For our top choice of recovery tights, we were mainly looking at graduated compression levels and fit to make sure we were getting the most effective recovery pants for any workout.
With that in mind, we chose the SKINS Men DNAmic Compression Long Tights as the best overall recovery compression tights. They have ample graduated compression, fit great, and you can see the recovery results for yourself once you integrate a pair of these pants into a workout.
If you want to compare it to something different or looking for something else, we have a runner-up picked as well, and that title goes to CompressionZ Men Baselayer Compression Tights. They’re a great alternative to our top pick and were just behind the top-rated pants concerning tightness and recovery speed. Another thing to keep in mind is they are one of the cheaper compression tights on this sleeve.
If you’re interested in any of the above compression pants or you’d like to see the best ones in different individual categories, then I recommend checking out some of the other compression pants on this list and see if they’re a better fit for you. But keep in mind: To find the best compression tights, you’ll have to find the one that is right for your situation. We’ll break things down to help you find the best one for you.
The Best Recovery Compression Tights
- Compression Tights: SKINS Men DNAmic Compression Tights
- Compression Tights Runner-Up: CompressionZ Recovery Compression Pants
- ¾ Compression Pants: 2XU ¾ Compression Tights
- Fit: Nike Pro Combat Recovery Tights
- Durability: McDavid Compression Recovery Tights
- Budget: New Men Sports Compression Tights
Best Compression Tights: SKINS Men DNAmic Compression Tights
Let me be the one to tell you that these particular compression pants are built like a machine and are the perfect clothing companion to take with you to the gym or out for a run.
They’re made of a nylon and elastane fiber that will hold up against the elements and also stretching to accommodate all different types of movement. Also, it helps out with moisture regulation as well as wicking away sweat after it builds up in the crotch. But the most important aspect to focus on is recovery.
These tights have a great graduated compression level that is snug, but not constricting against the skin. They don’t list the exact compression levels anywhere, but after contacting a representative, they said it was in the range of 15 – 35 mmHg. Although not as precise as I would like, I suspect these pants were in the 15 – 25 mmHg range which is a moderate amount of compression to help with mild swelling and soreness. After testing these pants out in several different situations such as gym workouts, morning and evening run, and the occasional pickup basketball game I can confidently say that I noticed a speedier increase in the recovery of my legs.
Some examples include improvements to things like swelling and aches from putting stress on those leg muscles and joints throughout the day. You could almost feel the material hugging against your thigh and calf areas while pumping and circulating the blood through your legs. I’m a big fan of that speedy recovery, especially since it’s in the post-workout phase where all the muscle is breaking down and being rebuilt to be stronger. If you’re serious about doing any heavy running, lifting, or playing, then I would recommend investing in these recovery tights to help efficiently and quickly rebuild those muscles after any workout or activity.
Best Compression Tights Runner-Up: CompressionZ Recovery Compression Pants
For our runner-up, we have ourselves a cheaper alternative to our top pick that can also do it all. The only downside is it isn’t as robust as we would like compared to our other choice for best overall compression pants, but other than that it is a great pair of tights to keep with you on the go. These are a multi-purpose pair of compression pants that are great for a wide array of people such as runners, athletes, crossfitters, cyclists, etc.
It doesn’t matter what type of exercise or activity you use; we feel that you can expect them to serve their purpose of giving you a quick recovery after any workout. This recovery comes from the stitching and design of the pants, as well as the fabric infused into it.
It has a much sleeker design as well as the choice of having more color options available if you wanted something different from the minimalistic black look that most compression pants have. I have reviewed many compression products by CompressionZ and have found their products to be one of the top-tier compression apparel in the industry. If you’re not satisfied with the overall pick or you want a cheaper alternative that still gets the job done, then I believe these pants are worth a look.
Most Comfortable: SUB Sports ELITE R+ Recovery Compression Tights
These pants by Sub Sports are excellent due to the fibers infused into them. In this case, it is the Tactel fiber that is known for being a very soft and light material compared to its competitors while still being able to assist in eliminating sweat and moisture. Also it combos with a fiber called Lycra which contributes to an overall snugness I could wear throughout the day, not just for a workout.
I know this may be an odd category to have, but I believe that comfortability is also an important aspect to consider when it comes to clothing. And I believe if you’re going to be investing in something, it should be something you feel great wearing.
Don’t be fooled by the lightweight and soft component of the material, the pants still have strong compression levels, suitable for recovery after any activity or exercise. The material enables shorter recovery times thanks to the tightness of the compression, which is due to the design of the pants and how it contours to the shape of the body. If you want something you can feel relaxed wearing it when you go out for the day or when you’re doing a workout, keep these compression tights in mind.
Best ¾ Compression Pants: 2XU ¾ Compression Tights
While most manufacturers offer full-length recovery tights, there are some people out there who would prefer shorter length compression pants when they go out for a run or maybe even to the gym. These are great options for lifting, cycling, or jogging because they’ll look nice while you layer them under shorts and such.
While these are the best compression tights for competitive events such as sports and running, it’s also great for training and working out. The pants have a much more snug and breathable fit thanks to the shorter length and will help with more targeted compression in the calf area of your leg.
2XU’s compression tights, made of nylon and elastane, follows the trend of quality tights helping to boost recovery time with increase graduated compression. Although they don’t fully cover the calf area, they are still quite useful when it comes to the compression throughout the leg. Compared to other ¾ compression pants online, these are much more robust, and sturdier designed which should be durable enough to last you a long time and through various training and work out cycles.
