Best Running Tights

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
CompressionZ
Test Winner: CompressionZ
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Tights aren’t only meant for ballerinas. Runners, whether they are just beginning or pro marathoners, can fully benefit from wearing runner specific tights. Think about it, when you are sweating through a 10K trail run, the last thing you want to do is deal with extra fabric that traps heat or gets caught on things like branches.

A good running tight enables a runner the freedom to move as quickly as he or she wants, because they stick close to your body and are made of flexible spandex. When it comes to prepping for your next run, it’s worth investing in a pair of tights that can help improve your performance. It just feels better when you groggily roll out of bed at 5:00 am (check our guide on alarm clocks) for a pre-breakfast run when you have a pair of quality tights that you feel good in!

Standout Picks

Nike Zonal Strength
The Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights offer the compression fit while maintaining breathability and stretch. These attractive tights will have you feeling good during and after your run.
Amazon Link
Gore R5 GWS
The R5 from Gore is a strong and comfortable tight that is well worth the investment. They have great weather resistance and an adjustable fit. We love the two color choices and their nighttime visibility. If you are looking for a pair of running tights that will last you for many years, this is a great option.
Amazon Link
Skins Dnamic Compression
The SKINS Men’s DNAmic Compression Long Tights are a great choice if you want a compression fit during and after your runs. Offering more support to the joints and breathable material, these pants are extremely comfortable.
Amazon Link
CompressionZ
The CompressionZ Women’s Leggings are a well built and affordable option if you are looking for compression tights. They come in a variety of cute designs, so you will look stylish while you run.
Amazon Link
$34.99
CW-X Endurance Generator
The CW-X Men’s Endurance Generator Tights are a quality option when it comes to compression tights. Coming in a few attractive yet subtle styles, these running tights will have you looking and feeling great.
Under Armour ColdGear Authentic
The Under Armour ColdGear Authentic running tights are compression tights designed to keep you warm during the winter. Although they don’t work in super frigid temperatures, they are quite comfortable in temperatures that dip into the low 30s Fahrenheit. In temperatures lower than this they can work well as a base layer.
Amazon Link
$34.99
NIKE Power Essential
Nike has been a power brand in the name of running and sports for a long time, and these running tights definitely fit the bill in terms of quality. Another bonus about Nike products, such as these Dri-Fit pants is that they can generally be used with comfort for other sports, like Pilates, Yoga, or hiking.
Amazon Link
Adidas Running Response
The Adidas Women’s Running Response Long Tights are a great running pant for all year. Thick, high-quality material makes them warm, while breathability means you won’t overheat.
Amazon Link
CW-X ¾ Length Stabilyx
The CW-X Women’s Stabilyx Tights are compression running tights designed to offer extra support to your joints, especially the knees, hips, and pelvis. The capris style featured here is great for runs on hot summer days.
Under Armour Fly-by
The Under Armour Women’s Fly-by Printed Legging comes in a large variety of colors, making it easy to pick a style that is perfect for your look.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

Tights for running are typically made of synthetic fibers. The fabrics made from these materials tend to be well suited for this style of pants since they are stretchy without losing their shape. While cotton and other natural fibers can also be quite stretchy, they become baggy much more quickly, thereby making them an inferior choice for athletic gear.

Synthetic materials can also be easily treated to be moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and water repellent. Most running tights are made from a blend of polyester and one other synthetic fiber. Common choices are nylon, elastane, and spandex. All three of these materials offer a tight-fitting stretch that will bounce right back into place.

The material of your tights for running should also be thick enough to be sturdy and offer adequate coverage. Thin material can rip easily. It can also be see-through, which is not something you want to discover after having used your piece of clothing a few times.

When purchasing a pair of tights for running, make sure to take a close look at buttocks to ensure that the tights are not translucent. The thickness of the material that running tights are made from can also clue you in on how well the tights will hold their shape. Thinner, weaker material can start to get baggy sooner, while the thicker material is more likely to bounce back to its original form once you take the tights off.

Fit

This is a question of whether compression or non-compression tights are right for you; however, within the market for compression tights, there are varying degrees to how body constricting they can be. Compression tights should still be comfortable, as losing circulation while you run is not ideal. They need to be tight enough to add a slight constriction to your muscles, which increases blood flow, helps keep your muscles remain still, and gives added support to your joints. For more info on this, make sure you check our guide on the best compression sleeves.

