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7 Best Running Leggings and Running Tights Reviewed

last updated: May 07, 2021
We love running tights – they keep your muscles warm, improve your circulation and performance, and let’s be honest, they help you look good! While they may have a ton of benefits, there are also a ton of different options on the market, which can make choosing the best pair difficult. Choosing a pair of running tights with the right fit is the most important thing to consider when it comes to buying running tights, but there are other factors to think about as well. Below we have also listed running leggings and tights for different kinds of weather, and in different price ranges to help you find the right ones for you, so read on!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research

Rockay Tights
Rockay Tights
Why is it better?

Made from recycled materials

Reflective elements added for night runs

Ideal breathability for most seasons

Decent compression to keep the runs long comfortably

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Rockay Tights
Test Winner: Rockay Tights
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Rockay Running Tights
Rockay Tights
Our Favorite Eco-Friendly Newcomers
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Price Comparison Last Updated (11.05.21)
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.05.21)
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Price Comparison Last Updated (11.05.21)
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.05.21)
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.05.21)
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.05.21)
Amazon Link
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.05.21)

Top 7 Running Tights and Leggings

1. Rockay Tights

Our Favorite Eco-Friendly Newcomers

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Features

Made from recycled materials

Reflective elements added for night runs

Ideal breathability for most seasons

Decent compression to keep the runs long comfortably

Working with recycled materials and plastic ocean waste, and even coffee grounds, Rockay first jumped onto our radar when they launched their Accelerate running socks back in 2018. Since then, the brand has expended out to other areas of performance running gear.

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The mission of Rockay is to produce the highest quality apparel, that exceeds performance needs, while at the same time doing their part to help clean up the planet and put plastic waste to good use. These tights are part of their newest line, and they definitely didn't just stop at comfort. With a bunch of extras like Polygiene odor control technology, reflective elements, and a pocket over the right hip, which is well placed, there seems to be some planning that went into these before they hit production stage.

In addition to decent compression, they also help with some added thermal defense when the seasons change. And the one thing that we really like is the breathability. When you start piling on features such as odor control, thermal properties, and even some weather resistance, breathability starts to fade into the background. This isn't really the case with Rockay's new tights.

The company itself is still fairly new, but we haven't seen anything but good come from their design team so far. We say they're worth a try.

2. CompressionZ

CompressionZ
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CompressionZ Women’s leggings are some of the best running leggings for women because they’re designed by a company that specializes in compression clothing of all types. This is clear in their effect on recovery time. You can’t go wrong with CompressionZ when it comes to style and price – they’re available in a ton of patterns and colors. Let us show you why they're worth buying!

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Material and support

CompressionZ Women's Leggings are made from polyester and spandex, which means that they can provide good compression. Some buyers said that they give so much compression that they don’t need to use knee sleeves or calf sleeves. This may really have an impact on your performance.

Comfort and size

Despite the fact that these are compression leggings, they are also very stretchy and that boosts the comfort. You won’t need to think about chafing or skin irritation with this product. Don’t worry about the washing, it retains the shape. These tights will make you feel great and look great with five different sizes available to choose from.

Cost and value

The cost for a pair of CompressonZ leggings is very reasonable, especially when considering how well-made and durable they are. Thanks to this, customers can easily justify making a purchase with the knowledge that their stylish and comfortable leggings will last them for miles to come.

3. CW-X Stabilyx

CW-X Stabilyx
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If we’re being honest, this is just one of many CW-X styles that best leggings for running. This is one of the most go-to brands when it comes to tights for runners – they could have this list just to themselves! These Stabilyx tights are available in fun patterns like constellation print as well as clean black styles for the more minimalist runner fashionista. Many buyers said that these are the best tights on the market. When it comes to high-tech clothing, CW-X really knows what they’re doing. Let us show you more!

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Materials and support

The material is 80% Polyester and 20% Polyurethane: excellent support for your knees, calves, and hips. Coolmax fabric keeps your body dry all the time while also being flexible enough to accommodate other activities like yoga. They fit very tightly, however, so many women recommend to order one size up.

Comfort and durability

They’re thick but the material is breathable enough to provide comfort and you won’t melt in these tights. These tights will make you look like an athlete even if you’re not. They give a lot of stability for the joints and they can really relieve your pain. They will stay with you for a long time as long as you wash them carefully and air dry them in order to prevent heat damage.

