

The weather where you’ll be running can have a huge impact on the type of running tights that you need. Nike offers both insulated and lighter tights that can accommodate sub-zero days and the summer heat. The climate will also have an impact on the types of fabric that you choose. Cotton is breathable but may not offer much in the way of protection against the cold. Most running tights are a mixture of cotton and synthetic materials. Synthetics like Lycra, spandex and polyester have moisture wicking properties that can keep your skin dry. This prevents irritation from sweat and friction and prevents bacterial growth. These materials are also extremely durable and hold their elasticity for years.

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 thing 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 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 the majority of the people who have an 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 footpaths 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 a 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 of the ¾ tights or the short like tights. The long tights tend to have elastic hooks that are strapped to one’s 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 a 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 be 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 drawstrings 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.

.

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 the 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 for 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 in 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 cooling effect when running in a very hot environment. Apart from 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 these 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 the 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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