2XU Compression Gear
Lindsey N. Dyn
Disclosure: This review contains affiliate links. If you find yourself wanting a brand spanking new pair of compression pants/shorts after reading, please feel free to click on the links below. While I was not paid or compensated by 2XU or Amazon in any way for providing this review, if you do decide to purchase an item(s) after clicking the links below, I will receive a small compensation through the Amazon Associates program.
2XU is an athletic apparel company specializing in compression gear which I have grown to love over the years. My introduction to 2XU was a few years ago at the Baltimore marathon. I broke the cardinal rule of never trying anything new on race day and tested out their compression calf sleeves. They felt like a warm hug for my tired calf muscles with the added bonus of no seams eliminating uncomfortable impressions other brands’ calf sleeves leave for hours after a run. Ever since, I’ve been willing to test out their new products, especially when they go on sale. Generally speaking, their compression gear tends to be a little pricey for my frugal tastes, but when it works, I’m willing to make the investment. I’ll typically stalk discount athletic gear websites such as Active GearUp and do a deeper dive into the specs of the compression gear when offered. That’s where I was able to snag deals on the following products I’ll be reviewing next. As a side note, if anyone wants a coupon code for Active GearUp, feel free to contact me here.
The Elite Compression Pants are a little thinner and therefore more easily adapted to warmer running. One complaint I have regarding this style, however, is that the waist band tends to fold over, which can become quite uncomfortable for longer runs. This may be dependent on body type, though. I unfortunately do not have washboard abs (sigh) so maybe some slightly thinner or longer-waisted runners will fare better with this style.
The Compression Shorts have a thickness similar to the Elite Compression pants, which make them a good choice for summer months when you still want the benefit of compression gear. After dealing with a finnicky IT band for the late part of the summer, I opted to wearing the compression shorts during the Washington, D.C. 2017 Ragnar. While I had a similar experience with the waistband as in the Elite Compression Pants, I think they definitely helped out, although scorching temperatures did not allow for much breathability.
The Hyoptik Thermal Compression Tights (Mid-Rise) have so far been my favorite. They are just the right thickness for colder runs and also provide the support I expect from compression gear. Often times I find myself needing to re-adjust running pants, particularly the fabric right behind the knees, but such adjustments are kept to a minimum with the Hyoptik pants. Reflective material adorns the thigh and calf (on opposite legs), making night or early morning running safer. These pants also claim to be antimicrobial and offer UV protection (SPF 50+). I will say, however, that there is something about that material that gives off a chemical smell. (I imagine it’s from the reflective material.) It can be rather nauseating, so be sure to give them a couple of washes before any long runs. All of the 2XU compression gear that I’ve come across recommends only machine washing with cold water, and air drying. There have been a few times where my beloved compression pants have mistakenly wound up in the dryer but thankfully no visible damage to be seen yet. But to protect your investment, I would recommend hand drying whenever possible.
Overall, all of the 2XU compression gear I’ve purchased has been top quality and has done the job at task. Whether there is hard scientific evidence backing the performance claims can be debated, and is beyond the scope of this article. But, whether it is a placebo effect or not, I feel more comfortable and confident (especially if already nursing muscle soreness) when wearing compression gear. Compression pants such as the ones just reviewed typically run about $100 on the merchant’s website, but discounts can be found (intermittently) on websites such as Amazon and Active GearUp. Vendors at race expos may also be a good place to find a deal, but I would recommend buying and trying it out a few times before any big events.