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Best Compression Leggings and Tights For Women in 2020

 

Having compression leggings can improve your workout by helping to isolate muscular movement and reduce vibration of soft tissue.

During your cool-down stage, they can also help your muscles quickly vacate waste products like lactic acid.

In addition to the compression benefits, the fabric will help wick away sweat, keeping you comfortable while you are keeping fit.

Here are the top ten best compression leggings for women. The leader is easily the 2XU Mid-Rise Compression Tight, but there are nine other great options that each have their own strengths.

 

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

2XU Mid-Rise Compression Tight

 

  • Graduated compression
  • Excellent durability and flex
  • Flat seams to avoid chafing
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Reebok Workout Ready 7/8 Leggings

 

  • Poly/Spandex blend
  • Elastic, high waistband
  • Machine washable
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CW-X Stabilyx Joint Support 3/4 Compression Tight

 

  • Machine washable
  • Double reinforced waistband
  • Reduced post-workout muscle fatigue
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Best Overall

1. 2XU Mid-Rise Compression Tight

Not only do these tights offer gentle yet firm muscle stabilization, but they also encourage increased circulation and faster recovery once the workout is over. The graduated compression provided by these tights helps keep inflammation to a minimum, so you can train longer, harder, and recover in record time.

These tights even help reduce post-workout fatigue by limiting muscle oscillation. The increase of proprioception and awareness of body position increase agility and balance.

Made from a proprietary PWX fabric, they are able to deliver a lightweight and flexible tight, that also has a high degree of durability. The extreme flex offered by the 2XU Mid-Rise enables and supports omnidirectional dynamic movements, with flattened seams that will not cause chafing during high-impact activities.

The ultra-thin synthetic fabric is able to wick away moisture to keep you more comfortable for longer workouts and comes in eye-catching seasonal prints.


PROS:

  • Graduated compression
  • Excellent durability and flex
  • Flat seams to avoid chafing

CONS:

  • TIghts are very sheer, and not opaque

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Best Runner-Up

2. CW-X Endurance Generator Joint and Muscle Support Compression Tight

The CW-X Endurance Generator tights are constructed from a super-durable 70-30 Polyester/Spandex blend. While the entire set of tights provides compression and flex, there are targeted areas such as the hips, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, that are supported by adding a 2-Way Stretch EXO-WEB panel.

This panel is instrumental in shaping and contouring your muscles and joints while allowing full range of motion. They also feature additional support for the lower back and ab panels, to add even more effectiveness when you are pushing your core in the gym.

Designed to facilitate ultimate stretch and utility, the UPF50+ fabric is perfect for outdoor workouts and keeps you from getting burned while it wicks away moisture to keep you cool and comfortable during tough workouts.

These tights help provide the same benefits as having your muscles and joints taped by a kinesiology specialist. The dark color and the compression also work to help keep you warm while training on chilly mornings or in cooler weather.


PROS:

  • Provide many of the benefits of kinesiology tape
  • Great for support during long-distance runs
  • Very durable and long-lasting

CONS:

  • The waist does not stretch
  • Groin area is very tight

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Top Reflective Compression Leggings

3. CW-X Expert 2.0 Joint Support Compression Tight

The CW-X Expert 2.0 Joint Support Compression Tight is specifically engineered to be more firm for optimal joint support for the hips and knees primarily, while still remaining flexible enough to be comfortable during low and medium impact workouts.

The secondary muscular targets are the quads and the calves, who also receive compression and support, but at lower levels. The reinforced waist with inner drawstring provides a degree of flexibility in the fit.

These tights also feature the CW-X EXO-WEB technology that provides the same benefits that sports trainers employ when they tape injured muscles and joints. This creates an external framework around you, mapped around your joints, improving muscular control and biomechanics.

The 70% Nylon/30% Spandex construction provides seriously firm compression and support for joints and muscles that need it. Encouraging enhanced circulation, these tights help increase oxygenation while reducing fatigue and post-workout muscle pain.

Not only do they provide support, but they also help reduce recovery time, making each workout and subsequent rest day count for more.


PROS:

  • Increased shock resistance in joints
  • Small slip-in pocket for keys
  • Targeted support for joints
  • Reflective CW-X logo for increased safety during low-light workouts

CONS:

  • Material is very sheer
  • Internal waistband has very little stretch

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Best Budget Compression Tights

4. Reebok Workout Ready 7/8 Leggings

Created from a Polyester and Spandex blend, the Reebok Workout Ready 7/8 Leggings provide a versatile and comfortable compression tight solution.

