Storage: More than ever, brands are stuffing their gear with discreet pockets that let you keep your credit cards, energy gels, your phone, or keys on your person before you step out the door. Additional pockets on your workout gear are never a buzzkill, but you may not even need them if you’re layering your tights under shorts or just hopping out with your keys for a couple laps around the local track.
Keeping all this in mind, we’ve broken down all the best running tights, whether you’re trekking up a mountain or just hoofing it down the street.
The Best Running Tights for The Absolute Coldest Days: Tracksmith NDO Tights
The New England-based running obsessives at Tracksmith know the cold all too well—a few jogs along the Massachusetts waterfront in the winter will do that for you. That’s why these extra warming “NDO” tights are made with double-layered, water-repellant fabric. They’re the perfect defense against freezing winds, keeping your muscles well-supported with compression and your legs toasty enough to keep trudging. They’re even blessed with reflective details if you’re, ahem, going the extra mile and running at night.
The Best Tights for Road-to-Trail Runners: Janji Trail Tights
Part of running in the winter is deciding whether to stay on the tarmac or to hit the trails. If you’re someone who wants to have it both ways, the Janji Trail Tights are the answer. They’re incredibly warm for tights that aren’t fleece-lined and boast a bunch of handy pockets for keeping valuables and granola bars close at hand. They’re also super durable, according to our testing, and keep wind and precipitation at bay without any excess materials or paneling so you don’t overheat.
The Best Running Tights for Light Trail Running: Nike Lunar Ray Tights
We’ve tried a lot of trail running gear here at GQ and can vouch that the Swoosh is one of the best places to shop, from its hero sneakers to its techy apparel. Take these Lunar Ray tights, which we put through their paces first-hand in the great outdoors. We loved the blend of warmth and breathability, plus the handy pockets and internal briefs that keep you supported when things get frosty. Whether you’re knocking out a quick mile or training for an ultra marathon, these are up to the task.
The Best Tights For Menswear-Obsessed Runners: Satisfy Justice CoffeeThermal Tights
Fresh out the packaging, the Justice CoffeeThermal tights from Satisfy aren’t the softest pants on the planet, but once you pull them on, you won’t find a more comfortable, versatile, and easy-wearing pair of running tights. The brand’s proprietary CoffeeThermal fabric is stretchy in every direction, provides the perfect amount of compression, and nterknit with coffee-charcoal fibers that naturally insulate you from the cold. The side pockets are also roomy but snug enough to reduce bounce from your phone mid-stride, which is not something that can be said of all running tights.
The Best Running Tights for Hardcore Mountain Devotees: Arc’teryx Norvan Hybrid Tight
If Nike’s Lunar Ray tights are the best for trail running, Arc’teryx’s Norvan hybrids are the best for trail anything. These ones are focused on wicking moisture and providing a wide range of movement, but they really thrive on long hikes. They’re windproof, yet breathable, with a substantial, durable hand-feel. The thighs are also protected with Gore-Tex Infinium to keep a rain shower from ruining your day out on the mountain. If you like to spend hours and hours hiking on back routes or are preparing yourself for a spring 5k, these are going to be the very best bet for tackling long distances.
The Best Half-Tights for Medium-Cold Days: District Vision 9-Inch Half Tights
DV is one of the swaggiest brands in running, but they also put a premium on performance. If you live somewhere like LA, where the temperature coasts around 50 to 60 degrees in the dead of winter, the District Vision Half Tight are a healthy compromise between a streamlined fit and a short silhouette. The Italian-milled, stretchy fabric is tight and silky enough to be comfortable regardless of how long you’re sprinting, while the extra pockets are perfect for storing an energy gel when you need an extra kick.
Plus, 6 More Running Tights We Love
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