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.
Gym tights are a staple in every active woman's wardrobe, these versatile bottoms can enhance your performance, keep you warm in winter, cool in summer and flatter your figure all year round, so it’s essential to find a pair that’s right for you.
Full Length: Full length gym tights are best for winter workouts, keeping you warmer in the cold and protecting all of your leg. These are also better for floor workouts such as yoga, where you may drag your legs across the floor and graze your skin. For heavy lifts such as the deadlift, opt for full length bottoms to protect your calves from scraping. The bar should shave your legs, but not literally.
¾ Length ¾ length bottoms are best for warmer summer workouts, allowing your skin to remain cool. ¾ lengths also work well for women with shorter legs, who have spare material in a full length fit.
High Waist: A high waist is great for multifunctional workouts, where your body needs the freedom to be able to move in multiple planes of motion, without flashing any flesh.
Low Waist: A low waist sits comfortably and suits a larger figure, or workouts of lower intensity.
Elastic: An elasticated waistline helps to ensure a personalised fit and will adapt naturally to your body. An elastic waistline offers the greatest flexibility and is also good at keeping you comfortable and staying up!
Wideband: A wide waistband ensures maximum comfort and leaves a smooth silhouette, holding you in all the right places.
Drawstring: Drawstrings are great for a personalised fit, customisable to your exact size. Drawstrings also offer a fit which stays true, whereas elasticated bands can sometimes stretch.
Tights for you body type
Women come in all shapes and sizes and we’re self conscious at the best of times, so when it comes to compromising positions in the gym, we want to feel comfortable and look our best. Fortunately, fitness wear can be flattering and there is a shape and style which will suit almost everyone.
If you have a boyish figure
If your figure is basically straight up and down, you’ll have narrow hips and a small bust. Opt for a tight which provides shape defining seams. Seams which line the curves provide shape to define your figure. Our Sundried Ruinette tight (link) has curve enhancing reflective strips which define your quads and hamstrings and flatter your figure, as well as enhancing your visibility. Seam’s around the seat of your tights will also add curves to a flat bottom, whilst you work on that with your squats!
If you have a curvier figure
Women with curvier legs should opt for tights which downplay thicker thighs, a wide supportive waistband will help keep everything tucked in and a ¾ leg will draw attention to your ankle and the thinner part of your calves.
If you’re petite
For petite women, the first battle is always finding tights with bottoms which don’t drag along the floor behind you. Combine this with a higher waist which provides the illusion of lengthier pins and you're onto a winner. Women's tights made with spandex are easy to mould to a shorter leg due to the materials stretch properties, whereas cotton would need to be tailored.
Gym Tight Materials
Nylon is thin and lightweight, it wicks sweat away quickly and dries fast. Nylon can also have rip resisting properties, making it a strong and durable material. Nylon dries quickly, making it a good choice for high intensity workout tights.
Cotton is often picked for gym tights as it is the most comfortable against the skin. It is particularly good for resistance training where there won't be lots of chafing or perspiration risk, and comfort is prioritised over function, however cotton loses its shape after continuous wear.
Cotton blends combine the comfort and feel of cotton with the technical function of other materials. Combining cotton and spandex allows cotton to retain its shape and elasticity.
Spandex has 4 way stretch properties and is often used in compression tights and much of our gym wardrobes. Spandex is great for keeping you covered in compromising positions such as yoga or gymnastics. It is less likely to ride up you legs and moulds to your shape.
Microfibers are small synthetic fibres woven into cloth. Microfiber fabrics are lightweight and fast drying, making them an increasingly popular choice.
Clinically, compression gear is designed to deliver specific levels of pressure to the affected limb. Typical pressure ranges are from 20 to 40 millimeters of mercury, depending on the limb and the clinical indication. Most who choose to wear compression garments anticipate that they will experience improved circulation and mechanics. It is thought that compression garments may reduce muscle oscillations which will theoretically optimize the contraction direction of muscle fibers, resulting in improved mechanical efficiency and running kinematics.Use of compression gear may also reduce vibration in skeletal muscle during training and competition. It is hypothesized that the reduced vibration would contribute to less muscle trauma, and as a result, less fatigue and biomechanical alterations during the course of an endurance event. Following the event, the combined benefit of these outcomes would be reduced exercise-induced muscle damage. As a result, athletes are expected to experience less soreness, edema and faster recovery in the days after exercise.
Top Tips for Women’s Tights
- Look for high quality materials, which will not turn see through when stretched.
- Buy drawstring leggings - guaranteed to not fall down.
- Opt for tights with a pocket if you’re training outside, you don’t want to wind up locked out.
- Confidence in your clothing will give you confidence in your workout, make sure you buy a pair which will make you feel good about yourself.
- Look for flatlock seams, particularly important in gym tights as chaffed thighs can be incredibly painful.
Featuring the Sundried Ruinette Tight