Finding the Best Running Tights for Women
|June 7, 2011||Posted by Sarah under Running Gear Guides, Tights|
When the weather gets a little cooler, outdoor runners (who aren’t crazy) will want to start wearing running tights. I’d say it’s best to start with tights when the temperature reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below (see running in the cold for more cold-weather clothing), but that low point may vary for you. Some people, no matter the weather, actually prefer wearing pants to prevent chafing and to cover their legs. With racers, running tights also create a streamlined figure to minimize drag.
Locating a Good Pair of Running Tights for Women
A good pair of running tights will cost you between $50 and $150. You can get them cheaper, but make sure if you spend less than $50, that the the fabric is moisture-wicking. Completely cotton pants or tights will soak with sweat and can promote chafing and give you a chill and a just an overall uncomfortable run. Look instead for a pair of running tights that are made of nylon, spandex, or other wicking fabrics. Most often, this information will be advertised on the tag or on the website if you are trying to buy pants online.
You will have the choice between cropped tights and long tights, tights made of all-weather running material or special technologically advance fabric for certain types of weather. You may also choose compression tights (see below), which usually end up on the higher end of the price range.
The most important factor during this step, however, is the fabric. Take the other factors into consideration, but make that your first worry. You want something that feels comfortable and that wicks your sweat away.
Finding a Pair that Fits
Now that you’ve found the right brand, you have to find a pair of tights that fit you properly.
Find a pair of tights that fit snugly around your legs and waist, but aren’t too tight. A good rule-of-thumb is that the pants should not sag, but you should be able to slide your fingers under the waistband comfortably.
Also make sure, especially with looser running pants, that they end a few inches above the bottom of your foot. This will keep you from tripping on them during your run.
Some pants, especially on the higher end of the price range will come with extra features. These include pockets for keys or money and reflective material that allows you to be seen while running during the darker morning or evening hours.
What are Compression Tights?
Compression tights are running pants that compress the skin and large muscle groups of the legs. In doing so, in combination with the natural pulse of your muscles, they increase the flow of blood around your legs and back up to your heart. The idea originally came from the medical field, which used compression socks called “support hose” to prevent blood clots in the legs after surgery. In the 1990s, Athletes and athletic manufacturers began to design running apparel with the same compression-like qualities to enhance performance. Although scientific studies have not yet concluded that compression tights work, top athletes, including elite runners, swear by the technology. Proponents allege that the tights provide some of the following advantages:
- They prevent build-up of lactic acid (during exercise);
- They reduce muscle vibration so that it takes longer for your body to tire (during exercise);
- They reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, speeding up recovery time (post exercise).
Most runners who vouch for the tights agree that they are best when running long distances and when needing to hasten recovery time. For short distances, they really do not do all that much good.
Are Compression Tights worth it?
Although low-end models of compression tights come in at an affordable $15, they do not offer the kind of support that would be potentially beneficial. If you invest in a high-end model, some of which can cost you up to $300, be warned that it may not actually pay off in increased performance.
Most pairs fall in the $75 to $100 price range–still a hefty investment for one item of clothing that may not pay off. If you do want to try them out, make sure you buy a pair that is beneficial to you in other ways (warm, UV protection, etc).
In the end, if they make you feel good and they are comfortable, go for it! Too much mental energy goes into running for you to ignore comfort.
The Best Running Tights for Women
I’ve found that these CWX running tights for women are simply the best on the market of both running tights and compression tights for women. They are flattering, provide knee support for people with problems in that area, comfortable, and they keep you warm. Just check out the reviews in the link above or click the picture below and see just how you can fall in love with a pair of pants! You will not regret this purchase if you are a runner.