10 Best Running Tights Reviewed & Tested

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We love running tights – they keep your muscles warm, improve your circulation and performance, and let’s be honest, help you look good!  Having more than one pair is a good idea, but choosing the best pair isn’t always the simplest task.  But we’re here to help!

To make our list, the tights have to fulfill certain criteria in terms of fit, performance, and value.  We emphasize that fit is the most important criteria for you when it comes to buying running tights.  We have also listed tights for different kinds of weather, and in different price ranges to help you find the right ones for you.

Last Updated: August 6, 2018
By EJ Callanan:

Our list has been updated for the hot weather this summer. We're constantly researching to provide you the best options. Check out what's new on our list, including more from CW-X and Skins.

CompressionZ
  • CompressionZ
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 4-way stretchable fabric
  • Price: See Here
CW-X Stabilyx Tights
  • CW-X Stabilyx Tights
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Coolmax fabric
  • Price: See Here
2XU Women's Mid-rise Compression
  • 2XU Women's Mid-rise Compression
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Comfortable waistband
  • Price: See Here

 

10 Best Running Tights

 


CompressionZ Women's Leggings

CompressionZ Women's Leggings
CompressionZ Women’s leggings are some of the best running tights 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 from neutrals to bright colors and wild patterns. Let us show you why they're worth buying.
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CompressionZ Women's Leggings are made from polyester and spandex . These tights 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 big impact on your performance. While running, there may be too much muscle motion and this may lead to injuries. You also waste your energy when there’s too much muscle motion. Why is compression so important? It makes it faster for muscles to recover and prevent muscle fatigue. 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. There are 5 sizes available.
Pros

Restrict excessive muscle motion, reducing expelled energy

Less pain during and after running

Improved blood circulation due to the right amount of compression

4-way stretchable fabric for flexibility and comfort

Fast sweat-wicking fabric halts growth of bacteria and irritation

100% money-back guarantee

They’re quiet warm despite being so lightweight

Cons

Run small, especially around the waist

Many women complained about the sizing problems


CW-X Women's Stabilyx Tights

CW-X Women's Stabilyx Tights
If we’re being honest, this is just one of many CW-X styles that is top rated. This is one of the most go-to brands when it comes to running tights – they could have 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 fashionista. Many buyers said that these are the best running 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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The material is 80% Polyester and 20% Polyurethane. Excellent support for your knees, calf and hip. Coolmax fabric keeps your body dry all the time. They are flexible enough to do other activities like yoga in. They fit very tightly and many women recommend to order one size up. 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. They don’t slip. With these tights, you will recover quicker. They help to minimize the pain and soreness after the race.
Pros

Patented CW-X Support Web stabilizes knee and hip joints

Compression allows for increased circulation, minimizing lactic acid build up and pain

Flash logos for nighttime visibility

Flatseam construction is non-irritating and comfortable

Key pocket is very useful

Coolmax stretch fabric wicks away moisture

Cons

Some women said that the tights are a little bit too long

They’re expensive


2XU Women's Compression Tights

2XU Women's Compression Tights
It’s almost unreal how popular these leggings are, and they come in many modest neutral colors and patterns that will match with any colors. You can choose from 5 sizes and with proper care they can literally stay with you for years. Make your running adventure more comfortable with these tights. They’re so comfortable you could wear them to sleep, too! See, why 2XU Women's Compression Tights are worth buying.
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These tights are made in the US and are a lycra-blend. These tights give 360 degree pressure to protect the muscles and many others parts of your legs. Your muscles will be less fatigued after a running session. You will also observe increased circulation of the blood which let you perform better and recover faster. You won’t have problems with bacteria as these tights are antibacterial. You will also be protected against the sun- this product has SPF 50 sun protection. They're not only for running- you can use them for multiple sports such as cycling, climbing, winter sports, water sports or just for going to the gym. They help to improve muscle endurance and strength. These tights are adored as there are about 10 sizes so it’s easy to find very comfortable tights. They give a lot of flexibility so you have full range of movement. They have a cool design and are easy to put on and take off. Remember that if you need something warmer, there is thermal version of these running tights.
Pros

