TOP 19 Best Sports Compression Tights & Pants for 2019 Reviewed

Maybe you’ve seen people wearing compression pants at the Gym, Box, or out running on the trail.

Compression tights have become really popular and you may wonder what the hype is about.

What are compression tights used for, and do they work?

I will answer those questions and let you know what I think the best compression tights are made of.

Starting with my top 19 recommendations of best compression tights for running, men, women, CrossFit, weightlifting and more.

Next, I will show you what you need to know to choose the best compression pants for you and answer your compression pants questions.

TOP 19 Best Compression Tights & Pants 2019

Adidas Men's Response Long Tights

Review: These men’s running tights are made from Climawarm insulated material that keeps you warm on your run.

They feature a small pocket to put your essentials, and zippers at the ankle which make them much easier to put on and take off.

Pros

  • Insulated to keep you warm in cool weather.
  • Elastic waistband.
  • Zipper at the ankle.

Cons

  • Runs a bit large.

Takeaway

These are the best compression leggings for running in cool weather.

CompressionZ Men’s Compression Tights

Review: These compressionZ tights have decent compression, make a great base layer to wear with shorts or pants over them and they have a small pocket in front for your things.

They are a little small in the rear and groin area, so they fit a specific body type well, but maybe not so much if you have a larger backside.

They are some of the most affordable compression tights I could find, too!

They are great for recovery because they are comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time.

Pros

  • Small pocket with flap up front.
  • Affordable.
  • Good for recovery.

Cons

  • Less roomy on the butt and groin.

Takeaway

The best compression leggings at this low price point.

Nike Men’s Power Speed Compression Tights

Review: These high compression Nike running tights have support covering key muscles.

They have a small zippered pocket in the back that is moisture resistant to keep your things dry. They are made from Nike’s dri-FIT fabric and keep you dry and cool as you run.

They also have an elastic and drawstring waistband for added security.

Pros

  • Elastic band plus drawstring waist for an extra secure fit.
  • Compression support covers key muscles.
  • Zippered back waistband pocket.

Cons

  • Pricy.

Takeaway

The best compression leggings for running in warm weather while staying cool and dry.

Drskin Compression Cool Dry Sports Tights

Review: These Drskin compression shorts are some of the best compression tights for CrossFit.
They have good mobility and allow you to move, while at the same time supporting your knees a bit during lifts and squats.

They can get a little see-through so some folks wear them under shorts, but they are very comfortable and helpful for recovery as well.

The Drskin compression tights dry quickly and help you stay cool and they have no pocket and the relatively thin material, compared to other brands, make them excellent for layering.

Pros

  • Great for layering or as a base layer.
  • Good for CrossFit, support the knees.
  • Comfortable to wear during recovery.
  • Great price.

Cons

  • No pocket.
  • Material is thinner than other brands.

Takeaway

Best compression pants for CrossFit and active recovery, very comfortable and allow you to move.

Compressport Under Control Trail Running Tights

Review: These Compressport tights were designed for trail runners. They are made to increase circulation and reduce vibration during long runs.

They have built-in ventilation strips that help keep you cool, and deliver compression exactly where you need it, at the thighs, knees, and calves.

Pros

  • Ventilation panels to stay cool.
  • Targeted compression.
  • Anti-vibration technology.

Cons

  • Expensive, but worth it.

Takeaway

Easily the best compression pants for trail running and ultra-long distance runners.

Virus Au8.5 Bioceramic Compression Tech Pants

Review: The Bioceramic sweat-wicking fabric of the Virus Au8.5 compression pants has a luxurious feel making these compression pants perfect for recovery.

These compression pants have a striking two-toned design and are ample length for long legs.

Pros

  • Superior compression.
  • Fabric is moisture-wicking and stays dry.
  • Drawstring close keeps them secure.

Cons

  • Some may find these too colorful or flashy.

Takeaway

Best compression pants for recovery with a stylish design, comfort features and high compression.