Whether you are getting in some early morning yoga, a midday run, or blowing off steam at the gym after work, these tights do it all on a budget. The quick-dry fabric pulls moisture away from your skin fast, keeping you cool and comfortable during even the most intense leg days.

The compression fit of these tights is engineered to hug your legs and hips while stretching enough to move with you during your activity. The PolySpan fabric moves with your body and provides support during every lift, bend, stretch, and stride, while being unrestrictive and remaining breathable.

The 7/8 length makes them perfect for outdoor activity in any season.


PROS:

  • Poly/Spandex blend is machine washable
  • Elastic, high, waistband keeps the tights in place
  • Helps to tuck belly in and isolate soft tissue movement during workouts
  • A wide array of colors and patterns to choose from

CONS:

  • Material, while not thin, becomes increasingly sheer when stretched

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Most Colorful Leggings

5. Nike Pro Tight

The Nike Pro Tights feature Nike Pro fabric, which is created with Dri-FIT technology to quickly shed moisture and heat, keeping you cool, dry, and comfortable during even the most taxing workouts.

To further encourage ventilation and passive cooling, Nike has built-in mesh panels at the bottom of each leg. These are a great option for high-intensity training.

The Polyester/Spandex blend of the fabric allows for excellent compression and improved circulation, helping boost muscular oxygenation and lower recovery times.

The support panels have a higher spandex content to ensure form-fitting support and muscular isolation. While providing high-quality support, they retain their breathability and stability, staying in place and resisting “roll-down” while bending and stretching.


PROS:

  • Ultra-comfortable
  • Available in bright beautiful colors
  • Hidden seams
  • Thick enough to pass the “squat-test” and not become sheer

CONS:

  • The waistband is not as breathable as the fabric and can collect moisture
  • No pocket

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Best 3/4 Length

6. CW-X Stabilyx Joint Support 3/4 Compression Tight

When it comes to three-quarter length compression tights, it is hard to beat the CW-X Stabilyx.

Created with an 80/20 blend of Coolmax Polyester and Lycra Spandex, and augmented with the patented EXO-WEB panels that give extra support to targeted areas like the hips, knees, and pelvis. The Coolmax fabric helps to cool the body by pulling moisture off of the skin and allowing it to evaporate much quicker and easier, while at the same time providing UV protection

The patented EXO-WEB helps lend extra compression and support to sensitive areas, like muscles and ligaments that need to work together to stabilize knees and hips.

The CW-X Stabilyx enable 4-way stretch in the fabric and imitate the benefits gained by the kinesiology-taping techniques that sports trainers and rehab therapists use on injured or overexerted joints and muscles.


PROS:

  • Machine washable
  • Double reinforced waistband
  • Reduced post-workout muscle fatigue
  • Multiple colors and patterns available

CONS:

  • Crotch fit can cause chafing
  • Rainbow color models have an odor

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Best Budget 3/4 Length

7. CompressionZ Compression Capris

These three-quarter length compression tights from CompressionZ Compression Capris are a great value.

They are created from super-flexible 4-way stretch fabric, so that you get all the benefits of compression tights, without inhibiting any movement or flexibility. The breathable fabric wicks away any and all moisture to keep you comfortable and resist chafing.

Use them as a base layer in the winter, or as standalone workout pants in warmer weather, and enjoy the benefits of body-slimming, workout-boosting compression.

The CompressionZ Compression Capris feature a firm, but comfortable compression that increases vascular effectiveness, isolates muscles and soft tissues, and lends support to the hamstrings, calves, gluteus, and quads.

These are definitely a great option for both low and high impact workouts. Your warm-up routine will be more effective since the compression is increasing blood flow to your cold muscles.

Once you have finished your routine, the compression aids in removing the built-up lactic acid in your muscles, and lowering your overall recovery time.


PROS:

  • Anti-bacterial material resists odors
  • Opaque fabric
  • A wide variety of colors and patterns
  • Retains shape and will not stretch out or distort even after many washes

CONS:

  • On shorter people, they will come up very high on the torso

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Top Cold Weather Tights

8. TSLA Thermal WinterGear Compression Leggings

For working out in colder weather, it is hard to find a better pair of compression leggings than the TSLA Thermal WinterGear Compression Leggings. These thermal leggings are created with a microfleece-lined ultra-stretch fabric.

The seamless construction allows vigorous exercise while remaining comfortable, warm, and providing compression. The quick-dry fabric requires little time to dry after washing and wicks moisture away during workouts.

Designed with optimal breathability, so that heat and humid air are exchanged quickly and moved away from the skin.

