Once you’ve run in a good pair of tights, you’ll never run in anything else.
Running is one of the most widely accessible sports, with no opening or closing times, no pitch or court, no set destination. Running can be done almost anywhere and everywhere.
It’s the marmite of sport. People either love nothing more than clearing their head with a good run, or they dread pounding the pavements and count the seconds until it’s over.
If you are one of the latter people, this guide will help you pick the right tights to wear for your run. They won’t do the work for you, but the right kit can help you look and feel the part. If you’ve been running in the wrong kit, it may be why you’re not so keen!
So, what should you look for when purchasing running tights?
Running Tights Fit
If your running tights don’t feel right when you’re trying them on in a fitting room, how do you think they’re going to hold up when once you put them through their paces running? Let me tell you… not well!
Poorly constructed running tights have seams which don’t follow the muscle and this can lead to irritation and chaffing - which ain’t pretty! Opt for sports specific training tights which have flatlock seams designed to flow comfortably against your skin and support your normal muscle movement.
Running tights are designed to be snug, but not so tight they restrict your circulation. Compression tights are worn like a second skin, but they should still feel comfortable and allow complete freedom of movement.
Running Tights Length
Most running tights will come in a set length, so it’s important to check the size guide before buying. Typically if a running tight is too long, due to their spandex / stretchy nature, you tend to be able to wear the tights with a gather at the bottom without any discomfort - I speak with experience as I’m barely over 5 ft.
If a running tight fits short, you can end up with chilly ankles, so be sure to try before you buy. If your chosen brand’s length isn’t quite right for you, see what active socks they do. The right pair of socks can easily bridge the gap between your ankle and foot and will help keep you feet protected and blister free.
Opaque Running Tights
Now obviously, your tights are going to cover your legs… but are they actually going to cover your legs? When you’re stood still in the light of a changing room, your tights might seem to be opaque but when you’re out bending over stretching in the sunshine, are you going to be revealing all. This is one of the most important things to look for when purchasing any form of sports tight, as the already revealing nature of their figure hugging design hardly leaves much to the imagination as it is! Opt for tights which remain opaque even when stretched to avoid any embarrassment on the road.
Running Tights Waistband
When running there’s plenty to focus on, from looking ahead of you, to breathing and of course, not falling over. The last thing you want to have to worry about is your tights falling down and having to whip your top layers up to yank them back up every few yards. It’s distracting, uncomfortable and let’s face it - incredibly annoying!
Look for tights with a secure fastening system, for example our men's running tights have an elasticated waistband, which is further secured with a drawstring, for a personalised fit with added security and peace of mind that they absolutely will not fall down. Many gym tights have spandex waistbands, which although comfy and great for gym workouts, may slip during running. We recommend always opting for an adjustable waist when it comes to running.
Depending on what time of day you get out running will depend on how important visibility is to you. As most people work, we’ll assume most of you are running in the early morning or evening and therefore won’t be blessed with the best hours of daylight. If this is the case, you need to make sure you're visible to cars and other road users to keep yourself safe. We recommend teaming a high- vis vest with some technical tights which offer reflective zones or panelling. This will help others to pick up your movement.
Plan Your Pockets
When you’re out on the road, you want to have as little as possible weighing you down, so a heavy backpack full of kit is a no-go. Opt for running tights with pockets which will keep your valuables snug and safe, without distracting from your run. Other than a water bottle all you really need are keys, a card or some cash and possibly a mobile phone. Our mens and womens running tights have a hidden zippered pocket large enough to hold your valuables discreetly.
So you’ve got tight’s that are a comfortable fit, the right length, they’re not going to fall down or go see through, they’ll help keep you visible and store your valuables, what more should you look for?
Running Tights Price
This is where many people will get it wrong. They’ll opt for the cheapest tight, which may well do all of the above (or appear to), but in just a few months time they’ll need to replace them. Or the cheap tights won’t do one of the above features and you’ll end up replacing them anyway. Opt for quality over quantity and invest in a good pair of running tights. Well made running tights will last. If you’ve chosen to make the commitment to running, why not make the commitment to get the right kit to support to your new lifestyle choice, which in the long run will benefit your run, your health and your bank balance.
We hope this will help you find a pair of running tights you can’t wait to slip into!Happy running.