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If you like to run and you want a little more support or warmth for your legs, you need a good pair of running tights.
The Wolaco Fulton Full Compression Tights are our top pick because they’re comfortable and functional with built-in pockets to stash your keys and other necessities while you run.
No matter which side of the shorts versus tights argument you may fall on when it comes to your workout habits, it’s hard to deny the appeal of longer active wear as the days grow shorter and colder. Luckily, even if you’re not normally a fan of moving around your neighborhood in spandex, there are a wide range of options available that will help you achieve peak performance, and look good doing it.
When considering your next pair of performance tights, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. First off, what kind of activities are you most likely to engage in? If you’re a trail runner, you’ll likely want a different pair from the guy who spends most of his workout doing squats at the gym.
You’ll also want to think about the degree of compression you want in your tights. Compression clothing is generally thought useful for holding your muscles in place, helping you achieve a higher level of athletic performance. Of course, there’s some conflicting evidence as to just how effective compression really is when it comes to improving athleticism, but all the same, if you’re a fan of even tighter tights, you may want to consider a pair of compression leggings.
You should also pay heed to the material used in your next pair of tights. If you’re generally engaged in pretty sweaty workouts, it may behoove you to check out a pair of moisture-wicking tights. Alternatively, there are other manufacturers that use more breathable fabrics, which allows for greater air flow and overall comfort during your workout.
Finally, of course, you’ll want to keep price points in mind. Workout gear doesn’t have to set you back hundreds of dollars, and you can often find pretty fantastic pieces without burning a hole in your wallet.
Here are the best men’s running tights you can buy:
- Best tights overall: Wolaco Fulton Full Compression Tights
- Best warm tights: Rebook Thermowarm Running Tights
- Best cooling tights: Nike Pro Hyper Cool Tights
- Best anti-stink tights: 2XU Compression Heat Tights
- Best comfortable tights: Under Armour Run True Tights
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best men’s running tights overall
Why you’ll love them: Wolaco makes fantastic full-length compression pants that are perfect for runs, and they even come with handy pockets for your keys and maybe a phone.
While guys hitting the gym may want easy, breezy shorts with plenty of room, the same can’t be said for distance runners. And that’s where Wolaco comes in. The brand has long been a crowd favorite – It did, after all, get its start from the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Wolaco ultimately raised more than $120,000 from 1,465 backers and has since become a mainstay in the compression wear game.
Now, just three years later, Wolaco’s clothes are available at the luxury gym Equinox. Its availability in gyms also gives people the opportunity to feel the fabric and check out the design firsthand, rather than relying on photos and testimonials.
Speaking of testimonials, we can’t sing Wolaco’s praises enough. Multiple Business Insider folks have tried and loved these compression shorts and pants, lauding both the availability of pockets and the durability of the material.
Aesthetically, I have to say that the Wolaco compression tights alike look pretty damn good. They’re by no means obscenely tight, but do exactly what compression wear is supposed to do: keep everything in place while you get your exercise on. They’ve quickly become my boyfriend’s go-to pair of running tights, and despite his insistence upon maintaining as minimal a closet as possible, he always makes room for Wolaco gear.
Happy buyers have noted that the “quality of the materials and the workmanship [are] excellent.” And the folks over at Confessions of an Amateur Athlete noted that they “loved the color, fit, and even more, the convenient pockets.”
Wolaco offers its compression tights, known as the Fulton pant, in three-quarters or full length.
Pros: Great for runners, durable fabric, moisture-wicking and fast-drying design
Cons: Some users reported fit issues, so be careful when reading the sizing guides
The best running tights for cold weather
Why you’ll love them: For mornings and evenings that are not just chilly, but windy, too, you’ll need a pair of tights like Reebok’s new Thermowarms to keep you cozy throughout your workout.
There’s a reason you’re meant to warm up before working out, and in much the same way, you want to stay warm throughout your workout. While you can normally maintain your body temperature simply by upping your activity level, on particularly cold days and nights, this may be a bit more difficult to do. Enter Thermowarm, a new technology from Reebok that’s meant specifically for the chilly weather to come.
These newly designed tights are built especially for running, and are comprised of a performance fleece that feels remarkably soft on your skin. Not only does it feel great, but the fabric insulates against the elements, too. When wind chill sends temperatures into negative ranges, you’ll be thankful to have a pair of Thermowarms around.
In addition to the warmth provided by the fabric, these tights also feature woven panels on the front to shield your legs from strong headwinds. And with the addition of a secure stash pocket, you can keep keys, cash, and other essentials on your person throughout your workout.
The Thermowarm fabric has the added benefit of being sweat-wicking, which helps maintain a higher body temperature, and the addition of fleece and woven fabrics directly into the spandex help to make this a particularly comfortable pair of tights. An internal drawcord helps keep a secure fit around your waist, while 360-degree reflectivity keeps you safe during the evening hours.
Pros: Extremely warm, offers protection from headwinds, sweat-wicking, comfortable Cons: Because these tights are so warm, they’re not exactly all-weather friendly
The best cooling tights for runners
Why you’ll love them: Nike’s Pro HyperCool tights are not only great for keeping you cool on your run, but are also cooly priced below $40.
Nike makes a wide range of fantastic running gear for men and women alike, but one of its more notable products for guys may just be the Nike Pro HyperCool tights. As the name suggests, the purpose of this particular piece of clothing is to keep your legs from suffocating on those hot summer days. Because the only thing more important than keeping you warm in the winter is keeping you cool in the summer.