They are very durable

They’re very soft in touch and comfortable

They retain the original shape even after many washes

Cons

Some buyers said that these tights are too thin and they expose too much

They are pricey

Nike Women's Power Essential Running Tight

Nike Women's Power Essential Running Tight
Nike is well known for high quality products. These tights will be excellent not only for running but also for many other sports including yoga, cycling or working out at the gym, . If you want a snug fit, read more about these fantastic tights.
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In this case, simple design is the key to success. The fabric is stretchy enough to give full range of motion but at the same time, you get a lot of support. This is a blend of Polyester and Spandex and you can wash it in the washing machine. Special Dri-Fit technology keeps your skin dry while running. Compared to the other products, Nike Tights have a wide waistband for a comfortable fit without chaffing or skin irritation. Your level of safety will be higher because of reflective elements in the tights. There is also one pocket with a zipper. As we said before, these tights have typical, simple design. There aren’t any imprints, only the logo of Nike. There are 5 colored versions of the tights- from black to light blue. They are a little bit cheaper than the previous products but it doesn’t affect their quality. They’re highly ranked in customer reviews. They are excellent for women, and there are 6 sizes available. The tights are durable and material doesn’t weaken after washing.
Pros

They don’t ride down

They’re breathable enough to run in high temperatures

Classic, simple design makes you want to wear them for everyday activities

Buyers said that you can put small phone in the back pocket

Cons

There may be problems with choosing appropriate size

CW-X Women's Pro Running Tights

CW-X Women's Pro Running Tights
Here we go with one more product for women from CW-X. This company is the boss when it comes to high-quality running tights and it’s not the last time it appears on our list. This product is especially dedicated to runners and it will give you everything you need. Click to see more about these running tights.
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CW-X Women's Pro Running Tights are a blend of Polyester and Polyurethane. They have a special support web providing more support for your muscles. These tights also give a lot of protection and support for the hip and knee joint. It really decreases the fatigue of the muscles and as a result, you have more power to perform better. You don’t need to worry about wet skin anymore- the same as with the previous CW-X product, the Coolmax fabric keeps moisture away from your skin. You can wash it in the machine but don’t use heat to dry it. There’s also a reflective logo to make you more visible on the street. The waistband may be a little too tight at first but don’t give up, it will loosen. As they give a large amount of support, it means that they’re also good for recovery.
Despite there being only two colors available, you will definitely fall in love with the Rainbow-black color. You can choose from 4 sizes. Buyers really praised these tights for durability. You need to check size carefully as some buyers have problem with choosing the right size.
Pros

Great compression especially around knee and calf

There is a key pocket to store keys

Flat seam construction

Highly rated on comfort

They are said to be very nice for cold weather

Cons

They are a little expensive

CompressionZ Men's Pants

CompressionZ Men's Pants
This brand really owns the heart of buyers as it’s one of the top selling brands. These tights are a great product providing great fit and good compression. We'd be lying if we didn't say these were one of our favorites. Read on to see why it’s worth it to buy these tights.
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These tights are one of the most comfortable tights. If you have get the right size, fitting is perfect. Don’t forget that these are compression tights so they give you a lot of compression. You can recover from your workout very fast and it will be much easier than with normal pants. Your blood flow is increased and they make you feel warmer. They really support your muscles and they protect both muscles and joints. These also increase the efficiency of your muscles and you can perform longer and better. They’re really helpful when it comes to reducing swelling or pain during your workout. They’re made from material that is has anti-itch properities. These tight also offer a high level of breathability. This product is very durable and after many washes, it will retain the same shape. The manufacturer describes these pants as a product that can be worn even as a base layer for jeans. You have full range of movement despite the tight compression. The material is very durable and it’s also anti-bacterial. These pants will be perfect for summer and they will keep you cool in high temperatures but are also great for the winter. Suitable for runners, cyclists, athletes or even office workers. They have special 4 way stretch technology. There are 8 colors available- you can find classic colors like black or white but also more lively ones like orange or green.
Pros

High quality material that’s not see-through

They don’t slip

Snug fit but still comfortable

Nice design

Cons

They're expensive

CW-X Endurance Generator

CW-X Endurance Generator
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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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. The tights effectively reduce the workload. While wearing these, you can really feel the support in the knee from the surrounding muscles and joints providing firm stabilization. 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. Runners really praised the quality and durability of the product. You can use it for a long time and it retains the original shape. Most runners didn't have a problem with choosing the best size but be aware that these are compression tights and for some people, they were too tight.
Pros

Provide a lot of compression support 

Great for stabilizing the knees

The tights have very attractive design

Made of high-quality material

Cons

This is a product that is definitely on the more expensive side

For some users, the tights get too hot

Skins DNAmic Long Tights

Skins DNAmic Long Tights
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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If you want to increase your endurance and performance, and make your muscles less fatigued, compression tights 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. The moisture wicking material wicks moisture away and boosts its evaporation. The tights are made of nylon and elastane and are lightweight and breathable enough to be comfortable without sweating too much.
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.

