It’s been quite a few years since running tights came into fashion amongst the running population. And today they have evolved in such a way that it is acceptable to wear them not only for your run, but out and about doing your chores or going for a coffee. I don’t know what I’d do without them as I chafe so badly on my inner thighs.
Running tights are designed to be form fitting or relaxed and there are literally hundreds of variations in cut and material. They are anatomically designed to fit the runner so perfectly that they move with your body and are perfectly comfortable. I have a pair of winter tights that are so soft and cuddly that I have a hard time not wearing them all day long.
Running tights basically come in three lengths – full pant, capris or shorts. With a couple exceptions, these features cover all three lengths.
What Features Are Important?
- Make sure that the tights are constructed with a flat seam so they lay flat against your body, preventing chafing or any friction between the thighs. You also want the fabric to offer moisture wicking properties so that they will wick the sweat from your legs and also dry quickly no matter what the outside temperature is. Don’t forget flexibility so that the tights move with you during your run and while stretching. Some tights are designed with mesh panels which are great to help keep you dry and cool.
- Reflective striping for safety. Most times the striping is placed on the ankle or behind the calf or knee. It is amazing how visible you will be on those night runs with reflective striping. I caution you not to go running at night, especially those dark winter nights, without some kind of reflection.
- I also look for a small key/card pocket inside the waistband. I use this pocket incredible often. Pockets are generally unobtrusive, some may be zipped and some tights offer larger pockets on the outside at the back. These larger pockets can accomodate gels. These days many manufacturers are designing tights with pockets that also store your gadgets, such as an iPhone, so that the runner can recieve interative feedback from their running programs.
- Elastic gripper cuffs so the tights don’t ride up your leg during your run. This is more important in short running tights as they have more of a tendency to ride up your thigh.
- Zippered ankles that help to get the tights on or off with ease. The zippers can be undone so that you can remove them easily over your running shoes. This may or may not be important to you. I seldom use mine as I always take my runners off first.
Tights that fit snugly will also offer warmth and compression/support to your muscles.
The variety in running tights is quite incredible. First take a look at your needs and there will be a pair designed for you. If you are shy or self conscious about wearing them, then just slip a pair of running shorts over the tights. I get years out of a pair of running tights, making them a great investment.
Where Can I Buy Them
Shop the internet helps you compare products and prices quickly. My favorite online stores for the running products that I buy are Roadrunner Sports or Holabird Sports. Oftentimes Holabird can have the best prices I’ve seen.
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