The best way to figure out how tight you want your tights for running to be is to try some out. Go to a local retailer where you can find a variety of different styles and brands, and try as many as you can on. Take your time and move around in each pair of tights.

You want to be sure that you feel comfortable and unrestricted. For some, this means no compression at all, while others prefer a high level of constriction. Again, this is a preference and comes down to what will make you feel the best as you clock mileage.

Features

These items can come with a few extra features that, for some may not be extra at all. These features can make a pair of tights more practical, comfortable, or even safe. Pockets are an incredibly helpful feature that is being built into many modern tights for running. They can be found on either the back or in the waistband of a tight. Back pockets tend to be larger and often can be zippered shut, which makes them a safe place to put essential belongings as you run.

The size and position can make them bulky though, and if you are going to use it frequently, make sure the pocket is made of sturdy material that won’t pull your tights down when filled.

Waistband pockets are typically quite small, with the ability to fit only one or two tiny items. They are also usually open, but this is less of a problem since they are normally placed in the front of the tights, meaning it is easy to notice if an item comes dislodged.

Runners usually need to bring things like their keys and an audio device with them as they run, and pockets make this possible without having to wear a backpack or extra waistband. If you know that you will have to carry belongings such as these with you as you run, make sure to look for a pair of tights for running that includes a pocket.

Value

Of course, we all love to save money where we can. Having an excellent running get-up will give you confidence, comfort, and improve your runs. When determining the value of the tights, you should look at their overall features, including the comfort, materials, versatility, and durability. After you have determined these factors, you can then compare them to the price. A great pair of running tights will hopefully last you for a long time and be able to be used in different seasons, year-round. But if you are interested in running shorts, click here to check the selection of top ten.

10 Best Running Tights

1. Nike Zonal Strength

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Nike Zonal Strength
Nike Zonal Strength
Nike Zonal Strength
Amazon Link

The Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights offer the compression fit while maintaining breathability and stretch. These attractive tights will have you feeling good during and after your run.

Read more

Materials

The fabric these tights are made from is a spandex and polyester mix. The material is comfortable and lightweight, meaning you’ll almost completely stop noticing these tights as you run.

Fit

The compression fit of these tights helps you achieve optimal performance by reducing muscle vibration and enhancing blood flow. A drawstring in the waistband allows you to customize the fit.

Features

These running tights have a small, zippered back pocket that allows you to store small items and keeps them dry. A reflective pattern built into the pant helps vehicles see you in the dark, making it safer to run at night.

Value

These compression running tights will make you feel great as you run. With all the features you can ask for and a fit that is spot on, the Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights are a great choice. Attractive design with subtle details only sweetens the deal. With a price point that is consistent with other similar products, these quality running tights are a great deal.

Amazon Link

2. Gore R5 GWS

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Gore R5 GWS
Gore R5 GWS
Gore R5 GWS
Amazon Link

The R5 from Gore is a strong and comfortable tight that is well worth the investment. They have great weather resistance and an adjustable fit. We love the two color choices and their nighttime visibility. If you are looking for a pair of running tights that will last you for many years, this is a great option.

Read more

Materials

Made from a special blend of polyester and elastane, this GORE product is durable and comfortable. These tights are windproof, water-repellant, and breathable. They offer slight insulation, but not enough for cold winter mornings. For added comfort, the seams are shifted.

Fit

These tights are available in sizes Small to XXL. They have an adjustable elastic waistband that can be adjusted with a flat cord. They are slightly tighter on the bottom of the leg and feature lower-leg zippers. They are comfortable and offer a considerable amount of flexibility.

Features

Besides their excellent weather resistance, these pants have a few other features. Color-wise, you can choose from black on black or black with neon yellow below the knees. For running in the dark, yellow is a great option. Additionally, the logo on the tights is reflective for added safety. For added breathability, there are knee vents built-in. Also, there is a small zippered back pocket that is perfect for cash or keys.

Value

Well, now that you have fallen in love with this pair of tights and their long list of features, we must break it to you that they are rather expensive. However, these tights have proven to be durable, comfortable, and weather resistant. If you are looking for a long-term investment, this is a great choice.

Amazon Link

3. Skins Dnamic Compression

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Skins Dnamic Compression
Skins Dnamic Compression
Skins Dnamic Compression
Amazon Link

The SKINS Men’s DNAmic Compression Long Tights are a great choice if you want a compression fit during and after your runs. Offering more support to the joints and breathable material, these pants are extremely comfortable.

