What are compression tights and why you should be wearing them

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Compression tights are types of running leggings that have become popular over the years. But what are compression tights and how can they benefit you on your run?

Running miles and miles can be tough on your body. Chances are you will feel sore the next day.

That’s why it’s good to invest in gear and equipment that will make this experience all the more easier.

Along with a good pair of running shoes, a good pair of comfortable and supportive running tights are at the top of the list when it comes to running gear. Comfort over style is key!

After all, there’s nothing worse than a pair that are either too loose and start bunching up at your ankles, or too tight and start pinching your waist.

In this blog post I’d like to explain the what and the why behind compression tights so you can decide if they are a purchase for you. 

what are compression tights

What are compression tights?

Compression tights essentially squeeze your legs in all the right places whilst you run.

The definition of compress is literally to squeeze and apply pressure, so that can only mean the tights are going to be tighter than normal. Think skin tight!

Compression technology is designed to improve your circulation and reduce muscle vibrations. This is important because running is considered a high impact sport.

Over time your muscles can become weary and fatigued, especially if you don’t follow a proper recovery and injury prevention strategy.

Read my post on the best injury prevention strategies for pain free running for more information. 

Why are compression tights beneficial?

According to a 2016 study, runners wearing compression tights might have a slightly better endurance performance and less muscle pain/inflammation than runners in regular tights.

Other research has shown that compression can improve runners’ experience when performing high-intensity workouts.

what are compression tights

Which compression tights are the best?

As with any piece of equipment or gear, it’s always wise to do your research before investing in a pair of running leggings.

Some running leggings can be particularly pricey, especially those with compression technology, so shop around before buying.

One of my favorite brands is Under Armour. They have a wide range of running leggings, including those with compression technology. 

I also like Nike and Karrimoor as they both offer affordable options. 

If you’re in the market for a new pair of running leggings, check out my post on the best running leggings for women.

Here I review a range of running leggings from budget options to ones with compression technology. 

Putting compression tights to the test

I bought my first pair of compression tights about three years ago. These were from Under Armour and cost roughly £25.

To give them a proper test, I headed out for a 7 mile run on a Saturday morning.

For the first three miles I went at a 9 minute per mile pace (mainly due to the muddy trails along the river).

For the last four miles, I ran between 7.30-8.30 minutes per mile as I ran on straight pavements and roads.

My legs throughout the run felt subtly different.

The biggest difference I noticed was that my muscles felt a lot more steady and ‘sucked in’ and so were not vibrating as much as I ran.

The best way I can describe it is a feeling of lightness in your legs as you run. I remember getting to mile 6 and thinking how light my legs felt.

The day after my run I didn’t see much of a difference in the soreness in my muscles.

I don’t tend to get much soreness after a run in the days afterwards, unless I really hit it hard, but I can see how these tights would help with that.

I’m so pleased I found these running tights. My first test of them was very positive, and I look forward to testing them out on longer distances.

All in all, I think compression tight technology has its merits, and anything that gives you that extra confidence boost on your runs is a win in my book.

Have you bought your first pair of compression tights? What are your thoughts? Comment below!

what are compression tights

Caroline Geoghegan

Caroline Geoghegan (aka Run With Caroline) helps people become faster and stronger runners. She started her blog in 2018 to share her passion for running. Caroline is a UK Athletics qualified Run Leader and Run Coach and NASM qualified Personal Trainer.

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