Mens Bottoms

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The Benefits of Compression Sportswear

The past two decades has witnessed a huge growth in the popularity of compression garments among practitioners of all sports and fitness activities, from recreational to the elite level. But what training advantage can such clothing claim to produce – and is it backed up by science? Let’s take a look at the history behind compression wear and the recent research into its benefits.

Compression clothing came into existence in the early 1990s as shorts undergarments usually worn by athletes. They were form-fitting garments and when worn covered the athlete's waist to mid or lower thigh. These garments were often made from a spandex-type material, similar to cycling shorts. Two major differences between compression and cycling shorts, however, are that cycling shorts have seat padding typically made of chamois, and compression shorts have paneling to add a higher degree of pressure to the thigh and hamstring.

The main benefits of compression sportswear is that it keeps the muscles warm to prevent muscle strain and fatigue, and wick the sweat away from the body to prevent chafing and rashes. In addition, there is some evidence that compression sportswear may enhance athletic performance. Compression sportswear also helps to keep undergarments in place, and for certain sports, like baseball and softball, come with padding at the hips to protect players from injuries due to sliding.

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Running Bottoms:


New Balance Closeout Sale, $29.95

New Balance Running Tights Closeout Sale

Made of moisture-wicking Lightning Dry® fabric, New Balance's run tights let your sporty spirit run wild when the seasons change.

  • Lightning Dry® fabric wicks moisture and dries quickly
  • Spandex for stretch and improved mobility
  • Elasticized waistband with drawstring
  • Key pocket in front
  • Flatlock seams reduce chafing
  • Reflective trim


REI Airflyte Mens Running Pants - Closeout, $40.93

REI Air Flyte Running Pants sale

Part of the New Performance Collection, the NP Singlet is lightweight and moisture-wicking. Whether you're running or working out at the gym, you'll love the way training feels in this sleeveless top.

  •  Double Knit Pique. 100% Polyester. 140.0 (GM/2):
  • Front and Back Reflectivity:
  • Updated Lightweight Fabric:

How To Choose a

Running Tight

The best running tight can help you run comfortably in all types of weather.   A variety of designs offer characteristics that do everything from keeping your muscles warm and dry to compressing your lower body.  Running tights can also be stylish and fun, with a wide range of colors and styles to select from.  Running tights are a very important part of a long-term runner's wardrobe.   Running tights provide leg protection during colder conditions, but they also should supply breathability and comfort. Constricting tights will create an unpleasant running experience.

When shopping for a running tight, it's important to choose a tight with some synthetic material such as Spandex and/or Polyester with features such as moisture-wicking.   Synthetic materials can wick moisture away from your body, helping you stay dry and warm when you run.   Runners often wear running tights in cold weather.  Running tights are form-fitting pants and can range from heavy to lightweight warm-up tights.  Look for tights that feature zippers down the outside bottom leg sides so you can quickly take them off/on before a workout or a race.

These running tights protect the legs from cold and perspiration during long or short runs. They act like a second skin to keep circulation flowing through the legs and prevent chafing.   Running tights should fit tightly around the legs and not cause friction between the thighs.   Look for tights that offer moisture wicking properties and flexibility for running and stretching.

While running tights should be tighter than pants and provide support, they should not squeeze or compress the entire body.   If there is discomfort while wearing the tights, then they are too tight. Purchase a larger size.  The tights should not pinch at the waist or crotch area.   In general, the higher priced tights provide additional protection and support features over the inexpensive brands. However, for all but the most dedicated and professional runners, the lower end tights should perform well enough.

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How to Make Your Running

Gear Last

Ok now that you have invested in running gear such as running shoes, tops, bottoms, and accessories, you will need to try and take of these in order for them to last longer.   You can expect to get at least 400 miles of use out of your running shoes, so keep track of your mileage.  

If you run regularly like I do (a few times a week like 5-15 miles on each run), it's a good idea to invest in some technical running clothes. Unlike cotton clothing, synthetic fabrics, such as CoolMax or Dri-Fit, wick moisture away from your skin, so you'll stay dry and comfortable during your runs.   However, technical running clothes are not cheap, so it's important to care for them properly.

Your running gear requires special upkeep to remain functional--and fresh-smelling, too.  For instance, you'll get better results spiffing up your stinky clothes by washing them in a small load that lets sudsy water swish around them.   When you invest in running gear, you expect it to last.   But common mistakes can shorten the life of even the highest-quality shoes and clothes.

 Listed below are a few ways to take better care of the gear that takes care of you.


  • Run on softer surfaces such as grass or trails to less wear on your shoes' outsoles (not to mention your legs).
  • Wear Running shoes only for running, don't wear shoes for other sports such as basketball, soccer, or tennis (walking is fine).
  • Wash in washing machine in warm water and let them air dry out.

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