Best Running Tights
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!
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
Soft to the touch
10 Best Running Tights
1. Nike Zonal Strength
Small zippered pocket
A bit pricey
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
2. Gore R5 GWS
Soft to the touch
Not insulated enough for very cold environments
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
3. Skins Dnamic Compression
Compression supports joints
A bit expensive
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
The 76% nylon and 24% elastane material that these running tights are made of is lightweight and breathable while also being tough.
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.
These running tights do not come with any extra features.
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.
Comes in a variety of styles
Too loose in thighs and calves
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
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.
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.
These running tights do not have any extra features.
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.
5. CW-X Endurance Generator
Compression supports joints
Can get hot
Fit may run small
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
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.
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.
These running tights feature a unique pattern that not only looks great but gives added support to the hips, pelvis, and knees.
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
Not suitable for sub 30 degrees Fahrenheit
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
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.
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.
These running tights do not have any extra features.
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.
7. NIKE Power Essential
Simple and sleek design
A small pocket in back to fit cell-phone
Sizing can be hit or miss for some
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
8. Adidas Running Response
Sturdy yet breathable material
True to fit
Waist can run loose
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
9. CW-X ¾ Length Stabilyx
Compression supports joints
Cool and breathable
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
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.
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.
These running tights do not have any extra features.
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
Many different styles
Stretches out quickly
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
The polyester and elastane blend that these pants are made of wick moisture and regulate airflow to keep you cool as you run.
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.
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.
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.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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.
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.
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.
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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Drawstrings are another great feature that many tights for running have. At first, it may seem unnecessary to have a drawstring in tights, which are designed to stay tight against the body. However, like any other piece of clothing, tights for running can stretch over time, especially cheaper ones that are made of lower quality material. Drawstrings can help make tights for running last longer as they stretch since securing the drawstring before heading out ensures that your tights will stay put.
Women know that leggings or tights are often transparent. So, this is a reminder for them a newsflash for men. Try on your tights at home under bright light! Or, if you have a good friend, you can go outside together to see if your running tights are see-through. The last thing that you need when enjoying your afternoon run is an audience.
Other Factors to Consider
If you are dealing with injuries in any of these areas than compression tights are probably a good idea. Running creates repetitive shock force that can be quite damaging to joints, especially joints that have been injured in the past. Many runners with these types of problems experience constant pain during their workouts. Not only is this a nuisance that makes it difficult to continue, but the consistent pain is a sign that you are halting the healing process and possibly causing more damage, and could mean that you are in danger of reinjuring your bad joint.
For many runners with these problems, compression tights are a lifesaver. The tight material of these pants holds joints in place as you move and reduces the impact vibrations that are what cause the majority of the repetitive damage. Although tightly restricting an injury may sound counterproductive at first, it is in fact often the best thing that you can do. Make sure to ice any injured area after a run, since exercise can cause dangerous inflammation. Also, pay attention to your body and stop running if pain persists or worsens. As great as compression pants can be for getting you back out there post-injury, they are not fail-safe and cannot stop taking it easy when something is truly wrong.
If you are going to use your tights for running in hot weather primarily, you will probably want a cooler pant. Cropped length pant legs and lightweight, breathable material are two things to look for if summer running is your goal. Anyone who plans to run in cooler temperatures though should avoid capris.
Bare ankles in chilly weather can make for a miserable experience, especially if there is any wind. Winter runners should make sure that whichever running tights they choose to offer full leg coverage. Thicker material will also help keep you warm during runs on frigid days. For more info, don't forget to read our guide on the best winter gear for running.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why should I spend more on running tights?
Forking over a large amount of money for one piece of clothing can be painful, but it's worth it when it comes to tights for running. Although there are cheap products on the market, the price of a pair of tights for running tends to be a reflection of the quality of the material. More affordable tights typically lose their shape more quickly, tear more efficiently, and are made of thinner, more translucent material.
Furthermore, extra quality features are more common in pricier tights. It may seem like a good idea to buy the cheapest tights you can find, but chances are you are going to have to spend that money again once the tights fall apart after a few months. Spending a bit more on a quality pair of tights for running will therefore not only make you look and feel better, but it could save you money in the long run.
q: How can one be sure they are picking the right size?
Experience is the best way to be sure you are picking a pair of tights that will fit you well. Although most brands use the same sizing standards, a small Under Armour tight may be completely different from a Nike tight of the same size. (If you are a fan of the Nike Brand, and looking for a top to go with your tights for running check the Best Nike Tops) A great way to ensure the tights you buy will always fit is to find a brand you love and continuously shop there.
However, if you are looking to buy your first pair of tights for running, start by thinking about how much compression you want or if you want any at all. Before purchasing anything, read the specs and product reviews thoroughly. This will tell you if you should size down or up. Of course, you can never indeed be sure that a pair of running tights will fit until you try them on, but following this advice will at least help to stop you from buying something in the wrong size.
q: How does one avoid chafing while wearing running tights?
The most crucial factor in avoiding chafing is making sure that your apparel and gear fit snuggly against your body. Since tights for running are designed to be close-fitting, chafing is typically not a problem. Still, look for any potential problem areas before a run. Bunching fabric at the hips or knees and loose seams are what you should be looking for most closely. Tights are often designed to sit very correctly against the body, with seams that are supposed to follow the contours of your muscles. If the seams don’t lay correctly on your body, hotspots and chafing will likely occur. This can be avoided by picking tights that move with you but not on you, i.e., tights do not shift across your body as your run. Another option is to check the selection of pants for running.
q: Do running tights work as base layers?
Although tights for running are made to be worn by themselves in any weather, they can also make great base layers when the temperature dips way down. Wearing them under a pair of running pant or sweatpants can be an excellent way to stay warm. Furthermore, if you prefer compression tights, layering these tights in the winter will allow you to continue utilizing their benefits even when they would be chilly on their own.
The most important thing to consider when pairing tights for running as a base layer under pants is breathability. You want there to be some space in between the two layers, as this allows the cold air to escape. The extra space will then be filled with your warm body heat, creating greater insulation. When the two layers sit tightly against each other, the cold air becomes trapped. This can actually be colder than having one layer alone. Before going for a run in multiple layers of pants, also make sure that your movement and comfort are not impeded.
q: How do compression tights work?
Throughout a run, compression tights constrict a runner’s legs as they run. This helps move blood more quickly and consistently throughout the leg, which helps the runner warm up faster and experience fewer cramps. Compression tights also hold muscles in place, thereby reducing the harmful effects of the repetitive impact on joints that running can cause. Finally, these types of tights give support to the hips, pelvis, and knees. This can be a game-changer for runners recovering from injury. Some even find that compression tights reduce pain so significantly that running goes from something they can barely do to daily activity.
Compression tights are also very useful for post-run recovery. Most important to this is the fact the running tights increase blood flow (see also compression socks). After a run, your muscles have to rebuild themselves, and the faster they receive nutrients, the more quickly they can do this. Compression on these muscles sends blood to them at a higher rate. Instead of taking your tights off as soon as you get home, keep them on for a half-hour to an hour, and you will most likely experience a quicker and more comfortable recovery.