Sub Sports Men’s Graduated Compression Tights

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

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

Pros

  • Tight true compression.
  • 4 way stretch fabric, moisture-wicking technology.
  • Integrated mesh zones.
  • No center/crotch seam, no awkwardness. Designed for the male anatomy.
  • Design suits tall, slim, long leg men best.
  • Good for warmer weather.

Cons

  • These run long in the leg, a plus for tall folks and those with long legs.

Takeaway

The best compression running tights available for tall runners.

Nike Men's Dri-Fit Pro Hypercool 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.

Pros

  • Thin Hypercool fabric.
  • Moderate, but not a tight compression.
  • V-shaped groin seam, designed for the male anatomy.
  • Comfortable, non-restrictive waistband compared to other Nike tights.

Cons

  • Not as tight as some would like.

Takeaway

The best compression tights for running and 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.

These are some of the best compression pants for weightlifting because they allow you to move while supporting the knees and promoting circulation.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Cost more than other compression pants.

Takeaway

Excellent compression, great for running and lifting in any weather.

Sub Sports Men's Compression Pants

Review: These Subsport men’s compression pants 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.

Pros

  • Flat seams, dual seam in groin.
  • Moisture-wicking fabric.
  • Mid-weight, all-season fabric.

Cons

  • May experience loose threads in the seams with frequent use.

Takeaway

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

Under Armour Men's ColdGear Leggings

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

With a wide elastic band, they are incredibly comfortable. They are made with Under Armours Coldgear technology which helps you stay warm in cool weather.

Pros

  • 4-way stretch fabric.
  • Dual fabric, 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.

Cons

  • The tag on the back can irritate and is hard to remove.

Takeaway

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

Pros

  • Drawstring waist.
  • High compression.
  • Stronger compression in calf and hamstring area.

Cons

  • Cannot wash in hot water, or dry in the dryer.

Takeaway

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

Anthem Athletics HELO-X 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.

Pros

  • Drawstring close.
  • Thin stretchy material, feels like a second skin.
  • Dual seam in the groin.
  • Novel X seam from the rear, across the leg, enhances flexibility.
  • Keeps legs warm on leg day.

Cons

  • Run small, in terms of circumference, and long.

Takeaway

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

Reebok Men's 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.

Pros

  • ¾ length may fit above 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.

Cons

  • Run small.

Takeaway

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

2XU Women's Hyoptik Thermal Compression Tights

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

These have reflective logos and a soft lining so you can jog or workout in colder climates and be seen by cars thanks to the large reflective design on the tights.

Pros

  • Large reflective logos, safety when jogging.
  • Super soft brushed fleece-like interior.
  • Sweat-wicking fabric.
  • Comfortable 7 cm wide waistband.

Cons

  • Kind of pricy.

Takeaway

These are an excellent pair of women’s compression tights and my choice for best compression pants for women.

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.

They are Capri length and perfect for warm weather. These are great shorts for squatting for women.

Pros

  • Small zippered pocket in the waistband.
  • Capri length.
  • Moisture-wicking material.
  • 4-way stretch and flat seams, no chafing and ease of movement.

Cons

  • Runs large with a high rise.

Takeaway

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

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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Expensive.

Takeaway

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

Sub Sports Men’s Compression Leggings

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.

Pros

  • Dual seam groin for the male anatomy.
  • Moisture-wicking fabric with 4 way stretch, sewn with flat seams.
  • Ultra compression.
  • Graduated compression promotes blood flow.

Cons

  • Run tight, with long legs.

Takeaway

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.

These full-length tights are designed specifically for the female form and have a comfortable waistband.

Pros

  • Mid-rise waist.
  • High compression.

Cons

  • Runs long, confusing sizes. (hint: size charts for these tights chart can be found here).

Takeaway

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

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

Compression improves circulation, helping you get warmed 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.

This is one benefit ultra-long distance runners get using compression tights.