The TSLA Thermal WinterGear Compression Leggings are specially engineered with Body Geometry R&D to provide the absolute maximum mobility and perfect fit. They are ideal as a base layer underneath other workout clothes.

They focus more on comfort and temperature regulation, and as such, they offer a lower level of compression, while also being dry and breathable.


PROS:

  • Hidden pocket for necessities
  • Promotes body temperature regulation during cold weather exertion
  • Bioengineered fit
  • The fleece lining will not pill

CONS:

  • Low compression levels
  • Fleece lining is very thin

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Best Runner Up Cold Weather Tights

9. Under Armour HeatGearArmour Hi-Rise Leggings

Another great pair of cold weather tights are the Under ArmourHeatGearArmour Hi-Rise Leggings.

The HeatGear line is constructed from an 84/16 Polyester/Elastane blend provides excellent coverage and flexibility. The fabric is super-light and delivers support without being bulky or bunching up, and the flatlock seams blend in beautifully and give a chafe-free workout every time.

The high rise waist facilitates optimal coverage and great support during workouts. The 4-way stretch fabric allows dynamic, effortless, movement in any direction.

They are super versatile and are a great option for yoga, weight training, treadmill, or cycling.


PROS:

  • Machine washable and dryer safe
  • The fit is very true to size, no guessing when shopping for your size
  • Short sizing is available, reducing the inseam by 2”

CONS:

  • Low compression levels
  • They stretch out over time

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Top Recovery Tights

10. CEP Recovery Pro Compression Tights

If you need a pair of recovery tights, the CEP Recovery Pro Compression Tights are the best option in our opinion.

Made from an 81/19 Polyamide/Spandex blend, they are engineered to specifically aid in the return of venous blood following a workout, which helps move deoxygenated blood back to the heart where it can be quickly reoxygenated. Using compression for recovery is nearly as important as proper hydration and rest days.

The perfect fit of these recovery tights is due in part to the medical background of CEP and allows them to function much more effectively than some others. They are designed to fit better and last longer than competitors.

The unique open-toe form provides coverage and compression from the waist down past the shins and provides the option of wearing a wider variety of footwear.

These tights are as good as a second skin and can be worn all day long for both function and comfort, thanks to the HeiQ Smart Temp textile technology which senses body temp and either cools or stops cooling based on your body’s needs.


PROS:

  • 20-30 mmHg graduated compression forces a higher quantity of blood and lymph fluid exchange during recovery
  • Medical grade compression
  • Increased lactic acid flush make these perfect for runners, cyclists, and crossfit enthusiasts
  • Fully synthetic composition wicks away moisture and reduces odor-causing bacteria

CONS:

  • High price point

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FAQ

What is compression?

Compression garments can impact your performance significantly, and impact your recovery even more. Compression works by improving blood and lymphatic flow, subsequently increasing the oxygenation of muscular tissue.

I see a lot of things marketed as “compression”?

A lot of clothing is touted as compression when it is essentially just snug-fitting clothing with clever marketing. True compression garments need to be firm enough to not only wrap the muscles but to hold them firmly in place during exercise.

What is the difference between compression tights and leggings?

Regular tights and leggings are usually worn as a fashion statement, while compression tights are worn either for specific medical reasons or as a performance-enhancer for athletics.

When should you wear compression leggings?

It can be used before a workout, to increase the blood flow and speed up the warm-up. During a workout, to ensure more controlled movement, less vibration of the muscles and to increase endurance. And also after a workout, where the pressure increases the blood flow and helps the body get rid of waste products quicker.

Are there other benefits to compression garments?

Yes! They can also be engineered to support joints like you would have taped by a sports trainer or kinesiologist. This can be helpful for people with joint issues who still want to participate in low, medium, or high-impact exercise.

Are compression garments only useful for athletes?

Absolutely not! In fact, people may notice similar benefits even while not being incredibly active. People who may benefit from compression tights, in particular, include people who sit or stand all day for work, like cashiers, fast food workers, chefs, office workers, or people who perform physical labor like construction workers, tradesmen, and others.

Who can benefit from compression garments?

While they are used in large quantities by top-tier athletes and Olympians, there are benefits for everyday athletes, weekend warriors, and even people that are not as physically active. You can even benefit from compression leggings on long flights, drives, or other periods of sedentary activity. The increased blood flow helps to the risks of, and combat, circulatory issues like deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.

Can I wear my compression garments while swimming?

Absolutely. You can certainly enjoy the benefits of compression clothing while swimming, just keep in mind that chlorine (like chlorinated pools) can cause the breakdown of elastane, so it is recommended that after exercise the garments get rinsed off right away in clean, fresh, water.

The Wired Runner