Cost and value

Considering the fact that these leggings are made with the aim of providing support and durability in high-performance activities, it makes sense that they would cost more than the average yoga pants. However, these are far more expensive than most casual runners will be able to tolerate spending. Only hardcore fitness freaks need apply!

4. Nike Pro Tights

Nike Pro Tights
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Everybody knows Nike, and for good reason. They're one of the world's leading makers of sports gear and apparel, and they consistently put out high-quality products. One of the best things about these Nike Pro tights is their versatility. You can wear them running, to practice yoga, at the gym, or any other sporting activity you can dream up. Users noted a compressive, tight fit, which is perfect for some but may be a bit too much for others.

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Materials and Breathability

The Nike Pro tights are made with a material that is 90% polyester and 10% spandex. This allows them to be plenty stretchable enough to give allow you your full range of motion, while still giving you plenty of the support you need. These tights also have Nike's DRI-fit technology, which helps wick moisture from your skin to the air where it can dry. Finally, these have mesh panels on the inner legs to really help keep breathability up.

Comfort and Durability

Another great feature of the Nike Pro Tights is the wide waistband. Users noted that this helps the tights to be comfortable because the force from the elastic is spread out on a larger area which makes them much more comfortable than a lot of other options. While there were a few reports of durability issues, most users didn't report any issues, especially if the tights are cared for properly.

Cost and Value

This is unusual for a Nike product because they're usually quite expensive, but this is actually one of the more affordable options on our list. A women's version is also available and they come in six different sizes from small to XXX-large.

5. 2XU Compression

2XU Compression
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We had 2XU Women’s Compression Tights so now it’s time for 2XU Men's Compression Running Tights. These are described as an all-around general sports performance option, so running isn’t the only thing they can do. If you want firm compression for better performance and you like the X design, you need to check what more these tights can give to you.

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Materials and protection

It’s a blend of Nylon and Elastane so no surprises here. It gives great compression for the muscles. It reduces vibrations and you have more energy to run and your muscles let less fatigued. It prevents many injuries and there’s blood flow increased so muscles recover faster. It also has SPF sun protection.

Breathability and hygiene

The material used in these compression running tights is anti-bacterial so you don’t need to worry about the odor. It’s very breathable, perfect even in high temperatures. There are 5 sizes available. There are two colors to choose from - black tights/ silver logo or black tights/ black logo. Despite being compression tights, you won’t have a problem with putting them on.

Cost and value

We know that this brand offers quite expensive products, and this one is no exception. However, they’re totally worth it and they will stay with you for a long time, so it may be worth it to take a chance on these.

6. Skins DNAmic

Skins DNAmic
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The next tights on our list are DNAmic long tights from Skins. These are also the next compression tights on our list with many different features. Users were really attracted by the breathability and high-quality materials. There are also many colors to choose from. However, we didn't put the tights on the list just because of the attractive design and colors!

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Support and performance

If you want to increase your endurance, a pair of these will be perfect. The tights provide a very tight fit and wrap the leg so there's better circulation and there's also more oxygen provided to the muscles. Thanks to the reducing of blood lactate build up, you can recover much faster and enhance your performance.

Materials and breathability

The moisture resistant material wicks sweat away and boost its evaporation. The tights are made of nylon and elastane and are lightweight and breathable enough to be comfortable without sweating too much.

Cost and value

When it comes to the price, you need to expect that you will need to pay a little more for this product but it's worth it. The compression is tight and for some users, it was too tight in the hip area. the tights are available in more than 8 colors. The tights are made to last for a long time, no durability issues.

7. CW-X Endurance Generator

CW-X Endurance Generator
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You might think that we're totally in love with the stuff from CWX. It's because they have really good running tights so it's not a problem to pick 3 of their best products on our list. These tights were made especially for us runners to provide us the most comfortable fit and a lot of support.

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Support and compression

Thanks to the flat seam construction, none of the reviewers had any skin irritation or abrasion.
There's a lot of support for the lower back. Abdominals, hips, and back are the areas that provide runners with more stability and power. Runners were also really satisfied with the support in the calf area; all in all, these tights effectively reduce the workload.

Material and protection

These are made of the blend of polyester and spandex, two materials that wick very well. While wearing these, some runners experienced overheating, which was one of the main issues. The tights feature UPF 50+ protection to protect you from the harmful sun's rays along with UVB and UVA protection. The tights are double reinforced with drawcord.

