The best trail running compression leggings reviewed (2023)

Not all leggings were created equal - as well as keeping you warm on winter days, compression leggings can improve your performance too. Here's our list of the best.

Trail runner wearing compression leggings

by Trail magazine |
Updated on

We’ll start with the science: “Compression leggings support and stabilise your muscles while you train by absorbing some of the strain as you squeeze your muscles. They also increase blood flow and muscle oxygenation. This speeds up the muscle repair process and reduces muscle fatigue after workouts.”

We’ve found they’re particularly good for recovery, so bash out your usual hard hour or whatever you fancy and then don a pair of compression leggings afterwards for another hour or so to all that all-important repair to take place.

What to look for in a compression tight

Fit: Compression tights are designed to improve performance and aid recovery. Always check size guides as fit is hugely important. In short, they can’t be loose and baggy!  Remember, compression wear is thought to improve blood circulation and reduce muscle oscillation.

Levels: Lower levels of compression are designed for running, and higher levels to aid recovery.

The best compression leggings for running

Best in Test

Pros: Stylish, ethical and awesome to run in
Cons: There are cheaper brands out there

We think these will be the best pounds you’ll spend when it comes to buying into the world of compression clothing. However, we do attach an Asterix to that in that this kind of clothing is very individual both in terms of looks and feel. The polyamide/elastane-mix fabric is 100% recycled and durable, and the tights are made in the EU. Performance-boosting compression feels great due to the excellent fit, with stretchy panels on the backs of the knee and a waistband with a comfortable drawstring.

Pros: Protective and well-featured for long days at low intensity
Cons: Maybe the fit is too tight for some

These tights are supportive and well-featured, making them ideal for a day in the mountains.
The polyester/Spandex-mix fabric feels protective, with ankle zips to make getting them on or off easier. Two small elasticated pockets and a larger zipped pocket mean snacks and other essentials are always easily accessible.

Pros: A great piece of kit, perfect for the high-mileage athlete

Cons: Expensive for what is a really specialist piece of kit

We just have to feature these as they’re nothing short of amazing when it comes to delivering compression. You’ll get a specialist item designed for post-run recovery. Sized from three measurements, CEP draws from its medical background to create an effective fit. The compression profile from foot to waist promotes circulation, prevents congestion and accelerates metabolism, aiding recovery. Don’t run in them though; they're not made for a lot of movement.

Pros: Performance boosting, lightweight and well made.
Cons: They are very snug

These feel like a performance-enhancing skin. The fit is excellent, and the combination of nylon and elastane means they won’t go baggy. We love the styling and uncluttered design aimed purely at maximising running performance. They’re great for long runs and racing, but also perform well as a post-exercise recovery tight.

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