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10 Best Running Leggings Tested

last updated Jan 04, 2019
Leggings have many strengths that people look for in athletic clothing. They are both lightweight and protective, which is a rare combination. They also have great temperature management whether you need them for both hot and cold weather. Plus they have the capability to aid in compression. A good pair can even help with shorting the recovery time of an exercise injury. Regardless if you are a short distance runner, long distance runner, or any other sort of athlete you will certainly find that a good pair of leggings can bring all sorts of benefits to your routine.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 22 hrs of research

icon
Compressionz Base Layer
95.4/100 our score
Materials
96
Style
97
Use
96
Compression
93
Visibility
95
Compressionz Base Layer
Why is it better?

Amazing compression

Max temperature regulated for both coolness and warmth

Non see through

Seams are well fabricated

Best running tights on the market

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Compressionz Base Layer
Test Winner: Compressionz Base Layer
Researched Sources
14
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1450
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
22
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
21
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Brian Price:

With this update we added the Dynamic Athletica, Baleaf Thermal Fleece, Nike Pro, and Adidas Performer running tights to our buying guide. These all replace products that weren't holding up their end of the bargain any longer when it comes to performance. We take great pride in constantly updating our lists to bring you the best gear.

Sorting Options
Materials Style Use Compression Visibility By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.4
Materials
96%
Style
97%
Use
96%
Compression
93%
Visibility
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$28.84
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Materials
92%
Style
94%
Use
96%
Compression
93%
Visibility
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$14.79
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Materials
94%
Style
96%
Use
91%
Compression
92%
Visibility
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$19.98
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Materials
93%
Style
90%
Use
91%
Compression
89%
Visibility
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$73.25
$109.99
See Deal
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Materials
90%
Style
95%
Use
90%
Compression
85%
Visibility
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$16.47
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Materials
95%
Style
90%
Use
85%
Compression
75%
Visibility
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$35.99
$74.99
See Deal
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.4
Materials
85%
Style
85%
Use
87%
Compression
86%
Visibility
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$27.99
$38.99
See Deal
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.2
Materials
95%
Style
70%
Use
84%
Compression
87%
Visibility
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$23.96
See Deal
$31.99
See Deal
$32.00
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.2
Materials
83%
Style
81%
Use
87%
Compression
80%
Visibility
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$34.99
$34.99
See Deal
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Materials
86%
Style
85%
Use
75%
Compression
87%
Visibility
70%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$22.92
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Compressionz Base Layer
  • Dr. Skin DABB11
  • Tesla Thermal Compression P33
  • CW-X Stabilyx
  • American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey
  • Baleaf Thermal Fleece
  • Dynamic Athletica
  • Nike Pro
  • Under Armour HeatGear
  • Adidas Performer
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Running Leggings

1. Compressionz Base Layer

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.4
Compressionz Base Layer
Materials
96
Style
97
Use
96
Compression
93
Visibility
95
best offer for today
$28.84
Pros:

Amazing compression

Max temperature regulated for both coolness and warmth

Non see through

Seams are well fabricated

Best running tights on the market

Cons:

Size up for close to perfect fit

Too tight for some with larger quads

Not unisex compatible

Compressionz pants are the most comfortable, breathable and easy to maintain running leggings on the market. They are highly recommended by both long and short distance runners and hold up to the most extreme elements.

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Design and Size

Six different colors and one camouflage design are available for purchase and come in sizes X small to an XXX-large. Compression Z pants have a top-notch compression technology that provides a fast recovery and an increase in blood circulation for a maximum workout. The flatlock stitch helps with impeccable motion and flexibility and prevents any chafing.

Material

Promotes circulation for increased endurance performance, reduces friction and decreases the chances of injury. The fabric is comprised of a four-way 85% nylon, 15% spandex stretch technology retains its shape and can hold up to even the toughest of wash cycles. It's tailor-made for tough and extreme sports and marathon running with both an anti-odor and anti itch material.

Cost and Value

It's a good moderate price for not just new runners and athletes but also for all who are looking for a great value. Buy in multiples to fit your personality and mood!

2. Dr. Skin DABB11

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Dr. Skin DABB11
Materials
92
Style
94
Use
96
Compression
93
Visibility
97
best offer for today
$14.79
Pros:

Compression is absolutely amazing

Stays in place

Better blood flow for a quicker cooldown and recovery

Good quality fabric

Fit nice and snug

Cons:

Runs small

Must hang dry

Ultra sheer and thin material

These leggings are made of 92% polyester and 8% spandex which make them long-lasting and do their job in the moisture control department with Aerocool fabric. Not only are they great for running and everyday fitness; they can be used as a base layer for winter sports and competitive and extreme obstacle sports.

