I’ll admit; I bought the CW-X tights because I couldn’t justify paying for 2XU. With the CW-X women’s stabilyx tight costing $100 on Running Warehouse and the 2XU women’s elite compression tight selling for $150, I went for the less expensive version and hoped it wasn’t a cheap imitation.
I had bought a pair of the same tights in the 3/4 length about a year ago, and had trained in them several times and liked them well enough, but hadn’t raced in them. My opportunity to wear them for racing (i.e., a little too cool for shorts, too warm for tights) came at EX2 Adventures’ final and most brutal Backyard Burn race of the season, Hemlock. As I’ve described before, the Hemlock course is a series of hills, rocks, and roots. In short, it’s a climbing festival that shreds your quads and burns your lungs. Of course it’s my favorite. You run down from the park HQ to the Occoquan river, hop along a bunch of rocks, run/climb/crawl back up to the park HQ, and then go back down in another direction and back up again. And again. That’s 5 miles. If you’re running the 10 mile option (of course I was) you repeat the whole thing.
So I usually hurt pretty bad the day after this race. But I woke up Monday morning and the quads were fully intact. They didn’t even hurt. No kidding.
I don’t think I’ll wear any other tights from now on. CW-X compression is the bomb. CW-X says the tights have targeted support for the core and knees, but I find the kinesio-taping technology is great for the IT band too as it wraps around this area. I bought the tights in black/raspberry and the 3/4 length in black/blue because I like to be different, but you can get them in all black if that’s more your thing. They’ve got a couple of reflective bits but I think CW-X could do a bit more in the reflective department for those of us who
are forced to enjoy those 5am or 6pm runs.
As with all compression gear, putting the tights on takes a bit of getting used to because they’re, well, tight. It’s not as bad as wrenching yourself into a wetsuit but not as easy as putting on non-compression gear. You have to go slow and pull them up a bit at a time. At first I found the compression over the core a bit restrictive, but you get used to it….kinda like wearing spanx. There you go, the first spanx for running.