Baleaf Men's Outdoor Thermal Cycling Running Tights ( Men)

Baleaf Men's Outdoor Thermal Cycling Running Tights ( Men)
Belaf is the next new name on our list but you will definitely like their running tights. These tights have really interesting design and they really draw attention. These tights are also the first product that is thermal- as the title implies, they will be good for even very cold winter. Let’s check how cool they are.
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When it comes to material, it’s like the same as for most tights- blend of Polyester and Spandex. This means that this is very stretchy material. It is also breathable even though it’s excellent for winters as it’s thick enough. We want to stress that they’re not good for runners who search for compression tights but it doesn’t mean they don’t give compression. There’s soft fleece inside to provide more warmth and comfort. These tights are the next product with reflective elements for better visibility. They are perfect for running, cycling skiing and many different winter sports. It really depends on you but most runners prefer to use it only during the colder days. As we’ve said before, they have great design. These tights have leg zippers- this makes you look much more stylish and more elegant. There’s also one pocket at the back and it has a zip so it’s much safer. This is the next product with a really nice price, you will pay less than 40 dollars for a pair and you can often find them on sale.
Pros

Great quality thermal tights for low price

They’re really warm

Fashionable look

Cons

Issues with choosing the best size

2XU Men's Compression Tights

2XU Men's Compression Tights
We had 2XU Women’s Compression Tights so now it’s time for 2XU Men's Compression Tights. These are described as all around general sport performance so running isn’t the only option. 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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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 recovery faster. It has SPF sun protection.
Material used here 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 problem with putting them on. They are moisture wicking so it’s easier to stay dry during the run. They are really praised for making the silhouette thinner and have an unusual look. We know that this brand offers quiet expensive products, however, they’re totally worth it and they will stay with you for a long time.
Pros

They don’t stretch out after washing

Keeps your legs warm during the winter

They’re solid and comfortable

Cons

The problem with size appeared many times

 

The Criteria That We’ve Used For Evaluation Of Best Running Tights

Which material is the best?

This is a very important part of the clothing and has a big impact. One of the most popular materials is cotton, which is very breathable and soft to the touch. However, it also has disadvantages – it may stretch out after a period of time which changes the shape and fit.

Nylon or Spandex is better when it comes to keeping the same shape and fit over time.  Another benefit is they’re moisture-wicking. They dry very quickly and they are machine washable in most cases.

You can find running tights in many other materials as well.  Some fabrics need to be hand washed, so be sure to read the care instructions. Some materials have a tendency to fade in the wash, and some even tend to stretch out after washing. Some materials deal better with bacteria so they will be good for people who sweat a lot. The choice is yours.

Size is the key

Size, size and then one more time size! No running tights will be comfortable if they don’t fit right.  They should be tight enough to compress your muscles, but not so tight they cause chaffing.

So how do you know what’s tight enough? They should feel snug, but comfortable.  And if they leave a mark on your waistline after just a few minutes wearing them, they’re probably too tight.  At the same time you should feel them gently hugging your muscles to your body.

We know that most sizing charts are similar but this is one product were it’s definitely worth it to read several reviews regarding the sizing. Sometimes buyers recommend choosing one size up or down. Lots of people choose one size up, but it really depends on the brand and product.

Also be sure to get tights that are the right length.  Many runners like to have a 3/4 length leg in the summer to stay cool, but switch to full length, thicker tights when it gets cooler.

Where do you want to buy your tights?

Running tights are available in many stores, you can find them online or you can even visit the manufacturer’s website and order the product there. The question is which option is the best?

There are many products that you can find on websites such as Amazon. However, you must be aware that you need to check all the information carefully, there are a lot of products which are less comfortable and lower quality. While buying a product on the internet, you can’t try on the product beforehand.

You also can’t touch the product to see if you like the material or not. It may seem that going to the store is the best option but this also has some disadvantages.  You have to leave your house, spend money on gas and valuable time driving, and the store might not even have your size!

Buying things online, you have the convenience of shopping from your own home, and you can always order a couple of different sizes and return any that don’t fit.  Just be sure to check the return policy before ordering.  Everyone is different though, and you’ll have to figure out which way of shopping is best for you.

Support

With compression or without compression?  Have you ever wondered what  compression does? Well, there are many useful things that compression tights do. As the name implies, they give compression. This means that in some cases, you don’t need to buy knee sleeves or calf sleeves in addition to your tights. It’s also a boost for circulation and that means they will help you to perform better.

