2XU Compression Shorts Reviewed & Rated

A surprising amount of thought goes into certain aspects of running that may go unnoticed to the casual observer. While it’s fairly obvious that footwear is one aspect of the runner’s wardrobe taken very seriously, something less obvious is the thought that goes into other articles of a runner’s wardrobe. After all, running is an activity that engages the entire body, not just the feet and legs. One of the most significant choices a runner can make is whether or not they want to wear compression clothes like 2XU compression shorts. The reason why this is significant is that they can make a major difference in their running experience. The 2XU compression shorts, for instance, can serve multiple purposes. They can help to prevent certain injuries, they can improve the flow of blood in the wearer’s upper legs, they can decrease air resistance so that the runner can reach faster speeds, and they can even be layered with other articles of clothing so that the wearer can run in colder temperatures. However, these many benefits can only be gained from a pair of compression shorts that are well made. Fortunately, 2XU implemented many interesting features into their compression shorts to ensure these benefits for the wearer.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Comfortable and supportive
  • Decent breathability and moisture control
  • Can provide health benefits
  • Durable and antibacterial construction
  • Cons
    • Expensive for a pair of running shorts
    • Polarizing visual style
    • Key Features
      2XU’s compression shorts are designed to take the place of regular workout shorts. They can be worn while participating in a variety of physical activities in place of traditional pants, shorts, or tights. Some common activities that are easily performed while wearing these shorts include jogging, running, weight training, gymnastics, and other forms of low to high-intensity cardio. They aren’t necessarily intended for use while swimming but they can still be used for this purpose. Additionally, underwear isn’t required while wearing this 2XU product, although it may still be a good idea to wear them for the sake of modesty.

      What differentiates these shorts from any other workout shorts is their compression aspect, as their name would imply. This feature is what allows these shorts to provide a wide range of benefits: both for the wearer’s performance and for their health. In terms of performance, the 2XU compression shorts will offer a wide range of motion with limited air resistance, making it easier for wearers to run at their fullest potential and reach some of their fastest speeds. In terms of health, these shorts can be used to inhibit the severity of muscle soreness as well as increase blood flow and provide support for the wearer’s glutes and quadriceps.
      The unfortunate downside to any product that provides compression is that breathability will inevitably be impaired to a certain degree. This fact is true for the 2XU Compression Shorts as well, although the manufacturers have gone to considerable lengths in order to alleviate this issue. For example, the Invista Lycra material used for the majority of this product’s construction was designed to offer almost as much breathability as it does durability, which means that a modicum of airflow is facilitated during regular use. Aside from this, however, 2XU is only able to provide design features that make up for inhibited airflow.

      One of the ways that these compression shorts compensate for a lack of breathability is through moisture management technology. Much like many of their other compression products, 2XU’s compression shorts are designed to be moisture wicking, which means that they prevent any sweat from pooling in certain areas of the body. As a result, wearers of this product won’t have to worry about developing a rash from excessive moisture. Additionally, antibacterial elements have been woven into the design of these shorts. In addition to reducing odor, this feature also works to prevent skin irritation that may have otherwise occurred due to a lack of adequate airflow.
      While it may not sound very comfortable as a concept, the truth is that 2XU compression shorts can provide a surprising amount of comfort for the wearer. A good comparison to make that puts the comfort of this product into perspective would be that it functions as a superior pair of underwear. While some forms of underwear like boxer briefs can provide a modicum of comfortable compression, inadequate breathability or moisture management will lead to discomfort and potential skin irritation after a few hours of vigorous exercise. On the other hand, these compression shorts have design features intended to manage moisture and bacteria which means that they won’t feel gross after long and strenuous exercise sessions. However, this is just one aspect of their comfortability.

      The other aspect of the 2XU’s compression shorts’ potential comfort lies in its compression technology. The way that these shorts bind the wearer’s muscles can help to reduce one of the most uncomfortable aspects of running and strength training: DOMS. Short for delayed onset muscle soreness, this occurs when the body’s muscles need to recover from damage sustained during a strenuous workout. Leg-based DOMS are some of the most severe cases, so these shorts are invaluable to runners who want to avoid taking unnecessary rest days due to muscle pain.
      When it comes to footwear, finding the right size for your feet is incredibly important and will have a significant effect on your running experience. The same is true for compression apparel. In fact, it’s arguable that it’s even more important in this case since failing to wear the right size of compression shorts can lead to severe discomfort and injury. In order to ensure that you order the proper size for your body, it is highly recommended that you take body measurements and compare them with the size chart provided by 2XU on their website. Failing to do so can have severe health consequences.