Read more

Materials

The 76% nylon and 24% elastane material that these running tights are made of is lightweight and breathable while also being tough.

Fit

With a compression fit, these pants are tight, however once on they are very comfortable. The tightness of these pants works to create better joint support and blood flow while you run, as well as better muscle recovery after. Although most find that these tights fit well, some men do complain of uncomfortable constraint around the hips and groin.

Features

These running tights do not come with any extra features.

Value

The SKINS Men’s DNAmic Compression Long Tights are a great option for quality running tights that offer support in all the right places. Depending on which style you choose, these tights vary in price. However, in general, expect to spend a bit more for this product.

Amazon Link

4. CompressionZ

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$34.99
CompressionZ
CompressionZ
CompressionZ
Amazon Link

The CompressionZ Women’s Leggings are a well built and affordable option if you are looking for compression tights. They come in a variety of cute designs, so you will look stylish while you run.

Read more

Materials

The blend of spandex and polyester that these tights are made from is designed to be tight yet incredibly stretchy. They also dry quickly by wicking moisture away from your body. Some customers have reported that these pants are stiff, but most feel that they have good movement while you run.

Fit

These tights are designed to have a compression fit, which means they are very tight. However, they do run a bit small, especially in the waist, so buying a size larger than you normally do is recommended. Some customers have also found that these tights are too loose in the thighs and calves, reducing the effectiveness of the compression fit.

Features

These running tights do not have any extra features.

Value

The CompressionZ Women’s Leggings are an excellent compression tights option for those on a budget. They are stylish, comfortable, and do a great job of retaining their shape all for a price that won’t break the bank. However, there are some issues with the make, particularly how small these tights run. These tights are very inexpensive compared to other compression running tights.

Amazon Link
$34.99

5. CW-X Endurance Generator

Where to buy
CW-X Endurance Generator
CW-X Endurance Generator
CW-X Endurance Generator
Amazon Link

The CW-X Men’s Endurance Generator Tights are a quality option when it comes to compression tights. Coming in a few attractive yet subtle styles, these running tights will have you looking and feeling great.

Read more

Materials

These tights are made of thick, sturdy material that helps keep you cool by pulling moisture from inside the pant to the outside. The fabric, which is a polyester and spandex blend, regulates temperature well, although it can get hot in the groin area on hot days.

Fit

These pants are tight, when is ideal for a compression running tight. Some customers did report, however, that these tights are too tight, but most are happy with the fit. There is a drawstring inside the waistband, which helps customize the fit and keep the tights in place.

Features

These running tights feature a unique pattern that not only looks great but gives added support to the hips, pelvis, and knees.

Value

The CW-X Men’s Endurance Generator Tights are a great option for short and long runs alike. These compression tights will keep you feeling fit and agile on the go, and help you optimize your recovery once you have returned home. With a price point that is much higher than what one would pay for similar products, these running tights are out of most people’s budgets. However, if you can pay these are an excellent choice for compression running tights.

6. Under Armour ColdGear Authentic

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$34.99
Under Armour ColdGear Authentic
Under Armour ColdGear Authentic
Under Armour ColdGear Authentic
Amazon Link

The Under Armour ColdGear Authentic running tights are compression tights designed to keep you warm during the winter. Although they don’t work in super frigid temperatures, they are quite comfortable in temperatures that dip into the low 30s Fahrenheit. In temperatures lower than this they can work well as a base layer.

Read more

Materials

These pants are made of dual-layer material that works to wick moisture and dries quickly outside the tight while trapping heat to keep you warm inside. The materials these tights are made of does pill easily, sometimes after just one wash.

Fit

Overall the fit of these running tights is consistent with standard sizing. As they are designed with a compression fit, these pants are tight. The waist does sit high, which is uncomfortable for some.

Features

These running tights do not have any extra features.

Value

These tights are sold for a price that is consistent with the prices found for similar products.
Perfect for chilly fall and spring run or to go under your sweatpants during your mid-winter jogs, the Under Armour ColdGear Authentic running tights are a great choice for comfortable compression tights that will keep you warm.

Amazon Link
$34.99

7. NIKE Power Essential

Where to buy
Amazon Link
NIKE Power Essential
NIKE Power Essential
NIKE Power Essential
Amazon Link

Nike has been a power brand in the name of running and sports for a long time, and these running tights definitely fit the bill in terms of quality. Another bonus about Nike products, such as these Dri-Fit pants is that they can generally be used with comfort for other sports, like Pilates, Yoga, or hiking.

