Runners already know the benefits of compression legwear: Better support and circulation, faster recovery, muscle support, decreased fatigue during a run and relief from shin splints. Competitive athletes in running and biking have probably known about these for a few years. We’re excited that these product are making their way into the backpacking and hiking community as well because they offer tons of perks even for those of us who don’t compete when we’re out on the trail.
2XU, out of Australia has a full length thermal running tight (it also comes in capri length). These are thicker and warmer than a regular running tight or any of my base layers except my extra heavy wool. If you’ve never worn them before, it takes a minute to get used to how they feel. It’s like a constant hug from your ankles to your hips.
I have not considered taking my running tights as a base layer before, but since they are thick and warmer than standard running tights, I tried it out. The boost in circulation kept my legs warmer than a running tight would, while at the same time lending the benefit of compression tights. The benefits listed on the 2XU site say that if you continue wearing them after your exertion, they aid recovery. So once you come down from that mountain climb, don’t change immediately.
Zensah makes a compression leg sleeve that I really liked as well. I found myself wearing them not only for workouts and hikes, but also under my jeans and work clothes. They make my legs feel better, more energetic, less droopy than just regular clothes alone. They hide under clothing unless you want to show them off. My cuffs are bright purple tie-die, so I had to show them off a bit! They offer more than 20 colors.
More information:
Compression Leg Sleeve by Zensah: Zensah fabric incorporates silver ions to regulate skin temperature and fight bacteria. Zensah fabric is breathable, moisture wicking, and seamless to make the the most comfortable compression sleeves.
MSRP: $39.99
Colors: 20+ colors
2XU Thermal Compression Tights: Designed with a circular knit construction so they are lightweight and powerful,  offering muscle support for reducing damage while training. Their ‘graduated’ fit applies the correct pressure to enhance blood flow for better muscle performance and faster recovery post exercise. Lightly brushed interior provides warmth and comfort, making them the perfect base layer for athletes testing themselves in the extremes of the outdoors.
MSRP: $129.95
Colors: black/silver detail

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