Available in a three-quarters length, the HyperCool training tight is made of a breathable mesh that provides enough coverage to keep you decent without feeling oppressive. The fabric is also remarkably stretchy, which offers some extra ventilation during the sweatiest of workouts.
The HyperCool fabric also purports to provide targeted ventilation, and when the ever-picky boyfriend took these out for a trial run, he did indeed report back that they felt markedly cooler than the tights he was accustomed to.
Nike also integrates flat seams into these tights so as to reduce any itching or discomfort against your skin, which can be key for longer runs.
These tights are currently available in four colors, perhaps the most interesting of which is the Gunsmoke option. While color blocking isn’t necessarily common among men’s clothing, the dark grey to light grey transition of this particular pair offers up a rather sleek aesthetic. And if you can look good while working out, simply by donning a pair of these tights, why wouldn’t you? Best of all, the HyperCools are currently on sale for less than $40. Pros: Cooling fabric, three-quarters length is especially well-suited to warmer months, affordable Cons: If you’re not a fan of longer running wear in the summer and want something warmer in the winter, these may not be the best tights for you
The best anti-stink tights
Why you’ll love them: Your running tights will probably never smell like a bouquet of roses, but they don’t have to smell like trash if you’ve got 2XU on your side.
Working out and smelling bad don’t have to be synonymous, or at least, they shouldn’t be. Here to help ensure that you don’t punish yourself and more importantly, those around you by leading a healthy and active lifestyle is 2XU, who makes a wide range of workout gear that helps to keep the stench level to a minimum.
The company offers up several different options when it comes to tights and compression leggings for men. But no matter which pair you pick, you’ll get a piece of clothing that is constructed with multidirectional stretch fabric to help you move better and faster, a water-wicking surface for all-weather feasibility, UPF 50+ sun protection, and most importantly, an antibacterial technology that prevents odors.
While plenty of workout shirts have taken steps to integrate stench-reducing fabrics and technology, the same can’t be said for very many workout bottoms. Luckily, 2XU appears to be ahead of the game in this regard.
Take, for example, the Heat Run Tight, which is made with heat activating ceramic infused yarn. Not only does this provide warmth during cold runs, but also protects against both odor and bacteria. Additionally, the moisture wicking and rapid drying properties of this fabric help to guard against any possibility of stench, which I certainly appreciate on days when my resident runner goes out for a particularly long loop.
These tights also boast zero static cling for optimal comfort, as well as a bushed back for extra warmth.
Pros: Ceramic-infused yarn helps reduce stink, quick-drying, moisture wicking, quite warm
The best comfortable running tights
- Under Armour
Why you’ll love them: If you want to wear a pair of running tights all day long, you’ll probably want to wear the UA Run True Leggings.
Under Armour consistently makes some of my very favorite athletic gear, and when it comes to men’s running tights, UA doesn’t disappoint. The UA Run True Leggings are among its more popular offerings, and with its second-skin fit, it’s not hard to see why.
That said, these leggings are by no means so tight that you want to get them off as soon as possible. Indeed, my boyfriend has been known to spend hours on end in his pair, especially when the temperature falls below a certain threshold.
Part of what makes these leggings so comfortable is the addition of a built-in brief, which offers some added support. Moreover, the four-way stretch fabric of these tights allows runners to move in any direction as they please, and there’s a zip side pocket that can easily store keys, cards, or other necessities.
The lightweight HeatGear fabric incorporates anti-odor technology, and also dries quickly so that you don’t feel as though you’re sitting in your sweat all day. Plus, there are reflective logos that not only turn you into a running UA commercial, but also help keep you visible during late night runs.
If you’re feeling as though the leggings are getting a bit too warm, the seven-inch leg zips can help bring some relief, though the HeatGear design will certainly keep you toasty throughout your workout whether or not you decide to unzip.
Pros: Built-in briefs provide extra support, four-way stretch fabric, pocket for convenience Cons: Limited colors
Check out our other running gear guides
The pair of running shoes you choose can either make or break your running experience. After much research, we’ve found that these are the best men’s running shoes you can buy, whether you’re hitting the track or the trails.
Here are the best running shoes you can buy:
- Best running shoes overall: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35
- Best running shoes for stability: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18
- Best shoes for trail running: Saucony Peregrine 7
- Best lightweight running shoes: Saucony Freedom ISO 2
- Best cushioned running shoes: Hoka One One Bondi 5
If you take your phone on runs and workouts, you need a comfortable, secure armband to hold it. The Trianium ArmTrek Prois our top pick, because it’s affordable, comfortable, water-resistant, and fits a variety of phones.
There are a vast number of running belts on the market, from money belts that are just glorified fanny packs, to high-tech hydration belts. The SPIbelt hits a sweet spot in the middle, with an expandable pocket that allows you to carry personal items on your run with a bounce free, comfortable fit.
There is no shortage of wireless headphones to choose from, but the JLab Epic2 wireless earbuds lead the pack with their long-lasting battery, high-quality sound, and durable design. They’re light enough that they won’t bounce around annoyingly on your run, and they provide a secure fit so you can get lost in the music while ticking off the miles.
You should also consider the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium wireless headphones, the Urbanears Stadion wireless headphones, the Zipbuds 26 wireless headphones, and the Jabra Elite Sport wireless headphones.