Read more

Breathability

Moisture Control for all seasons is a valuable asset to tough competitors. The moisture sensing and quick dry time provided by this product accommodate this pressing need. The washability on this legging is incredible and holds up to numerous washes. The size variance is vast with four different extra small to choose from and three types of extra large.

Material

Special UVA/UVB protection from environmental elements is a plus, especially in year-round warmer climates. The flex and mobility are impeccable, they are both breathable and soft. What is also great about Dr. Skin’s compression tight pant is that they are unisex and were made to fit all body types.

Cost and Value

This is not at all on the expensive side and worth buying several pairs just for the style and comfort.

3. Tesla Thermal Compression P33

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Tesla Thermal Compression P33
Materials
94
Style
96
Use
91
Compression
92
Visibility
93
best offer for today
$19.98
Pros:

Fleece Lining for Warmth but breathable

Reflective for night runners

Increased circulation

Great fit and youth sizes for both boys and girls

Great pressure point reliever.

Cons:

Size up for a perfect fit

Length varies on height

Just in time for the cooler fall and even colder winter months comes the Tesla Thermal Winter Compression Baselayer pants leggings and tights. They hold up to their name in both price and durability and come in a vast amount of colors from teal to deep red and fun prints that come in three different camouflage patterns and colors.

Read more

Material

They are fleece lined for some of the toughest winter elements and are 90% polyester with a 10% flex fabric. Tesla’s are designed for all activities that are for both indoor and outdoor workouts and excursions, which ranks it high on our top 5 legging review.

Breathability

Moisture barrier and quick drying time for long distance runners and high-intensity workouts. There is a build in odor barrier within the fabric to guard against sweat. Elastic waistband is comfortable and stylish. They are all around comfortable and can be worn for working out, lounging and running errands.

Cost or Value

These leggings from Tesla are actually very affordable for the price. Buy in multiples just for the selection of fun and funky colors and patterns!

4. CW-X Stabilyx

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
CW-X Stabilyx
Materials
93
Style
90
Use
91
Compression
89
Visibility
94
best offer for today
more shops
$73.25
$109.99
See Deal
Pros:

Outstanding two-way stretch support

A wide array of styles and colors;

Chafe resistant

Non see-through

Cons:

Sizing is inconsistent

Length varies

CW-X Stabilyx Tights come in a variety of lengths and fashionable styles and graphics. But the most important facet to these leggings is the focus on how they are made.

Read more

Comfort

CW-X back up their apparel with science. They provide an overall maximum support to almost every muscle group on the lower legs and core by using Kinesiology techniques for added accelerated circulation, maximum endurance, and a fast lower leg cooldown. If you favor a high style, high-quality product backed by engineered technology, then this legging is for you.

Material

Seasonal fabrics supported with an overall 80% in Coolmax fabrics keep you cool in the summer and even warmer in the winter months. An added reflective material on the logo makes it a buy for safe and easy evening runs.

Cost and Value

Above average pricing, but worth the cost for what you get. One of the most important aspects of the CRX Stabilyx leggings is its support in specific areas for minimum injury and maximum performance and a reduction in post-workout soreness and swelling.

5. American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey
Materials
90
Style
95
Use
90
Compression
85
Visibility
84
best offer for today
$16.47
Pros:

Being cotton it has comfort running through it, with no doubt makes you feel at home while in the field

It has a perfect fit if one gets their size

Beautiful design

The elastic waistband makes it have a tight grip on the waist thus avoiding the adjustment issues some have in the long run.

Cons:

Take good care of them as they tend to pill if not handled with care.

Who doesn’t like owning any American Apparel clothes? If you don’t then I think you need to reconsider your shopping skills and your choice of clothing as well. Well, we considered making this one in our list since it qualifies to be among our best. From the comfortability to the fitting size and material used on. They simply can make you feel like running all the way to victory.

Read more

Material

The material being cotton brings on the table the aspect of comfort, the feeling of being inside it is thrilling enough to make you own them and washing them should not even trouble you since they can be washed using a washing machine.

