TOP 13 Best Sports Compression Tights & Pants for 2019 Reviewed

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Maybe you have seen people wearing compression pants at the Gym, box, or out on the trail.

Compression tights have become quite popular lately, but why?

What are they used for, and do they work?

We will answer those questions and let you know what we think the best compression tights are made of. We will finish up with our top 13 recommendations by category of best compression tights for running, men, women, CrossFit etc.


Compression Tights



Sub Sports Men’s Graduated Compression Tightsfor Runningbuy-from-amazon-button
Under Armour Men’s Compression Leggingsfor Menbuy-from-amazon-button
Anthem Athletics Compression Pantsfor CrossFitbuy-from-amazon-button
2XU Women’s Thermal Compression Tightsfor Womenbuy-from-amazon-button
2XU Refresh Recovery Compression Tightsfor Recoverybuy-from-amazon-button

Woman in fashionable sportswear is doing exercise

Why Should I Wear Compression Pants or Tights?

Compression pants may help you exercise longer, perform better and recover faster.

Many athletes can attest to the benefits of Compression wear for improved circulation, muscle support and reduced muscle and skin vibration.

Let me show you how:

For Warm Up – Before Exercising

Before exercising.

Compression improves circulation, facilitating warm up and maintaining warm muscles.

Graduated compression wear is tighter in some strategic areas than others. This increases blood flow and flow of fluid thru the lymph nodes, allowing for a speedy warm up.

During Your Workout

Reduces Muscle exhaustion and Damage.

Compression wear minimizes vibration. Vibration causes a loss of energy. Compression wear transfers that energy back into the activity you are performing, resulting in a perceived increase ability to prolong exercise.

Improved Tactile sensation.

Wearing compression gear puts pressure on the skin surface as you move, increasing your tactile awareness of the body parts moving. This awareness improves form, posture and body awareness.

two crossfit girls doing pushups in outdoor

Huge Recovery Benefits of Compression Tights

  • Circulation – blood flow.
  • Lactic acid – decreasing soreness, improved circulation means more efficient clearing of lactate from the blood. Lactate is what causes the muscles to feel sore.
  • Recovering faster – Reduced Inflammation: Compression aids the circulatory system and system of lymph fluid to clear away inflammation. Athletes report less soreness and faster recover.
  • Feeling better after a hard workout – users report they simply feel good to wear after a long run or hard workout.
  • Reduces risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) because compression improves circulation and reduces swelling in feet and ankles.

Does Compression Gear Aid in Recovery?

Steve who heads up a Fitness blog/Vlog called Kalclash Fitness is an avid runner and has experience using compression wear. He speaks about his experience in a balanced way, without hype.

We appreciate that! Thanks Steve!

Compression Helps Loose Skin

But it’s not what you may be thinking!

Some users, especially those who have loose skin from age, pregnancies or losing a significant amount of weigh report feeling more secure and comfortable wearing compression pants and shirts.

There are rumors that compression gear may help tighten loose skin, but those rumors may be unfounded, and we could not find evidence to back the rumor up.

Benefits of Compression clothes for Loose Skin

  • Reduces Movement of loose skin- the athlete can focus on the movement they are performing instead of the awkward feeling of skin jumping up and down and jiggling.
  • Adds confidence to overweight folks or those with loose skin to perform jarring movements.
  • Prevents chafing- chafing and loose skin can actually be a barrier to exercise. Anything an athlete can do to be more comfortable, secure and confident while exercising is, in our opinion, worth it.
  • Makes an excellent base layer, lays close to body, wicks away perspiration.

My Experience with Loose Skin & Compression Clothing One of our favorite Vloggers, Jared at Obese to beast shares his experience with compression clothing.

Jared lost a huge amount of weight and became very fit. He still has loose skin in the belly and legs, and loves compression gear for the comfort and confidence they provide.

Why Wear Compression and How Do I Choose Compression Tights?

Compression level- This refers to how tight the pants are, or how much compression they offer. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the Spandex/lycra/elastane content, the more compression they have.

Some folks want strong compression, and indeed, strong compression is best for recovery.

However, not everyone wants such firm compression. Brands like Under Armour and NIKE usually have less compression.

Brands like SKINS, 2XU and Subs have strong, true compression.

Length Compression tights come in full, ¾ and Capri length. The ¾ and Capri length are not great for recovery because they do not cover the ankles and calves.

But they are good for agility movements and make good pants or tights to wear during exercise, particularly CrossFit.


Compression gear is made for either a man or a woman, but they are not interchangeable, nor unisex. It just won’t work.

  • Men’s compression gear is made with consideration to the groin area to fit the male anatomy snug and comfortable.
  • Women’s compression tights are designed and cut to fit a woman, who is curvier and has a larger hip to waist ratio.

TOP 13 Best Compression Tights & Pants Reviewed 2019

Best compression pants for running

Sub Sports Men’s Graduated Compression Tights for Running

Review: These Sub Sports Men’s Compression tights are made from 80% nylon and 20% Lycra and have good compression due to the high lycra content.

They are challenging to get on, but worth the struggle.

  • Nice tight compression
  • 4 Way stretch fabric, Moisture transport (wicking) technology
  • Integrated Mesh zones
  • NO center/crotch seam, no awkwardness. Designed for the male anatomy
  • Design seems to suit tall slim men best, which is a common build for runners
  • Good for warmer weather
  • These run long in the eg, a plus for tall folks and those with long legs
Our Take

The best compression running tights available for tall runners.

Nike Men's Dri-Fit Pro Hypercool Compression Training Tights

Review: These Nike Compression pants are 92% Polyester, 8 % spandex, and have moderate compression, making them softer and more flexible than pants with true compression.

