Whether or not compression tights actually enhance performance or aid recovery is still debatable, with studies so far concluding some contrasting results.
The theory is that compression gear increases your blood circulation, getting oxygen to your muscles more efficiently, removing the lactic acid and thereby reducing the aches and pains after a hard workout. So your muscles are less sore, especially if you continue to wear compression post-workout (any excuse to stay #inmyactivewear).
Compression has been a massive growth area is sports and activewear apparel for years now, and it’s not just the elite athletes who are squeezing themselves into skin tight lycra, we’re all at it.
And if it feels good, why not?
We may not be able to say conclusively that the compression is physically helping, but if it helps us mentally, and makes you feel great, then go for it, sister. I figure that getting yourself in and out of them when you’re hot and sweaty counts as an extra cardio session anyway.
Here are my favourites, plus a few more I’ve not yet tried but that look good (like the Ultracor – unfortunately outside of my budget haha) or that I’ve heard are great but I know wouldn’t fit my body right. Being almost 6 foot tall and, ahem, not skinny, those low waists and elastic bands are the last thing I’d want to be wearing for a run! However, I have friends who swear by Skins and BodyScience so why not check them out as well as the pair of 2XU I’ve featured.
1. Full Length Compression Leggings by JAGGAD
Arguably the best-looking minimalist compression tight around. These beauties come in either all black, or with the logo and distinctive JAGGAD stripes in white.
I LOVE these. Gorgeous soft Italian fabric, never see-through, always classy and comfy. It’s entirely possible that if you buy one, you’ll end up with both, they’re that good. Ooops.
2. The Tight Stuff by lululemon
Oh these tights are one of my greatest lulu discoveries.
Whether it’s the crops or the 7/8s, these are one of my absolute favourite tights to do serious workouts in. They have a thicker fabric, feel amazing, have a mid-high waist and a zippered pocket at the rear, great for stashing your key if you’re going for a run.
The reflective detailing at the ankle is completely gorgeous and unique.
3. DBX Performance Compression by Dharma Bums
Compression at its sleekest, these great technological tights support your muscles whilst looking great with the mesh panels and styling. And because they’re Dharma Bums, you know they’ve been made ethically and in an eco-friendly way. They come with a little cute bag too.
4. L’Urv Atomic Kitten Compression Tights from Pure Dash
The compression tight that doesn’t look like a compression tight!
Keep your monochrome on point while you sooth those muscles. They have flat seams and a double layer at the waist (LOVE the high waist!) to keep you feeling uber-secure in the tummy department.
5. Ultracor Full Length Ultra Silk Grate Legging from Stylerunner
Another compression legging in a stand-out print that’s anything but boring. Word is that these high-end tights are the ultimate in support, fit and silky feel. They certainly look the goods, no wonder they’re worn by celebrity trainers.
6. Lorna Jane LJ Core Compression from The Iconic
Love the simplicity of these black tights, the practicality of the hidden pocket for your key or card and the mesh paneling to help ventilation when you’re getting in a hot sweaty mess.
Pretty good price point too at $115.99
7. 2XU Pattern Compression Full Length Tights from The Iconic
Well these are cute. Who says compression needs to be black? Great print with some high vis and distinctive branding on the legs. If low/mid rise is your bag, why not mix it up with these slate grey lovelies?
Do you have any favourite compression gear? Let me know in the comments below.