Design

It has an appealing design that makes you want to own them even if you won’t be using them, I mean you can easily convince yourself to buy them with nothing in mind of how to put them in use maybe just to fill your stock of many leggings.

Cost and Value

With its comfortability reigning supreme, the price is totally fair and reasonable. Talking of size they fit so perfectly if you order the right size for yourself. The waist is made of an elastic material that means no lose hanging cloth all over you as you run, no adjustment needed as you have them on, it’s like they were made just for you honey.

6. Baleaf Thermal Fleece

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Baleaf Thermal Fleece
Materials
95
Style
90
Use
85
Compression
75
Visibility
90
best offer for today
more shops
$35.99
$74.99
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Pros:

High-quality material

Reflective

Fleece lined for warmth and comfort

Moisture wicking

Cons:

Not compressive

Some reports of loose fit around the ankles

This product is packed with features that will appeal to runners such as reflective elements for safety, zip legs which make them easy to put on and take off, and a high-quality breathable fabric that will keep you dry. They're also nice and warm with a soft fleece lining that will help keep you warm.

Read more

Materials and Style

The high-quality fabric these are made with is 90% polyester and 10% spandex, making them moisture wicking and form-fitting. Users liked how the reflective elements added a touch of fashion while helping them stay more visible and safe on the roads. They come in a choice of six different reflective patterns and colors.

Use and Compression

Because of the fleece lining these are best used by runners and other athletes during cool to cold weather, otherwise you may find them to be too hot. Despite being form-fitting these aren't really a compression tight.

Visibility

These come in your choice of black with six different reflective patterns so you can customize them to your style while they help you stay seen and safe in low-light situations.

7. Dynamic Athletica

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.4
Dynamic Athletica
Materials
85
Style
85
Use
87
Compression
86
Visibility
84
best offer for today
more shops
$27.99
$38.99
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Pros:

Breathable

Light compression

Look good

100% money back guarantee

Cons:

They run small

This breathable and comfortable option is highly rated for quality, and users were pleased with the small amount of compression. They also have a hidden pocket to hold your keys and come with a 100% money back guarantee.

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Materials and Style

These are made of a breathable fabric that is 72% polyester and 28% elastic spandex. This allows the user's skin to breath while wicking moisture away from their body, while keeping the material hugged tight to the body for a comfortable and aerodynamic fit. They look like your basic running leggings, and come in black, grey, and pink.

Use and Compression

These are best used for going to the gym, running, CrossFit, or any other athletic pursuit. Keep in mind that they're made of a thin, non-insulating material so if you're looking for a product for running in cold weather there are better options. For running in warm to hot weather these are a great fit however. These do offer the user some compression, although not as much as with some other options.

Visibility

These don't have any reflective features, but they do have a cool hidden key pocket and the company has a 100% money back guarantee if you're not satisfied.

8. Nike Pro

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.2
Nike Pro
Materials
95
Style
70
Use
84
Compression
87
Visibility
80
best offer for today
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$32.00
$23.96
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$31.99
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Pros:

High-quality

Breathable and moisture wicking

Light compression

Comfortable

Cons:

Front stitching looks like underwear

This option comes from one of the biggest and most trusted brands of athletic apparel in the world. Users liked these for their durability and breathability, and the fit is excellent. Some people didn't like the stitching in the front which makes them look a bit like underwear, but others didn't mind it or wore shorts over these. Either way, it's a good product at a good price from a well-known brand.

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Materials and Style

These are made of Nike's well-known DRI-FIT fabric which is very breathable and wicks sweat away from your body to the air where it can dry naturally. They are 90% polyester and 10% spandex and users reported the fabric to be soft and durable. These lose style points for the front stitching which makes them look like underwear or long johns. Some don't mind, but others felt the need to wear shorts over them which unfortunately affects the breathability a bit.

Use and Compression

Since these don't have a lining for warmth and the fabric is thin they're best used in warmer conditions. These only have a light amount of compression, which is fine as they're not advertised as a compression tight.

Visibility

These don't have any reflective properties or features.

9. Under Armour HeatGear

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.2
Under Armour HeatGear
Materials
83
Style
81
Use
87
Compression
80
Visibility
80
best offer for today
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$34.99
$34.99
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Pros:

They’re not see-through

Perfect for every weather

Available in different colors

Breathable material

Cons:

Size runs small

This product on our list is great for those who want something a little bit tighter. Then, Under Armour can be a good choice.