Read more

Materials

The comfortable fabric of these running pants will keep you dry with Nike's tried and true Dri-Fit material. They are made from 92% polyester and 8% spandex.

Fit

These pants also feature a wide waistband that feels refreshing and supportive to many runners out there. For the most part, these pants tend to run true to size.

Features

There is a reflective logo, and they come in a variety of colors to keep your wardrobe a little more spiced up. Also, there is a small zippered back pocket that is perfect for storing a key or some cash safely while you run.

Value

The design on these might be substantially more straightforward than many others on our list, but it doesn't mean that they are no less quality. One key feature is its functionality. Because they are made of a polyester and spandex blend, they are machine washable and will retain shape. They are priced quite affordably, and you can buy with confidence knowing that they are coming from a well-known brand.

Amazon Link

8. Adidas Running Response

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Adidas Running Response
Adidas Running Response
Adidas Running Response
Amazon Link

The Adidas Women’s Running Response Long Tights are a great running pant for all year. Thick, high-quality material makes them warm, while breathability means you won’t overheat.

Read more

Materials

These tights are made of an 83% polyester and 17% elastane blend that stays tight yet stretchy and works to wick moisture away from the body.

Fit

Although these are not compression tights, they do still hug the body and retain their shape over time. They can run a bit roomy in the waist but come with a drawstring inside the waistband, making this problem easy to solve. If you are tall, be warned that these tights run short on some women.

Features

A small pocket located in the waistband can store integral items such as your phone or keys. These tights also have zippers along the back of the leg, which can be opened to increase ventilation, and reflective details so that a car can spot you if your running at night.

Value

The price of these tights is consistent with that of other products of similar quality. If you enjoy running outside all year round, the Adidas Women’s Running Response Long Tights are a great choice. Although they may not work for the coldest or hottest days, the thick but breathable material on these will keep you comfortable the rest of the time.

Amazon Link

9. CW-X ¾ Length Stabilyx

Where to buy
CW-X ¾ Length Stabilyx
CW-X ¾ Length Stabilyx
CW-X ¾ Length Stabilyx
Amazon Link

The CW-X Women’s Stabilyx Tights are compression running tights designed to offer extra support to your joints, especially the knees, hips, and pelvis. The capris style featured here is great for runs on hot summer days.

Read more

Materials

The high-quality material of these tights is a polyester and elastane mix that helps keep you dry as you run by pulling moisture away from the skin. The fabric is thin, which means these pants are cool but also that they tear easily. Some customers have also complained about the material being see-through.

Fit

These tights are designed with compression to fit precisely to support the joints. People with knee and hip injuries have found that these pants help reduce pain while they work out. However, if you do not have joint problems, these running tights can cut-off circulation and buying a size up may be a good idea.

Features

These running tights do not have any extra features.

Value

These tights come in many different styles. The price depends on which style you choose, however in general expect to pay more than you would for similar products. The CW-X Women’s Stabilyx Tights have changed running for many women dealing with knee injuries. These well-made compression tights will make your bad joints feel brand new while keeping you comfortable and stylish.

10. Under Armour Fly-by

Where to buy
Under Armour Fly-by
Under Armour Fly-by
Under Armour Fly-by
Amazon Link

The Under Armour Women’s Fly-by Printed Legging comes in a large variety of colors, making it easy to pick a style that is perfect for your look.

Read more

Materials

The polyester and elastane blend that these pants are made of wick moisture and regulate airflow to keep you cool as you run.

Fit

These tights use a compression fit to keep your blood pumping as you run. Unfortunately, customers have found that these pants stretch easily, with some reporting as few as 12-15 uses before they start to lose their shape. Purchasing a size smaller than you usually do may help make these tights last longer.

Features

A small zippered pocket is located on the back of these tights. Although it is not very large, this pocket has enough space to fit your phone or iPod and the key to your home.

Value

These leggings sell for a reasonable price compared to other similar items. With a super handy pocket feature and a variety of styles, the Under Armour Women’s Fly-by Printed Legging is a stylish and practical choice. However, the questionable quality of this product may mean it is not worth the price.

Sources

  1. Meg Lappe, The 5 Best Winter Running Pants and Tights, Blog
  2. Ben Drew, The Best Men's Running Tights in 2019, Runner's Blog
  3. Nick Harris-Fry, The Best Men’s Running Tights, Online Magazine Publication