Best Fit: Nike Pro Combat Recovery Tights
The nylon and spandex material is a great fiber mix which creates a form-fitting pair of compression pants. It allows the material to stretch, shape, and contour to different shapes of the body, creating a form-fitting pair of pants. This flexibility is a great thing to have, especially when you’re running or in the gym because you want the material to extend and bend with you with each movement.
You don’t want a pair of pants that feel too constricting, and that will hold you back. By also being form-fitting, you also get the perfect amount of graduated compression distributed throughout your leg. There is an interesting thing about the design of these pants. They extend to your feet so you can wear them to your ankles, which add graduated compression to your ankle and heel area. But if that’s not your thing, you can always roll them up if you choose or if you want more focused for your feet, you can grab yourself a pair of graduated compression socks.
Best Durability: McDavid Compression Recovery Tights
Alright, I know how I said the overall pick is like a tank, but if we’re going to continue with this analogy, then these pair of compression tights are a fortress.
They’re designed and manufactured to withstand any harsh elements you may encounter during training or a workout. They hold up in the gym against more powerful equipment or when you’re playing different sports like football, soccer, or basketball. There is targeted protection at the kneecaps and the inner thigh of the pants to help against accidental falls or scrapes you may encounter on the field or court.
One thing I also have to give the manufacturers props for is the stitching and attention to detail in the pants. The seams and material itself seem very well put together for any athlete. But since we’re on the topic of recovery as well, the compression in the tights itself is significant. The design of the pants target those areas of pain and swelling such as thigh and calves and help with the overall speed of recovery after a workout or a game. Overall if you’re looking for something with adding a little more oomph to your workout or game, I would keep an eye out for these pants during your search.
Best Budget: New Men Sports Compression Tights
As for the best compression tights budget-wise, these pants by New Men take that spot easily.
They are the cheapest compression pants on this list coming in at under $20. If you’re a person looking for light protection and durability, then I would recommend these for sure. They’re great for the average person who is doing light jogging or lifting which is looking to maintain their health.
They act as excellent layering material to put on under jeans or shorts if you go to class or work. It can do the recovery process while you’re at work or school, and no one will even notice. One thing I’d like to credit the sellers for is their buying options with the pants. They offer many sleek color options from minimalist black and white to the neon colors. Having these choices are great for any athlete who wants to up their style game during an athletic event or while training.
Things to Keep in Mind While Shopping
When it comes to compression tights or pants for recovery you want to make sure you’re getting items that are in the moderate graduated compression levels of 15 – 25 mmHg to be able to treat mild to moderate swellings and aches.
Thankfully most of the compression pants on this list fit that category and will be perfect to handle those can of jobs. Another thing to take note of is to ask yourself how you’re going to be using these compression tights.
Know Your Fibers and Material
One of the most significant considerations to make when it comes to any piece of clothing or apparel is its material. And that becomes even more apparent when it comes to investing in a compression sleeve for basketball. First off, you want to make sure you’re at least getting a compression sleeve with nylon material. While polyester is useful for regulating moisture and wicking away sweat, our preferred fabric for a sleeve is nylon.
This preference is because nylon is a much lighter fabric compared to others which are needed to not interfere with your shooting arm when you’re dribbling or getting into shooting position with the ball. Also, you don’t need much moisture regulation because the elbow pit area (if it’s even called that) doesn’t build up that much sweat. Another thing you want to consider is the feel of the sleeve itself.
Nylon tends to be a much more comfortable and snug fit for a compression sleeve to polyester. But the big picture thing you have to keep in mind if you want a sleeve to feel as it’s not there. This is where this lightweight aspect comes into play. It should feel like it’s not there while still providing you the added benefits of compression and recovery. The sleeve shouldn’t distract you or be a burden during a game. In summary, it all comes down to this: it should feel like another layer of skin that helps support your body during and after a game.
The Significance of Recovery
Here’s a big one, and it should be the number one reason you’re picking up any piece of compression apparel, not just sleeves. The support and fit are helpful, but where sleeves shine is after a game during the recovery process.
If you are heavy shooter or practice shooting a lot, a sleeve becomes a bigger necessity. You start to feel that soreness and swelling in your elbow and forearm, and it starts getting to you when you get home. You can always put ice on it to help it heal, but I would recommend combining it with a compression sleeve.
It will help to pump blood and lactate in your arm and elbow area, which will stimulate muscle growth as well as speed up recovery times due to the efficiency of the compression.
Here’s where people will have differing opinions. Some players will appreciate the fact that the compression aspect of the sleeve is there, but in the world of basketball, aesthetics play a huge role too.
If you want to level up your athletic look, a sleeve is one of the best ways to do that. It adds a feeling of professionalism while you shoot which is similar to most NBA players, and speaking of those players, you’ve been marketed and shown that having a compression sleeve can be one of the ways to make you a great, if not, the best basketball player on the court. While this is solely a personal opinion, I think it’s an important factor to consider.
I like a simple, plain black sleeve when I go play a pickup game or for when I go to practice. It’s interchangeable with most outfits and looks great. Also, it gives me this mentality and boost of confidence when I go out on the court. It shows I’m serious when I come to play (although that usually doesn’t translate as well for me on the court). But whatever your thoughts on style, it definitely helps when you want to mix it up with your practice or game attire. It doesn’t hinder play style and would definitely say having the compression aspect still helps either way.
Just remember. When you buy compression pants or tights, it’s an investment. I know the price tags on some of these are heftier than some apparel, but I would stress that you’re going to be wearing these for multiple workouts and practices and will become something essential in your health and well being. If you’re worried they won’t be useful, I urge you to at least try on a pair and see the results for yourselves.
For whatever reason you want to buy a compression sleeve, just know that they’re a great asset to have with you on the court. They don’t hurt your performance and can only improve upon it.