      Fortunately, 2XU has several different sizes that can accommodate a wide range of individuals. Their compression shorts come in S to XXL, which means that they can accommodate potential customers that weigh anywhere between 120 and 280 pounds and have a height of anywhere between 4’ 11” to 6’ 9”. That said, some individuals who fit into these height and weight ranges might not be able to find a perfect fit for their body if their shape falls outside of the average. They may be able to work around this with some tailoring, folding, or hemming, but these individuals may actually be better off looking for specialty apparel that better suits their specific needs.
      At first glance, it may not be apparent just how durable the 2XU Compression Shorts are. And to be fair, they certainly aren’t as resilient to damage as a well-made pair of running shoes, whether they were intended for casual use or hardcore trail running. With that being said, these shorts are designed with the intention of withstanding the punishment that would be expected from a typical running or gym training session. Will these tights be able to withstand a trail run or arduous hike? Probably not on their own, although some intuitive layering may be a viable option for engaging in these activities during the winter time.

      The secret to this product’s resilience lies in the composition of its fabric. Known internally as PWX Flex, this material is a combination of Lycra spandex and nylon with the former making up the majority of its construction. Lycra is a popular textile among tights, singlets, and yoga pants due to its ability to maintain its shape and flexibility over a long period of time. Nylon, on the other hand, is a much sturdier material that is renowned for its ability to withstand a tremendous amount of punishment, which is the reason why it is commonly used to make parachutes. The combination of these two powerful synthetic fabrics is an article of clothing that feels comfortably stretchy without being fragile.
      The best way to think about 2XU Compression Shorts is as an accessory in and of itself, rather than as a product that accommodates accessories. In all fairness, the small internal pocket added to these shorts allows them to hold very small accessories such as a set of keys, but for the most part, these pants aren’t friendly towards supplementary materials. Instead, the fact that these shorts are so lightweight and easily compressed means that they can be easily stored in a backpack, storage belt, or gym bag as a backup article of clothing.
      A word of warning: these tight-fitting compression shorts are going to leave nothing to the imagination. Anyone interested in wearing this 2XU product needs to understand that unless they plan on wearing additional layers of clothing, they will be opening themselves up to potential embarrassment or unwanted attention. This is unfortunate but must be noted.

      The closest comparison that can be made to these compression shorts in terms of their style is that they resemble bicycle shorts. In fact, these are an excellent choice for individuals who want performance clothing while cycling due to the many benefits provided by its compression style. The majority of this product’s surface area is comprised of black fabric, with a few seams and two emblems breaking up the uniformity. Customers have the choice of two color variations: the first consists of a reflective silver coating over the emblems and seams, with the second option having them blend in with the rest of its design due to a black coating. These two options are aesthetically pleasing but some customers who prefer more flamboyant color palettes may be disappointed with the limited stylistic options provided by 2XU.
      Depending on the size that the customer chooses, the cost of the 2XU Compression Shorts can vary greatly. This has a lot to do with scarcity since certain sizes and colorways are difficult to find when shopping through third-party retailers such as Amazon. When purchasing through the manufacturer’s own website, the prices are much more consistent but tend to be on the expensive side.

      The main reason for this product costing more than a traditional pair of compression shorts or tights has to do with its antibacterial coating. In order to provide this feature for an article of clothing, manufacturers will use valuable metals such as silver or copper in its construction due to their natural ability to inhibit the growth of microorganisms. It isn’t clear what material was used by 2XU to provide their compression shorts with this feature, but a decent guess would say that it is silver due to the color of this product’s accents. For this reason, customers who are looking for a cheaper article of compression clothing may want to search for a product that doesn’t offer this feature.
      Key Features

      • Can accommodate a wide range of heights and weights

      • Compression design promotes blood flow and prevents DOMS

      • Limited to two color variations

      • Combination of Lycra spandex and nylon for fabric construction

      • More expensive than average compression shorts due to antibacterial properties

      Bottom Line
      Compression shorts can provide a number of benefits for all sorts of physical activities. Long-distance runners and hardcore weightlifters can appreciate their ability to reduce muscle soreness after a workout, and the increased blood flow it supplies to their legs can even improve their performance. Additionally, the streamlined design allows for a wide range of motion and a decent amount of breathability, even if the latter still leaves a bit to be desired.

      However, what is likely to split prospective customers down the middle with the 2XU Compression Shorts is their price. They aren’t nearly as expensive as the manufacturer’s compression tights, but they are still above the average cost for a similar pair of shorts made by a different manufacturer. The only real reason that a customer would be willing to pay the increased cost for this model is for its antibacterial properties, which means that they can be worn for longer periods of time without needing to be washed. Customers who don’t care about this design aspect can find something with similar features to these shorts, minus the anti-bacterial coating, for a much lower price. That being said, 2XU compression shorts are worth its asking price thanks to its impressive build quality and appealing visual style.
      Where to Buy
      By Mike Valverde
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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