By holding your muscles in place, less energy is lost while running, circulation is improved, and you can run better and longer.  The tights will also help you to recover faster.

Other Important Factors To Consider

Any extras

The most popular running tight feature are pockets. Most pockets are usually big enough for keys but too small for a phone.  Many runners find that having anything at all in the pockets is very uncomfortable for them.

So it’s up to you whether you want a pocket or not. You may also consider if you want a pocket with or without a zipper. Pockets with zippers are usually better because it’s less probable that you will lose your keys, money etc. The other popular features are reflective logos and elements, which are a great safety feature especially if you run at night. However, reflective logos or patterns aren’t necessarily a must have, especially if you tend to run in the morning or the early evening, when visibility isn’t an issue.

Let’s be fashionable

It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, every runner wants to look good in their running clothes. Tights  expose your silhouette, and if you choose a design that works for your body, you will look amazing.  The key is to choose the appropriate design for your body. If you are a little bit overweight, look for black tights with white or grey elements. This will make your legs look thinner.

Many buyers choose simple, black running tights as they can use them for other activities. As we’ve said before, we strongly advice night time runners to choose a reflective material to be more visible on the roads. All products presented on our list are long but it doesn’t mean that you can’t purchase the shorter version. Capri, aka 3/4 are a very popular item among many runners. There are many colors you can choose from but we think that dark colors are the best ones as they don’t get dirty as fast as light colors.

Finally, many buyers complain that the material of some tights is so thin that people can see your underwear. That shouldn’t happen with high quality running tights, but be sure to read several reviews to see if buyers have mentioned it.

 

What price should your tights be?

During research for our top 10, we took price into consideration.  Cost may be a decisive factor for lots of runners. However, choosing tights based just on price isn’t a good idea. We try to select products that are very high quality which can cost more than $70 but we also tried to find some more affordable options as well.

We won’t lie to you – if you want high-quality tights which will be very comfortable, you’ll need to spend some money on them. Remember that buying tights is an investment and well-made running tights may stay with you for years.

This kind of product should be made from material which is both breathable and stretchy, which is why the price may seem a little bit high. Some people say that you pay a lot for a logo – meaning that the price is higher when the brand is more prestigious. If you want to save  money but  still want to find a name brand product, look for sales. Many brands offer sales at the end of the season or on styles and colors which are less popular. It doesn’t  mean that they’re ugly, in fact you can save money and have original style!

Weather makes a difference

While selecting our products, we found many tights that are awesome for every type of weather – hot, cold, or in between.  If you run when it’s really cold out, you may want to check out thermal tights, which provide a lot of warmth in cold weather without you feeling too hot in them.

There’s no problem with finding a thermal version as they’re available online. What about the summer? How to stay cool and boost your performance. The best tights have special technology that wicks moisture away from your skin to the outside air, keeping you cool. The material is very breathable and your skin stays dry even though you’re wearing tights. However, if you want tights for a really hot day, think about Capri’s or shorts. It all really depends on where you live, but it’s worth it to have at least one long pair of running tights in your wardrobe.

Durability?

Running tights that will last for years is the dream of every runner, but you may have to pay more.  Durability can be tested before purchase, looking at the quality of materials and comfort above looks. Even if the product looks really nice, it doesn’t mean that it will be durable. You must be careful especially if you’re shopping on the Internet.  Just be sure to read at least 3-4 reviews of a product before buying it, and don’t just go by pictures which can be easily photoshopped to draw people’s attention.

FAQ

Q.  Why some tights are more expensive than others?

A. This is a really good question. The first factor that makes a product more expensive is prestige – many brands are more expensive because they’re very popular and of course they offer high-quality products and are on the market for a long time. The next thing is the material used. Some materials are cheap and still 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 washing instructions, and you should read 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. When you see that your tights have changed their shape or stretched out, it’s high time to buy a new one.

The best running tights aren’t just comfortable. They’re actually designed to increase blood circulation to the muscles, resulting in the decreased lactic acid build-up and a faster, easier recovery post-workout. If you’re looking for a reason to try out compression pants instead of running shorts, this is one of many reasons to do it.

The one thing that you’ll want to pay attention to when buying running tights is the sizing – they can run small, especially if you’re on the modest side! Happy running, biking, rowing, swimming, and more!

Q.  How good are the aerodynamics from running 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 in long-distance events.

Q.  Since running tights are tight fitting, will I have chaffing issues?

Chaffing issues with regards to clothing often result from 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.