These pants come complete with ample room for the male anatomy, compared to other models by Nike.

  • Thin Hypercool Fabric
  • Moderate, but not tight compression
  • V shaped groin seam, designed for male anatomy
  • Comfortable, non restrictive waistband, especially compared to other Nike models
  • Not as tight as some would like

The best compression tights for running, for athletes that use running to train for other sports.

SKINS Men's A400 Compression Long Tights

Review: These SKINS are 76% Nylon and 24% Elastane, giving them excellent compression.

  • High Elastane content, superior compression
  • Moisture wicking fabric with ADAPTIVE Thermoregulation Technology. Basically it keeps you warm in the cold, and vice versa.
  • Flat sewn seams
  • Sizing takes into account limb circumference
  • Cost more than other compression pants

Excellent compression, great for running in any weather.

Best compression tights for men

Sub Sports Mens Compression pants sub layer

Review: These Subsports men’s compression pant are 82% nylon, 18 % elastane giving them decent compression. They are designed for the male anatomy with dual seams in the groin area for comfort.

  • Flat seams, dual seam in groin
  • Moisture wicking fabric
  • Mid-weight, all season fabric
  • May experience loose threads in the seams with frequent use

Very high quality at a price similar to pants of lesser quality. Overall best compression pants for men.

Under Armour Men's ColdGear Armour Compression Leggings

Review: These under armour compression pants are 87% nylon and 13% elastae, giving them light to moderate compression. They have dual seams in the groin for comfort.

  • 4 way stretch fabric
  • Dual fabric, meaning the inside is soft and fleece like, and the outside is smooth and slick.
  • Moisture wicking, moisture transport system
  • Mesh gusset/groin for well placed ventilation.
  • There is a tag on the garment tat some wearers do not like and is hard t remove

These compression pants are engineered for a man, not too tight and more comfortable then some others.

2XU Men's Elite Compression Tights

Review: These 2XU Compression pants are 80% nylon, 20% elastane for considerable compression.

They have dual seams in the groin for comfort and are one of the few brands that have a drawstring plus elastic band waist.

  • Drawstring waist
  • High compression
  • Stronger compression in calf and hamstring area
  • Can not was in heat, or dry in the dryer

Best compression tights for men who need calf support, great for recovery and running.

Best compression pants for CrossFit

Anthem Athletics HELO-X Grappling Spats Compression Pants

Review: These Nylon/spandex blend compression tights are thin and stretchy, making them an excellent choice for agility days and as something to wear under shorts.

  • Drawstring close
  • Thin stretchy material, feels like second skin
  • Dual seam in groin, novel X seam from rear, across leg, enhances flexibility
  • Keeps legs warm on leg day
  • Run small, in terms of circumference, and long

Best compression pants for CrossFit. Has the flexibility for agility moves and keeps muscles warm for lower body lifting.

Reebok Mens CrossFit Compression pants

Review: These Reebok compression pants are 80% polyester and 20% spandex, with good compression that is not overly tight. They are extremely comfortable, but run small. If you are between sizes, order up.

  • ¾ length which on most will over the knee to mid calf. If you are tall or have long legs these will sit at or right below the knee
  • Speedwick moisture wicking technology
  • Run small

Best compression tights for CrossFit in a ¾ length, good for warm days and keeping legs warmed up.

Best compression pants for women

2XU Women's Hyoptik Reflective Thermal Compression Tights

Review: These 2XU compression tights are true compression tights, which means they will be tight.

This particular model has reflective logos and a soft lining so you can jog or workout in colder climates and bee seen by cars due to the large reflective design on the tights.

  • Reflective logos, safety when jogging.
  • Super soft brushed fleece like interior
  • Sweat wicking fabric
  • Comfortable 7 cm waistband
  • Kind of pricy

These are an excellent pair of women’s compression tights.

Under Armour Women's Fly-By Compression Capri

Review: These women’s’ Under Armour compression tights are 80% polyester and 20% elastane. With moderate compression.

  • Small zippered pocket in the waistband
  • Capri length
  • Moisture wicking material
  • 4 way stretch and flat seams, no chafing and ease of movement
  • Run a tad large, has long or high rise

These are a great pair of women’s compression pants for ladies that don’t want full length overly tight pants.

Best compression pants for recovery

2XU Men's Refresh Recovery Compression Tights

Review: These 2XU men’s recovery tights will not disappoint in the compression department. They are made with 65% Nylon, 35% Elastane and offer strong compression.

  • Graduated Compression supports blood flow
  • Dual seam groin, contoured for the male anatomy
  • Thick comfortable waistband
  • Flat seams, moisture wicking material
  • Expensive

Among the best compression tights for recovery, they do not lack in compression.

Sub Sports Mens Compression Leggings for Muscle Recovery

Review: These sub sports compression recovery pants take compression seriously with 65% nylon and 35% elastane material, they will feel sung and secure, soothing sore muscles.

  • Dual seam groin for male anatomy
  • Moisture wicking fabric with 4 way stretch, sewn with flat seams
  • Ultra compression
  • Graduated compression promotes blood flow
  • Run tight, with long legs

Best recovery compression tights for men, when compression matters, reach for these sub sports tights.

SKINS Women's Ry400 Recovery Long Tights

Review: These SKINS Compression tights are 76% Nylon, 26% Spandex and have a high level of compression, which is necessary for recovery.

  • Mid rise waist
  • High compression
  • Runs long, Confusing sizes. (hint: size charts are product dependent and can be found on the company website. These tights chart can be found here)

One of the best recovery compression tights for women, with plenty of compression.

That concludes our recommendations. We always love to hear from fans. Take a minute and post in the comments YOUR reason for wearing compression tights.