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 2020
- Adidas Men's Response Long Tights
- CompressionZ Men’s Compression Tights
- Nike Men’s Power Speed Compression Tights
- Drskin Compression Cool Dry Sports Tights
- Compressport Under Control Trail Running Tights
- Virus Au8.5 Bioceramic Compression Tech Pants
- Sub Sports Men’s Graduated Compression Tights
- Nike Men's Dri-Fit Pro Hypercool Tights
- Skins Men's A400 Compression Long Tights
- Sub Sports Men's Compression Pants
- Under Armour Men's ColdGear Leggings
- 2XU Men's Elite Compression Tights
- Anthem Athletics HELO-X Compression Pants
- Reebok Men's CrossFit Compression Pants
- 2XU Women's Hyoptik Thermal Compression Tights
- Under Armour Women's Fly-By Compression Capri
- 2XU Men's Refresh Recovery Compression Tights
- Sub Sports Men’s Compression Leggings
- Skins Women's Ry400 Recovery Long Tights
- Why Should I Wear Compression Pants or Tights?
- Compression Gear FAQs
- Does Compression Gear Aid in Recovery?
- What are Good Compression Pants for Women?
- What are Some Good CrossFit Compression Leggings for Women?
- What are the Best Winter Compression Tights?
- Can I Wear Compression Tights All Day?
- What are the Best Compression Pants for Squatting?
- What do Compression Tights do?
- Do Compression Tights Help with Circulation?
- How Do I Choose Compression Tights?
TOP 19 Best Compression Tights & Pants 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
That concludes my top compression pants recommendations.
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