Cost and value

Runners really praised the quality and durability of the product. You can use it for a long time and it retains the original shape. Although they may be too tight at first, these are ultimately worth their admittedly high price tag. Just make sure to get the right size!

Look For Anti-Bacterial Products

If you're the kind of person who has a tendency to sweat excessively during a typical running session, you might want to look into products with anti-bacterial or anti-microbial properties. These are often a bit more expensive since they require the use of rare earth minerals for this feature, but it can help to drastically reduce the presence of lingering odors after a long run. Your friends and family will thank you.

All Eyes On You

When wearing leggings, tights, or yoga pants, a bit of confidence is required. Since these products are skin-tight and highly compressive, they leave very little to the imagination. If you're the type of person who's uncomfortable with receiving extra attention and drawing some stares, you may not want to wear these kinds of running tights in public.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Why are some products more expensive than others?

a:

This is a really good question. The first factor that makes a product more expensive is name brand prestige – many brands are more expensive because they’re very popular and of course they offer high-quality products and have been in business for a long time. The next thing is the material used. Some materials are cheap and still pretty good but there are also more expensive ones. The price also depends on where the product is made.

q: How do I take care of my tights and when should I buy a new pair?

a:

There isn’t one answer to that question. Every manufacturer and material has its own care instructions, and you should read and follow them carefully. From our experience, most tights can be washed in the washing machine but cold water is preferred. You might not be able to use a heated dryer or it could damage the tights so it's a good idea to get in the habit of letting them air dry.

This is a good excuse to find a pair you like and then get an extra. That way you can rotate them and always have something to run in while the other pair is drying. Also, if you see that your tights have changed their shape or become stretched out, it’s time to buy a new pair.

q: How good are the aerodynamics from these tights?

a:

Running tights are designed to fit and shape to the body, and they are free from seams, allowing moving air to flow over the leg as if it was moving over the natural skin surface. This free-moving flow of air does not meet resistance as it would if a runner were wearing loose baggy running pants. This can cut down running time as your speed will be increased due to good aerodynamics, especially during long-distance events.

q: Since tights for runners fit really tightly, will I have chafing issues?

a:

Chaffing issues with regards to clothing often result from the friction from seams, especially if those seams are wet with sweat. Running tights are designed to be seam free and this means no focused rubbing which will create friction on the skin surface and painful chaffing. Additionally, the tights are constructed from high-quality fabrics which ensure high-performance breathability and ongoing protective wick-ability to ensure the skin remains dry. When your skin is dry it is less susceptible to friction and so chaffing problems are kept at bay.

q: I'm a little shy, is there an alternative to these tights besides shorts or pants?

a:

Unfortunately not really. We totally understand not wanting to expose your body in public, especially if you're just starting to get back in shape. Running shorts are definitely a good option and can offer more breathability than even the most breathable and expensive tights. However there's really nothing that compares to the compressive abilities of tights that hold your muscles in place which reduces soreness and fatigue, as well as increasing circulation to help with healing. What we would recommend is running in whatever you feel comfortable in right now, and maybe buying a nice pair of tights to help motivate you to reach your fitness goals so that one day soon you'll be able to proudly don your tights in public.

q: Why is compression good for runners?

a:

One of the major benefits of running rights is that they offer a good level of compression. This is important because it helps improve blood flow during your run, which, in turn, can help boost oxygen levels and help reduce muscle fatigue. Compression also helps support the muscles of your legs so they do not get as tired as easily during longer runs. It can take some getting used to at first, but the compression offered by tights can do a world of good for your performance as well as your post-run fatigue and soreness!

q: Can I find good running tights even if I am on a tight budget?

a:

Running gear usually is not cheap but it also does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. If you are on a budget you can still find quality gear that will meet your needs and serve you well. Investing what you can when you can into your gear is a great way to build your running gear collection and to improve and upgrade it a little at a time until it gets to the level you are seeking. You want to invest in quality gear but you do not have to go broke in the process either.

q: Does color choice really matter with runners tights?

a:

When looking for the best leggings for running and best running tights, color is about more than just personal likes and dislikes. Color can also affect your safety. If you do most of your running at home or at the gym then the color of your tights is simply a matter of personal presences. However, for outdoor running, especially night time and low light conditions, the color of your tights can actually help you stay safe. Bright colors stand out more in low light conditions and some colors can reflect light, making you more visible to drivers and other pedestrians when you are out and about. So, think about the conditions you run in and how the color of running tights you wear can affect your run.