Read more

Material

The first thing that you can notice while wearing these, it’s definitely the weight. The material is extra light so you can forget that you’re wearing them. But don’t be worried because they’re not see-through, they provide enough coverage for your legs.

Design

Special Signature Moisture Transport System manages very well with the sweat and moisture. Staying dry while run isn’t a problem. The construction is a 4-way stretch so it means the bigger ability even in leggings. The leggings expose your curves and even after many washes, they still retain the original shape.

Cost and Value

You will need to spend about 45 dollars on them, it’s a good investment in quality. Flatlock seams provide very good fit without any chaffing. These are mostly available in black options with colorful elements.

10. Adidas Performer

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Adidas Performer
Materials
86
Style
85
Use
75
Compression
87
Visibility
70
best offer for today
$22.92
Pros:

Very comfortable

Great fit

Light compression

Not see-through

Well-made

16 different colors/patterns to choose from

Cons:

No reflective elements

These get high marks from reviewers for being high-quality and comfortable. The women's version is a high-rise cut that comes well above the belly button so they're great for containing love handles and the dreaded muffin top. Several users were so happy they ordered several pairs and the material is thick so they're not see-through even when doing squats or other bent over exercises.

Read more

Materials and Style

This option is made of a high-quality fabric that is 93% polyester for moisture wicking and 7% elastane for form-fitting comfort. A big plus is that these are a bit thicker than a lot of other options which keeps them from being see-through at times, which is a big complaint about a lot of tights. These are available in 16 different colors and patterns so you can customize them to the rest of your running gear.

Use and Compression

These aren't insulated or lined so they're best for use in warm weather or for working out indoors. Since they're not see-through and can be had in a ton of different colors and patterns a lot of users also enjoyed wearing them around town running errands. These only have a light amount of compression but the fit is excellent and quite tight, so if that's a concern you may want to order a size up.

Visibility

Several of the colors/patterns offered are very loud and bright which will increase your visibility, but none have additional reflective elements.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

Equally as important, what are they NOT made from? Most people are surprised by the recommendation that cotton is avoided at all costs. Cotton and thick fleece can be heavy and even cause chaffing from the friction that comes with running.

Additionally, it can hold in moisture like sweat and become heavier. This is why you want to steer clear of those old sweatpants and look for something made for running. Blended fibers such as spandex, nylon, or polyester are the selection of choice in terms of material. You’re going to get a moister wicking, stretchy feel that will be comfortable in both short and long runs alike.

Style

Of course, we all want a flattering overall look to our running apparel and selecting running leggings is no different from what we normally look for. Gender specific styles not only look better, but they also tend to fit better as well.

The best possible options will be ones that are specifically designed to contour and form in the right places. Sizing can be tough because it will involve you checking a number of boxes, including length, waistband, and tightness or compression. If your ankles are bare, look for sizes labeled “tall” or “long” (for taller runners). Likewise, you don’t want your waist to be too tight.

Although you’re not going for a loose fit with leggings, you should make sure that your waist feels comfortable, especially if you have a shorter torso. Compression doesn’t just show off your glutes and gams, but they serve the functional purposes of keeping you dry while providing for unrestricted movement. It’s ok for running leggings to feel a little tight as long as the length and waist are comfortable.

Use

Keep in mind what type of runs and the climate when considering which running leggings to select. Runners in a cold climate should look for a thermal weight or lined construction. Testers agreed that running leggings with fleece lining will be your best friend in cold environments.

Furthermore, if you frequently run in snow or rain it’s essential that waterproof or water resistant running leggings are part of your arsenal. In fact, you should pick out several pair if you run several times a week to ensure that you always have a dry pair.

Compression

Compression got its start in the medical field and runners have since then embraced it with open arms. The running leggings featured in our buying guide that have compression have been found by runners to offer great stability to their knees and reduce muscle vibration. Choosing a legging with adequate compression will provide you with increased circulation and even increased efficiency and responsiveness. You may be thinking that compression is a pseudo science that doesn’t apply to the running world, but you may want to reconsider, especially if you suffer from swelling or edema. Runners praise the ability of compression leggings to minimize their swelling while improving their performance and recovery times.

Visibility

Aside from protection against the climate and running conditions, runner safety is another form of protection that is crucial when considering running leggings. Manufacturers offer a variety of options that have reflective panels in strategic places to help runners remain visible in low lighting conditions.

