What to Look For
Running tights can be an important part of any runner’s year-roung wardrobe. They provide warmth and protection from the elements while still allowing you unrestricted movement. High performance compression tights can also provide support for your muscles and joints, and may even facilitate recovery after your run. (reference 1) When shopping for men's running tights, consider the climate in which they will be used. Some tights are lined with fleece to provide extra warmth. But wearing fleece-lined tights in moderate conditions could lead to excessive sweating, dehydration and even hypothermia. Fleet Feet Sports recommends dressing as though it is 15 to 20 degrees warmer than what the thermometer reads. (reference 3)
When purchasing running tights, try them on to ensure they do not pinch at the waist or crotch area. Poorly fitting tights can cause distracting discomfort durning your run, and may produce chafing. (reference 2) In general, the higher priced tights may provide additional protection and support features over less expensive styles. Mesh paneling for ventilation, support panels for the back and knees, fleece lining, pockets and other specialty features may drive up the cost. (reference 2, 4) If you are not an elite competitive runner, you may be able to get by with a less expensive pair of tights that still performs satisfactorily, without the extra bells and whistles.
Where to Buy
Running tights are available from a variety of manufacturers and retailers both online and in stores. It is a good idea to visit a store to try on a variety of different brands in more than one size to find the perfect fit for you. Shop at a reputable retailer that specializes in running apparel. The staff should be able to assist you in selecting the best tights for your individual needs. Once you discover your preferred brand and size, you may find better bargains online.
Depending on the quality and performance parameters of each garment, the cost of men's running tights could range from around $30 for basic lycra tights to upwards of $170 for high-end compression tights designed to enhance performance and recovery. (reference 4) If you are a consistent runner, investing in a more expensive pair may be worth the investment. But if you are a weekend warrior or a novice runner, you may want to start out with less expensive tights, and graduate to a more expensive pair when you run frequently enough to justify the cost.