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 women wearing compression leggings and jumping on plyo box

Huge Recovery Benefits of Compression Tights

  • Circulation – blood flow.
  • Lactic acid elimination – 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 recovery.
  • Feeling better after a hard workout – users report they simply feel good when they wear compression gear after a long run or hard workout.
  • Reduces the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) because compression improves circulation and reduces swelling in feet and ankles.

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 I 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 flapping up and down and jiggling.
  • Gives confidence to overweight folks or those with loose skin to perform jarring movements without embarrassment.
  • 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 my opinion, is worth it.
  • Makes an excellent base layer, lays close to the 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, protection and confidence they provide.

Compression Gear FAQs

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!

What are Good Compression Pants for Women?

My favorite compression pants for women are the 2XU compression tights which have a super soft lining and a comfortable, wide waistband.

If you are looking for more tights or leggings for women, I have the best workout leggings for women reviewed here.

What are Some Good CrossFit Compression Leggings for Women?

For women who do CrossFit, I recommend the DRSKIN Compression Cool Dry Sports Tights. They are simple, with no pockets, cooling, relatively thin so you can wear them under shorts, and they support the knee.

I have some of the best Women’s CrossFit shorts reviewed if you are looking for something to layer over your compression tights.

What are the Best Winter Compression Tights?

There are several good winter compression tights. These usually are lined to keep the warm in and the cold out. These 2XU Thermal Tights are an example of what I am talking about.

However…

If you are running in sub 0 conditions, consider ski tights or these Helly Hansen Base Layer Tights under what you normally wear. They are made with HH dry technology to keep you warm and allow moisture to evaporate so you stay dry.

I have even more winter running tights reviewed, check them out!

Can I Wear Compression Tights All Day?

Generally, as long as you are comfortable while wearing compression tights, it’s OK to keep them on.

But…

Be aware of the signs that you have had compression wear on too long or that the compression is too tight.

Look out for:

  • Burning, tingling or numbness. These are signs the compression wear may be too tight or pressing on nerves.
  • Itching or rashes – if your compression wear cannot breath it may keep moisture against the skin causing rashes or even skin infections if worn for extended periods.

woman doing weight lifting exercise with Olympic barbell

What are the Best Compression Pants for Squatting?

If squats are part of your routine, you need workout pants that won’t rip, bunch up, restrict movement, get caught on the barbell knurl, and hey, it would be nice if they improve your performance a little too.

These Under Armour compression tights have 4-way stretch and will not restrict your range of motion, they will not catch on the barbell, they will keep your legs warmed up on leg day and they have just enough compression to be comfortable.

The struggle is real. Finding a good pair of gym pants or shorts for squatting is like searching for the Holy Grail. But that is just what I did here. I have the best squatting shorts in a neat and tidy list for you right here.

What do Compression Tights do?

Compression clothing puts a small amount of pressure on the small veins and capillaries close to the skin.

When your heart pumps blood, gravity helps it down, but your body works harder to get it back up to your heart because on the way back up it is working against gravity.

Compression tights give your legs a bit of pressure, and along with your muscles, help move the blood back up to your heart.

This action that compression tights produce improves circulation, and better circulation is behind many of the benefits of compression tights.

man doing exercise

Do Compression Tights Help with Circulation?

Yes, because they help blood flow back up to the heart by putting pressure on the veins and capillaries closest to your skin.

Gravity helps blood reach your lower extremities, but it takes more effort for your body to return the blood back to your heart. The compression from the tights, in tandem with your muscles, move the blood along.

Graduated compression, like that seen on the Sub Sports Men’s Graduated Compression Tights is tighter at the ankle and has less and compression as you move up the leg.

These are particularly good at helping circulation because they offer the most compression at the points where it is hardest for blood and lymph fluids to move up.

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 Sub Sports have strong, true compression.

Carefully Consider the 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.

Gender

Compression gear is made for either a man or a woman, but they are not interchangeable, nor unisex. It just won’t work because men and women are shaped differently, particularly in the groin and hip area.

  • 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.

Summary

That concludes my top compression pants recommendations.

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