Posted in Run
Runners in compression clothing in the park

The benefits of compression clothing explained

Whether you're searching for the best compression running tights, leggings, or shorts, top compression brands like SKINS, or other options to help aid your performance and recovery, this compression buying guide will ensure you take advantage of the best in modern sportswear technology.

Most often used by runners and cyclists, the effect of compression's tight fit to the muscles has been found in a number of studies to aid recovery times, improve performance, and reduce muscle soreness.

Wearing compression running tights, a man skillfuly balances in a one legged squat

Compression properties can be found in a range of garments, from shorts, tights, socks and underwear, to shirts and sleeves. Using variants of Lycra, such as Spandex or elastane, and combining these with durable fabrics like nylon, popular manufacturers like SKINS and 2XU are able to produce finely-tuned compression wear providing real-world benefits. 

Shop SKINS compression at Wiggle

Shop 2XU compression at Wiggle

The main benefits of compression wear:

A woman wearing compression running tights recovers in an empty gym

Compression wear is used by a variety of professional and amateur athletes as an important part of their training and performance equipment. Here are some of the reasons compression is considered an important tool for the modern competitor. 

1) Stability - Compression clothing envelops your muscles, reducing vibration and damage during exercise. This can help reduce muscle pain both during and after exertion. 

2) Reduced muscle soreness - By increasing circulation to your muscles after exercise, compression clothing can help to reduce water retention and swelling that can cause discomfort and soreness. The increase in blood flow also helps to flush out harmful products such as lactic acid which can cause soreness in your muscles.

3) Reducing the time taken for muscles to repair - Strenuous exercise causes the muscles to be stretched and damaged. Compression wear is thought to aid the repair phase and help muscles to become stronger, faster. 

While not exclusive to compression wear, the form-fitting profile of compression fabric is also ideal for reducing chaffing and rashes. This is especially true for cyclists, whose repetitive movement on the bike requires specific attention. Compression clothing is often constructed with sweat-wicking properties, limiting soreness and clamminess. 

Sizing and fit

A woman wearing compression leggings stretches in a park

Sizing is always important with clothing but this is especially the case with compression garments. It is vital for the products to be close-fitting to ensure you gain the benefits from the fabric's pressure.

It is not necessary for you to buy a size smaller than you might do normally in order to get a compressed fit. Manufacturers already consider the need for a tighter profile when sizing their products. When selecting, you should look at the individual manufacturer's size chart and select the size that fits your measurements exactly. 

Comprehensive sizing charts are provided on many of the product descriptions at Wiggle. 

What compression clothing is for me?

A woman wearing compression leggings runs through a park in the sunshine

You can now get compression clothing for almost all parts of the body - from your feet to the arms and everything in between. Here's a look at some of the most popular compression garments available at Wiggle. 

SKINS Women's DNAmic Recovery Elite Long Pantyhose

Keeping you fresh and free of fatigue for your next big run, the Women's DNAmic Recovery Elite Long Pantyhose reduce swelling and soreness in muscles thanks to the DNAmic gradient compression, SKINS most advanced technology that reduces blood lactate. Getting you back to training faster than ever before, there is also unrivaled comfort thanks to the skin fit and flexible, flatter A-seams.

2XU Women's Refresh Recovery Tights

2XU Women's Refresh Recovery Tights

The Refresh Recovery Tights provide superior gradient compression to stabilise muscles and promote increased bloodflow for faster recovery and return to form. The comfortable 2XU waistband is also designed to aid extended hours of wear and even sleep.

SKINS DNAmic Recovery Elite Long

Keeping you fresh and free of fatigue for your next big run, the DNAmic Recovery Elite compression wear for men reduces swelling and soreness in muscles thanks to the DNAmic gradient compression. Getting you back to training faster than ever before, there is also unrivalled comfort thanks to the skin fit and flexible, flatter A-seams.

Compressport UR2 V2 Ultra Race and Recovery Calf Guard

Featuring thousands of micro capsules containing essential oils to provide soothing comfort, Compresssport UR2's compression wear is designed to boost your performance even further.


About the author

Damien Whinnery's picture
Damien Whinnery
Published on: 18 Mar 2019

Fascinated by fitness, serious about sport, and joyous about the gym