While this is something that is easily overlooked, it’s very important and can make a world of difference. Additionally, leggings offer protection from injuries when they have higher compression in problematic areas. Running leggings with tough compression around the knees are a frequently looked for feature by runners.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#5
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Store Properly

In order for leggings, tights, or any other compression gear to continue providing their therapeutic properties over a long period of time, specific actions must be taken when it comes to cleaning and storing them. In addition to observing proper hygienic practices according to its tag, you should store these products in a cool and dry place. Too much moisture or exposure to sunlight and/or heat can lead to damage and a shorter lifespan.

Beware of Extra Attention

It's an unfortunate fact of life that wearing compression clothing is going to attract attention; the skintight nature of these products tends to stand out in comparison to more casual forms of apparel. As a result, try not to be unnerved by any extra attention you receive while wearing these products. It's important that no one make you feel unsafe when wearing any apparel, so don't be afraid to say something if you do end up feeling this way!

Other Factors to Consider

Comfort

Quite simply, runners tend to run more and run longer the easier the entire process is. Small conveniences like a key pocket can make the overall experience less of a burden and more of a joy. Not to mention eliminate the need to bring additional equipment with you while you are out on the run. Just grab your key and go.

Bottom Line

Selecting the right pair is essentially an investment. After all, picking the right shoes takes a considerable amount of time and the same should be true for your running apparel. That being said, we have put together a brief list of things that you should consider when selecting the right pair of running leggings for you.

You will find that matching material to your personal body composition will give you the most efficient and comfortable run possible. We know that picking leggings that offer both style and function can be tricky; especially with the flattering styles that have made our list.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Should I wear underwear with my running leggings?
a:

Most leggings are typically designed to be used without underwear so we don’t generally recommend wearing them. Wearing underwear with leggings typically causes too much friction and often results in painful chaffing. If you are concerned with modesty, comfort, or support and you think the leggings themselves just won’t be enough there are leggings with liners to offer coverage or additional support that you can seek out.

q: Can I wear shorts over my running leggings?
a:

We advise that you avoid wearing shorts or similar things over your leggings. The extra layer can cause some friction issues and discomfort and undermine the point of wearing leggings.
If you are looking for a coverage there are shorts available that could work but we recommend that you look carefully for information on their compatibility with leggings and hold onto your receipt in case they don’t work out.

q: What other type of clothing should I consider wearing with my running leggings?
a:

Nothing is essential when it comes to just running. If you want to run, dress comfortably and run. That being said there is a reason we favor certain articles of clothing and gear. Wearing the right things prevents infection and injury as well as boosts your performance to make for an overall better experience while running.

Things we recommend looking into to make running an overall better experience: Running visor or hats can block the harsh sun. Supportive bras can limit unnecessary or impeding motion. Compression or especially breathable tops are also a great addition. Socks are another thing that you should choose carefully, a reliable breathable sock can make all the difference while running.

Shoes are obviously important too, but we have so much to say on that topic it's better to look for yourself.

q: I’ve noticed that there are several different leg lengths when it comes to running pants; how do I choose the right one for me?
a:

Well first off, we want to dispel any qualms you have about running in full-length pants. Some runners may be tempted to pick a shorter pair, assuming that the less coverage the better, but the reason to wear leggings is the coverage. Covering up can help better regulate your temperature, both hot and cold, as well as regulate your moisture. Fully covering your legs will also save your dealing with issues like wind and sun damage.

If all and all you’d still prefer something shorter we recommend looking into shorts or capris rather than choosing an improper length of pants. If you need assistance with an exact measurement we always recommend checking the sizing guide for help.

This was how we choose our top 10 list of the best running leggings. Remember size and fit vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so be sure to check the brand’s measurements in order to find your perfect fit. Also, consider what weather conditions you will be running in before choosing the right pair for you.

We hope we were able to provide you with all the information you need so you can make the choice that’s best for you. Thanks for reading! Now get out there, and take on the road!

q: Should I get a pair with a lot of compression?
a:

If you haven't tried compression gear yet we highly recommend it. It really is amazing how much it helps runners. Your muscles don't get as sore and you recover faster. Some people however just don't like it for whatever reason and it's definitely a personal choice. All of the products on this list are first and foremost running tights, some with more compression for the others. If you're looking for the best compression running tights we've got you covered.

Sources

  1. Asics Stories, Asics, Article,
  2. Duncan Larkin, Competitor, Article,
  3. Henry Halse, LiveStrong, Article,